A Problem I Haven't Heard Before

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lostandconfused
New Member


Date Joined Feb 2008
Total Posts : 8
   Posted 2/12/2008 8:28 PM (GMT -7)   
Hello,  this is the first chat/support room I have ever joined so I hope I am doing this right. 
 
I have been married for 8 years and have 3 young kids (obviously) I always new my wife had a very angry/violent side to her and was able to identify certain times in our marriage where she acted much more aggressively sexually but was not able to put two and two together until the beginning of this year. 
 
I need to point out that we have not had the best of sex lives since her first hypomanic episode in our relationship which was about 3 months before our wedding.  She has been diagnosed as Bipolar II with in the past 6 weeks and has tried to leave me twice in that time stating that I am her best friend, I am the best father in the world, I am clearly her type physically and have the sense of humor that she loves but that I just don't "do it" for her and that I never did.  She claims that she just married me because she felt I was "safe" and would never be able to hurt her the way she was hurt by her boyfriend of 6 months when she was 20 years old.  She is now 33 and still sites the intense pain from this breakup 13 years ago that she felt made her build a wall around herself emotionally that she wouldn't let anyone into.  Now in this most intense hypomanic episode she says she wants to start feeling passion in our relationship and that she believes our past baggage will never allow that to happen. 
 
At this same time, as most do, she became much more aggressive sexually though I am not convinced it was only with me and now for the last two weeks is extremely upset that she can not achieve a climax with me when it is usually easy for her.  She has clearly convinced herself that I am not the person that she can be intimate long term.
 
All this being said, the question is, am I alone in this situation?  Is it possible that this state has just awakened something in her that she thought she could live with out until now or is this more the illness speaking?  I should also point out that she has had two cortisone shots over in this time frame, the second even though I strongly urged her not to do it.
 
I can deal with the severe emotional and minor physical abuse, I work from home and have the kids home with me two days a week, so I can handle taking care of the kids for the most part, but I think what would kill me is if after 6-8 months of the right meds she still says it isn't worth it because she doesn't feel any thing for me past being best friends.
 
Any experiences or advice would be helpful.
 
 

lostandconfused
New Member


Date Joined Feb 2008
Total Posts : 8
   Posted 2/12/2008 8:46 PM (GMT -7)   
I should also point out that I am OK with just being best friends though not a perfect situation, but I fear she might leave me over that.

sukay
Veteran Member


Date Joined Feb 2003
Total Posts : 1432
   Posted 2/13/2008 10:30 AM (GMT -7)   

Hello lost&confused,

Welcome to healingwell.

I would like to make some comments regarding your post. First, you said your wife was diagnosed 6 wks ago, if I am correct. Was that by a psychiatrist and has she been put on any medications?

Medications can take a while to take effect and usually always need lots of tinkering with the correct meds and dosage amounts, so hopefully you will help to encourage her to keep all of her doctor appointments and keep the doctor informed of any changes.

Also most medications have some side effects. Some may have an affect on our libido. So don't take offense so quickly.

Dealing with bipolar takes lots of effort & tolerance. You need to learn w/your wife as much as you can about this illness. Try to stay involved with her doctor appointments because when learning about bipolar you will find that the patient has a different aspect as how they see themselves/are dealing with things in their life compared to what others see, especially partners and family. So if you can go with her to her appointments that would be wise and very helpful/supportive. A good psychiatrist would encourage that too.

Most people with bipolar also incorporate the help of a therapist to deal with issues of learning to live/deal with issues that come up along the way. When unstable, people who have bipolar can become very irritable and say a lot of things that they really don't mean. You may also want to work with one for yourself as well. You certainly want to support her, and you have children that you need to look out for. She is unstable right now but you and her need to communicate that her being abusive verbally & physically to you (no matter how minor) will not be tolerated. Again, most therapists would encourage your involvement with coming to the appointments from time to time when needed.

Like I said, there is a lot to learn. But willing to be supportive is the first step. Hopefully she will understand that she needs to take this seriously and needs to be proactive in her wellness plan. Knowledge, keeping all doctor appts., getting involved with a therapist and working with you.

I hope this has helped some. Please continue to post any of your concerns. Others will chime in too, just be patient.

Best wishes!


~sukay~
Diagnosed Bipolar - August 2004
     Crohns disease - 1995 
Arthritis & Fibromyalgia 
 
Leo Buscaglia


serafena
Veteran Member


Date Joined May 2007
Total Posts : 3715
   Posted 2/13/2008 11:40 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi Lost and Confused,

Let me also welcome you to our little chat board here. Sounds like you and your wife are pulling through a hard time. I can't say, not knowing her, how much of her talk is the disorder and how much is her true feeling, but I can say it sounds like twisted thinking -- thus the disorder. It's clear she's disatisfied with something, but how badly is the question. Everything gets exaggerated with bp.

Sukay's right that 6 weeks is not a very long time. She'd only have just begun to feel the effects of her drugs. Are you certain she's seeing her doctor regularly and taking her medicine as prescribed? It's very important. If she stops, she'll most likely relapse.

Aggressive sexuality sounds like a manic episode, and so she may not be thinking clearly about that. You may just have to ride this wave out until she gets balanced again.

