How can you keep the intamacy?

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New Member

Date Joined Aug 2010
Total Posts : 14
   Posted 8/30/2010 6:01 AM (GMT -7)   
After a long ride on the down side of the bipolar roller coaster, (hope I'm not offending anyone) how do you regain the intimacy and affection that a marriage needs? It's like, after a spell, I really can't get close to my wife, and , knowing she needs that. I know, that after a period of love, and affection from her, the rage and resentment from her, is soon to follow. What is the best way to "stay in love" with this person?

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jan 2010
Total Posts : 2896
   Posted 8/30/2010 7:57 AM (GMT -7)   

Treasure every precious moment when she is "with" you.  It's hard for you because once she is over the mood, she is OVER it.  It's gone.  She may not remember it.  YOU remember it.

Live in the moment.  Don't hold resentment against her.  Yes, you must protect yourself.  Withdraw during the rage.  Crash with a friend if you have to.

BTW - holding her tightly during a rage will probably work.  It's one thing my ex-husband would do that I miss - my fiance doesn't.  (I haven't asked him to).  I would fight him for a few seconds and then fall apart crying - a good sign - the rage has passed.

So why does it work?  It is "deep pressure therapy" which is amazingly powerful.  And so simple.  Every once in a while my fiance and I will be goofing around and playing with my son and end up lying on top of one another on the couch.  I love feeling the pressure of 200+ pounds squeezing my body.  So relaxing, calming.  I had a service dog trained to perform deep pressure therapy.  I am training another service dog now and we're working on that.  It works for rage, anxiety, panic...  Love it.

Plus it is a very sweet, protective gesture.

It might seem awkward or strange to you, but try it at the BEGINNING of when you think she might go into a rage.  These moods can be calmed at the very beginning, but in full swing ...  that's totally different.  If she is safe, leave.  If not safe, call the police.  and then leave.


Veteran Member

Date Joined Mar 2006
Total Posts : 1191
   Posted 8/30/2010 8:05 AM (GMT -7)   

Hi Carvin,

I agree with my friend tortoise 100 %.

My bf TOTALLY resents me for being ill. It doesn't sound like you do completely because you have acknowledged her needs. It seems you recognize the sypmtoms and affects of bipolar.

When I am irritable (which appears to be anger a lot) and depressed, oh my I can't tell you what it would mean to me for a huge hug and compassion telling me it's okay and that you are here for me. I know it's so hard sometimes for the partner of a bp person to do this all the time because you are feeling resented, but trust me, that is not the case. We are experiencing SYMPTOMS of this illness. Tortoise could not have said it better. For me, if I had this kind of simple compassion, it could at times totally cure that episode for me or at least make me fee SO SO SO much better. Feeling better means I can cope better. So this means we are both less affected.

I know it's hard, but I can't express enough what unconditional support and love and affection can do for us. Honestly, it's the BEST medicine in my opinion.

Regular Member

Date Joined Aug 2010
Total Posts : 39
   Posted 8/31/2010 5:20 AM (GMT -7)   

It must feel as though you have suffered a trauma, been hit hard or blind-sided and need to get your bearings all over again. You realize your wife needs you to be close to her during and after the bipolar roller coaster, but you are struggling to get close to her, why would you after all, your feelings are hurt, it must be a turnoff. Lovely one day a dragon the next?

You need to hear from partners of people with bipolar disorder. They are the ones that can truly empathize with you and provide you with suggestions, support and comfort.

What you describe as your wife going from a period of love and affection to rage and resentment is so familiar to me. It is a automatic switch thing, some kind of trigger and in a flash, the mood changes… I often do not feel much remorse for it, little guilt. Not meaning I don’t love or I don’t care, not that at all. It is what I am. It is how I love. The man who chooses to be with me has to learn to be with me, love me not the insanity. And yes, for me, the right meds, the right activity, behavior management, etc, really will be the difference.

Learn her triggers and your own triggers. Sometimes love does not conquer all. That too is a reality.

Get the book: Loving Someone With Bipolar Disorder by Julie Fast and John Preston, as suggested by tortoise11 in a previous post.

New Member

Date Joined Aug 2010
Total Posts : 6
   Posted 8/31/2010 7:26 AM (GMT -7)   
Hello Carvin
I have bi-polar. my husband does not understand the effect it has on me. One thing that has helped us is that we have a pass word when I start feeling cranky. I say the word, and he holds me and tries to make me laugh. We have a personal joke that he says and it actually helps the irritable mood to subside. After all it is hard to remain mad and upset when you laugh especially together. My husband at times, looses his patience with me and will go stay with someone, I do not advise this because it adds to an already low self esteem, and it could cause trust issues depending on whom you stay with. I have found that physical activity also helps, when you notice that she is going through the depression or manic episodes, make her do something physical, like go for a walk, this could create an outlet for her. Remember that she has to cope with this disease also. It probably scares her, because she is not in control. Medicines can help, but it could take a while to find the right one. Let her know that you love her despite the illness. You might seek counseling to help you cope. I know it frustrates and makes you angry and sad, when she lashes out at you. My husband claims that he is the only one I lash out at, that is because he is the closest one and in contact with me more than others. Perhaps you should take a ride, or get a punching bag and take out your frustrations on that. You need an outlet as well as she does. She should try to be more understanding of what this does to you. I know that when I am in an episode, I am not in control of my attitude and I do try to be hurtful with my words. Perhaps you should writer her a letter after one of her episodes, explaining how you feel . Perhaps she should post it somewhere she can see it and read it daily. My husband started doing that several weeks ago, and when I start to "change into a two headed beast" I look at it and tell myself that I do not want to cause him further pain I hope this helps you, I know this illness can destroy a marriage, you both have to be strong .
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