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JJ's Wife
New Member

Date Joined Dec 2008
Total Posts : 2
   Posted Today 3:01 PM (GMT -7)   
Hello everyone. I am a new member and married to a bipolar spouse as well. We've been together for 3 1/2 years. Last April without my knowledge he opened a separate bank account and informed me that he was leaving... the basis for his statement was that I had remarked that we needed to sit down, tighten our budget and get a handle on our spending habits. After a week, he came home, apologized saying that he had overreacted. He closed the account and things went back to normal. In September, I was planning an anniversary weekend away when he informed me that he had once again opened a separate account and would be spending his long weekend moving out. (which he did.)

Several months passed with him partying to extreme, being extremely hyper-sexual, (yes, he was unfaithful numerous times.) and extremely hurtful in the things he would say to me, I filed for divorce and suggested that he may want to consider seeing a doctor, because I believed that he was bipolar. He laughed at the time, but when he received the divorce papers a couple of months later, he did some research and discovered that reading the symptom list was like looking at his life's resume. (It seems that a previous wife had alluded to the same thing as well.) He rang and asked that I talk to him, he felt that I may be right and was afraid of what lay ahead, but trusted me and didn't have anyone else he felt he could be that honest with at the time. I told him that I would supportive, but I wasn't going to make "us" a priority at that time, that he had to take care of himself and make that his priority and he agreed.

He was diagnosed as a "rapid cycler" in February. He was seeing a therapist and is on Lamictal and Lexapro. I let him come home at the end of April and we decided not to divorce. (He went on his own and closed the other bank account again.) At the end of the summer, we recognized that he was heading into a manic phase as his spending habits were increasing and becoming a bit strange. He had stopped therapy about a month prior, so he rang the doctor, got in immediately and they chose to increase his Lamictal. That did the trick and things were great for a while. We had been discussing starting our own business for years and this fall decided to really push for that. He had changed jobs by then and I left my job and started working on getting the legalities for our business together. He chose to fund the business with the 401K from the job that he had left instead of rolling it into another plan and getting a loan, so we took care of all of the paperwork and were waiting on the funds. Around Thanksgiving he asked how the research for the business was going and when I didn't have an update due to preparing for the holiday, he accused me of not caring about it at all. I tried to make him understand that it wasn't that I didn't care, I just had the holiday as a priority, a child going into basketball and babysitting our 9 month old granddaughter. He said I was just making excuses.

Last Friday, he came home and informed me that he did not want to open a business with me, that he had once again opened another bank account in his name only at another bank and that he didn't feel he could trust me, that he was not investing his 401k because he needed to buy a car and anticipate being thrown out of the house. (?????) Two days ago he didn't come home from work, spent the evening out drinking and eventually ended up calling me at 2:30 in the morning to pick him up. Seems he must've "fallen asleep" and hit a curb, he blew a tire and the turn signal popped completely off the car. I picked him up, then proceeded to listen to him tell me how terrible I was to him earlier that day and that's why he didn't come home. He didn't want to argue. He missed the next day of work and stayed in bed most of the day. This is a repetitive part of his previous cycle... the drinking, the staying out all night. The apologies, it won't happen again. All the while, I feel like I just woke up and it's Groundhog Day again, only this time, I'm unemployed, looking for work and all of our bills are in my name. I love him beyond measure and have no desire for this relationship to end, because I know what he's like when the disease isn't winning, but I'm also exhausted and starting feel paranoid about whether he will start being unfaithful again. (The stories he told me from previously were gut-wrenchingly painful to hear.) I'm starting to feel like the pendulum of a clock. I want to thank you all for taking a moment to read my story and for sharing yours, it's comforting to know that I'm not alone and that hope prevails :)

Regular Member

Date Joined Jan 2008
Total Posts : 285
   Posted Today 3:42 PM (GMT -7)   
You don't say how old you are, but I'm assuming you are fairly mature due to your having a granddaughter.

I'm 49 and have bipolar. I have made a lot of sacrifices to stay with my family and husband. I have seen a ton of doctors. I have been hospitalized when I didn't want to be. I've gone through tons of therapy. I've even considered ECT when I was suicidal. I've taken a TON of meds.

I take my meds EVERY single day. I know they are my lifeline.

Your man is intelligent. He knows he has a disease. He is choosing to behave in these ways instead of seeking help. Medication and counseling could go a long way to settling him down.

So, it's up to you. How much are you willing to put up with? How do you want to spend the rest of your life? Only you can answer that.

Good luck and hugs to you.

Veteran Member

Date Joined May 2007
Total Posts : 3715
   Posted Today 5:38 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi JJ'sWife,

Welcome to HealingWell and to the bipolar board. Good to have you.

You are going through the cycles that so many bipolar spouses have to endure, and I'm sorry to hear it. They're heartbreaking stories, every time. He is once again turning manic, needs to see a doc to get his meds adjusted, and is irrational and untrustworthy. This is not a pattern you can expect to break, I'm so sorry to say. This is his way of coping when the mania overtakes him. Some therapy might help him learn some other coping techniques, but he'd have to want to do that -- he'd have to know that this pattern of opening bank accounts and leaving is breaking your heart and want to change that behavior. But he's not going to see that clearly right now.

You may need to see a lawyer to make sure you have your own assets protected for now. I believe you love this man enough to stay with him forever, but as marthamae said, only you know if you're willing to put up with these cycles forever. He's the only one who can change them.

best wishes

Co-Moderator, Bipolar Forum
Bipolar II

JJ's Wife
New Member

Date Joined Dec 2008
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 12/18/2008 7:57 AM (GMT -7)   
Thank you Marthamae and Serafena for your words of support and wisdom. I appreciate your advice. I did some additional research and a lot along with a lot of prayer, had a very difficult conversation with JJ about his actions as of late, explaining that as the behavior is cyclical, might he consider that it is symptomatic of the disorder. As he was only diagnosed earlier this year, he and I both are relative novices as to the the disorder and the coping techniques we need in order to live with the disorder. Knowledge is an amazingly powerful tool, especially to someone who desires a better way for their life. He hadn't even thought to put the two together, the behavior and the disorder, and quite honestly, until last week, neither had I. We've spent the last week discussing how we, as a team, are going to work daily on being more aware of when he is cycling and what we can do on a daily basis to maintain that awareness. He has not gone off his meds since diagnosis, but we were both certainly naive in thinking that the meds were the answer and that they alone would be enough, now we realize that we need more assistance and are going back into counseling to learn more about coping techniques. It's a process and we learn more each day. As for JJ, he is an intelligent man that has chosen to stay in control of his life and now that we've survived a cycle, post-diagnosis, we're much more aware of what we're dealing with and we remain positive that through education, counseling and medication, a lifetime we will share :)

Thank you again for your advice and support. I wish the merriest of holidays.
JJ's Wife
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