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post #1 of 69 (permalink) Old 11-22-2019, 06:40 PM Thread Starter
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Angry Just about had enough

I'm back! Sorry for the length, but once I started I couldn't stop the flow of information. After about two years since the last time I (39M) was here to ask for advice about my marriage and my wife's (41F) very apparent mental health issues, the past 6 weeks has driven me to really consider divorce for the first time.

You can read the first two parts of my story in my profile.

After Part 2, we continued in MC through the end of 2017 and the counselor got her to understand that perhaps it was the right thing that I took her to the hospital in summer of 2016, that they helped her whether she realizes it or not. This (along with a change in meds) led to things stabilizing and we ended up having a very good 2018 - her mood was stable, she worked very hard to get a middle school teaching certificate and got a new teaching position, which she loved. I don't remember one single significant disagreement in all of 2018 up through January of this year. Our kids (now 8F and 2F) were happy and thriving, our families were happy that everything was going well. We were kind to each other. I (naively, I know now) thought that things had turned around for good.

That's when everything went off the rails. In January of this year, she started saying she needed to take "mental health" days due to stress at work - OK, we all get stressed, so I didn't object, even though alarm bells were starting to quietly go off in my head. Things progressed from one day off here and there to 4 days off a few weeks later due to the stress to full blown panic attacks where she couldn't breathe and her heart was racing so badly she had to lie down. This led to her taking (ANOTHER) leave of absence from work, which ended up extending through the end of the school year and losing her position.

This was her 5th teaching job she's quit due to panic attacks in the 9 years we've been married. Quitting led her into a deep depression - the worst she's ever had - that lasted SIX MONTHS. It was so f***ing frustrating to work my butt off each and every day, and have her lay in bed all day while I cook, clean, take care of the kids. And each time she quits, she blows up our finances and leaves me to pick up the pieces. I was quite angry and bitter at this and kept no secrets about what I was feeling. I make very good money, but we're in a more expensive house in a more expensive area of town and this time I put my foot down. At first, I thought we were going to have no choice but to sell our house if she wouldn't go back to work. But in May I finally sat down and did the numbers - if we stretched, we could make it, but we had to stop all retirement and college investing and no more Catholic school for our oldest - she could go to the public school in our neighborhood (which happens to be a top 3 school in the city, btw). She reluctantly accepted but now the panic attacks changed to being about the change in schools.

During this time of depression, I was accused of numerous things - wanting to leave her, trying to abandon our family, staring at other women all through Disneyland (an ongoing theme if you read the other two posts), and of saying that our marriage "wasn't a lifetime thing." None of these were true.

She lied several times about going to her outpatient hospitalization program to both me and her parents. I scolded her one time and it turned the tide, but only for a short time. The last time she lied about it I was traveling for work and while I was on the plane she texted me that she was leaving... 15 min. later, she texted that she was at therapy (therapy was a good 25 min. away), and sent her dad the same texts. Yet, I could see movement on the motion detector in our house - more than the dog would make! I told her parents that she had lied, they rushed to our house thinking she had f***ing killed herself and found her laying in bed depressed. After that, her dad was at the house every morning to make sure she went to therapy.

End of the summer comes and after trying several medications to get her out of the depression, her doctor puts her on a new med for bipolar depression (will come back to this). She starts coming out of it and starts looking for a new job against the advice of everyone. She lands one teaching 2nd grade. She loves the school, the principal is good, and she's joining a large and supportive team. Depression symptoms disappear. Woo hoo! We're all happy. She was good for about 2-3 weeks...

Instead of going back into depression, though, she ramped even further out of it and into what I can only describe as a manic state. I now know that this is exactly what happened in 2016 and 2017 when she'd come out of similar depressions. She started suffering from insomnia, complaining about co-workers sabotaging her, and at the beginning of October, came home one day and wouldn't talk to me. She went to the bedroom and called her dad. Next thing I know, I'm walking the kids to the mailbox and her dad is driving up to our house. He says that my wife told him I'm addicted to porn, that I've been spending thousands on it. WTF?!?!?

