New to Board w/untreated BP ex-husband

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Guilty but Free
New Member

Date Joined Oct 2009
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 10/29/2009 1:27 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi - just a quick's been 7 months since I left my untreated BP husband after 13 yrs.  I had no idea he was BP, had no idea about his family history of BP until after a major manic episode which led me to file for a restraining order.  When the cops arrived, his behavior was so uncontrollable that they took him to the hospital & the BP diagnosis came about.  After that, I did a ton of research & reading on BP, and he's clearly a textbook case.  In hindsight, I can of course see the signs & symptoms manifesting, and know that the completely incomprehensible 'fights' we've had over the years were really manic episodes. 
Unfortunately, I was only able to obtain his med records by subpeona & he refuses to admit he has any issues other than stress (caused by me divorcing him, of course!), despite being presented with it in black & white.  Therefore he discontinued meds pretty much straight out of the hospital & won't seek any treatment.
We have a 3 1/2 yr old son (that I have full custody of).  For the most part, he'd previously been a great, very involved father, as far as son's care went.  However, there have been some incidents, where I found his judgement extremely questionable.  He now has an informal visitation schedule based on our mutual agreement (since he never had been able to stick to any kind of regular schedule).  When things are going well, he picks up our son from daycare a couple of nights a week to have dinner, or does an overnight on the weekend.  But whenever something sets him off again, he'll disappear for weeks on end.  Since our son is young, it doesn't really seem to affect him yet, but how do I handle this going forward?  Should I somehow try to explain that Daddy gets sick a lot, or something like that?
Also, does anyone have any thoughts about how I might be able to somehow get my ex to realize he'd benefit from help?  I paid for his health insurance up until the divorce was final & he never took advantage, sought therapy or took meds.  My employer would no longer provide coverage after the divorce, so now he's without.  It's not something he & I can really speak about, but are there organizations that I could contact to send him literature, or have a counselor call, or something along those lines?  While I'm so happy to be out of that situation, to have my son out of that situation, I can't help but worry about my ex's well being.
Sorry for the lengthiness & thanks for anyone's input/advice!

New Member

Date Joined Oct 2009
Total Posts : 11
   Posted 10/29/2009 6:47 PM (GMT -7)   
I can empathize with you as I have also left my bipolar husband (for 4 months). His manic outburst was very scary and I was always blamed for setting him off. I suspected he had bipolar and whenever I suggested it and even forced him to go the doctor with me once, it backfired real bad. He has done very hurtful things like disown our daughter for not wanting to wear the prom dress he bought (come on a teenage girl has her style and is entitled to her choice!). My experience is, if he wouldn't accept his diagnosis there is nothing you can do. If you send literature to him, he can use it as ammunition to say you are the one who is "crazy". When he hits rock bottom, he will seek help. Trust in his survival instinct! Put your well being first because you need to recuperate your life, your self esteem and your energy both for the sake of yourself and your young son. I would seek the support of therapists, support groups and close friends and family during this period. I recognize your big heart and may you be blessed!

Veteran Member

Date Joined May 2007
Total Posts : 3715
   Posted 10/29/2009 8:33 PM (GMT -7)   
It's important to sever your relationship with this man, I think. You've divorced him -- let him figure out how to live his life on his own. There is no treatment for BP unless the person WANTS to get treated. You'll be saving yourself a lot of heartache if you let him find his own path.

Co-Moderator, Bipolar Forum
Bipolar II

"Bipolar disorder can be a great teacher. It's a challenge, but it can set you up to be able to do almost anything else in your life." - CARRIE FISHER

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