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Hi all,

Not sure i am posting this in the right forum but i don't know whether to be with my wife or not.

From the outset our relationship was good and then things went south right at the point where we found out my wife had been preganant and then we suffered a miscarriage. At this point my wife became distant and self focused, focusing solely on her aspirations of going to college and earing a degree. I didn't agree with this because we were trying to deal with US immigration at that point and get me my green card, but i still supported her decision andtried to stand by her while she did it. Well after a few months of her being at school i started becoming suspicious and suspected there was someone else involved, having been cheated on before i was somewhat aware of the signs to look for. Well i got my "proof" when she left her e-mail open on my computer and i saw she had been in contact with someone else and the messages she had been sending were provocative but explainable, so i confronted her about it and she denied it and gave me a very plausible explanation but i still didn't fully buy it. Anyway the school thing didn't work out for her and she ended up moving back to the house (I forgot to mention this but we were living with her parents at this point) and we started to build the relationship again we talked and we went on dates and it seemed to be going well and then she wanted to make another go at school. Again i voiced my concerns per the fact we were trying to deal with immigration and were coming to the stage of the interviews but she wouldn't have any of it and went to school, well things started out ok at the beginning and then they went south and she became angry and bitter and started telling me she was going to have me deported and to get out of her life and give her her family back. Then things really came to a head and a very serious incident happened at the school where her school email account got hacked and i got charged with it was arrested and spent 6 months in jail, the first month i only recieved one letter from her with a list of phone numbers of people i knew and a simple note saying if i wanted any assistance to call these people and leave her and her family alone, then from the second to fourth month she visited me and she admitted to the fact she had been wanting to have an affair but didn't because the guy didn't want to. Then the visits stopped, my case was dropped and i was shipped off to an immigration detention facility, and had no contact with her till i was deported to the UK.

When i was in the UK we talked for a few weeks, discussed her maybe coming over there and how we felt then nothing. A few months later the same thing happens, then she gets together with her ex boyfriend, they date while we weren't talking they break up we start talking again and she tells me and i accept it and i also told her that while we hadn't been talking i had been with 2 people, not in a relationship purely sexual. And we talk for a few weeks then nothing and it happens again, and now we are talking again and she tells me she loves me and misses me and wants to work things out but while we weren't talking she started talking to another guy and there's nothing going on they have only talked but what does she tell him? Well my answer to her was that she should do what she thinks is best and whatever will make her the happiest.

The problem with all this is i don't know if i want to be with her or is this just going to be a pattern that repeats itself?

I know your probably confused and wondering as to why i posted this in here instead of another forum, well the reason is both my wife and i have mental health problems. I am dealing with depression, anxiety, and am also bi polar although a very low level, and my wife is a severe bi polar.

Any thoughts, advice, outside looking in perspective you guys could offer would be much appreciated. I am at a point where i don't know whether to continue or to just put a stop to it and move on. I love her and i care about her and will always stand by her through thick and thin but i don't know if this is healthy for me or for us.
 

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Redneck, given that you are struggling with your own mental health issues, it seems that the LAST THING you need in your life is another big source of instability -- namely, a bipolar wife who was wanting to cheat on you and had you thrown into jail for meddling with her emails. That said, you are very unclear on whether she is staying on her meds for bipolar and exactly what awful thing you did to warrant six months in jail.
 

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My wife is on and off her medication and is drinking heavily while taking the medication, she is currently on lithium and seems to be stabled out but still has the occasional flair.

I do not know the exact specific thing that set her off to accuse me and tell the police it was me, that being said though we had been arguing for a few weeks till that incident. The arguments were always over something different there was never consistency to what it was about. The day the email was sent we had a particularly bad argument and me not being in the mood to deal with it anymore sent her a text response to her last message telling her to drop dead (not meant literally only figuratively) which was the basis for the prosecutions whole evidence. That was the only evidence my lawyer ever showed me and it had none of her texts only that last response and as i said to my lawyer and the police i meant it figuratively as in go away and leave me alone not the literal sense and that i know i shouldn't have said that but i was mad and reacted before thinking. The actual content of the email was a message to all the staff, students, and faculty telling them "i hate you all and will kill you if i get the chance" which they originally arrested my wife for but gave her the option of signing herself into a mental institution or going to jail and then came and arrested me and charged me with terroristic threatening
 

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My wife is a severe bi polar .... is on and off her medication and is drinking heavily.
Redneck, the good thing about bipolar-1 is that, because it is caused by body chemistry changes, it usually can be successfully treated by simply swallowing a pill. There are two downsides, however. One is that many bipolar-1 sufferers won't stay on their meds consistently, as you've already seen. The other is that bipolar-1 is often accompanied by another mental disorder that is far harder to treat. A recent study (pub. 2008) found that 54% of bipolar-1 sufferers also have full blown BPD (Borderline Personality Disorder). If your W has both disorders, you likely will find that the BPD traits are much more difficult to live with than the bipolar traits.

