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My ex husband is Bipolar and I worry about his parenting skills

(14 Posts)
Littlewoodenhorse Fri 12-Oct-12 18:10:32

Hello everyone,
I am new to Mumsnet, so please forgive me if I should have joined a thread elsewhere, or some similar mistake !
Can anyone out there offer any support/ advice on dealing with an ex husband ?My ex is not a bad person, but generally suffers most of the usual Bipolar traits, mood swings and a lack of connection with reality. He is well enough to hold down a good job, but still I worry about him having access to our six year child, who adores him. He does have some weekends with her / afternoons, but no stable, routine access, all pretty much as and when suits him.
Thank you.

OP’s posts: |
kinkyfuckery Fri 12-Oct-12 18:18:42

What patterns of behaviour is it that he demonstrates that you feel put your child at risk?

Littlewoodenhorse Fri 12-Oct-12 18:41:54

Thanks for replying. He does not take our child's emotional well being into consideration. He wants to introduce her to his latest girlfriend after only a couple of weeks , yet he tells me he never wants to live with anyone ever again, much less get married. Our daughter met the previous girlfriend and her daughter as he appeared serious about the relationship. They all had a nice " family " time together and now that has finished. I am worried how many different women our child will see her father with, form a bond with them and their kids, only to be upset when the relationship gets too intense for him, and what message that will send to her and how it will effect her relationships when she is an adult.

OP’s posts: |
cestlavielife Fri 12-Oct-12 21:56:06

That is how he is so something you and dd have to live with. Meeting new people is not a big issue, lots of people will come in and put of our lives. Main thing is you remain consistent and stable if he has a downturn.

I think the worst thng is having responsibility to assess if one.s ex is on the up the down or whatever. Mine isn't diagnosed bi polar but has ups and downs of depression anxiety when it isn't ok to be around him

And if he can't manage routine then you might have to accept keeping t fluid and having dd accept that too. Eg we had a weekly dinner with dad for ds but it has fallen aprt and now seems to be as and when so I don't tell ds unless if it for sure happening..,

Littlewoodenhorse Sun 14-Oct-12 09:18:46

Hi C'est la Vie life, thanks for your advice. I totally agree that it is really tough having to be the bad guy to say "actually its not a good idea for you to do X,Y ,Z" - as he is in such a state that he cannot see that. In my daughters eyes and his I am a killjoy. I am verbally attacked by him for being controlling, when all I want to do is protect our daughter !
I need to look up these abbreviations ! And get with it !

OP’s posts: |
daffydowndilly Sun 14-Oct-12 09:38:56

I have very little idea about this, but, when my X was in treatment for his depression he met a bipolar lady there who had temporarily had her son taken from her (later returned after treatment). So, I suppose my point is, if your X is diagnosed and not taking appropriate treatment, and you feel a danger to your child, perhaps you need to report him? So that he can stablise on meds and treatment?

I think the contact as and when it suits your X is not uncommon to non resident fathers, and my lawyer pointed out that a large number have nearly no contact with their children are 2 years of divorce. You need to decide what your boundaries are and stick to them, either you are happy for this to continue on the basis that he is at least in contact with your child and in a 'good mood', or treat him no differently to a 'normal' father and have a strict routine set out.

sausagesandwich34 Sun 14-Oct-12 10:18:02

my ex is bi polar but refuses treatment so I refuse to pander to him!

he has them every other weekend and can have them more if he wants but he never wants them

he introduces them to every woman he dates as ech one is 'the one'
he has bought a house and then immeadiately taken the whole house back to the brick work, taken walls out etc as he is 'doing it up' -n regard for the dcs so on his weekends they stay at the GPs
presents off him range from a £10 gift voucher to a £180 i pod
they never know what they are going to get and are frequently disappointed
holidays are all about what he wants and they just have to fall in with him

DCs are sussing him out and I am mrs consistency s they cope ok

Littlewoodenhorse Sun 14-Oct-12 12:01:57

Thanks all for your input and advice. Reassuring to know that others have similar probs. My XH is on medication and after several years seems stable. He has had his spending sprees, also starting very complicated expensive DIY projects in the past that never got finished and put him / then us in debt. He seems better these days and I am not thinking that he would seriously harm our DD , just worry that is not as good a Dad as he could be. ( Guess many Mums feel the same !) He chucks money at her, which I can't and would never do, as I know that kids just want love and time.
Good to hear that other kids cope with this erratic behaviour from the " exciting " parent. I just get frustrated as I feel that my DD shouldn't have to :-(

