New Topic Post Reply Printable Version
[ << Previous Thread | Next Thread >> ]

sml
New Member


Date Joined Apr 2008
Total Posts : 7
   Posted 4/11/2008 5:52 PM (GMT -7)   
First let me say I have never done anything like this before.  So I am a little nervous.
 
My husband and I have been married 17 years.  After dating for a few months he told me he had been diagnosed with BP.  Not having any real clue what that was all about, I just couldn't see this kind loving man being anything but just that.  For the first 10 years of our marriage, things were good.  He always cycled down in November and was depressed for about two weeks.  The rest of the time...I had it so good.  Wonderful husband and incredible father.  Then in 2000, he went manic and things have never been the same.  Each year he spends more time in this manic phase and I get see be with the man I married maybe only about 2 or 3 months a years.  The rest of the time he is angry at me, calls me controlling.  This last year he left telling me he coulnd't be married to me any longer because I was so controlling.  Two days later the police picked him up roaming the mall and he was sent to the hospital.  I found out he has been spending lots of money..because in this state he believes he has lots of money.  He has since come back home, but once again we are on the rollercoaster.  I feel very depressed because the dream I had seems to be slipping away.  In other episodes I have been able to bounce back...but not this one.  Just like others have said..when it's good it is sooo good.  But over these last 7 years there have much more bad than good.  I love him.  I want it to work.  Sometimes he has me thinking I must be the one losing it.  I have 4 incredible children.  I worry about them and what affect this will have.  I am here looking for support.  I feel very alone and have withdrawn from just about anything.  Trying to explain this to others who have never walked through it, is almost impossible.  Especially when they see this kind man they have a hard time when I tell them he can get right down mean.  Ok...this is a little of my story.

serafena
Veteran Member


Date Joined May 2007
Total Posts : 3715
   Posted 4/11/2008 6:10 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi SML,

Welcome to Healingwell and to our board.

I'm sorry your husband's bipolar seems to have taken over your life. It must be very hard. It is time for you to take care of yourself a bit more. You've been dealing with his whims so long you've probably forgotten what it's like to have needs, but you do. I really recommend you get yourself a therapist or a counselor for yourself. You really could use someone to talk to who could help you work through this special situation you're in and the super-high stress you're under.

I assume your husband sees a doctor and is medicated?

all my best,
serafena
Serafena
Co-Moderator, Bipolar Forum
Bipolar II


sml
New Member


Date Joined Apr 2008
Total Posts : 7
   Posted 4/11/2008 7:03 PM (GMT -7)   

He is medicated.  He just keeps changing them because he gets frustrated that his memory isn't doing well and the meds have something to do with that...who knows why he keeps changing things around.  Thanks for replying.  I know I need some counseling.  You're absoutley right, I don't even know who I am anymore or what interest me.  I never knew it could be like raising an adult child at times. 

sml


BPaffected
New Member


Date Joined Apr 2008
Total Posts : 8
   Posted 4/12/2008 6:59 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi sml,

My heart goes out to you, I know how sad it is and how lonely it can feel being treated meanly by the one you love so much. My husband also says I'm controlling, and I have to focus on his needs rather than matters at hand, the next in priority is myself. I forget about myself and look back and wonder about that person I used to be. I think the advice on this board is very good. I find having good caring friends around is important too. The kind you can give a hug to or cry with if needed. It can be resolved, the only constant is change.

I hope raising a child is easier :)

BPa

yana
Regular Member


Date Joined Feb 2008
Total Posts : 220
   Posted 4/12/2008 10:27 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi SML n BP,
I hope you find support here and we can get encouragement here .Feel free to vent here .BP you are right ,a child might be better..lol.

Hugs and best wishes to you !
yana
Never work just for money or for power. They won't save your soul or help you sleep at night.
~Marian Wright Edelman~


I have discovered that all human evil comes from this, man's being unable to sit still in a room.
~Blaise Pascal~


sml
New Member


Date Joined Apr 2008
Total Posts : 7
   Posted 4/13/2008 5:25 PM (GMT -7)   

I can't tell all of you how wonderful it is to log on and here different peoples stories and to know that I am not alone.  Loving someone with bp is quite a ride.  We have had some episodes this weekend and I have been trying to not take the things he says while manic personally.  It has helped a little.  A little note for ya...I have 4 children and I can say yea...raising them has been much easier :)  I look forward to hearing more from everyone.  Thanks again.

