Bipolar and Relationships

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Taygeta
Regular Member


Date Joined Oct 2010
Total Posts : 164
   Posted 9/23/2017 8:35 PM (GMT -7)   
I have been struggling with significant bipolar symptoms since 2007, though I have had it for most of my life. As well, I have anxiety and OCD as well - which ties into bipolar hypo-manic events. I have been on too many ADs to even count - all of which were worthless. Lamotrigine has been the best help I have had, and I am seeing a therapist in conjunction with medical treatment. I take small amounts of Rexulti, normally 2 to 4 times a week, which helps to a point, but if i overdo it, it caused me to feel "buzzed" without focus.

First, I have little to no help from my family, especially my wife, who does not understand it and never has. She (whether intentionally or not) does almost everything possible to cause me to go into depression or heighten my anxieties. She thinks bipolar is like having a broken arm - it is going to eventually heal and everything will be all right. She went with me to one visit to my therapist, and it was the worst thing I could have done. I have been considering leaving our marriage because she is one of the most significant triggers I have. One therapist I saw said I should seriously consider that because she believed my wife was one of the biggest problems to my well being.

Because of the stigma of bipolar, I have only three people I can talk to about my condition - my therapist, my psychiatrist, and my daughter at times. My therapist is a good one, but everything we try to work out to calm the situation at home never seems to work as expected. My wife is bitter, hurt, and vindictive. She cannot tell what is "me" and what is bipolar, and I cannot blame her for that because I often cannot tell what is "me" and my bipolar. She won't join any groups, she won't see a therapist herself, she won't really read up on how to deal with someone who has bipolar. She says really harsh, hurtful things often - for example, when I told her she caused me to experience a panic attack over an argument we had, she said "get over it."

I somehow manage to hold a job through all of this, and since I am away for 4 days of the week, I find I have more solace being away from home than being home (though I am often miserable there because I don't dig the loneliness) - and that is a sad reflection on our relationship that despite being miserable away, it is somehow better than being at home. That really makes me think that being alone and on my own would be better for my mental well being than being married anymore. Right now I am miserable almost all of the time.

Am I easy to live with - no. Can I control my moods the way I need to - no. Can I handle all the triggers I come across that push me into bipolar moods - no. Can I be irritable, sarcastic, and biting myself - yes. I'm working on those with my therapist, but the home life is constantly setting my back. When I told my wife something my therapist had told me, she responded with "f___ your therapist." She ultimately cannot accept my condition, and she often talks of leaving me too. Marriage counseling is out because we cannot agree on that.

Am I bitter about all of this myself - yes.

Frankly, life generally stinks for me. I wish I had some solutions that would work, but the repeated brick walls keep me from moving on to any sense of well-being that lasts for more than brief periods.

Tim Tam
Veteran Member


Date Joined May 2016
Total Posts : 1075
   Posted 9/24/2017 11:31 AM (GMT -7)   
I also have bipolar, but the parts that I can relate to you most deal with the wife and the sad home life you say you have. And our refusal to leave that situation, although that has been resolved with me for my wife died of a long illness 8 years ago.

All of that sounds like my situation for 29 years. Listening to what you say about your wife's bad attitude, I'm wondering if you wife had any trauma in childhood?

Mine did, and it turned her into a terror, especially against males. Uh, oh. One of her methods was to try to take control of me, and isolate me so she could have me one on one.

Any outside contact I had was a threat to her, and she would try to stop it. When I would come from the doctor's, she would want to know what he or she said. As soon as I told her, she would jump on it, saying, "That's totally wrong!!!!!!!"

As she was trying to keep me from seeing the doctor, and replacing their knowledge with hers, to lower my source of knowledge down to what she thought.

She would even pick up the phone in her room when both of our phones rang. It was spooky.

Of course, when she passed away from a long illness, things might have improved for a little bit, but my having a mental illness, physical problems, growing older and living by myself, seemed to bring out the worst in my neighborhood, as one pathos family or individual would get others to join them and attack.

So, even being by myself was no picnic.

What seems to be your wife's difficulties?

