Living With A Bipolar Wife - How Can I Do This?

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nepalion97
New Member


Date Joined Mar 2011
Total Posts : 4
   Posted 3/7/2011 11:20 PM (GMT -6)   
Hello. I stumbled across this website while Googling "Living With A Bipolar Wife". I have read some great stuff on here and would really like to get some support...I'm hoping there are some on this forum that can help.

My wife and I have been married for almost 9 years and I have known her for about 13 years. I am her second husband and stepfather to her two sons - 18 and 16. We also have a daughter - 7 - together. We live in the house she grew up in with her mother and father. We took over ownership of the house and added onto it so they could live more comfortably (her mom has trouble getting around and this allowed her to live on one floor of the house). Those - I suppose - are the basics.

I'm not sure where to start this tale. There is so much that I have been told by my wife - some of it I believe, some of it I don't WANT to believe and some of it is untrue (at least in my mind). My wife left (or was kicked out by) her ex-husband after being emotionally abused for a number of years. She suffered a breakdown; got separated and eventually divorced. We met while she was separated but did not have a "more than friends" relationship until after her marriage ended.

We had some really great times together - PSU football games, nights out with friends, trips by ourselves and with the kids. We also had our struggles living in a "non-traditional" family. Also, her oldest son was diagnosed with Asperger's syndrome and later, bipolar disorder and a seizure disorder. All of this on top of her issues, my issues and our issues.

Now, I am by no means perfect. I see a psychiatrist regularly and have battled with bouts of depression. I feel that I am pretty stable right now (I take Zoloft daily). about a year ago, things took a dramatic turn for the worse. We had a major blowout with her parents and I was not nice at all. A lot of frustrations came out of me. We stopped being intimate around this time and her resentment toward me grew and grew. She began spending less and less time with me or with us as a family. Therefore, I too began spending more time with friends or doing things by myself with our daughter.

In the spring/summer of this past year she was preliminarily diagnosed with bipolar disorder. She also began seeing a therapist who took her all the way back to her youth to uncover some issues. Some of these issues are sexual in nature (not abuse by parents). When the doctor finally "formalized" her diagnosis as being bipolar, we had been going on about 9 months of this situation. She began meds and told me that she needed to take time for herself and take care of herself. We have had numerous blowouts and she blames me for a lot of these issues. She spent years (in her words) covering for me and my treatment of others in her family – saying that she would have to tell them that “he’s stressed” or “he doesn’t mean it” when I would not act the way she wanted me to or thought I should. I admit it – there were times that I acted selfishly and impolite to some of her family. I was able to justify this in my head by saying things to myself like “I provide a roof over HER parents’ heads…I can do or act how I want”. I’ve been able to recognize this (probably because of this current situation) and correct that and change my behaviors on that front. I have tried to tell her and show her that I have changed but nothing seems to be working.

The bottom line is that I am having a hard time not looking at this from my point of view. She continues to take care of herself. I try in my mind to be understanding as she takes days to herself away from home (sometimes at a male friend’s house in NJ – when he’s not there) and goes through bouts of mania (excessive cleaning, home improvement tasks, etc.) or depression. I’m not sure exactly what to do. She continually tells me she’s disappointed in me; that she will not confide in me because she can’t trust me that I’ll be able to understand and not take her statements as a personal attack. Right now I feel like we are roommates and co-parents. We don’t do anything together unless it has to do with the kids.

I’m sorry if this is too long but I’m really hoping to get some support or answers from the knowledgeable ones on this forum. Thanks…

tortoise11
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jan 2010
Total Posts : 2896
   Posted 3/8/2011 8:58 AM (GMT -6)   
This is not comforting, but I'm thinking that WOW! You have a pretty good situation compared to most men who come here looking for help.

Remember how you rationalized your behavior? She does that too, and her judgment is even more skewed than yours was.

She is trying to take care of herself, that is a huge advantage you both have. I know there have been times in the last year that my fiance was getting close to ending our relationship. Finally my Dr. stumbled upon medications that have me symptom-free.

There is hope out there. Try the book "Loving Someone with Bipolar Disorder." It is an excellent resource!
Bipolar 1
Borderline Personality Disorder
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
Panic Disorder

Depakote, Abilify - Fail; Seroquel - Epic Fail

Lamictal 250mg, Seroquel XR 400mg, Lithium 900mg, Klonopin 0.5mg - 2.0 mg as needed, Loratidine 10 mg

nepalion97
New Member


Date Joined Mar 2011
Total Posts : 4
   Posted 3/8/2011 9:24 AM (GMT -6)   
Thanks for the info on the book Tortoise.  I'll definitely try and pick it up.
 
