Separation from wife with hyperthyroidism
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Old 12-18-2011, 10:13 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Separation from wife with hyperthyroidism

Hi all, new here.

Does anyone have experience with hyperthyroidism?

My wife and I have been married for 5.5 years, together for over 10. I'm 31, she's 28. We had a great relationship for many years.

A few months after the birth of my son, we began having HUGE fights. Not just yelling and bickering, but continuous escalation that wound up in her physically attacking me at one point (I reacted physically, but it was single open-handed slap to the face), throwing and breaking things in other occurrences (my reaction was to try and restrain her). Maybe I didn't handle these situations the right way, but I was trying to end the "fits" she was having. These were fairly rare, and once things calmed down, we let it go.

A few months later, she seemed to be getting more and more irritable, and began having hand tremors, heat intolerance, rapid weight loss, and rapid heartbeat. I insisted upon her getting to the doctor.

Long story short, she was diagnosed with hyperthyroidism as a result of Graves' Disease. It explained all of her symptoms, even the extreme "rages" the resulted in attacks and throwing/breaking things. She began medication for this, and things seemed to be fine for a while.

Fast forward a bit, and I became unemployed. She was also unemployed, so we spent a LOT of time together for a few weeks. At first, it was nice, but it steadily degenerated to constant bickering. After we began working again, hints of divorce came up, but somehow we avoided doing anything.

My brother died in July, and for a while, our relationship actually seemed to be improving as we dealt with the grief. She had a follow-up visit with her endocrinologist (who's working with her on the hyperthyroidism) and reduced her medication. Things went steadily downhill from there, until about a month ago, when she announced that our relationship was over, and we were getting divorced. She said she'd wait until the holidays were over to keep things easy on our families.

A week or so goes by, I'm emotional, she's withdrawn, but the fight comes up again. I pleaded with her to wait until her condition had been fully treated (defined as either her going into remission or taking treatment to definitively kill the thyroid), but she refused. In the discussion that followed, she acknowledged how badly she needed treatment (not only for the hyperthyroidism, but also psychiatric treatment), but the stress of our living situation was making things worse for her.

I was able to get her to agree to a separation first, to see if things could work out once she's been treated. Instead of waiting until the holidays were over, I suggested that she leave before things got worse. We agreed to a few things, personally and financially, and on who would have our son when.

I asked her before she left if she was still 100% for divorce and if we were just delaying the inevitable, and she said that she wasn't 100% for it, but not sure if it could be worked out.

I'm not going to lie: it's killing me. She's been gone for almost a month now, and our few interactions come only when one of us is picking our son up from the other. At first, she'd get him and leave as fast as possible, but the visits have become ever so slightly longer, with a small amount of conversation occuring, but rarely straying from talk about our son. We're going out in a few days to get Santa pictures of our son, and some dinner afterwards. I don't think this is a reconciliation attempt, but I'm going to try to stick to the 180 principles in my interaction with her.

I don't know how this compares to finding out someone's cheated on you, but it seems to me like then you have the ability to legitimately blame someone, the healing process is aided. I can't really blame my wife for this situation; things like this are typical when it comes to hyperthyroidism, and she's just not her normal self. She's certainly not the woman I married.

I'm not saying the marriage was perfect, I have certainly done my share of misdeeds, but we were always able to work through them before this came up. I don't think it's the root of the problem, but I do think it's the reason we can't get through it.

I'm seeing a psychologist now and taking anti-depressants and anti-anxiety medication. I'm spending more time with family and recently began tai chi.

Anyone have similar experiences or thoughts/advice? I've been emotionally weak from all of my experiences this year, so while the 180 sounds like the perfect way to handle the situation, I'm a little concerned about my ability to execute.

Thanks for reading the wall of text.
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Old 12-18-2011, 10:28 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Separation from wife with hyperthyroidism

One of my sisters had this. She went off the deep end as well. In the end she had to have her thyroid killed. She now take thyroid supplements for life.

She had to go on anti-depressants. She was given 2 or more and after a while she lost it again. It took some time with intervention by family members to get her doctors to pay enough attention to get her meds switched to something that was not driving her nuts.

But she will never be the same. She’s on disability and cannot hold down a job. She was a school teacher for years so this is a big change for her. She makes decisions that make no sense, get in arguments easily with everyone.

How is she with your child?

