advice coping with a bipolar husband

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4support
Regular Member


Date Joined Dec 2008
Total Posts : 76
   Posted 12/20/2008 6:06 PM (GMT -7)   
Hello, wink
 
I am new to this forum and am hoping to find some much needed support and advice.  I am married to my husband who suffers from BP II and ADHD for 13 yrs and we have 2 young children.  I really love my husband and we have had our share of ups/downs thru the years, but mainly over the past 5 years since he was dx after a severe manic phase which lasted for months.  Many times I have wondered how I will manage living with his unpredictable behaviors, which have been both hurtful and damaging to our family.  For the first 4 yrs after his dx, he was in denial and questioning whether he needed meds, blaming all of his own issues on me, argumentative, angry and constantly irritable, yelling at me how he was "only going to the psychiatrist because I had convinced them he needed help", etc.., etc...he would consistently threaten to discontinue his meds and stop treatment.  He just simply didn't believe anything was wrong, when in reality his behaviour was very out of character for him, and it was frankly scaring me.  Through all of this, I was fiercely loyal, supportive and encouraging to him.  I had to adapt to many things, went to therapy myself, educated myself and really learned how I could help.
 
It was only this year that he began going to a clinic that I believe has helped him make great progress.  So, I try to focus on the positive and good - the wonderful things in our life that we have to be thankful for.  But even with the medications and inconsistent therapy, he still seems unable to control his anger over tiny, trivial things.  He relives the past constantly - what has been said to him during arguments or when he was in denial of needing help - harboring resentment which fuels his anger even more.  Even though we have moved on from past issues (or so I thought), he seems unable to.  He is very repetitive, and keeps bringing things up that we have discussed already in therapy and/or between ourselves.  I don't know why?  How will we ever move forward with pure hearts and faith if he continues to do this?  When he does have a bad day and gets angry over the smallest things, he is very verbal with me, and these things do not roll off easily anymore.  I feel like a bashed wife, never knowing when to expect his next wrath.  Recently my husband was convinced because I took my cell phone from him when it rang that I was expecting some kind of "secret call".  Unfaithfulness has never been a part of our relationship and he has no reason to feel this way.  He was so angered that he wouldn't speak to me all night, accused me of having "extracurricular activities" and we were leaving on a family vacation the next morning!  He carried on his anger for 2 days (which included my birthday), and was horrible to be around.  He took it out on me and on our children.  I was so hurt!  I am very concerned about our children when they see his behaviour and the resulting conflict in our home.  Yet, I have no control over his behaviour if he does not manage it himself.  I want our marriage to work.  I want to be with him and want our family to stay together, but at times it is becoming unbearable.  I have a few questions - does he mean the horrible things he says to me if he's in a rage?  Why would he keep repeating himself with things we have already talked about and I thought resolved?  Is it always going to be this way?  I feel like we tiptoe around him on eggshells half the time, we never know what kind of mood he will be in.  The worst thing is that I never know what to believe - what he says when he's calm and himself, or the horrid things he says when he's in a rage.  He will never admit he is wrong, and seems angered anytime anything is said to him that he disagrees with.  It's a bad way to live - to feel uncomfortable approaching your own husband with something that needs to be addressed, but only to receive anger in return.  I have threatened to leave when he's been hurtful before, and now he can't ever forget that either.  Yet that is the way I felt at the time.  It just seems almost impossible to have a normal, healthy relationship with him.  I also worry about how to talk with the children about this, how to distance and protect them.  Am I doing the right thing by staying and keeping our family together?  Or is is better to leave and have peace?  I am in desperate need of advice.

loving frustrated wife
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jun 2007
Total Posts : 865
   Posted 12/20/2008 8:29 PM (GMT -7)   
4Support, I too am a wife to a BP, and have been coming here about 1 1/2 years. I tell you this because I have posted a lot over that time. Some are strings I started, some I responded. I don't have the time right now to respond fully, and frankly I would be repeating much of what I have said over and over in the past. I am going to encourage you to click on my healingwell name: Lovingfrustratedwife, and read from the beginning my story and responses to others. Because much, if not all, I would be writing the same to you today in response to what you wrote. My H is also BPII and a rapid cycler. We've been married just shy thus far of 17 years and have 3 kids. 1 is BP/ADHD and 1 is we think ADHD (he's still young and not totally sure yet the full definition). I am suggesting that you do this so you know you are not alone, so you can see the struggles others have dealt with and succeed (whether that succeeding meant staying or leaving - because both can mean success). And perhaps you will gain some of the insight you are seeking very quickly. This is a great supportive place for you. Welcome to the HW family. It helped me a HUGE amount being able to speak with others that a) were going through what I am as a spouse, and b) with people who suffer from BP. Some of the fabulous people here with BP have taught me the most. Life is far from perfect today, but it is certainly better. Good thoughts to you, LFW