I guess hearing that "You have a pretty good situation compared to most men who come here looking for help." may be aimed at making me feel better but it really doesn't.  I appreciate the sentiment though.  I guess the thing I'm struggling with the most is NOT taking some of these (what seem like) personal attacks as personal attacks.  Is it wrong for me to want to be a part of the solution rather than part of the problem?  Is it wrong for me to want to take care of myself here and there and just escape (by hanging out with the guys, golfing, concerts)?  Or do I have to remain at home watching over her?  I guess I'm just confused as to the best way to handle this challenge. 
 
I have started a daily calendar of my observations so that I can "chart" her moods on a day to day basis (I'm a data nerd and statistical analyst...numbers and graphs make sense to me smilewinkgrin ).  I determined that a "-" is a bad day, a "+" is a manic day and a "0" is a "stable" day.  I'm hoping that I might (but maybe won't) be able to get at a pattern that will help me keep my mouth shut when things are not good for her.  These are probably the times that I need to not worry so much about me and "suck it up" a bit.  This is very difficult...I am committed to figuring it out.  At times I even rationalize in my head that she takes things out on me because I'm the closest to the situation and one of the parties that is "always around".  Maybe that makes me an easy target?  I don't know....just some random musings I guess.
 
Thanks again...

happy bill
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Nov 2008
Total Posts : 1131
   Posted 3/8/2011 10:19 AM (GMT -6)   
 
  Ok, first, there is a great smart phone app called Emoods. I am using it and it is very nice and easy to use, plus its free. THat might help you chart her moods. What would be great would be if she used it also, and then your could compare how her percetion of where she is and your perception of where she is is differnt or the same.
 
  Its tough loveing someone with BP, especilly thru the period of medication adjustment. The book that tortise suggeted is a good starting place. The best though is for you to let as much roll off your back as possible. She is going thru a very hard time and is trying to learn how to live with this deasese.
 
  Good luck  Bill
"If Life Gives You Lemons, Make Lemonade"



"It isn't my fault that i am BiPolar, It is my responsibility how i treat it so that i don't hurt others or myself." Happy Bill



Meds. Respirdal 0.5 a day, more if needed.

tortoise11
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jan 2010
Total Posts : 2896
   Posted 3/8/2011 3:21 PM (GMT -6)   
Boundaries are healthy. But vital in a bipolar relationship. You cannot be her nurse.

You should do your own thing without guilt. When you do, leaving a note for her will reassure her that she is safe, you'll come back. Like "I'm going golfing with Bob, call me if you want me to pick up supper on my way home." Did you catch that? You told her where you are going, who you be with - she can relax about that. You indirectly tell her when you'll be back, you've relieved her of the challenge of cooking. You also give her the freedom to call you. With a short note like that, you can get your much-needed freedom without neglecting her.

You cannot be her everything.

Wanting to fix things is a very male thing. (Not a bad thing.) Remember that women talk out their issues and don't want a man to jump in with solutions. We don't feel heard and get very frustrated. But you can use your analytical mind and problem solving on the part of the disorder that can recieve logic. Read about her medications - the side effects can be nasty. I used to have big problems with remembering to take meds. Occassionally my fiance would ask me "Did you take your meds today?" I was never offended, he asked because he cares. You can use your chart to help at medication check appointments. The problem is that mood states sneak up on us. I was depressed for 6 weeks and didn't know it. If I don't know it, I'm not giving my Dr. the information he needs to work on my meds. It's not just depression - I was in a dysphoric mania that I was lucky to live through. I was cheerful and manic, while working on my will, giving away almost everything I owned, writing suicide emails to friends, and fantacizing about how I was going to kill myself. I didn't realize until my fiance asked me "is this something I need to worry about" referring to me giving my stuff away. I said no, but that was when I realized that it was a yes! Having an accurate mood chart is important. Just be careful, maybe say it like, "I don't know how you're feeling, but it looks like ths week has been really hard on you!" If you ever accidentally make it sound like you know how she feels, you're gonna be sleeping on the couch.

