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Relationship New here, PTSD + Bipolar husband always asked for divorce

J

jenlim

Hi, I'm new here, and this forum seems like a safe space to share my struggles. I've been with my husband for almost 10 years, married for 7 years, no kids, just dogs. We moved from the US to JP . And have lived in JP for almost 9 years. My husband is 10 years younger than me. Our relationship was wonderful, until around 3-4 years ago during CoVid. One day I noticed a huge charge of porn website on our credit card, and he sold most of our stocks. I was so furious and we had a big argument. The next day, when I got home from work, he was no where to be found, turned out he flew back to US and when I managed to called him, he said he wanted a divorce, he said a lot of lies to his family, like I was abusive, I blamed him for our dog death, etc. At that time I didn't know that he was diagnosed with PTSD and bipolar when he served at the Marine corps. And he never got treatment since we moved to JP. A month from the big fight, I flew to US and begged him to come back, it worked. Probably because his manic episode has ended.
We went back to Japan, tried to work on our relationship. And about a year ago similar things happened, even though the amount of money that he spent is not as much as the first one. And again, we had a big fight, he asked for divorce again, but I managed to talk him out of it, I also forgave him, and thinking probably I was too busy with work as I'm the provider for the family (he's only working as part timer) hence he seeked for attention. Until 4 days ago, he spent money to go to night club with his friends, he came home and told me he met with a woman at a nightclub, and spend quite an amount of money, of course same pattern repeat and he told me that he wanted a divorce, and this time his mind is set.
At this time, I'm better equip about information around PTSD + Bipolar, and I have a therapist that also helping me through this. I noticed the same pattern of excessive spend, run away from problem, put all the blames on me, and said hurtful things. I asked him to get help, he said that he's unfixable and doesn't want to take meds for the rest of his life, and that doesn't help. He doesn't want to get help. So, when he asked for a divorce again, this time I said yes (even though I'm not ready, I'm 45, not young anymore, and the thoughts of living alone in a foreign country scared me, but I'm mentally exhausted in this marriage). I have a good job here, and I have responsibilities to financially support my elderly parents back home.
However knowing that he's in his manic episodes, I just agreed to what he said. It seems to calm him down. I don't know whether what I'm doing is the right thing to do. And whether I should just actually divorce him or wait until his manic episodes past, I don't know how long this one will last without any treatment or meds. When he's in his normal state, he's an amazing husband, loving, caring, quirky. But when this manic episodes hit, this is really hard. 😭😭😭
 
It sounds like you are better off divorcing, even just for your financial safety. If you are married he could run up hundreds of thousands in debt in his manic episodes and legally it will be your debt too. He may have already run up debt that he's keeping a secret from you.
 
It sounds like you are better off divorcing, even just for your financial safety. If you are married he could run up hundreds of thousands in debt in his manic episodes and legally it will be your debt too. He may have already run up debt that he's keeping a secret from you.
I’ve known a number of bipolar marriages who work exactly this way… major assets, however, are often held in a joint trust… so that the same pain in the ass legal steps need to be taken to split them fairly in the event of the end of the relationship… and medical power of attorney / living wills / etc. to give the non-legal spouse the same rights as a legal spouse in the event of medical emergency.
 
He doesn't want to get help.
Bipolar is incredibly hard to live with untreated. Phases of mania come and go and come and go, and each time, they are incredibly destructive.

However, unlike ptsd, bipolar can be managed extremely effectively for most people with medication. There are alternative treatment for people who get little or no benefit from medication, but essentially, the expectation for someone living with bipolar is that with medication compliance, they can anticipate living a life that is virtually untouched by manic episodes at all.

The decision to get treatment for it, or not, rests with hubby. But his choice is likely going to impact a number of very significant areas in his life: staying financially afloat (v’s bankruptcy), maintaining employment (v’s getting himself fired, or simply quitting during psychotic episodes), having a good support network of reliable and committed friends around him (v’s gradual isolation), and being able to sustain an intimate relationship (v’s inevitable divorce).

Long term, it’s incredibly hard to sustain a relationship with someone experiencing routine bouts of manic episodes. For both parties.

Unless the bipolar sufferer gets treatment. In which case there’s no reason to anticipate any of those catastrophic outcomes, and the ability to sustain an intimate relationship is as good as the next person’s.

It’s tragic that some people elect to suffer from devastating illness without treatment. Especially where very effective treatment is available. That’s hubby’s call. And it’s where I’d direct my energy, because that decision, for me, would determine whether I commit to the relationship, or save myself.
 
You mentioned that it seemed he tried to get your attentions by doing these hurtful things to you. And the core appeal he asked for was divorce, in another word, abandonment. It looks like he is an untreated flee type, so he is trying to throw himself back into that cycle now.
 
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