Monday, October 25, 2010

Small clarification

I just wanted to clarify that DH has never ever threatened to kill himself if I left.  Not once.  But because of how depressed he can get, and how he acts when the bipolar is at its worst, I suspect that if I left, he would see no other alternative.  Not because he is necessarily wanting to blackmail me, but more of a case of "There's nothing left....why bother?"  If I ask him about this directly, he will always deny it.  But I know.


perphila said...

Sean never directly said to me, "If you leave me I will kill myself." It was always innuendo. "I have no idea where I would be right now if it weren't for you." Stuff like that. Bottom line is that it is emotional blackmail and emotionally abusive. It took me years of therapy to get me to accept that. Let me make this point very clear, do I think he was saying these things on purpose or to manipulate me into staying with him? Did he say these things to hurt me? Yes and no. Did he know what he was doing? No. That is part of his mental illness. On some level he knew he needed the support and was asking for it the only way he knew how. It's all about not knowing how to communicate well and how to cope with the depression and anxiety. These are all things that you can learn how to deal with in therapy. Strategies to learn how to talk with your loved ones in a constructive way. It doesn't matter if you have bipolar or not. There is a big difference between someone who is emotionally abusive who does it knowingly and to control people and someone who does it because they don't know how else to describe their pain. We know the ones we care for don't hurt us on purpose and that is why we stay. We support them with their meds and therapy and what ever else we find to help them and ourselves. Supporters can also become hurtful when we let our frustrations get the better of us and we take it out on the people we are supposed to support. We still have to give ourselves permission to have the strength to say no to certain behaviors. To say this isn't acceptable. To draw the line of what you will and won't listen to and why. We have the ability to be able to tell when our loved ones are stable enough to listen to our needs. It is easy to get trapped in the very real fear that the ones we love could hurt themselves. We can't control that with our actions and what we say or do or don't do any more than they can. We can't make that a reason to stay or not stay with someone. It is a good thing DH is reaching out to you. How he does it is quite often hurtful and stressful to you. This is just one of the many reasons why he should be in therapy and a great reason for you to give him. I do understand however how hard it is since he won't get his blood work done much less go to therapy on a regular basis. At least he is working and taking a step in the right direction. Maybe getting out there will help him. I don't really have any advice or anything just that I have been there.

Anonymous said...

So if you were to leave him and he killed himself, would it be your fault?
I think it would be very helpful to you if you went to Al-Anon, not because your DH is an alcoholic but because you have a lot in common with women who are in a relationship with alcoholics and addicts. Even if there are no meetings in your area I think you would benefit from reading the literature.