She might let you help round out her support system - the people and resources she can turn to when she needs it. My fiance is NOT part of my support system. My parents, friends, crisis phone lines, etc are in my support system. It is VERY hard to have friends and be bipolar. If she doesn't have people to lean on, maybe she would be receptive to meeting someone? My first friendship since my diagnosis is a lady that has very bad depression and anxiety. We can relate on the anxiety! Her husband is a former coworker of mine. He came with the first time she came here to soothe some of her anxieties. I respect him very much for doing that!

A communication tool my fiance and I use is definitely not normal. I keep a private blog. I've given the link to my fiance and a handful of people in my support system. I write my heart out. Sometimes I was completely (irrationally) angry with him. If I was having an issue he'll check my blog. He doesn't talk about it. Sometimes when I've been in a tizzy, I checked his computer to see if he knows what was going on. We have never argued. Never had a fight. Ever. I'm definitely the passionate emotional one and I direct it into my blog rather than picking a fight. I don't think we would have survived the last year of medication adjustments without it.

The book I recommended is meant for the "observing" spouse to use. I bought it and went through it, circling things that applied and adding many notes in the margins. Maybe she would do that for you before you read it?

Hang in there - the medication adjustment "phase" is very, very hard. Think of her without all these symptoms - that is what you get in the end.


(((hugs)))
Bipolar 1
Borderline Personality Disorder
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
Panic Disorder

Depakote, Abilify - Fail; Seroquel - Epic Fail

Lamictal 250mg, Seroquel XR 400mg, Lithium 900mg, Klonopin 0.5mg - 2.0 mg as needed, Loratidine 10 mg

nepalion97
New Member


Date Joined Mar 2011
Total Posts : 4
   Posted 3/8/2011 3:59 PM (GMT -6)   
Tortoise...You are truly inspiring me to be a part of the solution rather than part of the problem.  Last night when I posted my original message, I was on the verge of walking out - as much as that would hurt her, me and our family.  Now I am feeling more empowered that I CAN learn how to cope with this - even if I'm not the one she leans on.
 
I am taking everything you have told me and have started my own journal of these blurbs to help me formulate a "strategy" to cope and not make her any worse.  I feel that I need to know more about the meds she's on - honestly I'm not sure of the real names of them or the doses.  But I am going to do that right now.  As far as my "mood charting" - I've kept that to myself for now.  I may share it in the near future but want to get a good baseline of information together first. 
 
Luckily, she has a great support system around her.  She has various friends that provide her with various viewpoints or characteristics - one is the strong, rock-solid friend; another is very spiritual and motivates her to take control through reading/meditating, etc.  Right now, I am NOT a part of that group.  I think this has made me feel left out and stressed about the situation.  When I get into a stressful situation, my initial response is to make wisecracks.  I'm learning (although too slowly admittedly) that these wisecracks don't work well with a bipolar individual. 
 
I'll get there...I promise.  I don't plan on letting her (or myself for that matter) down.
 
Thank you...

tortoise11
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jan 2010
Total Posts : 2896
   Posted 3/8/2011 7:16 PM (GMT -6)   
FYI, the book I recommended suggests waiting 6 months before making big decisions.

You hit it exactly right that "you can learn how to cope." Remember that you cannot FIX her, you can only learn how to help her when she is willing to receive it.
Bipolar 1
Borderline Personality Disorder
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
Panic Disorder

Depakote, Abilify - Fail; Seroquel - Epic Fail

Lamictal 250mg, Seroquel XR 400mg, Lithium 900mg, Klonopin 0.5mg - 2.0 mg as needed, Loratidine 10 mg

john doe!
New Member


Date Joined Mar 2011
Total Posts : 5
   Posted 3/13/2011 2:01 PM (GMT -6)   
I am in a similiar situation and it is difficult to rationalize the behaviors our spouses use to get through their tough times. You have to be able to trust that she is going to a safe place to get through a tough time unless proven otherwise.
Writing down your thoughts at home and here and reaching out is the right thing to do. I am here on this forum because I have come to learn I cannot deal with this alone. I too need other insight into my situation that are in a similiar position to mine.

