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Possibly Bipolar Daughter In Law

by Lynda

My daughter in law has been an angry person for many years. She has always had outbursts of anger, paranoia and blames everyone, especially her husband for everything that goes wrong in her life.

She calls the police at the drop of a hat, she is an alcoholic and pot abuser. She has yelled and screamed at everyone in the family (children, husband, in-laws and neighbors).

She was abusive to the cat and the cat pooped on the floor. When her daughter said it smelled, she proceeded to take her anger out on her daughter until she was in tears. When the husband intervened, she went into a rage and he had to hold her down.

He called the police as she was drunk and when they came she told them her husband tried to strangle her. The police realized her drunkenness and said she was out of control and asked her husband to leave and get away from her, that he did not and should not live like this and to take the children with him. She flipped out in front of the police and they had to yell at her.

Now her husband (my son) lives with me and the children come from Friday to Sunday. She manipulates when they can and cannot come.

The 10 year old boy is very angry for a few years now and sometimes says he would be better off dead. He is extremely happy at our house.

The 13 year old daughter just tries to keep the peace so as not to have to hear her mother's outbursts. She tries so hard to keep her mother happy, but more so loves being with her father here. They have a very close relationship and her dad is very easy going.

What should we do now?

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Aug 19, 2017
Next Steps For You
by: Dr. DeFoore

Hi Lynda - Give him a timeline, by which he has to move out of your house. The rest is up to him. Try not to help him, because that will only cripple him further.

He will either step up and take action, or he won't. And he will live with the consequences.

It's time for you to let him go...he's a grown man, and no longer your responsibility. You sound like an intelligent person, so I think you know this. It will help for you to read about letting go of a relationship.

My best to you,

Dr. DeFoore

Aug 18, 2017
I Agree
by: Anonymous

Thank you for your advice and I totally agree, but, what do you do with a son who will not take initiative and who is so happy now that he just wants things to stay on an even keel. It's like he doesn't want to rock the boat because it has been so long since he has been happy. He is a grown man but afraid of having to deal with any pressure. My fault, I guess, as I was a loving, strict mother who made it so life was good. That is what he was used to. That is why he stayed so long in the relationship, because when it was quiet, he just went with the flow.

Aug 18, 2017
Some Next Steps To Take
by: Dr. DeFoore

Hi Lynda, and thanks for telling your story here. I will try to help.

It sounds like the separation was wise, and necessary. Now, you are asking what you should do now.

I strongly encourage you to step back from that decision. This is your son's marriage, and he needs to be the one who decides where things go from here.

He needs to understand that no one can have a decent marriage to an alcoholic abuser. His wife would have to choose to get help and spend a long time in recovery and therapy before she would be a safe person to be with.

I understand the concern about the children, but again, that is your son's responsibility. If you take too much of a leadership role in this, you could make things even more difficult for your son.

You describe him as easy going. He's going to have to make some tough decisions to resolve this, and it won't always be easy going. And, as husband and father, he has to be the one who makes the decisions and acts upon them.

Feel free to share this with him, by the way. If he waits for someone else to tell him what to do, things may not work out well at all.

With his wife's behavior and addictions, there is no possibility at all of a healthy marriage. If there is any hope for her getting better, it will only be after she admits to her mental and addiction issues, and gets serious, long-term help.

No easy answers here, I know. But the best thing you can do, Lynda, is to take a back seat, and leave things up to your son as to any next best steps. He will not feel like a man responsible for his family if he's following the advice of his mother.

Believe in him, trust him, and offer no advice.

My very best to you,

Dr. DeFoore

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