I just started trolling the forum today, as last night was a bit too tough for me alone, and I don't really have a local support structure I can turn to.
I have been married for 15 years to my wonderful wife who is, and comes from a long line of BPD people. I have been aware of her challenge all of this time, and have been pressing her to seek help for many years. She recently did acquiesce to my requests (she tells me that it's not for me, it's for our 5 year old daughter), and her Pdoc diagnosed her as BP and put her on Lamictal (it's been about
Here are my complaints and concerns.
Yelling. If I hit one of her triggers, a verbal battle will be set off. If I back down, she will then go into how terrible of a person/father/man I am and berate me until she decides she is too angry to talk to me anymore without hitting me (Which she has done many times). If I don't back down, and catch her arguments and refute them, she will become the martyr and explain that everything is because I blame her and it's all her fault, and then berate me until she decides she is too angry to talk to me anymore without hitting me. The thing that recently has become harder to recover from is the proclamations of Hatred that she feels for me. Normally when she yells about
how little she feels for me, and how much she hates me, two or three days later she apologizes profusely and tells me she didn't mean it. It's getting to the point now where it's hard to know which one is the truth and to believe her.
Denial of affection (not sex). When we go through a down phase, I'm lucky to get kisses, petting (like actual scratching and petting), or hugs from her. Honestly I consider it a good day when I'm not told to go to
. I am (was) a very affectionate person, I love hugging and pecks on the cheek with friends. My wife asked me not to do that anymore when we became a couple, and I was fine with eliminating that, because she hugged and kissed me enough to feel loved. Now it's minimal at best. And yes, my wife is constantly positive that I am going to be stolen away from her...
Lack of intimacy. I like to play with and enjoy my wife in bed. When our relationship started, this was not a problem, and we were very compatible. Now intimacy of any kind (making out, playing, or sex) is rare at best, and as the joke goes, Variety is a magazine you can subscribe to. (We are intimate quarterly if I'm lucky, and annually is more likely.). She has gained a lot of weight since we married, and regularly refers to that as the reason she doesn't feel attractive. Personally I think she's still stunning and find her just as appealing as I did back then. I make it clear to her that I feel that way both directly and indirectly. I send her flowers to her office (She as repeatedly told me she likes that) with sweet poems and sonnets, and I give her unexpected gifts to help reinforce it. On top of the "you look nice in that" comments.
Panic Attacks. We are doing well financially, and both have solid jobs. However when something triggers my wife, she'll go over the edge with micromanaging the house. During an up phase, I have watched her sort and organize the entire kitchen alphabetically, and then go out and buy every known organizer and implement them, only to stop using them in the next week or two. When she decides that it's time to exercise, she'll go out and buy exercise equipment. A lot of it. Her favorites seem to be "Ab" machines. I think we have 3 or 4 different varieties in the basement. most of them see action for a week or too, maybe a month, and then they are ignored. And the lists. Wow do we have lists. Laminated ones too! Honestly, I'm an old soldier, so I have no issues with written marching orders, it makes it easy for me to meet her expectations that way, but when she has laminated the list for her planned usage of her vacation time for the year, it seems a bit odd.
My child. I have a perfect, wonderful 5 year old daughter who is aware that mommy has some "moments". And she is the biggest concern I have.
The challenges my wife has have only gotten worse over the years, and more and more extreme with time. I love her dearly, when she is balanced she is phenomenal, and my best friend, but when she is off kilter, she is
. I have never seriously considered Divorce, but I am beginning to really wonder about
it, for my daughter's sake. I really don't want to deny my daughter and my wife each other, but I need to know when my patience is too much, and when I am putting my daughter into a bad situation. Additionally as I don't really know anyone who is divorced, I am in fear that my wife might gain custody, as I really don't understand the process for assigning custody. I do have a litany of grounds against her, adultery, physical violence, verbal abuse, etc.
Here's my questions.
1) Am I whining? I can accept that and buck up, but this isn't how I thought marriage was supposed to be.
2) What things, tools, methods, patterns do y'all recommend to help me keep from upsetting my wife, and helping her stay mellow?
3) When/what is the final straw or sign that we should/need to go, how long is too long to fight for her? How do I ensure that my daughter stays with me?
4) How long do the drugs take to really notice an improvement? Do we go through a reduction in swings at the least while we are drug hunting?
5) What tools do y'all use to center yourself?