BPHubby
New Member


Date Joined Dec 2008
Total Posts : 3
   Posted 12/21/2008 12:29 AM (GMT -7)   
4Support,

I am the husband of a bipolar wife and wow! There are a lot of similarities. I feel that I must walk on eggshells. Constant thoughts of should I stay or should I go. I am a devout Christian and sometimes the only thing keeping me here is that I made a covenant with her before God that I would stay. Without that foundation I don't think I could have lasted. Wondering what would life be like in a "normal" relationship, am I doing something wrong, does she really love me, etc.

Please, do not lose hope. I am going to go into the roll of the type - A male dominating guy. (LOL)

Find a counselor for YOU...not him...YOU. You need someone to talk to that can help you make sense of things and if you are like me uncover some of your own issues. Any of us that gets into a relationship with someone with BP was in some way attracted to their behavior and despite the warning signs "stuck with them".

If he isn't on medication and going to a Psychologist regularly he will not balance out except for those brief moments as he transitions between highs and lows. The problem is that he must decide to go. You do not have the power to change him just like you don't have the power to turn him into a frog. Let go, you are NOT responsible for how HE acts, speaks, what he does and what he doesn't do no matter what he, anyone else, and especially you have to say about it!

That said we can guide, but they choose. You know this to be true with children it is true with us adults too BP or not.

Timing is everything! When they are on an even keel is the time to talk.

I don't know your situation but if there is ANY physical inappropriateness (physical or sexual abuse) that also is not your fault AND yes though he is out of control when he does it...get help. This is not a game. 911, abuse hotlines, etc. I wish I had numbers to give you. If you haven't encountered this but think it could happen if things were really bad you might get the numbers now. I know I always feel better when I have a backup plan.

For me talking to my counselor who is a liscensed clinical social worker combined with working on me and letting go of her has set me free to a large degree. I am no longer responsible for what she does or doesn't do, how she feels, etc. This in itself is liberating and helps me think much more clearly.

Setting boundries is another thing I had to work on...being able to stand up to her not just to stand up but for a clearly defined personal boundary. Still working on this one but with my boundaries becoming more firm she doesn't get to walk on me like she used to. This one is tough and I recommend you work with your counselor on this one because going from few/no boundaries to establishing some is like all out war! BP's have the capacity to be mean, conniving, under handed, sneaky, manipulative, sons of boogers that play without rules. This is probably why they like us because they can run free and still get the goods.

One other thing, You are NOT a failure, You are NOT Alone, You are NOT the cause of these problems, You are NOT responsible for their actions in any way at all. GOT IT? You will!

You ARE strong , you ARE capable, You will have a successful and happy life.

You MUST seek help for you. Start there because you are the only person in the entire world you can change. The funny thing is by changing you others are changed. God bless you.

First and lastly. Pray!

4support
Regular Member


Date Joined Dec 2008
Total Posts : 76
   Posted 12/21/2008 9:21 AM (GMT -7)   
Dear BP Hubby,

You cannot imagine how grateful I am to wake up this morning to your post! You sound very strong and your words are motivating, which is what I am currently lacking and what I so need in support. I want to get it back...my strength! I have always been a strong woman and capable of handling enormous amounts if set in front of me. But I feel drained, just worn out. He has exhausted me.

My husband is like two people - - the loving, compassionate man I fell in love with, and the man completely out of character who is angry, argumentative, verbal and controlling.

I am also a Christian and struggle with the same issues as you do. I have 2 young children who adore their father, which is another hugely important factor in all of my decisions. I made the decision years ago after my hubbie's dx to stick with him, to adapt and support and figure this out...together. But, it becomes very difficult and overwhelming at times, and no doubt it is during these times that I question what the right thing to do is...stay or go. My heart says to stay - we have a family and I have always loved him - my values and my faith say to stay, but my brain says to go! Although he is not physical with me, the emotional/verbal abuse has been damaging to me, and I am started to feel depressed anytime the major issues arise. I need to be a healthy mother for myself and my children, I am a Nursing student and know that the aftermath of stress which follows these chronic problems is not good for any of us.