You are not alone. Every spouse of a bp patient suffers through some kind of moment like you are where they ask themselves if they can do it. It's not easy. I'm the bp one, and I feel for my husband every single day, trying my best to keep myself together. Stick around, there are spouses on this board, and I'm sure they'll back me up. You're doing a hard thing. Hang on and see if the medication helps her.

serafena
Serafena
Co-Moderator, Bipolar Forum

Bipolar II
It is a melancholy of mine own, compounded of many simples, extracted from many objects, and indeed the sundry contemplation of my travels, in which my often rumination wraps me in a most humorous sadness. -- William Shakespeare


loving frustrated wife
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jun 2007
Total Posts : 865
   Posted 2/13/2008 3:23 PM (GMT -7)   
Hello L&C, I am one of the spouses they have spoken about. My H is BPII, RR, as is our oldest son. By comparison, I will share that while my situation may be in many ways milder than many described here, what I can share is in JUST AS MANY WAYS...it doesn't make a darn bit of difference. Dealing with BP is hard regardless of what level the issues lie for the spouse. SO, with that said both Sukay and Serafena have given you great feedback. By coming here, you will gain support for yourself, but you will also gain A LOT of insight into the BP from people such as the two of them who suffer from it, but face it with GREAT responsibility, care, and determination. So many are like that here and as a spouse, like you, who came for help....I bless them for how much their advise and openness about their BP has educated and given me. I have no doubt you will come to feel the same in time.

I am quite a direct person, which many on the HW can attest to so here is my take on your situation from a experienced "spouse" perspective. You are in the very early stage of this. Meds take time to balance, work and adjust. Unless your wife is embracing the dx, and in some ways feeling relieved by it...given it now has a name...you are in for some rough times - which you may or may not make it through together. It is mandatory that she and you become a team on this with her pdoc and therapist. If you are not seeing them....start immediately. This in many ways is a team effort for your wifes wellness with all the participating support working together. Regular sessions are critical. They should be almost weekly right now. You should be going with your wife to these appointments so it is well established that you have a relationship with these Dr's as well on her behalf.

Whatever issues existed in your marriage prior to the dx will be magnified for a while. It is not a fun period of time to live through, but if your wife is on board committed to her own wellness....you have a shot at things leveling off. Then you will have an opportunity to work on those genuine marital issues....whatever they are to the two of you. Otherwise...a lot of pain, uncertainty and loneliness is coming your way - and eventually choices for you to start making for your happiness and life.

One last thought for you....what you accept of your wife's behavior (verbal or physical abuse) is teaching her what is acceptable with you. When my H steps too far out of line verbally...I put my foot down, tell him to stop immediately - that I will NOT stand for being treated that way regardless of what is going on, that I deserve respect because I am his wife - who loves him and is standing by him - and then I walk away from him - leaving him to stew. It gives him time to realize he has gone too far and allows him time to pull it back together. The fact is, our spouses have a chemical imbalance that makes it hard for them to stay stable and consistent. It is not their fault. THEY are not to blame - nor is "any one" else. But the fact is, the are STILL responsible - regardless of their dx - of their own behavior, words and choices. Does it make it harder on them than you or I to regulate ourselves....YES. And while I am sorry for that, it doesn't change that it is the reality of the situation. If they didn't have legs....they would have to learn how to walk with artificial legs....would that be "harder" than using real legs....but the facts are the facts, and what is your responsibility is your responsibility. Meds help give the easier control back to the sufferer...but even those are not the be all/end all. It still requires WORK on their part. Does that make sense? Make your boundaries clear to your wife that you will love her and support her through whatever she needs, you are a team, but you will not stand for being abused in ANY form in the process. While she is in her education process...so are you. You need to do YOUR work too. Coming here is a start...so is reading up on the condition, see a therapist for you....etc.

As to the sex issues...for the moment, I advise you to put this issue on the back burner and allow your lives - for your kids sakes - to level off and stabilize. Then, gently re-approach the various issues between you. You will most likely need the help of a therapist who is versed in BP/marriage/sex...etc. So...try to find one from the beginning that can address all your main issues...starting with the BP.

Good luck to you. (Sorry for the length). Take time to be tender to your wife, and yourself. What you are both going through is not easy. Life is hard with a BP....but it is doable. She has adjustments to make, and so do you. In time you will learn what you do that triggers her, and new ways of handling things. Time is your friend if you allow it to be. LFW

Post Edited (loving frustrated wife) : 2/13/2008 3:35:09 PM (GMT-7)


Dasa
Regular Member


Date Joined Sep 2007
Total Posts : 37
   Posted 2/15/2008 7:53 AM (GMT -7)   

Lost and Confused,

My husband acts sexually the way your wife is acting alot.  He will say he wants passion like he had when two people first meet each other.  Well, that's not going to happen after over 20 years of marriage.  Usually my talking to him sensibly allows him to see this but it doesn't mean he won't feel the same way again in a week or so.  I've notice when he gets in the mania states, his sexual prowess increases.  It really is aggravating to me.  But just in general he is constantly commenting on other women, how they look, how big their whatever is,,,,etc.  How much the women who looked at him this morning is crazy about him and so forth.  Alot or most of that is about his own need to feed his ego.  It's a self esteem problem that his has.  I let most of what he says go in one ear and out the other where sex is concerned.  He acts like a 16 year old where sex is concerned most of the time anyway. 

