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Carvin
New Member


Date Joined Aug 2010
Total Posts : 14
   Posted 8/29/2010 7:46 AM (GMT -7)   
Hello, I'm new to this site. I am looking for ways to cope with my wife's Bi Polar behavior. We have been married just over 2 yrs. I saw warning signs before we married, after a very short engagement. At first, I didn't know how to deal with her, and I fought, talked, and tried to reason with her. Last Dec. I got her to go into the hospital and get help. Since, she has gotten on different meds, and things for the most part, are allot better. But, there are times that I go from being the best thing that ever happened to her, to, it's time for a divorce. I have tried to learn not to get involved arguing with her, but, sometimes I get caught up in it. At times, she will not leave me alone, until I do argue with her, leaving us both very angry, and upset. She needs something to occupy her time, because she sits home, most of the time, while I work. We have one vehicle, plus a motorcycle, that I take at times, leaving her with a way to go. She can't work right now, because she has applied for disability, which I hope will bring in a little money, to get her a car, and some income. She is also a pathological liar, and, compulsive.I am looking for ways to handle some of this, before it ends up with divorce.

tortoise11
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jan 2010
Total Posts : 2896
   Posted 8/29/2010 8:09 AM (GMT -7)   
1) Give her some credit for trying different medications. This is DIFFICULT to do and very hard on the body! Anyone who can try multiple medications is TRYING and doing everything s/he can.

2) Quit fighting. It takes 2 to fight. My fiance and I live together. I stay home, he works. I definitely have mood issues, even on medication. We have never fought. Never raised voices at each other. But that doesn't mean everything is all happy-rosey all the time.

He never engages me. If I'm in a rage, I need to be alone to calm down. He leaves me alone. (In contrast, my ex-husband would engage me in a figth and force me to fight out whatever "issue". Since there wasn't and actuall issue - it was my mood - it was counterprodutcive and one of the things that destroyed our relationship.)

3) One feature of bipolar is "sensitivity to rejection." Would it really kill you to cuddle up with her and give her the comfort and reassurance she needs?! If you give her that, she will probably relax and leave you alone. If you don't she will "tail you" constantly, while her mood gets worse, she is more needy than ever. It's a compulsion - she can't stop herself! Give her that attention first, to avoid your irritation and her sense of abandonment.

4) Being home and mentally ill is difficult! Yes, she needs something to "do." But getting started is impossibly overwhelming. Let her know that if she even wants to start an activity, that you will help her - by helping her go to a store to get supplies or buying them for her. Make it clear that her happiness is important to you and that there is room in your budget. Who knows, she might be good at something that can earn some income! You can't force her to do anything, but you can let her know that if SHE CHOOSES to do something, you will support her. Be careful that she doesn't perceive that you are calling her lazy. You can't imagine how much energy it takes to handle mood changes - I highly doubt she is being lazy. I believe she is just trying to survive!

5) She might be a compulsive liar. But consider the possibility that bipolar SERIOUSLY messes with a person's perception of everything, and can include hallucination! Trust, but verify.

6) Compulsive? Did you mean impulsive? That's definitely part of the disorder. This is a team effort to control. You need to protect your finances, she needs freedom within limits. My fiance gave me a credit card. I use it strictly for gas and groceries, or things on our shopping list. I have to earn my spending money. It's very motivating and it keeps hypomanic spedning in check. (Can't spend it if you don't have it.) You can get on a list so that credit card companies don't mail offers. Get on this list to prevent her from getting a credit card behind your back. If she can't earn any income, for the love of god, give her an allowance! There is nothing worse that being stuck at home, being mentally ill, and being unable to do anything to feel better. Cut off the cable or something if your budget is tight. If she values the cable that much, she can use her allowance to buy cable. :)

7) There is an AWESOME book called "Loving Someone with Bipolar Disorder." Highly recommended! Another book that's great is "Boundaries" - but fair warning it is written from a christian perspective. Join a support group for firends/family of people with mental illness. Get a therapist for yourself. Bipolar relationships can be great, but it takes a lot of work on both sides!

