Newbie with Bipolar Wife - At Wits End

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modok_man
New Member


Date Joined Aug 2008
Total Posts : 3
   Posted 8/7/2008 5:56 PM (GMT -7)   
As many of you have said, being the spouse of someone who is bipolar is not an easy thing.  My wife and I have been together for almost seven years, married two.  I knew from day one she was bipolar, but she stays on her meds and visits the doctor when she needs to.  She's rarely angry, not abusive, and is truly a very strong, good person.  I am also chronically depressed, medicated, and obsessive compulsive.  For the past few years, my wife has gone through very depressed phases, the occassional mania, but most of the time she is just in a "blah", indifferent state.  Before we got married, I thought part of that was the stress of college and the constant fear that she would never graduate.  I figured once we were married and in our own home, she'd return to the interesting, passionate person she was for the first few years of the relationship.  Still, here we are, settled down, and that woman has yet to return; I'm beginning to wonder if who she was at the time was the result of her medication.  These days, she spends most of her time sleeping or sitting in front of the television, essentially doing nothing.  I'm one of those people who likes to keep busy.  She has this perpetual indifference to everything.  Occassionally she shows interest in something, but not often, and it especially hurts when she has no interest in me and flat out tells me this is the case.  Our sex life is sporadic at best.  I get so jealous of other couples that are affectionate and at least look happy.  I know part of it is her meds, I know part of it is the depression.  Still, I feel alone, left by the wayside.  There's no passion in the relationship, nor is there a partnership.  I feel like I'm doing everything - cleaning, cooking, picking up after her, paying the majority of the bills, etc.  I'm just flat out tired, I can't keep up with this pace.  Sometimes she acknowledges the things I do, shows some interest, but those moments are few and far between.  I try my best to keep her happy, to take care of her, but I get frustrated and angry sometimes - who is taking care of me, who wants me to be happy, why can't she make a decision for once, why does she have to sleep all the time?  A few months back we talked about all of this, about some changes I needed to be made, that I needed her to at least make an effort to help me out, and if there was anything I needed to change.  I feel like a selfish jerk sometimes - I want to be happy, to have some affection, to be married to my best friend, for her to make me laugh and comfort me when I'm feeling like crap.  I keep a lot of things bottled up because I don't want to hurt her or cause her distress, but I feel like I'm going to explode.  After we talked a few months ago, things got a little better, but not long after, she sank into another depressive state.  They seem to get worse every time.  For the last three weekends, she has been talking about suicide.  In the back of my mind, and I know how terrible this sounds, I want to say "just do it and get it over with".  Needless to say, I can't and won't ever say such a thing, but this is becoming more than I can bear.  I get scared thinking about our future - is this the way it's going to be for the rest of my life?  And what if we have kids?  How is she possibly going to get through the pregnancy with no meds?  If she treats me this way now, how will she treat a child?  Am I going to have to worry everytime she's with the child?  We both want kids, but I don't know if it's such a good idea for us.  I guess I'm not sure if the whole marriage is a good idea for us.  I feel terrible saying it, feel like a coward, but I just want out of this.  It's just too much for me to handle.  The last thing in the world I want to do is hurt her, but I just don't feel in love with her like I used to, and I don't feel like this marriage is going to be worthwhile.  The only thing that has stopped me from ending it is the fear that she'll try and hurt herself if I tell her I want to end the marriage.  Sometimes I feel like the only reason we're married, at least for her, is for comfort and stability, and without me in the picture, that all goes out the door.  I don't want her to do something like that, but I can't stand being alone in this marriage anymore.  If you have any advice or thoughts, I'd love to hear them, feeling pretty lost right now.  Thanks for reading.

CapninHapnin
Regular Member


Date Joined Sep 2006
Total Posts : 285
   Posted 8/7/2008 7:35 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi Modok

My advice is usually incorrect, so keep that in mind.

Have you and your wife been to marriage counseling? Many of the problems do sound health related, but some don't. Communication appears difficult. Comunication is a problem in just about every marriage. Give marriage counseling a try. But make sure you get a good counselor, one that can teach strategies to improve your marriage. Some counselors are just referees, and bad ones at that. It may take many tries to find the right one, but if you find one who can help, it is worth it.

