My bipolar wife...our marriage troubles...

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New Member

Date Joined Dec 2008
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 12/16/2008 9:59 AM (GMT -7)   

Hi all! 

My wife was diagnosed bipolar back in 2004, after the birth of our second child.  She went through a bad time and had to get ECTs in the end.  That seemed to help for awhile, but nowadays things are spiraling down again.  She "manages" it without meds on her own.  That obviously doesn't work well, she has a lot of lows, but she masks it from me a lot.  She stays in her head and is very removed from our life sometimes and others she's right there.

Our kids..she loves them so much.  She is right there for them almost all of the time.  I can't complain about that.

but our marriage...its been bad.  I don't deal well with her being mentally ill.  I want to help fix her..and even though I know I can't, it doesn't make it any easier.  Its caused a huge strain on things between us for many, many years...and I don't know how to "deal" with all of this.  I feel like a huge jerk.  I know I should be there for her, but its really hard.  I don't know what to do and I don't handle it well.  Its just not fair, during our good times, things are perfect..just wonderful.  We can never have any money, or a house or really any dreams to speak of on a larger scale. 

I have tried to leave her many times, but can't..because I love her.  But I don't know what to do.  I want to be happy in this but its hard when she is unhappy most of the time.  Not with us, but with everything because of her mental state.  I tend to retreat into my own head, because I feel so alone.  I'm very conflicted.  There is one half of me that feels so badly for her having to be like this and the other that resents her so deeply for it.

HELP!  Any advice or insight is appreciated.

Post Edited (Omadad) : 12/16/2008 10:10:14 AM (GMT-7)

Regular Member

Date Joined Nov 2008
Total Posts : 125
   Posted 12/16/2008 11:39 AM (GMT -7)   
Please convince your wife to meet a psychiatrist. Hopefully the psychiatrist should be able to convince her to take her medication. Bipolar can be a terrible condition for the sufferer as well as the people around her/him especially if the bipolar patient does not take condition. With medication, a patient can lead a meaningful and productive life. I have my unproductive days even with medication, but I am productive most of the time. Before I was diagnosed, I made many bad decisions and let many excellent opportunities slip away. I hope your wife visits a doctor and takes her medication regularly. It will make life so much better for both of you.

Veteran Member

Date Joined May 2007
Total Posts : 3715
   Posted 12/16/2008 1:20 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi Omadad,

Welcome to HealingWell and to our board.

I second shebsy, and I'll add to that as well.

It's a very difficult disorder to live with for everyone involved and she's been very lucky if she's been able to manage it even thus long without meds. But losing your husband isn't a sign of managing it. She needs to see a psychiatrist and get on a reasonable treatment plan -- one she can live with.

But then there's the problems you present as well -- your own insecurities and needs as well. You have as much right to a happy marriage as she does and you need support for dealing with the problems that come up when living with a bipolar spouse. I really recommend you see a therapist either by yourself or with her in marriage counseling, to learn how to act and react to her episodes and needs. You'll find out ways to make your own wishes known without causing chaos and hopefully your marriage will seem less impossible to you.

I hope this is helpful,

Co-Moderator, Bipolar Forum
Bipolar II

Precious Gem
Veteran Member

Date Joined Oct 2008
Total Posts : 1139
   Posted 12/16/2008 1:43 PM (GMT -7)   
Please don't give up on your wife.  I do not know if you have looked at all the topics in this forum, but I am the one that started "Decided I was not Bipolar and flushed all my meds!"  Well, I just started probably my 9th or 10th med because I had such issues with previously prescribed ones.  Since I restarted meds, so far so good with this one, I feel like me again.  My husband even remarked how much happier and more like my ole' self again.  You cannot battle this disorder without medication and the road to finding the right mix for you can be a long one but please do whatever it takes to get her going in the right direction; she will feel better>making you feel better>making marriage better>kids happy>everyone is a winner.  She will still have days sporadically but nothing like living with a back cloud over your head everyday.  My husband did not want to believe that anything was wrong with me because he did not want anything to be wrong with me, but once he and I accepted the fact, and I have found a medication that is working and I can tolerate, our life is so much better.  I really feel for you, I do know what you are going through.  My husband and I have come close to splitting many times and it was because of my irrational behavior and I blamed him.  I am so glad we stuck it out.  Nothing worth having is ever easy.  Maybe you could get her interested in chatting on this forum.  Sometimes when you see yourself in other people, it can be a real eye opener, that you are not alone and that there is help out there.  Hang in and take care yourself.  I hope things work out well for you soon.
BP Gemini

living with BPD
New Member

Date Joined Dec 2008
Total Posts : 15
   Posted 12/17/2008 2:01 PM (GMT -7)   

Let me tell you that I relate to what you are saying, just from the other side. I don't know if you saw my story, but I have really been struggling with Bipolar Disorder for about 14 years, and have been unmedicated for about 6 years. I met my husband 5 years ago, and I did tell him about it, but I seemed to be in a lull in my symptoms during our year of courtship before the wedding, or neither of us noticed. Anyways, it wore off, we had 2 children, and nowadays he spends most of the time upset or disappointed in me for a myriad of reasons. I get so depressed I don't want to deal with anything, including my children. Not to embarrass anyone, but my poor husband has virtually no sex life, unless I happen to be manic for a week or so and then it's like Christmas in the bedroom. about 6 months ago, he cheated on me, and I know that he was miserable. He doesn't understand, he can't deal with it, although he swears he tries, and I don't make it better because the more he gets frustrated with me, the more I get frustrated with myself and go deeper.

Point is, I have tried to "deal" and "manage" for years, and there is NO WAY for a diagnosed Bipolar to "deal" or "manage" their symptoms alone. It is very important for you to encourage your wife to seek help from a medical professional, but equally important for you to seek help as well. There are support groups, and some doctors will even include you. The doctor that I just began seeing yesterday (who was AMAZING) did tell me to encourage my husband to get help. Truly, if you don't experience it yourself, you will never fully understand. I empathize with you as I know that my husband is probably feeling what you feel but love has kept him here. Love, and children, and that's not fair. Please, please, get help for both of you. It's not fair to either of you, and until someone helps, it will not get better.

Wishing you the best,

Living with BPD

Diagnosed Bipolar I 2008
Diagnosed IBS 2000

Son Diagnosed Bipolar 2008
Diagnosed Bipolar I in 2008
Diagnosed IBS in 2000
Son Diagnosed Bipolar in 2008

New Member

Date Joined Jul 2008
Total Posts : 3
   Posted 12/22/2008 1:04 PM (GMT -7)   
As traumatizing (and hopeless) as your situation may seem to you right now, you are exhibiting one of the most common reactions of a spouse married to a bipolar wife (or a bipolar husband): Wanting to help more than help is wanted. It's a slippery slope. You have a long road ahead of you. You must educate yourself on this illness if you want to stay married. Whatever your wife's mood is today, guaranteed, it will be different in a day, week, month, year. That's what a mood disorder is. Some people do well on medication; sometimes the medication stops working.

You have lots to learn, and you should start digging in right now. Find a NAMI organization in your area. Read everything you can get your hands on. Join a support group. When you're knowledgeable, you'll have enough ammunition to make intelligent decisions and ask the right questions. I know all this because my ex-husband is bipolar. In fact, I wrote a book about my experiences because there was very limited support for spouses when I was married.

(I removed the link to your book's website to maintain Rule #4:
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Post Edited By Moderator (serafena) : 12/22/2008 1:50:29 PM (GMT-7)

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