handling behavior problems

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concernspouse
New Member


Date Joined Oct 2009
Total Posts : 11
   Posted 10/28/2009 8:41 PM (GMT -7)   
I recently left my Bipolar husband. I have gone through his up and down mood swings and hospitalization. It has been tough on my nerves and I applaud any spouse who could stay through thick and thin. I do not regret my decision but am concerned that I could have done better. In fact, it wasn't the mood swing that was the last straw, it was the "absolutely everything is my fault (period)." and the walking on egg shell (i.e. me keeping a low profile so as not to set him off) scenario that culminated in a breakdown in communication- not to mention accumulated resentment that did me in. Right now, I am working on helping him build a career in a way that could support his absence in the case (pray God it will never happen!) of another downturn- he is currently stabilized on meds. But I am still mystified as to how to handle the aforementioned behavior issues. Could it be that reverse blaming is his way to avoid the consequences of his irrational outbursts? I have tried pointing out his behavior and persuading him that it is better to take responsibility (rather than blame others) in the interest of self awareness and growth, but to no avail. I also noticed he does that only to select people, mainly me, and never to his mother or friends. What is happening here? Any ideas?

Post Edited (concernspouse) : 10/28/2009 9:46:43 PM (GMT-6)


Guilty but Free
New Member


Date Joined Oct 2009
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 10/29/2009 7:50 AM (GMT -7)   
My situation is very similar - I also recently left my bipolar husband after a weeklong manic (bordering on psychotic) episode that was the most frightening experience of my life. Unfortunately, despite hospitalization, my ex will not admit to suffering from anything more than stress & will not seek treatment or take meds. All I can say is that in my experience, the behavior issues are the nature of the beast. I too went through the blaming, the walking on eggshells, the mindless spending, the refusal to take responsibility for any of his actions, or accept that the consequences are a result of those actions. And similarly, all of that was directed almost solely at me. He always treated mere acquaintances better than his own family. Instead of the appreciation I expected for being the one to support & ensure the welfare of our family, I think there must have been some kind of resentment that I was capable of doing & handling all the things that he couldn't... I don't really know, but I just wanted to let you know you're not alone & that however personal it may seem, I think it's all part of the illness' hold. I just wish that there was something I could do for my ex, like you're doing for yours, but I have no idea how to help someone that refused to help themself. Take care.

serafena
Veteran Member


Date Joined May 2007
Total Posts : 3715
   Posted 10/29/2009 11:58 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi concernspouse and Guilty but Free,

Welcome to HealingWell and the bipolar board.

It's very hard to live with bipolars when they're being treated and taking full responsibility for their health. It sounds like your spouses just weren't doing that, and it's impossible to live with that indefinitely. Unfortunately their behavior is classic for untreated bipolar disorder, so unless they were going to seek treatment, it was probably just going to get worse. You shouldn't feel guilty for protecting yourselves.

In terms of how to handle the outbursts and nastiness, you need to be firm and set guidelines for what you will and will not put up with. Bipolars have little impulse control -- especially when they're manic -- but they are still responsible for their own behaviors. Hold them accountable. If you're being yelled at, walk away and refuse to interact until he's willing to talk on a rational level.

May I recommend also that you both seek therapy for yourselves? Talking your feelings out with a professional would be very helpful.

Best wishes,
serafena
Serafena
Co-Moderator, Bipolar Forum
Bipolar II

"Bipolar disorder can be a great teacher. It's a challenge, but it can set you up to be able to do almost anything else in your life." - CARRIE FISHER


concernspouse
New Member


Date Joined Oct 2009
Total Posts : 11
   Posted 10/29/2009 6:15 PM (GMT -7)   
Thanks for your responses. You guys are right about untreated bipolar. The manic- aggressive episode was very scary and I tried to walk off during those times but because of the skillful passing the buck back at me and the authoritarian insistence on my staying, mixed with guilt trip, I fell for the game- lots of times. I didn't know what was going on and blamed myself sometimes and fell into pitying him other times. Now I know better and needed to recover my self esteem and my broken energy. I agree that bipolar or not he is still accountable for his actions which was spousal abuse. Actually, he has been on meds and the manic attacks has eased off a lot but his blaming and controlling did not. That is the reason I left- after supposedly he has stabilized. I just wanted to share this to help other "giving" spouse realize and draw the line between uncontrollable bipolar behavior and behaviors that set into the personality because it is convenient to do so -i.e. to not take responsibility and let others pick up the pieces. I have seen a lot of spouses in support groups, and including in this posting, that got confused and wondered if it was them that had something wrong! DO NOT BUY INTO THAT!

