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AnonWife

DH going through breakdown. Support only, please.

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Ah, right, also on the kid issue:

 

Thank you all very much for your concern and reminder on this.  My oldest was the only one old enough what was going on last time 2 years ago.  I'm sure the kid has some weird memories, but I did have her stay with grandparents more during that time.

 

This time around, we are only 2-3 weeks into the spiral, and it coincided with a big work project (not a coincidence I think).  We told the kids pre-project (and before the breakdown started) that we were going to be stressed for the next few weeks as we put more effort into finishing the project on time.  I had accelerated their curricula and made some other changes preparing them for this -- freezer packs, pre made activities and easier lessons -- so I think they think any weirdness right now is because of that.  They were also with my parents most of this past week.  

 

The deadline has been met and passed though, so any future strain won't be as easy to explain away. My DH, when regular, is very open with kids on what he is doing mental health wise -- mood journals, talking through emotions, gratefulness journals, walks, etc. I don't think he will want to address any of this with them, though, and I'm not sure how or what I should tell them.  I'm open to advice! Oldest is 7, close to 8. 

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Have you contacted NAMI?(National Alliance on Mental Illness)

 

They have some excellent programs for those who live with and support someone with mental illness. Some of the courses are things like "Family-to-Family" which is a 12 week course for family caregivers.  There are family support groups.

 

Check and see if there is anything in your area. Go for your own sake. :grouphug:

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OP, I know that you are going through a lot right now, but please remember that your kids are going through it too. No matter how amazing you are your kids are scared and hurting. They are overhearing some of these things, no matter what you may think. They are home schooled, they are home all the time. Try to keep from letting the oldest bear the burden of this. It is very damaging to them and you can't really make it up to them later. Believe me, I know. I would get them counseling and make sure that they have plenty of physical activity to blow off steam and stress.

 

I am very, very sorry for your pain. 

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I'm married to a man with chronic mental illness. The only way our marriage has survived--and the only thing that has kept him from destroying our family and probably ending his own life--is my absolute insistence that he remain on medication. This is a hard line for me, because I will not stand back and allow him to destroy himself and us. When he wasn't consistent enough in remembering/choosing to take the medication every day I took over counting out pills and handing them to him with a glass of water and watching him swallow them every morning.

 

My husband is a good man. He has good desires, when he is well he has a wonderful, caring, generous personality. But when illness and irrationality take over he becomes a monster.

 

I declared war on the real monster--the mental illness itself. If he doesn't have the capacity to fight it on his own I will do everything in my power to fight it for and with him. Even against his will.

 

Your husband needs to get on effective medication and stay on it; with this diagnosis it is extremely unlikely he will be able to manage the illness effectively without it.

Edited by maize
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Also: big, big hugs. I have an idea of just how helpless you must be feeling right now. And you may in fact be helpless--convincing an adult to seek and accept needed treatment is a challenging and frequently unsuccessful undertaking.

 

I just want to encourage you to try--try anything and everything in your power to get him into medical treatment and keep him there. Because there is a chance it could work and your marriage and family can not only be preserved but be strengthened.

 

And if your efforts fail you will know that you did what you could. Sometimes the monster wins and all the people lose :(

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...

 

I declared war on the monster--the mental illness itself. If he doesn't have the capacity to fight it on his own I will do everything in my power to fight it for and with him.

 

...

 

 

THIS.

 

You are both on the same side standing against the illness.  You are fighting the illness together.  

 

This.

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Some friends of ours went through similar. The dh has bipolar and had been on meds but stopped because things seemed to be better and he decided he didn't need the meds after all. That's when it got bad--there was a lot of anger over not feeling in control of his life. It was rough for awhile but did get better once he understood he needed the meds all the time and decided not to stop taking them.

 

:grouphug:  I hope your dh gets the help he needs to get better. :grouphug:

 

this is almost a cliche it happens so often.

 

it happened to my mom for a different reason. (eta: against my and my sister's advice - we begged her not to do it.)  she moved near my brother, and he was in charge of getting her drs near him.  then her prescriptions slowly ran out and didn't get new ones.  I found out later, he "doesn't believe in mental illness", so he didn't get her a psychiatrist. :svengo: :banghead: :banghead: :banghead: .   I didn't find out he felt that way until the effluent had good and hit the fan and was cleaning up the resulting mess.   

 

eta: when I figured out the lack of psychiatric meds, I was able to get my mother stable, and she was happy for the first time in a long time. she died shortly afterwards.   there's a petty part of me that has not one iota of sympathy that experience completely blew up in my brothers face.

