new member - dealing with bipolar husband who drinks

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gumba
New Member


Date Joined Jul 2008
Total Posts : 5
   Posted 7/26/2008 9:23 PM (GMT -7)   
Just found this site and am in awe of all of you who are willing to be so honest about your struggles.   As the partner of almost 20 years of a husband who has probably been bipolar the whole time but only diagnosed 2 years ago, it is refreshing to read frank accounts of what it is like to be there.
 
I can never fully understand what it's like, but I have lived with bipolar for 20 years as well, on the outside.   I have watched my best friend want to kill himself, drink himself into a stupor, and make decisions that are irresponsible, potentially dangerous, and completely incomprehensible to me over and over and over.   I have been blamed, been worshipped and been relied on for everything, including giving him a reason to stay alive - a pretty tall order.
 
I have also watched a proper diagnosis, with good medications, make a world of difference.  I have heard "I feel normal again" and then watched him jeopardize this with ongoing alcohol use.  
 
I work in the field, but it is so different to "live it" - no one can know what is the right path for someone else, and I am appreciating the non-judgemental and friendly tone of this site.
 
I am currently in the process of kicking my wonderful partner out in the hopes that this will finally make him realize that he has to choose between alcohol and our family (2 little boys aged 2 and 5).   He is being VERY nice to me currently and trying to show me that he can stop drinking without me needing him out (strange how he wasn't able to do this last week, before I finally said "enough").   I did this before, and it was very successful - regular AA, and almost a year of sobriety.   He returned home after 3 months last time, finally got a good diagnosis, and all was wonderful for a time.   Then he decided he had only used alcohol to self medicate and now didn't need to do this any more, so he could drink socially.   He continues to take his meds, but his occasional drinks have turned into more than 24 beer a week.  And with the medications, he is intoxicated after 2 or 3....(if that's accurate - I can never be sure how many he's had as he is adept at hiding them).  
 
Hopefully he can move out, stay sober, and we can rebuild our relationship.  I'm worried about the kids' reactions, but he has an open invitation to visit them any time as long as he is not drinking (with me supervising....).    Last time he was here almost daily, even if only for an hour or two, and that was great as we got only "good time" with him - all the frustration, anger, and other stuff was his stuff, and he kept it away from us.   The kids actually benefitted as they had his undivided attention when he was here, and when he wasn't, they weren't dealing with his moods or the "why won't daddy play with me?" feelings.   Kids amaze me with their ability to adapt but I still worry.
 
I apologize for the long post, but that's my reason for being here right now.  

mom2four
Regular Member


Date Joined Jul 2008
Total Posts : 45
   Posted 7/27/2008 6:12 AM (GMT -7)   
Good luck, Gumba! I hope that you have the same success (but much longer lasting!!) with this evection. I know that my husband, too, can really turn on the charm, but he really doesn't ever think he has a problem, it is always us- or the driver in front of the driver in front of him, or the police out to get him, or "someone" who breaks in and rearranges his stuff, etc.. It is really difficult on the children, but better to act now. Really young children seem to adapt so much more easily. Hopefully, this will get his attention and he will stay sober, and on meds. I know that most of the bipolar people on this site who seem to be really owning up to this problem and fighting it fairly successfully keep telling everyone that both of you seeing a good therapist together and separately is pretty critical. The psychotherapist that we were trying to see said that he had one patient that he spent all of his time with just convincing him to stay on his meds. Take care.

Diskus
Regular Member


Date Joined Jul 2008
Total Posts : 110
   Posted 7/27/2008 6:46 AM (GMT -7)   
You are very brave and made an imperative decision for you and your children. No one will ever know and understand what goes on inside your relationship with your husband but you and him. YOu did what you had to, it sounds like. I wish you and him all the luck in the world. Medication yo-yoing is something everyone on this board is familiar with. The fact that he has to contend with alcoholism is another struggle he must overcome until he's ready to commit to treatment.