Bloom
New Member


Date Joined Jun 2009
Total Posts : 9
   Posted 10/29/2009 7:16 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi Concernspouse,

I just wanted to say that I applaud your decision to recover your self-esteem and broken energy. I know myself what it feels like to have a broken self-esteem and energy. Hearing where you are now gives me hope.

Bloom

serafena
Veteran Member


Date Joined May 2007
Total Posts : 3715
   Posted 10/29/2009 8:29 PM (GMT -7)   
Let me recommend the book "Codpendent No More" by Melody Beattie. It discusses the dance of anger and manipulation in toxic relationships, and would be useful in learning how to recover your self-esteem. Again, I really suggest therapy.

serafena
Serafena
Co-Moderator, Bipolar Forum
Bipolar II

"Bipolar disorder can be a great teacher. It's a challenge, but it can set you up to be able to do almost anything else in your life." - CARRIE FISHER


Catherinebelle
New Member


Date Joined Oct 2009
Total Posts : 6
   Posted 10/30/2009 7:04 AM (GMT -7)   
Its not you doding something wroung, but you have to look at it from his side, and you cant do that. you cant even imagine what he is going through, Its really hard, I am a female, and I have times where I get so angry that I just have to walk away, or i litterlywould hurt someone, when someone has an episod like that, we really need comferting, I know for me if someone was just to say hey , its ok, I know you are having a hard time right now, It would calm me down, but most people dont understand how the opther person is feeling, its not something you can saty just stop and go on, thats not the case, and we all wish it was. support is a big factor in getting better I belive. If push comes to shove you can admit the person into the hospital, thay will do full evalations, and everything. and gives them time to calm down. Good Luck. Thearpy is also a good thing, for the both of you. My husband and Myself have been tking it since my episodes got bigger and bigger,and now when I have one, we both know what to do, and the sesions help us describe how we both feel buring a episode, Best of Luck. Its all a daily stuggle <3

concernspouse
New Member


Date Joined Oct 2009
Total Posts : 11
   Posted 11/1/2009 10:32 AM (GMT -7)   
I wish my husband sounds as rational as you. Believe me, he blames and shames me when I even remotely suggest that he is out of sorts let alone contemplate marriage therapy to open him up to scrutiny. My support of him has been and is still financial. Even after divorce, I am working on getting his creative works publicized so that he can receive royalties that could "buffer" him in the event of downtime where he becomes unable to work. I am completely happy to emotionally support him as well but I could not be the brunt of a tornado that wipes me out in the process. Even so, I think the help I am giving him now is way much more than what he deserves!

serafena
Veteran Member


Date Joined May 2007
Total Posts : 3715
   Posted 11/1/2009 6:47 PM (GMT -7)   
Concernspouse,

I hate to say it, but you supporting him financially even though you are separated is unreasonable. If you support him, he has no incentive to get better. Hitting bottom is hard, but sometimes it's the only thing that motivates people to change.

serafena
Serafena
Co-Moderator, Bipolar Forum
Bipolar II

"Bipolar disorder can be a great teacher. It's a challenge, but it can set you up to be able to do almost anything else in your life." - CARRIE FISHER


concernspouse
New Member


Date Joined Oct 2009
Total Posts : 11
   Posted 11/2/2009 6:44 AM (GMT -7)   
Thanks for your advice. You are right, I have no responsibility towards supporting a divorced husband. I need to look at my own issue of co-dependency. 15 years of marriage has trained me to focus on him- his mood, his losing his jobs constantly because of his moods, and having to carry him in times when he is so depressed he could hardly speak to another soul except for me. I have forgotten who I am and what my needs are. His strong personality which was charismatic in the uptimes overpowers me during courtship and later turned into tyranny during marriage which drowned me. I am not allowed to have my opinions and wishes contrary to his. I think my lost is greater than his.

serafena
Veteran Member


Date Joined May 2007
Total Posts : 3715
   Posted 11/2/2009 8:40 AM (GMT -7)   
Well, certainly I agree that you've lost a lot, but you can work on gaining it back. Therapy, education, and self-awareness go miles against self-esteem and co-dependency issues. Unfortunately, there's no cure for bipolar, and we will suffer from it again and again for the rest of our lives. No matter how stable we are, we are never completely stable, and that's a hard and disheartening way to live. Unstable bipolar disorder is even worse. I can't help but feel for your husband too.

