Originally Posted by mooninjune68
Protect yourself, but stop overfunctioning in the relationship. Step back, do your work, get some grief counseling, and let him figure it out.
Hardest advice in the world to take, but yeah, that.
Violet, mental illness is not like high cholesterol. You don't usually find one drug, or one mix, and bam, you're good for decades. Very often the drugs work for a while, then stop, then you have to find new ones. Sometimes you can't find new ones that work. That usually takes months or years of experimenting. Therapy for an organic disorder is of limited use; all it has to do with is management of symptoms.
And yes, it's highly heritable.
The fact that you're the one who marches him to the doc is telling. I can tell you from experience that you're setting yourself up to be a nurse, not a partner, and relationships have a hell of a time recovering from a thing like that.
He's done this twice to you, and God knows how many times to other people; he'll do it again, in another stressful or crucial time. For you, if you have a child by then, it'll mean that you drop everything else to protect your child. Career, friends, community obligations, whatever you have to do. That gets very expensive if you do it more than once, because then the world regards you
as chronically unreliable. And you'll be half-crazy, too, always fearing the next thing.
When I found out I was pregnant, I knew something was wrong with my xh, but I didn't know what it was, or understand the extent of it, or understand its history. (Boy, do I wish I'd been less civilized and read his old journals before he filed for divorce. None of his behavior was new.) Even so, I told him that I could take care of him and me, or me and a baby, but not him, me, and a baby. He said OK, and I went ahead. Had I understood what was coming next, I'd have headed to the clinic. Don't get me wrong; I truly cannot imagine at this point what my life would be without my daughter, with whom I'm besotted. But the fact is that there would very likely have been another wonderful person. And very possibly a much easier, and much happier, time, as well as a lasting marriage and a stable family for the child.
For the two years after his breakdown -- which came shortly after my daughter was born -- people suggested gently, and sometimes not so gently, that I divorce him. At first I thought that if I could just get him great treatment, he'd be all right, he'd be well-supported enough. Maybe so. I wanted to save my daughter's family. Eventually I saw it was unlikely, but by then I understood that if I divorced him, I'd have to let him take her unsupervised for visitation, and she was still a toddler. So I said no. By the time we were divorced, she was old and articulate enough to tell me if there was trouble when she was with him.
It was a hellish, and I mean hellish, five years. I know what "harrowed" means now, & I can't recommend the experience to anyone. Even so, when people asked me if he was bipolar, I said, "Thank God, no." Because at least his illness more or less immobilized him. We went through enough craziness that way. I can't imagine what it might have been if he were off on lunatic escapades as well. In the back of my head I fear that the next meds he's on will give him Lots Of Energy.
If your husband is telling you that breaking commitments is "what he does," believe him
. Something tells me that wouldn't be news to his ex, either. There's a lot of behavior that's tolerable when you're on your own, but a guy who breaks major commitments so easily...step on over to the single-mothers board for a sense of what that life is like.
I am so terribly sorry, vi, it's an awful setup, and having to deal with this now...it's just wrong. But believe me when I say it can get one hell of a lot worse. Wacked-out people can be great friends. Really great friends, fabulous lovers. But hitching yourself to them...boy, it's a great way to hurt yourself fast. And a kid will hitch you permanently, divorced or not.
OK, I'll step out of this one now. Again, i'm sorry.