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TherapistMaryAnn
TherapistMaryAnn, Counselor
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 1678
Experience:  Over 20 years experience specializing in anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol, and relationship issues
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In a 20year marriage. He is polar, critical, domineering and

Customer Question

In a 20year marriage. He is bi polar, critical, domineering and introverted. Im outgoing, productive, very responsible, social and enjoy interacting and some freedom to do so.
We have two sons. The youngest leaves for college in Aug. I moved to another bedroom in the house after he exploded (again) just before Thanksgiving.
He wants me to 1-move back into the bedroom
2-focus on our relationship primarily which will mean doing our life on his terms.
I am not sure if I can authentically be in this relationship or if I should leave this fall.
Wish I had a crystal ball to know what to do.
I am an attractive 50s female and would have no problem dating.
Submitted: 9 months ago.
Category: Relationship
Expert:  Dr-A-Green replied 9 months ago.

It sounds like there are several things at play here. While Bipolar Disorder may be his primary diagnosis, it also sounds like there are relational issues that go beyond that. If he is critical and domineering (wants you to follow his version of how the marriage progresses), that is unlikely to change (without joint therapy). If you do not feel valued - or at the very least, listened to - an attempt to stay when you are unhappy doesn't seem like it will lead to anything but more frustration.

Since your children are grown, it seems like a great time to take stock of where you are and how you'd like to proceed. If he's amenable, it might be the right time to ask him to engage in marital therapy. If not, it might be a good time to engage in some therapy of your own - whether that be with a therapist, or just talking to friends and building up a strong support network. That way, if you decide to make a change, you'll have plenty of supportive people around you. In fact, this last bit is probably a good idea whether you decide to leave the marriage or stay in it. Having an adequate network of others around you will help you reflect on your life and what you need.

Expert:  Dr-A-Green replied 9 months ago.

Have you asked your husband to go to therapy? Is this something you'd like to invest in doing, or are you feeling as though you'd be happier on your own?

Customer: replied 9 months ago.
I have a great network of friends and always have. Lots of support from them and my family. We just cannot get on the same page primarily because he keeps flipping them to stay in control. Narcissistic, fearful, scared, introverted, and demanding of me...I feel like there is so much damage done to my spirit; I won't be able to invest to make this work. I can"hang in" here, but don't think I can return to this same patterns. The patterns of relating have changed a bit, but when we get close to the way things were I hate it and he returns to his same slippery self.
Its late, is there another time to call? Tomorrow?
Expert:  Dr-A-Green replied 9 months ago.

Yes, of course. I'll be available after 9am, Pacific Time. Shall I check back then?

Expert:  Dr-A-Green replied 9 months ago.

Since I don't have the capability of a one-to-one call (at this point), I'm going to open this up to another expert.

Thank you and the best of luck to you.

Expert:  Dr-A-Green replied 9 months ago.

If you reconsider and would like to chat via online services, just let me know.

Expert:  Dr. Z replied 9 months ago.

Hello and thank you for using just answer. The previous expert opted out of this question but I would be happy to help you with your question. If you want a phone call, I can offer it to you through the premium service, please let me know. Thank you.

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