December 29, 2004

Asprins for Heather

A girl wrote to me a whie ago for some advice. She is engaged to be married and both she and her fiance are bi-polar. She has had some problems discussing their medical problems and how they might affect their future wife with her fiance.

Here is a letter I sent to her in response.

Hello Heather,

I wish I had a magic answer for you. I wish I could give you an easy 5 step program to bliss. But I'm sorry that all I can do is share my own experiences with you and hopefully you can learn a little from what I'm going through.

When I first met my wife, nobody knew she was bipolar. We all knew she was very unhappy. I just assumed that was because she was still living with her parents and that they treated her wrong. I was somehow under the impression that if I could just get her out of there, then everything would get better. Boy was I wrong.

In my experiences, marriage has been like an asprin. It makes the hurt go away for a little while. But sooner or later, if you don't fix what is actually wrong, the pain just comes back. I should have waited longer. I was in a hurry to move on with my life and have a wife and kids and get on with the American dream. I was very foolish.

I think you are correct in that somebody can not be helped if they do not see a problem, the best you can do is give them an asprin. But I think you are incorrect about something else... you do not have to marry a person to love them and be there for them.

The only advice I can give you is that I think you should insist on some pre-marital counseling. Go somewhere and make your feelings known. If you have reservations about something, it is your responsibility to make sure he knows that before he agrees to spend the rest of his life with you.

Best Wishes,
-Dan

Posted by ehdonhon at 05:00 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

December 27, 2004

We're not alone.

I found this interesting link from somebody that is going through the same kind of thing that I often go through:
http://www.ojar.com/boards/index.php?board=1;action=display;threadid=4555

Sometimes, it is nice to know that I'm not alone. That's really why I've been keeping this web journal.. so hopefully other husbands and wives will find out that they are not alone. I have been hoping that other people would contact me so that I could give them their own journals. That way this site could be about more than just me. But, I guess I'll just have to be patient.

Posted by ehdonhon at 01:20 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

December 24, 2004

Stolen Miracle

I was watching the Christmas movie "Stolen Miracle" on TV a couple weeks ago. It is a true story about a bipolar woman that has a miscarrage and then steals somebody else's baby out of the hospital. The movie wasn't even that good, but I just can't get it out of my head. I think that's because I can relate to it so much.

In this movie, the woman's husband is an ex convict on probation. The woman starts out by convincing the husband that he should allow her to wear padding to appear pregnant. She tells him that this will make her feel better after loosing the baby. He goes along with it.

Next she starts acting pregnant, and even has him drive her to the hospital. Still, he goes along with it. He doesn't see how he is being manipulated. He just thinks she's a bit crazy and that somehow he is making her feel better after loosing the baby.

Finally, she comes home from the hospital, without the padding and baby-in-hand and surprises him. Her plan is to convince everybody that she just had the baby herself.

He initially objects to what she has done. He tells her it is wrong. But she starts manipulating him and telling him that he has to go along with it. After all, he is on probation, and he did encourage her to wear padding and he did drive her to the hospital. All of this means a judge is never going to believe that he was innocent.

He objects more and more, but is eventually pulled into this game of playing along with her even though he knows it is wrong. By the end of the movie, she even has him running from the police with her.

The more I think about this, the more I can identify with it. I'm not an ex-con, but I know how easy it is for my wife to manipulate me. Even when I have the best intentions, she has a way of twisting things on me to get me to do something wrong. She knows how to work me up just right so that I'm either angry enough, or nervous enough, or feeling guilty enough that I'll do just what she wants me to do.

My wife isn't stupid. She is incredibly intelligent. The problem is that her brain doesn't work like other people. She focuses on something. Anything, that will make her feel better. It doesn't matter if it will really make her feel better, and it doesn't matter if it is practical, just as long as she can convince herself that not having this one thing is what is isolating her from happiness. Then she schemes for as long as it takes to get it. She will go without sleep literally for days until she gets whatever she wants. And she will wear me down for days if that's what it takes for her to get it.

I feel like a victim. I feel just like the guy in that movie. They never say in the movie what happened to that guy. I wouldn't be surprised if he spent some jail time for failing to avoid something that he just wasn't strong enough to avoid.

People looking in from the outside would probably say something like "wrong is wrong, and he should have just .... (insert some reasonable thing here)". My answer to those people is that it doesn't work that way in real life. It isn't as easy as it all might seem from the outside. When you live with somebody that is bipolar, things that seem completely reasonable are just out of reach.

Posted by ehdonhon at 04:00 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

December 22, 2004

I'm being selfish.

For a long time now, my wife and I have slept in different bedrooms. I've slept in my daughter's bedroom. Meanwhile my daughter and my wife have slept in the master bedroom.