 

sml


stressed in bama
Regular Member


Date Joined May 2007
Total Posts : 33
   Posted 4/13/2008 10:26 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi, SML
I too, have been married for a long time to my bipolar husband. I know how it feels ,when you feel you are not married to the same man you married.My husband tends to stay on the low side instead of mania. I, too, feel like I have lost myself along the way. I am not the outgoing person I used to be. I hope you find the resources and encouragement you need on here. I know how you feel also about feeling all alone. Been there a lots. My thoughts are with you.

BPaffected
New Member


Date Joined Apr 2008
Total Posts : 8
   Posted 4/14/2008 12:23 PM (GMT -7)   
I think the saddest part for me was when I realized he had alienated my friends and family from us. Those relationships mean so much to me, but there will always be an issue now of "comfortableness" when/if they come to visit. I have to choose between spending time with one or the other.

My friends can't see why I choose to stay in the relationship. I've been making an extra effort now to hold on to my friends.

loving frustrated wife
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jun 2007
Total Posts : 865
   Posted 4/14/2008 1:28 PM (GMT -7)   
SML, I am going to jump in and share a bit with you. I have a H and S who are both BP2. My S is also ADHD. So what I want to share is....I get it. On all fronts. However, I will say for the sake of full disclosure that I have not dealt with extremes here. Bot my H & S are on the milder side of things. However, with BP, that does not mean necessarily easier. I have not dealt with hospitalizations, extreme mania...etc. But, you shared about only seemingly seeing the man you married sporadically....I TOTALLY relate. You talked of your spouse saying how controlling you are and then questioning your own sanity....TOTALLY understand that one too. My H gripes at me ALL the time saying the same things and frankly, I want to laugh because I think he must be first looking in the mirror when he is saying it because I don't come close to how controlling he is. I get the total controlling on one hand, can't handle anything on the other - then places me in the situation to "take over" and then complains I am trying to control everything....SEE THE GAME! So here is what I want to share. IGNORE IT. It is all a set up to swing back and forth on. Set your limits with your H. Let him know what he is expected to do to be a functional partner in this relationship with you. YOU HAVE KIDS, and quite frankly, in these situations...they come first. You should be in contact WITH his pdoc and therapist on a regular basis. If you are not...correct this immediately. You are a critical member of his wellness team. Medication changes should NOT be at your H's discretion. That is ONLY something to be worked on with the pdoc. Additionally, if he is out there overspending....that should be one of the things that is stopped. With 4 kids, unless you have unlimited funds, this affects them so if he can't control it, then he places ALL handling of funds to you. He's given an allowance and no credit is given or allowed without your adjoining signature. PARTNERS...remember! Time to remind HIM. If he can't get this all under control and become a stable positive force in your house (at least within acceptable limits), you may need to look at changing that situation until he GETS how critical it is for him to function as a responsible co-lead member of your family. The issue is, BP or not, HE is a father with young impressionable kids counting on him. Part of that is the training of behaviors, and they learn what they see. SO...unless HE wants his kids growing up mimicking his BP behaviors and thinking this is "normal" and "acceptable"...which will ONLY lead to problems for them in there lives, HE has to get it together. IF he does this, then the issues in the relationship between the two of you already become more tolerable...and dare I say...happier. He gets closer to the man you married then.

I know I rambled a bit, but I hope you get my point. You are hardly alone in both your difficulty in living with the situation, or your sadness and disappointment to the state of your relationship with the man you love. BP is hard on the spouse. Sadly, there is no way around it, but there are things we can do to get beyond it and in some ways help. Sometimes, it is our taking as good of care of ourselves, as we try and take of them. Best of luck to you. Sending good thoughts...LFW

Post Edited (loving frustrated wife) : 4/14/2008 6:07:31 PM (GMT-6)


sml
New Member


Date Joined Apr 2008
Total Posts : 7
   Posted 4/14/2008 1:55 PM (GMT -7)   

Thanks to each of you.  I loved reading your messages and ideas.  I am slowly coming to realize that it is time to make a few changes.

This bp is always going to be part of the picture.  I need my life to have other attributes to it.  This is going to be hard but I am going to try being a little more outgoing again.  I am going to try not to be worrying so much about what others think and the stigmatism that goes along with a mental illness.

I had a talk with my husband, who over the weekend decided he was not bp, I told him that if he stopped taking his meds we were pretty much done.  I love him, but your right, my kids need to come first.  They need stability and I have tried to give them just that over the last years.  They are pretty good kids so I am lucky.