Edited by gardenmom5
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I'm married to a man with chronic mental illness. The only way our marriage has survived--and the only thing that has kept him from destroying our family and probably ending his own life--is my absolute insistence that he remain on medication. This is a hard line for me, because I will not stand back and allow him to destroy himself and us. When he wasn't consistent enough in remembering/choosing to take the medication every day I took over counting out pills and handing them to him with a glass of water and watching him swallow them every morning.

 

My husband is a good man. He has good desires, when he is well he has a wonderful, caring, generous personality. But when illness and irrationality take over he becomes a monster.

 

I declared war on the real monster--the mental illness itself. If he doesn't have the capacity to fight it on his own I will do everything in my power to fight it for and with him. Even against his will.

 

Your husband needs to get on effective medication and stay on it; with this diagnosis it is extremely unlikely he will be able to manage the illness effectively without it.

 

 

:grouphug: :grouphug: :grouphug: Maize, thanks for posting this. Sometimes it is so difficult to separate out the person and the illness.

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Re: psychiatrist/ psychologist: our insurance changed twice in the past year so his treatment has been interrupted. When we got new insurance in January he immediately started the process to qualify for mental health treatment. He had 1 prelim appt but no actual treatment -- I think the earliest he could get in is 3 weeks from now.  It's scheduled. But, now he is mad at psychologists/psychiatrists for not helping him, they should have done more, they could have listened to him instead of judge him, they don't know what they're doing, they are trying to force him to be someone he's not, etc. So idk if he will go thru with appt.  Hopefully the worst of the episode will have passed by then and he will see the need for treatment again.  

 

His field is in art, he has refused medication in the past because he doesn't want it to affect his work.  And in the past it hasn't been this serious. On the outside, most people would probably see a guy in a mid life crisis who wants to leave his wife.  Don't know if I can get him committed for that, ha. At best I'd be seen as biased. 

 

I'm sorry - I know what a joke dealing with insurance companies can be.

 

I don't know if he'll listen to the "not being medicated is negatively affecting his work - and his life.":

 I dont' know how objective he's currently capable of being.

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I am very sorry you are going through this. This book was recommended to us when we had the need. Ours ended very badly in a way no one would have ever expected. Protect yourself and your children. Remove the guns from your home if you have any. I am not knowledgeable enough to give a good review, but it is well reviewed on amazon.

 

https://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/reviews/0967718929/ref=cm_cr_dp_mb_see_rcnt?ie=UTF8&s=sd

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Seconding the STD testing thing. Sometimes when people are asking for permission, it's because they have already gone there and don't know how to articulate it. Get tested now and every 6-12 months.

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Shoot, *I'm* mad at them for not helping him better.  This is a crisis situation that they are acting like it's not.  Ugh.  I hate medical insurance.  Can't live with it, can't live without it.  Very sorry to hear this!

Medical insurance can be a hindrance to getting help.  But, even with the best of insurance, the illness itself is a hindrance to getting help.  And, the fact that the medical privacy laws and self-determination statutes make it so difficult to get help for someone who is resistant until they have spiraled out of control. 

 

Thank you everyone for your replies, and support.  I'm feeling calmer and its helping me regain some objectivity. I know this can blow up in my face at any time, but I have to keep in mind that he does have active moments of clarity and hopefully that will be enough to prevent any drastic actions on his part. And it's reminding me that I can't control the situation or his actions, which is oddly relieving as well. 

 

 

2-3 months. Usually though the "lead in" is much longer, like 2 months in itself, so I don't know exactly what to expect here.  I think that is why I am reacting more strongly and why I'm not sure how to handle his declarations of leaving.

 

 

His last episode 2 years ago is what got him into treatment and the diagnosis, so there isn't a great trail established other than my memory. 

 

 

 

He does realize the difficulty, and realizes it during the episode as well.  In calmer moments he apologizes and says he doesn't know how I put up with it.  During depressive moments he says its not fair to me and he should leave so I don't have to put up with him. 

 

 

 

Not concerned about violence, towards either the kids or me. Of course, though, I'd put them first if there was any concern.

His family does not know his diagnosis. 

 

 

 

We both have access to finances.  He wants to spend money, but so far his main obsession has been on relationships, and money I think will only come into play if he starts to spend it pursuing that.  Part of his pride in the past 2 years has been the savings he's been able to build up, and the fact that I've been able to come home because of how we maintained finances. I think this is still too much of his self image, even in his current state, that he won't put that into jeopardy. But, I'll monitor the accounts, thank you for the reminder.