Good Luck

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.


ddd
Regular Member


Date Joined Aug 2008
Total Posts : 26
   Posted 8/8/2008 7:03 AM (GMT -7)   
I justed wanted to post a response to your post... I am not really sure what to say other than I am just like your wife I think. I wanted to get a chance to tell you that ya some of it is the meds and stuff but also you know, I find that I get so wrapped up in myself and my feelings that I totally deprive my partners. I drove my marriage into the ground and ended up divorced at the age of 23 (I am 25 now) and I lost custody of my son who is now 6 due to the indifference and instability I have shown everyone oer the past years. I am not making this all about me I just wanted to tell you that I feel for you and anyone who has to deal with people like us, and if you can't do it then you can't do it. I definitely feel like having a child TOTALLY MAGNIFIED the illness like 100 fold. I am not even joking, when you can't be stable alone, you cause nothing but chaos for a partner, family and children which is the worst. I agree that counseling may help and setting goals and things to look forward to has always helped me, like when I feel like there's someplace to go or something to work hard at being stable for. I don't know man but I do know that this disease is exhausting even more so for the people that get stuck with a person that has completely turned into something you didn't bargain for. You know, the good thing is that unless your dead, there's always a chance for things to change. Try praying too, it helps.

serafena
Veteran Member


Date Joined May 2007
Total Posts : 3715
   Posted 8/8/2008 8:44 AM (GMT -7)   
Modok man,

Hello and let me welcome you to the board and to HealingWell.

It sounds like you and your wife are struggling very hard at the moment and you are clearly very unhappy. I would echo Cap'n and recommend some therapy, not necessarily just couples therapy though, but individual therapy for both of you. You say you are depressed yourself and that comes through in your post. There's clearly a lot of anger and frustration built up that you aren't expressing. Time to find out how to best deal with that emotion, and a therapist can show you how to do that.

As a bipolar, your wife probably should already be in therapy. She sounds pretty depressed as well. If she's talking suicide, you need to get her to a doc ASAP. She needs to get her meds adjusted and maybe a stay in the hospital. Convince her to call her doc to get in for an emergency visit to talk about suicidal thoughts and for a medication evaluation because whatever she's on is no longer working.

You two are clearly coexisting but not happily. This is NOT how it has to be. You both need to go the extra step to take care of yourselves and be happy so that you can also make each other happy.

serafena
Serafena
Co-Moderator, Bipolar Forum
Bipolar II


modok_man
New Member


Date Joined Aug 2008
Total Posts : 3
   Posted 8/8/2008 6:45 PM (GMT -7)   

Thanks for the responses, much appreciated. 

My wife goes to see her doctors regularly - she's actually very good about going to the doctor when she's feeling off, and she has been vocal about the suicidal thoughts, so I was able to keep her from doing anything rash, basically suicide watch for the last few weeks.  It also helps that she has a couple members of her immediate family who have been dealing with BP for decades, so the non-BP members of her family are very good at helping with these situations.  The meds have been shifted around quite a bit in the last few years because they can't seem to find the right balance.  She does seem to be in a better mood lately (new meds), but in the back of my mind, I'm not able to accept it because I know this phase will pass once again.  We haven't tried marriage counseling, but I honestly don't know if I want to even try - I know that sounds harsh.  Maybe I'll rethink it.  Part of my problem is I have the sort of personality where if I decide something isn't beneficial or worthwhile, I kind of shut it out.  Maybe it's the OCD?  And also, let me just say, I have the utmost respect and admiration for anyone dealing with this illness.  I know it takes a lot out of you guys - I see it everyday - just wanted to make sure I didn't seem like the ultimate whiner here.

Anyway, thanks again...we'll see how this weekend goes.


krisha
New Member


Date Joined Aug 2008
Total Posts : 11
   Posted 8/8/2008 8:22 PM (GMT -7)   
Hello, I just read your post . A year and a half ago I was put in the hospital for I was heading in the wrong direction they said I was bipolar and put me on meds to stabilize my swings they did work. but the weight i've gained since then is horrible 50lbs in the year. went to a different dr. he looked at my records and declared that i'm not bipolar and took me off the bipolar meds and put me on wellbutrin and celexa. still have the weight on and now i'm extremely depressed about my image. Is your wife heavier now with weight that has made her eat more or binge eat then not be as active? being inactive and depression alow all the bad emotions and thought to take over. If not I would somehow convince her on how concerned you are with this sad talk about suicide which is never the answer and get her to want to get better for both of you and to be admitted until her meds are adjusted. Because I did welcome the treatment I received in the hospital. This is a stressful situation for both of you. Please keep the communication open and love her, let her know how much you care and tell her it's hurting you to watch this and ask her if she can see what's she doing to herself and you. Don't turn away just yet.

serafena
Veteran Member


Date Joined May 2007
Total Posts : 3715
   Posted 8/9/2008 11:42 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi krisha,

Welcome to the bipolar board. I just wanted to say hi and thank you for joining us.

serafena
Serafena
Co-Moderator, Bipolar Forum
Bipolar II

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