Wife that is Bipolar!

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Need Advice
Regular Member


Date Joined Sep 2007
Total Posts : 26
   Posted 9/5/2007 10:46 AM (GMT -7)   
Well I'm new here so I'll just jump right in with my story.   I've been married to my wife for 4 years now and about 1 year ago she was diagnosed with bipolar thanks to my constant discussions with every medical professional I knew.  We both knew somthing was wrong but never could pinpoint it.  Anyway, I've been through the verbal abuse, the screaming etc.. and have finally made it to the other side now that she been prescribed lithium but things are still pretty rocky a lot of the time.   My wife is a wonderful woman and I love her dearly but I am getting worn down.  We have two kids - an 8 and a two year old who are great the only problem is I basically feel like I am a single parent most of the time.  She kicks in some but even then I get the feeling that she thinks I'm selfish for not doing it because she needs to do somthing for work. She goes to work and is full of energy, comes home and either has to do work or is ill with a headache or somthing.  We used to have a wonderful sex life now I am basically forced to wait until she give the ok.  If I make advances and she accepts I really don't know weather its because she feels guilty for saying no or because she loves me.  Then if we happen to share some time later it always comes back to that all I think is important.  She just really makes it hard to figure out what I'm suppose to do.  I basically take care of all the bills, take care of the kids most of the time and anything else that needs doing. Example- last night I left work and managed to work out at the gym where she works for about an hour - she woke up late so she stayed home with our youngest then went to work that afternoon to catch up on some things for today.  She took our youngest to work with her and when I left the gym she asked me to take the youngest with me.  Problem was that I had to take our oldest to football an then to Karate which I take with my son in a father/son class.  Upon returning home at 745 lastnight her first remark was that she didn't get any work done because I left our youngest with her rather than carrying him with me to football and Karate.  I just don't understand how people think this way.  It just seems like she is the most selfish person in the world and I know she is not that type person but it sure is hell to figure out.  Any suggestion would be welcomed.  Heck maybe I need totake some med to ease my nerves.  I have honestly thought about this too! 

footballfan
Regular Member


Date Joined Jun 2007
Total Posts : 63
   Posted 9/5/2007 1:39 PM (GMT -7)   
My wife is bp (dx'd in June - Lithium 900mg). To be honest your story sounds like my wife before she was diagnosed. I read your posting twice and the similarities is see are: 1) I knew there was a problem I just didn't know what 2) problems with the children - my wife would get on our oldest about everything - they seemed to be more of a burden to her than a blessing 3) she thought of me as selfish 4) she had lots of energy when she went to work but none when she was at home - sleeping in a recliner by 7 5) sex life - she admits now that when we were together she did it out of obligation or as her duty as a wife 6) selfish - At times I viewed her as very selfish, I even told her that on occassion, she took offence to that and couldn't believe I thought that. Looking back now she can't believe how selfish she was, she just couldn't see it.
Your wife is on Lithium but does she get her levels checked? If they aren't right then they may need to be adjusted. Does she realize that there is still a problem? My wife believed her thinking was "normal" before being diagnosed, she now looks back and can't believe the way she thought, the way she processed everything and the way her mind was constantly racing with so many things all at the same time. Does she take her meds regularly or only when she thinks she needs them? She may think when she is feeling well that she doesn't need the meds, she needs to understand that she is feeling well because of the meds, my wife didn't like the idea of meds but now because she is thinking so clearly and her mind doesn't race anymore she says that if she needs to stay on them for life she has no problem with that. Is her job stressful? I find stress is a huge trigger for my wife. She becomes irritable with the children and gets an instant headache when a lot of stress enters her life.
If she is on meds and the problems are persisting then make sure she sees what the problems are. Have her go to her doc. Councelling is huge, I go with my wife every week and it has helped more than I ever thought it would.
Hang in there and keep us updated. Lots of good people are on this site that are more than willing to help.