 

 

Also, I didn't quote the post, but I do agree that keeping it secret definitely makes it more difficult.  When this episode is over I'll try to get him to tell some people so that we can have more support outside.  Though, I don't know anyone in our circles that are "open" to mental illness and don't view it as a weakness. Sure, we should be the strong ones to break the taboo, but practically speaking we didn't want to deal with that. Hindsight is 20/20 though, it'd be nice to have real live people who know his regular self that could be helping us through this. 

I am so sorry you are going through this.  K's issues are not classic bi-polar yet, but the delusions have made treatment very difficult.  Our options have been 1. allowing our (then) very hostile adult child live in our house creating a very tense ( and toxic for me) situation for all involved.  or 2.  Kick K out where they will end up on the street without access to meds or medical care.  Fortunately, K is stable right now and we have a significant lessening of hostilities right now. 

 

The reason I suggest therapy for you is it is VERY easy for the person with mental illness to drag you down with them. 

Yes.  This.  I have had to get therapy to deal with my spiral into depression living with someone who is so hostile towards me.  The helplessness and worry was eating me alive.  I am still struggling. 

 

It is a biochemical imbalance that is no more a "weakness" than someone who has an imbalance of thyroid hormones or insulin or whatever. It's just in the brain rather than the thyroid, pancreas, etc.

 

Our society makes this artificial distinction between mental illness and bodily illness that just hurts those suffering from the former. :thumbdown:

Yes.  This!  I wanted to give this more than a "like." 

 

That's OK. I'm wearing a suitcase on my head.

<snort>  That made me laugh out loud.  My suitcase is on my back, like a turtle shell.  I just can't get rid of it. It follows me everywhere. 

 

Have you contacted NAMI?(National Alliance on Mental Illness)

 

They have some excellent programs for those who live with and support someone with mental illness. Some of the courses are things like "Family-to-Family" which is a 12 week course for family caregivers.  There are family support groups.

 

Check and see if there is anything in your area. Go for your own sake. :grouphug:

NAMI has been a lifesaver for us.  Dh and I participated in the Family-to-Family course and it was very helpful.  It did not improve K's situation, but it did help dh and I cope better.  We are on the watch for some family support for my other children.  Dd copes well because she is a very busy teen who is out of the house quite a bit.  Ds23 copes by working, working out, taking the dog out, and putting on the headphones and going to introvert cave. 

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So, OP here. I've decided to continue the conversation with my "real name" for a bunch of reasons. One of the reasons is that, when I originally made the post, I thought I was going to do a vent, get support, then just let it go.  But, I don't really feel able to let go yet, and I've already dropped enough hints for the sleuths to put together, and it is tiring trying to wash the personal details out.  Still doubtful I want this associated with "me" though, especially in 6 most when this is past (hopefully) and I want to ask about more benign marriage advice, I don't want the first reaction to be "well he's crazy!", lol. 

 

Re: my own mental health.  I've called my parish, the priest will get back to me next week (he's out of town right now).  I spoke to a helpline counselor today, which gave me some clarity but also raised my stress level because after I told them the entire story they seemed a whole lot more doubtful of a happy resolution to this than I was. Not that it would just take time and work, but whether or not it is even possible. So, I guess a stronger dose of reality than I was already on? I've always been an optimist, maybe I am too biased, but I don't think he's so far gone as to be written off. 

 

In the situation itself: DH sat me down for a "logical" discussion of our choices. Positive-Minus-Interesting lists on each one. The choices were open marriage or separation.  It didn't go well. I convinced him to do a PMI for stay-with-more-treatment, which he did grudgingly, and also grudgingly admitted that it did have less negatives than the other 2 choices. But, he's still stuck on the open marriage option and trying to convince me of it. 

 

He has bouts of "this is crazy", "I'm sorry I'm putting you through this", "I wish I didn't feel this way, if it could go away I would be relieved, but its never going to", "this is just a phase", "I just need some work", interspersed with "this is who I am", "I'm not ill", "this isn't going to go away", "why is it wrong anyway?", "don't judge me", "I don't need to be fixed, I need to be myself."  So,  he isn't consistent, very conflicted, and still feeling betrayed by everyone else's view of reality. And in denial there is anything wrong with him. He sees nothing at all wrong with his actions, and does not remember/acknowledge being stable/different. 

 

The good news is that he is still communicating with me and trying to convince me to go along with the crazy, not just running off crazy on his own. 

