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Thoughts about divorce


Separation and Divorce Considering ending your marriage? Going through a divorce? Let us know!

 
 
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Old 28th December 2017, 1:02 AM   #1
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Thoughts about divorce

My husband and I have been married for 5 years. In the past few months things have not been great between us. He always had temper problems but ever since he stopped taking his antidepressants things got much worse. He attacks me for every little things.

Once I asked him a question about our tax returns (he is the one who discusses it with our accountant) go a very important paperwork that I needed to do and he started screaming at me because it was evening and he didn’t want to talk about it. I told him I wouldn’t ask unless it was very important, but he just kept screaming and we had a huge fight.

I thought he would hit me but he didn’t. I was very scared, but I’m an immigrant and have no family in the area, so I basically have nowhere to go which makes the situation even scarier for me. During the fights he constantly blames me for not working even though he know that I can’t work right now because I’m in a graduate school and there is no way for me to fit work with my school schedule.

He also threatened me during fights by saying things like “if you talk to me like that you will really regret it”. We tried marriage counseling but it didn’t go well. Counselor focused too much on other stuff and not enough on safety which is the main issue for me. My husband promised after the session though that he would stop screaming and threatening me. But today we had a fight again because I served dinner in the plate that he doesn’t like.

He ended up breaking a 100 years old china plates and threw them away. I realized that no matter what promises he makes he’d find ways to express his aggression and anger.

I no longer can recognize my husband. I feel he is a lot more aggressive and unpredictable than he used to be. I don’t know if I can keep living like this. It also seems that he doesn’t take my concerns seriously. I know that by leaving I’ll put myself in a very hard situation, but I don’t see any other way right now.

I started looking for women shelters just in case and applied for financial aid but it will take several weeks to get processed. I’m really anxious and scared but I don’t see my future with my husband anymore.

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Old 28th December 2017, 1:50 AM   #2
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If you have access to counseling, I'd suggest IC to deal with the realities currently existing in your M and to formulate a plan to either recover it or end it. Clearly, what's going on now isn't safe nor healthy.

If your H is unable or unwilling to self-regulate and/or take his meds, then he'll likely need to get to that lonely rock-bottom place to break the cycle. That's a personal journey. He might not survive it. Sucks but that's part of life. Your deal is getting safe. Whatever it takes.

I'd get the counseling first, hook up with social services and review your options. Are you a naturalized citizen now? I presume you've been a legal permanent resident during your M and now have lived here long enough to naturalize. If not yet done, I'd suggest it, presuming you wish to remain in the US.

I'd leave all the options on the table now, divorce being one of them. One day at a time. Safety first.
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Old 28th December 2017, 1:53 AM   #3
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Jane, welcome to the LoveShack forum. You are describing a dangerous situation and it is important that you take immediate steps to protect yourself. Carhill and other forum members will provide advice on actions you should be taking ASAP to ensure your safety.

I therefore will focus on providing information that may help you decide what what you're now dealing with -- i.e., why you "no longer can recognize" your husband. You're describing some of the classic symptoms for BPD (Borderline Personality Disorder). These symptoms include your H's verbal abuse, always being "The Victim," unpredictable and unstable, temper tantrums, and rapid flips between Jekyll (loving you) and Hyde (devaluing or even hating you).

Importantly, I'm not suggesting your H has the full-blown disorder (only a professional can determine whether his symptoms are so severe as to constitute full-blown BPD). Rather, I'm suggesting he might be a "BPDer," i.e., a person exhibiting strong symptoms, regardless of whether they are sufficiently severe to meet 100% of the diagnostic criteria.

I therefore suggest you take a quick look at my list of 18 BPD Warning Signs to see if most sound very familiar. If so, I would suggest you also read my more detailed description of them at my posts in Rebel's Thread. If those descriptions ring many bells and raise questions, I would be glad to discuss them with you. Take care, Jane.

Last edited by Downtown; 28th December 2017 at 1:55 AM..
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Old 28th December 2017, 2:10 AM   #4
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Thank you so much for your responses. Iím a citizen now so there is no issues with my legal status. Iím planning to get personal counseling as soon as school starts again (we have free counseling available), I think it will definitely help.
Also my husband has been seeing psychiatrist for years and as far as I know he was not diagnosed with borderline personality disorder, but he is diagnosed with depression, PTSD and possibly a milder version of bipolar disorder. When we met all of his mental issues have been pretty well controlled by meds and therapy, but now itís completely different. He told me he doesnít want to take meds because they started to make him feel suicidal. Also recently his daughter from the first marriage tried to commit suicide, twice. She is in a mental institution now. Iím sure it greatly contributed to his current state. But I really feel like he puts all the anger with his life on me
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Old 28th December 2017, 11:25 AM   #5
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My husband has been seeing psychiatrist for years and as far as I know he was not diagnosed with borderline personality disorder....
If your H exhibits most BPD symptoms strongly, it is unlikely that a therapist would tell him the true diagnosis. To protect their BPDer clients, psychologists and other therapists typically are LOATH to tell a BPDer (much less tell his wife) the name of his disorder (unless he is very low functioning).