Taygeta
Regular Member


Date Joined Oct 2010
Total Posts : 164
   Posted 9/24/2017 12:22 PM (GMT -7)   
Thanks for responding.

One of the problems is she constantly nags about things that I feel are inconsequential. My therapist says I need to have weekends that are relaxing - not weekends that cause me more grief. For example, we were on a road trip to Boston, and I swear that over thirty times she made some kind of comment about my driving - I was too close to the center line, I nearly ran into a car (which I didn't), I was too far to the right because i ran over the shoulder bumps, I waited too long to slow down to stop when we got off on an exit, etc. It was so nerve-wracking I could not stand it; and after awhile I didn't even want to drive anymore. Yet when she drove, I said absolutely nothing even though there were plenty of things I could have mentioned.

She does the same at home. I left my bathroom towel on the floor, I didn't close the toilet seat (the lid), I was interfering by using my cell phone when she was trying to help her dad set his new phone up - it goes on and on She wants more communication, but when she does these things, often almost as soon as I get home - I completely close up. She doesn't want to listen to anything I have to say about work (which is a crappy place to work, and that is another story). I drive 110 miles to work one way on Mondays, and I come home on Thursdays. I am usually exhausted, yet she does not ever seem to get that point. Out of site, out of mind - my daughter completely agrees that is the way my wife is.

She says she wants me to have fun, yet I have heard again and again - I'm on my phone too much, I'm using the computer too much, i'm playing a game on my phone too much, etc. It has even gotten to the point that when I am either using my phone or my computer, or doing something else, she starts a conversation - I swear that happens a lot. And of course, I am paying attention to what I am doing, so I don't get everything she says - and she makes an issue out of how I don't listen to her. Yet she has blown me off hundreds of times when she is doing something, even things like she is watching a TV program. I am honestly baffled by this behavior, and after a dozens times of this happening - I need to take anxiety pills, or I end up going into another room and try to sleep it off because it gives me both anxiety and depression.

She clearly does not understand bipolar. She has been saying things for years to "snap me out of it" that frankly she should not be saying according to two different therapists and my psychologist. In response, I often don't eat much of anything over the weekend because that's one of the ways I am affected.

I don't know if she had any trauma during her childhood other than her parents fought like crazy. Yes, she does have issues with men. Yes, she does seem to try to control me. She seems to know exactly what to do or say to put me in a mood I don't want to be in. Then I get blamed for being in that mood. It is a lose lose situation. And she often will chew me out over everything imaginable - trying to state she wants the guy back she married - and that goes all the way back to 25 years ago (she uses that term many times). That of course, makes me feel like crap - that somehow I have ruined the other 24 years of our marriage (which I know for a fact I have not).

I am so lost at times I don't know how to handle it. I know I have a problem, and I try to deal with it every hour of every day, and my therapist realizes that. When she did come to me to one session - she ran out of the room crying when he told here there was NO cure. I don't know what she expected to hear.

She almost always asks immediately, like in your case - what the therapist said. I never go into details because I feel that what was said between he and I is private, and besides I fear it will just cause issues and an argument. I hate arguments - they are triggers that push me one way or the other, and I feel she knows that is the case because she won't let up on them even if I go outside (which both of my therapists and Pdoc recommended during an argument). On the other hand, when she has a crisis, I'm suddenly the most loving husband ever - she says things like she never wants to lose me - how terrible that would be, but when in non-crisis mode, that all goes away. She likes to argue. She just doesn't do it with me, she does it with our kids at times and with her parents - if they say something that she doesn't agree with, she almost immediately gets angry. I almost never do that with my kids or her parents unless it is a serious issue.

To put it in a one sentence perspective, "i seem to get blamed for everything that is wrong - even though I often have nothing to do with something that happened."

I'm sorry if this is rambling, but I really feel all alone in this world, so in a way, being totally alone on my own seems to be no worse than where i am now. Am I easy to always get along with - no. Do I have mood swings that occur with rapidity - yes. Do I have sullen moods - yes. Do I have times when my mind races and I talk and talk and talk - yes )I normally am not much of a talker in general - never have and never will be). Am I some perfect guy - hardly. But i feel I shouldn't be run over by a train because I am this way. And that's how I feel now. Painted into a corner with no way out.