I am not a psychologist but I did live with a BPDer exW for 15 years and I've taken care of a bipolar-1 foster son for longer than that. Moreover, I took both of them to a long series of psychologists for 15 years. Based on those experiences, I have found many clear differences between the two disorders.

One difference is that the mood swings are on two separate spectra having very different polar extremes. A bipolar-1 sufferer swings between mania and depression and a bipolar-2 sufferer swings between depression and normality (with very little or no mania). In contrast, a BPDer flips back and forth between loving you and devaluing you.

A second difference is seen in the frequency of mood changes. Bipolar mood swings are very slow because they are caused by gradual changes in body chemistry. They are considered rapid if as many as four occur in a year. In contrast, four BPD mood changes can easily occur in four days.

A third difference is seen in duration. Whereas bipolar moods typically last a week or two, BPD rages typically last only a few hours (and rarely as long as 36 hours).

A fourth difference is seen in the speed with which the mood change develops. Whereas a bipolar change typically will build slowly over two weeks, a BPD change typically occurs in less than a minute -- often in only 10 seconds -- because it is event-triggered by some innocent comment or action.

A fifth difference is that, whereas bipolar can be treated very successfully in at least 80% of victims by swallowing a pill, BPD cannot be managed by medication because it arises from childhood damage to the emotional core -- not from a change in body chemistry.

A sixth difference is that, whereas bipolar disorder can cause people to be irritable and obnoxious during the manic phase, it does not rise to the level of meanness and vindictiveness you see when a BPDer is splitting you black. That difference is HUGE: while a manic person may regard you as an irritation, a BPDer can perceive you as Hitler and will treat you accordingly. This seems consistent with your description of very hateful, spiteful behavior (e.g., having you thrown into jail for six months on a bogus charge).

A seventh difference is that, whereas a bipolar sufferer is not usually angry, a BPDer is filled with anger that has been carried inside since early childhood. You only have to say or do some minor thing to trigger a sudden release of that anger.

An eight difference is that a bipolar sufferer typically is capable of tolerating intimacy when he is not experiencing strong mania or depression. In contrast, BPDers have such a weak and unstable self image that (except for the brief infatuation period) they cannot tolerate intimacy for long before feeling engulfed and suffocated by your personality.

BPDers therefore will create arguments over nothing as a way to push you away and give them breathing room. Hence, it is not surprising that they tend to create the very worst arguments immediately following the very best of times, i.e., right after an intimate evening or a great weekend spent together.

A ninth difference is that the thinking and behavior of a BPDer includes more mental departures from reality (called "dissociation") wherein "feelings create facts." That is, BPDers typically do not intellectually challenge their intense feelings. Instead, they accept them as accurately reflecting your intentions and motivations. In contrast, bipolar disorder tends to be more neurotic in that the mood swings tend to be based more on extreme exaggerations of fact, not the creation of "fact" out of thin air based solely on feelings.

A tenth difference is that a bipolar sufferer -- whether depressed or manic -- usually is able to trust you if he or she knows you well. Untreated BPDers, however, are unable to trust for an extended period. Before they can trust others, they must first learn how to trust and love themselves. Sadly, this lack of trust means there is no foundation on which to build a relationship. Moreover -- and I learned this the hard way -- when people cannot trust you, you can never trust them because they can turn on you at any time -- and almost certainly will.

An eleventh difference is that, whereas BPDers are always convinced they are "The Victim," bipolar sufferers usually have a much stronger self image. BPDers therefore have a strong need to validate that false self image by blaming every misfortune on the spouse.

Finally, a twelfth difference is that, although bipolar sufferers are emotionally unstable, they generally are not immature or childlike. BPDers, in contrast, are so immature that their emotional development typically is frozen at about age four. This is why they have a very fragile self image and have difficulty controlling their emotions.
 

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Your wife's behavior does seem consistent with BPD tendencies, or BPD.

...if you are completely stable...staying with a BPD is a poor but probably safe choice.

...if you have mental health issues of your own, I see it as a potentially life-threatening choice.

...typically, this sort of behavior will repeat and escalate significantly over time.

...my wife started out with occasional doubts about our R/S. During the worst phase, there were frequent 30+ hour rages and occasional assault. I am exceptionally calm and my wife is very honest, so the end result was a short prison term for my wife. We are still together and things have improved, but it has not been a pleasant journey at all. As you can see, you are not exceptionally calm and your wife is not exceptionally honest, so the outcome is likely to be appreciably worse for you.

In your shoes, I'd tend to count your blessings and get a divorce ASAP. You'll be much better off. In the end, so will she, most likely. Albeit, BPD has a high suicide rate, so, it can be wise to be a bit careful.

If you must, BPDFamily is an on-line forum where you can get more advice. However, given that you're in separate countries with no children, I guess I don't see this marriage as worth particular exertion on your part - if you are kind - you might recommend therapy to her.

--Argyle
 
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