Have any of you come across the doctor patient confidentallity thing?  When I called to talk with the doctor his nurse said that they might not be able to tell me anything.  We have an appointment tomorrow morning.  I think I will talk to him about that.

I now have a checking account with just my name on it. That way when things get a little 'crazy' I can transfer money over and out of his reach.

So many good ideas.  Thank you...Thank you for helping me feel a little more normal.

sml

 

 


loving frustrated wife
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jun 2007
Total Posts : 865
   Posted 4/14/2008 5:54 PM (GMT -7)   
SML - Something else I want to point out to you is the possibility that with his condition, you must also be aware that your children have a genetic possibility of inheriting it. This is important to note on a few levels....1) how they see their dad address the condition - how responsible about it is he...does he "own" it, take his meds, see his doc's, work openly and honestly with you, does he responsibly own when he is out of line, is he honest and open with them? OR...is he ashamed about it, blame others, lie, manipulate, ignore and treat his meds like they aren't really important, etc? These things lead to #2) Should any of them show signs of it - his behavior teaches them how to behave about it. And shows them what you can get away with from others about it.

I bring these things up because we already know our oldest has it. He was dx'ed at 8 1/2 (and teenage years are hard...he is now 14 so we are facing some challenges - but...he is STILL a great kid trying to be responsible about it.), and now it looks like one of my twins (the boy) may have it too (he's 7). We are looking at some of his defiant fits and starting to ask if there is a bio-connection with the help of the pdoc & therapist help. We are not making any definitive decisions yet, just tracking. I am still praying it is just a behavioral control thing and he just needs behavior modification help with it and a phase we need to get through vs. the BP. But time will tell. My point is that the sooner we start working with him, the better for him no matter what the root of it all is. But with BP, I can see that if a child learns about it, and learns how to treat it responsibly, they will have the best shot at managing their life as an adult with greater ease. So, given you have 4 kids...something to think about what are they learning from how their dad handles his. My H is relatively responsible...he is consistent and responsible at all times about meds, sees the pdoc and therapist regularly, includes me in that process with regularity and agrees with full access to the doc's for me, and tries (at least sometimes) to recognize when he goes too far or is "off". So, my S takes his lead from his dad, and tries to improve on it. If your husband isn't being responsible...then you are setting any of your kids up to think that is how it is acceptable to behave if YOU allow it. Does this make sense? Best of luck to you. LFW

sml
New Member


Date Joined Apr 2008
Total Posts : 7
   Posted 4/14/2008 7:53 PM (GMT -7)   

Some very good points lfw.  I have been watching my children for any signs and so far nada.  I know that it can flare at any given time so I will keep watching.  My husband wasn't diagnosed until he was around 20 and a very stressful situation triggered it.  That led to his whole family being tested and found his dad had it.(that explained alot of his fathers mood swings).

My husband has tried very hard to be responsible.  It just seems that since he started swinging on the manic side..we have not been able to control it for any length of time.  So when he gets to high....he is superman and can do anything and he feels so good that he thinks he dosen't need meds, or contacts etc.  When he comes down he very distraught of the things he may have done or the things he might have said.  He always apoligizes to the children if he had offended them.  The thing that is different this time than others is that we are seeing a therapist reguarly and his bp doctor as often as needed.  I hate the quess work with the meds. 

You seem so calm and know quite a bit.  How long have you been at this?  I'm sure you have told me already, but can't remember.

Thanks much

sml


loving frustrated wife
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jun 2007
Total Posts : 865
   Posted 4/14/2008 9:08 PM (GMT -7)   
I've been married 16 1/2 years, and like I said, had complete dx for approx. 6 years now for my S and H. I also have had A LOT of therapy for myself prior to my marriage as I grew up with a lot of dysfunction between having to by law visit my bio father, and my step brother having severe mental illness starting to be dx'ed at 13, and that was back in the early 70's. He was adopted in my step-dad's 1st marriage, and they didn't tell him his mother was from a mental institution where she was committed to for hereditary schizophrenia. Apparently, he was the bi-product of her being raped there. All a tragic story. His final dx was manic depressive -Schizophrenic - paranoid - schizoid. Anyway, I grew up as a result dealing with this, and seeing how my step dad handled things and enabled the mental illness more than helped him, and how my mom on the other hand was strong about it and worked to NOT enable the illness, but demand the best from my brother. In the end, prior to his death, he shared in his most stable state that it was that strength and demand of his best - in spite of the illness from my mom, that was the best thing for him even though he fought her all those years, and everything my dad let him manipulate, and made excuses for was the worst thing for him. So, I guess when I found myself in this situation, albeit a COMPLETELY different (and MUCH less severe) issue with just BP2, I figured things out fast. Frankly, knowing all I do, doesn't always help though. It is STILL hard to live with sometimes, and sometimes I get very down about it because I feel like I have stereophonic BP, and it gets exhausting. And again...I, by comparison have it much milder than most....but like I said to start...BP is BP and loving and supporting someone with it is not easy on the partner, or being the parent of ...no matter what level it is. But then again, if I had to deal with some of the things many have shared...I would already be OUT of the situation. I know where my line in the sand is, and illness or not, what I will or won't tolerate. I am clear that I count as much as he does. My needs count too. They have to or we all are lost.

