BP husband/child

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darntired3
New Member


Date Joined Dec 2007
Total Posts : 3
   Posted 12/3/2007 11:58 PM (GMT -7)   
My 8 year old was diagnosed with BP/ADHD/Impulse Control Disorder two years ago after my youngest was born.  My husband and I have been married for 11 years.  Through the research involving my son, my husband came to realization that he too is BP and sought out a pdoc at my insistence.  I have known for years that he had mood issues and had suggested that he might be BP but the doc at the time nixed the idea.  He is presently on Lamictal only after difficulties with Lithium caused him to have to discontinue usage. 
 
I am at the point of defeated in my family life.  My son has been in the hospital 8 times in two years and my husband's moods are unstable at best.  He is argumentative and defensive.  He asks my to let him know when he is off kilter....until I let him know.  I am always soft in my approach but my approach is never correct with him.  On top of battling my sons rapid mood changes, my husband is utterly impossible to deal with.  He blew up at me last night after having been out of town the entire week and only being home for a couple of days.  This blow up happened over my asking him if he had heard the question I had asked him once he ignored it.  He does this often.  He would be considered "cylcothymic" spending most of his time down and what I consider very flat.  I am very bubbly with a career in sales. 
 
I am literally at my wits end in this relationship.  He feels that because he has been medicated, he has done his part.  I do not agree.  To top it off, I started smoking again after having quit prior to our marriage.  His mother died of lung cancer years ago.  This has caused added stress to our relationship.  I shared this with my 8 year old son yesterday so that he would not panic so much when I walked outside for any reason.  When I do this, he flips out and runs around looking for me insisting that I come back in the house until he is in rage mode.  I thought that sharing it with him would quell some of this behavior.  Instead he had a full blown knock down drag out at school today and told his teacher he is afraid that I will die.  My husband is now livid with me and I am as usual getting the silent treatment from him. 
 
We have not had any intimacy between us in a long time.  I feel no connection to him at this point.  He continually makes me feel as if I'm losing my mind and thinks he tells me things that he hasn't and then blows up when I am unaware.  I do almost all of the housework, childcare etc. and work outside the home daily.  I just switched jobs to be more accessible to my oldest should he need me.  I don't know what else to do.  Last time we went to a counselor over 4 years ago, he smoked the counselor and everything became my fault.  I hear enough of that and cannot go through that again so am afraid to go to counseling with him.  He sees a doc once a month for meds but has missed his last two appointments due to work commitments-did I mention he's a workaholic?  Good for me because I can hardly stand being around him at this point.....Help!

loving frustrated wife
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jun 2007
Total Posts : 865
   Posted Yesterday 10:10 AM (GMT -7)   

Darntired3....I get you honey...I get you! My site name is LOVING FRUSTRATED WIFE! LOL!!! Okay...first things first...you could not have found a better home to communicate. I wrote an almost identical posting about 6+ months ago and it has helped my life in leaps and bounds in so many ways. My profile is the following: My 14 year old son was dx at 8 1/2 years old with clinical depression/BP/ADHD...through the process of regulating his meds, my husband owned up to his similarity with our son and was dx BP as well. No surprise to me of course. We have been married 16 years now. I too, like you, always work to stay calm, always work to hold everything together, and when I came here was at a breaking point too. My H also felt that by taking his meds...he was "doing his part" - he was "stable". In many ways he still does. We are not allowed to straight up talk about it. It can be hinted at; it can be referenced in our son. Just not directly at a behavior or example of reactions or behavior in him. Both my H and S are BPII, rapid recyclers. Both deal with depression. My S has the added ADHD...and "OH I AM SO SUPRISED" just found out that the pdoc wants my H to be tested as it may explain a few more things, or rule them out type of thing. I won't be surprised AT ALL to find out that is an issue too (a mild version...but definitely there). I do want to share that while I live with ALL the challenges of BP & ADHD, I do so at a milder level in many ways by comparison to many. We have never had hospitalization, cheating, spending uncontrollably at HIGH levels, threats of violence, etc. But life as you know is not easier as a result, BP is BP after all and if you live with someone who has it...it is hard. I too feel much of the time I am accused of not saying things correctly for them...the right tone in my voice, accused of not saying what I "REALLY" mean, being relentless in my pursuit to discuss things (I will make 3 attempts over a reasonable period of time spanning days or weeks and then stop and let it go...this for them is TOO MUCH). So, as a person who is quite honest in the way I say things...I definitely am known to say what I mean, and mean what I say, with the rest of the world. (Just ask anyone on this site - LOL), but my H & S don't always think so. Gee...I wonder what the common denominator could be???? Could it be they have zero frustration tolerance? Could it be that they don't like being uncomfortable or confronted so you have to pick your moments and words SO carefully? LOL....Or all the above and MORE! Yet, when they "need", they turn to me as the stable balancing rod that keeps them feeling safe, loved and sane.

