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worried about daughter

despairing_mum
Community Member
My daughter and her husband have been together for 11 years but only married for 10 months. During their time together I have watched him controlling and manipulating her and made sure that I never gave him a reason to exclude me from her life as I wanted to be around to support her. He left her twice over the years - once very cruelly when they were living overseas and she had no support network to fall back on. Each time he convinced her to take him back . Their last 4 years were seemingly without major incident apart from his usual selfish behaviour - but a month ago he began to withdraw from her. He began crying and drinking a lot and developed insomnia. He withdrew from his family and usual circle of close friends. He formed an emotional attachment with a female work colleague and began confiding in her whilst refusing to talk with my daughter about his issues. He would text this work colleague all the time, even when in bed with his wife and would stay out late drinking with her til all hours of the morning. He became irrationally dependant on her. He convinced himself that my daughter does not like him and anything she tried to do to help him was seen in the opposite light. A week ago after a fortnight of arguments he has walked out on my daughter. She had felt at her wits end as to how to force him to get help as she felt he was having a mental health crisis. She does not believe there is any affair with the work colleague but was very hurt by the emotional infidelity- also he left to go and stay with this female and is still living in her unit. She contacted his parents and close friends and begged for help. He used my daughter's cry for help as the cause of why he could no longer live with her as he felt so betrayed and embarrassed by the exposure. My daughter has been through an immense shock as before last month she said things were normal. They were about to move into a new rental property and she was happy and focused on their future - they were planning a baby next year. She has seen a psychologist who feels from what she has described her husband possibly has bipolar. I fear if she does return to him and he has untreated bi polar then she faces a lifetime of pain and emotional abuse with him. However, I can feel her doubts start to rise and she is conflicted by her recent wedding vows of in sickness and in health. She has heard he has gone to a doctor and been referred to a psychiatrist.
8 Replies 8

geoff
Champion Alumni
Champion Alumni
hello Mum, thank you for reaching out for your daughter, one day she will thank you, because this marriage will not survive, I'm sorry to say.
This guy has no respect for his wife, your daughter, and has now found another girl at work who he has attached himself to, and is now living with her, this would mean that they would have slept together without any doubt.
If your daughter and her husband had been together for 11 years and he has suddenly changed once they were married, there should have been indications of how he really is, however I know that living together and then getting married can suddenly change, I don't know why this happens because they were virtually married already.
You are right if he does return and is not treated then this is always going to happen, which is only going to cause your daughter confusion, and disappointment, and for the wedding vows, well they it didn't work for me, so what do they really mean, nothing.
She can't believe that he has gone to a doctor and a psychiatrist until she herself actually knows, but she can't be married to someone who goes off and lives with another lady whenever it suits him.
I'm sorry to say this but I didn't want to upset you, but she will be more disappointed and let down by him. Geoff.

pipsy
Community Member

Hi despairing mum. Your daughter has some real serious times ahead, she is going to need all the help and support available. She is incredibly lucky to have such a supportive mum. Her ex might try and return with the sob story that he 'made a mistake'. Was he ever physically violent? You mentioned he has been referred to a psychiatrist. That's a step in the right direction. However, going and seeing a psych, and being prepared to work with one are two separate issues. He will need monitoring with medication and once again, this can be difficult as there are people who start responding to the meds then believe they don't need them and the cycle repeats itself. Your daughter has taken her vows seriously which shows me she would consider a reconciliation. If she can talk openly to her psychologist and also learn more about his illness, reaction to meds etc, hopefully she will realize that her marriage won't survive and, most importantly, it's no-ones' fault. Mental illness is insidious and cruel and without constant help and guidance it can tear families apart.

Lynda

In the space of a week my daughter has gone from the depths of despair and at real risk of suicide to now beginning to see a different future for herself. She can look back over the 11 years and see that she was always so concerned with what he liked and didn't like that she felt she was not living her own life. She is currently being very strong and not allowing any contact at all with him. But when she gets a message from a member of his family this sends her into panic mode and her anxiety levels rise. Over the years I could see how he was trying to create distance between her and her family and friends which I was always counter balancing. He filled her mind with critism of her much loved only brother and critisized her friends that she had before him. He never tried that with me though as I think even he knew he would not get far if he tried to keep me away.. But he manipulated occasions so that our family were not around for their big moments together. Although he has walked out on her the past pattern shows that at some point he will want to make contact with her. Their wedding was so beautiful and seemed so genuine and although I expected it to fail at some point in the future given his level of selfishness I have also been shocked that it has come about so soon. I have been reading these forums and can see his personality repeated in many of the stories and it fills me with both horror but also deep sadness that this illness causes such pain in the lives of everyone concerned. At the moment we are trying to hold on to our values and not allow any negative emotions such as bitterness or anger to colour the decisions made at present. I accept that the illness has colored the way he has treated my daughter and I actually have come to believe that he has not been unfaithful at this point with the female colleague, but the emotional attachment hurt my daughter more I think as he had also done it when they were overseas. I am not really sure why I am writing on this forum and what I am hoping to hear. Perhaps I feel some conflict about it all being caused by an illness and perhaps I am looking for some hope of a happy ever after. Some stories of marriages where people have managed to lead happy lives and raise happy children with this disease? But I know that her best hope for a happy future is to remain strong in her current decision that this is the last time he gets to hurt her.

