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New Member

Date Joined Apr 2008
Total Posts : 8
   Posted 4/11/2008 4:38 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi everybody,

I am looking for emotional support and more information on BP disorder as I believe my husband has it. Right now I feel somewhat liberated by what some of you have shared in that I know I am not the only one experiencing the pain, confusion, guilt and that there is a tangible explanation for the upheavals our household suffers.

We have been seeing a counselor and during my next visit with him I will bring up the BP possibility.

We have been together 6 years and it has been a roller coaster ride. We have terrible fights and when it is bad it is awful, but when it is good it is fantastic. I know our love for each other is real and strong. If it wasn't we wouldn't be together after all the rough times. There is so much to our story, I hardly know where to begin.

First, I have to admit that I question my own mental health and have been looking at my past failed relationships as well as the trouble I have with this one in order to hash out what is real, what I am doing to contribute, what is not my fault, etc. etc. That in itself is another long story.

I am 36 yrs old and am very successful in my career as a college professor in engineering. He is 33 and is an amazingly talented singer songwriter guitar playing drummer. He also plays pretty much any instrument he picks up and seems to have a photographic memory for music (there must be a term for this). We have a 3 month old daughter who was very much wanted by both of us. Our first attempt ended in a miscarriage last year, and the stress of this caused a large fight and he disappeared without saying goodbye, taking some instruments and other things that didn't belong to him to pawn for money. He went 1/2 way across the US. He has never been able to keep a job as long as I have known him, and I see by his SS info that came in the mail, that this seems to be true from early adulthood.

When I met him, in fact, he was living in a tent on my parent's farm with some other transients that they had recruited to help remove pine trees that were dying from a beetle infestation. He had never had a drivers license (he was 28 when he finally did get one) and was busking with his guitar for a living, traveling from state to state.

I was just going through a painful break-up from fiance number 2 and running home to mommy sort of speak. He saw a damsel in distress (or perhaps a more tortured soul than his own) and showed me so much love and care that I couldn't help but fall head over heels pretty much the day I met him. He wrote a song about it "Amazing the difference one day makes". Now I think this is funny considering that BP is a possibility.

Fast forward 6 years and recently he has managed to alienate all our friends and my family by his angry outbursts. I can't seem to reason with him at all rationally and the littlest things seem to set him off, no matter how carefully I "tread on eggshells". He blames his irritablility on lack of coffee, or his chronic pain (he has tendonitis in his knees where they were broken in a car accident as a child and also a herniation in his testicle). I feel he overreacts, but if I say this he will blame me for not taking his emotions seriously. He takes his anger out on the house. I am missing two porch doors, a bedroom door, the door to the laundry room and the door to the study because he has torn them off the hinges. He hasn't hit me, but he has grabbed my arm and twisted me to the ground several times. Once when he did this I was pregnant and I reacted in self defense by grabbing his privates and that resulted in the herniation. He continually brings this up sometimes as an excuse for not doing more around the house, or as a way to make me into the bad guy and deflect any honest inspection of his own behavior.

I am feeling overwhelmed with the responsibilities of a newborn and am wondering how much I can rely on him as I've been trying to go back to work part time with him taking care of our daughter, but each time he calls demanding I come home because she is crying. Sometimes he uses curse words. He has embarassed me a couple of times when I was on the phone with my colleagues or students by the rudeness and bad language he used with me.

I can't count the times we have gone to resteraunts and he caused a scene because the steak wasn't cooked right, or the silverware was dirty. I feel so bad for the waitstaff, and embarassed. Sometimes it results in free meals, but I cringe when we go out to eat not knowing if he will have an episode.

I've been considering leaving him, but I don't think I can because I love him so much I would be miserable without him He also needs me very much, for a roof, for food, love, etc. Then of course there is our daughter, but if our life would be too difficult, perhaps it is better I get out now before it would affect her too bad. He has two sons from two other women who he is not in contact with. He only told me about the second, the first I learned about from his mother when I called her to try and find him after he left after my miscarriage. I do want him to have a relationship with his daughter and want to give it a go which is why we started counseling.

I think this is enough to give you all a picture of our situation. I would love to hear your comments.

Best Wishes,

New Member

Date Joined Apr 2008
Total Posts : 15
   Posted 4/11/2008 8:04 AM (GMT -7)   
I am sorry for everything you are going through. I think in a situation where children are involved, you have to put them 1st. (Take this thought for what it is worth because I do not have kids)

I think you have to ask yourself if it is better for you to stay for the sake of your daughter, or if it would be better for her if you left? I'd say take a few weeks and think about it.

