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As has been said so many times before.....Help!!!
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rzvxdx posted:
I love my wife very much. We have been together about 8 years and married for 4. Her 22 year old son has been diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder. It threatens to destroy our marriage and I feel helpless to stop it. We repeatedly implore him to get treatment, and have entered into therapy ourselves to deal with it. He steals from us, threatens us, destroys our things, verbally abuses his Mother when she refuses to give him what he wants. He has repeatedly said he is going to get treatment and then we set him up with a place to stay, or a ride to some center, and any number of other things only to have him not start treatment or leave the facility. I agree with our therapist that we should provide love, and nothing more. Encourage treatment but refuse all other assistance. The trouble is we live in Northern MN and the winter is brutal here. He will call crying and saying he is hungry and cold and we are roped right back into providing him with aid. I think we should say no to everything but my wife struggles with it. Easy for me because it is not my Son I am told. I would not tolerate the abuse he puts out from my children, but I am expected to take it from him. What makes matters worse is that he targets me. He called and threatened to "break me" on a cell phone I help pay for. He stole a very valuable gun of mine from our house, which we were fortunate enough to get back before he pawned it...or worse, he wrecked my truck, and has repeatedly stole gas from our house and other small value items. Is it really possible for someone to be unable to control their impulses but yet in control of them enough to always target me/us? It really feels like the disorder seems to effect him when it is convenient for him but no other time. Should I prepare myself to live like this forever? Is witholding aid thr answer? I honestly fear for my life and my wife thinks he is incapable of harming us. We have been on this cycle for 4 years now and it never changes. He is primarily absent in the Summer with the exception of an appearance or two. Then Winter comes and he constantly hounds us for assistance. We ahve to lock our doors for fear of what he might take or do. It is a very frustrating situation and it takes a toll on our marriage. Any advice?
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mercygive responded:
Perhaps the doctor who diagnosed your wife's son could recommend alternative housing for the mentally ill or could give you information regarding state laws on how to commit him involuntarily. He is a danger to himself and others sound like and you cannot trust him. If these were the only options for him then maybe he would agree to get help with medication and therapy. I've have a similar situation in my family for years. Nothing will change for him or your family if you don't do something other than give into him.
A little yoga goes a long way
 
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ddnos responded:
So he doesn't live with you and your wife? Is he employed? I don't know how much or specifically what your wife is enabling her son with, but it won't help him in the long run, no matter how hard that no doubt is to do. If you are still seeing your therapist to get help, ask him what the best thing for you guys to do when your son calls crying for this or that, i.e. understood that your wife wouldn't want him go hungry or cold, but there are other resources out there that he could get those things and maybe if that were his only option unless or until he gets treatment, he may choose treatment.

Sometimes it's hard to know the difference between helping and enabling - but enabling doesn't help in the long run.

Best wishes
Debbie
Forgiveness is letting go of the hope that the past could have been any different --Unknown
 
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rzvxdx replied to ddnos's response:
He does not live with us now. He flops wherever someone will let him. He is not employed. He does some odd jobs when desperate but nothing lasting more than a couple weeks. My wife tries hard to not give him anything after our therapist and I both convinced her it was not helping. But we still make up stupid work for him to do at our house then overpay him for doing it. She (our therapist) thinks as you and I do. There are other ways for him to get food and shelter that might be more humbling and more strongly encourage treatment. He always has a reason why it won't work. He tells her Grace House won't let him stay there because he is on drugs. I know he has serious anger issues and treats people poorly so I am sure they don't want him there. He has a reason for everything. We live in a small town so he is always present. We provide him a phone because his Mother wants him to have the ability to call in an emergency and he uses it to abuse her when she doesn't give him what he wants. I agree with the enabling completely and have told my wife as much but she can't hear me. She does good for awhile but he always finds an in with her. He has currently claimed to be ready for drug treatment and we are doing that, but I don't hold out much hope for success. He has done this in the past. When he runs out of options and can see his mother firm in her resolve, he claims to be ready to get better. Then he dumps treatment and is right back to flopping as soon as his welcome is no longer wore out at a few places.


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