My wife. The bipolar mess
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Old 09-14-2012, 05:15 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default My wife. The bipolar mess

Background:
My wife is no longer living with me and our two children. She is most likely bipolar as she has experienced this same type of behavior now 3 times. Once in 1999, 2006, and fall 2011-?

The story each time is the same. she disconnects, abandons her real friends and family, befriends co workers, and acts wreckless with drinking, driving, spending, etc. she is in denial and is not on medication, etc.

Not here to focus on the details of her illness. I have a 17 yr relationship that was perfect for me. during the non manic times, she was everything i ever wanted....during the phases, it was hell.

Currently, I have two children 8 & 11 and my eldest especially is hurting so bad about us not being together. My youngest is also struggling but in different ways. They both are in thereapy once a week.

Me. I am a mess. I live in the marital home, act as a stay at home mom, father, and career man all in one.


The Latest...
We have a property settlement agreement in place...basically a financial divorce.....custody, etc.
She has been out of the house since Feb. 2012

My oldest daughter hates the fact she is no longer here. She is embarrased, ashamed, and deeply wounded inside. Ive tried a few therapists and she hasnt opened to any othem.

My manic wife met a loser....not just a jealousy loser, but a real loser....online and has been seeing him...I went on a few dates and am not ready for it...I am really broken hearted over this but the collateral damage is too great. She has stated she wants a divorce and will file, but never does...im sure in this mental state she really does...

me...
I love the person she was....who she is now is an emotionally sick HORRIBLE person...she treats the kids poorly, emotionally abuses them, etc.

Main Issue....my kids..for some reason, they feel better knowing we arent officially divorced. Since my "wife" makes little comments about filing (she has no lawyer or money left from her share) should I just wait? my lawyer says there is no reason to file (unless she needs a court motion because she continues to struggle with the kids) as it would only be a title. My agreement is set.
Would the kids blame me for filing eventhough they know their mother caused all of this?
Anyone with experience like this?
Its an awful place to be...
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Old 09-14-2012, 05:25 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: My wife. The bipolar mess

brokenman, pm me.
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Old 09-14-2012, 05:30 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: My wife. The bipolar mess

so sorry is all I can say......
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Old 09-14-2012, 05:32 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: My wife. The bipolar mess

Children don't want their parents to divorce except in rare cases.

Do you have a legal custody arrangement in place? I guess for now, you can wait for your children to "get used to things" before an official divorce.

FWIW - I have bp family members & am very sorry about all of this.
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Old 09-14-2012, 05:36 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: My wife. The bipolar mess

Thank you everyone...I do have a custody arrangement in place
The legal side is taken care of, the emotional side is tough to take!
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Old 09-14-2012, 05:38 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: My wife. The bipolar mess

Here is a reason to file - you.

You need to get on with your life, and not be waiting on hold hoping that she may get over her mental illness.

Here is another reason: your children

They are also learning how to have self esteem and how to behave in relationships watch you. If you give your future life away waiting for her to return, you are not teaching them his to deal with loss and move on with life. You are right now teaching them how to hunker down an try to wait out the storm.
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Old 09-14-2012, 05:40 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: My wife. The bipolar mess

I am not waiting for anything other than her to be a better mother to her children.....like she was....

My marriage has too much collateral damage and is beyond repair..I am not misleading them for a nice return....i just do not want to hurt them worse at their ages...11 1/2 & 9
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Old 09-14-2012, 05:41 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: My wife. The bipolar mess

Quote:
Originally Posted by brokenman30 View Post
Thank you everyone...I do have a custody arrangement in place
The legal side is taken care of, the emotional side is tough to take!
I've been thru an eerily similar situation. I just sent you a pm. Would be glad to talk to you, but rather not do it in a public thread.
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Old 09-14-2012, 05:44 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: My wife. The bipolar mess

The children shouldn't be included in such adult matters of who files, anyway. Is it your wife who would tell them things like that? They are children, they can't logically comprehend what is going on right now anyway. When they are adults they will more be able to see things for what they were/are. I really feel for your daughters, their mothers mental illness will always reflect in their lives.
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Old 09-14-2012, 06:13 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: My wife. The bipolar mess

BrokenMan30, I think that the decision is ultimately yours to make. I don't have encouragement for a specific choice, but I'll offer some things for you to consider as you make a decision.

