Insight needed - I am recognizing new things....

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

loving frustrated wife
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jun 2007
Total Posts : 865
   Posted 9/7/2008 11:12 PM (GMT -7)   

Hi All,

 

As I journey down this path as a BP spouse, I am coming to understand that not all the issues I am dealing with are BP related.  I think I associated it all to his BP, which is wrong, in truth, it is not.  That is not to say that whatever the issues are, are not enhanced by the BP - both in intensity and frequency.  But perhaps the BP is not fully the root. 

 

What I mean is this, if you took his father's behavior, chauvinism, impatience, ego and control issues (as so much of my H's behavior seems to mirror the stories I've been told about his dad's younger years) as the base, and then intensified it with the BP, and amped up the frequency....that would also explain much.  SO...what to do about it becomes the next issue.  If the BP doesn't explain it, and it is a personality issue, how do you shift it with what feels like the BP in the way?  (Did that make sense?)

 

I am recognizing that my H's BP compounds those other issues – but may not be the root cause, and if he didn't have BP, these issues would still exist but to a much lesser and less frequent degree.  But without the BP in the mix, we may be able to actually deal with some of it.  But then again, it also wouldn't be THIS difficult to live with – so it may not be such an issue to begin with…plus, it could be resolvable stuff. 

 

I do love him, but he is wearing out my patience at the moment, and my understanding.  I just can't figure out how, together as a couple, we can gain any resolution and improve things of the issues about each other driving us both mad - with the BP swinging as part of it because his agitation, defensiveness, victimhood, blame, finger pointing, low frustration tolerance, morphing the true meaning of anything being said by me, irritability, and hostility, judgment...etc.  I am so ready for the attack that I end up becoming automatically defensive too.  So any ground gained, is so easily lost again.

 

So...I would love some input on this.  How do you get around the BP to resolve or improve anything?  Or does it just cycle back and forth like this the rest of our lives???  (Keep in mind folks, my H is a RR to boot, so we are not talking 6 months on the upswing, and 6 months on the down - we run hot/cold daily/weekly).  Plus, if I want to work on stuff that I am doing, which I feel I am contributing to the mix, but can't gain a discussion of any value or consistency to resolve, or work with, and all my efforts are on and off snarled at....how can I tell what is really going on.  It gets exhausting to feel so alone trying to figure it all out without blaming anyone.

 

Thanks in advance for your insight and input.  LFW


serafena
Veteran Member


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

Does your H recognize that his BP contributes to some of his behavior? Well, I suppose I should first ask, does your H recognize that he contributes to any arguments or discontent in the marriage? Then, does he blame it on being BP?

Because all I can think is that some couples therapy might be the way to go, but it isn't going to be valuable unless he's open to it. And if he's just going to deny any part in making strife, either through denial or through blaming his BP, I don't know if there would be any point?

I think you're dead on though. I've said for sometime though that BP doesn't cause our actions, it just turns them up or down. We are who we are. It gives us an excuse, takes away the inhibitions, makes us believe it's okay to act the way we do. In some cases, it's impossible to act otherwise. (I must stay in bed all day, for example.)

I'm sorry you're struggling right now. I know it's hard to be married to bipolars sometimes. wink Good luck.

serafena
Serafena
Co-Moderator, Bipolar Forum
Bipolar II


loving frustrated wife
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jun 2007
Total Posts : 865
   Posted 9/8/2008 5:58 PM (GMT -7)   
Serafena, Nope, he doesn't see his part in it, it seems to be blamed much on me "prompting" his reactions and treatment. But, he also doesn't blame BP because that would require him to acknowledge it playing a part in any of his conduct. He cops to it by seeing the doctor, saying the words BP (under the rarest of situations - like yeah, I've got blue eyes too), and takes his meds consistently. But that is as far as it goes, he does that...in his eyes it's ALL under control and not a part of this. Therapy produced minimal results before because he didn't want to change then either, and even if he DOES change momentarily, it NEVER lasts and the acknowledgement goes away as if it never existed again! I'm frustrated. I'd change only I can only think to act less defensive, but when under attack...how do we not defend ourselves or try to kindly explain rationally to someone who won't here it? Alas this is frustrating. Thanks for the input. LFW

sukay
Veteran Member


Date Joined Feb 2003
Total Posts : 1432
   Posted 9/9/2008 6:51 AM (GMT -7)   