Thank you. Yes there were early indications of his issues. He often could not feel any emotion at all. When she first met him he told he he was worried by this himself. Early on in their relationship he seemed to have depressive episodes and she would urge him to get some help but he did not have a good experience with counselling. Also his mother did not back the theory of depression- she is still in denial now - I am not sure why as it is very obvious that he is not coping at present. Other early indicators were constantly putting my daughter down - ridiculing her in a funny way - except it wasn't funny. He always had committment issues and seeing any project through to the end. His laughter was often loud and out of sync with the situations he was in. He had become obsessed with gym work in the past 12 months - he took it up to try and improve his feeling of well being but it has become obsessive and he is quite vain about his body now - posts a lot of photos on Facebook. My husband and I over the years always thought there was something not quite right or genuine about his relationship with our daughter. It started very intensely and he seemed to almost consume her with attention. He has always had very strong female friendships throughout the time we have known him but sometimes they just cross the line of what is considered normal and of course in this final situation the line has certainly been crossed but he insists his wife has no right to dictate who he can be friends with and refuses to see how his behaviour can seem cruel and hurtful when he puts these friends before her. he has never been physically abusive but I fear that this could have eventuated some time in the future as from what I have come to learn bipolar can escalate as the sufferer gets older. I know that I have always been concerned about the mental abuse he was doing.

Hi despairing mum. The way your daughter has been treated by this man over the past 11 years has left her so confused and bewildered she possibly is wondering what she did wrong. Your daughter did nothing wrong, except fall in love with the wrong man. His mother's refusal to admit he has done anything wrong is nothing new. Many mothers of children with mental health issues cannot cope with the knowledge or thought that their child could possibly have anything wrong. He sounds incredibly insecure and jealous to the point of obsession with your daughter. If he does start to annoy or harass her she can take out a protection order against him, I believe it's called an AVO. This will prevent him from hurting her in any way. However it's early days and she may not wish to consider this step. This is something she may need to know, so keep it in mind, if necessary. If your daughter is still experiencing any form of depression herself, suggest she consult her Dr for some guidance. Also suggest counseling to help her accept she is not to blame for this.

Lynda

Hi,

Yes counselling has already started for her and gave her great relief. I am suggesting to her that she works through any guilt at not wanting to go back into the relationship now that it is being confirmed that he has mental health issues but she had given it everything and has given her all for the past 11 years. She is now every now and then just a little bit excited and relieved that she can begin living the life she wanted and be the person she always wanted to be. She has been so used to putting herself last so this is all new ground to cover. She is quickly gathering a strong support group around her, family, friends, work colleagues - everyone wants to help her and it is helping her to face all of this with a positive outlook - until the next wave of anxiety causes her to crash for a while.

Dear despairing mum. You are right in saying your daughter will continue her up and down moods till she realizes she did nothing to cause the problems. Depression comes in waves, it peaks, drops, then peaks again till your mind levels and you start thinking clearly. She possibly may continue self blaming as depression causes this to happen too. If she is taking AD's these will help calm her and she will respond quicker. The self blaming is a natural side of depression and will fade over time. Each time she starts self blaming, remind her how sick he is and how his sickness took control of both of them. Let her know his illness is his and she will learn to accept she is not responsible.

Lynda

Thank you Lynda, it is very encouraging to see that people post on these sites purely to help other people in need. It is a sign of humanity and very kind of you. She is not on any AD's. Her doctor gave a prescription and we have them on hand but her progress has been so rapid that she has not needed to take any. She took sleeping pills for the first few days until she realised they were not actually working but are very addictive. She has had close friends and relatives coming to give her uplifting support and courage to realise that she is now better off. I can see that actually she has an air of relief about her that this period of her life has finished - in her current state of mind it IS finished. She no longer feels that she needs this man and she certainly no longer needs the pain he has inflicted on her most of her adult life. I think it is incredible that she has reached this point in 8 days. A miracle...but also a sign of how wrong the relationship was.