I'm Scared To Divorce And Scared Not To

My wife and I have been married for 11 years and have two amazing sons aged 10 and 7. They are my life. My wife suffers from anxiety disorders. When she is on her medication, she is fine. The problem is that she can't be counted on to take her medication and when she doesn't she is impossible to live with. When we first met, she felt like home. I felt safe being with her. Throughout the years and her yelling, temper tantrums, threats to leave with my sons, etc., I've gone from feeling like she is my home to feeling on edge, nervous, and scared of the next big blowup. I can't count on her to be a partner or an adult. This led to a loss of desire to be intimate with her, leading to her unhappiness with the marriage as well.

In October I told her I wanted a divorce. She ended up having an emotional breakdown and was admitted to the hospital psychiatric unit after a half-hearted suicice attempt where she was diagnosed with the anxiety disorder (this wasn't news to us. We knew she had these issues). With the hospital stay and subsequent caring for my sons, I loss the stomach to follow through and stayed in the marriage. Since coming home, she had faithfully taken her medication and seemed like a new person. That was until a few days ago. First, she lost her camera, which drove her to the brink. And then the next morning she was running all over the house straightening up, but she was yelling at us, throwing things, slamming things, just acting unstable. Her behavior was scaring all of us to the point that my youngest son began to cry. After she yelled at him for being scared, we got into a heated argument.

When I got into work after this she called me to admit that she had stopped taking her meds weeks before. I was floored. A mere ten weeks after I told her that her threats, fits of rage, and inability to handle anything was forcing me to leave and a stay in the psychiatric unit she decided to stop taking her prescribed medication. I feel like I am done. I can't trust her to do what she needs to do for me and our sons and I can't go on afraid of anything in our lives going wrong and what her reaction would be.

My fear is for my boys. As with all kids, we are their lives. And they are mine. I can't bear to think about sitting them down to tell them we are divorcing. I know that my wife would want to move back to where she grew up if we are to split. Their parents' divorce would be traumatic enough, but leaving the home they've grown up in to move across the state is even worse. While I believe my wife is unstable, I don't think I could convince a judge that I should get primary custody. My wife has divorced before and the horror stories I've heard about her behavior during that divorce scares the hell out of me. The fact that she had stopped taking her meds (and since restarted) could help me get custody, but it's not guaranteed. The whole thing makes me sick to my stomach, but the idea of trying to muddle through a bad marriage also makes me sick.
ScarceGuy ScarceGuy
13 Responses Feb 2, 2012

I'm scared too mines only a two year relationship. I started raising her daughter at one and now she's 3 that little girl is my world but my wife sees things that arnt there and hears voices. We haven't talked in weeks because she doesn't trust me I've begged her to get mental help but I don't want to leave that little girl because she's off her rocker. She won't stop stripping because she needs to pay for her car which is worth 3000 and she owes 11000 on it. I am scared I'm on my way out of the military for a medical retirement from a shoulder injury and PTSD and she constinately tells me there's nothing wrong with me and is completely unsupported I left the house today and she told me she might not be there when I get back because she's going to commit identity fraud and live some fantasy life on the run. If I leave her she's going to attack my income but if I stay with her ill never recover from my problems. I'm having such a hard time right now that they tryed to institutionalize me at work and after refusing that they put me on Valium. I'm so tired and scared I just want to finish these last few months in and escape. I want a life and a future with some one who respects me and doesn't constantly tell me how worthless they think I am.

I am going through a divorce after 23 years of marriage. My wife supposedly has 'borderline personality disorder' and is a very selfish individual. I've 'hung in there' through 2 affairs and now technically 3 since she ran off with some dude she met on Match.com once I told her I was pursuing a divorce. In all truth I've tried to make a 'loveless' marriage work primarily for the sake of my children (I could not stand the thought of some strange dude helping to raise my children... they are precious and innocent in all of this crap). Once my youngest turned 18 and my wife went 'psycho b$%^#' once again I said it's time to say 'Adios!' The point I want to make is my daughter says I should have left her after her first affair when my daughter was 5... all the chaos my children endured with our screwed up relationship might have been avoided. Of course hindsight is 20/20 and who knows what type of step-parents my kids would have been exposed to if I had divorced earlier? No easy answers, but for me... almost there... FREEDOM!!!