 

Baby steps and looking for advice: 

1.Medication is a definite no-go topic right now. I did get him to agree to at least taking a natural something to help him sleep, trying to at least stabilize some part of his routine. Melatonin is what he thought of.  I looked it up and a couple websites noted it may be a depressive for some. Any experience with this? Or, suggestions on some other supplements that could help?  He does drink chamomile tea sporadically but I don't know if it actually does anything for him.

 

2. Kids. Got to say something to at least the 8yo if this continues as is.  And even if he stays and the episode ends and he comes to himself, we need to say something to prepare for the next time.Whatever I say at this point, though, he won't like. so how do I approach this without tipping him farther towards crazy and seeing me as an enemy?

 

He is seeing a naturopath (?) tomorrow, it was scheduled a few weeks ago. I don't know how truthful he'll be about his state. He also just closed 2 big jobs, and once he focuses on the work he usually regains some objectivity on other areas of life.  He'll begin the work in a couple of weeks though, so that half hope is a while off. 

 

Thank you for your help thus far, and support.  It means more than I can say.

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Can you call the naturopath and give him/her a heads up a a concerned wife? I know he needs to see someone else too, but an ND can make referrals and maybe help some too. Hugs to you.

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Can you call the naturopath and give him/her a heads up a a concerned wife? I know he needs to see someone else too, but an ND can make referrals and maybe help some too. Hugs to you.

Yes to this--you can and should call the naturopath and tell them everything that is going on. If possible you should also go to the appointment--I attend almost all medical appointments and even therapy appointments with my husband at this point because critical information gets left out of I do not.

 

Your dh's doctors won't be able to share medical information about him with you without his permission, but there is nothing to prevent you from sharing information about him. The Dr. needs to know about his past diagnosis and current irrational state.

Edited by maize
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Why is he not taking medication for this? Has he been to speak to a psychiatrist since this episode began? 

I know it is the mental illness making him speak and think right now, but this is not healthy for you to have to go through either. and while you feel the kids are mostly shielded from it, the fact is kids are more aware of what is going on than we think.  

 

I would say don't engage with him when he goes on his rant about how horrible his life is, change the subject, move on from it whatever, but don't feed the illness.  I need to keep reading to see if I have missed important information.  Also when he goes in to see the psychiatrist about this I recommend therapy for you.  Living with someone with a mental illness is far from easy (trust me I know, my oldest son has mental illness and keeping him on his medication is a battle daily, but a necessary one).  Having someone to talk to about the challenges his behaviours bring and how it is affecting you is really important for self care.

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There are brain changes that happen with bipolar disorder--parts of the brain shrink with each untreated episode of illness. He will very likely continue to get worse without medical treatment.

 

I haven't found the actual study report but someone told me recently about a sleep reset study with bipolar patients where they were kept up for an entire night/day then went to sleep at a healthy bed time and the result was a dramatic improvement. I think it involved people in a manic episode. I'll keep looking and see if I can find the actual study.

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I talk with my kids a lot about mental illness and the fact that brains can become sick and cause people to think and act irrationally. It is a very open topic in my household.

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Oh my goodness, I can't believe you're having to deal with this at 2 months post-partum (if I'm reading your signature correctly).   :grouphug:

 

My DH, when regular, is very open with kids on what he is doing mental health wise -- mood journals, talking through emotions, gratefulness journals, walks, etc.  

ETA: I quoted this bit wondering whether it might help him to look at what he has written previously about his moods and emotions while stable.

Edited by rebbyribs
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Melatonin is what I would recommend if he wants natural only, it works well (though I really doubt it could even touch a manic) and I've never experienced or heard of depression effects unless he's taking ten. Most bipolars need serious drugs to sleep while manic, if they sleep at all.

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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I just want to second that you can absolutely call the naturopath and share the situation. I was a therapist back in the day, and, with concerned people who called to whom we didn't have the right to release info, we were told to say that we could listen but could not comment. The doctor needs to know what's going on because even if your DH tries to tell the doctor, he will unintentionally fail to tell the whole story.

 

Hugs. I've been here. I called my father's doctor about my father during a manic episode. It was not exactly fun.

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There are brain changes that happen with bipolar disorder--parts of the brain shrink with each untreated episode of illness. He will very likely continue to get worse without medical treatment.

 

I haven't found the actual study report but someone told me recently about a sleep reset study with bipolar patients where they were kept up for an entire night/day then went to sleep at a healthy bed time and the result was a dramatic improvement. I think it involved people in a manic episode. I'll keep looking and see if I can find the actual study.

 

 

Quoting myself because I did find some study information but I was not remembering correctly--the sleep deprivation therapy appears to be helpful for depressive but not manic episodes.

