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hecatol
New Member


Date Joined May 2009
Total Posts : 11
   Posted 5/10/2009 8:53 PM (GMT -7)   
I've been married to my beautiful wife for 14 years. She has suffered from depression for most of that time and been on Paxil then Lexapro. Sometimes it seemed to work, other times not so much.
 
Three weeks ago I started noticing that she was acting strange. Sleeping and eating little, obsessed with exercise (we've been couch potatos for years) and almost constantly chatting on the internet. A little later, out of the blue, she told me she wasn't happy, hadn't been happy for years, and wanted to move out. We started going to marriage counseling, but she seemed to have her mind made up and was continuing the internet chats (with a particular guy now).
 
Then last Monday night things came to a head. I told her it didn't seem like she was interested in working on things, and that we might as well proceed to "formal" steps as she had wanted. She completely fell apart, and got so scary with talk about hurting herself that I took her to the hospital.
 
She agreed to be admitted, and has spent the past week there. The doctors diagnosed her as bipolar (type 1 I think) and started her on lithium 4 days ago (300 mg x 2). The mood swings this week have been terrible, and then yesterday she wrote me a letter saying that she was committed to meds and therapy, and also committed to working on our relationship when she was feeling better.
 
When she came home today though, she was in a terrible mood, back to repeating that she was unhappy and convinced our relationship was the reason. She felt that over the past several years the passion had gone and we had become almost like siblings. She questioned even being ill. She almost left, but I pleaded with her to take things slow. A little later after taking a lorazepam(sp?) she was back to saying she'd give it time (both the meds and the marriage).
 
I'm so horribly confused, and also so down about the prospect of losing her (though her health is the first priority). I know there are issues we can work on in the marriage, but the magnitude and immediacy she ascribes to it makes me suspect that the current state of her illness plays a part. Am I just deluding myself there? Have anyone else had similar situations?

Jondoe
Regular Member


Date Joined Jan 2009
Total Posts : 32
   Posted 5/11/2009 10:38 AM (GMT -7)   
15 year husband of BP wife here.

Yes, heard those exact same words and the affair did happen. It blew up on her and I'm back to being the caretaker.

My spouse is never happy anywhere for long. Part of her sickness is always looking for new and never willing to work on what she has. This goes for relationships (friends too), jobs, pretty much everything.

Staying with her here is going to take commitment on levels you might not know you have. While marraige counseling is certainly needed, her own health issues must take priority. If her issues can't be resolved, it's going to make the relationship issues even tougher to deal with.

hecatol
New Member


Date Joined May 2009
Total Posts : 11
   Posted 5/11/2009 12:08 PM (GMT -7)   

Thank you for replying, at this stage when things are so new any perspective helps. I realize nothing's for certain, but I do believe from the bottom of my heart that I am prepared to do anything to make this work. She's such a beautiful person when she's stable, and I want her in my life even though it is going to be very hard. She has the same issue you describe - she easily gets frustrated with things and give up. I guess it is amazing it has taken this long to get to the first "I want to leave the marriage" incident. That's still the one thing that's crushing my soul.

All I want from her is time, time to find the right meds, dosages; time to stabilize her mood; time to work on actual issues in the marriage. I just don't want her to pick up and leave in the midst of the first major episode she's had, but of course that is the one thing I can't control.

Last night she got some relief and was able to sleep soundly with the help of lorazepam. I went to bed a bit later and found myself in tears when it hit me how much like the "old days" the scene was with her sleeping contently. I know I can't dwell on it though, all that matters is her health right now. Everything comes secondary, though I hope she will come through this and allow me to remain part of her life.

serafena
Veteran Member


Date Joined May 2007
Total Posts : 3715
   Posted 5/12/2009 11:12 AM (GMT -7)   
hecatol,

This is entirely her illness speaking. She is not stable at all right now and I guarantee you she doesn't even know what she wants. The meds are going to take a little time to get into her system and work, so you're going to have to hold onto your seat while she bumps around for the next couple of weeks. Just try and keep convincing her not to do anything rash, to stay home until the meds kick in. (This can be hard -- manic people have a tendency to throw their meds out and leave at a moment's notice.)

