PVGuy, as I shared in my previous posting, staying or going is "guilt free" the right of every spouse to make. So, as I gave you support in you post regarding your choice to leave, I now will share about staying. I am a spouse married almost 17 years. Yes, no question I love my H, but I will not kid you...life has not been easy. There are some absolutes for me however, that are a MUST and a total agreement I have with myself about staying. 1) He be consistent with his medication 2) He be consistent about his care with his pdoc, therapist, etc 3)I am a part of his wellness team and have FULL access to interface with all the rest of his support team 4)On occasion I go to sessions with him 5)I am kept current on any med changes. Without this, I personally elect to not stay. Now, in an effort of full disclosure, I have a H with a "less severe" form of BP in that to date, I have not dealt with infidelity, disappearing for days, wild spending, excessive lying...etc. But, as you will learn, living with BP, regardless of the level or how it manifests is NO easy feat. Life is HARD. The exaggerated moods, the defensiveness, the controlling behavior, the blaming, etc...these for me are constants that are daily mixed in with some good stuff too. It never ceases to surprise me though. Latest example was this weekend. I know my mother can be irritating, and she herself has a HUGE personality, but she has gotten under my H's skin negatively and it is ugly. He takes EVERYTHING my mom says as an insult, a power struggle, offensive...etc. And there is NO question my mom needs a new style about it, but...I am not going to change her at 71, or change him at nearly 50. So, by saying "I am sorry it is so hard to deal with my mom, and while her style sucks, I choose to trust that while her execution comes across wrong, her intent is meant well because she loves me and our family and is just trying to help us". Only, I got an EARFUL of how he wants me to tell her she is not welcome in our house if she speaks to him or the kids like this again. This is HIS house and the fact that I don't tell her this causes him to feel insulted by me. My problem here is that while I see his point in how she is saying things (EVER so slightly, mind you because most of it is about how he takes it), I also agree with what her intention is and the kindness in what she is trying to do. And like I said - with my mom, I have learned to love her and look past her "style" and appreciate her for who she is. And honestly, not many in my family (siblings I mean) do. So I have a good relationship with her, and others just complain about her - but we all DO love her. But, for my H, it is ALL about the control and power struggle, and I view this as much about him as her. In some of these ways they are SO much alike it is scary. But he should also appreciate growing up with a mother like this has trained me to be able to hang in here and manage HIM all these years. But alas, not the case.
My point here is this, even under the best of circumstances...life with a BP is not easy and you must create some absolute boundaries about what you will and won't put up with from DAY ONE. BP's, who want to be responsible about their condition (as many here on the boards are and I have the utmost respect and admiration for) work very hard to try and do that. They may not always succeed, but the efforts are there when they acknowledge and try to own their behaviors. They are the ones who do whatever it takes to stay on top of their condition and remain partners with their spouse, not the petulant aggressive permanent teenagers who will push and push a parent running wild with the "I'm going to punish you attitude", which others seem to mirror the behavior of. Make your conditions clear because ultimately, regardless of the behavior, the one with BP IS responsible for the choices they make, the way they choose to behave. BP may make it far more difficult for them, but they STILL make the choices, and they are STILL adults, and we do them NO favors to let them not have to own it as their spouses.
I hope what I shared makes sense. I will hold you all in my good thoughts and pray for the best outcome possible. I agree completely with Serafena about a therapist for you. It IS needed and necessary for your own sanity and reality checks. Don't forget to BREATH along the way and take good care of your son. LFW