We are all here for support and guidance and I hope that you find a some ideas here that work for you.

maddie48
Regular Member


Date Joined Mar 2011
Total Posts : 25
   Posted 3/13/2011 10:02 PM (GMT -6)   
hi nepalion97,

i'm a woman with bipolar II disorder and maybe my perspective, experiences, or answers could help you in some way.

first, she's probably feeling confused, overwhelmed, and possibly unstable right now, and i understand that can really affect the people we love. when i was first diagnosed with this bipolar disorder about a year ago, i understood it was difficult for everyone around me as well. these changes of moods are draining on everyone, can cause fights, misunderstandings, and frustrations. that's okay, it's normal. i've been there and so has my family. the important thing for me was that i knew even at my worst when i couldn't control my moods or what was going on or why i was acting the way i was, that people cared about me. if you're wife knows that deep down no matter what you're relationship is based on/ founded on a love that is caring, understanding, and firm...a lot of horrible things can happen, but in the end, you both can come back together/ trust that there's is a strong foundation and support.

also, i understand your confusion or the strangness of when your wife needs to be alone. it's nothing against anyone. it's like a need to sort through the chaos/ try to get yourself under control...to me having bipolar mood swings are similar to everyone's normal mood swings only amplified. (like a pendulum swinging too strongly to the left and right and much faster than normal). also, moods can come on really fast or strong. it's so strange, for a couple of hours i'll feel like i'm at the bottom of a swamp with pressure and mud sucking me deeper and deeper and then i'll do a complete 180 and it's feels sunny).

i share all that to maybe let you glimpse what could be going on inside her head. it's chaotic, she can't control it, and she doesn't understand/ may be besides herself while she's acting some way and doesn't mean to. sometimes i've known when i'm doing it and it's really confusing for other people. she probably feels horrible and then horrible/ guilty that she's taking it out on other people like you. what i'd suggest is giving her space, but also, letting her know you're there to support her. one of the most important things is remaining as calm as you can and let her come to you or not. for me, having that freedom to choose and not be hounded on by someone who wants to fix things (which can't really be fixed) encourages me to go to them. no one can control what's going on, so try not to focus on what you can't do, but what you can. can you straighten up the house or give her a hand by doing something she usually does when she's unable to do it because of her mood swings? those types of actions show you're there, supporting here, want to help her, and are thinking of her while giving the both of you space.

i also think space for you is really important. you probably feel drained, confused, and frustrated at points. take some time alone doing things you want to do. relax. take care of yourself first or else you won't be able to help those you care about.

i'd also really encourage you to read about/ research the disorder. the more you know, the more you'll be able to sympathize and understand. (as far as books are concerned, Kay Redfield Jamison has written some great things both as a person with the disorder and a psychiatrist). everyone's looking for acceptance and understanding. actions founded in those feelings are a great way to help your wife.

also, this is really important. _Just Be_. just be there, just be yourself. don't try to fix something or give advice out of your boundaries. your wife is looking to you for what you are/ what she gets out of the relationship you guys share. when i talk to my mom, i'm looking for love and acceptence not medical advice or cold rationality. however, i don't want my psychiatrist to start caring and being personal. just be yourself the way she needs you. if she's not looking to you, just wait or find another way to help by being open to her needs.

in chaos, everyone needs someone to hold onto. finding the right medication can be a long and hard task too...but having someone who is looking out for you, trying to love you no matter how you feel, and sticking through things with you through it all is one of the best things you can do.

does your wife suffer from sad/ more depressive mood swings? that could be a possible emotion you two can find some common ground in/ support each other because there's a bond/ empathy there.


i hope some of this helped. if you need more specifics, have any questions, need someone to listen, or would like to brainstorm, i'm sure we'd all be willingly to help.
PTSD
Bipolar II disorder

medication: Celexa, Prazosin, and actually Jolessa helps curve the mood swings too.

healing is hard work but even the smallest step of progress is worth it.

each minute we chose to live is a victory.

KIKURAS
New Member


Date Joined Mar 2011
Total Posts : 6
   Posted 3/14/2011 4:00 PM (GMT -6)   
I have lived with my wife (now my ex) for 9 years....We have two kids 9/5 and had everything going for us finacially. I got a new job across country but kids were in school so I left before she did. Then one day she blew up on the phone with me blaming me for cheating on her and wants a divorce. She went through with the divorce but with only one thing on her mind! To hurt me!!

I was blamed for her feeling so miserable for years. She was talking to her parents and friends about how bad I was to her. We went to see someone about it and when the counselor agreed with me what she was doing was wrong she cried and ran out. We never went back again.