In the meantime, do some research about bipolar disorder. Try to get her to do some reading about it as well. The more you know and understand, the less scary it is when your moods are in total control of you. I really recommend a book called “The Bipolar Disorder Survival Guide” by David Miklowitz.

Welcome to the board, welcome to HealingWell. And don't be shy about asking questions.

serafena
Serafena
Co-Moderator, Bipolar Forum
Bipolar II


hecatol
New Member


Date Joined May 2009
Total Posts : 11
   Posted 5/12/2009 12:37 PM (GMT -7)   
serafena said...
hecatol,

This is entirely her illness speaking. She is not stable at all right now and I guarantee you she doesn't even know what she wants. The meds are going to take a little time to get into her system and work, so you're going to have to hold onto your seat while she bumps around for the next couple of weeks. Just try and keep convincing her not to do anything rash, to stay home until the meds kick in. (This can be hard -- manic people have a tendency to throw their meds out and leave at a moment's notice.)

In the meantime, do some research about bipolar disorder. Try to get her to do some reading about it as well. The more you know and understand, the less scary it is when your moods are in total control of you. I really recommend a book called “The Bipolar Disorder Survival Guide” by David Miklowitz.

Welcome to the board, welcome to HealingWell. And don't be shy about asking questions.

serafena

Thank you. I'm 100% committed to learning as much as possible about this and be the best partner I can be to my wife, but it just gets so heartbreaking and scary to see her going through this. Yesterday she was pretty depressed, and said she missed feeling happy like she did during the manic phase. I can't even imagine how tough that must be, and the fact that she continues to take her medication in spite of this feeling just shows how strong she is. I will definitely look for that book.

hecatol
New Member


Date Joined May 2009
Total Posts : 11
   Posted 5/12/2009 8:19 PM (GMT -7)   
I made the mistake this evening of talking about the relationship to my wife, pleading her to give it time - give the meds time first, then work on the relationship issues. She didn't take it too well and decided she needs to move out now. Just waiting for her to get back from the gym and pack her bags. I can't believe how much this hurts.

serafena
Veteran Member


Date Joined May 2007
Total Posts : 3715
   Posted 5/13/2009 9:57 AM (GMT -7)   
Keep us updated on how things go, hecatol. Hoping things turn better...
Serafena
Co-Moderator, Bipolar Forum
Bipolar II


hecatol
New Member


Date Joined May 2009
Total Posts : 11
   Posted 5/13/2009 10:24 AM (GMT -7)   
When she came back later in the evening, she no longer wanted to leave. We talked, and she was willing to give the meds some time to work and leave things be for now. I agreed to not dump my anxiety and depression about the relationship on her while she is in this state. Hopefully this will help, though her moods are still all over the place from hour to hour. Just last night it went from anger to fairly good to irritated and then to crying on the sofa in just 3-4 hours. Of course my instinct is to try and comfort her or do something to help her feel better, but I'm fighting that as it just seems to irritate her. She's still rather obsessed about getting in touch with her internet friend, which doesn't really help my peace of mind.

chappie
New Member


Date Joined Mar 2009
Total Posts : 17
   Posted 5/14/2009 8:08 AM (GMT -7)   
I really feel for your situtation...being sick is a terrible experience...she seems to be sucking the life out of you...sometimes one wondewrs how much drama one is suposed to take...if she has an affair then maybe she does not wish to be with her husband...I wonder how much behavior is the illiness and how much is her just plain greed to do things...after all, both the bi polor and personality is intertwined....but of course she can always explain her behavior as being bi polor...someday you may realize she is playing a game...it is called " poor me"...I wish you well....BTW, been there, done that.....

