Hello L&C, I am one of the spouses they have spoken about
. My H is BPII, RR, as is our oldest son. By comparison, I will share that while my situation may be in many ways milder than many described here, what I can share is in JUST AS MANY WAYS...it doesn't make a darn bit of difference. Dealing with BP is hard regardless of what level the issues lie for the spouse. SO, with that said both Sukay and Serafena have given you great feedback. By coming here, you will gain support for yourself, but you will also gain A LOT of insight into the BP from people such as the two of them who suffer from it, but face it with GREAT responsibility, care, and determination. So many are like that here and as a spouse, like you, who came for help....I bless them for how much their advise and
their BP has educated and given me. I have no doubt you will come to feel the same in time.
I am quite a direct person, which many on the HW can attest to so here is my take on your situation from a experienced "spouse" perspective. You are in the very early stage of this. Meds take time to balance, work and adjust. Unless your wife is embracing the dx, and in some ways feeling relieved by it...given it now has a name...you are in for some rough times - which you may or may not make it through together. It is mandatory that she and you become a team on this with her pdoc and therapist. If you are not seeing them....start immediately. This in many ways is a team effort for your wifes wellness with all the participating support working together. Regular sessions are critical. They should be almost weekly right now. You should be going with your wife to these appointments so it is well established that you have a relationship with these Dr's as well on her behalf.
Whatever issues existed in your marriage prior to the dx will be magnified for a while. It is not a fun period of time to live through, but if your wife is on board committed to her own wellness....you have a shot at things leveling off. Then you will have an opportunity to work on those genuine marital issues....whatever they are to the two of you. Otherwise...a lot of pain, uncertainty and loneliness is coming your way - and eventually choices for you to start making for your happiness and life.
One last thought for you....what you accept of your wife's behavior (verbal or physical abuse) is teaching her what is acceptable with you. When my H steps too far out of line verbally...I put my foot down, tell him to stop immediately - that I will NOT stand for being treated that way regardless of what is going on, that I deserve respect because I am his wife - who loves him and is standing by him - and then I walk away from him - leaving him to stew. It gives him time to realize he has gone too far and allows him time to pull it back together. The fact is, our spouses have a chemical imbalance that makes it hard for them to stay stable and consistent. It is not their fault. THEY are not to blame - nor is "any one" else. But the fact is, the are STILL responsible - regardless of their dx - of their own behavior, words and choices. Does it make it harder on them than you or I to regulate ourselves....YES. And while I am sorry for that, it doesn't change that it is the reality of the situation. If they didn't have legs....they would have to learn how to walk with artificial legs....would that be "harder" than using real legs....but the facts are the facts, and what is your responsibility is your responsibility. Meds help give the easier control back to the sufferer...but even those are not the be all/end all. It still requires WORK on their part. Does that make sense? Make your boundaries clear to your wife that you will love her and support her through whatever she needs, you are a team, but you will not stand for being abused in ANY form in the process. While she is in her education process...so are you. You need to do YOUR work too. Coming here is a start...so is reading up on the condition, see a therapist for you....etc.
As to the sex issues...for the moment, I advise you to put this issue on the back burner and allow your lives - for your kids sakes - to level off and stabilize. Then, gently re-approach the various issues between you. You will most likely need the help of a therapist who is versed in BP/marriage/sex...etc. So...try to find one from the beginning that can address all your main issues...starting with the BP.
Good luck to you. (Sorry for the length). Take time to be tender to your wife, and yourself. What you are both going through is not easy. Life is hard with a BP....but it is doable. She has adjustments to make, and so do you. In time you will learn what you do that triggers her, and new ways of handling things. Time is your friend if you allow it to be. LFW
Post Edited (loving frustrated wife) : 2/13/2008 3:35:09 PM (GMT-7)