She had constant mood swings but I always figured she was a good person inside. I can say that I do love her but I am not in love with her.

Here is the kicker....she planned with her parents to move to another state and take my kids away from me. I could not see my kids for 6 months because in her mind if she kept them away they would forget about me. She was wrong!! We finally had a court date and the judge tore into her. I convinced her to move near were I was. We still had to go back to court one more time. This time we had a different judge who didnt bother to read any history. He gave her everything and said he would not give me 50/50 because we dont communicate. I live 1.5 miles away from her which was my disgned (bought a house near her place) Both my kids want to live with me.

Oh...we had two dogs that she was constantly saying she was going to put down before she moved. Evil isnt even close to what I think of her now.

I tried to talk to her parents but they just scream at me which I am assuming its from years of her lies. I tried to tell them there was something wrong with her but they wont listen. I think she is now on some new medication but dont think its helping because she looks at me like she wants to kill me. I have done nothing but been nice to her even after all this crap. She sleeps alot and reads. I go to the bus stop to see my daughter off. Her mother doesnt know. She has been worned about letting my kids out unattended many times. She normally wont let them even talk to me. She also wouldnt let me see my daughter on her B-day. I refuse to talk with her because all she wants to do is scream in front of the kids.

Thats some of my story....

My sugestion would be to run as far away as you possible can! What really sucks are the kids suffer because of it.

Sorry for my negativity...but she has destroyed me in so many ways I am sick.

nepalion97
New Member


Date Joined Mar 2011
Total Posts : 4
   Posted 3/14/2011 9:01 PM (GMT -6)   
Some of what you are saying has happened to me...the blame, the fights, the hurtful words and actions at some times. Your ex sounds like someone who has covered for herself or had others covering for her most of her life. I don't know...it's just my opinion.

I know my wife is doing things to help herself and that our relationship right now is on the back burner. To date she has not threatened to take our daughter away from me. Nor has she suggested that I move out. Right now, faith is what is keeping me going. Not faith as in religion (you don't have to be religious to be spiritual and have faith IMO) but faith in the fact that my wife has the right people around her - both professionally and personally and is taking care of herself in the right ways.

I am learning more and more about this disorder and have been learning to let a lot more roll off my back. It's tough and I hope my situation doesn't end up like yours.

I truly hope everything works out for you brother. I really do...

KIKURAS
New Member


Date Joined Mar 2011
Total Posts : 6
   Posted 3/15/2011 8:21 AM (GMT -6)   
 
   She did the same thing ....she tried to work on the relationship. She does have her parents that are in denial that anything is wrong with her. Funny actually because when I first met her she was under weight and they were worried. I didnt relize but at the time she was on meds. I found out after we were married. She also would start and stop taking her meds during out marriage which I didnt know either. I would ask her whats wrong and all I would get is...(screaming at me) Sometimes a woman needs to cry! Last time I seen her naked was when my son was born. When I mentioned that....she went into a rage. She openned her Christmas present and said....what the hell would I want this for! She threw th valentines candy at me....list goes on and on. Oh...and when she tried to be nice...it was like one day a month and expected me to understand what she was doing. I really grew to dislike her! I did think that moving would help us because she hated where we lived. This was the reason for getting a new job in the first place. I gave her everything...the better car, phone, and anything she wanted. I would get home sometimes and she would scream at me....YOU WAtcH THE KIDS...then going into the bedroom and slam the door. She never let me around her firends and would run to another room when she got a call.
 
  My guess is that her parents always felt sorry for her and she was looking for that same feeling from me. Doing what she did her parents gave her that....but I am sure it has worn off a bit now. (been 2 years)
She comes to pick up the kids from me...twice a month...she screams sometimes...then others she acts like I am her best friend.
 
  I am bringing her back to court but I have lost some faith in the court system. I will be going for full custody of my kids! However, unlike her I will let her see and talk to the kids anytime. I am so freakin stressed that my kids will be left with her and suffer.
 
 One question....she has never been diagnosed with Bi-polar....just depression as far as I know. How in the world do I prove anything in court about her condition?

KIKURAS
New Member


Date Joined Mar 2011
Total Posts : 6
   Posted 3/15/2011 6:02 PM (GMT -6)   
 
 
   Its more like frustration and I am here to learn more to cope with dealing with someone that has my kids.
 
  Tortoise...how did sharing what I have been through considered disrespect, hatred and blame? It was the truth!  
 