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

"Bipolar disorder can be a great teacher. It's a challenge, but it can set you up to be able to do almost anything else in your life." - CARRIE FISHER


concernspouse
New Member


Date Joined Oct 2009
Total Posts : 11
   Posted 11/2/2009 8:55 AM (GMT -7)   
Thank you for your input, it is very helpful. This disorder is hard, very hard on everyone!

O Buddy Boy
Regular Member


Date Joined Oct 2009
Total Posts : 106
   Posted 11/2/2009 6:19 PM (GMT -7)   
Type "walking on eggshells" into your search engines and see what you get.

I posted the subject in another thread. It may seem harsh. It boils down to whether or not you will "accept walking on eggshells" as a behavior. Essentially it is a controlling behavior. And boils down to enabling.

Sometimes, as hard as it is to do, you have to walk away. You cannot save your S.O., but you can save yourself.

OBB
55 yo
Dx:9/29/09
DRE: Susp
PSA: 3.5
Gleason: 3+4/7
6/12 Cores Positive; Sextants were 1%, 3%, 8%, 15%, 12%, 0%
RALP: 10/09/09
PATH:
Margins: Clear
Lymph Nodes: Clear
Seminal Vesicles: Clear
Gleason: No increase from biopsy 3+4/7
Some perineural and capsule invasion.
T2c,NO,MX
Incontinence: Minor. 1 light pad a day. Some days don't need it.
ED: Natural with encouragement. 20mg Cialis and pump just makes things more fun.


MMMNAVY
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2006
Total Posts : 6927
   Posted 11/2/2009 8:29 PM (GMT -7)   
Buddy,
I am not sure if it is so much as codependence issue as it is the battered woman syndrome issues. For example, we do not know if she is financially supporting him, out of a sense of well this is what you are "suppose" to do for a "loved one" (which is really a unhealthy concept of "loved one"). or did he say witch do this or I will cut you.
Let's face it we do not know if what the level of violence and abuse is, but clearly if they are afraid then that is a pretty good sign that something is not right. In no way shape or form is it ok to ever be treated in such a way that you fear for your wellbeing (that includes mental as well as physical). So let's be cautious about victim blame here. (I know that most bipolars are not dangerous, these stories however raise some red flags for me.)

Ladies,
Please get the therapy and whatever else you need in order to believe in your own self worth and rights as an individual. (P.S. that whatever includes from cutting them out of your life to restraining orders) Just fyi not allowing someone to leave falls under criminal restraint at the very least and is illegal.  You deserve better then to have an abuser in your life, and from your own statements the relationships has been abusive.

Maybe I have too much of a jandiced eye toward domestic violence, but when I hear this kind of statements, it does raise a red flags.


Forum Co-moderator - Crohn's Disease/Thyroid Disorders:_All comments have the caveat contact your local health care provider.

I will find a way or make one. –Phillip Sidney 1554-1586

All that I am and all that I shall ever be, I owe to my Angel Mother.

The Bucket List- Have you found joy in your life?  Has your life brought joy to others?

Make sure your suffering has meaning…

Post Edited (MMMNAVY) : 11/2/2009 8:43:43 PM (GMT-7)


serafena
Veteran Member


Date Joined May 2007
Total Posts : 3715
   Posted 11/2/2009 8:44 PM (GMT -7)   
Well said Navy,

We don't know the whole story when we're reading posts on our forums, everyone. Try and keep your comments supportive and remember that we just don't know what it's like to walk in the other's shoes. Whether you have the disorder or are living with the disordered, try not to make grand sweeping judgments. It makes everyone uncomfortable and isn't helpful.

