Worn out and moving on, finally

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DJ

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Worn out and moving on, finally
« on: July 11, 2019, 03:49:51 PM »
I have been married to my bipolar BPW for 23 years, the last 2 years mostly separated.  She was first diagnosed bipolar 18 years ago and has been on medication since then, with mixed results.  Through therapy and after taking the MMPI2 she was also diagnosed with BPD but she claims she has no recollection of the diagnosis and denies that she has a personality disorder.

Over the years I have dealt with staged suicide attempt(s), multiple occasions of suspected infidelity, domestic theft, disappearances for a day or two at a time, some violent confrontations between her and her family members requiring police intervention, an attempt to induce a miscarriage with our third child and a year later she told me her doctor diagnosed her with ovarian cancer and she needed an emergency hysterectomy.  She actually knew a doctor (butcher) who performed the surgery even though she was perfectly healthy.  She later explained that she did not want any more children and felt that was the best approach.

Most of the more dramatic events occurred long ago before she was medicated, but the behavior has continued over the years, just less dramatic.  Things like charging up credit cards, going missing (probable affairs), constant lying and of course the mood swings.  She has finally come to the realization that she is a very angry person and is in therapy, however, she is being treated for PTSD and anxiety.  She was sexually and physically abused by her father throughout her childhood so she is dealing with those issues now. 

Because I always perceived her family as a threat, particularly to our daughters, I never considered divorce for fear that she would get some unsupervised custody, which would expose the children to her father and a brother who is also very disturbed.

The kids are in college now and a couple of years ago after disappearing for two days she called as if nothing had happened, as usual.  Rather than just ignore her behavior and "keep the peace" as I have done for so long, I simply told her not to come home and to get some help.  For the last two years she has gone back and forth between claiming she wants to honestly work on our marriage to threatening divorce.  Recently she hired a lawyer and informed me she was filing.  She has dangled this threat for over a year, knowing that I am opposed due to the financial concerns. 

With the help of a very good therapist I have learned how to better communicate with her with honesty, but not in a hostile or threatening manner, which has been good for both of us.  To put it another way, I have learned to set boundaries.  She claims she is making much progress in her therapy and so I have communicated with her regularly and we have tried "dating" many time during the last 2 years.  It works for a month or two and then she  becomes angry again and threatens divorce.  She finally filed several weeks ago which I discovered without her telling me.  When I informed her that I saw she had filed she said her attorney did it without her consent so nothing was done to serve papers or move forward with it.  Recently, I think because I went a day without calling or texting, she informed me she had had enough and was proceeding with the divorce.  She still has not had the petition served but she has made no effort to communicate with me for days, which is very unusual.  So I am sure she is serious this time, which is fine with me.  The money issue will work itself out and I am actually, finally, looking forward to being rid of the "I hate you don't leave me" cycle of living with a BPD. 

I have read this forum for some time but never posted.  I have a great therapist who has helped me immensely but at this point I just felt compelled to share with people who have also experienced some of the same things.  Needless to say, trying to describe living with a BPD to friends is awkward, to say the least.  And I have never gone into much detail, I think because I am actually embarrassed that I have put up with it for so long. 

Anyway, that's the short version of my story.  I'm glad to be here.  I have a feeling I'm in for a very rocky next few months.

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Penny Lane

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Re: Worn out and moving on, finally
« Reply #1 on: July 11, 2019, 05:43:07 PM »
Welcome, DJ!

You definitely don't have to feel embarrassed here - there are tons of people here who've been in the EXACT same situation you have. I assume you've checked out the separating and divorcing forum already? There you will find people who know all too well exactly what's going on.

You might also check out the toolbox, which might give you some more ideas for how to set good boundaries.

I'm sorry to say that I too think you're in for a rocky few months or maybe longer. But I know that there is more happiness and freedom on the other side - I'm so excited for you to get there. In the meantime I hope this forum can be a good source of support. I look forward to hearing more from you when you're ready.

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Bloomie

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Re: Worn out and moving on, finally
« Reply #2 on: July 11, 2019, 06:35:17 PM »
Hi and welcome. It seems like things have been terribly hard for long time. There is no shame in having worked so hard to understand, protect your children, support, and help someone you love who has such serious issues. There is also no shame in now saying enough is enough and reclaiming your life.

So thankful you have reached out for support and that you have in real life support as well. We are here for you. You are not alone.
"If you focus on the hurt, you will continue to suffer. If you focus on the lesson, you will continue to grow." Dr. Caroline Leaf

Bloomie 🌸

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guitarman

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Re: Worn out and moving on, finally
« Reply #3 on: July 12, 2019, 03:54:33 AM »
Welcome. You are not alone.

Your post reminds me of so many incidents with my undiagnosed BPD/NPD sister and her now ex husband over decades. The threats to leave, the violent outbursts, the fear of abandonment, the extreme mood swings, overspending, the suicide threats etc, it's all so familiar to me.

Other people really don't understand unless they have witnessed it all for themselves. It can all become frightening and so stressful. It can all impact your own mental and physical health. It's no wonder that you are worn out.

I'm so glad to know that you are seeing a therapist who will be able to support you through it all.

guitarman X
"Do not let the behaviour of others destroy your inner peace." - Dalai Lama

"You don't have to be a part of it, you can become apart from it." - guitarman

"Be gentle with yourself, you're doing the best you can." - Anon

"If it hurts it isn't love." - Kris Godinez, counsellor and author

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DJ

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Re: Worn out and moving on, finally
« Reply #4 on: July 15, 2019, 04:04:53 PM »
Thank you for the replies.  It is comforting to know there are people who understand.  I have learned a lot on this site and I look forward to participating.

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GentleSoul

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Re: Worn out and moving on, finally
« Reply #5 on: July 16, 2019, 02:37:12 PM »
Welcome DJ, sorry for what brings you here but glad to have you join us.