Posted by: | 2019/05/28

Divorcing problems

I've been married for 15 years to a guy that was diagnosed as bipolar before we met. When we met it was shortly after he came out of the psychiatric hospital and at that stage I just wanted to make everything better for him. During our marriage we had two kids and lots of ups and downs with the downs just getting more frequent. He's been hospitalised a few times after suicide attempts.Our marriage was wonderful at times, but he was verbally abusive very often. He also had a drinking problem. He would often threaten me with divorce, and I was scared of it because even though I work full time I didn't think I could survive financially without him. He also stopped taking any of his BP medication a few years ago. Beginning of this year I was going through a lot of personal stress (death in the family, sick parents and work problems) and he once again mentioned divorce and I said yes, that is what I want as well. He had a complete breakdown when I said yes. He said that no matter what he doesn't want to lose me. He went to see a psychiatrist again, back on meds and he completely stopped drinking. Problem is I have no feelings left for him. I do not hate him, I just feel nothing. Financially me and the kids can't move out unless we sell the house, but he is refusing. It was such a relief when I said the yes for the divorce, but now I just feel trapped and that I'll never be able to get away. I don't know what to do next.

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageCyberShrink
- 2019/05/29

Hi,  Interesting, as this is a problem often heard about here, that he manipulatively threatened to divorce you when he knew you were too fearful to accept that invitation, but when you accepted the idea, he had a breakdown ! 
Maybe, if it was diagnosed properly, he had and has, Bipolar Disorder.   And it should respond usefully to proper treatment : which can ONLY work if he consistently plays his own part in that : and that has to include taking his medicines exactly as prescribed and not drinking alcohol, which worsens his Bipolar and reduces the effectiveness of the treatments.
The way you describe marrying him sounds impulsive, maybe not altogether wise, and to put way too much emphasis on you doing things for him, rather than on him taking proper care of himself.  It sounds as though, with the best of intentions, you trapped yourself in this situation.
If he hasn't been taking his meds for some years, and drinking alcohol, he is entirely responsible for his state of health and his choices and behaviors. It sounds promising that he is again seeing a psychiatrist, sober, and taking meds : but will he keep this up ?
It sounds possible that a significant part of his problems may include a personality disorder : remember that as with diabetes or ingrown toenails, bipolar afflicts a range of types of people. Some of them are very nice folks, some of them less so ; it can affect angels and psychopaths. 
It's understandable that you may have lost some or much of the uncritical affection you once had for him, and with good reason. 
Maybe it'd be a good idea to see a couples counselor together, to help you both understand the situation, and your options, better.  This could help you to make a wiser decision about the future of your relationship.

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