And I can add one thing - she has gone through menopause, and I believe it has gotten much worse since that happened.

Tim Tam
Veteran Member


Date Joined May 2016
Total Posts : 1075
   Posted 9/24/2017 4:48 PM (GMT -7)   
I read your reply like I'm reading an account of my marriage for 29 years.

You mentioned having children, I think these type of women like it when you have a child because they know you can't leave. Without a child, you could just pack your suitcase. With a child, if you leave your wife, you leave your child.

They know a good thing when they see it.

You mention you get little help from your family. My wife got control of our child, turned him against me. Do you see any of this in your situation?

Did she mistreat you from the start, or did it begin with an event, like birth of the first child, where they knew you wouldn't want to leave because of the child?

That was where my marriage problems started.

Let's say you had no child or they had turned 18 or 20 and were no longer in the home. Would you leave? Since you have a job, you could do that. Does she have a job? What would she do financially if you left? Could you make it on your own with bipolar.

Financially and emotionally with bipolar, I'm not sure I could have made it.

You said, "When she did come to me to one session - she ran out of the room crying when he told here there was NO cure. I don't know what she expected to hear."

I think that was scripted. Like my wife, I think she tries to drive away everyone in you life so she will have you one on one.

I had some yardmen over once, twice. The first group, she screamed at them as soon as they knocked, shrieking. She failed to run them off, and I paid them extra for sticking with me and pruning tall bushes. I told them it was "hazardous duty pay."

The second group of workers she shrieked, trying to drive them off, and the next time I called them to do some more work, they didn't come back, she had driven them off.

You say, "My wife is bitter, hurt, and vindictive" What is she bitter about?

My wife was sexually abused as a child and was pathologically angry about that. I'm 100% certain that was what was going on in the marriage.

Has your wife, even one time, said something about something happened when she was a child? I came to realize my wife was a borderline personality syndrome person. You can look that up on the net search engine. Be sitting down when you read it.

You said she criticized you 30 times when you were driving the car on a trip. That reminds me of my brother who criticized me all the time. Like you, I was either doing something too slow or too fast. If it was just right, he wouldn't say anything.

If he and I were in the same room, he would just stand there and look at me, ready to criticize, make no effort to talk. Who appointed him judge?

With just he and I in the room, anything he said, he could deny it. When someone else walked in the room, he changed to a very pleasant person. He was like two people.

I think he was sex abused.

My dad had anger personality disorder, and was very critical. My brother seemed to have both of those conditions.

The only way, in a manner of speaking, you can deal with that is to get away from those people. I dealt with my brother for about 20 years because growing up I had to live with him.

My wife, 29 years.

Of course, I still managed to eeke out a life living with both of those people, but when I was around them it was hellacious.

I started getting chest pain with my wife, and would go get an EKG, etc. Everything was fine, except for the chest pain. After my wife died of a long illness, the chest pain went away. So if you start getting that, that's what it is.

They pick on us because we're weak. In a way, not totally, but in a way, yeah.

Are you generally negative or positive? What kind of household were you raised in? I changed to positive some years ago from something I read, and it helped.

Without your wife, where would you be as far as happy or sad?

I would have been alone and miserable.

Taygeta
Regular Member


Date Joined Oct 2010
Total Posts : 164
   Posted 9/24/2017 7:05 PM (GMT -7)   
Wow. That's kind of eerie for you then if it is a recap of your marriage.
Yes, children. But now that they are grown, she no longer has them at home, and she is doing everything she can to make sure she does as much as she can for them, even though they are not at home. She still uses that as an excuse as to why she cannot work because she has to take care of the kids - one in college, one a graduate, and the other married for many years but with her own medical problems (narcolepsy).

I see her doing that with the boys, who are the youngest - especially the youngest one. The other day, when he was home from college, and my wife and I got into an argument - he blurted out that dad causes 90% of the arguments. I was shocked to hear that. He darned well knows it is not that one-sided. I cannot talk to either of my sons about my problems. I can with my daughter, and in part it is because her husband's dad had bipolar, and he ended up hanging himself. So they understand the torture one can go through with bipolar.

