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  #21  
Old 06-14-2014, 02:45 PM
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If she has a mental illness, she needs treatment.
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  #22  
Old 06-14-2014, 02:58 PM
KC43 KC43 is offline
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There are clearly a lot of things which should have been discussed and established previously.

However, since they weren't, saying "You should have figured this out previously" isn't really helpful.

First of all, I agree with Cyndie. If this woman has a diagnosed mental illness, she needs treatment. If she isn't willing to get it for her own sake, she should for her child's sake. Mental illness is ILLNESS first and foremost, not a character flaw or weakness, and that means it impacts functioning and can make it more difficult for a parent to do their job. Mental illness can't be cured, but it can be managed and treated to allow better functioning.

And if this woman is going through those phases of yelling and fighting, it must scare the bejeebers out of both children. That's something that needs to be addressed.

If she hasn't been diagnosed yet, it would be good for her to at least talk to her primary care doctor about her symptoms and the situation. She might not recognize her behaviors as symptoms of a possible illness, but if she is unable to control them (or unwilling to because it's so difficult), then she might want help with it but not quite dare to ask, or not want to ask because mental illness still carries a ginormous stigma. (If you tried hard enough, you wouldn't flip out on us. If you really wanted to stop being scared, you would. If you just think about the good things in your life, you wouldn't be so depressed and negative all the time. Etc. Too many people still believe mental illness is something you can "just get over if you try", and if you can't get over it, it's because you aren't trying or don't care and therefore aren't worth helping or supporting.)

Others have given you good suggestions for how to deal with this woman and how to help your husband learn to manage the situation. But you two aren't the only ones who need help. She does, and your children do as well. I can't find whether you stated their ages, but even infants recognize tension and anger and can be frightened by it.

If the kids are old enough to be verbal, getting *them* into some type of counseling so they can talk to a nonbiased party about what they're witnessing and can learn skills to cope with it, and so they can learn that THEY aren't to blame, would be important. Children blame themselves when there's conflict in the home, even if they're told it has nothing to do with them, and if the people involved in the conflict are the ones saying "It isn't your fault" they might think "She's just saying that because she's my mom, but it really is my fault." And they might be afraid to talk to you, your husband, or the other woman about their fears because it might make you mad at them. A trained children's counselor would know how to get the kids to talk about the situation and to reassure them that they won't be judged for talking about it, and, as I said, can teach them skills to cope with the conflicts when they arise.
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  #23  
Old 06-14-2014, 05:49 PM
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People don't always realize how much space and privacy are going to matter until they're actually living together. I didn't (in my situation).

I realize you are investing a lot into rennovating the garage, but the space issue may be a big enough deal that the whole family should consider moving to a new house with a very different floor plan. The garage rennovation would hopefully/presumably add to the overall value of your current home and give you a better selling price.

I personally swear by the independent bedroom-bathroom suite for any person who needs extra privacy, as well as the other bedroom being located at the opposite end of the house.

Perhaps before that can work, however, you'll need to separate domiciles entirely. Yes that separates the boys for a time, but if it saves the family as a whole it might be worth it. The two separate domiciles could be located close to each other, say five minutes away.

She may need to detox from all the close proximity. You would then discuss an eventual mutual domicile (with the better-suited floor plan) for sometime in the future.

You and she should probably both agree to start seeing a (poly-friendly) therapist. Even if she has BPD issues which is a particular problem, you both seem to have buried issues that are fueling all this mutual hatred. Prescription meds may be needed (at least for awhile) among other things.

To give more advice, I think I'd need some history on how this mutual hatred developed, and what's caused/causing it as far as you can tell (in addition to the space/privacy issues and the BPD).

It's a very serious situation and needs major (e.g. invasive) treatment on multiple levels. There could be a lot more at stake here than just some domestic aggravation. This thing could really blow up and leave your lives in shambles.
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  #24  
Old 06-14-2014, 05:57 PM
Inyourendo Inyourendo is offline
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Why do you and your husband have to put yourselves in debt to renovate the garage? Why would that be a more viable option then her moving out? How is her having a bigger bedroom going to alleviate the space issue? You'll still have to share the common living areas the majority of the time.
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  #25  
Old 06-14-2014, 06:04 PM
Inyourendo Inyourendo is offline
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And I agree the children should not be witnessing the tension or fights. They are young and impressionable, everything they witness now will affect how they view or act in future relationships. Do you want your child to think that being verbally abused or being verbally abusive is ok and a normal part of a loving relationship? Clearly this is not working for any if you. Even if all 3 you have to work to support 2 households you'll all be healthier and happier living apart
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  #26  
Old 06-15-2014, 10:41 AM
Rachelina Rachelina is offline
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Thanks so much everyone for your thoughts.

