How to behave with... a kid and a wife you love but is potentially mentally imbalanced?
Posted Mon Oct 11, 2010 02:40 PM
It just seems the more and more time passes, and the more i do for her, it just gets worse. More and more clues tend to lead the toughts on mental illness. I'm not accusing, but there is direct incidence in her close family (her mother is diagnosed manic depressive and has been interned, but not treated really; and her grandmother was schizophreniac; i learned this all recently...) of these problems. The latest and clearest indicators? It was a beautiful morning today, quite warm for the season around here, sunny, light wind, brightly colored leaves flying in it... So i get up early, close the door to let her sleep and when our daughter wakes up i take care of her, and we let mom sleep a while cuz she's really tired... We talk our breakfast together watching Astro Boy, i do some dishes and then she helps me start to prepare coffee and breakfast for Mom. Mom wakes up, is happy to see us, big hugs for everyone, she has coffee and breakfast while i go shower and our daughter plays Lego on the table... When i get out of the shower, they are both dressed and saying "we gonna have a walk in "local park", get ready too! SO i do, and i prepare our daughter's bag with a bottle of juice for her, a pack of nuts and a chewy bar and a banana, in case daughter wants a snack or we come home later than our usual dinner time.
We hop into the car, she lets me drive (wich is quite unusual cuz she was convinced up to last night that i was a shitty driver; last night and she almost hit another guy's car in her deadangle, but the guy turned around and pursued us to the parking where we were heading, and i swear he was high on something, cuz he was about to jump out of his car when he realized it was a woman driving and there was a little girl on the back seat...long story short) She then quickly gets annoyed by our daughter's enthusiastic chatter and singing, she raises the voice to make calm down, wich kinda puts a cold in the car... We arrive there, she asks me to get her bottle of juice out of daughter's bag, i say "sorry there's only one for her," then it's "but i asked you if you had my bottle and you said yes, where was your mind?" SHe knows for 10 years i'm a bit deaf and i still have to excuse for it " Sorry, i heard do you have daughter's bottle"...
We finally proceed to the park, it's cool, fun, the weather is good, daughter is joyful... She strays a little bit from the path but is still within arms reach and GF starts raising the voice again "don't go there, you'll get all wet n dirty, there mud there; don't climb on there" daughter is just enjoying being in the woods, i am right behind her, i let her discover the nature around, and she happens to like to climb on the big rocks wich abound in that particular park. I just answer, " what's wrong, she's happy, she's not hurting anybody nor herself, she is safe and i am ther to hold her if she falls, why panic?" SHe then softens a bit, until we see on top of the hill an observation tower, 4 stories high, woth staris to get to a good wantage point on a cedar labyrinth... So daughter wants to go, she runs in a straight line towards it, i let her take a few meters advance and GF yells "Come back here, we follow the path around the hill! COme here, i don't wanna repeat myself again!" and then i kinda raised voice too "COme on, it's clear hill with grass and dead leavs, not chinaware! We CAN go through there in a direct line, let her enjoy herself running, damnit!"
And it goes on for the rest of the morning, until our return home, where she bursts in tears in my arms, and our daughter came into our arms just saying" Mommy, why are you so sad and angry? I love you! Let's have a big family hug!" We went to lull mommy to sleep for an afternoon nap, (as i know the only times she is more happy are the few hours when she wakes up) and the i lulled our daughter to sleep for her afternoon nap. As i am writing this, i ponder again what she said to me just earlier ..."It is not you, dear, you're the best man i could have, no one could have endured me so far, i am not worthy of you..." i then told her that i knew there was something to be done, be it hormonally, or via a psychiatrist, but i knew my dear smiling and laughing SO still existed, and i missed her. I told her that i wanted to stay with her to help her, that leaving her and braking up the family would only get things worse, for our sake but mostly for our daughter's."
WHat would you do? DId someone ever lived something similar?
Posted Tue Oct 12, 2010 10:29 PM
I read most of the first topic. I'll save the 'what would I do' for a minute or two... First, I have been there. Married for 10+ years. Very similar experiences. Extreme case: Married only 7 months and no sex for a month and a half. Compare that to almost 2-3x/week before we were married. The well went dry. No kids at that point so it wasn't PPD.
I'll give you some insight - at least what I experienced - and perhaps it may shed some light for you.
The control over sex bit I think was called out by several people in your first post. It is indeed control. This is her tool that she can use to keep you coming back for more. It's created as a dependency: You need her and cant live without her, but deep down she does not think so highly of herself so why would you stay? One way is to make you need her. At some point she'll probably cave and give you what you want, but you'll have to pay the price. It will be miserable. She will make you come beg for it and she will make you suffer for being a perv. Been there; paid the rent.
Now, after reading this post, I'm left thinking that perhaps I'm right and that your GF is the long lost twin of the woman in my case. I think it's normal for some mothers (even after 3 years) to be overly controlling of kids and not let them run around. To want to sleep in all day. To need their space, etc... Been there too. Since you mentioned the history of mental issues in her family, it is quite possible that there is some of that going on. And to that, I say : good luck. It's not easy and you have some choices. But I think that the concern for the child getting injured or falling or getting muddy is right in line with all of the other stuff... a need for dependency. She needs to feel needed and the way she gets that need met is by forcing the need. Does she do everything for your daughter? I'm just curious and perhaps I'm making a bad assumption, but I'm familiar with that part all too well.