I explained this was not true. He went in and explained this to her. When he left, I had a sit-down with her and asked her to ask me anything she wants to ask - she asks if I'm addicted to porn. "No." She asks if I have cheated on her. "No, I haven't." I ask where this is coming from - she says it's just a feeling she has. I should have taken her to the hospital then and there but I was so pissed at being accused of infidelity AGAIN, that I didn't think about it.

Next day, I'm working in my home office and two people show up at the front door. They say they're from my wife's school and she's having some kind of attack. I look and she's in the lady's car with her head in her hands, looking like she's just absolutely freaking out. I go in to get an anxiety pill thinking it's just another panic attack. When I come back out, she's walking to the stairs and says "It's you! You motherf**ker!!! You're hurting them!!" - long story short, she starts accusing me of hurting our children, she won't take the pill, she crawls up the stairs in hysterics, lays face down on the kitchen floor and starts chanting names - mine, my dad's, her dad's, Donald Trump, etc. as people who are hurting the kids. I call 9-1-1, paramedics and police come, and police end up leading her off in handcuffs and take her to the hospital. While she was in the police car, she doubled down and accused me of not only hurting the kids but touching them as well. She ended up spending 3 nights in the hospital but they wouldn't make a diagnosis. Instead, she somehow convinced the NP there that she was fine and I was the problem!

Since then she's been extremely hostile to me and her dad. Very sarcastic, mocking me, verbally abusive, telling people I made up the whole thing because I want her to be like my schizophrenic mother and put her on more pills. She wonít let anyone (even her mother) tell her she needs to take her meds. I called her doctor one day to report her behavior and his staff stupidly called her phone back instead of mine - this really set her off. She started in on me, calling me a fat motherf**ker, obese, disgusting, a piece of sh*t. Threatening to call a lawyer if I ever call her doctors again. When I told her she was being abusive, she said "then divorce me!!" You name it - she called me it. I have been very cold toward her since that night.

I was even falsely accused last weekend of texting with our daughter's cheerleading coach. She still says I said our marriage wasn't a lifelong thing - I told her no matter how many times she says it, it won't come true.

I've begun seeing a therapist again to keep my own sanity as this is all making me feel quite depressed. He's told me (and my wife's therapist has told me) that she absolutely is bipolar - evidenced by the depression that was resistant to so many drugs and the mania accompanied by delusions. I have no doubt in my mind that this is what I'm dealing with. And I have no doubt in my mind that this is never going to change. We're supposed to go to back to the marriage counselor next week, but I don't know how much good it will do anymore.

Is now the right time to call a lawyer and get a consult? Should I wait until after MC? My worry is that if I start the process of divorce, I will irreparably damage my daughters (my oldest especially). I make enough money to keep the house on my own (my wife doesn't) and I'll be able to move up in my career and make more money if needed. But what would custody look like? What can I do to make sure that my wife's mental health doesn't bleed over into the divorce? How can I minimize the effect on my kids? Is this even the right thing???

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post #2 of 69 (permalink) Old 11-22-2019, 06:47 PM
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Re: Just about had enough

Disclaimer: I am not a mental health expert. Simply someone who has struggled with mental health issues my whole life.

This sound WAY past mania. WAY past. My sister has done some sh***y things when she was manic but this is really beyond the pale.
You say she has a schizophrenic family member. Maybe it's time some experts considered THAT diagnosis.

Update: Please see a lawyer. Protect your children. She can't help being unwell but you can't fix her and you are condemning your kids to a life of misery. I understand your fear of her suicide but that cannot hold you hostage forever.