loving frustrated wife
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jun 2007
Total Posts : 865
   Posted 9/5/2007 10:00 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi Need, I too am a spouse to a BP. My husband and son both have the dx. I understand the issue of feeling like you can't please, or don't do ENOUGH, etc...and yet in so many ways you are killing yourself, carrying the bulk of the load and turning inside out to accommodate their needs, and in the end you are told the opposite...you're selfish. Or being snarled at over the most rediculous things because they don't even have the ability at times to "hear" you or even seemingly care enough to listen. It's at about that point after a bad day with them that I want to SCREAM...But I don't. I come on here and vent, calm down, and then feel better able to not engage with them in this inconsistant behavior and I become the beeken of light in stormy seas to safety. It is hard, but it is doable. And like Footballfan said, being properly balanced on the meds is a MUST. It doesn't make life perfect, but certainly managable and there is time for closeness and joy. Good luck and welcome to the HW family. It's a great bunch here. LFW

Need Advice
Regular Member


Date Joined Sep 2007
Total Posts : 26
   Posted 9/6/2007 5:07 AM (GMT -7)   
WOW! I am absolutely thrilled to see that someone out there actually understands what I am am in the middle of. I'll try to respond to all the comments best I can but if I miss somthing let me know.
First - she is on meds - 1200 lithium and 300 wellbutrin. No she doesn't get her level checked often but I really don't know what often is -- once a month or what. She does know there is stll a problem but I think she thinks, as of our conversation last night, that most of the bipolar has been straightened out. I did however tell her last night that she needed to get her levels checked. She has leveled out since on the lithium - actually she's a different person. We've had a rough time though. about two years ago she had an affair-well not a sexual one but said she kissed a man at the hotel and then realized that it wasn't right. Weather I believe that or not is still up in the air but what can you do - I wasn't there. I had to make the decision at the time weather to stay or go and here I am. I couldn't see at the time leaving my two boys. When we met she had a 2 year old from a previous marriage - his dad was an alcoholic - I eventually adopted him and he knows no other Dad and I want to keep it that way. But the affair still lingers in the back of my mind. We have been to counseling and yes it was a great help but we haven't been in a long time. Need to start going again. Oh stress is a huge trigger for her and I probably cause some of it. I suck up my feeling most of the time to keep from upsetting her but once and a while I just tell her and it never fails I end up feeling like I'm crazy. And winning a disagreement is somthing that will never happen because it always ends up in her favor or atleast feeling that way even when I know she's not thinking right. But she would never believe that way. She also keeps a headache to the point of making me worry about all the goodies she takes. She has to take tylenol PM to help her sleep at night due to the fact all the slleing stuff she's tried makes her feel terrible in the am. If all this isn't enough she teaches HighSchool kids and talk about stress. But she's a wonderful teacher - actually she a lot better at that than at being a wife which I think make me jealous. Seems shallow but guess I can tell it all on here and won't have to sleep on the couch! Thanks for the replies - think I'm going to like being part of this family. Oh we've tried every other med the doc could come up with and these seem to work the best but the sleep thing still worries me. Anyone got any suggestions on this area. Tylenol pm every night just seems like it could'nt be good for her.

Need Advice
Regular Member


Date Joined Sep 2007
Total Posts : 26
   Posted 9/6/2007 5:13 AM (GMT -7)   
Oh by the way I think the last time here levels were checked were two months or so ago but she has a doctor appointment Monday so I told her to have them checked and she agreed. Funny thing is everytime I tell her she might need to do this she responds with "Everytime I have a problem or get upset it does'nt mean I need to adjust the meds - I am aloud to get mad or whatever." So anyway thats the story so far! Take Care

serafena
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Date Joined May 2007
Total Posts : 3715
   Posted 9/6/2007 10:15 AM (GMT -7)   
*laughing!* This has come up before NA. So here's a little handy-dandy chart for the poor non-BPs in the room:

When not to discuss medication with your bipolar partner:
1. When you've recently had a fight/argument/disagreement/a "need to talk" session/an annoyed look on your face
2. When he/she has had a bad day/two days/three days/week...
3. When he/she is in the middle of anything else, especially activities involving children.
4. In front of in-laws/parents. (Punishable offense.)
5. Never bring up bipolar or medication in an argument. Never claim that a person is "just emotional" in an argument. For example, never tell your very angry wife that she's "just having a bad day" in the middle of a fight, when she doesn't agree with you. (My husband did this two days ago. Boy was he sorry, and very, very in the wrong. He was apologizing for two days.)