See, the way it works is, when the child grows up, it still has to come back to mom/dad because it hasn't learned how to do things or it feels sorry for the parent who is just so incapable of taking care of him/herself (or so it seems). So the child has a need for the parent and keeps in contact. And the need is fixed. And the need is love. Self esteem has its place in this one too. "I don't like myself so why would anyone else?" If you force people to need you, then you think they won't leave you because you are such a worthless person.
Sounds crazy, but I think it's true... (albeit, maybe not 100% in your case)
...as for what I would do:
In my case, I had children with my wife. I left my wife after 10+ years. The last few years, all I heard was how I was hated and not loved. When your spouse tells you s/he doesn't love you, you know something is up. I didn't deserve that; nobody does. Not even her. So I left and have been through hell and back as well. twice. The kids are okay and my relationship with them is better than ever.
It's different when kids are involved. Many people think :stick it out for the kids. I'll bet if you ask the kids, they'll tell you that they wish you'd just separate and be happy. The kids can forgive you. There is live after separation / divorce. And life is far too short to be unhappy.
I forced her hand. I took the control and power away from her. I showed her that I wasn't playing that game any more and I took charge of my life. She had no problem telling me how much I was hated and how bad I was. I had no problem telling her I wasn't responsible for her any longer.
Relationships take 50% from each person. No more, no less. You can only do your half. You can't force anything and you certainly can't force it to work. I am not suggesting you hit the road, but you need to evaluate this from a "it's your life" standpoint. Only you knows what's best for you.
You can do the rational thing and take stock of the relationship / family. You can discuss the options with her. As for the mental health issues, you can discuss with her some options for having evaluations made (psychiatry, etc...). She probably won't be open to it, but we can always hope. See if she's interested in talking it out with someone. IF nothing else, you can go. There is nothing wrong with talking to professionals about your problems / issues. You may just work it out and have better communication with one another in the end. In which case, you get what you want! And if not, then.... well you get to try to see what else the lady upstairs has in mind for you.
Remember: Leopards don't change their spots. There's no sense in holding out hope for something that you can't really control.
Hope this doesn't confuse you to much. I've been in your shoes - still there kind of. There is life after.... Best wishes for a happy ending
Did I mention that I've moved on and have found my soul mate? who, btw, has some striking similarities to Duchess(!) True story.
Posted Wed Oct 13, 2010 04:28 AM
Posted Wed Oct 13, 2010 09:57 AM
Just trying to provide some perspective and share a story or two.
...but thank you for the kind words
Posted Wed Oct 13, 2010 08:17 PM
Posted Sun Oct 31, 2010 08:46 PM
Posted Sun Oct 31, 2010 09:57 PM
I have to say that although I understand where Paper is coming from, I don't think it can be transposed to your situation. Your girlfriend is sick Mac... The extreme mood swings are very telling, and she needs to be able to cope with whatever is causing them. Believe me, when I'm having my period, I cannot even stand my own self... I'm just glad that it only happens like once every 3 or 4 months with my current birth control method. However, it's something that needs to be carefully monitored on top of the psychotherapy.
She obviously has a positive attitude regarding her problem, she wants to get better, and that's a good thing. I know you love her, and I think she also loves you very much, but at this moment, she's sick, and you're probably going to have to put more than your share. It's important though that you talk with her to let her know that you're willing to go through this with her, but make sure that no matter how bad she feels, she has to try to keep certain behaviours at bay, i.e. the destructive type. If she ever becomes out of control, I suggest you call an ambulance and send her to the emergency ward.
I think I've told you that I live with a similar situation at home with one of my children... She's not depressed of course, but she has some very difficult behavioural problems, and yes, she wants to control me, her sibling and everything around her... Sometimes to the point of being a threat to herself or others. I suppose if I was married to her, I would divorce her and leave her immediately; but of course, she's a child and I cannot do that. She's currently under medication and closely monitored by a psychatrist, she goes to group therapy and family therapy. I see a family psychologist who helps me to deal with her, and hopefully if I play all my cards well and in time, we'll get through it together. You just have no idea how difficult it is to have her screaming at the top of her lungs that she hates me and that she wants to die. She usually falls in those episodes for about an hour at 11 at night every other day. It's a total nightmare... However, when she's fine, she's the most adorable child.
Alors, courage mon beau... It couldn't be as bad since ta copine is an adult and can moderate her actions a lot better than a child.
Posted Mon Nov 01, 2010 05:58 AM
WHat you told about psychiatristsmight be right, her doctor said it would be the next step in december. That doctor (shes our family doctor for 6 years now) is very cautious with medication and does not prescribe lightly and does close follow-ups, wich is fine. She also believes that this is somewhat related to her PMS as it gets harder and tougher with every passing year after childbirth... (i told in jokes that her menstrual blood pours straight form the pits of Hell itself...) So she doesn't wanna prescribe too much brain candy right now wich is also fine. This morning she already felt a bit better, the pills must have kicked in... Hope she's more calm with that cause she has an important exam today, and she works tonight. I tried to be as comforting as possible, i even gave her a shoulder and neck massage before she left. Well i guess all i can do too is be patient and supportive, and sometimes keep her evil PMS at bay by taking our daughter away for a while.
Posted Mon Nov 01, 2010 06:31 AM
By the way, my daughter is only 9...
Posted Mon Nov 01, 2010 04:54 PM