Originally Posted by dctexan
Failure to comply with these guidelines is (in my view) the very same thing as an alcoholic who refuses to stop drinking or a drug addict who refuses to stop using. If DH doesn't want his disease to be your business then he needs to take the steps himself that keep it from affecting you - the second it affects you or your child, it DOES become your business.
This is good advice, but sooooooo hard to put into practice. Believe me, I was all up in the rule-setting last summer when this happened. It didn't take. I could only handle so many fights after he feels "well" in which I try to convince him that he needs to take precautions. When he's well, he cannot admit to himself or to others that he's ill. He's fine! He's confident! He's bossy! I resent that I have to carry that torch single-handedly... "you need to take your vitamins, because you are ill." See, when I do this, I'm "being negative" and "undermining" his recovery. I can only fight for so long before I'm like, okay, fine, you want to be left alone, I'll leave you alone.
I know this sounds like excuses. It partly is. But seriously: am I ready to move out if he doesn't do X and X? I don't know if I am. There are things that I would move out over. Being threatened physically, for example. But although I do say to him things like "I can't be married to someone who can't face his own illness," the reality is that I don't know exactly which rules to set, or how to enforce them. Meds, for example. His psychiatrist knew he stopped taking anti-depressants and was fine with it. He was supposed to take supplements, of course, and didn't. But why would he listen to me when his psychiatrist says something different? And am I really ready to move out because of this difference of opinion? Am I ready to move out because having to talk so much makes me tired?
Anyone have luck making ultimatums with very stubborn persons who furthermore don't necessarily understand the depth of their own illness? How does it work?
The thing about how this effects me and the baby touches a nerve. I KNOW. It PISSES ME OFF that he doesn't seem able to acknowledge that fact. It was the same with his credit cards. He kept forgetting to pay his bills. Not that he couldn't -- he just forgot. So then, of course, they start calling. I was all, look, give me your credit cards and let me take care of it. "My credit cards are my problem" and blah blah. How many arguments did we have where I made this very point? No, in fact your credit rating effects me, and when people CALL MY HOUSE and TALK TO ME about your problems, you can't pretend they effect only you.
Yet somehow he is able to make this leap. Last night we were up sooo long talking. I joked that he needed to pay me $80 an hour because I was working really, really hard, playing therapist. I am able to help him. It requires a lot of energy to me. Then he's grateful. But I'm totally bushed the next day. And grouchy, and he's all like, why are you grouchy? I'm all like BECAUSE I'M TIRED BECAUSE YOU WOKE ME UP AT 3:30 IN THE MORNING AND I HAD TO WORK VERY HARD. He's all like, but that's the past! It's different today!
Maybe for you, but I'm still pooped. BEING THE ON-CALL THERAPIST IS HARD WORK.
We have a joint therapy session tomorrow, and he seems to think that that one session will solve all our problems. I think therapy is a good start but even seeing a therapist twice a week leaves a loooooot of hours where it's just me and him. So if he breaks down crying, it isn't the therapist or his family or anyone else who has the job of calming him down. I'm actually really good at it... I like doing it... I just don't like doing it EVERY DAY, or when I need sleep, or when I want to be working on something else. (I know, just like a kid will be... but I wanted some *me* time before I had to become a full time parent. I was hoping not to spend my entire pregnancy parenting my husband instead of nurturing my own self.) I wish he could just explore his issues gradually with his therapist over weeks, instead of saving them all up and then going into a total fugue state for four or five exhausting weeks at a time.
I guess I need to be willing to devote this energy (but I have projects of my own that are neglected while I funnel all this energy into "helping" him!), and to insist on therapy forever even after he feels better. The cost makes this insistence more difficult, you know? Maybe we should get his parents to pay for the therapy. After all, they contributed to the issues...