I don't want to give the wrong impression to you, while I have all the challenges to live with on the BP front, I do VERY much love my H - he is a GOOD man, although NOT an easy one. I have times that I can not feel my love for him; times I can't stand being around him...I JUST WANT OUT!!!!!!!!!!!!! But, I am a mature woman and realize that my marriage is a commitment I made, and I realize that during a marriage (even one without BP involved), that the "feeling" of being "in love" will come and go throughout our lifetime together, but what holds us together is a deeper abiding love for the person and the "commitment" we made. That is an action, love is a feeling, and feelings come and go. But, what I feel ANY married person has to realize is that as easily as those feelings can go...they come back too! It is the ebb and tide of life IMO.  And falling in love over and over again allows us to deepen and richen the abiding love as we grow old together. 

 

Through this site I learned by being able to ask question of other w/ BP how best to say things, what was I doing that was triggering, how to see what was happening and not get caught up in it.  It has improved our marriage tremendously, and it has improved my tolerance in dealing with it in return.  But what I want you to know, it that the initial changes started with me.  Being here I have learned SO much that it has allowed me to handle things better, be more understanding or confront when needed, etc.  I have learned how to stand up for myself more, and expect better responsibility for his/their own behaviors.  I am here to love and support, not be dumped on or shut down.  Is it perfect?  NO….but better….ABSOLUTELY.

 

BTW, something I didn’t mention is that I also have 6 ½ year old b/g twins too!  All adding to the dynamics and chaos called our lives, and I have a business I am working very hard to get off the ground and see be very successful.  So welcome….I am so glad you found us.  I just know you will find the support for yourself you need here.  I did.  HUGS to you…LFW

Post Edited (loving frustrated wife) : 12/4/2007 10:46:55 AM (GMT-7)


darntired3
New Member


Date Joined Dec 2007
Total Posts : 3
   Posted Yesterday 10:30 AM (GMT -7)   
Loving Frustrated Wife-I think I wanted the name you have but you had already taken it. At this point, I am getting the silent treatment about yesterday's events. I'm sure that my H thinks everything will go away. And of course, that he is fine. And like you, I have not experienced the cheating etc. Mine is so low that I doubt he could have the energy to do any of that for the most part. His manic side comes out at work and when he is home he pretty much collapses into a heap-which is odd for the capability that he has to have at work to run a fire department. I am having a very difficult time feeling love for him. Looking back, I think the only thing that has held us together is that he leaves town and works a lot. My gut is filled with angst on the weekend or evenings when I know he will be home. We spend our time splitting directions and doing different things-as long as I let him do what he wants and don't try to do much on my own of which he would think is trivial or not a priority. I would describe him in a lot of ways as passive aggressive and often think I would rather him be abusive in less subtle ways. To talk with him is like talking with a defense lawyer. In the end, it is better to concede than to discuss anything else. My confidence is completely shattered and I feel no shelter from the ensuing storm that has become home. I am having a hard time getting past all this. I just switched jobs so that I could be more accessible for my son. My world has become the one that has to constantly change as theirs cannot. Anyway, I'm just venting at this point. All I want is out of this....but that is not really an option at this point. And I am a Christian woman...but my shoulders are feeling a little too large to cope at this point. Thanks for listening....

Tracey

loving frustrated wife
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jun 2007
Total Posts : 865
   Posted Yesterday 10:51 AM (GMT -7)   
Tracy,

Go back and read again...I added more. LFW

senaid
Regular Member


Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 67
   Posted Yesterday 11:02 AM (GMT -7)   
Tracey,

Sometimes it's really hard to have a problem with depression or BP and have someone continually tell you that all their problems are because of your disease. He probably feels very guilty that he's got this huge problem that everyone has to deal with and it's alot harder when someone tells you that you are the problem. I HATE when my hubby says that I'm in a bad mood or whatever.... and I say "Well, NOW I am!" It automatically puts me on the defensive.

As far as the smoking goes... what is it helping? Really....? I smoked for 15 years, and whenever I think of smoking again, I think to myself that it's not going to help the problem. Your child feels his life is out of control and then seeing you smoke makes him feel that it's just another thing that's wrong....