 

https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Francesco_Benedetti/publication/12818485_Rate_of_switch_from_depression_into_mania_after_therapeutic_sleep_deprivation_in_bipolar_depression/links/0a85e53358eaab8464000000.pdf

 

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11893871

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Thinking of the future, when this has passed: Can you help him make a safety plan to cope the next time this happens? A written one? I know he is and will be paranoid and etc. I have dealt with mental illness in many ways. But sometimes being able to review a plan made in a good time can help in a bad time. Of course he could say that he didn't say that, he didn't mean that, etc. I get paranoia. But he might not. Hugs to you.

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2 benadryl and melatonin used to knock me out and were both recommended by my doctor to use together. Both are OTC. Since he's not taking meds, there aren't interaction worries, but I'm not sure what's okay with his mental illness. I say take the benadryl over the melatonin if he'll only take one thing. It's strong.

Edited by ifIonlyhadabrain
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Re: Sleep

 

Psychiatrist has a family member on Hydroxyzine for sleep.  It's very cheap generic, very well tolerated, used in pediatric populations too.  Neighbor was a psych nurse and said that they use it all the time to help patients sleep.  If he's open to meds for sleep, it might be one to try.  Non-addictive.   We did melatonin before, started at 5  mg then 10 mg, but the hydroxyzine is much more reliable.  

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I'm so sorry that you're going through this right now. It sucks and must be very stressful. My dh has a tendency to be this way also, but not as extreme I don't think. So I know that it isn't about you or the kids or your situation - it's in his mind only.

 

Can I offer a piece of advice that I counsel for myself in difficult times - and try to maintain every day, in fact. Do something you enjoy, that makes you happy, EVERY DAY, even if it's only for a short time. It might feel selfish to start with, but you need to love yourself in order to show love to others; you can't give out what you don't have inside, iykwim? "Love your neighbour AS yourself." Not more than, or before, but AS. Equally.

 

Hugs and prayers xx

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I hope this doesn't come across as harsh. It's not intended to be.

 

If this were me, I would stop engaging in discussions with the unwell person about the future of our relationship. It's a waste of your time and emotional energy. It's like talking to someone who is drunk, or high. Useless.

 

Just don't go there with him. Be a broken record. "When your bipolar is under control again, we can discuss this. Right now we need to concentrate on getting you well again." Repeat. Repeat. 

 

I really hope he is able to see that he needs treatment soon. Look after yourself and the kids in the meantime. Don't engage in his relationship delusions.

 

 

 

 

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I hope this doesn't come across as harsh. It's not intended to be.

 

If this were me, I would stop engaging in discussions with the unwell person about the future of our relationship. It's a waste of your time and emotional energy. It's like talking to someone who is drunk, or high. Useless.

 

Just don't go there with him. Be a broken record. "When your bipolar is under control again, we can discuss this. Right now we need to concentrate on getting you well again." Repeat. Repeat. 

 

I really hope he is able to see that he needs treatment soon. Look after yourself and the kids in the meantime. Don't engage in his relationship delusions.

:iagree:

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I'm proud of you for posting under your real name. You have nothing to be ashamed of. Lots of chronic mental illness in my family, I've had my own acute episodes. Wishing you and your family all the best in this difficult time.

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So, OP here. I've decided to continue the conversation with my "real name" for a bunch of reasons. One of the reasons is that, when I originally made the post, I thought I was going to do a vent, get support, then just let it go. But, I don't really feel able to let go yet, and I've already dropped enough hints for the sleuths to put together, and it is tiring trying to wash the personal details out. Still doubtful I want this associated with "me" though, especially in 6 most when this is past (hopefully) and I want to ask about more benign marriage advice, I don't want the first reaction to be "well he's crazy!", lol.

 

Re: my own mental health. I've called my parish, the priest will get back to me next week (he's out of town right now). I spoke to a helpline counselor today, which gave me some clarity but also raised my stress level because after I told them the entire story they seemed a whole lot more doubtful of a happy resolution to this than I was. Not that it would just take time and work, but whether or not it is even possible. So, I guess a stronger dose of reality than I was already on? I've always been an optimist, maybe I am too biased, but I don't think he's so far gone as to be written off.

 

In the situation itself: DH sat me down for a "logical" discussion of our choices. Positive-Minus-Interesting lists on each one. The choices were open marriage or separation. It didn't go well. I convinced him to do a PMI for stay-with-more-treatment, which he did grudgingly, and also grudgingly admitted that it did have less negatives than the other 2 choices. But, he's still stuck on the open marriage option and trying to convince me of it.