poodles
Regular Member


Date Joined Mar 2009
Total Posts : 180
   Posted 5/14/2009 5:03 PM (GMT -7)   
Hecatol,
I wrote a whole book to you, and my internet went down, and I lost it. Let's see if I can abbreviate it this time.
My experience: Whenever I cycled and got that irritable, can't stand the skin I'm in feeling, I often pushed my husband. I started fights, I told him I was leaving, I accused him of not loving me, and so on and so forth. I was/and still am a great manipulator, and would turn things so he looked wrong no matter what. When I did leave, I convinced myself I had reason to. But I was always back within a few hours, a couple times, a few days. If he agreed with me that this should just end, I would come completely unglued. I would beg him for another chance, and make promises.
We have been together now for 22 years. He is my rock, my best friend. We have learned coping mechanisms, and that, along with better control over the bp has saved our marriage. He has learned certain ways of responding to me when he sees the mania coming. I have also learned to heed his reaction, and determine if what I am about to start a huge fight about is really what is bothering me.
Sometimes I catch myself becoming manic, and have learned to go to him as soon as I feel it, and tell him it is happening. We work together on it. But that is something that grew out of time, and help with meds. The road is rough, but if you love her, and you show that you do, stick it out with her. Teach yourself what things you say, what circumstances you are in, what time of day seems to set her off more. My husband will gently remind me late at night when I am about to lose it, that I need to just go to bed. Being overly tired is one of my triggers.
OK, so I wrote another book. smilewinkgrin
Keep posting. Keep asking questions. Remember, the only stupid question is the one you don't ask.
Hang in there.
Vickie

Fibromyalgia, Bipolar II, Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome, Anxiety, Arthritis, High Blood Pressure, etc.


maggiern
Regular Member


Date Joined Mar 2008
Total Posts : 223
   Posted 5/16/2009 10:30 AM (GMT -7)   

Hecatol,

It was like I was reading a book on my life with my husband.  I was the one who always did the things she does, and he sticks with me for 30 years.  I can only suggest that she may need a mood stablizer to help the moods.  You can take antidepressants, but should take a mood stabilizer with it.  That is just something that has helped me.  I am on an antidepressant, mood stabilzer, and anti psychotic, and for me it is finally working.  Please discuss it with her or even call her psych doctor and tell him about the extreme mood changes he only see's her for a short time you see her all the times so he should listen to you, but you may have to keep the conversation with the doc from your wife.  You sound like you have her best intrest in your heart so you may want to make the call.  Good Luck

 


hecatol
New Member


Date Joined May 2009
Total Posts : 11
   Posted 5/16/2009 5:38 PM (GMT -7)   
It's just so hard not to lose hope. She's been on lithium 900 mg for a little over a week, which is realize is not enough time for anything to happen. The moods are still terrible, mostly depression, but also extreme irritability. The worst one is almost this "dead" feeling where she seems completely detached not only from me but from all the things that used to be fun. She still questions the bipolarness fairly regularly, and has missed one dose of medication already. She complains about weight as she hasn't lost any over the past couple of weeks (works out almost every day). It is so trying - I just want a glipse of the love she had for me once, but she seems so cold and it is as if she resents me. Just one glimpse!
 
It is so hard to manage my own feelings, but if I let it spill over too much I know it will cause a stress episode. And while she says she's willing to give things time (both illness and marriage), she just as often says she thinks I'm exaggerating how much the illness has to do with this, raises the idea of moving out, and is angry that I ruined her online relationship.
 
I just have so little hope left right now. It hurts so much.

born2run78
New Member


Date Joined May 2009
Total Posts : 3
   Posted 5/16/2009 6:08 PM (GMT -7)   
hecatol,

it is very painful for me to read these posts. i am new to this world, not even diagnosed but fairly certain they'll put me at bipolar II when i go in in a few weeks (just made the appointment). i'm beginning to understand all the patterns from the last 10 years and it's alternately comforting and unbearable. then to find this forum and read your posts... it's like my longtime girlfriend is describing me to myself (we should have been married years ago, my fault again).

your wife sounds more extreme than i was and am, but it's pretty much the same thing. all i can tell you is that she loves you and she can't see it right now. it feels so desperate to her and so real. she cannot appreciate what she has with you and the life she has built. she just wants out, elsewhere, anywhere... that's how i was and am.

again, this is me so i don't know exactly what to say and i'm not a doctor. mainly, i wanted to say i really feel for you and what you have written here because i have seen how i've hurt the woman i love and i'm sick about it and i only want to get better and i'm scared to death.

hecatol
New Member


Date Joined May 2009
Total Posts : 11
   Posted 5/24/2009 8:56 PM (GMT -7)   
One week later...
 