My wife never taught my daughter how to sleep in her own bed. Even when she was a very little baby, my wife would insist that she sleep with her. Really, I think she uses my daughter as a shield. The closer she keeps our daughter to her, the further she can push me away.

I really don't like the idea of sleeping in the same bed as my daughter. In addition, I need to get a full night's sleep. I can't do this while competing for bed space from two other people. I also can't do this when my wife lets my daughter stay up all night watching television.

My wife takes my daughter up to their bedroom and turns on the television and then goes to sleep. My daughter will then sit there and watch TV until 3:00 or 4:00 in the morning before she eventually passes out and goes to sleep. I've tried to explain to my wife why she can't do this, but she won't listen to me. The reason is because she can't stand listening to my daughter cry. Any time she turns the TV off, my daughter will cry, and then my wife will turn it back on just to shut her up (so that my wife can go back to sleep).

So as a result of all of this, I started sleeping in what used to be my daughter's room a few years ago. It is the only way I can get any sleep before going to work.

My wife and daughter spent this past weekend up at her parents house. While up there, they visited with my wife's sister. My daughter was playing with her cousin and made a comment to my wife's sister about how nice it was that her cousin had a play room to play in.

Immediately, my wife went into guilt mode. She became concerned that she wasn't being a good enough parent, and immediately started planning how she could fix that. The result was her telling me that she wanted to get rid of the bed in my daughter's room (the one I sleep on). I asked her where I should sleep. Her response was "On the floor". I told her that I really didn't like that idea. Her answer to me was that I "should try not thinking of [myself] for a change."

So it would appear that I am being selfish by wanting a bed to sleep on. Meanwhile, my wife has called her father to come down and help her dismantle the bed since I wont do it. She has even canceled her psychologist appointment today so that she can get it done.

The most irritating thing of all is that I know even after she's done making this "play room" for my daughter, my daughter is never going to use it. The room is upstairs at the end of the hall, and there is no way my wife is going to stay in there with her. My wife is going to want to be watching her TV shows, or doing the things she does around the house when she gets manic. She isn't going to want to sit in that room with my daughter.. and my daughter certainly isn't going to want to play in there alone.

So in short.. I'm going to be sleeping on the floor for the next several years for no reason at all other than my wife is having a manic attack right now and thinks that making a play room for my daughter will make her a better mother. Any attempt to point this out to her only helps to illustrate to her just how selfish I am.

Posted by ehdonhon at 02:21 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

December 15, 2004

Who was coming first tonight?

My wife loves to use the line "Who comes first?" on me all of the time. Any time I ask my wife to do anything, she will always come up with some excuse for something our daughter needs and do that instead. When I complain, she asks "who comes first?" Tonight, I found the answer to that question.

I got home from work this evening, and had a number of errands to run for my wife. She had run the car out of gas, and I had to get it filled up.. and she had run out of medicine, so I had to go out and get her perscriptions filled.

When I got home from the errands, my wife was siting on the couch watching television, and my daughter was running around. My wife had the television volume turned up very high (so that she could hear the TV over my daughter's yelling).

I spent an hour or so playing with my daughter on and off, but my daughter really wanted to play with my wife. Every time my daughter would go over to my wife and ask her to play with her, my wife would tell her "not now, I'm watching TV", or "shut up, I want to hear this".

I told my wife, "She just wants your attention", my wifes response was "Just shut up". I asked my wife "Who comes first?", my wife turned up the TV and ignored me.

Later, my daughter started becoming more insistant that her mother should play with her, but my wife was just getting more aggrivated that my daughter was diverting her attention away from the television.

My three year old daughter has become smart enough that she knows that if she wants her mother's attention, the proper way to do is to stand directly in front of the television and block my wife's view. My daughter even knows how to turn the television off.

Things started getting really bad. My daughter was in a full fledged temper tantrum because my wife wouldn't get up and play. My daughter started swining her arms at my wife. My wife started grabing my daughters hands and slaping them.

I tried to tell my wife that our daughter just wanted a little attention, but my wife just didn't want to hear that. She told me that she wanted to be left alone.

So now I have an answer the next time my wife asks me "who comes first".... "I guess you do, honey."

Posted by ehdonhon at 09:47 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

December 08, 2004

Grocery Shopping.

My wife has a habit of not buying essentials, like diapers, garbage bags, laundry soap, etc. She knows that if we run out, I have no choice but to go buy it on the credit card. So instead of her having to spend the grocery money I give her on essentials, she can use it for luxuries instead.

This time, I attempted a new approach. I went shopping first. I purchased all of the essentials that I thought we would need. When I got home, I handed over the remainder of the grocery money to my wife: $110.

