I'm new to this site, just found it this morning. So here is my "story" in a nutshell.
Married 15 years to a wonderful man who is also bipolar which makes me feel alone a lot. We have 3 kids. Our oldest is also diagnosed bipolar/adhd (he's 13). Both my husband and son on the BP spectrum are at about the 1/4th mark of severity, both have been under a psychiatrists care for years who I trust implicitly. Both are medicated. Neither is agressive, high anger people. They are more the implode style. But both possess low frustration tolerance. My husband, who I am writing about today, doesn't acknowledge what this is like for me. His attitude is that he is on his meds, therefore he is justified because he is now "normal". He doesn't see what it is like, or how he WAY over reacts to the smallest of issues or even nothing at all. So we could be having a normal conversation and all of a sudden, he goes from being fine, to angry at me (not violent, yelling stuff - just frustrated, angry - like I did something wrong because I said something he didn't like or by a look on my face, or a roll of my eyes instead of arguing back and not engaging).
Anyway, a typical scenario that I am talking about is like the incident that happened last night, which has thus far turned into him saying a few accusitory hurtful statements at me, stomping away, avoiding me at all cost, hiding in his office for the night until bedtime, then sleeping half the night in our sons room before coming to bed to avoid me (my punishment I suppose). All this because I pointed out if he was going to let our 6 year old daughter break the rule - "if you don't eat your dinner there is no dessert" (even a fat free popsicle). You see, I am constantly being told by him how he wants the kids to eat better, healthier, our groceries (which are quite healthy BTW) are frought with junk in "his" opinion during one of these pronouncements to me. He always does it like he is blaming me for something, or my mom, or our childcare giver and it is somehow my fault if once in a while (twice a month type of thing) they are served fast food or Mac & Cheese for dinner (with vegetables I might add). Anyway, so last night as our daughter refused to eat her dinner of cauliflower, chicken & side of pasta, my husband gave in and let her have a popsicle. I pointed out if he wants to constantly complain to me about this issue (which he does), he is being hypocritical by breaking the rules here because it is easier than saying "no". That I didn't think he then had room to complain to me and/or about me, my mom or our childcare giver - that it isn't fair. At first it was fine, then when he tried to justify his actions because he said that the popsicle was fat free, I then calmly said that wasn't the point. So he proceeded to get accusitory and start snarling about me, about it not being the same thing or a look on my face that he doesn't like, and then started in with rude comments referencing what he calls my families dismissive attitude (this because I got up to clear the table and no longer engage in this with him since I saw what he was turning it into - I wasn't going to argue with him about nothing. I was justified to point out what I did. Which I did calmly and respectfully.) So this converstaion turned into the results I started with. It is 11:00am, and he has yet to speak to me yet (he works out of his office from home).
Now, I am a rational person. I see his reaction does not FIT the conversation no matter if he was irritated by what I pointed out or not. It was a situation that didn't need to turn into something. I was just pointing out a contradiction. With a rational balanced individual it would not have. But it did and of course I was the one blamed for it and am being "punished" for it. I am SOOOOOOO tired of this. It happens over and over and over on a regular basis. The hardest part for me is that he won't acknowledge that he treats me this way, that this is HIS issue and HE overreacts to the smallest things. He doesn't acknowledge what this must be like for me - to live with a BP at ALL. He sees it in our son, but not himself. He feels that he is justified in his feelings and actions and it is all my own fault. I have never denied him the right to his feelings - however that perhaps the feelings feel bigger to him because of the BP and therefore he needs to be responsible when he overreacts (like this) - that's all. But he just says he doesn't over react, I just don't see it, that this is my problem not his. And then he continues on.
I know this is long and I am sorry. I am just worn out by it all and recognizing that I don't want the kids to learn it is okay to speak to your spouse the way he does me when he is like this. I don't want my daughter to think this is how she should be treated, or my son's to learn this is how to treat thier spouses (like I think he learned from his dad I'm sure). If he doesn't take ownership of the BP, and how it can make him act, or acknowledge how hard it is one me - then what do I do? I am certainly not looking to bust up the family over it. But I don't want to continue on like this either. I need support via an e-mail buddy who is in a similar situation striving for success in their relationship too, or advise from those who have been there and succeeded in resolving or finding solutions. I think it would be helpful if it was also someone who had a similar level of the BP that they are dealing with. I know my sister's husband was far higher on the spectrum scale than my husband and he was explosive with his temper (never physical though). Because of that, she was dealing with so much more than I do. Mine is tedious and tiring and lonely.
Thanks for listening and I will appreciate any feedback or buddies that I find to be supportive with.
Loving Frustrated Wife