I feel for you as this is not an easy thing to deal with.
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Old 12-18-2011, 10:38 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Separation from wife with hyperthyroidism

Thanks for the reply. This is a horrible, HORRIBLE condition, but our vows were "for better or for worse, in sickness and in health" and I have every intention of honoring that, even if she becomes hyPOthyroid.

She's good with our son, but she doesn't interact with him as much as she should, opting to spend time on the internet (that laptop was probably the worst thing I could have ever bought for her). While I haven't seen her with him lately, she did get frustrated with him rather easily (but he's 2, so there's that) while still in the house. I can't imagine that's changed much.

I think she's in denial about how much this is affecting her. My goal is try and get her to take the condition more seriously and be pro-active about her treatment.

Is your sister married or in a relationship? Just wondering how that went if so.

Have you heard of the book "The Thyroid Solution"? It has a lot of good information about how to try and recover from both hyper- and hypothyroidism.
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Old 12-18-2011, 10:49 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Separation from wife with hyperthyroidism

My sister is divorced. Her husband left her. Her illness was his excuse. But he cheated on her all of their marriage so it was no surprise.

She has been in relationships since the divorce. She always gets to a point where suddenly the relationship is just not what she wants and she leaves.

In the last 5 years she lived with a guy who adored her. Then she hooked up online with a guy in Italy who she dated in high school (we lived in Italy for part of our high school). So she was going to fly to Itlay to be with him. She left the guy she was living with and moved in with one of our sisters in Florida to get ready for her trip to Italy. The guy in Italy completely broke contact with her when he realized she was actually coming there. He told my sister that he was no longer married but I think he was.

So then she hooked up with a younger guy in Florida who was just taking her money... her disability income. So by other sister told him to leave or our family would seek to bring criminal charges against him to abuse of a disabled person. So then she decided to visit an old boy friend in Mexico. So now she's in Mexico.. tired of that situation and getting ready to fly back to Florida.

I suspect this is what the rest of her life will belike. She just gets these wild hairs and goes off to do them. No one can talk her out of them. She thinks we are all nuts because we live normal lives.

She's living in some fantasy world of her own creation.

It almost sounds like your wife might be doing the flighty things as well.. just without all the jumping from one man to the next.

Speaking of that. Have you looked to see what your wife is doing online?
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Old 12-18-2011, 10:57 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Separation from wife with hyperthyroidism

Yeah, I have in the past. Mostly, she's looking up new age stuff, reading manga, posting on facebook, etc. There was a guy that I'd suspected she might have been cheating on me with a few years ago, but she wasn't. I don't consider her a liar, and she certainly had the ability to use that to end the marriage just before the separation (by throwing it in my face, that is). She maintained that she's been faithful to me, and I believe her.

As far as I know, the guy I'd previously suspected her of cheating on me with isn't in the picture. We have mutual friends that I think would tell me if this wasn't the case. For now, I just have to take it on faith, though I'd be willing to work through that too, if it helped to restore our family.
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Old 12-18-2011, 11:12 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Separation from wife with hyperthyroidism

Have you talked to family and friends about this to get their support?

I'd suggest that you do a Plan A right now.. see the Plan A in my signature below. You would want to show her right now that you love her and are supportive of her.

And do things to take care of yourself. See friends and family, work out, get interested in things. Enjoy your son when he's with you.
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Old 12-18-2011, 11:24 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Separation from wife with hyperthyroidism

I fully intend to follow plan A, but I'm not sure if actually saying "I love you" is such a hot idea. The last few times I said it got less than enthusiastic responses from her. Otherwise, I do intend to be loving and supportive.

One of her biggest complaints of stress stem from how emotional I can be, especially of late. The consensus seems to be that I need to re-establish my individuality... so should I also try to do the 180?
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Old 12-18-2011, 11:36 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Separation from wife with hyperthyroidism

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Originally Posted by tenbusrider View Post
I fully intend to follow plan A, but I'm not sure if actually saying "I love you" is such a hot idea. The last few times I said it got less than enthusiastic responses from her. Otherwise, I do intend to be loving and supportive.

One of her biggest complaints of stress stem from how emotional I can be, especially of late. The consensus seems to be that I need to re-establish my individuality... so should I also try to do the 180?
At this point I don't think you should try the 180. The 180 is like Plan B. There are two reasons I say this. Your young child is with your wife, you need to know what is going on with her for the safety of your child. The other reason is that you first need to let her see the new you as you grow and change. She needs to see the changes and be able to respond to them. Only to the 180/Plan B when you are almost out of love with her. Then do it to protect yourself from hurt, to preserve the little bit of love left and to show her that you mean business.

