I'm a newbie with a Bi-polar spouse....

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New Member

Date Joined Dec 2008
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 12/8/2008 11:37 AM (GMT -7)   

my wife suffers from depression and bipolar.
Ive been with her going on 5 years, and, it seems to be getting worse.

I've read about a bazillion pages here and elsewhere and I just don't know what to do.
She takes her meds regularly, in fact, the Psyc.Doc just upped her wellbutrin to 200 a day, plus she's on straterra and a couple of others.

Heres some background. She was sexually abused as a child, multiple suicide attempts (long before I met her, she's well into middle age.)

Used to abuse alcohol, (still does on occasion) and takes vicodin (10-20 every day) supplied by a relative.
Unable to keep a job for more than a year (gets bored) and has some disturbing behavior patterns.

The fly in the ointment is she seems to go off the deep end, cycling moods from euphoria and not sleeping for days, to deep depression where getting awake is a chore. This was happening yearly, now its on a 3 month merry go round.

She refuses talk therapy, and excuses her behaviors to "I'm bi-polar" with a shrug of the shoulders.

We speak calmly of her disorder, but when I press for real action, she spends days away from our home, withdraws even further, accuses me of pressuring her, and again, within days, she's home, all is well, buried under the carpet again.
I know I'm enabling her to do this, but I don't want to leave her either.
The amount of emotional stress, financial matters and hopeless/helpless I feel is taking a grave toll.
Short of a "Come to Jesus" meeting, what pray tell do I do?


happy bill
Forum Moderator

Date Joined Nov 2008
Total Posts : 1132
   Posted 12/8/2008 12:30 PM (GMT -7)   


  FIrst welcome, and second, sorry for your problems. As a bipolar II i can tell you that you have precious few choices. You can accept her for what and who she is (she is taking her meds) or you can try to "force" her to go to talk therapay. (however the abuse may be just to hurtfull to deal with).  Not everyone gets better from this condition. You have to make your best decision on what makes you happy and provides for your needs. You cant live for her, no matter how much you love her it will turn to resentment in time.

    Can threapy help her? Who's to say? It might make things  alot worse. Try working on the simpler things first, and then build on successes.

   We are all here for you anytiem you need advice or need to vent. Feel free to use us. This can be very hard to deal with, but talking will at least help you thru this.




Veteran Member

Date Joined May 2007
Total Posts : 3715
   Posted 12/8/2008 1:02 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi cpspouse,

Welcome to HealingWell and to our forum. I hope we can offer you some advice and encouragement here. It sounds like your wife is pretty set in her ways. If she's tried therapy and doesn't like it, then there's little you can do to convince her otherwise. She's seeing a psych, she's taking meds, she's aware of her disorder. Doesn't sound like she owns up to her behavior very well, but you say she's into middle age -- there's a certain amount of settling into one's ways that's bound to happen. She's probably been living with this disorder for a while. And the unfortunate truth of bipolar disorder is that it gets worse with time, not better. So the key to treatment is to let the psych know as symptoms worsen and keep the medicine on track to keep up with them.

What I would suggest, and I have suggested this to many, many other spouses as well, is that YOU get some talk therapy. It is very difficult to live with someone with bipolar disorder. It's stressful, confusing, frustrating at best. If you had someone to talk to who could help you learn how to deal with the ins and outs of daily life with someone who needs extra help, you may find yourself better able to cope and significantly less frustrated. I've sent my own husband off to therapy. Honestly. Dealing with bipolar is not an easy prospect. Get yourself some support.

All my best,
Co-Moderator, Bipolar Forum
Bipolar II

Regular Member

Date Joined Dec 2007
Total Posts : 369
   Posted 12/9/2008 5:40 PM (GMT -7)   
Welcome.  I think that your wife needs to also look at the possibility that the meds she are on are not what is right for her body.  The symptoms you describe still sound like a ver manic-depressive person.  Maybe trying new medications would put a curb on some or all of the symptoms.  But because she has an abusive background and the suicide attempts...I think she would benefit so much from a talk therapy.  Everything works different for different people, but when a family lies in the balance I think it is worth it for the bipolar sufferer to try all options.

"Nobody can go back and start a new beginning, but anyone can start today and make a new ending" ~ Maria Robinson

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