The birth of our first child did seem to change things. Subtle changes, but they continued to grow over time.

She has no job. The last 3 she had she ended up quitting for a variety of reasons, mainly because she could not get along with those she worked with. Wish I had the same flexibility because I would quit my job tomorrow if I could - but i have a responsibility that she doesn't seem to get. I have to put up with crap because I have no choice, period. Yes, if we had no children I would be gone. But even though the youngets are in their twenties, they have problems of their own (like one got divorced within 1 1/2 years, and the other one has narcolepsy too and other depression problems. I believe I would be able to handle the bipolar by myself through meds and therapy. Therapy has always been good for me, except when it gets ambushed when I come home. She would fail miserably financially if I left. She was failing miserably financially when we married. I bailed her out of all kinds of problems.

I do have a strong will to fight bipolar, so I think I can. I've had it since I was 16 but I did not get a diagnosis for nearly 40 years. Financially, I would survive somehow.

She has tried to drive everyone away in my life. Comments about them, snide remarks, etc., especially about any women I work with. She is jealous beyond belief, and she is completely insecure. I have been accused of having affairs many times, yet I have never had an affair. Because of these unwarranted accusations, I can tell you I have thought many times about doing it - but that is not the type of person I am.

In ways, she is even trying to drive me away from my therapist - I can see that now. Just those little comments about him and what he isn't doing for me.

She is bitter about some "man" she married that she thinks no longer exists. She keeps saying she wishes it was the way it once was - but I am not sure it was nothing but me giving into everything she wanted, agreeing with everything - and I no longer do that. As you said - we (with bipolar) are weak in ways.

Your stories about your wife acting like that are appalling. If you weren't telling me this firsthand, I could hardly believe someone would act like that.

She has never mentioned being abused, but she has hinted at serious problems with her father and the way he treated the children. Especially her younger sister, who was born out of wedlock because her mother had an affair during their marriage. That woman is really messed up, but that is another story.

Like your brother, my wife is like two people as well. Angry and spiteful toward me, then when someone else comes into the room or she gets a call - she acts as everything is just wonderful. I cannot do that. When I am down, I am down. I don't try to make some charade like I am happy go lucky when i deal with other people. i just thought of something - her father has watched our kids a number of times, and my wife has hinted her concerns about him - like she was worried he might do something, but she has never gone into the details. i have always found that strange.

I just looked up briefly borderline personality disorder, and you are right, I am going to need to sit down to read through the details. The basic stuff - the similarities to my wife are striking.

I am negative often, but I try my best to push that aside and be positive about things as much as I can. What did you read? I'd be interested in knowing.

My childhood years were not what I call good - major issues between my parents - that is another story once again.

I'm not sure where I would be without my wife. I do know I would be doing things I have always wanted to do, and she pretty much put a stop to them - like writing a novel, for example. I spent too much time doing it - didn't give enough time to the kids and her, etc. She has done that with a number of projects I felt very strongly about. And I can say for a fact, I am bitter about that. I feel she has undermined some of my true potential. So when I think about it, being alone really might just be better off for me in the long run. And if I am harming her in the way she says, then I would no longer be doing that. Do I still love her yes. Do I like her - no. Would I miss her - yes, in some ways, and in others I would not. Peace of mind is what I am after, and right now hell is what i have.

Tim Tam
Veteran Member


Date Joined May 2016
Total Posts : 1075
   Posted 9/25/2017 12:59 PM (GMT -7)   
about maybe turning your children against you and in her favor, and did the marital trouble begin with the birth of the first child when she knew she had you, you said:

“The birth of our first child did seem to change things. Subtle changes, but they continued to grow over time.”

And, “I see her doing that with the boys, who are the youngest - especially the youngest one. The other day, when he was home from college, and my wife and I got into an argument - he blurted out that dad causes 90% of the arguments. I was shocked to hear that. He darned well knows it is not that one-sided. I cannot talk to either of my sons about my problems. I can with my daughter, and in part it is because her husband's dad had bipolar, and he ended up hanging himself. So they understand the torture one can go through with bipolar.”