Magdlyn, we have Stop Walking On Eggshells! I've only paged through it but I'll give it a more thorough read soon. My husband's psychologist father gave it to him in regards to his ex-wife who he believed had BPD. So it looks like this is BPD wife #2 for him, a bit of a pattern. She's very insulted by the idea that she has BPD. She does see a therapist occasionally but I'm not sure how much it helps.

I agree therapy would be helpful but how on earth do you find someone who doesn't think this whole thing is a crazy idea? I mean, we seem to be proving that it IS a crazy idea.

We would all love very much to move - not only because of space but because we don't like this town; everything we do is at least half an hour away. But if we do move closer towards where we'd really like to be, we're likely to have less space, not more, because everything is more expensive there. So for that and many other reasons, moving (for anyone) is impossible right now. We actually have an in-law apartment with a tenant; she is in poor health and we would never evict her, but if it gets to the point where she can't climb stairs or take care of herself then there will be that space. There's also a whole floor inhabited by my husband's 19 and 17 year olds who show no signs of ever living independently, but maybe that will change in a few years. Until then all our hopes are on the garage....it's ancient and there's actually a usable outhouse....and yes she is contributing something to the renovation. It will still leave us sharing a small kitchen and having to communicate and cooperate on meals, at least.

One sad thing about this is that she and I actually have a lot in common, eapecially in the area of parenting values that she and I share but that my husband (I know I'm supposed to say our husband but I just can't get used to it) doesn't really care about. If we could work this out it would be an ideal co-parenting situation for the boys. We'd talked about homeschooling them, for example, because the schools here are awful and we each have different talents we could contribute to their education....it's hard to see how that could work as things stand, though.

Sparklepop, it's funny you mentioned Buddhism because I actually practice it, or try to. I'm the world's worst Buddhist though. I'm having a very hard time mustering loving kindness and acceptance. Acceptance really is key here. There's so much that I struggle with accepting, even just the fact of being in a polyamorous situation at all. I went to a family gathering and seeing all the monogamous couples made me grieve that I can't have that (of course, maybe they're all secretly miserable!).

Someone asked me to pinpoint when exactly it started going downhill. I think it was a little over a year ago, but it happened gradually; we've discussed it but can't seem to identify a trigger....so maybe it's just the cumulative stress of our situation caught up with us, after all the excitement and newness of having babies.

Thanks again for all the input and support.
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  #27  
Old 06-15-2014, 02:10 PM
KC43 KC43 is offline
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I think somewhere around here there's a listing of poly-friendly therapists, or at least a thread on how to find them... My memory isn't playing nice with me today, so I can't recall for sure. However, if you google "poly friendly therapists" there are a number of links that might help you locate someone in your area who will be understanding and respectful of your relationship/family dynamic. (I just googled it myself to make sure.)

And don't dismiss therapists/counselors in general just because they aren't on that list. My current counselor isn't, nor is the counseling center she works in, but when I told her last year that Hubby and I had opened our marriage she praised me for "finding a way to address your sexual needs without making Hubby do things he didn't want to", and when Guy and I transitioned from friends with benefits to relationship, my counselor told me how happy she was that I now had two men to love and support me.
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  #28  
Old 06-15-2014, 05:02 PM
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Resources for finding poly-friendly counselors:
Resources to direct your counselor to if they're unfamiliar with poly:
Hope that helps.
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  #29  
Old 06-15-2014, 06:46 PM
bookbug bookbug is offline
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Unfortunately, people with personality disorders do not recognize they have a personality disorder, often refuse to consider the possibility, and are resistant to treatment. Often the way people with personality disorders come to the attention of the medical community is through extreme behaviors, such as being suicidal. They don't as a rule seek treatment themselves. :/
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  #30  
Old 06-16-2014, 08:26 AM
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Natja Natja is offline
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Firstly, this woman has not been diagnosed with any mental illness, someone presuming that is what she has because his father is a psychologist is NOT an accurate diagnosis, you lot DO know that right? My father is a tailor, doesn't mean you should ask me to make you a suit!

Also to the person suggesting that they ask her to move out, what the heck? Why should she move out? They both have the husbands kids, that is her home too, how could you suggest they chuck her out of her home with her young child because these women can't seem to get along, really? Instead of these women who appear to be co primaries (yet the OP is too resentful to call her that) being advised to work out their problems, you would suggest this 'interloper' get kicked to the curb because...what? She is not the wife right? So it is ok to throw her and her son out.

Sickening.

Last edited by Natja; 06-16-2014 at 08:31 AM.
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