Best of luck and health to both of you!
Bipolar 1
Borderline Personality Disorder
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
Panic Disorder

Depakote, Abilify - FAIL; Seroquel - Epic Fail
Lamictal 150mg (up to 200mg soon), Klonopin 0.5mg as needed, starting Seroquel XR 50mg soon

tortoise11
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jan 2010
Total Posts : 2896
   Posted 8/29/2010 8:11 AM (GMT -7)   
8) Have an emergency plan. A pre-packed hospital bag for her. Places for both of you to go when things get bad. Friends/family that would cook meals, mow the lawn and other things to help when you are overloaded. Knowing that you have help and respite will help you cope.
Bipolar 1
Borderline Personality Disorder
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
Panic Disorder

Depakote, Abilify - FAIL; Seroquel - Epic Fail
Lamictal 150mg (up to 200mg soon), Klonopin 0.5mg as needed, starting Seroquel XR 50mg soon

Carvin
New Member


Date Joined Aug 2010
Total Posts : 14
   Posted 8/29/2010 9:28 AM (GMT -7)   
Thank you everyone, for the response. My wife can be a wonderful, loving person, and, I really want things to work out between us. It gets pretty hard when it seems like feelings of hate and resentment are coming from her. She tells me to grab her and hold her when she gets that way, but, thats not always welcome. I tend to be quick tempered at times, and she knows where my buttons are. This is hard!

puppett
New Member


Date Joined Aug 2010
Total Posts : 6
   Posted 8/31/2010 7:57 AM (GMT -7)   
Does she do household chores, does she enjoy working with plants? Is she one who enjoys cooking. Just because she stays home does not make her a bad person. Perhaps she thinks this is what you want her to do. Does she try to keep her appearance nice? Is she in charge of going shopping to buy the fundamental items for the family? What is she good at? Do you ever tell her how much you appreciate her efforts? It is hard sometimes for people with bi-polar
to find the energy to do things, but once they start, I find that they have a tendency to do it perfectly, and when they think they have failed to, they see themselves as useless. Do you criticize her for her efforts? Find ways to get her out of the house. You need to take a break also, which can be tricky, she might see this as you not wanting to be with her, just reaffirm that you love her, but you need to get out and enjoy yourself. Do the two of you do things together?
You said she is compulsive, what is she compulsive about? Does she try to curb the tendencies. You also said she is a liar. Have you talked with her about this? If so, is she trying to control it. Sometimes habits are hard to break. You also stated that she hates you and resents you during the episodes, how is she when she is not in one? Perhaps she hates herself, during these periods, because she doesn't understand and bestows that anger to you. It sounds to me that you want the marriage, but you think a divorce is the answer for you. How does she feel about the relationship? You sound like a strong person. How much do you love her? Does she meet your needs? Do you see any good points in her? It seems that you resent her for the illness and for staying home, she didn't ask for the disease. Maybe she does not know how to communicate her fellings and needs to you. Perhaps she is scared to for fear you might see her as weak.

tortoise11
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jan 2010
Total Posts : 2896
   Posted 8/31/2010 11:46 AM (GMT -7)   
Puppett - I think that is asking too much. I know I have days when I open the fridge and start crying because heating up leftovers is too overwhelming. But even on those days, I can, and enjoy, helping in the kitchen. My fiance might wash dishes and I'll wipe off the counter. It seems insignificant, but on those days, it's a HUGE accomplishment.

Some days he might ask, "What did you do today?" And I reply, "I got dressed." He'll just say something like, "That's good!" and leave it at that.

Sometimes this continues for a month or more. I know that is really hard on him!

But the majority of the time, I make the bed every day, take care of my rabbits, take care of my dog, take care of my son. I make or help with 1/2 of the meals, and help out with household chores at least on Sunday and Monday - laundry days.

I still don't feel like I pull my own weight around here, but I do try.

One success - no matter how small brings confidence to try something else and can be a huge step to recovering from an episode.

For example - after a manic episode, putting account statements / receipts in a stack is a big deal. Facing manic spending is really hard. Just finding the evidence can be overwhelming.

After or in a depressive episode, tiny accomplishments bring satisfaction. You could buy her a mini rose plant (write a loving note with it). Now she has something to take care of. (Maybe choose a hard-to-kill plant like spiderplant!)

But I totally agree with telling her that you appreciate her efforts. Important!
Bipolar 1
Borderline Personality Disorder
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
Panic Disorder

Depakote, Abilify - FAIL; Seroquel - Epic Fail
Lamictal 150mg (up to 200mg soon), Klonopin 0.5mg as needed, starting Seroquel XR 50mg soon
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