Although I was seeing a counselor for years to learn about BP and work on myself, I was also advised that if certain behaviours with my hubbie didn't change, that after awhile it can become unbearable and nearly impossible to have an interpersonal relationship with him. I do not speak for anyone with BP other than my hubbie here, I know that each person is different and has different ways of managing/handling/coping. With my hubbie, he does see a dr. and a therapist (although not regularly enough), but he has underlying ADHD, learned behaviour issues from his childhood in a very dysfunctional home, and an underlying personality disorder of some kind. So I feel I am up against the challenge of a lifetime. I have just started to see a new counselor for myself.

One of my biggest fears at the moment is 'when the chaos erupts', how is it affecting my children? Although we both openly communicate with them and ensure that they know they did not cause any of the conflict in the home, that they are loved greatly, and that 'sometimes people argue' but still love eachother, how is this really affecting them? What are they learning from us as role models - hostility, verbal abuse in a marital relationship? It seems no matter what I try to keep the peace, it does not work with him.

I worry about the affects of the stress on our health and happiness. It is encouraging that you have been helped so much by your counselor. I have faith this will help me too.

One thing I know by now is I that I can't control his moods, his behaviour or his words. I've tried for years to do things differently, adapt, tiptoe around him, try not to address things with him that need to be discussed knowing they will be stressful, ignoring my own strong feelings about what is wrong, etc...I've just gotten to this point where I am questioning living the rest of my life with a man who is so difficult and painful to be married to. I know God doesn't like divorce, but He doesn't like abusive relationships either.

He has always projected all of his problems on me, and blamed me for all the conflict. It was literally drilled into my head in counseling that these are HIS problems and NOT mine, nor are they my responsibility to fix.

My boundaries are kaput. I definetely need help rebuilding those. I don't know what happened. Sometimes I feel I am running around trying to reclaim the life I had before, the one I was in control of. Where I felt good all the time, not just part of the time. I love absorbing life and being happy and I am an optimistic person! I feel he is dragging me down to some extent. Our lives have changed so much in the last 5 years, I just keep thinking...WHAT HAPPENED?

I am so glad you responded, and it is good to meet you.

Please stay in touch and God Bless You,

4support

4support
Regular Member


Date Joined Dec 2008
Total Posts : 76
   Posted 12/21/2008 9:26 AM (GMT -7)   
Dear LFW,

Thank you so much for responding!

This weekend/week is very hectic for everyone it seems, but I am going to read over your earlier posts and respond to you soon.

Although I know by far I am not alone, it sure does feel like it sometimes. I am so thankful to have found others who understand. The support and talk is valued beyond measure, and so helpful and comforting.

Blessings to you,

4support

serafena
Veteran Member


Date Joined May 2007
Total Posts : 3715
   Posted 12/21/2008 10:49 AM (GMT -7)   
Hello 4support and BPHubby,

Let me welcome you both to HealingWell and to the bipolar board. It's great you've joined us and found each other so quickly. That's the best part about the board.

Two things BPHubby said are critical to maintaining a healthy relationship with someone with bp: 1. they must CHOOSE to get treatment and stick with it. If they are resistant, you will be carrying the entire load of keeping the relationship healthy which is impossible when your partner is up against a mental disorder. 2. They must get on some sort of treatment plan and stick with it. They need to see A PSYCHIATRIST (not a gp) regularly. They need to try and find a medicinal cocktail which keeps them balanced (this is not easy and they will need support). And preferably they see a therapist to learn how to deal with the daily ins and outs of bipolar and how to deal with their emotional life in a healthy way and not take it out on their families.

It's absolutely true that you can't hold yourself responsible for your spouses' behaviours. They aren't even responsible a good deal of the time, how could you be?

I think the best way to discuss it with your children is straightforwardly -- daddy has an illness that makes him lose his temper, but he doesn't mean what he says a lot of the time, and he loves you unconditionally... Or better yet, get him involved in telling them.

I hope this is helpful,
serafena
Serafena
Co-Moderator, Bipolar Forum
Bipolar II


shebsy
Regular Member


Date Joined Nov 2008
Total Posts : 125
   Posted 12/21/2008 11:48 AM (GMT -7)   
Dear 4support,

Being in denial is part of the disorder. I have been through a psychotic phase when I was in denial that I had a problem. I blamed my entire problem on a classmate who was trying to help me. The problem can be solved by getting a good psychiatrist, someone your husband trusts and respects. A good psychiatrist can ensure that your husband takes his medication and contacts him/her when he has a problem instead of venting his frustration on you. Someone with bipolar needs constant therapy (at least once a week). Your husband has to understand that he has a terrible illness and he needs to take his medication and go for therapy regularly.

