My wife of eight years has mental health issues. She and her family covered them up when we were dating; I just thought she was eccentric. Her diagnosis is borderline personality disorder.
We now have a daughter, six, who’s in school full-time, but my wife still needs a nanny for her - to make her lunches, walk her to school, pick her up after, and more or less do everything but tuck her in at night, which I do.
I also spend after-dinner time with her and take her places on the weekend.
Our marriage is less than okay – no sex because she won’t have more kids and doesn’t trust birth control methods, and lots of arguments because she changes her mind about things we’ve decided.
There are also odd behaviours from her, like inviting a homeless guy to move in, till I refused to let him stay.
I can’t leave and have my daughter live alone in her care even half of the time. Any thoughts?
Learn all you can from her doctor, specialists, and your own research about Borderline Personality Disorder.
Know that there’s some hope for improvement in your wife’s condition, with new treatments, some showing positive effects within one year.
Consider having your daughter checked for this, if you see any symptoms, as an early diagnosis and openness may lead to earlier and more effective treatment approaches.
Relationship problems are common for BPD sufferers, for similar reasons that you state… but a positive attitude about improvements is important for your daughter and for your peace of mind.
Even if you separate, you will have long-term involvement with your wife regarding your child who’ll need your support dealing with her mother’s emotional changes. And financial support will likely be ongoing.
Try to have compassion for your wife - she’s the one experiencing great difficulty controlling impulsivity, shame, fears of abandonment, intense anxiety, and more symptoms of BPD. She may not have intentionally “covered up” the disease, as getting an accurate diagnosis is often difficult.
You’ll benefit from seeing a therapist yourself to help you deal with all this.
Also, make sure that the nanny, and any relative who’s realistic about your wife’s condition, keep checks on her safety and that of your child, and is in contact with you when you’re at work or out.
I’ve been dating a man for four years; we started as an affair and ended up both being divorced (not because of the affair).
He wants me to move into his house… I’d prefer if he moved into mine. He says it needs expensive renovation but I can’t afford that.
So we’re stuck with living out of two houses, with me taking my clothes and toiletries to him more than he coming to me.
Marriage is never mentioned. Where do we go from here?
Back and Forth
It’s not the house you’re both avoiding, it’s the move.
Stop accommodating by toting your stuff around, and start talking instead.
If he moves into your house, he sells his, and so can afford part of the renovation. A legal contract is then needed, with each of you owning either half the house or a share, which depends on the percentage he spent towards the total value.
Meanwhile, why is “marriage” never discussed? If it’s a forbidden topic, the relationship’s stagnant… no communication, no openness. It may be wiser to move on than to move in with him, at either house.
Why do we use the word “dump” to describe the ending of a relationship? Are we as human beings now garbage to be dumped and disposed of? Language is powerful.
The word “dump,” in popular use, reflects both sides of a relationship’s end: 1) a person who’s been left behind feels dropped summarily, as if lacking any value to the other person - “dumped.”
2) The person ending the relationship sometimes feels a need to get out of the situation either because of some mistreatment in his/her opinion, disappointment, or surprise revelation - “dumping” the other person.
Neither of those explanations is complete, however. Relationships are emotional, and people don’t want to expose their deeper feelings, or tell the whole story, so they use words that objectify what happened. “Dump” does indeed call to mind “garbage” – used, done, and gone. It’s harsh, but also distancing, which maybe just what the speaker wants to get across.
Tip of the day:
When there’s a serious health factor affecting the relationship, get fully informed and realistic about dealing with it.