 

He has bouts of "this is crazy", "I'm sorry I'm putting you through this", "I wish I didn't feel this way, if it could go away I would be relieved, but its never going to", "this is just a phase", "I just need some work", interspersed with "this is who I am", "I'm not ill", "this isn't going to go away", "why is it wrong anyway?", "don't judge me", "I don't need to be fixed, I need to be myself." So, he isn't consistent, very conflicted, and still feeling betrayed by everyone else's view of reality. And in denial there is anything wrong with him. He sees nothing at all wrong with his actions, and does not remember/acknowledge being stable/different.

 

The good news is that he is still communicating with me and trying to convince me to go along with the crazy, not just running off crazy on his own.

 

Baby steps and looking for advice:

1.Medication is a definite no-go topic right now. I did get him to agree to at least taking a natural something to help him sleep, trying to at least stabilize some part of his routine. Melatonin is what he thought of. I looked it up and a couple websites noted it may be a depressive for some. Any experience with this? Or, suggestions on some other supplements that could help? He does drink chamomile tea sporadically but I don't know if it actually does anything for him.

 

2. Kids. Got to say something to at least the 8yo if this continues as is. And even if he stays and the episode ends and he comes to himself, we need to say something to prepare for the next time.Whatever I say at this point, though, he won't like. so how do I approach this without tipping him farther towards crazy and seeing me as an enemy?

 

He is seeing a naturopath (?) tomorrow, it was scheduled a few weeks ago. I don't know how truthful he'll be about his state. He also just closed 2 big jobs, and once he focuses on the work he usually regains some objectivity on other areas of life. He'll begin the work in a couple of weeks though, so that half hope is a while off.

 

Thank you for your help thus far, and support. It means more than I can say.

Thank you for outing yourself. Very brave.

 

Please read Sadies post over and over. Do not engage in relationship talk with him at this point.

 

And do not lie to your children.

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Thank you for outing yourself. Very brave.

 

Please read Sadies post over and over. Do not engage in relationship talk with him at this point.

 

And do not lie to your children.

 

Moonhawk, please remember that I have been in a very similar situation. 

 

Make sure he feels the real consequences. Don't protect him from his choices - and by that, I man lie and cover what is really going on. Maybe ask your DH privately what he thinks you should tell the kids, and see what kind of messaging he is considering.

 

Ask him what he's going to tell his family. I am assuming that you aren't going to agree to the open marriage route, so separation is likely if he won't agree to stay with more treatment. DO NOT keep his secret if he doesn't want to tell his religious family about his plan for an open marriage/promiscuity. He is living in fantasyland right now - make it real. (To clarify: don't tell the kids about it; but don't protect him from his parents). His parents may help more than you think; if not, it's already gone to h*ll  in a handbasket anyway.  :sad:

 

:grouphug:  :grouphug:  :grouphug:

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I hope this doesn't come across as harsh. It's not intended to be.

 

If this were me, I would stop engaging in discussions with the unwell person about the future of our relationship. It's a waste of your time and emotional energy. It's like talking to someone who is drunk, or high. Useless.

 

Just don't go there with him. Be a broken record. "When your bipolar is under control again, we can discuss this. Right now we need to concentrate on getting you well again." Repeat. Repeat.

 

I really hope he is able to see that he needs treatment soon. Look after yourself and the kids in the meantime. Don't engage in his relationship delusions.

:iagree:

 

I think Sadie is absolutely right that you can't have a rational discussion about your relationship right now, and I'm very worried about this situation because if he doesn't get treatment and medication, I can't imagine that the situation is going to get any better for you.

 

What will you do if he decides that he is going to act on his "open marriage" idea? And can you be certain that he hasn't done it already? I'm very concerned about your health, and if he is cheating on you, your health could be at serious risk.

 

I know you want to focus on the positives here, and that you don't want to think about things not working out, but I truly believe you should be fully prepared for the worst while still working and praying for the best. I hope you are documenting everything that is happening, and that you will consider seeing a good divorce lawyer who is experienced with your type of case. Again, I'm not suggesting you get a divorce, but I want you to be prepared in case your dh decides that he wants to end the marriage, or he behaves in such a way that you can no longer stand to be with him. You need to know your legal rights, and you need to know how to protect yourself and your children from financial ruin if your dh really goes off the rails.

 

I hope I don't sound too cold toward your dh, but I'm honestly only thinking of you right now. You seem like such a nice and kindhearted person and I would hate to see you hurt by your own trusting and generous nature. You can still try to help your dh and try to save your marriage while you're also making sure you're prepared for things to not work out. It doesn't have to be one or the other, and you're not betraying your dh by looking out for yourself and your children.

