My wife has been diagnosed as bipolar type 2 with anxiety disorder.
TN, a randomized study of nearly 35,000 American adults found that 36% of women exhibiting bipolar-2
in the past year also suffer from full-blown BPD (Borderline Personality Disorder). And 20% of the women exhibiting an anxiety disorder
also exhibit full-blown BPD. See Table 2 at 2008 Study in JCP
. I am mentioning BPD because several behaviors you describe are warning signs for BPD, not bipolar-2 or anxiety disorder.
Importantly, I'm not suggesting your W has full-blown BPD but, rather, that she might exhibit moderate to strong traits of it. I also caution that BPD is not something -- like chickenpox -- that a person either "has" or "doesn't have." Instead, it is a spectrum disorder, which means every adult on the planet occasionally exhibits all BPD traits to some degree (albeit at a low level if the person is healthy). At issue, then, is not whether your W exhibits BPD traits. Of course she does. We all do.
Rather, at issue is whether she exhibits those traits at a strong and persistent level (i.e., is on the upper end of the BPD spectrum). Not having met her, I cannot answer that question.
I nonetheless believe you can spot any strong BPD warning signs that are present if you take a little time to learn which behaviors are on the list. They are not difficult to spot because there is nothing subtle about behaviors such as always being "The Victim," lack of impulse control, and temper tantrums.
It just hurts the most that she doesn't trust me and i've never given her a reason not to. She is constantly trolling my online presence on twitter, linkedin, ect. [Your 6/30/16 post.]
One of the defining traits for BPD is having a great fear of abandonment. A BPDer (i.e., person having strong traits) has low self esteem and is fearful that, once you discover how empty she is on the inside, you will leave her. Moreover, because she is emotionally unstable, she cannot trust herself. A BPDer therefore is incapable of trusting her spouse for any extended period of time. This lack of trust and great fear of abandonment typically is most evident in acts of irrational jealousy.
I now realize that part of the reason we moved was what I see as her trying to create distance between me and my family.... Now I haven't had Thanksgiving with my family in probably 5 or 6 years.
Likewise, my BPDer exW tried to isolate me away from all my family members and close friends. One reason for doing this was her great abandonment fear, which made her jealous not only of time I spent with other women but also time spent with my foster son and other family members.
A second reason for doing this is, due to the abandonment fear, a BPDer tries to control every aspect of her partner's private life. Such control is much easier to maintain when you have no friends and family supporting you (i.e., disagreeing with her).
I know sharing my time with friends will put her in a pissy/jealous mood.... on the nights that I have to work late or stop for a drink on the way home with a co-worker she puts up walls and tries to criminalize my actions.[7/7/16 post.]
As I noted above, this irrational jealousy of your friends/coworkers is to be expected if your W has strong and persistent BPD traits.
There may be some co-dependency issues; she always has to be around me when not at work. [5/13/16 post.]
BPDers absolutely HATE to be alone and thus tend to be codependent and clingy with their spouses. The reason is that a BPDer has such an immature, fractured ego that she has a very weak and fragile self identity.
She therefore will have a strong need to be around a man having a strong personality who can provide the missing self identity -- and provide the grounding and sense of direction she sorely needs (e.g., to help her focus one one college goal instead of a series of changing majors).
Yet, when you do exactly that -- i.e., provide the identity and direction she is needing -- she will resent you for it. She will feel strongly that you are somehow controlling and suffocating her, preventing her from being herself.
She feels that she needs new clothes all the time, needs to have her nails done, and buys $60 shampoo. While i'm left in the position without any money to buy things that I appreciate or enjoy.[7/7/16 post.]
Likewise, my BPDer exW is a spendthrift. It is common for BPDers to engage in binge spending because they are too emotionally immature to regulate their own impulses. This is why impulsive behavior, like spending sprees, is one of the nine defining traits of BPD behavior.
Would I be wrong to say if you don't want to come with and support me and my family I will just take our son and travel to visit without her?
Not wrong in my opinion. I believe you should have done it several years ago. I suggest that, when you return from the Thanksgiving holiday, you see a psychologist -- for a visit or two all by yourself
-- to obtain a candid professional opinion on what it is you and your young son are dealing with.
I also suggest that, while you're looking for a good psych, you learn how to spot the warning signs for both disorders. An easy place to start is my post at 12 Bipolar/BPD Differences
, which is based on my experiences with a bipolar-1 sufferer (my foster son) and a BPDer (my exW).
If you decide that the description of BPD traits
in my post sounds very familiar, I would suggest you also read my list of 18 BPD Warning Signs
and my more detailed description of them at my posts in Maybe's Thread
. If that description rings many bells, I would be glad to discuss them with you.
Significantly, learning to spot these warning signs will not enable you to diagnose your W's issues. The main reason for learning these red flags, then -- like learning warning signs for stroke and heart attack -- is to help you decide whether there is sufficient reason to spend money seeking a professional opinion. Take care, TN.