Last edited by aquarius1; 11-22-2019 at 08:58 PM.
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post #3 of 69 (permalink) Old 11-22-2019, 06:50 PM
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Re: Just about had enough

You need to see a lawyer and get the ball rolling on divorce. Your kids will be far more damaged by you staying in this abusive relationship. They do not need to learn that is normal. You need to ask your lawyer about full custody of your children. If she is allowed any visitation it should be supervised. This is what would be best for you and your children and that is what you should focus on.

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post #4 of 69 (permalink) Old 11-22-2019, 07:16 PM
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Re: Just about had enough

Those who have Bipolar illness often stop taking their meds. Is this possible with her? The chaotic life you describe will affect your kids and is so difficult for you. Glad you plan to take positive steps.

IMO: Medical professionals that are familiar with the family need to be answering the questions you ask.

ETA: Read your past post. You had excellent advice from Uptown. Your father took care of your schizophrenic mom for 40+ years. You know that u are not your father and do not have to do what he did. Your wife has been verbally abusive and sometimes physically. This is overall emotional and mental abuse. Take care of you. You can not change her. You know the symptoms of BPD. Again. Take care of you and your children.

Last edited by sunsetmist; 11-22-2019 at 07:29 PM.
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post #5 of 69 (permalink) Old 11-22-2019, 07:21 PM
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Re: Just about had enough

I also cannot in good or moral conscience, say stay. From this point anymore subjecting you children to this is madness. You understand this but they will not because they are not capable of understanding this just because they live with her and deal with her mental issues. This is unhealthy for you and them. File and protect your children the courts will probably give you full custody and rights to protect them.

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post #6 of 69 (permalink) Old 11-22-2019, 08:13 PM
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Re: Just about had enough

There is no downside to talking with a lawyer to find out what options you have. I hope you have others to talk with as well. You can't go on like this. Nobody can. Your situation has the potential to drag you into depression as well, and you've got two kids to look after.
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post #7 of 69 (permalink) Old 11-22-2019, 09:49 PM
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Cool Re: Just about had enough

There is absolutely no reason why you cannot be doing an exploratory with a good family law specialist while actively engaging in dialogue with a marriage or personal counselor!

You need to be in prime position to pull the trigger on the divorce filing if conditions should suddenly warrant it!

Best of luck to you!

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post #8 of 69 (permalink) Old 11-22-2019, 11:59 PM
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Re: Just about had enough

OP, I have been where you are. Your wife is bipolar. Mine is, too. OMG reading your post gives me flashbacks. Others can search my post history to read my story.

You did the right thing to get her to the hospital. BE GLAD you have the support of her parents! She will stabilize once on proper meds. If you wish to stay married to her, you CANNOT, under any circumstances, trust her to take her medication. All people with bipolar will want off meds, will lie about going to the doctor, will blame you for their problems, will spend every cent you have without regard to your health or ability to earn.

I also considered divorce but have held off for some time. Hereís what helped:

1. Watch her take and swallow her meds. If you are going to travel, have her parents watch her take her meds. Do this no matter how much she objects, after a while it will become routine and sheíll adjust.
1a. Keep possession of her psych meds. Itís amazing how many times juuuust the psych meds will disappear if she keeps them. Your keeping them someplace you find them makes accomplishing 1. above much easier.

2. Accompany her to her psych doc appointments, that way you are sure she gets there.

3. Depending on your location, a probate court can grant you guardianship over your wife. This makes it easier to get her to the hospital if she falls apart...else she has to be a harm to herself or others to be admitted, and itís your word against hers. I have guardianship over my wife...but thatís only because her mom didnít want to do it, so her mom gave me permission.

4. Youíll have to explain things to at least your older girl as itíll be obvious to her that her mom is not right mentally.

5. Develop a thick skin. Your wife will say crazy **** thatís untrue. Put all that stuff on ignore and your life will be easier.

6. Go to BPSO.org . I donít run it, but itís an important email-based support group for spouses of bipolar people.

7. Like you, my in-laws (now just her mom as her dad passed away) are super supportive. Lean on them a bit. Have them take your girls occasionally while your wife is stabilizing. You are all in this together.