 

And as much as you don't want to think about it, you need to decide on your own limits. How much are you willing to tolerate? Mental illness or no mental illness, there are certain things that you probably can't live with. At this point, I wouldn't be surprised if your dh decides to act on his "open marriage" idea. Can you live with that? Because he's holding all of the cards if he knows you won't divorce him. It's to his full advantage to stay married to you and have girlfriends on the side. He can go out and do as he pleases and he will still have you to do his laundry, clean the house, cook his meals, and take care of the kids. He will have money to pay for the girlfriends because he won't have to pay alimony, child support, or the cost of maintaining a second household.

 

Look, maybe he's too mentally ill to be thinking along those lines, but please don't assume he's not making plans to actually do the things he's threatening to do -- and decide now how you will handle it if he doesn't back down on the open marriage thing and if he refuses to get treatment for his mental illness.

 

Sending you many prayers and hugs. :grouphug:

Edited by Catwoman
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I agree with the others. You aren't going to be able to bargain with him, or discuss this with him, or have any kind of rational conversation with him. Even if he seems rational and calm one minute and you come to some kind of understanding, ten minutes later it'll probably be out the window because he's had another wild mood swing and made some other irrational decision. If he's refusing any medication, all you can do is decide what you are going to do regardless of what he does. And really, you have two options: try to ride it out and hope that things haven't gotten too messed up by the time he stabilizes again, or refuse to deal with it and leave.

 

Do whatever you can to get him to agree to meds. Threaten to leave, if that's what it takes. If you can somehow get him to even start the meds, they might have just enough of an effect that he'll be able to have some glimpse into how insane his behavior has been, and he'll be willing to stay on them long-term. And you may have to call his bluff. Dd and I once had to spend some time in a shelter for abused women. It was awful, but it made dh see how serious things were, and that helped him see that he needed real medical treatment.

 

:grouphug: :grouphug: :grouphug:  I've been there and it sucks. Believe me, I understand just how much it blows. But if you want things to change, you've got to get him to agree to medication somehow.

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:grouphug: moonhawk. praying for you and your family.

 

regarding the kids, I would be honest and age appropriate and I wouldn't take your husband's opinion into account at all. Also, I would be careful about emotionally unloading on them - you are their rock. Counselling, us on the board, a friend, minister, prayer - that's where you can unload.

 

I would probably try to take them for ice cream or something and just say that 'dad is having a very difficult time at the moment. His brain isn't working correctly and it makes him say/do things that aren't truly him. You love them and will always be there to help them/tell them the truth/answer questions. Sometimes you might seem sad or angry, but you're not sad/angry at them and you will be okay. You don't know what will happen but you will always try to do what is best for them.'

eta- ask them if they have any questions or anything they want to say.

 

You are brave and worthy moonhawk. Much love to you.

Edited by LMD
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:grouphug:  :grouphug:

 

OP, I'm getting a bit triggered reading your story.  We're okay now, but you've shared a lot of things that sound familiar.  Some thoughts, based on our experience:

 

--  The kids know more than you think they do.  They may need their own outside support, because they may want to help you by not adding to your load, so they may keep silent when they actually need to process.  I've learned to be pretty upfront with them, at their level.  (We talk about Daddy's thinking being stuck, and what he's doing or not doing to fix it, etc.)

 

--  Someone advised me to put together an emergency escape plan. I put together some cash and hid it with a spare car key, and arranged with friends DH didn't know (and therefore couldn't track us to) for the possibility of a bed in the middle of the night if needed.  I never had to use it, but knowing the plan was in place let me interact with DH from a stronger, less fearful, less spur of the moment, place.

 

--  Sleep is really, really important.  (For both of you.)  Rested brains are more flexible and rational.

 

--  The best thing I did for everybody was to take a risk and open up and reach out to a few people I didn't know very well, but who I sensed were in a position to help.  I had to kind of feel my way there, because not everyone can lean in when they hear hard stuff, but I found a couple of people who could do it.  One was a friend of DH's; the other was the bishop of our congregation.  Both of them turned out to be the kind of guys who could hear everything bad about DH and still love him, and could still fully support the kids and I.  (I picked guys because I needed to feel like I could ask them to come over in a crisis even if DH was in his undies or less.)  But some of the other people I tried, but who weren't quite so good at it are still supportive at other levels.  I can say to them, "DH is dealing with some stuff, and I don't want the kids to see it.  Could you take them for an hour?"