But I know that he loves me and he doesn't want to lose me deep down.  I stabilize his life and sort of his safety net.  He use to be verbally abusive, alot of passive aggressive behavior.  I confronted him like LWF did with her husband and told him that he couldn't talk to me that way and I would leave him if he continued.  That I wasn't living with someone who put me down or thought he could cuss me etc.  He stopped.

I also figured out that he likes to get us into arguments.  I think it feeds his need for adrenaline.  I started responding to whatever he says with quick answers instead of trying to figure out what I'm going to say back to him.  I really listen to what he saying and answer with something like, that's not true or that's not my fault, or just ok.  I no longer try to tell him why it's not true or why it's not my fault, etc because that gives him something to twist or exaggerate or get confused, etc so he can turn it into an argument.  I have to say we argue alot less and I have really been able to see what is really going on in his head.  And I don't like most of it unfortunately but it has brought some peace.  But I still can't really discuss anything important with him.  It stresses him out and he often just bails out on me.  And that doesn't make for a healthy marriage and if you read my other thread, I seriously considering leaving my marriage. 

I  sure hope you find some good answers.  Maybe some of this will help you.......I hope so. 

 

 

      

    

 

katy_33
Regular Member


Date Joined Jan 2008
Total Posts : 147
   Posted 2/15/2008 12:00 PM (GMT -7)   
dasa,
i am in same boat as you,sick and tired of him and his behavior.

what should we women do?
katy
To be stupid, selfish, and have good health are three requirements for happiness, though if stupidity is lacking, all is lost.
Gustave Flaubert


Dasa
Regular Member


Date Joined Sep 2007
Total Posts : 37
   Posted 2/15/2008 1:31 PM (GMT -7)   

Well, Katy, 

It seems like some women will stay and put up with the behavior.  But it is just so stressful for me.  I didn't know for years what the problem was, I just knew I wasn't happy with how dh handled our business situations.  I only found out what the root cause was here about 3 years ago.  It's better that we aren't arguing as much but he is just determined that he won't get a real job and will only work for himself.  He hasn't been able to be consistent in getting a business started and I know that I'm not getting what I need out of life as long as I remain with him.  I love my husband and he can be so fun to be around.  But fun doesn't pay the bills. 

I've seen alot of spouses leave after trying to work with their bipolar spouses going the whole route of getting medications and seeing therapists and such.  I know a good many that have stayed but I don't know of but one or two that seem to be content after going through all of it.  So I just don't see a rainbow at the end of all of this.  These spouses that are not medicated only get worse with age.  It is just scary to think what old age will be with dh too. 

  

  

     

,

serafena
Veteran Member


Date Joined May 2007
Total Posts : 3715
   Posted 2/16/2008 1:11 PM (GMT -7)   
I think LFW's advice is very sound, and applied equally for men and women, bipolar or not. Do any of us want to be maltreated by our spouse? No, of course not. Should we put up with abuse? No we should not, even if they do have bipolar they have no right to be abusive. Don't let them be.
Serafena
Co-Moderator, Bipolar Forum

Bipolar II
It is a melancholy of mine own, compounded of many simples, extracted from many objects, and indeed the sundry contemplation of my travels, in which my often rumination wraps me in a most humorous sadness. -- William Shakespeare


lostandconfused
New Member


Date Joined Feb 2008
Total Posts : 8
   Posted 2/17/2008 11:48 PM (GMT -7)   
Thank you all for your comments. I spoke with another friend at church that mentioned the same thing about needing the "passion". Unfortunately my Mother-in-law has not been happy in her marriage for MUCH different reasons, and because of that my wife feels she owes it to herself to give our relationship a chance for a year or so but if these emotions do not stir that she will move on. Again, I do not know how much of this is her and how much is the disease. I do know that the Psychiatrist her parents begged her to see last Sunday told her that if she would stop drinking and get to a good Psychiatrist most of these problems and feelings would probably go away.

She stopped drinking for the first 3 days, had one the next day 10 the next, lied to me and went to lunch with a man that I know she was at least having an "emotional affair" with, if not more, which I felt had to be put an end to, this was followed with 8 drinks the next day, 8 the day after and 1 last night. This was a friendship that she claimed was harmless but felt she had to lie to me about on numerous occasions and one that her "friend" didn't tell his wife about either, in fact the simple way to end it since she wouldn't was to call him and tell him if he spent any more time out of work with my wife, that I would call his wife and let her know of their relationship, that scared him enough to step out of the picture. She of course blames me for being so mean to a "decent" man, I can't help but say a decent man wouldn't be in, even a friendship if that is all it was, that his wife would highly disapprove of and one that he new the friends spouse deeply disapproved of. She also told him on this last lunch that she was bipolar and his response was, "I thought that from the moment I first met you" and yet one of the big things she loved about him was that she could tell him everything she was feeling and wanted to do and he never judged her for it. I can't believe that a real friend would take some of those concerning feeling and not say that they were normal.