I know trying to get the meds right is hard, just work with the pdoc's and make the best choices you can for all of you. The unknowing of it all is SO hard. It upsets me terribly that there isn't a blood test to check all these brain chemistry levels, the way we can check blood levels with diabetes. If there was (and there should be by now)...each person would get tested, and the proper cocktails could be created for each and we'd all have better lives. Why scientists don't make this a priority is BEYOND me. Eventually someone will end up with a wife, son, daughter, husband, parent...etc. who suffered needlessly because we work so in the dark, and they will create this definitive blood chemistry panel test and POOF...the problem of how to find the right meds will be found for each person. That day couldn't come soon enough for me. LFW

sml
New Member


Date Joined Apr 2008
Total Posts : 7
   Posted 4/15/2008 5:58 PM (GMT -7)   

Hey LFW,

Your story in absolutely amazing.  Eventhough you have been through so much, you seem to have an amazing strength about you. Thank you for sharing your story with me.

We went to the doctor today and we get to change the meds again(joy).  I hope this helps.  He always cycled on the depressed side until the year 2000.  Since then it has always been manic, and we have not found the right cocktail to manage that mania.  The meds can be so expensive too.  I have just one to budget for, you have two.  I feel a little lucky that he has been able to work through most of it.  We have been unemployed 4 times from 2000 until 2005.

I haven't heard the levels of bp.  I noticed you said your husband was a 2.  What are the different levels?

sml


loving frustrated wife
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jun 2007
Total Posts : 865
   Posted 4/15/2008 8:35 PM (GMT -7)   
There are many manifestations of the BP condition. Plus, every type of BP has ranges as well. Plus, then there is rapid recycling or not...etc. The doctor can help you define the exact type your H may be dealing in, and to where on the grade scale he is. I know it is stressful to change the meds...take it slow and steady and ask you H to stay as conscious as he can. He can manually override if the mania starts getting away from him. Tell him to stay aware of others around him. If he seems much "higher" then they are....he's TOO high with the mania and needs to shut down and modify his behavior. He CAN do this with effort and recognize when he is off. He just has to learn how to be willing to see it, and welcome your feedback as a barometer. Does that make sense?

I joke all the time when my H says we are living beyond our means...."WHERE? It ALL goes to medical costs! How is that living beyond our means....Oh...I guess we'll have to stop going to the doc's!" Then we laugh because really, what are our choices...and then just keep doing what is needed. Hang in there and just keep making the best choices for your family that you can. LFW

sml
New Member


Date Joined Apr 2008
Total Posts : 7
   Posted 4/16/2008 3:44 PM (GMT -7)   

Hey LFW,

How are ya today?  I hope it is a good day for you and your family.

So you husband is able to see that he may be to high an adjust himself?  I Have often wondered about that.  It is exactly that idea that gets us into alot of trouble.  I have believed all along that if he would have red flags for himself, he might be able to stop things before they happen.  He either hasn't been able to or won't.

Today,  he is a little angry at me.  Last night he went up on the meds the dr asked him to and he is not happy being what he calls 'down'.  To me it is being normal. I asked him last night if he had taken his meds and how much(like I always do) and he woke me up around midnight furious because he said I was treating him like a child.  I get tired of apoligizing for something I don't feel in the wrong for just so we won't have to argue. I know the dr told me that his highs are like being on cocaine.  So I know that can be depressing to have to come down.  Hopefully after a few days he will get used to it.  He called earlier today from work complaining about his stomach being upset and that he felt awful.  I think he was wanting me to say he didn't have to stay on the regiment.  I just told him to talk to his dr which he did and the dr said stay with it.