The last time my wife threatened to leave was Monday. She was angry about me nagging her about meds, being suspicious about some of her online activities, and she questioned if she was even bipolar. She went to work out and came back in a much calmer mood saying she wanted to work on things even though she didn't quite see the path ahead.
 
This week has been more quiet, but just as painful. I'm feeling so exhausted! Most of the time she's in a scary "numb" state that she believes is due to the lithium, but even in that state she's uncertain about our future. I basically wake up every morning fearing that this is going to be the day she decides to call it quits and move out. I can't distinguish between her illness and my own turmoiled mind anymore. Anything can set me off crying, thinking "oh God, what if it is really over". I can't even imagine that!
 
I try to control my own emotions in order to not stress her out, but even when I do break down there is no emotion on her side. Just pity. I won't ever give up, but it is so painful. The suspicion about other male contacts is killing me, the secrecy, etc. How do other spouses get through this? And how do people WITH this illness manage to go on? I love my wife so much, and I wish there was something I could do for her.

serafena
Veteran Member


Date Joined May 2007
Total Posts : 3715
   Posted 5/25/2009 9:19 AM (GMT -7)   
Hecatol,

Are you seeing a therapist of your own? If you're not, I really think you should consider it. You sound really depressed and very stressed out -- with good reason. You're dealing with a very tough situation. A therapist would not only help you manage your own emotions, but give you some ideas about how to deal with your wife.

In the meantime, give her space to figure things out. I'm sorry you're struggling. It's a very hard road to be on. Keep doing what you're doing.

serafena
Serafena
Co-Moderator, Bipolar Forum
Bipolar II


hecatol
New Member


Date Joined May 2009
Total Posts : 11
   Posted 5/25/2009 8:13 PM (GMT -7)   
I'm seeing a therapist once a week, not until Thursday. I just feel so overwhelmed - from the moment I wake up to the moment I go to bed I'm either sick with unease and negative thoughts, or in a full-blown panic about what's going to happen to us. Can't work, read, or enjoy anything - the only thought in my head is 'oh my God, she's going to leave me' over and over. When we're apart all I can think is that this is how it is going to bed, and if we do something enjoyable together I instead think that soon we'll never do this again. And all that while, I feel so incredibly guilty, because SHE'S the one with the illness who needs time and quiet to recover. I will just make things worse by being anxious and depressed...

It's tough as I don't have a support system here - family's all in Europe, and friends have moved away too. We've pretty much been everything to each other (and been comfortable that way, even though I know it isn't healthy).

I just don't understand enough about the illness or meds yet. I constantly agonize over whether or not the desire to leave me now so suddenly is mostly illness related, somewhat illness related, or simply something that came to the surface. And she's been on lithium for 3 weeks now, and says she doesn't feel better. All it has done is numb her. She still talks about leaving, and has mood swings. Her doctor just added Wellbutrin, but I don't know how long that OR the lithium usually takes to see results!

lakewinds
Regular Member


Date Joined Feb 2008
Total Posts : 60
   Posted 5/31/2009 5:00 AM (GMT -7)   
I really don't know what your going thru because I am like your wife. I am bipolar and depressed and thru the years I have left my husband for some strange reason a couple of times. But when I got leveled our with the medication or the mania left, I came to my senses and moved back home. Maybe i had to go in the hospital sometimes but most of the time no. I so glad my wonderful husband let me move back in and start over. I always was embarrassed by my behavior and grateful he was understanding . He was this way because we loved each other and he knew it. So it sounds like you love your wife , so i would hang in there and wait for it to pass and it will I promise. Good luck with your journey with her. Its a roller coaster.sincerely,
Knitwit (A witty knitter)
bipolar
depresssive
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