When it's okay to discuss medication with your bipolar partner:
1. When they are relatively calm, ONLY if you have not recently had a disagreement. For example, when watching tv or getting ready for bed. Preface it as "I've noticed you've been more stressed/sad/frantic/keyed up (whatever) recently. When do you see your doctor next?"
2. Always discuss the disorder as something your concerned about (I'm worried about you) and not something that's annoying you (you're being a real b**** these days).


Here to help with the hard stuff...
Dr. Phil, er...
serafena
Ask me about my Bipolar Disorder!


Need Advice
Regular Member


Date Joined Sep 2007
Total Posts : 26
   Posted 9/6/2007 10:50 AM (GMT -7)   
Serafena,

LOL -- So basically there really aren't any good times to discuss this issue or atleast very few. Believe it or not I actually could have figured out this by myself but I really thik I must have ADD. When the thought hits my brain -it's out of my mouth - then my next thought is - you idiot you should not have said that -- INCOMING!! Cuse the military terminology! Anyway thanks for the chart - I think I should read this daily - maybe it will pop into my head before my next stupid remark.

loving frustrated wife
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Date Joined Jun 2007
Total Posts : 865
   Posted 9/6/2007 11:29 AM (GMT -7)   
Serafena...THANK YOU for the big laugh. IT is so true!!!!!!!!!!! I haven't stopped laughing. I am due for oral surgery today and needed a good laugh to "lighten me up".

Anyway, Need, I completely understand what you said about being jealous about her being a better teacher than wife. Why shouldn't you feel this way? We as the spouses want our mates to also give US the best they have and when they don’t or can’t seem to…how else should we feel? I don't think I label it jealousy but when my husband has the capacity to discuss a work issue - back and forth with a client for hours - but can't manage to ever discuss anything with me with that same respect and calm until we either find a solution or common ground, or even just have the capacity to listen to me and have longer than a minute long conversation about almost anything. I feel exactly the same way. I always think that if he can do it there, he should be able to give me the same. Only, in general it doesn't work that way. I find that I'm where he let's his hair down (sort of speak), because he loves me and feels safe. With work, the pressure to maintain professionalism and perform is SO great, that it adds the extra stimulant needed to draw that out of them. The flip side is, by the time they come home...they are spent. I will say that this week my H experienced a few days with some clients he was barely hanging on to his posture and could have really gone off with them. He came so close to the line of loosing it and really got down on himself for it. He began to treat them as he does me at times and it DID NOT go over well and he could have lost them as clients. But, he pulled himself back and held on.

But like your wife, my H plays the game with himself that none of what he is going through is the BP; that is "handled" therefore it is a non issue. Only, I know it isn't true. He may be stable on his meds, but that doesn't mean the BP is gone, it just means you are now at choice about it all and have the power to override and control things. He doesn’t even see how it is the BP which makes him react at times the way he does. It isn’t that he doesn’t have a right to his feelings…of course he does. But, he should be checking in with himself to learn how certain things trigger certain reactions from his, and then figure out better ways to handle it that he will then feel good about. Does that make sense? I do so envy Footballfan for that. His spouse, Dutchie has gone after doing EVERYTHING in her power to really gain full control over this thing called BP. And while she is new to the dx, she has really seen the benefits and changes really “owning” this thing can give you. My H could also be doing that great, only he isn’t really, he does okay by staying very consistent with his meds and one on one seeing a therapist monthly (but they don’t identify and discuss his issues from the perspective of being a BP, just that they are his issues)….I personally think until he does this…the next steps in his growth with it won’t happen, and he just isn't ready to deal with it I guess. I also probably make it to comfortable for him not to, but I have our 3 kids (one of which is also a BP) to worry about and I need to keep this as happy and stable a home as possible with a BP H & Son. I guess my good news is they are only mid-level to mild BPII, so life is manageable most of the time for us…but not always. BTW, you can see more about my situation by reading my old post. Look for the one where I was the originator (I have only one I think).