We are leaving for a few days to go on a trip with the kids.  They have spring break right now.  I always get nervous about these things because he can make it miserable on all of us.  And then we have spent precious money for bad memories.  Do you ever have to worry about that?

Ok, thanks for letting me ramble....
sml

loving frustrated wife
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jun 2007
Total Posts : 865
   Posted 4/16/2008 6:24 PM (GMT -7)   
SML, Like I shared, my H & S are on the milder side of things by comparison to what you are describing. But yes, there are times he can see he is over reacting to things, or too grouchy, or too moody. We don't tend to experience the level of highs like you are describing...the "superman" stuff. However, I know from others on the board that when some do, who REALLY want to contain and be aware of their condition...they work to look for "check in" markers with themselves. And, noticing differences between themselves and others who they have selected as "good barometer" people to compare off of. Or, they trust the feedback from a loved one who will share they seem to high, or low. Does that make sense?

As to the meds, my H would react the same if I questioned him nightly like that. Perhaps you can find a better way to do this as a partnership so it is less like treating him like a mother/child thing. This condition can make a man feel very emasculated...even when we wives have the BEST of intentions. My H uses week long medication containers. He fills them once a week (morning and night meds), and then he can track if he forgets...things like that. And the dose is set and he can't mess it up from one day to the next. SO...in your case, you can fill the containers weekly if he tends to mess the doses up (I do our S's), or let him do it if he is responsible that way. See if he would feel comfortable moving to a system like that (present it as a suggestion because you really understand his feelings about your nightly questioning making him "feel" like a child, even though it is not your intention to make him feel that way). If he says yes, then suggest to him to keep the supply of meds to refill from in a separate place. Then it is easy enough for you to check if he took or not without having to ask him. You'd just check his box for that day/time type of thing. Let's say if he's gone to bed already, instead of asking because his behavior seems off - or you're just making sure he hasn't forgotten, you can say something like..."Oh, I was just in the kitchen/bathroom..(wherever), and noticed you haven't taken your meds yet tonight...honey would you like me to bring you them so you don't need to get up again?" That is supportive, not questioning him, or pointing out he's made a mistake and forgotten. Does that make sense?

As to the upset tummy as a possible result of the new meds, try and stay empathetic about it. Tell him you are sorry he is not feeling well...(who knows it could be the start of the flu?), and ask if there is anything that sounds good to eat that you could make him to help him feel better. AGAIN...this is about being supportive, and as understanding as you can - verses the policeman or mommy making sure he sticks with it. Always help him, like you did, to refer back to the pdoc about meds questioning. This helps you stay in the partner/wife role vs. fall into the mommy/child relationship. Does that all make sense?

I have had the "been there done that" on vacations too. All you can do is BREATHE...intervene if he goes too far with the kids to the negative (or setting the wrong example for them) and in a quite calm moment when it is just the two of you, calmly and lovingly point out he seems so upset and seems to be going a bit too far, that you know he wants to have a great time with the family too, that you understand know and he doesn't mean to be doing that...then ask..."how can you help?" If it doesn't improve, offer to head home and attempt a trip another time when he seems more in the frame of mind for it. You know he doesn't want to have a miserable time together any more then the rest of you do and that this trip is just not working...for whatever reason...it doesn't matter. (These kind of statements tend to help calm my H down...but my timing is important, and I need to stay sensitive to the fact that he isn't intentionally behaving this way.)

BTW, I just want to also point out that these are things that I have found have worked in my situation. Only you can determine if they may be worth trying for you. If they also work for you...GREAT...if not, keep working to find techniques that will work in your individual situation. Hope some of that helps. LFW

Post Edited (loving frustrated wife) : 4/16/2008 7:29:43 PM (GMT-6)

New Topic Post Reply Printable Version
Forum Information
Currently it is Tuesday, December 06, 2016 11:09 AM (GMT -7)
There are a total of 2,733,559 posts in 301,134 threads.
View Active Threads


Who's Online
This forum has 151272 registered members. Please welcome our newest member, Toto'surprise.
337 Guest(s), 12 Registered Member(s) are currently online.  Details
BensonHill, tickbite666, Bucko, mpost, Toto'surprise, ChickNorris, WORLD HEALING, Bobby Mac, Namie, peanut307, Traveler, Nosila


Follow HealingWell.com on Facebook  Follow HealingWell.com on Twitter  Follow HealingWell.com on Pinterest
Advertisement
Advertisement

©1996-2016 HealingWell.com LLC  All rights reserved.

Advertise | Privacy Policy & Disclaimer