OP’s posts: |
mopsera Sun 14-Oct-12 14:52:57

hi reading this i wonder if my ex has bipolar or something similar. he has erratic behaviuor, worse if he drinks ( jekyll and hyde ) and swings at a moments notice into wildly unrealistic rants or decisions,.he come from a family with alcohol problems and started to drink when he was just 14, i wonder if he is schizo as is also quite paranoid?

mopsera Sun 14-Oct-12 14:54:25

ps also has terrible rages , driving, people, crowds, all make h im worse, and he can turn suddenly if you have done something that enrages him..

sausagesandwich34 Sun 14-Oct-12 15:40:16

bi polar tend to be more like a rollercoaster and if you spot the behaviour patterns you can see the highs and lows coming -anything up to a couple of months in advance

Littlewoodenhorse Sun 14-Oct-12 19:54:58

I used to think my ex had anger management probs to begin with. So, I encouraged him to go to see the dr. That was how it all began. Alcohol certainly makes it worse. I can say honestly , having known my ex about 14 years, I can sense his general mood in about 2 mins max. But cannot forsee a major low/ high way in advance. Schizophrenia and bipolar are often confused when it comes to diagnosis.

OP’s posts: |
Katkin13 Sat 20-Oct-12 21:34:31

There really needs to be a structure for contact here.
Is he on medication?
I would write to him expressing your concerns (keep it child-focussed). Ask for some reasurance that he is dealing with his condition. Then I would make some firm arrangements in terms of contact. Your daughter needs some routine.

LouisePec123 Fri 31-Oct-14 00:49:34

Hi I found this thread and I know it's a few weeks old but was hoping I might be able to get some advice.

I separated with my ex over a year ago now...I believe he is bipolar with definite aggression issues however he has always denied there is anything wrong with him. Living with him was a constant struggle of ups and downs, heavy mood swings and just before I separated with him my instincts were screaming to get out as I felt it was days away from turning physically violent (he is a very intimidating 6ft 5" mountain of a man). My son was 16 months old when we separated and I have recently made contact with his first wife who told me their son (his first child) was also only 18 months old when she left him. She told me he was physically abusive to her as well as mentally abusive so my instincts were right!
Anyway it's now a year on and things have been progressively getting worse and I am now really concerned for my sons safety. His first wife has been dealing with his bullying behaviour for over a decade now and I feel she is struggling to cope with any kind of normal life as this type of constant harassment can be all consuming ....something which I have experienced often with him. Thankfully I have court orders in place, which were passed only weeks ago, so I have many restrictions preventing him from harassing me as much however rules mean nothing to him so I am yet to see if they make things better or worse. His ex phones me often, in distress and crying and not knowing what to do, usually over a small incident that has escalated into an all out attack on advice to her is always to only communicate via SMS and not respond to him at all when it turns abusive. She has taken this on board however things appear to have taken a turn for the worse....possible because he no longer has an outlet as he's unable to abuse either of us and it is becoming frustrating for him?

Anyway long story short I feel he is now turning on the kids...he has always been extremely inconsiderate of the kids and does not have their best interests in mind however it is all emotional abuse at this stage and I am afraid (instincts once again) that he might do something rash! She told me last night that her son said "why do I have to have a dad like this mum and do you think it will ever get better?" He also said "when I get older (he's 10 now) I will stand up to him but then I'll have to move out cuz he'll kick me out and then how will I be able to protect A----(my son)!!
No 10 year old should be feeling/saying these things unless there is something seriously wrong!
I have spent 12 months trying to protect myself and my son as best I can whilst still balancing a healthy amount of contact for my son with his father however the system helps very little and I am constantly told there is little that can be done 'until' there has been a physical attack!! I looked into at least trying to have him diagnosed so he could maybe go on medication and it may ease his episodes however this is virtually impossible unless he is a willing participant.

I am at a loss and do not know what to do or where to turn so any kind of advice would be gratefully appreciated.

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