Glad you found us…LFW

Need Advice
Regular Member


Date Joined Sep 2007
Total Posts : 26
   Posted 9/6/2007 11:55 AM (GMT -7)   
Thanks I feel a little relief already! By the way I'll check out your post but until then - bless her heart - my wife has a headache constantly - sometimes worse - sometimes better - I even went so far as to have a physical done (blood test and a CAT scan) just to make sure somthing welse wasn't wrong and it wasn't thank the good lord. Anyone had these problems and or a cure. Can the lithium or wellbutrin cause these. Take Care

olivia of course
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Date Joined Jul 2006
Total Posts : 1523
   Posted 9/7/2007 8:44 PM (GMT -7)   
Need Advice,

Welcome to the HW family, I hope you found the support you are looking for.
Olivia
Moderator, Bipolar
 
Dx:  Bipolar 1, Anxiety-Panic Disorder
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serafena
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Date Joined May 2007
Total Posts : 3715
   Posted 9/8/2007 4:32 PM (GMT -7)   
Hope the oral surgery went okay, LFW. There are literally fewer things more horrifying in the world to me than dentistry. I swear I'd rather give birth again. At least at the end of that you get a lovely baby to take home...

NA -- a sense of humor definitely helps! :)
Ask me about my Bipolar Disorder!


loving frustrated wife
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jun 2007
Total Posts : 865
   Posted 9/8/2007 9:27 PM (GMT -7)   
Thanks Serafena, I'm okay...just sore. Plus I hate that taste in your mouth you get when you have a wound there; It truly is discusting. Plus, I am tired of soft food. Why is it we crave what we know we can't have? I am lactos intolerant to ice cream is out...plus, I might as well apply it direct to my thighs!!!!!!!!!!! God only knows I am working hard enough on that front as well. Oye...this too shall pass. There is my complaining for the day. LFW

Need Advice
Regular Member


Date Joined Sep 2007
Total Posts : 26
   Posted 9/11/2007 8:28 AM (GMT -7)   
Thanks Olivia for the welcome - there seem to be a lot of really nice and well informed folks on here. It really nice to actually say somthing and have it validated rather than made to feel like you've lost your mind.

Need Advice
Regular Member


Date Joined Sep 2007
Total Posts : 26
   Posted 10/25/2007 4:44 AM (GMT -7)   
Hey group,
I just got back from Focus by the Sea where my wife was admitted for about 8 days. She has totally changed her meds around - and added ad few more - remeron, and lamictal and one other . She came home and was doing fine for two days but as soon as she went back to work, we had on diasgreement because she was late getting home and I was suppose to be at our six year olds last football game and had our two year old with me, she totally back to almost where she started. Oh and by the way, now I don't understand her problem like the people in the hospital. What do you say to that! No I don't but I'm trying? I don't know - I am so tired of not having a wife and my boys having to depend on me for eveything. I don't mind taking care of my boys - but they need a mother. Everything I say is wrong. Everything I say - she defends she isn't a bad mother or wife. Never said she was so don't know where that came from. Somebody please give me some comforting words. Is there a med I can take to make me feel like I'm not about to explode inside. THIS IS JUST TOUGH!!!!

serafena
Veteran Member


Date Joined May 2007
Total Posts : 3715
   Posted 10/25/2007 10:30 AM (GMT -7)   
I'm so sorry NA. It's is so frustrating for you, I can see. And she is making this incredibly difficult for you. You need to INSIST upon some time for you and INSIST upon some time away from her and from the boys. I'd really recommend some therapy as well. I finally got my husband to go this summer because he was (among other problems) getting so burnt our from helping me that he was having a really hard time. And now he's seeing a therapist every other week, venting to her, and he's taking an anti-depressant to help him deal with the stress.

Remind your wife that if she wants you to be patient with the stressful elements of her disorder, she needs to be patient with you. Sure there are things she doesn't like (just go with me here...) but she needs to give you the benefit of the doubt that you're doing your best. My guess (and it's only guess because I don't really know you, her or the situation) is that she feels very, very judged and really overwhelmed. The disease is overwhelming. Get some help if you can afford it -- a house cleaner for example, take the laundry to a laundry service, get the 2 year old in day care. You both need some help managing day to day life until she gets back on her feet.
Serafena
Co-Moderator, Bipolar Forum

It is a melancholy of mine own, compounded of many simples, extracted from many objects, and indeed the sundry contemplation of my travels, in which my often rumination wraps me in a most humorous sadness. -- William Shakespeare