Bipolar suuuuuuucks. Gonna be a bumpy ride while she stabilizes. Has been for me and my son, and while things are much better now for us, my wife still has some bad days.

Hope this helps!
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post #9 of 69 (permalink) Old 11-22-2019, 11:59 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks all. My mind agrees with all of you. I'm sick of this crap - tired of walking on eggshells, taking the verbal beatings and the public rants and undermining in front of the kids. Example: yesterday, I went to pick up my oldest from school (bc my wife had anxiety about the bus.......) and then she asks me to go pick up the little one because she's tired. She had been up since 3am after going to sleep at 7 for 2 hrs and then 11:30 or so. After I pick up the baby she says she wants to go out to dinner. Fine, sounds good. So, while at dinner, I say when we're ready to buy a new to us car for me in a year or so (we just bought one for her, another ridiculous story from the last few weeks!) I've decided I want to get a BMW X3. So, in front of the kids she says "ok Mr. Money Bags, when were we going to discuss this? You don't get to just decide!" And then started "joking" that we can buy me a car in 4-5 years when she's ready for a new one. WTF? I make 3x what she makes! And is she saying that I am not aloud to have my own thoughts or wants?!

Anyways, getting back to divorce... it makes me very nervous and frankly sad to think about ending it and my kids growing up in a broken household.

I always struggled with women as a teen and into my twenties. I felt lucky to be loved and welcomed by my wife's family, who I really adore and appreciate. Her dad and I get along great, her mom is truly one of the kindest people I've ever met, and her sister is a great person and friend. My heart doesn't want to lose what I feel is my adopted family. And then there are the good days that trick me into thinking things are better.

I'm sure I'm not alone in having conflicted feelings at this stage. My therapist so far has not agreed with going down the divorce route. He has advised calm, not engaging, trying to lead get into a revelation that she needs to take her meds and be consistent about therapy. I feel like that ship has sailed.
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post #10 of 69 (permalink) Old 11-23-2019, 12:00 AM
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Re: Just about had enough

PS marriage counseling wonít work until the bipolar is better controlled.

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post #11 of 69 (permalink) Old 11-23-2019, 10:33 AM
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Re: Just about had enough

I understand your resentment, but you sound like she's in control of her mental state and she's not. She believes and says whatever her mind tells her to say or do.

I'm so sorry for what you're going through. Dealing with a love one with mental health issues is tough. I'm sorry for your wife as well because no one wants to have a mental disease.

A family member has been taking antidepressants for a while now. This person got into a hypomaniac episode that lasted a few weeks. I've never seen anyone going through one, but I started researching and realized that this person was not in control of her thoughts or actions. The accusations were wild, the actions were wild... It was exhausting!

Once she got her meds adjusted she went back to normal. Hopefully, she'll stay stable for a while. Her having another episode is always an option, though.

I won't blame you if you want to divorce. Has she been diagnosed with anything? What is she taking?

I agree with another poster that the first thing she needs is to get her meds adjusted by a psychiatrist and get individual counseling to understand what's going on in her mind.

It could be tough because in her mind she won't trust doctors or family members. They are all trying to hurt her.

It's very hard what you are going through!
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post #12 of 69 (permalink) Old 11-23-2019, 11:14 AM
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Re: Just about had enough

I hate to say it but it sounds like your wife should be institutionalized again (so they can stabilize her if possible). I forget, was there always signs of this? It's pretty clear she should have never been married and she most certainly not be teaching. Why you folks continue to allow that is beyond me. She obviously can't handle stress so putting her around a bunch of young children makes no sense for anyone, for her and for those kids safety. Assuming she stabilizes, not have her get a much easier job for a start. If that is too much how about putting her into a day program where he gets out of the house.