Hello LFW,

I here ya! From what you have shared, it sounds to me like your husband needs an ultimatum! In my opinion, you and he need to get into couple’s therapy again. And you both need to be fully honest with each other in therapy. In therapy share exactly what you feel as you stated here that you do not believe everything can be attributed to his bipolar and that it is always a vicious circle since he never stays committed to what he learns. I KNOW YOU BEEN THERE DONE THAT but that is why something different needs to happen this time around.

You need to let him know that you do not want to live the rest of your life out this way with his attitudes and behavior and that he needs to work on that through therapy and possibly needing a medication adjustment.

I understand how you explain that everything is intensified by his bipolar. I feel the same way about myself. I listened to my husband for a long time blaming all my reactions and behaviors to my bipolar. I would get upset and tell him that just because I have bipolar doesn’t mean that I am not justified with my perceptions or reactions. I know what I am feeling and yes it may be magnified/intensified X’s 3 or 4 or 5!

I see my therapist regularly. I always share what is going on in my life with my therapist. She feels that most of the time things shouldn’t be blamed on my bipolar, but that sometimes my reactions or how I handled things weren’t the correct way and that was what I needed to work on.

I know when I start to feel over the top and need some help from a medication adjustment for a time, especially if I am going through a stressful time. Other times it has nothing to do with a medication adjustment but an adjustment in how I react or just a confidence builder to stand up for myself.

I feel you need to be honest with your husband and tell him that whatever the reasons for his behavior or personality traits are, that you feel that you both need to be involved in marriage counseling because it is becoming more difficult for you to handle. To me…bipolar or not, these are issues that he needs to get help with. You said it perfectly, "…without the BP in the mix, we may be able to actually deal with some of it. But then again, it also wouldn't be THIS difficult to live with – so it may not be such an issue to begin with…plus, it could be resolvable stuff."

LFW…I completely understand where you are coming from and all the frustration. Your husband needs to OWN his stuff just as you own Yours. Maybe you should just print this post up for him and let him read it. Maybe he doesn’t fully understand HOW MUCH this is bothering you and that HE NEEDS to make an EFFORT to fix some things on his part. It sounds like he needs to TRY HARDER and stay committed to it. It is not like you are blaming him for everything… it takes two to make things work! You just want a fair deal of him owning his stuff and working on it too!

If he feels that he has walked this path before and doesn’t want to go through it again, and try again, because IT IS NOT WORKING…I guess the next move will have to come from you. You know the story…

 

 

(((Hugs)))

Keep us posted.

I've just re-read your reply posts again and I just feel you really need to stress to him know how much this affecting you and that something needs to be worked on because this is wearing you VERY thin. (((Hugs)))


~sukay~
 Bipolar - August 2004
     Crohns disease - 1995 
Arthritis & Fibromyalgia 
 
Leo Buscaglia


Diskus
Regular Member


Date Joined Jul 2008
Total Posts : 110
   Posted 9/9/2008 10:07 AM (GMT -7)   
Wife- I agree w/ Sukay and Serafena. My fiance is 6 months on and 6 months off, like you described (although opposite of your H). Although he is stable (now), we wouldn't be as far as we are in our understanding of HIS illness, not THE illness, b/c of the way it works with his acutal personality, without our joint therapy sessions.

I've definitely had to come to terms with certain aspects of his personality that exist with or without the bipolar. We have a tendency to chalk up a lot of what we don't like about our sig others to bp's effects..but really, it could be that there are parts of your sig other that you just don't like. It sounds like you're beyond just discovering this and you're fed up. The illness cannot take responsibility for everything...at some point, the patient must, as well.

marthamae
Regular Member


Date Joined Jan 2008
Total Posts : 285
   Posted 9/9/2008 11:40 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi LFW,

I am BP and I know my husband has been through some rough times with me. However, I think that most of my anger toward him has been during attacks of mania or depression when I am heading down. When I am seriously depressed I am actually pretty kind.