Need Advice
Regular Member


Date Joined Sep 2007
Total Posts : 26
   Posted 10/26/2007 5:11 AM (GMT -7)   
Thanks, I have a therapy appt in a few days but I think she is going in first - ( think thats more important) and I have the 2yr old in daycare and our 6 goes to school so were set on that - as far as the house work - ME! Never thought I'd say that. (HA) Actually getting pretty good at it - hate but I'm getting good at it. Anyway she just got out of the hospital and other than a med that went wrong (geodon) knocked her out but they started her on 80mg twice a day - she could only handle it once and she was out the rest of the day. Couldn't get hold of the pdoc so I told her to stop it and she felt so much better for a day or two. Went back to work - second day they called me from her school and said I need to pick her up - wasn't feeling well. How do you go from good to bad that quick after spending 8 day in a hospital to fix things. Hard to understand but trying. Seems like these pdocs in the hospital release you and you are own your own until you can see your regular pdoc. We swaped back to the pdoc that was reccomended by the hosp. pdoc but could see him until the 20th of Nov. Now no one will call us back. Is this normal. Do you have to call them and say she's dying or somthing. It's just all frustrating on top of the fact I get bashed every other word and then I'm told by my wife she's not bashing me. If I feel bashed - doesn't that mean I have been bashed? Seems like nothing I do is good enough. The kicker - she said last night that if I couldn't handle living with her and the bi-polar that she would make sure the boys had everything they needed. Now first - I had not mentioned anything about leaving - but if I were to leave I sure would not leave our boys with her. Does this sound bad. I just don't see how she could even think she could take care of two kids and yet she up and says she can. Is this the bipolar? Well I have wasted enoough space - any advice, answers, etc.. would be greatly appreciated.

sukay
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Date Joined Feb 2003
Total Posts : 1432
   Posted 10/26/2007 8:44 AM (GMT -7)   

Need Advise,

Sounds like the bi-polar to me. I was on Geodon and it took a while to get use to. I wouldn't stop the drug on her until you hear from the doc. In the meantime maybe you can give it to her every other day? Oh and when you call the pdoc mention that your wife just got out of the hospital and is in serious need of seeing the doc ASAP due to med complications and that you're worried she may end up back at the hospital if she doesn't get to see him right away to fix things. When it's an emergency situation you need to really specify that and ask for an ASAP appointment or call back from the doc. If you still don't get a response call back the pdoc that treated her at the hospital and let him know whats been happening.

I'm sure it is VERY frustrating for you right now. These are strongs meds and finding the right balance of meds takes a while. The slightest adjustments can have a huge impact.

Keep us posted and let us know what happens.


~Sukay~
 
Crohns Disease-Remicade since 1999, Methotrexate
Fibromyalgia & Arthritis
Bipolar & Panic/Anxiety-Trileptal, Xanax, Trazadone, Wellbutrin


loving frustrated wife
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jun 2007
Total Posts : 865
   Posted 10/26/2007 9:43 AM (GMT -7)   
NA, you're not misreading the situation...you ARE getting slammed at every turn. Yes, it is the BP raging, but that doesn't mean you have to put up with it. You can be strong and stand up and say...".STOP! NO MORE of this speaking to me like this. I love you, I am here to support you, but you WILL NOT speak to me like this anymore! I am NOT your whipping post." Eggshells is not a good way to live. The best things you can do for her is to hold her accountable for her conduct during what SHE already knows is her BP out of control. Will it then be perfect? NO, so don't expect it to be. But will it be better? YES, it can be because you can ask her to recognize she is off kilter because of the BP, but she must be responsible for her own conduct and when she rages...you’ll be there to listen, but she has to own it is her own stuff, and not spill it all over you. When I do this to my husband, he snarls and walks away...but when he comes back, he is better. If he sounds too harsh or starts reacting hostile, he quickly acknowledges it is not me that has him feeling this way, but that it is how he is feeling inside and then I can listen without feeling like I need to protect myself or be defensive. So then I am capable of listening better and being more empathetic for him. It turns it from a loose-loose, to a win-win for us. But it doesn't help if I just sit and take it. Then...he keeps doing it more and more because it feels better to him too. Even with the BP, whether they feel they can control it or not, there is that part of them that sees what they are doing (although generally they won't admit it in the moment). Clearly your wife knows she is BP and is struggling with it. So it will not come as a surprise that you bring to her attention that you are not there to be bashed on, but it will come to her surprise perhaps that you confront her. But it is the only way to shock them into hearing us sometimes. In her heart of hearts, she doesn't really want to treat you that way, and this is a way for her to have her behavior mirrored back to her. I know it helps around here A LOT when I stay strong about it, but NOT angry about it. I recognize he is BP and can't help that his reactions can go like this, but he needs to own it, not me, and I am here to love and support, not bear the brunt of his condition.

