thank you so very much for your honesty and your support. In the cloudy mind of a distraught wife the need to live her own life does not take priority but I know how much different my life would be without him, how much richer and worry free... I could become me again, and happy!!!!!!! But what of him? he tells me that he would die without me.. that he knows that he will die from his own hand one day and I am the reason that he is still alive.
He is very manipulative and very convincing when he wants to be but I see through him, I've learned, but I do believe that without anyone really caring for him truly he would surely hurt himself.
So... what do I do??? I have changed as person in these last 5 years, but when I am away from him, like I was when I 1st came to NY, I became me again and I started making friends and enjoyed life.. and life WAS good again!!! and i was determined at that time that I would stay firm and not let him destroy me again... but when I talked to him, I yielded... for I am weak when it comes to him. Love is the most powerful enemy at times, for it makes us very weak against our opponent.
I too have a bipolar spouse who is drinking, although he takes his meds regularly. I am fortunate in that he has never been abusive physically, but his constant anger, frustration and inability to take responsibility for himself takes its toll on me and on my two young children.
Recently (last Saturday) I told him that he needed to leave, and that I would not consider having him back until he was sober for at least 3 months. He continued to drink all week, half heartedly looking for a place, and then came up with a "plan" so that he can stay here and "make things work". I told him no, so he is now attending AA and will be out by August 1st.
We did this once before, about 2 years ago, and it was the best thing I ever did for our relationship. He came home daily (sober) and actually spent time with me and the kids, rather than just being a physical presence in the home. We had fun together, and when he was down, or frustrated, or wanted to drink, we weren't exposed to this - he did this on his own time. And after 3 months, he returned and remained sober for several months. Then the drinking started again, as he was diagnosed bipolar and went on great meds that made a huge difference - problem: he thought he was "cured" and so could drink again. Obviously, he can't. So I'm repeating the "get out until you're sober" process and we'll see.
I am hoping that a similar thing will happen this time, but that's up to him. I cannot take responsibility for his choices, and I am very happy with my choice to no longer tolerate this around me or the kids.
Based on what you've written, your husband is abusive and staying isn't helping him - it's just allowing him to go on blaming anyone but himself. From someone who enabled for far too long, you need to get him out, for yourself and also for him.
But, just as a warning, you need to consider the likelihood that he will lash out at you when you leave or tell him to go. I recommend having a bag of spare clothes, $, toiletries, spare keys, important documents and other necessities packed and in the car at all times in case you need to leave quickly. And get a safety plan - you can talk to your local women's shelter about this. Have a cell phone if you can, and if you are planning to deliver an ultimatum, let a friend know who can call you or drop by to make sure all goes well. Have a code word (i.e. "chocolate") that you can use with friends or family if you need help immediately. Ensure you have access to money, and you may want to move money from joint accounts into your own account - bipolar is known for excessive spending.
If you are worried at all about his suicidal threats, call his doctor or take him to the hospital for an assessment. Know that sometimes this is an emotional blackmail technique to make you stay.
best of luck.
I just wanted to say that I undersatnd your situation and my heart goes out to you. This lot on HW are brilliant and say it like it is form personal experience. You find not only the sufferers from Bipolar but also the Carers/partners/family. It's been important for me to see both sides and with their knowledge and own personal experiences im able to filter out what is applicable in mine and my ex-partners situation.
So be strong and make the decisions that are right for you but realise your'e never alone as long as you have access to this site.
Take Care and Good Wishes your way.