Stepan...I am a bi-polar II and have been married 41 years to a guy who has put up with a lot of bi-polar stuff. I haven't made it easy for him, but he has learned to make it easier for him than years ago. One thing he rides my mood changes, knowing that I am going to cycle...that is a fact of life. He does not get caught up in my mood swings at all iunless I get over the top depressed or Manic...then he will call my doctor or take me into the doc. I also have two adult sons (one 23, and the other 34). The youngest is a paramedic and he has taken me to the hospital (which my husband rather not do) when my lithium level went toxic. My sons and husband just refuse to get caught up in the madness of me being bi-polar. Now sometimes that upsets me, but I also know they have a life.
Last Xmas I was a mess and really unable to do much...without a word the kids and my husband divided up duties to get ready for Xmas (we were having 15 people for dinner)....so they cleaned, wrapped gifts and my husband cooked dinner. The thing is I was sort of on the fringes, too disorganized in my mind to help and everyone made it clear to me that they were too busy getting ready for Xmas to deal with me. And they do that...in a very loving way let me know they cannot 100% take care of me and I need to do some stuff on my own. There are definite boundaries drawn and if you are to survive your wife's illness you need to set boundaries. When push comes to shove, a bi-polar person (as long as it is not over the top) can take care of themselves. My husband does manage my meds. I take so many different ones that every week he fills one of those pill boxes (with morning and night) for the week. He is responsible for making sure the meds are correct for each day, but I am responsible for taking thrm.
All my family educated themelves about bi-polar over the internt and books written expecially for someone coping with a spouse who is bi-polar (check out amazon.com.
I don't know how to explain this, but at one point it was like the whole family took on the identity of the whole bi-polar thing. It was like everything that happened in the family was centered around me. Want to go the movies....can't Mom's too depressed; Wnat to go out to dinner...can't Mom is flying too high and will embarrass us....and so on. Then things changed...much better for everyone's mental health....If I was too depressed to go to the movies, they went without me. They reclaimed their lives. If I need help, my husband is there in a instant
The one thing I would recommend is marriage counseling with a counselor who is familiar with bi-polar. I am a marriage counselor and I see how messed up a couple can get when a spouse is bi-polar. A counselor can help you set boundaries, offer support...basically help you get on track. I don't know where you live but we are pretty close to a big city and for awhile my husband attended a support group for spouses of a bi-polar partner. You can check the NAMI website and see if there is a support group near you or google support group for Families bi-polar and the location where you live. It is also important you involve extended family for support.
Guess that is all I can think of. Keep one the message board.
Bi-polarII; rapid cycler; Lithium 900 mg; Lamictal 200 mg; seraquel 450mg, klonopin 4mg