Your husband is showing all the symptoms of psychosis. When I was psychotic, I became convinced that my father was having an affair with an Arab women in Qatar. I was convinced that the social worker who was trying to help me was a sexual harasser. I thought the classmate who was trying to help me was sleeping with every girl in our class. I ended up in a lot of trouble and was finally court ordered to get myself tested. I went through 7 psychiatrists and thought all of them were insane. Finally, one psychiatrist had the patience to work with me till the symptoms of my psychosis disappeared. I take my medication but I still have mood swings. It does not take much to hurt me, get me angry, make me cry, etc. One tends to become hypersensitive after an episode.

It is difficult for a person to acknowledge that s/he has a mental disease and the social stigma makes it even harder to come to terms with it. I hope your husband finds a good psychiatrist and a good therapist who help him deal with his disorder.

My sister has been extremely mean to me after she found out about my disorder. Sometimes, I feel everybody in the family does not need to know especially if the patient is being good about getting help. I am sure your husband will try to improve his behaviour if you threaten to tell the children about his illness. Every parent wants to maintain their position of authority and no one would like their children to treat them like a mentally sick person.

Praying
New Member


Date Joined Dec 2008
Total Posts : 5
   Posted 12/22/2008 8:32 AM (GMT -7)   
Dear 4Support,

Thank you so much for sharing. What you have shared mirrors what my life has been for the last 17 years. I am sorry for what you are going through but it does help to see someone in the same situaton having the same questions. It helps yu not feel so guilty.

Thanks again.

junebug1960
New Member


Date Joined Dec 2008
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 12/25/2008 3:56 PM (GMT -7)   
I just found this forum today. I wanted to thank ya'll for sharing your stories. I am married to a BP type 2 man and could have written those same words myself. We've been married for 27 years. He's been diagnosed for ten. I don't need to tell you about the hell we lived through. We were lucky enough to have a period of two years where all the meds worked and we had a normal, stable, even happy life together.

Sadly, those days are over. He had a severe manic episode last April, while he was out of town and I've been living with a stranger ever since. We've been to the doctors, added meds, adjusted meds, all to no avail. His belief system has changed completely. He told me that he can longer be "someone he's not" and has chosen his hobby of photography over his marriage and family. We are now separated. This may well be the final straw for us. I have found a terrific counselor who's helped me a great deal. Our two children are in counseling as well. Guess who isn't? `

I am incredibly sad that this is happening. And there's a part of me that's just plain mad that in spite of all the long hard years I spent trying to keep him alive and keep our family together-it's come to this. BP is one of the cruelest disorders around.

I would echo those words of wisdom to take care of yourselves. BP never goes away. It lurks under the surface. In the begining, I was ecstatic to finally get a diagnosis-thinking meds would take care of the problem. How much more wrong could a person be?

Be honest with yourself about how much you are prepared to deal with when you're in a relationship with a BP. It's ok to say, "I've had enough." And I think I really have.

serafena
Veteran Member


Date Joined May 2007
Total Posts : 3715
   Posted 12/26/2008 8:55 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi Junebug1960,

Thank you for joining HealingWell and the bipolar board. It's good to have you with us and we appreciate your wisdom and insight.

serafena
Serafena
Co-Moderator, Bipolar Forum
Bipolar II


falling apart
Regular Member


Date Joined Dec 2008
Total Posts : 61
   Posted 12/31/2008 8:14 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi all! I am new here, too but I fel like I wrote 4support's post that started this thread! Seriously, I had to look up at the HealingWell name several times to be sure it was not written by me!

4support: All I can say is I am right there with you, sister! I have been marreid for 13 years to a BP man. He was not diagnosed until 4 years ago. He has been out of denial for 3 months now, but I am sure he will be magically cured again (in his mind) and go off the meds within a year. I know that sounds flippant and cruel to say, but I am damaged goods right now. It is hard for me to be the optimistic, cheerful, compassionate wife I used to be. We have three kids 11 and under and, like you, I don't know what sort of damage this life is doing to them. It has to be making an impact -- my husband was raised in a household with a BP dad who eventually became an alcoholic and abuser. His mom left when my husband was 12. I am seeing a pattern here.........