She got mad at me. She said that I had bought stuff we didn't need and she told me that $110 was not enough to buy groceries. So her solution was to spend all $110 on take out food for the next four days and not buy any groceries at all. Her argument being that $110 wasn't enough, so why buy any groceries at all...

Each day, I would ask her about groceries, and each day, the amount of money she had left would have decreased, so in her mind the argument about not shopping at all had become more valid. I was willing to look the other way because I knew we still had enough for my daughter, and I wasn't going to cry if my wife or I lost a few pounds.

Well... we finally ran out of grocery money, and then we started running out of food in the house. Something had to be done at this point. The only place that we had to pull money from was the money set aside for my wife's medications. Fortunately she only really needed a few cheap prescriptions refilled until I got paid next, so we had a good chunk of money that we could spend on groceries (but not as much as $110).

Over the weekend, my wife insisted that I get dressed and go with her. She wanted to hurry up and go right away. I knew that meant she was up to something. I told her "You know... when we get up to the checkout, I don't have any extra money..." Her response was "Yeah, I know... lets go"

All throughout the store, I kept asking my wife "Are you paying attention to how much you have in the cart? I kept telling her "I don't have any extra money". She actually started getting annoyed with me because I kept asking her that. She told me that she knew how much was in the cart.

We got to the checkout. The total came to more than twice what we had. She looked at me and said "How much do you have". I was very angry with her. I kept my cool and said I don't have anything". Her response was "I didn't know that". I was very angry at this point. I think my wife was really trying to make a scene in the front of the store in hopes that I would avoid the scene by pulling out some credit card and paying for everything. Her strategy probably would have worked except that I really didn't have any money.

The feeling of anger was quickly displaced by humiliation we we had to tell the checkout lady that we didn't have enough money. That was further compounded when she called for a manager to void the entire order.

We then stood there in the front of the store in front of everybody and had to take out over half of our stuff to get the cost down low enough that we could pay for it The humiliation I was feeling was so intense that I had a tear or two that I had to quickly hide before anybody saw it.

The thing that angered me the most was the things my wife kept and the things she took out. The junk food stayed: The chips, the crackers, and the ingredients for her cheese ball all stayed. Meanwhile things like my daughter's milk, the meats, and things to make dinner all got put back. My humiliation changed to disgust.

We finally paid for everything and walked out to the car. The next part just blew me away.. as soon as we had our meager groceries packed in the back of the car, and were sitting down ready to leave the parking lot, my wife looked over to me and asked "Where do you want to go to eat?"

It turns out that my wife had somehow managed to save $30 out of the original $110. And rather than buy my daughter's milk, or buy some groceries so that we could go home and cook a dinner, she expected to be taken out to dinner somewhere.

I gave in, and we went out to dinner. I don't know why I did it. I guess part of it was from being so angry. Part of it was being tired of fighting. And part of it was not wanting to go back into the store and face those people again.

I don't know if my wife is a bad spender, or if she is loosing the ability to think rationally, or if she's just taking advantage of me. What I do know is that she's destroying us. Sooner or later a point will come when we will not be able to squeak by any more, or I will not be able to cover for us somehow. I really wonder if that will be a turning point for us, or if that will just be the point where she divorces me and leaves me with all the debt and alimony.

There are days when I just wish she would leave my daughter here and run away from home.

Posted by ehdonhon at 12:58 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

December 06, 2004

Temper temper

"God damn you, get out of my face! If you would just fucking listen! I'm so fed up with you. I'm not putting up with this shit".... Those are the exact words my wife used on my daughter on Saturday. My daughter was jumping on her bed and playing with toys, meanwhile my wife was trying to get her dressed. I guess my daughter jumped up and hit my wife in the face, then my wife exploded.

My wife isn't doing so well right now. It really pisses me off that any time I try to explain this to her doctors, they don't seem to care.

Posted by ehdonhon at 01:40 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

December 02, 2004

A new low.

Today, when I was in the bathroom getting ready to go to work, my wife came and told me that if I didn't stay home from work and take my daughter to pre-school instead, that she wouldn't go.

Things have not been going so well this last week. I think after having a really really high week last week, my wife crashed especially hard to compensate.

She's getting very angry at every single thing. She's lost all patientce with our daughter. And it seems like she just doesn't care about anything any more.

I really hope she comes out of this cycle soon, I'm getting a little scared. There's a big scratch on my daughter's back. My wife says she doesn't know anything about it, but I am just a little bit worried that maybe she isn't being completely truthful with me.

I held my ground and made it clear to my wife that I had to go to work, and eventually, my wife did take our daughter to school. But there have been other days when my wife has decided not to take her to school.

Posted by ehdonhon at 01:48 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack