Is my wife bipolar? Or am I a jerk?

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lukavets
New Member


Date Joined Oct 2008
Total Posts : 6
   Posted 10/26/2008 10:42 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi all,
I suspect that my wife may be bipolar, however, I often doubt myself. I think that perhaps I am the problem and I'm trying to scapegoat her. Anyway, this is why I suspect it: When my wife is happy, she is HAPPY. She literally runs around the house (chasing the cat or me), laughing uncontrollably. I enjoy it, but I must admit it can be disturbing sometimes. From a 7 year old it could be normal, but not from an adult. Or maybe I'm just a stiff? Once a month or so, she gets into one of her moods. She completely ignores me, she sleeps on the couch at night, she listens to music...etc. Anything to avoid me. She'll threaten me with divorce. The only reason I doubt that it may be bipolar disorder is because usually something I did sets her off. But when I think of what I did, it seems too ludicrous to warrant such behavior. Last month, I got off of the phone with the cable company (they weren't helpful) and commented that I'd like to throw the tv out the window. She said "because you do everything you want" and didn't talk to me for 2 days, slept on the couch, threatened divorce. This time I was getting ready to go to work and she asked if I wanted to "play", which means chase her around the house and pick her up and throw her on the bed...it's like rough-housing. I said, "no, I have to go to work" and she got upset. I was about to take a shower (warning: sexual content) and asked her if instead she'd like to take one with me. Perhaps this was insensitive? She looked at me like I was a dirty uncle and hasn't talked since. She slept on the couch last night. This type of thing happens semi-frequently and we usually don't remember what set it off after it's all over.
So the question is: Am I a jerk or does she have an issue? I don't know, but I hope it's me.
I'd appreciate any insights.

Diskus
Regular Member


Date Joined Jul 2008
Total Posts : 110
   Posted 10/26/2008 11:27 AM (GMT -6)   
lukavets-

Not that we can diagnose your wife...but we need more info. Has she seen a psych doc? Irritability, extreme happiness, avoidance tactics, etc. are all personality traits that people who do not suffer from bp can have as well. Did this behavior come on suddenly? I know b/f my fiance was treated, anything disagreeable I said would launch a battle, my fault of course.

I read in another post of yours that you would feel bad if she had to take meds b/c of this. From my experience and from what my fiance and I have discussed in therapy, the meds have given him a new lease on life (after many failed tries of unsuccesful meds) and he finally feels as though he's "in the middle of both poles" (his words).

We've dealt with this illness for two years and have educated ourselves every way possible. There's no one trick pony to remaining stable and living a fulfilling life with bipolar.

Having said that, we still have relationship issues that are not due to bipolar. Not every behavioral trait I don't particularly like in my fiance is due to his illness (i'm sure there's a few I possess that he dislikes).

It sounds like you need more information. Have you tried starting a dialogue with your wife about your concerns?

lukavets
New Member


Date Joined Oct 2008
Total Posts : 6
   Posted 10/26/2008 12:27 PM (GMT -6)   
We've discussed it and she agrees that she's not in control during the bad times. Her mother sat me down the night we announced our engagement and told me that she has a "special personality" and that when she's upset "she's silent, but she's hurting herself more than anybody else". It was cryptic, I thought she just had a temper. I forced her to see a doctor after a really bad episode and he just poured a ton of meds on her. It seemed overkill and clumsy. We decided she should hold off. She wants to see a psychologist, but it's one of those things we keep putting off, hoping it will go away. And I always have a creeping suspicion that I'm the real problem, which makes me not as insistant as perhaps I should be that she see a professional. Also, all of the bipolar people I have met were usually a bit more extreme in behavior. She doesn't really do any reckless things when she's down, she just stops talking and behaves kind of viciously toward me. Like clockwork, two days after the onset of a bad mood, she approaches me in tears and begs my forgiveness. I've been in lots of relationships, and I know that this isn't normal behavior.
I don't know. She's not talking now, and I known from experience that I just have to wait till its over. The problem is that when it is, we're just so relieved that we don't want to continue it by discussing what happened and what we should do. We just hope that was the last episode and I try my best to never, ever upset her in anyway.
I've probably frustrated everyone with this response. I'm frustrated myself--all this contradiction and false hope. I know we need outside advice. I'm just venting here because I have nobody else to talk to.
Thanks.

kirstenhere
Regular Member


Date Joined Mar 2008
Total Posts : 27
   Posted 10/26/2008 12:52 PM (GMT -6)   
Vent away, hon! It helps!! I know, I do it all the time here. LoL! I'm sure people are tired of me rambling on and on.

I live with a bp husband. But, I must say this...your wife sounds more like I do. I do the exact same thing with my husband. I go into this shell and don't let him in. Then in return, he does the same thing to me. So we are just darned no matter what we do. ;-)

For me; I get this rage of anger in myself that I just can't control. So therefor, I ignore my husband when I'm like this because I do NOT want to fight with him...especially with him having bp. Sometimes, I dont even have a right to be mad at him, he hasn't even done anything at that point to me. I think for me though, it's more all the past things he has done. In his manic states, he leaves....and this has deeply hurt me. So maybe, Im just putting my guard up, I dont know. I'm not saying this is what your wife is going through, because I have no clue. Im just letting you know this is what I do.

Here is an example of how ridiculous I am: We are living with friends (as I've told everyone 100 times already, LoL, Sorry) anyhow, they moved their niece in. She is like 32 or something. Well, I don't trust her...not so much that I don't trust my husband, its more her. Well, if he is upstairs watching TV with them, or whatever, I get sooo mad!!!!!!! I mean, MAD! I won't talk to him at all and the poor guy has no clue what he's done. I try so hard to control this, but I can't. I just get this fit of rage in me that wont go away and I don't know why. Its absolutely ridiculous what I do. BUT, I can't control it. It sucks! Actually, if anyone has any advice for me on this one, please, please, Ill take anything. It's actually ruining my life right now. I dont sleep at night because I'm so afriad he is going to go upstairs and she'll be up or something. It's horrible! Last night he went up to give our friend some shirts someone had given us and he was up there for more than 5 minutes and I freaked out. How insane is that?

Anyhow, I don't know if this helped you or not, or even if this is anything like your wife. I'm just sharing what I do. Insane, I know, but it's my life right now. :-)

Take care, keep your chin up, smile and things will work out. :-) And vent anytime you like. I love reading others stories, so please, keep them coming. ;-)

kirstenhere
Regular Member


Date Joined Mar 2008
Total Posts : 27
   Posted 10/26/2008 1:07 PM (GMT -6)   
One more thing: (sorry) You talked about how your wife runs around like a child, etc. Well, I used to do this as well. I would LOVE to play with my kids toys, color, etc. But for me, I was sexually abused as a child, not saying your wife was at all, please don't think that, but what I learned when I went into counseling was this: when my abuse began, I stopped growing mentally. So therefor, as an adult, I would still have these childlike tendencies. (i.e. coloring, playing with toys, ect.) But, it doesn't always have to be sexual abuse. For my husband, it was when his mother left him at age 10. This is when his mind stopped growing, so to speak. Sure, we may grow up and live in an adult world, but our minds stopped back when something tragic happened to us. Does that make sense? I'm not a doctor and for sure am NOT saying something like this has happened to your wife. I'm just letting you know what has happened in my life and what I have learned.

Since I went to counseling, oh my, 12 years ago, I learned to let that inner child go. I know people think this is stupid...but I actually wrote that child a letter and set her free. It was the absolute amazing, but scary, thing i have ever done in my life. I cried for weeks about this and I could NOT stop the tears from coming. Then one day, I don't know, I felt like something had been lifted off of me. Since then, I have not had those childlike tendencies and I know I had set her free. Free to be a child, free to love, free to run around, free to be free. It for sure was life changing for me. But don't get me wrong here, I still have lots of issues when it comes to all of that. You never get over something that tragic in your life. But, counseling and setting her free for sure helped me a lot.

So rather it be sexual abuse, a mother leaving, or whatever...sometimes as children we just can't let go. It's not our fault, it's just the way it is. I hope this helped. :-)

lukavets
New Member


Date Joined Oct 2008
Total Posts : 6
   Posted 10/26/2008 3:28 PM (GMT -6)   
kirstenhere,

That sounds really familiar. My wife often talks about how her "father finally realized he had a daughter when she was 19 years old". She too loves to color with crayons and play with toys. I often feel like her father and husband (screwed up?). The "inner child" thing you talk about could have something to do with it. My wife is a psychology major and I think her wanting to figure herself out has a lot to do with it. I think she needs to see a therapist. I'm going to stop dragging my feet and see her through it. If anything, her bouts seem more like temper tantrums than anything else.
Thank you. Your insight is very helpful. I feel a little better; that is, maybe she can be helped.

serafena
Veteran Member


Date Joined May 2007
Total Posts : 3715
   Posted 10/26/2008 4:00 PM (GMT -6)   
Lukavets,

I don't think you're a jerk. Clearly you care very much for her. BP is a tough call, even for docs, and your description isn't classic bp. I'd definitely take her to the psych, get her into some counciling if she wants, and help her find out a bit more about what's motivating her ups and downs.

Meds are not the end of the world, and if they stabilize her, that's a plus.

Serafena
Serafena
Co-Moderator, Bipolar Forum
Bipolar II


lukavets
New Member


Date Joined Oct 2008
Total Posts : 6
   Posted 10/26/2008 6:58 PM (GMT -6)   
Thanks everybody. You're all very supportive and I really appreciate the uplifting and kind words. I'm trying my best to help her with her depression.

kirstenhere
Regular Member


Date Joined Mar 2008
Total Posts : 27
   Posted 10/27/2008 12:52 AM (GMT -6)   
I used to want to figure myself out as well....which in all reality, makes things worse, I believe. There are some things we will just never figure out and things that are better unknown. I know for me, it drives me crazy because I want answers....answers to everything and anything. It sure does take a toll on your mind after awhile.

Anyhow, I hope you're doing better now. I'm glad I got to help...if even just a little bit. :-)

mongruad
New Member


Date Joined Dec 2008
Total Posts : 5
   Posted 12/9/2008 3:00 AM (GMT -6)   
I read all the replies to your post and the one thing I didnt find definitvely stated was that her downswings are not your fault. I have a BP spouse and I always blame myself for every episode - nitpicking everything I've said and done to bring it on. After 4 years, I'm finally starting to tell myself it's not my fault, and I think you may feel some small relief in telling yourself the same.

serafena
Veteran Member


Date Joined May 2007
Total Posts : 3715
   Posted 12/9/2008 11:24 AM (GMT -6)   
Mongruad,

I meant to say that in my response to your post, and just realized I didn't -- you're absolutely right. With bipolar, the mood swings aren't even the person's fault, let alone yours. He/she hasn't any control over them, so how could you? There's no way you are at fault. You have to let that go.

serafena
Serafena
Co-Moderator, Bipolar Forum
Bipolar II

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