  I find your comment to be disrepectful but I have learned to ignore those comments a great deal because I lived with a woman that would say all those things and more!

maddie48
Regular Member


Date Joined Mar 2011
Total Posts : 25
   Posted 3/15/2011 9:52 PM (GMT -6)   
hey guys, i think i understand what just happened here.

KIKURAS you've been really hurt and are speaking from your experiences. you wanted to warn and protect someone that you say was in what you believed to be a similar situation as yourself so that he wouldn't have to feel the pain, anger, sadness...in general, end up in a situation like yours. ...and that's completely understandable and justifited. some people don't realize they need help and have damaged other's beyond compare. for instance, my aunt. she has torn a part our family, makes everyone misreable, and refusing to seek help.

@KIKURAS
i understand where you're coming from. maybe what tortoise was picking up was that you were really focused on your situation and not nepalion's. his wife is seeking help. she is a different person. not everyone with  bipolar 1) reacts the same 2) has the same symptoms 3) chooses to live the same. it's hard because people with bipolar disorders like the one you have encountered have shaped an image as to what healthier people think of us. i'm not saying you do not have a right to feel that way. you're hurt. i would just maybe encourage you to realize not everyone is like your wife that has this disorder, which was i think tortoise was getting at.

it kinda hurt when you said to run away from people like us, but i realized you don't mean us, but people like your wife which makes sense because that is what you've been exposed to. who wouldn't say that if they weren't looking at the bigger picture. ...but you can't put people into big sweeping groups, it's not accurate. we're all individuals making individual choices. and personally, i've been a great influence on my family, unite them, and have mader their relationships better and i have bipolar II disorder. i even have a boyfriend and we have a better relationship than most married couples.

so, maybe i'd encourage you to address your advice as speaking from your own experiences, taking in consideration that situations and people are different. ...but i understood the pain in your voice when you said you were frustrated and wanted to protect your kids. that's completely justifiable in your situation. i think turtiose might have been offended by just the stereotype you casted us all in without thinking. did i sound unstable to you in my first post? do i sound unstable to you now? there's more that makes me up than my disease and i chose to get help, take medicatin, and act a certain a way because the people in my life are important to me and i love them.

does this makes sense on both sides? because i think KIKURAS has positive things to contribute if he considers being sensitive/ phrasing things in different ways/ keeping in mind not all people are like that...but in his situation a person was. he needs just as much help as people on this site. is looking to be accepted and understood by fellow people here. i just hope i'm a person that may appear different to you KIKURAS. there are both people like me and people like your wife out there. i do everything i can to make sure my life is in control and don't hurt the people i care about. nepalion has to come to his own decision with the passing of time if his wife is really changing for the better, and it appears to me like she's on her way. but i also agree with you 100%, the first thing any person has to do is watch out for themselves in any situation. my best friend had a very similar experience with a woman that sounds like your wife, but he is friends with me and tells me constantly (because i worry) that i'm nothing like her.

i think if we all try to be sensitive and understanding eveything will work out.
PTSD
Bipolar II disorder

medication: Celexa, Prazosin, and actually Jolessa helps curve the mood swings too.

healing is hard work but even the smallest step of progress is worth it.

each minute we chose to live is a victory.

Post Edited (maddie48) : 3/15/2011 9:00:28 PM (GMT-6)


KIKURAS
New Member


Date Joined Mar 2011
Total Posts : 6
   Posted 3/19/2011 8:52 AM (GMT -6)   
Here is my thoughts on how it came to be...


Both parents of my wife are in denial that her daughter has any issues.
Ex thrives off from there attention because she had it growing up and getting their attention she still craves.

Divorcing me was an attention getter...as was he constant critism about me to them.