Your kids are grieving the loss of their mother, just as you're grieving the loss of your wife. They take comfort in the idea that you're "not really divorced" because it fosters hope that someday things could "get fixed."

On one hand, filing for divorce makes the finality of your separation more real to them. If they're not emotionally ready to face that, then it could do some harm to them if you file. You could find them blaming you unfairly later on if they come to believe that your choice is what prevented mom from trying again or ... whatever. You just cannot predict how people will internalize things like this except to say that they'll surprise you with something you never considered.

On the other hand, avoiding that finality has its risks, too. They might learn to tolerate ambiguity in their own relationships instead of putting down solid boundaries that will let them find peace in their own adult lives if you set an example that says, "I won't take action."

Your children are 8 and 11 right now. It would be easier if you were dealing with this a few years later, but that's not a luxury you have. I'd encourage you to talk to them regularly so you can keep an eye on which of these risk factors is biggest and figure out how to address them.
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Old 09-14-2012, 06:29 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Default Re: My wife. The bipolar mess

I'm in the same boat with you..except my husband is the BP one. This is his 4th manic cycle since we've been married ( 13 years). It took me a long time to recognize what I was dealing with.We also have 2 kids who are really struggling. He has been MIA for over 2 months now- cheating. lying, blowing money and drinking, . I am done now too. I can't put my kids through any more of it. The cycles are becoming more frequent and intense, the drinking prolongs them.
It may help to start educating your kids about BP, it may help them to know that their mother is not thinking clearly and making bad decisions for a reason. I know it has helped my kids deal with the sudden personality change in their father. Their therapist helped explain it to them. I am going through a divorce now, I filed. It is very difficult divorcing someone who is actively manic and irrational about everything. I wouldn't wish it on anyone.
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Old 09-14-2012, 06:51 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Default Re: My wife. The bipolar mess

I've been through this. My advice is this. When she's stable, make it clear. You will not go through this again. You will not let her put the kids through this again. She can stay on treatment and in therapy and have a family and be supported. She'll have to give you a certain amount of control because BP people can't be trusted when it comes to their illness. Or she can choose not to have those things, and have nothing but supervised visits with her kids forever. She has to be stable to make that decision. When they're on the manic high nothing will convince them to give it up usually until they hit bottom and start the depression cycle.

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Old 09-15-2012, 10:34 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Thank you very much for your reply. Your story is my story. I am a very positive person who has been emotionally destroyed. I am unable to let go. I have been in therapy and seeing a pyschiatrist for 10 months now. I do not even recognize myself, let alone her. How do you cope? I'm failing miserably.
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Old 09-15-2012, 12:09 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Default Re: My wife. The bipolar mess

You have a very changed life situation. And you’ll have new goals to work towards and new ways of managing the situation you are in now. For example, how you manage your wife and how you manage your children.

These things are done through personal boundaries, so start building and implementing them focused on the different aspects of your life, your children, wife, extended family, work, home. It can get complicated so start with the things that are most important, learn about boundaries and work from there.

Hold on to Your Nuts: The Relationship Manual for Men: Amazon.co.uk: Wayne M. Levine: Books will greatly help you. You may imagine that we are characterised by our boundaries so in your situation boundaries will help you identify a new you.

Another form of growth for you will come when you develop your observer consciousness, it may sound out of the park (it is in some ways), but Awareness: Amazon.co.uk: Anthony De Mello: Books has helped quite a few men and women here on TAM.


You’re on a new journey in your life, setting new boundaries for yourself will help you along your way. Awareness will help you detach and see the bigger picture and so release you from the stress of daily life and concerns for a bit.
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Old 09-15-2012, 01:22 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Default Re: My wife. The bipolar mess

Quote:
Originally Posted by brokenman30 View Post
Thank you very much for your reply. Your story is my story. I am a very positive person who has been emotionally destroyed. I am unable to let go. I have been in therapy and seeing a pyschiatrist for 10 months now. I do not even recognize myself, let alone her. How do you cope? I'm failing miserably.
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