Hi, I'm Shannon - so glad you found us to help you! I am also bipolar, as are most of the people on this board. Also a psychiatric and internal medicine nurse of many years, as my name says. So, I experienced it from both sides. I also am not telling you what to do, but Nickie is dead on right about what happens. It also happened to me, everything but the road trip. I have destroyed every relationship I have ever had, some family and all friends included, not just men, spent our money to the point we had to file bankruptcy, (47K in three months on credit cards) treated my current husband like crap, and many other horrors. I, too have been a drug abuser and an alcoholic my whole life (I'm 40). My sweet husband stuck with me through 10 years of marriage, but last year he finally put his foot down and told me if I didn't get my crap together, he would have to leave, he couldnt take any more. Who could blame him? You would think being a nurse and knowing practically everything about BP I would want to get well? LOL. That's just not how it works as you are finding out. My incentive was to keep my husband who is the only person I ever truly loved (as much as a BP can love) and who has ever loved me unconditionally. I knew I might as well end my life if he left me. So I got it together and fast. I went to the hospital and got stabilized and detoxed at the same time (not fun), and vowed to stay on meds this time, no matter how bad it made me feel. And man, did I feel miserable. It's called a "crash" which always happens when a mania ends, either naturally or with meds. 2 months of depression so bad, I had never even known, cos I was always manic. So weak I could hardly stand, much less get to the toilet or accomplish a shower every day. Couldn't even think, so slow in the mind. That's what bipolar depression is like, it is a totally different animal than regular or clinical depression. You are literally a prisoner in your own body, because it slows down both body and mind excessively. Anti depressants don't work on this one. We can't take the ones everybody else does anyway, cos it triggers mania. Go figure. So it was about 2 months in bed, but slowly it started to get better. It was gone in about 3.5 months. Then, I was atually stable for the very first time in my life. It's heaven. I would never ever go back to manic, ever. As a result and happy ending, my hubby and I have never been so much in love, so happy it's like we just started dating, rediscovered each other and fell in love all over again. I had never experienced really loving someone deep down. Now I can and do, and I treat him like a god. He never takes me for granted, he even thanks me every morning for his oatmeal and juice, haha. I figure I have a decade of treating him good to make up for. The regret of my past actions haunts me every day, tho. If I thnk too much about it, I cry, like I am right now.
The point is, almost all of us have the exact same story. It depends on the motivation whether we get well or not, it's completely up to us, and no one else, including God, if I may be so bold. If your husband won't try and stick with it for the sake of his family, you are wasting your time, meanwhile you and your children suffer. Getting well is his decision, and living the way you are is yours.
BTW, we're all kinda blunt, but also easily hurt cos we're overly sensitive, (weird, huh) so this isn't meant to be mean in any way, it's just a real life example and the hard, cold reality of the disease and what it does to families and all relationships, not to mention jobs and financial matters.
I really wish you happiness and the best of luck. You have been through hell, I know. My thoughts are with you, just like everyone who suffers the disease, or the effects of a loved one with it.