I can relate to you a bit. I have a wife and two daughters of around the same age as your kids. I have a wife who is has another mental disease: she is a chronic depressed person. With medicine she used to be reasonably, but overtime it she is getting worse. She sleeps a lot and does the bare minimum in the household. Me and my kids are now taking care of cleaning the house and doing the dishes in the household. Overtime I notice we are doing more and more.
Our house is a full of her things as she can't stand doing things away. This makes it hard to clean things as everything gathers dust. We had all kinds of help: professional help, paid help, my family in law helped to clean the house and remove that which we don't need.. We all cleaned the house and threw away a lot to things. sometimes without asking her. Almost all my own things are gone. But she buys new things back in abundance to compensate.
Overtime we started to have less intimacy and the final change was after we came back this holiday. Part of this has to do with my own change that I have talked about elsewhere.
Recently I found myself suddenly and unexpectedly confronted by my daughters who said that they would not be surprise about me wanting to divorce her. I am not sure how this came up, but they almost seemed to expect it.
The basic thing that I certainly know is that I don't love her and I start to be bothered with her ongoing negative behavior. She talks to the daughters as if she is some officer commanding soldiers. Whenever something happens that doesn't fit in with her rigid thinking she gets all upset.
At the other end she tries to do her best, but the best is getting less and less.
Then there is this one annoying thing about : we have had a very confused start where we had several breakups before we settled into a longer stable time which finally let to the wedding. I know at that time I involved my family and friends into these first years of squabbling and I don't want to drag them into it now before I am certain.
I personally expect and think that a divorce will be the outcome regardless, but sometimes I think: well we can live like we do now. Like two people on a raft. This would be at least better for my kids.
But now i see what happens. I asked her if we at least could get some help, but she refuses to cooperate.
I am going to a consultant this week and talk about my marriage without her. I first want to talk about it myself and then we might talk together.

Divorce her. YESTERDAY.

Even if you are content being a doormat/mangina, you owe your sons better than that.

You're not alone, and thank you for letting me know that I'm not either. My spouse also ended up hospitalized when I tried to leave and I too came back to be the caretaker. Thank you for sharing your story.

Get the hell outta there as soon as possible. If you stay and put up with her behavior, you are only teaching your sons to be a doormat for unstable women. You would be much better off taking her to court and unloading on her with everything you've got. You go find the best high dollar attorney you can who has a long record of winning child custody cases and arm him to the teeth with all the info you can find, even things that seem irrelevant. The money spent on the attorney is an investment in your children's future as well as your own. Your wife has already demonstrated that she does not value you or your children enough to do something as simple as taking a pill a day. Time for her to go. Time for you to be a man and stand up to her and get her out of your day to day so that you can teach and influence your children properly. And most importantly, so that you can get your head on straight before her sickness infects you as well and destroys all of you.

The rule is, never save a marriage at the expense of a life. In this case more than one life.

Your marriage and family is worth fighting for. Your boys will learn their mother's behaviour is not the norm and due to her sickness. They will learn love, gentleness, security and loyalty from you. Make a point to regularly meet up and share your frustrations with a trusted friend/s.
Arrange for regular psychological help / support for your wife. It is all worth it.

Fight for your family.... It sounds like your wife needs help, including you. You don't just bail when she is struggling. What kind of lesson does that teach the boys....

"Life is too short to spend time with people who suck the happiness out of you." I was told by a professional counsellor that you should never stay in a marriage just for the kids but yet, here I am. Too scared to ask for the separation and divorce because I do not want my sons to resent me.

This is a though one... I understand where you are thorn. She is no longer an equal partner and a lover, just a needy person and a walking trouble. Are you prepared to live your life like this? You have a big decision to make, and yes, its a lose-lose eitherway, you just have to decide which lose is better for you and your kids. <br />
And i agree with someone here saying that you could have more rights than you think, given all these issues your wife has, and these are not hear-say, you actually have medical records. We make decisions every day, but this one could be the toughest you ever had to make, so take time, think closely, ask for advice.... Good luck!

My vote is divorce.

Address the practicalities. Go and see a lawyer. Lay out the facts. Ask him/her for advice that is pertinent to your jurisdiction.<br />
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Find out if a joint custody arrangement is possible, in which case she could NOT move back where you cannot see them regularly. Ask the lawyer if there is a way to have her movements restricted in this regard.<br />
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But DO seek every possible avenue to get custody of the children yourself. I suspect you have more rights than you believe. Information about her health issues and her previous divorce could be crucial to your success in this.