Veteran Member

Date Joined May 2007
Total Posts : 3715
   Posted 4/11/2008 8:39 AM (GMT -7)   
Hello BPaffected,

Welcome to HealingWell and thank you for sharing your story with us. You seem to be in a pretty sticky situation. Have you ever brought up his mental health with him before in a way that was supportive and gentle (i.e. not in a fight)? You're in counseling and you say you're going to bring up bipolar, does he know that? If you spring it on him, he's likely to react very badly. Bipolar is a diagnosis with a lot of stigma attached. I wouldn't venture to say whether or not your husband is bipolar but it's clear that he's unstable and unpredictable and bipolar is an option. I think a more productive way to handle it, if you could swing it, is to discuss with him the possibility that he has some condition that's troubling him and you think for his own sake he needs to get evaluated. Bring this up with the counselor together as a possibility, and try to guide him towards seeing a psychiatrist, because only a doctor is going to be able to give you a diagnosis.

I truly feel for you. It's hard enough having a newborn baby with a stable and supportive partner. Perhaps rather than not know how he's going to react to keeping your daughter when you leave her with him, you need to look into alternatives, because it must be impossible to work not knowing when he's going to call you and scream at you. I am especially concerned knowing he has little contact with his older children. He doesn't sound like a man with a lot of paternal instincts.

Good luck to you and please keep us up to date,
Co-Moderator, Bipolar Forum
Bipolar II

New Member

Date Joined Apr 2008
Total Posts : 8
   Posted 4/11/2008 10:12 PM (GMT -7)   
Thank you Brian and Serafena both!

You make very good points. I feel I would hate to be a bad example to my daughter by putting up with abusive behavior. I think my mother was verbally abusive with my father, but is hard to piece together through the fog of childhood. My father always treated my mother with respect, and it was quite a contrast to her treatment of him (always angry at him for withdrawing, but he withdrew because of her anger), it resulted in me having much respect for him now. Anyhow I am marveling at a possible similar situation where I could be more like a nurturing figure (father) rather than a critical one (mother) would my daughter also choose a similar path one day? Would I want that for her?

I want her to live in an atmosphere that is peaceful and loving.

I had a great time tonight, as a couple of loved friends came back to share a lovely meal. He had exhausted himself from rehearsing with a new band. I'm happy for him, as things are starting to pick up in the paying gig dept. It does wonders for his feelings of self worth. He helped me do dishes and early this morning, changed my tire. He is feeling hopeful.

I feel remorseful about how my anger plays off of his and am sorry I've yelled and gotten mad. I hope to learn more patience so that these episodes never play out in front of our daughter.

I know I can't change him, but I can change myself. If I change the way I act towards him than perhaps things can be different.

I suppose it is about how one deals with stress. There are appropriate ways (pulling weeds) and inappropriate ways (treating others badly)

Thanks again for your input and concern. I have also thought that how I could broach the subject could be viewed badly by him. He thinks there is something wrong with him due to his upbringing and school experiences. It seems like he was outcast because of his impulsiveness.

Regular Member

Date Joined Feb 2008
Total Posts : 220
   Posted 4/12/2008 10:34 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi BP,
I feel i am reading my own story here sister,being mistreated by loved one hurts more and take care of yourself.

Best wishes.
Never work just for money or for power. They won't save your soul or help you sleep at night.
~Marian Wright Edelman~

I have discovered that all human evil comes from this, man's being unable to sit still in a room.
~Blaise Pascal~

New Member

Date Joined Apr 2008
Total Posts : 8
   Posted 4/13/2008 2:25 PM (GMT -7)   
Thanks Yana,

It's good to know that there may be a solution if my husband is BP. I've been scrutinizing him today and seeing if he can come around to being seen by a health specialist about a potential disorder. He says that when he was locked in a closet in elem school it maybe scarred him for life. I didn't say it but what if his behavior caused his lock up in the first place. The punishment may have only made his condition worse, but I think as I observe how he talks so fast, has so many ideas, insists that one take his point of view almost as if he is in dire need of validation, brags sometimes about himself, that there is a deeper vein in all this.

In the same conversation he told me he almost reacted with physical force to someone who questioned his heritage (N. Amer) saying his skin didn't look dark enough. This person is a sound guy at the one place he gets a regular payment for organizing a jam night. I told him his taking offense and reacting angrily hurts people (me many times). In this instance it may hurt his ability to earn $$.

I told him I thought he was wired different. He agreed.
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