You definitely need outside help. I know you said you tried already but you need to get beyond this point. The question becomes whether it is worth it. And only you can decide that. You and your spouse need to be able to handle your kid together and that's not easy if you are at odds about other things.

By the way, have you tried seeing a nutritionist for them? Alot of herbs out there for this type of condition, and vitamin deficiencies can be a problem as well. Your husband also needs to find new ways to release his stress, .... exercise, etc. And you do too! It is very important that you take care of yourself. This is kind of like being married to an alcoholic. You need to realize that it's not YOU that he's angry with, ...... it's the disease.

Good luck!
Diagnosed with severe ulcerative proctitis - 2003.
 
Remission until late 2006,  Flared again from 11/06 to 4/07:
 
Currently in remission!! YEAH!
 
Doing acupuncture once a week.
 
I take Immunplex (multivitamin), Vit E, Fish Oil, Probiotic Eleven, Slippery Elm. Also started taking pH Balance Green because of inflammation in the finger joints (which I believe to be all connected to the proctitis inflammation as well... inflammation just moving around until I get healed!)
 
Had allergy testing done as well.... allergic to cow's milk and shellfish (no outward symptoms of this at all), but laid off those foods as well.


loving frustrated wife
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jun 2007
Total Posts : 865
   Posted Yesterday 12:46 PM (GMT -7)   
Tracy, as I was typing the initial note to you, I had a computer problem and had to shut down. When it came back up, I proceeded to finish my note and when I posted again noticed that you had posted back to me already. That is why I said to go re-read it, as I actually had just finished my thoughts then.

I know how hard and disconcerting it all is at the stage that you are. I've been there, believe me. There are times I still end up there, but it is better now, because my confidence is now in tact. I so clearly see the BP playing out in ways I never did before. I take things MUCH LESS personally when he goes off on me about this or that. If it is feeling unreasonable to me, or seeming too intense on his part for whatever it was that triggered it, I now trust my instinct on it and take it with a grain of salt and don't engage with him about it. I'll say nothing, or simply let him have his say...(let him get it out of his system), and simply move on. I also don't react to things like I use to. I don't give responses when it will not serve anything because it is not the husband I love that I am dealing with, it is clearly the BP. And the BP, I don't want to have to fight with. I simply disengage at that point, and wait for the moments when I see my H again. The last 6 months, since finding this site, it has helped bring back my confidence that I am seeing things accurately. I have also learned how to stand up for myself in better ways that don’t shame him in the process, but in stead demands him to be more responsible about his own issues. I have also come to know that my expectations are fair. That fact is....I have a H & S with BP (and accompanying issues). It is NOT their fault they are this way. It is NO different than being married or parenting a diabetic. The only difference is the chemical in their bodies that is out of whack. Both need personal responsibility about their own conditions….a diabetic needs to be responsible to NOT put chocolate/sugar in their own mouths. A BP has to be responsible for them selves about what comes out of theirs. Both must be pro active and responsible about taking their medications and checking in with them selves….a diabetic tests his blood levels daily, a BP needs to check in with his emotional levels daily.

Part of what has helped me so much is that I stopped being angry at him for the BP. Does that mean that I like dealing with the green eyed monster any better...HELL NO! (So many special people here with BP have taught me all this, because where I can’t speak to my H directly…I can speak to them openly). I now see it for what it is now, and I also really get parts of it he/they can't help. I also learned parts of it he/they can...just like your H at work when he has NO CHOICE but to "hold it together" with his station because lives are counting on him. That pressure brings out his best. By the time he gets home....poof, he is too tired to control the raging inside him self. But, does that make him bad and wrong....NO. That makes him a man with BP, and he needs to simply learn HOW to be more responsible about it. For instance...there is a difference when my husband starts snarling at me and over reacting to EVERYTHING and is directing it all at me in the words, attitude and tone he chooses, and when he stops himself and acknowledges it is not me directly he is mad at but he is SO ticked off or frustrated with this and that. One makes me feel attacked unreasonably, the other gives me the space to not take it personal and be supportive and just be able to listen to him and empathize. Does that make sense? That little difference changes SO much for me. I so sincerely love this man....BUT he can be a MAJOR pain in the butt!