So, if anyone else is in this kind of relationship I would run. I would run from Tort!

maddie48
Regular Member


Date Joined Mar 2011
Total Posts : 25
   Posted 3/19/2011 10:32 AM (GMT -6)   
i really appreciate your change of tone and how you phrased your entry. you used your experience and pain in a positive, constructive way to help/ focus on someone else. i think that's the best piece of advice you've given. you focused on your past experiences, gave examples as to how your experiences were different, and came at it from more of an anaylitical point of view. i really appreciate that because in doing so you acknowledged that some people looking for help are different from the stereotype, but like in all situations, if someone is in denail they're hurting more than themselves.

i really hope that through time you can heal too.

i actually think it's very important to have both sides of a situation presented. nepalion can look for those warning signals you addressed and if he doesn't see them, then he knows his situation is different, but if he does, then he knows it is important that his health comes first. you can tell this thread is doing its purpose when the responses are more focused on the individual asking the questions than the posters themselves. i really believe if this thread(s) is based on sensitivity, understanding, and honesty/ openness to all sides, it will be really beneficial.

how are you holding up @nepalion? has any of this helped? i'm sorry if it was a little overwhelming/ you didn't feel like we were focusing enough on you. you're going through a rough situation as is. i hope this didn't add to the stress.
PTSD
Bipolar II disorder

medication: Celexa, Prazosin, and actually Jolessa helps curve the mood swings too.

healing is hard work but even the smallest step of progress is worth it.

each minute we chose to live is a victory.

Post Edited (maddie48) : 3/19/2011 9:39:01 AM (GMT-6)


Drew1
New Member


Date Joined Mar 2011
Total Posts : 10
   Posted 3/24/2011 9:18 PM (GMT -6)   
I have been married for 21 years to my wife who was diagnosed with Bipolar and Borderline Personality 3 years ago. I always suspected her behavior was unusual but we could never get a clear diagnosis.

Im here because ive gone through more than i think any human could possibly endure, but im still here. Ill try to keep my story short and to the point.

Kikuras your story has many similarities to mine. 3 years ago i was promoted to a job across state where i had to commute for 18 months while my son graduated HS. We sold the house and found a new home in our new town. Upon sons graduation my wife got very drunk and literally flipped out and said she was done and wasn't moving. She packed up her stuff and eventually passed out. The next morning she went to work and i packed the kids stuff and got them out to a safe place. She then filed for divorce (out of retaliation) within days without any discussion. Long story short (this part anyway), she came to her senses and we reconciled and dropped the divorce case.

We never moved and I lost my promotion and eventual job of 15 years. I was able to find a job shortly there after in the same capacity close to home. We moved into an apartment to get things settled. However, she continued to have mini breakdowns, constant drinking and sleeping. It finally all came to a head, she had a major breakdown and attempted suicide by overdose, and was admitted to a mental health hospital for 10 days. All seemed to be well after a few months...then she had yet another breakdown this time it became violent. She attacked me literally scratching, punching and throwing items at me. I snapped and in my attempt to restrain her, left bruises on her arms. The police came and I was arrested! Months had passed when suddenly i discover I am being prosecuted for family violence by the state. Wife pleaded with the prosecutor to drop the case but they refused. I had to spend 25 days in jail (work release). Keep in mind i have NEVER-EVER had more than a speeding ticket. I was respected in my profession and industry. Wife is also an RN and respected in her hospital. We were living the American Dream up to 3 years ago. Once again, she had another breakdown and was admitted to another mental health hospital and finally was diagnosed with BP & BPD.

I finally gave her the ultimatum that we needed to spend time apart to let things settle. I moved into an apartment for 6 months. This was hard on her, but it help her and I understand. She would constantly come over or stay a weekend, terrified i was going to leave her. We eventually moved back in together, things were great. She is on her new meds but the side effects are tough but they work. Then shortly after we reconciled we discovered she was pregnant...OMG. Understand that this was a completely unplanned pregnancy considering im 44, she 40 and with two older sons, 20 and 14 already. This was a blessing that has been very difficult especially at our age, but has brought us closer together. I love this child more than life itself!

Through all this I have suffered. I eventually lost my second job, credit is ruined, car was repossessed and now i have a police record. I haven't been able to find a decent job partly because of the economy but mostly because of the past. Going from a National Sales position to nothing has been depressing.

Ive stood by my wife for many reasons, mostly because i understand its a disease. Also i need to protect my children from her occasional mood swings and of course because i do love her.

