Husband struggling with resentment

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Bloom
New Member


Date Joined Jun 2009
Total Posts : 9
   Posted 8/19/2009 11:19 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi everyone,

I've been lurking in these message boards for sometime now, and I just came to the point where I need to get some perspective from others who may be going through a similar situation.

As with everyone's story, mine's long and detailed, but here are the basics: In May, my wife's first major mania began to appear. At the beginning of June, my wife left me to go live in NYC. Even before she moved, she'd started an affair with a colleague. After she moved, she carried on the affair--I know they had multiple trysts. She says that whenever anything happened between her and this guy, she was drunk and high. And she says her memory of the entire month of June is spotty. Today she says the person who had the affair wasn't her--it was a sort of alter-ego who cared about nothing, and thought she was invincible. By now, the affair is ended, although not because I had a problem with it. It seems to have ended because my wife's mania fizzled out. Now that the mania is over, my wife is pouring affection on me. She's trying to reverse everything that's occurred. After months of pushing me away, betraying me, now she wants to get close to me.

The affair is a big deal to me. I don't know how spouses can just "take it" and move on. I feel shattered, like I've lost the person I counted on most. And angry. I feel like my own fidelity has been invalidated--I mean, have I been faithful for these 7 years of marriage just to be betrayed? I know that the illness has a lot to do with her behavior, but what does that mean for me?

Since my wife is no longer living with me, I'm having to move out of my house and rent a room in Philadelphia. We'll be living in different cities, but easily within visiting distance. If I were some sort of god, I'd feel up to getting over my hurt and helping her get well, and perhaps re-building our marriage. Maybe, in that case, we could live together again--once I feel that the illness is under control. But I'm just a regular guy, and I feel heartbroken; I feel my loyalty has been dragged through the mire, and I don't want to give the gift of my loyalty to someone who would do these things to me. At the same time, I love my wife. We have shared a deep connection for many years. And she's been good to me in many respects, although I think in the last couple of years bipolar has sapped her joy and her ability to love me like she did earlier on.

Does anyone have any words of wisdom? At the very least, words of experience/empathy? Thanks.

Post Edited (Bloom) : 8/19/2009 2:14:07 PM (GMT-6)


sentientderangement
New Member


Date Joined Aug 2009
Total Posts : 13
   Posted 8/19/2009 1:37 PM (GMT -7)   
I feel bad about your situation. Obviously no one would want to be in that place. I am bipolar and know the deeds mania can bring, but I would not have the strength to continue my marriage with a wife who cheated on me. That is my one thing. It is the ultimate betrayal and invalidation.

That being said, if you do decide to stay with your wife, as I think you have already made your decision, know that this illness is a physical one, but it also one of the mind. It makes people do things out of the ordinary, things that irrational and pointless. If your wife can get herself into a proper treatment plan to really grapple the illness to the turf and hold it there, you have a chance.

The main thing you have to ask yourself is whether you want to continue to invest love in your wife and if you would be able to take a similar experience if it were to happen again. The best thing to do may be to look out for yourself. You could help her without continuing a marriage that isnt working.

Hope this helps a bit.

bipolarempress
Regular Member


Date Joined Aug 2009
Total Posts : 24
   Posted 8/19/2009 1:45 PM (GMT -7)   
When people are in mania they have wrekless behavior and can even bcome psychotic (taht's when it is really bad). But she cannot blame the adultry on her Bi-Polar. It was her decision. There are many people who are bipolar such as myself who would never do such a thing. Your wife need medication and therapy. You sound like a wonderful person who loves his wife but if the other person does not want to get help how can you continue like this because it will happen again. I would suggest counseling for you and her separately then both together later to see if you can heal your marriage. Hang in there and do whatever it takes to take care of yourself.

BPWife
Regular Member


Date Joined Mar 2009
Total Posts : 139
   Posted 8/19/2009 4:41 PM (GMT -7)   
Bloom,
I am so sorry for what you are going through. My husband also suffers from BP and had refused to take his meds for many many years. This led to many hospitalizations, lots of debt, and losing a couple of great jobs. His last episode was quite bad and I seriously contemplated dissolving our marriage. He did not cheat on me but was about to. I felt that if he didn't want to be with me, then I wouldn't make him. But I knew it was the mania not him. Is it an excuse or a reason? No, but it is something that changes things in him and although it doesn't change how much I love him I couldn't sit back and be with someone who was willing to destroy themself.

After some very tough love (I refused to see him in the hospital for a week and would not see him without the doctor and social worker) I think my husband finally realized that in order for our marriage to work, he has to take his meds and see his psychiatrist (we're lucky that his psych also does talk therapy). Things have been going very well for us for the past 4+ months. We're lucky but part of me is just waiting for the other shoe to drop. I hope it never does, but it's always in the back of my mind.

I agree with the poster upthread - you should both see a counselor. Whether it's together or separate or both, you've been through A LOT and you need to talk to someone to help both of you figure out what you want from each other and for yourselves.

I wish you all the best and feel for you in such a tough situation.

BPWife

Sunday Morning
New Member


Date Joined Aug 2009
Total Posts : 6
   Posted 8/19/2009 8:44 PM (GMT -7)   
I have been through this and I am currently living with the person. We have children together and to be honest with you if you do get back together it is never the same. Also living with someone that is bipolar I have to tell you is the most difficult situation I personally have ever had to deal with. I have read so many books and realize there is no cure no real fix, some people can manage their moods better, set limits have a strategy and plan which only works if the person sticks to a medication regiment. I have been on the roller coaster for 15yrs now and I guess you realize you are more of a care taker then a companion. Had I realized this before we had children I may have chosen a different path. The most important thing you can do is make sure your wellness is a priority as BP individuals can be very manipulative and selfish.