Anyway, I wish I had answers for you! Then I would have them for myself. I start seeing a councelor on Tuesday. Ironically, my husband starts to see a new psychiatrist Tuesday, too. As we waited for that magical day to come, hoping it would be the start of a new beginning, he left......packed up his car and left.

Many things and one huge blow-up lead to that course of action. At first I was relieved -- I did not have to live with the guilt of leaving our marriage. Then, last night, he started begging to come home.

I am SOOOOOO confused. I feel sorry for him. He does not function well by himself. This, I am sure, will lead to poor choices on his part that will only further damage our relationship. But, at the same time, I want peace in our home. I want our kids to have a shot at growing up happy, functional and whole.

I feel like I want him to stay away for a bit longer -- see what his psychiatrist thinks, see if he changes his medication, see what my councelor thinks, get a plan, set boundaries, etc. But, the more I tell him not to come home, the more resentful, angry and hurt he becomes.

He is in a manic or mixed state right now, so talking to him about this is like banging my head against the wall. I must like how that feels, because I keep taking his calls or, worried at night, find myslef calling him. I know being away from us for the last 3 days has forced him to realize and maybe even appreciate what he has in a wife and family. Unfortunately, it has not changed ANYTHING! It has not erassed the things he has said and done. It has not turned me into "wife of the year", Martha Stewart, Susie Homemaker or Julia Child (he complains about my lack of housewifey skills ALL THE TIME). It has not changed his mood or demeanor.

I found this group while searching for some guidelines or conditions for taking him back.....If anyone has that valuable information, please share!

I am in total limbo right now!!!!!!

Good luck to all struggling! Stay strong and keep the faith!

4support
Regular Member


Date Joined Dec 2008
Total Posts : 76
   Posted 12/31/2008 9:43 AM (GMT -7)   
Dear LFW, BPhubby, praying, junebug and falling apart,

It seems we are all in the same struggle - loving our BP spouses madly but being torn apart by doing so. Questioning whether we should stay or go, worrying about our children and the impact the environment at home is having on them, praying, wondering how much more we can take, holding out and hoping for the best.

Since the beginning of my husband's transformation into what seemed like another person, I have been right by his side. I admit I had to literally force him to see the first therapist to see what was wrong. It didn't take long after that for him to land in a psychiatrists' office for his first evaluation. He had such a positive turn once he started taking lithium, it was encouraging. Since then we have been thru 6 or 7 psychiatrists and several therapists. He was in all blown out denial until maybe earlier this year, but he's still "not sure that it's not all made up". For the past few years, he consistently went on/off his meds, up/down, dumped every doctor and every therapist, changed meds a lot, yelled at me and criticized me and blamed me for "convincing the doctors that something was wrong with him". He threatened to dump his treatment, stop seeing a therapist, leave me if "I wouldn't stop labeling him", "prove me to be the crazy one". I mean, he's really said it all. Anything that could be hurtful.

I found hope when we found this new clinic in Feb. 08 where he has been going this year for treatment. He seemed to be having some improvement, and I had relaxed just a little. (for a while) But he is still just as unpredictable with his hurtful words, even on medications. I mean he is downright nasty - he says controlling things to me, chastises my decisions, berates me if I have a hard day or complain about something, blames me if he is the one being cruel, it's as if he takes everything I feel pride in (being a good mother, wife, student, homemaker) and beats it down. I don't know how else to describe it. My children mean everything to me, I have created a warm home, I cook nice meals, take good care of my family, work part-time and go to school part-time. This still doesn't seem to be enough for him. He tells me "I'm not studying the right way" when I'm telling him I am under stress before final exams. He chastises me for using a babysitter a couple of days a week so I can go to school and take care of other necessary things and appts for our household. He acts as though I should be a mindreader and gets blazing mad at me if "I don't offer to take the kids away from the house" when "he needs his time". He tells me I should know "he needs his time alone" and why haven't I been doing that for years for him? (when I do this all the time). What is wrong with him? Seriously, is this the disorder, or could something else be wrong? He is constantly making things up that are said or done to him, and I can never convince him otherwise. He is always right, you know. Well, a person feels beaten down and completely unappreciated when someone keeps acting as though nothing is enough and verbally bashing them. I don't know anyone who likes to be consistently falsely accused or misjudged either. One of the counselors said he had an underlying personality disorder, and growing up with a verbally abusive dad (who we feel was probably un-diagnosed BP) and an alcoholic for some time, I'm sure didn't help as far as modeling the right behaviour for his children.