The usual emotional cycle I see is "I just don't think I can ever be in love with you again and I want those feelings" followed by a night out where she attempts to make out with me in very public and inappropriate places. It is a horrible emotional roller coaster without having to worry about whether she will want to be with ME after all of the medicine levels off... that is, IF she stays off of alcohol, which I REALLY don't think she can. I know there is some question as to which comes first, alcohol or bipolar, but so much of her social activity revolves around alcohol, I just have a tough time believing she will ever stop!

The other thing that is interesting about all of this is that she appears to know that to a certain extent what she is doing is wrong, any friend that I tell her I have talked to about what is going on with her, she will say, she never wants to see that person again. She has stopped going to church, a church in which she is on the parish council, a post that she herself says she will probably ask to step down from. A good friend of ours with kids much older than ours had a wife who was bipolar that divorced him for much the same reason and she heartily criticized that woman for walking out on her kids just because of a childish desire for someone who had been married as long as they had been.

Her parents who originally told her that she should stick her marriage out are now telling her that they think the could never have a better son-in-law, that I treat her well and that they have never seen a better father, but that ultimately she should not stay in a marriage if she is not "happy", and to the best of my knowledge that happiness is simply feeling more intimate emotions. I keep thinking, how many people have really intimate emotions when they have been married for 8 years, both have careers and 3 small children. It seems an impossible task.

I just never thought that she would be the person to act this way, I keep thinking of how difficult this has been on me, will be on me, the 25 pounds I lost in 4 weeks, the lack of sleep, and all for someone who may actually walk away from me in the end!!!

serafena
Veteran Member


Date Joined May 2007
Total Posts : 3715
   Posted 2/18/2008 8:43 AM (GMT -7)   
Lost,

Unfortunately alcohol complicates the scene a lot. It interferes with her medications and is actually quite a dangerous mix. She is clearly having a full-blown manic episode. What you describe are actions many people describe of their loved one in this state, and it's heartbreaking. I'm so sorry you're going through it. I wish I had some easy way for you to get through to her, but I don't. Your first priority is your marriage. The hard thing for you to grasp is that it is not her first priority. That is the illness's influence, probably, but it may be other issues as well. The only way to know is if she sees her doctor regularly, takes her meds regularly, and stops drinking. But here's the painful part -- you can't do it for her. Nothing you can say or do can force her. So it's time to think about boundaries for yourself. How much are you willing to stand for? Because there's a very real chance she may leave, or have an affair, or do something else foolish, and you need to decide how much you're going to put up with and you need to let her know. She needs to have a line across which she knows she cannot cross without losing you. You do not have to stand by and let her victimize you just because she has this disorder, as I think others will tell you too. -- Check out Casem's new thread "Do you love someone with BP." She was in a very similar situation. Her relationship didn't work out. That doesn't mean yours won't, but she still has great advice.

Good Luck,
serafena
Serafena
Co-Moderator, Bipolar Forum

Bipolar II
It is a melancholy of mine own, compounded of many simples, extracted from many objects, and indeed the sundry contemplation of my travels, in which my often rumination wraps me in a most humorous sadness. -- William Shakespeare

Post Edited (serafena) : 2/18/2008 8:49:58 AM (GMT-7)


lostandconfused
New Member


Date Joined Feb 2008
Total Posts : 8
   Posted 2/18/2008 10:08 AM (GMT -7)   
Thanks for your words Serafena, I have two friends who have ex-wives with BP and both of them tell me to run as fast as I can, that even with medication this will always be an issue and one of them who was an alcoholic himself says he finds it hard to believe that she can stay off of alcohol for even the first couple of weeks to let the medicine have a chance to kick in. My first fear is obviously for my children, right now I feel like I have 3 little kids and a rebellious teenager. She told me this morning that she is ready for a divorce but that she was just staying because she told her mother and me that she would. She doesn't appear to even want to try to move forward in the relationship and I can't help but think, do I really need this? I have given and not gotten for so long, am I just supposed to sit around until she feels comfortable on her own two feet and then drops me without a second thought?

I keep thinking that maybe the best thing I can do is take a week or so where I do not talk to her the 10 times she calls in a day. I do not find things for her when she loses them or forgets what she did. I do not take care of everything around the house and give the kids their baths and read them books and put them to bed. Is this a good way to say, IF you got joint custody, this is what you are in for for a very long time. Do you think this would have ANY affect or just push her away further? I just don't know.

serafena
Veteran Member


Date Joined May 2007
Total Posts : 3715
   Posted 2/18/2008 12:29 PM (GMT -7)   
I think not taking care of the house or kids would only serve to make you nuts, but not tending to her every whim sounds like one way to start taking back a little of your life, which is a great idea.

For the record -- I'm bp and very high functioning. I just wanted you to know that properly medicated and properly attended to, we bp's can be just-fine spouse material. We may be more needy that others, but everyone comes with needs. IF SHE WANTED TO she could get this under control and the medication can make a huge difference, despite what your friends say. But she's got to want to, and right now, that doesn't seem to be the case.

