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Advice needed
Jul 7, 2010
My wife has recently been diagnosed with bipolar disorder. Actually the Psychiatrist hasn't seen her yet, just the counselors. Regardless it is what it is. For the last 11 years she has had her small ups and downs, nothing too major with the exception of her spending on things we can't afford or don't need. She has always had a terrible taste in friends. It's almost like she chooses the ones that are the most self destructive for her. Let me rephrase, she chooses to be around people that take advantage of her the most. I have tried my best to not be one of those people and help her any way I can.

A little back story. She was molested as a child by a neighbor and had two parents that were to say the least, not so good parents. Her parents split up after the neighbor was locked up. Her father was the only one who made her feel safe however her mother took her away from everyone she knew. While with her mother, her mother didn't let her finish counseling and had a break down of her own. She was leaving her at home, going to the bars and bringing random guys home. The only thing that separated her and her moms bedroom was one of those slotted doors you usually see as a closet door. According to my wife, they were not so quiet about it and it would scare her until she was in a total freak out stage. Rather than help her, her mother would beat her. That lasted from roughly from the age of 9 to 12. Her mother taught her ways to hide from her problems, not address them. She would buy her gifts and spoiled her rotten. Was it to make up for the beatings? I don't know. At age 13 my wife had enough and fought back. That resulted in social services coming and my wife moving in with her dad. Her father had a girlfriend with two kids and worked all the time to support them. He didn't know how to be a good father but he tried his best. That left her with a step mom who didn't like her and couldn't help her. I met my wife when I was 16 and she was 15. She was in a bad way in her life and my family took her in. She was my best friend and I wasn't about to see her live like that anymore. To summarize, she was forced to be the strong one and bear the weight of her families problems while dealing with her own. That resulted in her learning to put herself last and help everyone she can around her. She gives and gives while everyone takes and takes. She models her life around that, finding people in need. Her projects she calls them. I've been her only outlet for 15 years. We haven't been in a relationship that entire time. It took me years to want to cross that line between friend and significant other. She always refused counseling and it is completely useless to depend on her family for anything other than stress and drama. Any time she tries to talk to them it gets nowhere.

Three years ago, our life was the best it's ever been. She had a great job and so did I. We bought a house and was trying for children. We had been seeing a fertility doctor, the whole nine yards. The last two years she befriended a guy who is not a good person by any means. Her goal was to help him be a better person. She became infatuated with it to the point of me stepping in and talking with her about it effecting her life. Texting all the time, at work, at home, at lunch, on the weekends, in the middle of the night. She saw the problems but for some reason couldn't resist. It's not like he was a good person. He was extra nice to her for his own personal reasons. It had nothing to do with her. He saw her as the alpha female and wanted her attention. His negative influence on her life was dragging her down. She lost a piece of her life and couldn't figure out what it was. I saw it, the people who really cared about her saw it.

She lost herself. She lost her job, we almost lost our house. She wouldn't stop spending money we didn't have and refused to cut back on things we didn't need like cable, home phone, etc... To her I was the problem, her work was the problem, the people who cared were the problem, the world was out to get her. I pushed and pushed for her to get help to no avail. I finally got her to stop talking to him and her other friends that influenced her poorly and miraculously things were getting better. We went through a workout plan for the house, Our personal life was getting back on track, her attitude was going from negative to positive.

Then she went downhill again last November. Her project returned needing help and she dropped everything to help him. This time she chose to try and hide it from me. I was asking her what was going on, if she wanted to go to counseling, how she was feeling about herself, everything? I told her I recognized the pattern by now and would stand by her side no matter what she did, but she needed to focus on herself. In January, that resulted in her asking me for some space, some time to work on her.

She wanted to get an apartment so she didn't have to worry about anything but her. I agreed that we could still hang out, go out on dates, but try to drop the stress of the house and marriage back as much as possible. I would take on our life's responsibilities as long as she got help. She started staying at friends houses to my dismay and coming home only a day or two a week. She was getting worse, and the worse she got, the more the world was out to get her. Our anniversary was in February and rather than let me take her out to dinner, she went off with friends. She had already bailed on Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Years so that was the final straw.

A few weeks after that she started coming home more often but something wasn't right. She still wasn't seeing a counselor, she didn't have an apartment. She was distant and miserable and asking for divorce. I agreed that we would file the paperwork in April or May. By mid March I knew where her project had gone. I tried talking to her about it and she denied it. That's not like her. She had never lied to me before. She's not good at it. I stayed close enough to make sure she didn't fall, but far enough to keep the spectator view.

At the end of May she had moved out into an apartment with "project guy". That lasted a week. She wanted to come home and come clean. I told her to get everything off her chest and we would see what options she had. Of course all my intuitions were true. I sent her back home to him but she didn't make it that far. She made it to a parking lot with a bottle of pills. She didn't have enough thankfully to really hurt herself and I coaxed her back to the house. I gave him a call, left him a voice mail saying for him to come get her and take care of her. Nothing. No response. I sent text message after text message. Again nothing.

The next morning I took her into the hospital and had her admitted for a psychological evaluation. While in the hospital she gets a text from him asking if she is at work yet. At that point, I knew everything would have to fall back on me to help her. After talking to her and working with the counselors, he was worse than imaginable. He did nothing but take advantage of every weakness she had. He took money from her, lied to her, made her do everything and gave her guilt trip after guilt trip if she tried to help herself, on and on... To put it into perspective, he's unemployed, has no friends, has no life. He has done nothing to better her or anything for her. She told me he took her out to dinner, got her drunk, took her back to his apartment once. When she woke up, he handed her, her credit card and said that he took it out of her wallet to pay for the bill and that he owed her. I am behind in the mortgage again because of this and he owes her about $4000. He sleeps on Dragon Ball Z sheets for god's sake. What was someone as successful as her doing with someone like that? She tells me that she doesn't know. She doesn't love him. She loved the way he made her feel in that current state. Even though that's not the type of person she is.

It's been a month, she's back at home with me. She's going to counseling. She feels the need now to make him understand her problem. Yet that's just another project. Been down that road before. Her counselors told her to identify and rid negative influences. She has been doing so well and the past as she sees it now is not the past she was living in at the time. That's not by biggest problem either. Her mother has given her a guilt trip about coming to see her, so her mom bought Disney world resort tickets and a plane ticket. My wife asked her not to do that because she didn't want to hide from her problems as usual. She wanted to work them out.

Needless to say, she has a one way ticket to Florida on Monday and no return trip scheduled. I talked with her mom and she is convinced that all of my wife's problems are me. "I control her, I think for her, there's nothing wrong with my wife. I just put too much stress on her." Her mom even went as far to say that she chooses the other guy over me because of my influence. I personally want to see my wife get better. Whether I'm in her life as a husband, friend, or whatever is of no consequence on my agenda. I've given up my life for her. My wife is not on mood stabilizers at the moment and is entering a manic state. She's going to the one person who helps her the least and in a mindset that is dangerous. The counselors want me there with her in counseling, but my hands are tied. We were going to counseling together. Not marriage or anything like that, but I was asked to go every other week to sit in with her. I've used up all of my vacation. My wife is on disability for her problem and she's heading down a bad path where I physically can't be there.

She identified her mom as the biggest negative influence and was told to give her a limited role. Instead she is using it as an escape. I'm all for some time off and some space between my wife and I however this is just adding more on my plate. Is it time for me to let her fall again? If I do, then I'm not going to be there to pick her back up. I can't. Should I move on with my life?

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