My wife is bipolar. We've been married for almost 4 years.
We have one baby girl together (almost 2 years old) and
a step son (almost 8 years old). My step son was diagnosed with Inflammatory Bowel Disease in March of this year and then had a stroke and lost the use of his
right side. He went for a month and a half of rehab and
now has most of the function back in his right side (although has gone from being right handed to left handed).
I work nights as a Registered Nurse on a cancer ward.
My wife stays home and looks after the kids.
She is now in her 8th month of pregnancy and is due
to give birth next month.
The past few weeks she has been getting more and more
depressed. She started back on Lamictal a few months ago (she had stopped for fears it would harm the fetus).
Then about a month ago she started on Lithium. But still didn't improve. Then a week or so ago she started on Lexapro. She has just gotten worse and worse. She walks around in a daze all the time with a pained expression on her face. She frequently cries. She says, "I don't feel good", all the time and when I ask what I can do she says "nothing". I try to spend time with her and listen to her. We go out for meals together and I try to help out around the house, but things have gotten worse and worse. She has become suicidal and homicidal, saying that she "can't bear to hear the children breathe sometimes" and is "afraid to be left alone with the children incase she drowns them in the bath tub".
The kids ARE hard work. I get very frustrated with them too, but I can block it out when our daughter is screaming at full volume, whereas my wife can't.
My wife, Sarah, has also a bit of a gambling problem. If she has money she will usually gamble it. I have kind of turned a blind eye to this because it's the one thing she seems to enjoy doing. She will go out to the Video Poker Bar and spend a few hours there. I now only give her a $10 a day allowance, which I think she resents.
Last week everything came to a head and she accused me of not caring about her and only caring about money and the next thing I knew her sister and brother had arrived and she packed everything in there car and went and left and moved in with her mum (who is also clinically depressed - and her sister and brother both have bipolar disorder too). I was angry that after everything I've done (I moved from England to be with my wife and feel I have sacrificed a lot to be here and have stood by her) she turns around and says I don't care.
The next day she left me a note saying she was sorry.
But I just tore it up. I was still angry, and I am still angry. I struggle to balance work and home life as both environments are so stressful. These past few days I have gone to the coast by myself and stayed in a motel just to get away from everything. I called Sarah today and she is "okay" with her mum. At least her mum is responsible enough to look after the children.
Sarah is seeing a psychiatrist who keeps tweeking her meds to find the right cocktail. Right now she is being weaned off the Lithium.
I want to call her and tell her I love her and am sorry for not being more supportive, but another part of me is wary of diving back in to the same situation. I feel her family only help when it's a last resort and that in some ways they make things worse as they are all suffering from mental illness too.
I don't want to send out a message that it is "okay" to just pack up the kids and take them away without consulting me and then the next day want everything to be roses again.
But I do love her and want her back. I'm not perfect either. I just wish it was easier.