Can you appeal to her family for some help with her drinking? Where is she drinking? Is she gone a lot? Why is she calling you so many times a day?
Serafena
Co-Moderator, Bipolar Forum

Bipolar II
It is a melancholy of mine own, compounded of many simples, extracted from many objects, and indeed the sundry contemplation of my travels, in which my often rumination wraps me in a most humorous sadness. -- William Shakespeare


lostandconfused
New Member


Date Joined Feb 2008
Total Posts : 8
   Posted 2/18/2008 1:13 PM (GMT -7)   
To answer your questions, it was her parents that I called to get her early diagnosis, they begged her to fly out to where they lived the very next day to meet a psychiatrist friend who told her that she was BP II that the medication she was on for depression was wrong and that she needed to get off of alcohol and see a good psychiatrist where we live right away. He said that he thought the overwhelming odds were that if she did this she would be in pretty good shape and our marriage should be much more stable in about 6 months. It is tough for me to believe that a guy who saw her for an hour and a half could be so confident. He also said that she more than likely had been an adolescent BP and that the symptoms my wife described for my 5 year old sounded like the same thing. The medication she is currently is for depression, mood swings and anxiety. She went drinking the night before she flew out, and resisted drinking for 3 days. She has now had 5 days in a row with one drink or more, she blames the majority of this on me putting the stop to her friendship with this other man.

On a side note, I can't help but think a big part of why she thinks she does not want to be with me is because she feels so safe and secure talking with this guy who does not judge what she says, just listens to her because he doesn't have to deal with the consequences and doesn't have to deal with all of the other baggage of real life. He is married and in the past she has told me about fights he had with his wife yet sees him as such an amazing person that she can tell anything she is thinking, and he does not react in a negative way... why would he, he has absolutely nothing to lose.

As to your questions with the drinking, she did not listen to her father when she went drinking Friday, she drinks at bars and at home. She is not gone a lot, at this point she just leaves work at 3:30 to stop at the bar on the way home. She calls me and HAS called me so much through out our marriage because she really does not have any other friends. She has chased many away, made others uncomfortable, but most importantly has never let anyone in.

When she first started on her medication she said to me, "there go all my friends, people keep saying I don't seem like myself and now I am just going to be boring" I responded, "what true friends do you have now, sure you can be the life of the party and joke with people but you have never really had a deep seeded friendship with anyone but me." This is very true, she has never had a friendship where she delves into her emotions, she says she has built a wall around herself so that no one can hurt her, she has let me in the farthest but still has not let me in. She has never felt with anyone in her many years of dating what she thinks she needs to feel, at least not past the first couple of months of infatuation.

I have tried to nurture friendships for her but, and mostly on her suggestion, most of them have involved going out drinking and to nightclubs on the weekend which I never really saw as a healthy friendship for someone that I knew had many problems. I know I am sounding a little controlling on this, but there has never been a time that she has just wanted to go out to the movies with a friend or to Applebees; the friends she has that are more comfortable with that she has held at arms length and describes them as boring.

But getting back to calling me, even in the past when she says she is done and the relationship is over, she will call me 5-10 times a day to tell me how her day is going. For example, she left for work this morning and told me she was going to talk to a lawyer and then called me 10 minutes later to tell me the good news that there was a generic for her heartburn medication that would lower the price. She than called 10 minutes later to say she was still mad about me calling this guy but was sorry about everything else. She than called me 5 times today about various other things and intends to keep a dinner date with a friend of hers she talks to once a quarter and her family.

When things are good, it is not uncommon for her to call me 15-20 times a day.

She has told me many times in the past that I am the only person that she has never gotten sick of and even acknowledges now that even when she has had negative feelings she has always felt safe and comfortable with me.

She tells me that she has to have friends who are male because they are less emotional, they can put up with her quirks and don't get offended too easily if she says the wrong thing. I have responded that I have no problem with these friendships as long as I get to meet these people, go out on double dates on occasion, etc. She did have one good male friend that was just a friend but eventually his wife could not deal with her personality one-on-one and kind of ended that.

I know everything I right seems to be lengthy but I want to make sure I am getting any relevant details in, as I say, I am "lost and confused"

katy_33
Regular Member


Date Joined Jan 2008
Total Posts : 147
   Posted 2/18/2008 1:46 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi LC,
Is there a great probability of bp sufferers to be cheaters ?and they justify it when they get offended by you or some mania taking over.I have a BP spouse and i am struggling to deal with him.
Any suggestions plz.

thanks,
katy
To be stupid, selfish, and have good health are three requirements for happiness, though if stupidity is lacking, all is lost.
Gustave Flaubert


Dasa
Regular Member


Date Joined Sep 2007
Total Posts : 37
   Posted 2/19/2008 11:46 AM (GMT -7)   

Lost and Confused,

Your wife needs you much more than she is admitting to you and more than she probably even knows herself.  My dh use to call me numerous times a day too.  Mine has had alot of these sexual needs too and still does to an extent but most of it I have found over the years is more in his head than something he will actually do especially since I have been more bold about what I will accept from him.  

I found out that alot of his verbal abuse was stemming from passive agressive behavior that he learned probably when he was young to throw the attention off of himself.  He would try to blame me for everything.  I stopped responding to him and started listening to him.  I really started to see how his mind and actions worked.  I learned alot from Dr. Irene's website who is a professional that gives alot of free advice and information on her website.  If you go there, don't get thrown off by her cat pictures, she provids alot of good information on how to deal with an abusive spouse or partner.  