As to the kids and ALL the housework you are doing…Okay…here’s the deal. If she is physically able to be helping you…she NEEDS to. That is how she will see she IS bigger than the issue. I am not saying she should be forced to do everything…but taking on some things she is capable of being responsible for…absolutely. You can still feel crappy and function on the basics. Additionally, if she says she can TAKE CARE OF THE KIDS….then she should be helping in that department too. Let her be on “dinner” duty (you can do the shopping…she can cook some of the dinners), “make the beds” duty, read a story duty, make the kids lunches for school or day care…etc. These are easy enough things and are GOOD for her to do. She can also help with the folding of laundry (you do it, and she folds, then you put away)…that sort of thing. Your wife has to learn to trust herself and get responsible about her own condition for both you and her kids…knowing she can still function when everything inside is screaming and her chemical system is out of balance….will actually give her strength to learn how to manually override things she may be feeling inside when the meds aren’t perfect or working. I tell my husband and son all the time, that ultimately…with or without the meds…they are still the ones responsible for their conduct just like the rest of us. Is it HARDER for them….YES. Can it be done anyway…YES. Is it expected that they do….YES – and not just by me…but the rest of the world. So…they work to do it. Your wife can to. Hang in there…I hope things get better. LFW

loving frustrated wife
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jun 2007
Total Posts : 865
   Posted 10/26/2007 10:04 AM (GMT -7)   
One last thought for you on the doctor front...if you are not getting a response on her behalf after saying this is an emergency...and when meds go off...that is an emergency, start looking for a new one who will care about your wife that she lead a quality life. We have contact with our pdoc via phone whenever necessary (unless he is out of town). That doesn't mean we call all the time, but if we have a question because it looks like meds need and adjustment, or a side effect is showing up we are questioning, or behavior is seemingly staying consistent that is negative...etc. We contact him, and he is there for my H & S. Having that relationship is critical. You need to find the right doctor and you both need a relationship with him on behalf of your wife. Does that make sense? LFW

Need Advice
Regular Member


Date Joined Sep 2007
Total Posts : 26
   Posted 10/26/2007 11:44 AM (GMT -7)   
LFW,

Yes all of what you said makes since and thank you so much for sharing all of this. The part about the bashing - well let me give you an example. Last night she mentioned somthing about not choosing to have bipolar and after a brief talk I told her this - Honey I did not choose to be married to a woman that had Bi-polar either but you do - this is somthing we have been dealt and we have to deal with it - would I rather you not have bipolar "yes" and I'm sure you wish you didn't either but we don't have this choice so we have to make the best of our situation - I love you and I choose to do this. Response - IM NOT GOING TO BE SOMEONE THAT WAS DEALT TO SOMEONE ELSE. I told her that was not what I meant and she proceeded to tell me how I should have said it. It seems like every time I try to say somthing in support of her she looks for a way to turn it into a negative. I almost don't want to say anything. As far as the doc - she called him today and told the sec what was going on and she needed to ssee him as soon as possible - maybe he'll call back today - hopefully- On top of all this a close friend of mine got killed in a wreck two day ago and I have to go to visitation and a funeral this weekend. I don't know - how much can one person take. I know God doesn't give you more than you can handle but he's pushing the limit here. I so much admire the relationship you and FBF have - maybe oneday. By the way - hope this isn't to personal but was it you that had the affair. Just asking because my wife had one also a couple of years ago and it's been pretty rough on me but even then I knew the BP played a part - not totally but a part. I do know what FBF is feeling - it's hard. Thanks again for replying- I get to where I look forward to getting messages on here - everyone is so positive.

