Divorcing a mentally unstable wife?
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Navigation »Talk About Marriage »Talk About Divorce and Separation »Considering Divorce or Separation » Divorcing a mentally unstable wife?

Considering Divorce or Separation If you're considering divorce or separation, this is the place to talk.

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Old 04-22-2012, 12:03 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Divorcing a mentally unstable wife?

Hi all,

As the thread's title explains, I'm looking for advice on the best way to tell my wife that I want a divorce. She has numerous mental health issues including: anger problems; OCD; hearing voices/seeing visions of causing me serious physical harm; seeing hallucinations. Last year, she has also hit me on two different occasions. I have been trying to hold our marriage together for almost two years and have gone with her to many different medical appointments, but I simply can't take it anymore. What makes things harder is that my wife has been somewhat better over the past three months, clearly loves me and will quite possibly want to end her life when she finds out my intentions (she has attempted suicide in her past). She is distraught with herself for hurting me in the past and will blame herself for everything. Unfortunately, I can't keep 'taking her back' and pretending everything's ok. I feel that a line had been crossed when she hit me, and for my own health, safety, and sanity I must leave. My question is how?

Talking with her alone is out of the question as I fear that she might seek to harm herself, and perhaps me too. Because of this, I've planned to tell her next week when she's visiting her family for a couple of days: this way she'll have a network of support around her who can help care for her. I planned on telling her over the phone/Skype, but fear this may not be best for her. I've been advised that I could turn up at her parents' house, tell her, and then leave with a friend, but I think this will seem just as out of the blue and shocking to her as talking on the phone. Moreover, her parents are conservative Christians and view divorce as a cardinal sin: I imagine they'll be unhelpful at best and confrontational at worst.

Any advice will be gladly received.
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Old 04-22-2012, 12:25 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Divorcing a mentally unstable wife?

Spike: You're squarely between the proverbial "rock and a hard place." I know that you may have visited with her psychologists and psychiatrists on her earlier visits, but I'd be interested to hear what they might say. It probably would be a good investment to see an IC and also get some valuable input from them.

And if you're involved in a Church, I think that your pastor could give you some sound advice on this. But right now, I'd greatly want to know the opinions of her doctors.

My primary concern now is that there's some question regarding your very own personal health and safety. And I think that that would be a great angle to approach her doctors, as well as your pastor with. You'll remain in my prayers. I wish you well, my friend!
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Old 04-22-2012, 02:16 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Divorcing a mentally unstable wife?

Is a 5150 out of consideration?
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Old 04-22-2012, 02:29 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Divorcing a mentally unstable wife?

You need to talk with her doctor/psyche therapist about the best way to do this. Don't take matters in your own hands. You are not equipped and neither is anyone on this board. She needs medication for her existing illnesses. A doc might decide it best to up her meds for something like this.
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Old 04-23-2012, 09:53 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Divorcing a mentally unstable wife?

Yes, I'd definitely do this with the help of her doctor(s). Maybe you could arrange to tell her with her psychologist (if she has one, I am assuming she does) present so they can help her after the fact.
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Old 04-23-2012, 09:54 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Divorcing a mentally unstable wife?

You leave the same way anyone else does: get your stuff to gether and move out (if you're moving out). Or file for divorce and have her served. That's it. Tell her it's over and you're not interested in reconciliahion.
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Old 04-23-2012, 10:04 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Divorcing a mentally unstable wife?

Is there no possible cures for her issues? If not, consider this. A mental illness is just another illness. If she had cancer would you divorce her?

I do understand that your safety is important, but have you explored all possiblities before divorcing?

I see many people jump to divorce with Mid Life Crisis spouses and they eventually come out of the mental fog. Your situation sounds much more extreme.

I wish you well.
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