When the love dies completely is when you file for divorce. Hopefully it never gets to that point.
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Old 12-18-2011, 12:00 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Separation from wife with hyperthyroidism

Hmm, we do have something that kinda parallels the policy of joint agreement, though it's mostly just terms of our separation, and is mostly (but not quite) legal in context. There's nothing in there about each other's happiness, only individuality and faithfulness.

I may have glossed over some important details: she's unwilling to attend MC. I've asked over and over again, to no avail. She says she doesn't know if she'll want to do it after she's been treated, but hasn't overruled it. Every time I see her, I tell her she can call me if she needs anything, but the only time she has was when she needed money for groceries, which I let her have.

The last time I told her I missed her, she told me that she knew and that she wasn't doing this anymore. Last week, I noticed that she's removed her wedding band. I asked her about this, she said she was irritated by it but was keeping it nearby, in her purse. She also said that she was taking the separation "seriously." I'm not sure what that means. I've teetered between wearing mine and removing it.

This disease is making it very hard for me to figure out what's the right way to go.

To answer the previously asked question about friends and family, I've spoken to our mutual friends about everything, but her family is more or less off limits to me, though they're aware of the Graves' Disease. Not sure if they understand what it means, though.
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Old 12-18-2011, 12:02 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: Separation from wife with hyperthyroidism

Why is her family off limits?
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Old 12-18-2011, 12:07 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Default Re: Separation from wife with hyperthyroidism

Another complicated topic - she and her mother have spent most of our relationship not speaking to each other. Her parents are divorced, the step-father lives in another city and doesn't speak to my wife at all. Her mother doesn't want to deal with any more drama than she has to, and my wife is living with her currently. They've already had one big blowup since she moved in there.

Her extended family is at odds with her mother, as well, so she isn't talking to them while staying with her mom. Confused yet?

It's a messy situation, and I'm not sure who I could contact or what kind of problems it could cause.

Last edited by tenbusrider; 12-18-2011 at 02:04 PM.
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Old 12-18-2011, 03:07 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Default Re: Separation from wife with hyperthyroidism

I experienced hypothyroidism 11 years ago after the birth of my son. It causes lots of irritability. Good news is once meds are adjusted correctly and the body adapts symptoms gradually fade. Can take a long time to get to that point. Try and have patience and understanding. The physical violence should be addressed though.
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Old 12-18-2011, 03:11 PM   #13 (permalink)
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I'm glad to hear that it does eventually get better. I just hope that things improve enough that we can try to work things out.

The physical violence were anomalies - both events happened within a couple of months of each other and were over 18 months ago. It was prior to her diagnosis of Graves' Disease but during a part of the time the doctor thought it had already been going on.
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Old 12-18-2011, 05:24 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Default Re: Separation from wife with hyperthyroidism

Quote:
Originally Posted by EleGirl View Post
Have you talked to family and friends about this to get their support?

I'd suggest that you do a Plan A right now.. see the Plan A in my signature below. You would want to show her right now that you love her and are supportive of her.

And do things to take care of yourself. See friends and family, work out, get interested in things. Enjoy your son when he's with you.
Just thought about what you said again, and I'm not sure if you misunderstood me, but right now, we're not dealing with infidelity. It was an EA at one point, but it never went anywhere, and that was 3 years ago...

So my question is: What part of Plan A do I follow? I mean, we have limited contact with each other because of the separation, and it seems to me that begging and pleading will only drive the wedge further. She's even said that that was a part of the problem.

When I mentioned the 180, I guess I was really only referring to the parts that involve not looking pathetic. I'm remaining financially supportive as much as I'm able to and she has need, and offering to there for her any time that she needs me. Other than that, I'm just trying to be upbeat and positive, not bringing up the emotional stuff that I'm going through on a daily basis.

Does this sound like the right way to go?
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Old 12-18-2011, 05:37 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Default Re: Separation from wife with hyperthyroidism

On a side note did you get a second or third opinion on that diagnosis. I wouldn't say Graves is unheard of but it's not entirely common either. And autoimmune and thyroid diseases appear to be all the vogue now with doctors. In the past 4 months all three of my kids were given a diagnosis of 'something like Graves or Addisons or Lupus' which in ever case turned out to be not even close to correct.
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