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

"Bipolar disorder can be a great teacher. It's a challenge, but it can set you up to be able to do almost anything else in your life." - CARRIE FISHER


concernspouse
New Member


Date Joined Oct 2009
Total Posts : 11
   Posted 11/2/2009 11:55 PM (GMT -7)   
I am glad for the domestic violence opinion. Deep down I have been wondering about that. When I first mentioned the possibility to my husband's therapist and doctors, they dismissed me and told me to be more understanding. So I understood and understood. I understood when he gets fired again and again that he is sick and can't help it. But bills got to be paid and the kids fed. My church told me to be understanding so I understand- the vows said through thick and thin. And the bills still got to be paid. Over the years, the more responsible and giving I get, the more irresponsible and demanding he gets. Even after my divorce, I still get the be more understanding, see his point of view stuff. Honestly, if being diagnosed with bipolar means you can get away from responsibility it is a cop out. Had I NOT been understanding and insisted that he takes the trash out NO MATTER HOW HE FEELS, and do whatever little he can around the house and withstand the screaming matches and the shattered furniture (and possibly very very scared children), I may not have created the spoilt monster of today! BTW, I need to have my opinion of abject pain heard too. Humans are not made of still, the words that come out of a manic episodes does burn!

O Buddy Boy
Regular Member


Date Joined Oct 2009
Total Posts : 106
   Posted 11/3/2009 5:38 AM (GMT -7)   
MMMMNavy

Respectfully,

It is my understanding that abused spouses are more often than not co-dependent -- co-dependency opens the door to "allowing" the abuse. I say "allowing" in that there is a learned behavior pattern that permits the abuse to occur and attempts to manipulate it.

An abused spouse may also suffer from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.

Here is a link, if you will kindly permit it, to an article that summarizes what I have been taught to believe about co-dependency. It is interesting in that it points specifically toward people dealing with chronic mental illness and disorders.

http://www.suite101.com/article.cfm/womens_ptsd/42353

Thank You.

OBB
55 yo
Dx:9/29/09
DRE: Susp
PSA: 3.5
Gleason: 3+4/7
6/12 Cores Positive; Sextants were 1%, 3%, 8%, 15%, 12%, 0%
RALP: 10/09/09
PATH:
Margins: Clear
Lymph Nodes: Clear
Seminal Vesicles: Clear
Gleason: No increase from biopsy 3+4/7
Some perineural and capsule invasion.
T2c,NO,MX
Incontinence: Minor. 1 light pad a day. Some days don't need it.
ED: Natural with encouragement. 20mg Cialis and pump just makes things more fun.


MMMNAVY
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2006
Total Posts : 6927
   Posted 11/3/2009 6:03 AM (GMT -7)   
Buddy,
I have worked in law enforcement and now I am a grad student in an area that is associated with this problem and I feel that you are using the term codependence in way that is not exactly correct (it is too broadbase).  Especially given the lack of dx code in the DSM for codependence, makes it lack a certain validity in certain circles.
So please I am asking you to be very careful when you are talking about enabling an abuser, because I can very much see how this could come off as victim blaming and that is not appropiate for a support website. The issues of abuse range from sociological to early childhood development. Let us not oversimply the problem and acknowledge that we just do not know what has happen. Plus, frankly this is an issue best addressed in therapy. So let us encourage these ladies to do that.
Thank You,
Navy


Forum Co-moderator - Crohn's Disease/Thyroid Disorders:_All comments have the caveat contact your local health care provider.

I will find a way or make one. –Phillip Sidney 1554-1586

All that I am and all that I shall ever be, I owe to my Angel Mother.

The Bucket List- Have you found joy in your life?  Has your life brought joy to others?

Make sure your suffering has meaning…

Post Edited (MMMNAVY) : 11/3/2009 12:27:31 PM (GMT-7)