Diskus
Regular Member


Date Joined Jul 2008
Total Posts : 110
   Posted 7/27/2008 6:48 AM (GMT -7)   
ps, a friend of mine recently told me that her dad is bipolar and although she knew this was the case her entire life, he was only diagnosed 5 years ago, or so (he's 55). Her mother has enabled his behavior for their entire marriage. All of the kids are in therapy now and the mother is still coping in her own way. The father is still untreated.

mom2four
Regular Member


Date Joined Jul 2008
Total Posts : 45
   Posted 7/27/2008 7:04 AM (GMT -7)   
My father, also, was an undiagnosed bipolar. He did begin medication after I was grown, and we do ok in our relationship now, but I have repeatedly made horrible decisions that wreck my life and my childrens' from the fallout of growing up with him. My mother stayed, made excuses, covered up. They are still together, and she justifies having us grow up with him by the fact that he is now treated and going to church, and what would have become of him had she not. I rebelled against him and all of the hypocrisy in our home as a teen; I am in my third disastrous marriage! I seem to do ok with pretty much every area of my life except for men. I keep recreating my horrible relationship with my dad- or worse. I never think that I do; but I definitely have the fairy tale reversed! I kiss Prince Charming, and he turns into a toad. My current husband was a total charmer, we had been friends before, and he had been friends (through a mutual friend) of my daughters' for a few years before that. They adored him, and he did them. There was no sign of any problem during their friendship, our friendship, our dating; but almost the moment we were married and moved in together, everything broke lose and got worse and worse. We are currently separated, (my 9yo daughter was suicidal), but I am still hoping that he will get help. The children are the most important. I can't make him get treatment, or stay on it if he did. I can try to salvage what is left of their childhood.

gumba
New Member


Date Joined Jul 2008
Total Posts : 5
   Posted 7/27/2008 7:54 PM (GMT -7)   
Thank you for your support! He has attended his 4th AA meeting in 3 days, and seems to be getting something from them again, which is great. He also is actively looking for places, and finally understands why I need him out right now. When he isn't drinking, he is much more receptive to how I feel and what his behaviour does to the children, and at this point, he is in self-blame mode so just keeps telling me how sorry he is.

I wish there was more I could do for him, but this is really his road to walk. The kids seem to be better already - the tension at home was probably impacting them more than we realized.

At least he believes in the medications and since he has no negative side effects, has never tried to stop taking them. I'm sure their effectiveness will be even better now that there is no alcohol...

one day at a time, right?

mom2four
Regular Member


Date Joined Jul 2008
Total Posts : 45
   Posted 7/27/2008 8:19 PM (GMT -7)   
Good luck! I'm so glad he is going. One day (or moment) at a time!

serafena
Veteran Member


Date Joined May 2007
Total Posts : 3715
   Posted 7/28/2008 7:05 AM (GMT -7)   
Good news. Let's hope it continues. I'm sure you're looking forward to having your family whole again.

serafena
Serafena
Co-Moderator, Bipolar Forum
Bipolar II


CapninHapnin
Regular Member


Date Joined Sep 2006
Total Posts : 285
   Posted 7/28/2008 7:29 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi Gumba

I have a unique perspective here, as I get to be one of the few males here surrounded by beautiful women. WooHoo!

But, I was like your husband. I suffered more with the manic side. And I drank a lot. I also used the excuse I only drank socially. My treatment did not become effective until I completely got off the booze. Booze and mania creates some really bad circumstances.

Due to my own experiences, BP is not effectively treated until the alcohol is completely out of the picture. No "a few beers" here and there. No alcohol, none. This may be a trouble to convince your husband to quit and may make him defensive. But the fact is there, his BP treatment will not be effective until sobriety.

Good luck, keep us informed.

Cap
I want "I wish I had one more day to spend at the office" on my tombstone.

I used to be crazy, but now I have enough money to be called eccentric.

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