As to the "intimacy" issues: You're not alone. Our life in that department is practically none existent too. It is not the way I want it, but what is my alternative? An affair? Not going to HAPPEN! I am a true blue kind of gal. I live my life with integrity and work to set a good example for my children. I also try and keep things in perspective on that front. If our lifetime is 50 years together, if you add up all the times in that span that sex and lovemaking in a best case scenario would take place, there will still be gaps for this or that reason. So...I simply view this as an elongated gap. As things improve with us, then I slowly approach those issues. The thing I have really learned about BP's in general is that they are VERY sensitive people that are affected by so much. And sometimes, those intimacy moments are simply too much for them on top of ALL the other feelings too close to the surface they are already having. So, it takes a back seat. Is it hard for the partner....ABSOLUTELY!!!! But, it will ebb and tide along with everything else in our lives - the need and desires for that kind of intimacy will go through times of abundance. Grant you I would settle for consistency, but hey…this is BP we are talking about, and that is not exactly a word associated with those who have it

Does that all make sense? I hope what I shared helps in some ways. I know having a place to go that you can share your feelings, REALLY be heard, and learn new perspectives on the situation can be transformational. I hope it is for you. Take a deep breathe...relief is here....LFW

{Now, LFW, You should know better than to make me edit your language...}

Post Edited By Moderator (serafena) : 12/4/2007 1:59:26 PM (GMT-7)


loving frustrated wife
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jun 2007
Total Posts : 865
   Posted Yesterday 1:00 PM (GMT -7)   
Lastly, about the silent treatment....If I were you, I would say very sweetly and calmly to him...
"Honey, I know you are upset about something, but I would appreciate that in spite of that if we could treat each other with respect and civility. We have two children to raise together, we both love them, and we love each other too. So, even if one or both of us gets upset with the other, until we make it to resolution on whatever the issue is....how about we agree to set it aside enough to behave polite to each other? I know I want that, and I would think you do to. SO, in the spirit of peace between us....is there something special I can make at dinner tonight that you would enjoy?" Most likely he will say he doesn't know what you are talking about and will not acknowledge it – he may even growl again….just ignore it completely. But, you will have gotten through enough that if you go back to behaving normal to him...it will help him move beyond whatever he was stuck on or "punishing" you about. The truth is, inside him self, he knows he is being unreasonable and unfair....they just get stuck, and then they get ashamed that they treated us that way, and get themselves caught in the cycle and are lost to find a way out. Sometimes, something like that helps break that cycle for them and leads them out of it – because that is classic BP behavior…not the way our loved one would want to treat us if they had the choice. LFW

serafena
Veteran Member


Date Joined May 2007
Total Posts : 3715
   Posted Yesterday 1:44 PM (GMT -7)   
darntired3,

Wow,

You guys got right to it before I even got a chance to welcome you to the site! Well, hello anyway. I hope we can offer you the support you're looking for. As LFW has already amply demonstrated, we have lots of people who can share your situation, struggling to maintain relationships with BPs. (Those wacky BPs!)

As a BP myself who's been married to my really patient husband for 9 years, I believe I can imagine and sympathize with all of the frustrations that living with a mood-disordered family can bring. I know he struggles. I irrationally started crying at him just this afternoon because of his tone of voice. The difference is that I'm also really aware (or I TRY to be aware) of when I'm being irrational -- when it's just the disorder motivating me and when I'm genuinely upset. So I took a time out, apologized, took a few moments to take an anxiety pill and catch my breath and now I'm feeling a little more myself.

One thing your LFW hit on that it sounds like your husband has no sense of is how his disorder affects his own behavior and hwo to control it. As you said, taking medication isn't enough. I'm imagining you expect more than that from your son. You expect him to learn how to be responsible for his own behavior. Well, it's time your husband learned more about his disorder, how it REALLY affects him, how it affects his family (because it affects his children as well as his wife, too,) and how he can be more responsible for it. That's how adults with medical conditions behave, and it's time for him to behave like an adult, wouldn't you say? He may not want to hear it, but sometimes we have to hear things we don't like -- that's just too bad. He's making you unhappy, it's affecting and possibly endangering his marriage and he's taking you for granted. It's time for him to own up to it. But be wary of making any ultimatums, naturally.

I can also imagine how difficult it is to feel trapped in such a marriage, and I can't imagine believing you should stay in a life that is joyless and punishing, so I hope that you can get through to him, and at least convince him to get into individual therapy, if not couples therapy. It may take some time, and LFW is right -- concentrate on making yourself happier for now. How about some therapy for yourself right now?

Again, welcome. We're glad you're here.
serafena
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 Yesterday 10:04 PM (GMT -7)   
OOOPS....sorry on the language Serafena....I put it in **** and so I thought it would be okay. I'll make note for the future. Hugs, LFW

serafena
Veteran Member


Date Joined May 2007
Total Posts : 3715
   Posted Yesterday 10:07 PM (GMT -7)   
*Laughing*
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

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