Instead, they typically tell the patient the name of the co-occurring "clinical disorders" (i.e., non-personality disorders). A patient suffering from strong PD traits like BPD symptoms typically has one or more of those clinical disorders. These include, e.g., depression, anxiety, PTSD, bipolar, ADHD, and OCD. If you're interested, I discuss several reasons why therapists typically withhold the BPD information from their patients at Loath to Diagnose .

The result is that, if your H has been exhibiting moderate to strong BPD traits for five years, relying on his psychologist for candid advice during the marriage would be as foolish as relying on his attorney for candid advice during the divorce. His psychologist is not your friend. Your best chance of obtaining a candid professional opinion is to see a psychologist who is ethically bound to protect only YOUR best interests, not those of your H.

Hence, if you are still reluctant to leave this toxic marriage, I again suggest you follow the two links I provided above to see if most of the 18 BPD warning signs sound very familiar. If so, I would suggest you see you see your own psychologist for a visit or two all by yourself to find out what you're dealing with. Moreover, it is important to make clear that he/she is YOUR psychologist who will not be treating or seeing your H. Make it clear you are seeking a candid second opinion on what warning signs you are seeing.

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He is diagnosed with depression, PTSD and possibly a milder version of bipolar disorder.
Having bipolar disorder would not rule out his also suffering from BPD. A recent large scale study found that about half of the men suffering from bipolar disorder in the past year also suffer from lifetime full-blown BPD. See Table 2 at 2008 Study in JCP.

Moreover, therapists have difficulty distinguishing between these two disorders in a 50-minute meeting held every week or two because it may take them two years to witness the dysfunctional behaviors you see all week long. It therefore is common for BPD to be misdiagnosed as "bipolar."

I mention this distinction because, whereas bipolar usually can be treated quite successfully by swallowing a pill, BPD is very difficult to treat and medications will not make a dent in it. I therefore suggest that you protect yourself by learning how to spot the warning signs for both disorders. An easy place to start reading is my post at 12 BPD/Bipolar Differences, which is based on my experiences with a bipolar-1 sufferer (my foster son) and a BPDer (my exW).

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He always had temper problems but ever since he stopped taking his antidepressants things got much worse. He attacks me for every little things.
If your H really does suffer from a lifetime BPD problem, his symptoms likely would have disappeared during the courtship period due to his infatuation over you. They would have returned quickly, however, as that infatuation started to evaporate. Importantly, they would not disappear for five years and then suddenly reappear in the last few months.

I therefore ask what you mean by "he always had temper problems"? What were those temper problems like during the early years of your marriage? Were his outbursts focused only on you? I ask about the focus because, if your H is exhibiting BPD rages, they almost certainly would be focused on you -- not on casual friends or strangers. It is very unlikely that those other people would ever see his dark side.
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Old 28th December 2017, 1:26 PM   #6
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Thank you, I looked at the list you provided. I would say it’s about 50/50, some things are similar and some are not.
The temper problem he used to have almost never focused on me, it was often towards strangers (waiters often) or people that we know but not very close with (Facebook friends, neighbors).

He also grew up in a rich family where everything was the way he wanted so he’ve always been very very picky. I really don’t see him having bpd, to me it seems more like rage attacks when his adrenaline kicks in. It’s just I used to be not one of the things that triggers it, well no I am. His state really looks like fight/flight mechanism that gets triggered from things that average person wouldn’t be affected by.

It used to happen sometimes in public places or places with big crowds, but now it happens with me serving dinner in a wrong plate. It seems like his threshold got way lower ever since he stopped taking meds.
As of medical help that he has, he sees psychiatrist not psychologist. He have been seeing the same person for about 9 years and medication with counseling really were helping him until recently.

I think it’s just he developed tolerance over the years so he might need to try a different class of meds if agrees to it. I’m going to speak to my counselor, but I think I also need to speak to psychiatrist since his problem involves meds.

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Old 28th December 2017, 2:27 PM   #7
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I really donít see him having bpd, to me it seems more like rage attacks when his adrenaline kicks in.
That's very good to hear, Jane. BPD is so self destructive that it is something I would not wish on my worst enemy.