Usually I am a fairly decent person...that's what attracted him to me in the first place. I think you should feel that way...that basically your DH is a nice guy who treats you well, but he has a disease which flares up and causes him to act in irresponsible ways. If your husband is always mean and angry toward you then you are in the wrong place, IMO.

One can only blame bipolar on so much and it works both ways. All of the poor behavior I've had in my life is not from bipolar and on the other hand, every time I am irritated at my husband, it's not because I am manic. Sometimes he is at fault. He DOES use my illness at times to escape admitting he is wrong about stuff. But I overlook that because he has cared for me when many others would have walked.

As I have gotten older, I have come to use this litmus test about people..."would they do it for me?" Before I agree to do something for someone else or feel guilty about something I ask myself..."if the situation were reversed, would this other person do the same for me?" So when my mother-in-law broke her hip and family members pressured me into taking her into my home, I said no kindly. She is not a warm person and I totally knew if I was ill she would not care for me. So I felt okay about placing her in a nice residential care facility for a couple of months until she could walk.

My point here...would your husband put up with his crap from you if the situation was reversed? Would he understand if you had a mental illness and allow you to treat him the way he treats you?

Whether he goes to couples therapy or not I hope you are getting counseling. I know this has been a long road for you. Don't sell yourself short. You deserve a happy life too. JMO.

loving frustrated wife
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jun 2007
Total Posts : 865
   Posted 9/9/2008 6:02 PM (GMT -7)   

I do so love this board and all the people on it. Where else can you put out your feelings, to either vent or request feedback and actually gain insight and assistance in this way? TO HW and EVERYONE on it I give a big CHEER!

I appreciate all the kind feedback and support. That is the hard contradiction I live with. On minute he seems fine, the next, he doesn't like the way I say something to him, so he tells me how in his opinion I should have done it. But if I do the same to him and point out I don't like the way he is talking to me, or behaving, he becomes nastier and dismissive. He's gone through the last week, and the weekend, growling at me a lot, and now for two days he has been nice again. But I don't trust it, and feel I over time AM becoming part of the problem because I am trained to be defensive with him, as I, in some ways, anticipate the mini "attack" at any moment. I hate watching this. I am in therapy, and he says to be clearer with my H, and put up with less. "Stop being so reasonable". And keep in mind on the big stuff – my H is VERY clear on the boundaries from me. So, it is this day to day continual stuff that makes it so miserable, I am now also speaking up even more...only, it is elongating the hostility IMO. So, I don't like living in a battle zone, nor do my kids. And again, I remind you all, this is not screaming and yelling and vicious verbal abuse - but consistent nastiness and growling none the same dripping in a lack of respect, and an aggressive dismissive tone. My therapist thinks it has to do with the way he was raised and the way he saw his dad treat his mom. That when the father did not get his way, or the mother wasn't "little Mary sunshine" all the time he acted like a petulant child.

I just know I want my MAN to stick around and stop turning into this child. He storms off like a child not getting his way after acting like an attitude filled argumentative belligerent and rude disrespectful teenager.  It IS wearing me thin going back and forth so quickly. But again, it could not be the BP causing it - other than making what is already there worse, and then making it all the more challenging to every get down to it to deal with it consistently enough to change anything for more than a few days or weeks. Augh!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  And given I anticipate it coming, I immediately go into defense mode whether it is necessary or not much of the time during these periods.  Plus, given how much I handle automatically because I have to, when he is in the mood to step up - I'm already doing what there is to be done, and he tells me I am emasculating him, or criticizing the way he does it, because it is not "my way".  And I can see his point.  But, you can't ask someone to constantly be in charge of something and then tell them to back off as if they are doing something wrong, because suddenly you feel like stepping up.