You (you, her parents, etc..) need to stop seeing your wife for who you want her to be and see her for who she is. This is probably going to be your life if you stay and even if you don't. This is a very sick person, not a person who is in control of her actions. I would also suggest if you are worried about resentment if you are going to do some tough love, have a plan with her parents so you can deflect the anger to one person (presumably one of her parents) if the expectation is she will return to you and not not all of you. In that way you will have some access when she is cycling.

Also what are her parents doing showing up at your house even if you were looking addicted to porn? WTF, besides that that story just shows that they don't get how sick their daughter is. Why was the first thought NOT "she is having a manic episode again" but "OH this must be true we need to save the grand kids from Daddy's moral failings". Besides that where do they get off taking your kids? Seriously no wonder she is all screwed up if that is kind of the standard MO. They are more worried about you looking at porn then their daughter losing it?

You need to partner with a mental health professional who can guide all of you through what is normal here and what is the crazy. Think of this like cancer. Find a doctor who is involved and who you can talk to about what's going on and what your treatment steps are. Make sure they know everything. Seems like you have been so long on the roller coaster that you have forgotten that you are being taken for a ride. Which is why you need an impartial observer who can point out to you where you are not seeing it.

Finally you need to STOP TAKING ALL THIS PERSONALLY your wife is very sick, it's time for you to rise above this and take action. Think of your wife like one of your kids right now, when your kids mouth off at you do you take that personally like there is some actual truth in what they are saying or do you understand that their Kid Brain is not fully mature yet. In the same way your wife's Brain is not functioning properly. In that way you need to detach and work on getting her help not worrying about your feeling and frankly hers. Her feelings are not coming from a place of logic or even emotions they are coming from a brokenness in her brain. If she couldn't see the color green would you get upset if she told you some outfit you were wearing clashed or would you just think that was ridiculous? You need to be mentally strong for your family whatever the path that leads you. That means dealing with the sickness not your feelings.

You hear all the time that the BS has to eat a **** sandwich, but most of the time the WS -- IS the **** sandwich.

Last edited by sokillme; 11-23-2019 at 11:36 AM.
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post #13 of 69 (permalink) Old 11-23-2019, 03:11 PM
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Re: Just about had enough

Originally Posted by anonfrank View Post
PS marriage counseling wonít work until the bipolar is better controlled.
Is there such a thing as MC designed for partners in which one is strongly affected by a mental illness? In general MC seems to make egalitarian assumptions about a couple.
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post #14 of 69 (permalink) Old 11-23-2019, 03:50 PM
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Re: Just about had enough

Do you believe that your wife poses a danger to yourself or your children? What could she do that would bring harm to you or the children? If I were in your situation, those are the questions I'd be asking myself, because my first responsibility is the safety of myself and my children. Usually spouses are equally responsible, but your wife doesn't appear able to be responsible for herself or anyone else, so you're on your own in this. Also, your wife's safety is important, but fighting against her to keep her safe hasn't stabilized the situation to a point where you feel safe.

I understand your frustration over her not working and her lying in bed, but she doesn't appear to be able to help those things. She is in a vulnerable position with her mental illness. You sound like you're angry with her, but that can be counterproductive. She isn't doing these things specifically to you. She is doing them out of the dysfunction in her mind. If you are unable to care for her and help her with that, perhaps divorce would be the best thing. Can her parents become her guardians if she is declared incompetent? Sometimes people like your wife end up homeless because they are unable to manage their lives and unable to work. Perhaps she could be on SSI for mental illness.

Despite your wife being angry with you for calling 911 for help, you have a record that shows she is making things up. That is very important.

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post #15 of 69 (permalink) Old 11-23-2019, 05:36 PM
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Re: Just about had enough

@father_of_2 families of people like your wife get very little help or support.




BipolarBlog.com - Worldwide Support Groups for Bipolar Disorder and Other Brain Disorders

I hope the above will be of help to you and your children.

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