Things changed around here when I had really had enough of his behavior and suggested one day that we split up and that he could date other women and probably be alot happier than being married to me.  I saw the excitement in him to start with and then it changed to his becoming very anxious and worried and then to anger.  He knew that I was serious and it wasn't a bluff on my end.  I was ready to split.  He made a big turn around and started trying alot harder to make me happy.  Things around here are better but I'm still not that happy.

Now when he starts bringing up seeing other women, I tell him real quick that he had better watch what he does and says to me because our marriage still isn't strong enough to weather more crap like that.  He backs off.  I think as long as I let him walk all over me ....he did.  Now that I found out that he really doesn't want to lose me, I have alot more control.    

I would really recommend going to Dr. Irene's site and read her information, it will probably help you alot.

http://www.drirene.com/

There's the link for you.

Dasa

 

 

 

 

 

    

   


Post Edited (Dasa) : 2/19/2008 11:54:37 AM (GMT-7)


loving frustrated wife
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jun 2007
Total Posts : 865
   Posted 2/19/2008 4:03 PM (GMT -7)   
L&C, your wife, as you know, is currently out of control - both with her drinking and BP. BUT....as Serafena has shared with you...and this is the heartbreaking and sad part....YOU can not make her want to change, OR more importantly....GET WELL. ONLY she can do that. Given she is not...you are left with having to make some HARD choices for yourself. The first place to start is clearly deciding FOR yourself...1. What do YOU want in a relationship? 2. What are YOU willing to put up with? and 3. What IS and ISN'T acceptable to YOU? Once you answer these questions...then ask yourself how far are you willing to go to stick to those things? The thing is....YOUR HAPPINESS COUNTS TOO! Sometimes we BP spouses spend SO much time taking care of the other, we neglect our own needs as a result and that is when unhappiness REALLY sets in. No one is going to look out for you, your needs, and your happiness...except YOU! That is the harsh facts at this moment. And if YOU don't do it...WHO WILL?

Plus, it leads to a whole additional issue of what kind of example are you setting for your kids by NOT stepping up and stopping this for yourself, and for them? Seeing mommy drinking excessively, treat daddy badly, have daddy not be happy-do all the work-be neglected by his partner-not respected.....is this normal? They will start to think that it is normal....that this is how it should be when THEY grow up. Etc. We as adults lead by example. You want your kids to stand up to people and care about themselves enough to expect and demand respect for themselves....then they have to see you do it for yourself. Otherwise, they won't think they deserve it. The other VERY important issue here (if I read this correctly) is that you may have a child who is BP as well, and if that child does not see mommy being responsible...and that is accepted.....what does he/she learn? My H & S are both BP, and I will tell you from experience that you will be in for HUGE problems that will make this seen like a cake walk if the right message and lessons are not seen by this child now....ESPECIALLY when they hit teenage years.... I assure you, a road you DO NOT want. I have seen it both ways....we have friends where the lesson is "do as I say, not as I do" and the teenager is a MESS....fighting the meds...etc. Ours, has always seen his father take his meds, see his pdoc regular and GETS that you must be responsible. We are in the throws of teenage years with him at 14 1/2...and it is not easy....but it is NOT the hell my friend is going through.

L&C, you seem like a loving, caring and balanced man. My advise, while YOUR deciding what to do...is to get educated in both directions this may go. Should you decide you are willing to split, I would not to go for shared custody...but temporary FULL custody with the stipulation that it revert to shared custody when your wife has chosen to become stable...and then IS so...and the drinking is over. Until then, she is welcome to spend time with her kids as often as she wants when she is not under the influence of alcohol. But this way you stay in the drivers seat to their stability and safety until she can join you in that responsibility. Then what happens with her all around becomes HER responsibility. You say you will stop what you are doing to show her what it would be like....I wouldn't trust the safety of the kids to a drinking spouse. If your wife CHOSES to not get the help she needs, then she is CHOOSING to not be your priority. Your KIDS should be ALL that matters, and doing what is best for them, setting the best example possible for them, and providing them with the most loving stable home you can....should ALL come first. Consult an attorney yourself to see what your options are as a parent in this situation. What it would take to set up this kind of temporary full custody based on this stipulation. Again...you don't have to take action....just get educated.

I wish you and your kids the best, I know you have hard days ahead and if I had the power I would wake your wife up to all she has to loose, and I'd make her be responsible and focused on her wellness because you and her kids mattered more to her. But I have as much power of accomplishing that as you do. The ball for wellness is in her court...your ball to how your's and your kids lives will be up to you... Good luck...LFW

lostandconfused
New Member


Date Joined Feb 2008
Total Posts : 8
   Posted 2/19/2008 7:46 PM (GMT -7)   
Dasa and LFW,

I think I am coming to the conclusion that you are right, part of me from the beginning has thought that if she left now she would be institutionalized and how much I would hate to see her crash and burn like that but a bigger part of me felt like I couldn't divorce this person that I loved so much because I would fall apart. At first I was doing everything I could to please her hoping that it would bring some semblance of order to our home. I got to the point that I considered the day a success if she held my hand even though she was doing so many hurtful things to herself and me.

