Re: Bipolar Wife
You do have a hard decision to make, but it seems to me that it boils down to doing what's best for your daughter.
The fact of the matter is that your wife has a biologically based mental illness. You don't mention it, but it sounds like she's not currently on meds, or frankly if she is, she may not be taking them consistently or they may not be the right mix for her. Counseling is an important part of treatment for bipolar disorder, but it can't be the only treatment. It's a physical deficiency in the way the neurons and synapses in the brain communicate and unless that is addressed in conjunction with the rest of what's going on, nothing is really going to change. And medically speaking, as people get older, the cycles get more and more severe, especially if they remain unmedicated, or sporadically medicated.
If she's not actively trying to control her disease now, it's probably not going to get much better. I can tell you from very personal experience that it's much more fun to live in the drama and excitement of the highs, even if it comes with the occasional low. Especially if there's someone (hint, hint) waiting in the wings to clean up any mess you make. If anything, it's kind of scary to think what a more "normal" life would even look like.
All that aside, I'm personally a huge proponent of personal responsibility, accountability, whatever you want to call it, when you're dealing with something like bipolar disorder and it magnifies when there's a child involved. I personally feel like I have to be even more cognizant of my actions because I'm first, human and considerate and second, always monitoring myself for "bipolar" behavior so I can fix it early. And when it comes to dealing with little people that suck up everything you say and do like a sponge?? I think you have to be even more aware.
It sounds that your wife isn't making very many good faith efforts even to get and stay well, even for the sake of your daughter. And for the sake of your daughter, you may need to make the break. And to be honest, your daughter deserves to grow up in a house where there's respect and peace. If you do make the decision to divorce, make sure that you are strong enough to push for as much custody as you can get and while your daughter is young at least, make sure that the time she spends with her mother is limited, safe and supervised if need be. It's a sad and hard thing for you to do, but the consequences of your wife's choices and behaviors may very well be that you use the documentation of her diagnosis, her addiction, her arrests, the counselor's notes, etc. to restrict her access to her daughter so that you can be sure that your daughter stays safe.