My wife would turn my son against me, when he was small, she would let him do anything he wanted, and give him a bunch of toys. When grown, she would give him money, pay him off.

As an add-on to that, after my wife died 8 years ago, my son and I in a way got along OK, in a way we didn’t. So about 8 months ago, I caught him in an attack on me, one of my health problems, and it called for a dramatic change.

I basically disowned him. I haven’t legally changed anything, although one person has not poo-pawed that idea, but for 8 months he hasn't been allowed to come onto my property, I do not call him or return his calls, and maybe 1 or 2 e-mails for a financial situation.

No phone calls because I cannot stand the sound of his voice. That also involves his two kids and wife. So this problem has dropped down 2 generations.

One thing I figured was something so strange you probably wouldn’t include in one of your novels. And that is, I seen signs that my wife wants to attack even though she passed away 8 years ago.

I’m considering everything I can think of about her still attacking me, except for my son.

Then when I caught him, it starts me to thinking about other incidents like that, and I came up with a series of them. I realized he had been 90% positive with me, except when I really needed his help, which is when he would rise up and declare my request unreasonable.

You see what’s happening? He’s not really helping me. He’s giving me meaningless assistance, but when a health request comes up, he shows anger and doesn’t help.

I realized that he might be an agent of my deceased wife to continue her attacks on me. It’s also a apart of his anger personality disorder, but I do believe he was helping her.

So, I’m saying, is your wife turning your kids against you? And, don’t expect great rewards from them for all the work you did raising them, for behind your back, she may be downgrading you, paying them off, playing the perfect parent, grandparent. As in get ready, because it doesn’t ever end.

Also, as in, if you don’t leave because you’re waiting around for better days, or for your children to begin making it all worthwhile, it ain’t gonna happen. I’m also not suggesting you leave, because it could be twice as bad out there.

You said, “Yes, if we had no children I would be gone.” Well, in a way, you have no children now. They are grown. The ball is in your court. It’s your move.

If you can make it on your own, you might want to consider that. But, then, also, she will find a way reach you, attack through the children. She’ll have to make it look like she’s winning, but being away from her, reduces her attacks by 90%.

Also, if she has no income, she’ll be hitting you up for money very often. I just wouldn’t give it to her. I would have no contact with her. Be ready to contact a lawyer about harassment.

I think one of the big issues is, did she have trauma? I think from what you said, and about the way she acts, that she did.

Also, you said, “She has never mentioned being abused, but she has hinted at serious problems with her father and the way he treated the children. Especially her younger sister, who was born out of wedlock because her mother had an affair during their marriage. That woman is really messed up, but that is another story.

And, “i just thought of something - her father has watched our kids a number of times, and my wife has hinted her concerns about him - like she was worried he might do something, but she has never gone into the details. i have always found that strange.”

OK, that might be what we’re looking for. Her actions now, her shaky feeling about her father, the borderline situation, putting all of that together. What do you think?

My mother was sexually abused by her father, I figured that out from the type of info above that we are talking about. I rem. now, the times as a teen or as an adult when I was alone in a room with my mother, the wild, wide-eyed look she had on her face a few times, as if something was about to happen, as if one time in her life something had happened.

Like you, I didn’t know what that was, but, as an adult with more knowledge and experiences, I see those signs different than I use to.

If that did happen with your wife, and you’re a male, what do think the future holds if you stay in that house? You become a target like she was at one time.

And, since a male made her life miserable, she’s going to make your life miserable to even the score. A male took advantage of her when she was weak as a child, so she’s going to show no mercy on you as a male when you’re down and show a weakness, or can be brought down.

I figured out with my wife, that she had to dominate, she had to win over me every time, because losing to a male could be really bad, and both of them are/were determined, it’s not going to happen again. This time I’m going to fight.

Post Edited (Tim Tam) : 9/25/2017 2:04:49 PM (GMT-6)

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