Need Advice
Regular Member


Date Joined Sep 2007
Total Posts : 26
   Posted 10/26/2007 11:45 AM (GMT -7)   
Sukay,
Thanks for the advice - we did do that today and hopefully we will here back from the doc today.

serafena
Veteran Member


Date Joined May 2007
Total Posts : 3715
   Posted 10/26/2007 12:01 PM (GMT -7)   
Why should it be MORE important that she see a therapist? Don't you count too?

One annoying thing about the pdocs is that unless you're already an established patient, it takes forever to get an initial appointment. Another idea is to call the hospital pdoc back and ask him to help you make contact because you're having trouble.

Now that you've told me that you're wife is a high school English teacher, I do understand a little bit better her predicament, although her treatment of you is still untenable. Her job really does require 60+ hours a week -- she's not making that up, and I can't imagine trying to do it with a small child around either. So she's not just being lazy when she's complaining about those aspects. I think most English teachers would back me up here.

One more thing in her favor I feel compelled to add, and then we can go back to talking about your needs -- a trip to the hospital is really stressful, even a resort hospital like Focus. Even if she had come home from the hospital completely "cured" (which doesn't happen) you would still need to figure in a good 6 month period of recovery. As David Miklowitz (who wrote The Bipolar Disorder Survival Guide: What You and Your Family Need to Know) says -- just as you need a few days to recover from the flu, you need a while to recover from a major mood episode. Months. She's going to be "delicate" for some time yet, even after she finds meds that really work for her.

I'm so sorry you're struggling so, NA. I can see you're fighting to figure out how to be most supportive and still protect yourself. Insist you get some respect, but try to be understanding where you can. She really is even more miserable than you are.
Serafena
Co-Moderator, Bipolar Forum

It is a melancholy of mine own, compounded of many simples, extracted from many objects, and indeed the sundry contemplation of my travels, in which my often rumination wraps me in a most humorous sadness. -- William Shakespeare


loving frustrated wife
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jun 2007
Total Posts : 865
   Posted 10/26/2007 2:41 PM (GMT -7)   
NA, I need to tell you that I think you were thinking I was Dutchie, Footballfan's wife. Yes, they are a special couple and we are all hoping they make it through their difficult time together. I am a wife and mother to BP's.

I hear what you are saying about trying to be supportive and ending up being yelled at instead. Here's the thing. My hubby does not like me acknowledging things quite so directly unless he is in the "space" for it. I would say right now, and for a bit of time to come, your wife is not in the space for it. I would probably avoid saying such things to her. Try simply, "Honey, you seem like you are having a hard time today...is there anything I can do for you to make it better? or, I am sorry you are struggling so right now, I wish there was something I can do to help you, please let me know if there is...". Then LEAVE IT ALONE unless she tells you specifically what she needs. Chances are, right now, she is feeling like damaged goods...you don't feel that way...but she does. So, anything that you say will not be received with the intent you mean it. So it is best to keep it light, loving and vague. Insist on respect, but stay focused elsewhere while she is going through this unless she asks for your help. And just participate with her as if she is doing fine, and hand her stuff to do around the house and with your kids. She will tell you if she can't or won't, otherwise...it is GOOD for her to have NORMAL things asked of her. NO TIPTOEING...but no bulldozers either. Hang in there NA...the more you figure out how to handle these situations, and when timing is good for this and that....it will get easier. LFW

sukay
Veteran Member


Date Joined Feb 2003
Total Posts : 1432
   Posted 10/26/2007 5:59 PM (GMT -7)   

LFW....you said it all!  Space and timing is everything! I think you and my husband learned that the hard way. sad

 


~Sukay~
 
Crohns Disease-Remicade since 1999, Methotrexate
Fibromyalgia & Arthritis
Bipolar & Panic/Anxiety-Trileptal, Xanax, Trazadone, Wellbutrin


loving frustrated wife
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jun 2007
Total Posts : 865
   Posted 10/26/2007 10:24 PM (GMT -7)   
I think all BP spouses do Sukay, I don't think we are unusual. But I do think we are both lucky to have partners who also try so hard to be responsible. And while I would never categorize living with any BP "easy", once you can start figuring some stuff out...it can get easier. LFW

Post Edited (loving frustrated wife) : 10/27/2007 12:09:20 PM (GMT-6)

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