I am now finding that my heart has been taking such a beating over the past 8 weeks that I really have to be there for her only as a friend and assume the rest of the deeper relationship is gone, at least until she starts doing the right things.

In the beginning I told myself that I would put up with her crap for the kids, and now I am starting to realize that I should not put up with any of this for the very same reason. A safe and calm enviornment with a single parent is better than a chaotic one with two. She is supposed to start seeing the psychiatrist in early March, I figure I will give that some time but if the drinking doesn't stop, the deal will be off pretty quickly.

It is sad to say that when I was forced into the divorce talk yesterday morning she said that she did not have a drinking problem and that I should stop saying the words "mentally ill" because that wasn't her either. I can't blame her at this point for being in denial, she is a very career oriented woman and extremely educated so I am sure the idea that she is not in control of something in her life is nearly impossible to fathom. She has conquered so many other physical problems in her life, I am guessing she thinks she can over come this by will power.

Unfortunately when I got home today she was much friendlier to the family but I am almost sure I smelled Whiskey on her breath. I know she is hosting a "happy hour" with her work associates for Thursday so I can't imagine she will resist then and we are going out with friends on Friday night and I will be very surprised if she doesn't have a couple then. I guess I should be at a point now that I tell her on the way to dinner that I will not put up with any drinking. As I write this I am amazed at how uncomfortable that task sounds though I know it has to be done.

I explained to her that she would probably experience some fairly intense depression when she did stop drinking and that she shouldn't despair and that I would do everything I could to help make it easier, to which she responded "great, right from manic to depression, why is it that I should stop drinking again?" and when I explained the dangers she said that perhaps recreational drugs could be an answer, I think she was only half kidding.

Thank you for the Dr. Irene site, I will check that out and thank you for the well wishes, I am still hoping with all my heart for the best but I am not "fearing" the worst anymore.

loving frustrated wife
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jun 2007
Total Posts : 865
   Posted 2/19/2008 9:26 PM (GMT -7)   
L&C, I don't personally like the expressions "mentally ill" either to be honest. I think our spouses are suffering from a physical ailment that affects various chemistry in their brain and body. The bi-product is that the regulation of their emotions are affected. I view this as a physical ailment much like diabetes or thyroid imbalance. If it were a separate thing, wouldn't it solely get cured through a "mental" program? And it can't....it requires physical intervention to really do so with medication to regulate brain chemistry, the way insulin for a diabetic controls the sugar levels in the body, or thyroid pills controls those hormone levels. Yet, those things don't have the negative label.

Are you going in March to the doctor's appointment with your wife? As a successful woman, who is in control (or so she thinks) of much in her life, it is hard to accept there are addictions, or issues, one can not face alone. But, as you are coming to realize these are your wife's demons to wrestle. You can help her by holding her accountable, supporting her in taking her meds, being part of her "wellness" team, dx appointments, and truth telling - even when they are hard truths (that goes for BOTH of you BTW - we as the spouses must look honestly at ourselves and face our own demons too), but in the end....it comes down to the commitment of the person suffering from this (whether it be alcoholism, BP or both - or anything else), that has to face it, and own it, in order to REALLY begin to heal. As an educated woman, your wife knows the value of education. The MORE she gets educated about this...the less her denial will be able to co-exist with it - and the less she will fear. You know the old adage...when you know better - you do better. If through your "truth telling and boundaries" she starts getting a sense of herself differently (whether she admits it to you or not) and it is not presented in a "you're bad and wrong" type of way, but "this is or isn't acceptable with you anymore" kind of way, firmly - yet compassionately....then between that and becoming more educated she can start to learn steps to start owning this with less shame. I would subtly work towards leaving books and articles around for her to see you reading about BP. (She'll get curious and start reading some of it too....) If she questions it, say that you are learning all you can about BP so you can be the best support you can for her, yourself and the kids in dealing with it. If she gets mad and says "You think I'm crazy! (or some such thing)", say, "No, you just think she has an condition that needs to be addressed, like a diabetic would need to address their condition...and you want to be there to support her where you can. And while this is not diabetes, you imagine if you were dx'ed with diabetes and had to refuse ALL sugar, that would be tough to do and you'd need support from her to re-learn eating habits." Or something like that. Don't get engaged in a long conversation about it. Just clear statements for now of what you are willing to accept and support...and what you are not. It might help calm things down.

I find with my H, that the conversations much of the time contribute to the issue, unless he is in a "place" to really converse openly. The MINUTE I see his defenses go up, or he goes into attack mode. I make my statement and end the conversation and don't engage in it any more. Otherwise...there are no winners. It is not that what he is saying, in general, is wrong either...he has a right to those feelings towards whatever is going on....but it is HOW he is doing it that is the problem and where I see the BP rear its head. Does that make sense? Someone without BP would simply and calmly discuss whatever "it" is until all parties understood, found resolution, or agreed to take time to think some more on it. But for a BP (at least mine), it turns into other things in the process because other issues get triggered in the course of whatever he is saying, or having said too him. Does that make sense? The fact is for you, unless your wife is properly medicated - WITH NO BOOZE involved - and she is stabilized....you won't know really what kind of life is possible with her (other than what you have right now) to make your choices about this for yourself. However, unless she is willing to do the work to create that situation (regular meds, work with pdoc, no booze ever, regular therapy...etc.), than that ends up making in some ways the choice for you because of the kids. Speak to an attorney for YOUR education process. You don't need to do anything with that information unless you want to. But education regarding your kids is valuable and important information to have...don't you think?