MMMNAVY
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2006
Total Posts : 6927
   Posted 11/3/2009 6:13 AM (GMT -7)   
Concerned Spouse,
Given what you have told us, I think a domestic violence shelter or a crisis hotline in your area will be able to help you out in at least find therapy this is of little to no cost. From your posts I get the feeling that there is more you are not telling us, because of the embarrassment of being in a domestic violence situation. They were "his" doctors and "his" therapists that said that, do you think it is time to have someone to help advocate for you? Bipolar is not an excuse for abuse. Please if you feel that he is a danger to yourself or your children please seek legal help, and the domestic violence shelters can generally help with this as well.  
I really do think therapy can really help you in defining and getting what a healthy relationship is, because unfortunately there is a tendency to have the same relationship with different people.  So please really consider therapy, because you know you deserve better treatment.
I actually encourage you to not come to this website, because it is time for you to really focus on getting you in a healthy mind set, because this has to be wearing on you, and when you are dealing with another's illness it can be incredible handicapping in your own health journey.
Take Care of Yourself,
Navy
 


Forum Co-moderator - Crohn's Disease/Thyroid Disorders:_All comments have the caveat contact your local health care provider.

I will find a way or make one. –Phillip Sidney 1554-1586

All that I am and all that I shall ever be, I owe to my Angel Mother.

The Bucket List- Have you found joy in your life?  Has your life brought joy to others?

Make sure your suffering has meaning…

Post Edited (MMMNAVY) : 11/3/2009 6:49:23 AM (GMT-7)


O Buddy Boy
Regular Member


Date Joined Oct 2009
Total Posts : 106
   Posted 11/3/2009 10:33 AM (GMT -7)   
MMMMNavy,

I'm sorry. I have spent 40 years as a manic-depressive. I have had 20 years of counseling regarding co-dependancy and read over 30 books on the subject. The article seemed like a good synapsis of what I have read.

I came here to help and provide advice.

You seem like you like to have control in your job and on this forum. I cannot accept that.

In this case you are being needlessly abusive to a man who has just been diagnosed with cancer.

I will leave you to your abusive tendancies.

Have a great day. All! Bye!
55 yo
Dx:9/29/09
DRE: Susp
PSA: 3.5
Gleason: 3+4/7
6/12 Cores Positive; Sextants were 1%, 3%, 8%, 15%, 12%, 0%
RALP: 10/09/09
PATH:
Margins: Clear
Lymph Nodes: Clear
Seminal Vesicles: Clear
Gleason: No increase from biopsy 3+4/7
Some perineural and capsule invasion.
T2c,NO,MX
Incontinence: Minor. 1 light pad a day. Some days don't need it.
ED: Natural with encouragement. 20mg Cialis and pump just makes things more fun.


MMMNAVY
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2006
Total Posts : 6927
   Posted 11/3/2009 11:01 AM (GMT -7)   
Buddy,
I certainly did not mean for it to come off in a way that offensive and I am sorry if it did. I was just trying to explain that there are different perspectives on this situation, and that we need to be careful about making assumptions. Best wishes with your cancer treatment.
Take Care,
Navy
Forum Co-moderator - Crohn's Disease/Thyroid Disorders:_All comments have the caveat contact your local health care provider.

I will find a way or make one. –Phillip Sidney 1554-1586

All that I am and all that I shall ever be, I owe to my Angel Mother.

The Bucket List- Have you found joy in your life?  Has your life brought joy to others?

Make sure your suffering has meaning…


serafena
Veteran Member


Date Joined May 2007
Total Posts : 3715
   Posted 11/3/2009 11:40 AM (GMT -7)   
The way I see it we have two problems here:

1. This is a support forum and everyone here has to remember to be respectful. Understand that what you write might be read as disrespectful to someone else. Here's the forum rule:

4. No posts that attack, insult, "flame", defame, or abuse members or non-members. Respect other members of the community and don’t belittle, make fun off, or insult another member or non-member. Decisions about health and well-being are highly personal, individual choices. "Flaming" and insults, however, will not be tolerated. Agree to disagree. This applies to both the forums and chat.

This goes for spouses and sufferers alike.

2. That said, there's no need to be over-sensitive. If you don't like what someone has to say, simply ignore them. You can do that by pressing the "thumbs down" button on one of their posts. Their posts will then be invisible to you. Easy-peasy.

Again, I say, let's not try and guess what disorders or illnesses one another are suffering from. Only a medical professional can do that. Here we don't cast judgements, we just support one another.

I wish you all very well.
serafena
Serafena
Co-Moderator, Bipolar Forum
Bipolar II

"Bipolar disorder can be a great teacher. It's a challenge, but it can set you up to be able to do almost anything else in your life." - CARRIE FISHER

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