I agree, if you choose to forgive make sure it is on your terms and find a great therapist. I recommend therapy for you anyway to help with the inner self so that you do not bury these hurtful feelings. The therapist may even show you ways to address your feelings and make sure that your feelings are validated by this person. I feel if they can not validate how you feel then you may need to reevaluate the situation.

Whyus
Regular Member


Date Joined Dec 2008
Total Posts : 94
   Posted 8/19/2009 10:59 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi Bloom and welcome.  I agree with all the posts.  Most importantly get some therapy for yourself.  It's an ugly illness to have to live with.  My h is bp.  I think that if he ever cheated on me I'd feel as you do and I'd like to believe that I would be strong enough to walk away from the marriage.  It's been said before, she chose to cheat- the bp didn't MAKE her do it- she had a choice.
 
Be strong.  Do what's best for you.  I hope you don't have kids to consider...
 
Whyus.
 


serafena
Veteran Member


Date Joined May 2007
Total Posts : 3715
   Posted 8/20/2009 5:16 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi Bloom,

Welcome to HealingWell and to the bipolar board. I'm sorry you've experienced what so many other people have experienced with bipolar. Mania can be a terrible monster. But as your wife hasn't come back yet, have you had contact with her? Is she talking about reconciling?

Good luck,
serafena
Serafena
Co-Moderator, Bipolar Forum
Bipolar II


Bloom
New Member


Date Joined Jun 2009
Total Posts : 9
   Posted 8/20/2009 8:10 AM (GMT -7)   
Thanks for your responses, everyone. Your words encourage me; they give me strength and perspective.

Serafena, yes, I have had contact with my wife. We talk on the phone almost every day. And yes, she wants to get back together: she's recently done a reversal and started pouring affection upon me; that's part of why my feelings of resentment and anger are so pronounced. Her affection is different to me now--it hurts rather than comforts me. My wife tells me that wants to stop calling our physical separation a "separation." But she's not currently interested in living together. She wants to live together again someday, just not now. And to be honest, I don't really want to live with her right now. The distance helps me feel healthier, more coherent. That's not to say I don't miss her, because I do. It's just that after what's happened, I'm not sure I want to live with her again at all. We don't have any kids, so that's not a complicating factor.

It doesn't help that my wife doesn't really register why I'm so hurt by what's happened. She tells me that she thinks people make too big a deal of infidelity, that there are lots of things equally damaging to a marriage. That may or may not be the case, but her opinion essentially invalidates the pain and anger I feel over the whole mess.

Over the past couple of months, I've centered all my attention on taking care of my wife. This has involved numerous drawn-out conversations, as well as two hospitalizations. As time goes on, though, I'm starting to ask myself what I'm going to decide for my life, for our life. I guess that's why I finally broke my silence and posted to this board.

I have taken the advice of many and seen a therapist, who has proven very helpful and supportive. He has helped me voice my feelings. And I know that my wife has been seeing a therapist for many months. We haven't done couples counseling, but after suffering that betrayal, I'm not sure I want to.

You guys are awesome; you make me feel less dizzy.

Bloom

Sunday Morning
New Member


Date Joined Aug 2009
Total Posts : 6
   Posted 8/20/2009 9:05 PM (GMT -7)   
Bloom,

Sounds like you are getting your feet on solid ground - remember its one day at a time and that all your problems do not have to be solved right this second. If you can live in the now which is a very hard thing to do because you will revisit the past where all the hurtful things happened and project what the future will be - try and live in the now and you will see the future will take care of itself -

One of my favorite quotes: Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, today is a gift - that’s why it is called the present!

I am a bit confused with the fact that she doesn't want to live together it sounds like she only cares about how she feels - A one sided relationship is not a relationship. Keep up the talk therapy so that you can put into perspective the situation you are currently in - sometimes we are to deep in the Forrest to see the trees and all we need is a guide to open our eyes.

boy I am full of cliches tonight sorry :) Best of luck and glad to hear that you have taken the first steps to mental wellness.

Sunday Mornin...

serafena
Veteran Member


Date Joined May 2007
Total Posts : 3715
   Posted 8/21/2009 8:06 AM (GMT -7)   
Definitely get yourself a therapist, if you haven't already, to work through the options you have. You have been put through the ringer, and you have some big decisions to make. I wish you lots of luck,

serafena
Serafena
Co-Moderator, Bipolar Forum
Bipolar II


cbear
Regular Member


Date Joined May 2009
Total Posts : 138
   Posted 8/24/2009 9:08 AM (GMT -7)   
hi. i cannot imagine being in your position. in our marriage (27 yrs. !) , im the one with bi-polar. i know it wears on my husband. i must not have it as badly as your wife, but i did have a psychotic break that led to my diagnosis a few years ago. when that happened i was so out of it i hallucinated, thought things were happening that werent, etc. my biggest problem when im manic is spending too much and i cant work so my husband has to do it all. when i come down, and i do mean DOWN, i feel terrible. as for your wife's affair, ive read that being overly sexual can be a symptom of a manic episode.another symptom is reckless behavior. these 2 together could explain your wife's behavior. im not trying to make excuses, just possible explanations. i dont know how much control your wife had over her behavior, but some of the others who posted probably know more about that than i do. im so sorry for what you are going through (and your wife). i hop you both get the help you need.
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