I could go on and on but this is the latest. I am filled with many emotions, depressed, hopefully, faithful and fearful. Walking on eggshells one day then walking on water the next.

mtnman88
New Member


Date Joined Apr 2013
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 4/7/2013 3:30 PM (GMT -6)   
OK, looks there's nothing recent here, maybe nobody's reading it anymore, but it seems the most pertinent thread to me. I think I can really relate to Kikuras, and understand how he feels. I met my wife almost 5 years ago, we've now been married for 3. We are both in our 50's with no kids at home. When I said for better or worse, in sickness and in health... I meant it. I am trying really hard to honor my commitment, but sometimes wonder if it's helpful to anyone. Shortly after we married, my wife began to scream at me and say the cruellest things she could think of, even though I hadn't done anything wrong. I'm not perfect of course, nobody is, but the attacks came out of nowhere and went on for crazy lengths of time, sometimes weeks. Then suddenly she loved me so much and I was the sweetest man ever, only to be followed by more vicious attacks. When it became clear that I could not reason with her and there was nothing I could do to make the yelling stop, I would try to leave and just get away from it. She would chase me down the street screaming at me for the whole neighborhood to hear.
Finally her kids (4 daughters from her deceased husband) put pressure on her and she went to her doctor, who prescribed antidepressants. Things only got worse. The doses got increased, things got worse, bigger doses, even worse... finally she got a new doctor who recognized the problem and diagnosed her with bipolar II. He took her off the wrong meds and put her on Risperdol. At least now there are moments of lucidity, but the vicious blindside marathon attacks continue, if a little less frequently and a little less intense. I and her daughters have expressed that we now have hope where we didn't before. What's wierd to me is that she can admit that she has been unfairly brutal to me, but doesn't have an ounce of remorse about it, and says it's her right to treat me that way because I deserve it. A total contradiction in a matter of seconds.
Last night Dr. Phil had a segment about bipolar disorder which we watched together. She saw the damage done to families, and recognized that the treatment was abuse, but still thinks she is right to do it??!! Today she started beating up on me again (verbally) and as usual, said we should end our marriage and she should kill herself. All I did was ask her what she was doing today. I love her but I am afraid of her. I think maybe the best thing for both of us is to go our separate ways. I cannot continue to live with this daily abuse. I hear that the meds can really help, and maybe I just need to hang on until they do, but then I read things here that sound like the behavior isn't going to really change, maybe just become less severe. I have become depressed and have no self esteem anymore. Every aspect of me has been brutally trashed and I am the worst man ever, except for the times when I'm the best man ever. If I can't make the brutality stop, I have to make a change, cuz I just can't go on like this

Chloe43
Regular Member


Date Joined Nov 2012
Total Posts : 327
   Posted 4/7/2013 6:25 PM (GMT -6)   
Boundaries. If she says she could kill herself you drive her to the ER and commit her. No discussion.

Chloe43
Regular Member


Date Joined Nov 2012
Total Posts : 327
   Posted 4/7/2013 6:26 PM (GMT -6)   
We can't be everything to everyone. This forum is for people experiencing bipolar disorder. While we do appreciate and respond to questions for non-bipolar family, friends, and partners, we will not be able to respond to non-bipolar members coming here for personal support, venting, ranting, or complaining about another person's bipolar symptoms.
The change is reflected in our "Members: Please Read Before You Post" thread: http://www.healingwell.com/community/default.aspx?f=13&m=883428 I have copied the content of that post here:

This forum is for support for people experiencing bipolar disorder. This forum is a safe, anonymous environment for people with bipolar disorder to freely discuss their struggles and symptoms. It is not a support group for friends and family of bipolar disorder. Living with someone who suffers from bipolar disorder presents a set of problems all its own. There are groups for this at other sites:

NAMI's Online Communities

And one for family and friends at Pendulum.org

And the Family & Friends of Bipolar Support Group at Daily Strength.

Posts that are perceived to be venting, ranting, or complaining about another person's bipolar disorder symptoms will not be tolerated. Offensive posts will be edited or removed, replaced with the resource links above, and be locked to prevent discussion. Objective and compassionate posts will remain and it will be at our member's personal discretion whether or not they chose to answer.


mtnman88
New Member


Date Joined Apr 2013
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 4/8/2013 12:03 AM (GMT -6)   
If my post is offensive or not helpful to someone experiencing bipolar disorder, please remove it. That was not my intent, I was looking for advice. I googled "living with a bipolar wife" and this came up. I saw other posts from husbands so Chloe43's response confuses me. Now that I know I'm not welcome here, I won't come back. Thank you for providing links that might be helpful to me.

Chloe43
Regular Member


Date Joined Nov 2012
Total Posts : 327
   Posted 4/9/2013 8:18 AM (GMT -6)   
This thread is 2 years old. The forum rule was made since the beginning of this thread.
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