I hope I made sense, or you understand what I mean. Don't know how articulate I was tonight though....I am sending you kind thoughts...LFW

lostandconfused
New Member


Date Joined Feb 2008
Total Posts : 8
   Posted 2/20/2008 2:19 AM (GMT -7)   
You do make sense and I understand what you are saying and your comparison with diabetes is also probably a better way to look at it than saying mentally ill. This is a phrase that I have seen and read a lot but of course as I think about it would put nearly anyone on the defensive. I know she did receive a book on BP from her therapist when she first started talking to her. I took the book and read it in one day, my wife has yet to read the whole thing, that has been over a month. I have been reading a lot but mostly on the computer, I think maybe a trip to the library would be helpful.

As for the conversations, I just can't imagine there will be any real conversations until she goes to the pdoc, she doesn't listen to her family and she doesn't listen to me, hopefully she will listen to a professional.

There is no question that I will be involved 100% with all of her doctors visits if she will let me, that has been my strongest argument through all of this. I have explained to her the hard odds of us staying together long term and that the ONLY way we have a chance is for us to work as a team which means trusting me as much as she can, giving me as much reason as possible to trust her and believing as much as possible that this WILL succeed. I had a friend who was a therapist in the past who told me when ever you go through things like this you have to BELIEVE that they will work or most of the time they will not.

I guess in someone ways it is getting much tougher to believe but I am going to give it all I can.

Your thoughts come off as well intentioned and are well received. I can't tell you how much I appreciate your perspective.

enoughalready
New Member


Date Joined Feb 2008
Total Posts : 10
   Posted 2/20/2008 7:32 AM (GMT -7)   
Lostandconfused:
Even being a newbie I wanted to reply to your comments because this sounds just like I was prior to being on meds. I was married 25 years and the past 10 I was numb to our relationship.  I have been thru hell and back with meds, trying this and that (you all know what I mean) I now am on 4 different ones (my cocktail) and finally I am feeling.  Being diagnosed six weeks ago is a good thing if she is being treated by the right doctor and counseler can be the greatest asset in treating her disease.  I wanted to say things have turned around and my verbal abuse has stopped, our sexual encounters are no longer abstract (crazy and up and down). So I am giving you hope that the right meds and dosages can turn her around and you will see most likely things will fall in place as far as you being her "friend".  I don't know how else to put it but our minds are so mixed up when we are not treated or waiting for meds to kick in we are liable to do and say the most unreasonable things in the world.
 
Hang in there things will get better especially with the support you are giving her. Cudo's to you for even being there. My husband should have given up on me but he hung in there and it paid off.  Good Luck
 

lostandconfused
New Member


Date Joined Feb 2008
Total Posts : 8
   Posted 2/21/2008 5:22 AM (GMT -7)   
Thank you for sharing that, it gives me some hope, though I am really disheartened that she continues to drink and now is just trying to hide it from me, even though I don't THINK it is more than one or two a day.

Dasa
Regular Member


Date Joined Sep 2007
Total Posts : 37
   Posted 2/21/2008 10:16 AM (GMT -7)   
My dh drinks more than I would like for him to but not as much as he use to. I am so grateful given that both his mom and dad were alchoholics and several others in his family are. Early on in our marriage I would say things to him like, I don't want to drink before dinner because it will make me sleepy and gives me a headache.  Later in the evening when he felt bad with a headache, he would relate to me bringing it up. And the same with having hangovers the next morning. But I think when people have anxiety problems, they think that a drink will relieve it when often it makes them feel worse in th long run.
 
The other thing is "he" started to realize that having a drink or two affects his ability to think straight (obvious stuff to us non drinkers!) but he loves to tell funny stories and is great at it. He keeps people laughing when he is around them but when he drinks, he doens't tell them as well.  He notices this now. I use to have to bring it to his attention.

Bringing up how it affects him negatively has helped more in getting him not to get obsessive with his drinking than my getting on his case about drinking in general. And another thing was getting him to realize that he was bad at letting his lack of judgment get in the way after those 2 drinks. He thinks one more will make him higher or feel even better. Well after 5 or 6 of one mores makes him sloppy drunk. I finally got him to realize that he needed to decide "before" he started drinking, how many he should have rather than to make that decision while he is drinking.  I pointed this out about how his sister does this and he got it finally.  Not that he does great every time, but he has cut back dramatically.   

I've found out in general when I get him to see how things are an aggravation for "him" rather than for me, he will change his behavior easier.  It doesn't register when it's bothering me, it's my problem then.  So like with his ADD, I finally got him to see his ADD behaviors by bringing them up occassionally as "he" had problems, like losing his glasses, cell phone, pen, etc 99 times a day.  I would just say yep that's ADD at work there or something like that every now and then....their own awareness is what it takes to get "them" to want to do something about the behavior.  We can't change anybody only how we react to them. 
 
Hope something here will help........Dasa
 
  

Post Edited (Dasa) : 2/21/2008 11:10:27 AM (GMT-7)

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