I just feel it may be impossible to live with someone who acts like my husband does.

I feel our home, my emotions and my children's emotions have been in turmoil since last week. There have been so many incidents caused by my husband, and all this when I was already tiptoeing around him knowing that this time of year stresses him out. It's as if nothing I do works. I am now feeling so depressed and hopeless about our marriage and worried about what my children are feeling and what is going to happen with our family.

I finally became so upset about it last night, he refuses to talk about it, and maybe I shouldn't even try to talk to him about it anymore because it doesn't do any good. He either blames me or says he'll work on it, then goes on as if nothing has happened...while we are all reeling. The pattern is like this...things will go on and be great for a while and I'll start to have more hope that maybe it will stay that way...then WHAM!

Is hurting those closest to you part of this disorder? And why do so many control it, or have a handle on it, but my husband doesn't?

I am not feeling the love from him anymore.

Sarafena and anyone else, please share more insight. Sometimes one thing someone says can make all the difference.

Love,

4support

serafena
Veteran Member


Date Joined May 2007
Total Posts : 3715
   Posted 1/1/2009 2:26 PM (GMT -7)   
First let me welcome falling apart to HealingWell and to the bipolar board. I'm glad you found us. As you can see, there are many others here in similar situations.

As to your question, 4support, hurting those closest to you does seem to be a symptom of this disorder. The divorce rate for BP's is deadly -- around 90 percent. There are many other problems that go along with this disorder that your husband might suffer from -- like a personality disorder of some sort, for example. But only a psych can diagnose that. I couldn't tell you why your husband has it so much worse than I do, for example, but I think you may need to stop worrying about him and start taking care of yourself. It sounds like you've put enormous energy into saving this man and this marriage and still you suffer hugely. I hate to say "separate" because that would be so presumptuous of me, but you may want to consider it at this point. If he were putting more energy into maintaining a balance with his disorder, I'd say hang in there, but he's not. And no one can make him. For example, I see my psych every 6 weeks at the longest -- every 2 weeks when I'm having an episode. I take 5 drugs religiously. And I'm in constant contact with my husband. I may not like it when he tells me I'm being manipulative or going to the "dark side" but it's important information that I have to take seriously if I want to stay on an even keel. And I WANT to. That's really important.

So I hope that's helpful, and I really feel for all of you. I wish I had a magic tip that would make it all better. It's just a rotten disorder that makes some people really impossible to live with.

serafena


Serafena
Co-Moderator, Bipolar Forum
Bipolar II


4support
Regular Member


Date Joined Dec 2008
Total Posts : 76
   Posted 1/1/2009 3:54 PM (GMT -7)   
Oh serafena,
 
Thank you so much for your response, it just seems that you give me the answers that make the most sense. 
 
It has been addressed in therapy before that my husband does have an underlying personality disorder, in addition to the illness and the ADHD.  I didn't want to make the impression that I may have a 'worse' situation, but it certainly feels like it when I continuously read about all of the BP sufferers who take their illness so seriously and really WANT to be well and do well in life and in their own relationships.  I do feel that something is missing here.
 
My husband couldn't ask anything more from a wife standing right next to him.  I would do anything to help him, but you are right - I am not in control. 
 
And I do have to really start focusing on taking care of myself and my children, at this point after a very bad week, I feel like I am losing my mind!  I have felt depressed the last 3 days and here we are on New Years Day (Happy New Year, by the way), I don't feel chipper at all when I'm usually thrilled to be going into a New Year.  I am sad and drained, and wonder after 13 years, what is going to happen to my family?
 
I am also starting to worry about what the stress could do to me physically.  I just don't feel well.
 
To make matters worse, I've been threatening to take our children and leave again.  I'm at my wits end and he acts as though he doesn't care one way or another what I do.  That hurts too.  I can't imagine ever leaving my husband or splitting our family apart, I have loved him way too much since I very first met him.  But I feel I am in a very difficult spot.  It's not good for the children to see this conflict at home, but it's not good for them to not have both parents with them either, and feel like their stability is shattered.
 
I was wondering if there was anyone out there who suffers from BP whose spouse has left them and I hate to put it this way...but what happened?  I don't know if he'll just let whatever happen, happen...or if it will shock him into what he has to lose.  Is the time apart beneficial?  Do things change for the better after a separation?
 