 

-- Don't buy into his crazy.  What does my therapist call it....oh, yeah....respond with detached concern.  And like Sadie said, be firm about not discussing the future until he's stable.  (Good mental health professionals tell their patients not to make any major life changes for six months after getting stable.)

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I think it would also be worth consulting with a lawyer; you have potential infidelity and separation on the table, which means you should take steps now to protect yourself and your children.

 

Document everything he says and does. Make sure you have access to all financial accounts and records. Talk to a lawyer and take their advice. This does not mean you have to move things towards separation/divorce, it just means you are putting a back up plan in place for worst case scenarios. You cannot rely on your husband behaving reasonably and rationally; while you work towards the goal of helping him regain his mental health you also must make plans for how to proceed forward if he does not.

 

I've used my phone at times to record stuff my dh says when in his most irrational state because I felt I might need evidence at some point :( So far I never have--in the end I've always been able to see him through the rough spots and get the treatment he needs. Things have been very touch and go at times though.

Edited by maize
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I think it would also be worth consulting with a lawyer; you have potential infidelity and separation on the table, which means you should take steps now to protect yourself and your children.

 

Document everything he says and does. Make sure you have access to all financial accounts and records. Talk to a lawyer and take their advice. This does not mean you have to move things towards separation/divorce, it just means you are putting a back up plan in place for worst case scenarios. You cannot rely on your husband behaving reasonably and rationally; while you work towards the goal of helping him regain his mental health you also must make plans for how to proceed forward if he does not.

 

 

 

I am a lawyer.  I agree with everything here.  I know that you do not want to think about divorce or separation, but you need to think of yourself and your children.  Should your husband decide to leave you tomorrow, you need to know what your - and their - rights are.  It is really very important.  Please strongly consider getting legal advice.

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I'm going to delete this later, so please don't quote.

 

My husband who was mentally ill also suggested an open marriage. I finally kind of went along with it (I was desperate for some kind of companionship at that point, given how awful my husband was being towards me). We didn't um..consummate anything but things went far enough that it made my next confession very awkward not to mention the annulment proceedings. Sigh. But more to the point, it didn't fix anything. And people in that situation seek out other mentally damaged people to be around, so it just added MORE drama and more sickness.

 

 

SaveSave

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I'.

Sorry, I haven't had coffee yet and I quoted without thought. I deleted the quote. 

 

SaveSave

This is a super good point. Someone who is mentally ill is not really going to attract normal people. They are only going to bring more heartache. 

Edited by Anne in CA
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Remember that hypersexuality can be a symptom of mania. People can compulsively engage in incredibly risky sexual behavior. It's not at all rational. I watched a friend sleep with 40 men in three months. She had previously been a virgin. Many of the men were complete strangers. After she was successfully medicated she was mortified by her actions. I wish we had known at the time that hypersexuality specifically, and not just risk taking in general, was a symptom of her disease.

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Moonhawk, I want you to know I don't think at all less of you.  I've been sitting here for 10 minutes trying to think what I should say.  I hope the priest you are going to see is really good.  I know the CHurch is very clear that physical abuse is grounds for separation. Other types of abuse it seems more case by case.  I don't know what the line is for a situation like yours, but I am wondering if you are teetering on the edge of it.  I really hope you can reach out to your family and friends and prepare for if you have to separate.  It is not being a bad wife!  I hope that's not something you are worried about.  We all hope when we get married that we can be kind and sweet and make him brownies occasionally, take care of his man colds, break out the nice lingerie every once in a while and that will be enough.  it should be enough.  but sometimes life is really hard and being a good wife means not letting your husband abuse you.  i am so so so sorry.  i wish i could come hug you and we could both have a good cry. 

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This request for an open marriage is IMO most likely a symptom of the illness.  His mind is churning and clearly not rational. 

 

Just know you can get through this and you will be ok.  Just stand your ground.  It helps to talk to someone because you need to solidify your boundaries in your mind so you can stand firm with him as he is spinning wildly.

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I keep coming back to this thread. I don't know what to say other than I have a huge amount of respect for you and your commitment to your marriage. I will pray. We are here for you.

 

:grouphug:  :grouphug:  :grouphug:

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If he has "Manic Depression" which is now called "Bipolar Disorder" according to this URL:

http://www.webmd.com/depression/guide/bipolar-disorder-manic-depression#1

 

I read the first paragraph of that.  IMO, if he is not on Medication and is not seeing a Psychiatrist regularly, you are in a situation that is potentially extremely dangerous, for you and your DC.

 

Proceed with caution and GL

 

 

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