All your feedback has been so appreciated. It is helping me formulate a note I am going to write him to try and open up the discussion about therapy for us again. Or at least try for a reasonable discussion between us that can help improve things a bit, or at least get some honest open dialoging happening.  Thank you all...keep it coming! LFW

Post Edited (loving frustrated wife) : 9/9/2008 9:42:17 PM (GMT-6)


Diskus
Regular Member


Date Joined Jul 2008
Total Posts : 110
   Posted 9/10/2008 4:50 AM (GMT -7)   
Before my fiance was stable but during one of our first therapy visits, I explained that if something triggered my fiance's illness (whether it was work, his family, whatever) while I was at work and he was waiting at home for me...I just always anticipated the night would be ruined because we'd end up arguing for hours b/c of something I'd say (hoping to resolve the issue) that he'd find "argumentative" (that was his style...whenever I didn't agree, I was being argumentative- I was always saying "how the hell am I ever supposed to have a point of view if when it's different from yours, you think I"m arguing with you??!!) and then the argument would last for hours and I'd end up in tears.

Our therapist said : you're living a self-fulfilling prophecy...you anticipate the night will be ruined, so your approach to whatever the situation is, inevitably plays a part in the situation not being resolved and the night being ruined.

There was more to it than that, but I felt like "holy shi*!!!! she's right!!!" and it was so true...I had expected the terrible behavior and anticipated hell would break loose and fed the beast when it did...I was at the end of my rope until he was stabilized.

I didn't give an ultimatum, but it was kind of an ultimatum, I suppose...I told him that our relationship was heading down a path that would result in our inevitable destruction, and that I was ready to leave (I learned of his diagnosis soon after) prior to finding out that he was in his manic cycle (which made him act pretty much like an ***hole) and that much of what was happening was beyond his control. I told him that without talk-therapy and medication, there would be no me.

That pretty much scared the shi* out of him...but, at the same time, he was at a point where it was time for a solid treatment plan.

Do you think you're at a point in your relationship when a quasi-ultimatum like that would do the trick? You are at the end of your rope. I know he's medicated, but maybe they're something else that would keep the illness under a tighter control? What are your lifestyles like? Does he get enough sleep? Is he under more than average stress?

I know there's more to it than that from reading your posts, but lifestyle speaks a lot to the behavior you're witnessing right now, too.

Hang in there!!!! You for yourself...not hang in there in you relationship if you honestly feel as though you're at your breaking point.

To those bipolar sufferers on the post, please don't be offended by the terms I'm using when I say "fed the beast" i mean the illness, not my beloved.

sukay
Veteran Member


Date Joined Feb 2003
Total Posts : 1432
   Posted 9/19/2008 6:23 AM (GMT -7)   

Hi LFW,

And how are you doing? Been thinking about all my friends out here. Have you made any progress with approaching your hubby? Keeping you in my thoughts!


loving frustrated wife
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jun 2007
Total Posts : 865
   Posted 9/19/2008 8:40 PM (GMT -7)   
Sukay, Thanks for checking in. BABY steps...but it is real back and forth from day to day. Overall, I can report that it has been calmer, and in some ways he is not shifting quite so much. So, I am enjoying the break of the underlying tone being aggitation all the time towards me. I can see him making more of an effort which has been nice to see. I don't trust its ability to last, and I feel terrible for that. But that is my reality. However, I am enjoying it being calmer and more friendly. So I will ride this, and try to support it remaining this way for as long as it can. LFW
New Topic Post Reply Printable Version
Forum Information
Currently it is Friday, December 09, 2016 4:19 PM (GMT -7)
There are a total of 2,735,540 posts in 301,315 threads.
View Active Threads


Who's Online
This forum has 151416 registered members. Please welcome our newest member, JoanOnan.
313 Guest(s), 11 Registered Member(s) are currently online.  Details
George_, ewafromwarsaw, Gemlin, Loutucky, Girlie, LG13, Dmc695, U B Tough, Tall Allen, rcmark, multifacetedme


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