I am so grateful for all the support.
 
God Bless you all.
 
 
 
 
 

resentfulspouse
New Member


Date Joined Jan 2009
Total Posts : 3
   Posted 1/1/2009 11:06 PM (GMT -7)   
I have only four words for you: file. for. divorce. now.

I've been married to a BP for 11 years now - he wasn't diagnosed until after our daughter turned two (5+ years into the marriage). I sounded like you for years as far as wanting to make the marriage work and insistent that he was still the man I loved. He's not and never will be again (per his pdocs). He's an "ultra rapid cycler" which means that I never know who I'm going to be talking to hour to hour - the raging manic, the suave lothario, the jokester, the depressive threatening suicide in front of the kid, or the mindless non-functioning zombie who can barely handle his own toilet needs.

He's ruined us financially, destroyed any trust we once shared, and I'm worried about his influence on our child.
We've been in separate bedrooms for over 2 years now, not that he's noticed, or at least not bothered to mention that he's noticed. There is no love on either side - we've evolved to a polite form of mutual contempt.

The only reason I haven't divorced him is that right now it is cheaper to keep him and as long as he's on his meds and working some minimum wage job that gets him out of the house on a regular basis, I'm learning to treat the situation as that of having an irresponsible, slightly disgusting housemate. At least I control my portion of the finances, which means that I have to support us 100% since he believes that he "deserves to treat himself" by blowing every cent of his meager paycheck on cr@p, even when med-compliant. That sounds petty of me, until you find out that he spent $30,000+ on strippers and sushi - I try not to think of that as a combo! LOL

It doesn't get better, only more bitter. There's a reason 90% of BP marriages end in divorce.
Unless you're in a position where you'll be on the losing end of a divorce decree, take those kids and get out. The longer you stay the more negative impact your BP husband will have on them. And you.

His rage and rants are only the beginning...wait until you are falsely accused of infidelity (in front of other people) to cover his own guilt - until you're forced to refinance your house multiple times to pay off credit cards he obtained without your knowledge - until your child points out to you that "daddy isn't normal, is he?" - until you consult a divorce attorney and he says your continued support thus far has ruined your divorce petition - and last, but certainly not least - you get the courage to seek counseling on your own - and each and every one (I've seen 4 so far) tells you to divorce the man and you realize it is too late...

This isn't a rant. My resentment is for the disease and that neither of us can control it or fight it effectively enough to have a real life together. I mourn for what should have been, but accept that 'it is what it is." That said, if he becomes a threat to my daughter's well-being or my economic circumstances change, I will have to file and take my chances with the vagaries of our judicial system. I'll miss him, but heck, I already do.

I just want you to know what inaction can bring and I pray that you're able to find a resolution that brings you peace.
Take care and keep reaching out for support - whatever you decide to do about your marriage - this isn't something that you can "get over" by yourself and as over-used as it sounds - this isn't your fault and you cannot control the situation.
Best wishes!

serafena
Veteran Member


Date Joined May 2007
Total Posts : 3715
   Posted 1/1/2009 11:21 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi resentfulspouse,

Welcome to HealingWell and to the bipolar board.

I'm so sorry that your situation is so terrible. It sounds like your marriage is absolutely in shreds and you are putting up with it for all the wrong reasons.

None the less, this board isn't only for spouses, it is populated by a majority of bipolars (who are being fairly quiet right now) so keep your posts respectful and avoid terms like "disgusting" if you would. We have a disorder that we can't control and most of us work really hard to maintain stability, unlike your husband.

Thanks,
serafena
Serafena
Co-Moderator, Bipolar Forum
Bipolar II


resentfulspouse
New Member


Date Joined Jan 2009
Total Posts : 3
   Posted 1/1/2009 11:39 PM (GMT -7)   
Sincere apologies about use of word disgusting- he'll go weeks without showering, leaves food to rot all over the house, and has trouble aiming in the bathroom and frequently vomits without cleaning it up (he drinks even while on meds - not a great combo). That was the word that came to mind regarding the above behaviours, and in no way reflects on anyone else or even the disease itself. I meant no offense.

serafena
Veteran Member


Date Joined May 2007
Total Posts : 3715
   Posted 1/1/2009 11:52 PM (GMT -7)   
That is disgusting. :-) Apology accepted. Thanks for clarifying.
Serafena
Co-Moderator, Bipolar Forum
Bipolar II

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