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Need help regarding how to respond to my wife's last outburst

K

keith74

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In my prior thread, I talked about how I abandoned the "tough love" approach and opened up to my wife.

It was going pretty well for 3 days. Good, positive communication. Then we had a super major setback. She completely unloaded on me, saying I was a failure of a husband, we are totally not compatible, she wants a divorce as soon as possible, I abandoned her, how could I make her stay in a hospital?, we have no future, etc... It was brutal. Something must have happened that led her mind to a bad place. Last time she did this, I did the silent treatment to protect my sanity and because she told me to never talk to her again. After a long stretch of silence, she since apologized for her behavior and said I did the right thing (this was several days ago). We started communication again and it was going good. But then tonight during her verbal rampage, she held my silent treatment against me saying that it is proof I abandoned her and not fit to be a reliable husband.

I'm now torn what to do this time. Should I reason that she hit a very bad bump in the road right now and continue to reach out to her or pick up her calls despite her being currently hostile to me, so she doesn't accuse me of abandonment again? Or should I take another breather (silence) even though she may feel abandoned again?
 
Tawny

Tawny

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I would have her sectioned, if i were her husband :) Sorry, not a helpful answer but i would not put up with that, manic or not.
 
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keith74

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She currently is already sectioned in a hospital. I am feeling so bad because she wasn't wrong about some of her grievances. She is so upset that I strongly supported the hospital to force her to stay despite the hospital being a terrible place to be in. And when she was there, there was a stretch where I did pull back from her when she blasted me before. She felt totally alone and abandoned (technically true) and decided she needed to survive alone without me. She has been in the hospital for over a month because she was resisting taking her meds. Because she was resisting (and being aggressive), they put her in a secure wing with less privileges where all she can do is sit there and reflect on the misery of the situation. And because this is my first experience dealing with her manic behavior, I panicked. I was so happy to get her to stay (against her will) in a hospital I thought things would be fine afterwards, despite her complaining about how horrible the conditions in the hospital are. After a few weeks of resisting most meds, they finally were able to get her started on some olanzapine to help with the mania. After a few days, she seemed to be getting a little calmer and I was communicating with her more. She seemed in a better place and more positive with me. Then BAM! Yesterday night happened. It was SO CLEAR to her that I F-ed up major in dealing with her mania and all I cared about was getting meds forced into her without considering everything else (she is not wrong here). It was so raw and powerful her emotion that it devastated me. I am hoping that she will come out of it... but it was so powerful.... I'm scared that this is really it (she 100% means all of this... this time). In the meantime, some say I should protect myself (and my own mental health) and not communicate with her while she is like this. But I am also thinking of her accusation that I abandoned her last time when I did this. I really don't know what to do...
 
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keith74

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I guess I am weighing if I need to continue communication (answer her calls and also initiate conversation) even though she can be hostile and aggressive and hurt my mental health a bit because she (despite what she says now) needs me during this time and was profoundly hurt, abandoned and betrayed when I withdrew last time.
 
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LadyDomino

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Not easy - but personally I think you've got to put your own mental health first. Some time apart may help.
 
JessisMe

JessisMe

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I would continue to answer the phone but I would be very clear with her. That you love her very much and you were worried about her health and did what you did to try to get her the best and most effective help possible. That you are sorry that she feels betrayed by this but you felt that it was the best possible option and that if she were in your shoes she might feel differently. I would also let her know that her verbally abusive behavior is unacceptable to you. That you know she is unhappy and frustrated with the situation but it is only a short term situation that many people go through and she can get through it too. Make it clear that you are and have been one of her biggest supporters. In order for you to continue to be able to be there for her she must not yell or treat you poorly. If she does that you will not be available to her.

In general does she often lash out to you verbally even outside of this setting? That is abusive behavior to anyone under any circumstance and should not be tolerated. For your wife to threaten to divorce you while you are supporting her in an inpatient setting seems very foolish. It seems that couples therapy might be helpful to you both when you get out. But as for communication with your wife moving forward key words would be supportive, patient, expectations and firm.
I hope this is helpful. It sounds like you are being put through quite an ordeal unnecessarily. It is good of you to want to weather this with your wife. I hope conditions level out for you soon. xo, j
 
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keith74

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Thank you JessisMe. I have reiterated many of those points in the past with mixed results depending on her mood. I think her current hospitalization has added new trauma and she is dwelling on it (and who helped put her there). She still feels I made the wrong decision in not advocating for her release.

She pretty much never lashes out at me when at baseline. We get along great usually. I understand right now she feels wronged by me and is angry. But even so it would not be to this degree if not manic.

I DO understand why she feels our relationship is hopeless... the trauma of her hospitalization where she felt betrayed and abandoned by the person she feels should support her most. I do somewhat understand where she is coming from. I just hope that if can get back closer to baseline that she will understand that while I could have handled it better, I did the best I could hoping to help her.
 
HLon99

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I would say take a short breather for your own sake. The irrational fears that she is having about you abandoning her are just that, irrational There is no way you are going to reason you way out of someone who is in that state, who has lost insight. Let the doctors do their jobs, and when they are finished, when her insight returns I guarantee you she will not feel the same way.

BTW, this isn't to say you should leave or give up on her. Just give her a little space to work through this problem. Believe me its for the best.
 
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keith74

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I hope her insight returns. She just called me to tell me to fix my own problems before worrying about her and to let me know she has contacted a divorce lawyer. Oh well.
 
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keith74

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Her last two calls were hurtful enough that I will minimize communication again. It is rough because she was supposedly on some meds that were starting to calm her down.

I know I have to try not to overreact but I really feel like she really wants the divorce now, even if she returns to something resembling baseline...
 
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keith74

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My wife's mood (towards) me shifted where she was no longer hostile to me. She asked for some things (supplies like clothes, tea bags, food) which I dropped off. That made her happy and was more positive towards me (for the time being). I decided to not read into it too much since it can shift again. I'm trying to protect myself and not get too emotionally involved in the chat (though my wife probably thinks I am sounds a little "cold"). But i've decided at the very least that no matter what her mood is, I will always tell her (via chat) good morning and good night, even if she doesn't respond. I will never go total silence on her again.
 
JessisMe

JessisMe

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My wife's mood (towards) me shifted where she was no longer hostile to me. She asked for some things (supplies like clothes, tea bags, food) which I dropped off. That made her happy and was more positive towards me (for the time being). I decided to not read into it too much since it can shift again. I'm trying to protect myself and not get too emotionally involved in the chat (though my wife probably thinks I am sounds a little "cold"). But i've decided at the very least that no matter what her mood is, I will always tell her (via chat) good morning and good night, even if she doesn't respond. I will never go total silence on her again.
I’m sure she will appreciate this and notice the difference. Great call. 👍
 
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