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The temper problem he used to have almost never focused on me, it was often towards strangers.... Iím going to speak to my counselor, but I think I also need to speak to psychiatrist since his problem involves meds.
I suggest that, when you speak with them, you ask about IED (Intermittent Explosive Disorder). Unlike BPD, IED can be controlled with medications that include certain antidepressants (i.e., selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors or SSRIs) or with anticonvulsant mood stabilizers. Another difference is that, with IED outbursts, the anger typically is triggered by complete strangers -- e.g., as seen in road rage. If your H's psychiatrist suspects IED, the antidepressant he prescribed may be targeted at controlling IED rather than depression.
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Old 28th December 2017, 2:37 PM   #8
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Thank you for your suggestions. IED is definitely possible. Psychiatrist been saying that it’s also might be due to his PTSD and IED could definitely come from it. It’s just it’s scary for me either way, and I was upset that other counselor (not psychiatrist) took safety issues so lightly. I think considering his psychiatric issues we probably should stick to psychiatrist and do counseling with her instead of just counselors. I think they just don’t understand seriousness of his mental state and how important meds were

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Old 28th December 2017, 3:24 PM   #9
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I think considering his psychiatric issues we probably should stick to psychiatrist and do counseling with her instead of just counselors. I think they just donít understand seriousness of his mental state and how important meds were.
Yes, for meds, your H will have to see a psychiatrist. Any therapist who is certified and licensed to operate in your State can perform an "official diagnosis." This includes psychiatrists (who have both an M.D. and psych degree), psychologists (having a PhD in psych), and counselors and therapists (having masters' degrees). For more detail, see Dr. Hutt's explanation of the many differences at Ph.D., M.A., MFCC or MFT.

Generally, psychiatrists tend to be better at diagnosing the more serious mental disorders like schizophrenia, bipolar, IED, PTSD, and severe depression -- because they are medical doctors who prescribe the medications used to treat those disorders. In contrast, psychologists have a PhD but not a medical degree. Psychologists therefore tend to have more experience in diagnosing and treating personality disorders, which cannot be treated with medication. This, at least, is my experience.

Because you are suspecting PTSD and IED to be an issue, I agree with you that your H should be seeing a psychiatrist. As I noted, they typically excel with diagnosing such disorders. Yet, regardless of whom he starts with, your H almost certainly will end up seeing both a psychologist (for treatment) and a psychiatrist (for medication) if the psychiatrist believes he will benefit from ongoing therapy.

As to the counselors and therapists with M.S. degrees, some of them may be excellent at spotting and treating symptoms. As with professionals in any field, the skill sets for psychologists, psychiatrists, and therapists vary greatly from person to person. Hence, after they all have earned their degrees and have been doing clinical work for 10 or 15 years, some of the counselors and therapists may be better at diagnosing or treating certain mental disorders than the psychologists and psychiatrists are.

I therefore would not hesitate to see a therapist with an M.S. degree if he/she comes highly recommended and if ongoing therapy is recommended by the psychiatrist. And then there is the cost: a psychiatrist typically charges double what a psychologist does and the latter usually charges more than what an M.S. therapist is able to charge.
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Old 28th December 2017, 6:08 PM   #10
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Yeah, I looked at a few options already. The benefit of psychiatrist is that our insurance will cover the visits since itís a M.D. and services are considered medical, thatís for his personal visits. He was lucky enough to find a psychiatrist who also does therapy session with him. As for marriage counselors thatís will take me some time to find the right person. Somebody who is really familiar with PTSD and anger management. Our previous counselor did not specialize in that. I think she was more into just depression/anxiety but not so much anger management
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Old 29th December 2017, 4:41 PM   #11
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Do you have any kids of your own? I would make a plan asap for safety first.
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Old 29th December 2017, 5:53 PM   #12
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OP. You are seeing a psychiatrist not a psychologist.

Your H needs meds to function. It sounds like it. The meds provide a certain quality of life for him and for you. As you see, once he stops taking them it affects him and you. He has to get back on meds. If he doesn't want to take them then he has to take to the doc and see if they can put him on something else. But bottom line, he has a condition that requires him to take meds. If he doesn't get back on meds he will hurt himself or you or someone else.
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Old 29th December 2017, 8:50 PM   #13
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Something set him off. IMHO the plate thing was childish. Some people like to control people by bullying them.
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Old 29th December 2017, 11:15 PM   #14
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Look again into women's abuse shelters. If needed ask the police to give you info for a place to go. They are accustomed to women needing help on a moments notice.

YOU can't change HIM - so the change is only up to you!

Leave him. Consider filing a police report when he screams at you.

And since you need tax info call your tax prep person and request a copy for the years you need - then pick them up at the office. Keep the tax papers in a safe place as you will also need them if/when you file for divorce.
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Old 29th December 2017, 11:16 PM   #15
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Something set him off. IMHO the plate thing was childish. Some people like to control people by bullying them.
This is beyond bullying - this is abusive.

She needs to take action to get out before he harms her physically.
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