You will find lots of support and similar stories on this forum which I am sure will help you feel not so alone.
Unless your family and friends have had family members who have suffered from mental illness they will have no clue as to how you feel or why you stay in the relationship and love and support your husband. It is very difficult even when you are educated let alone when the knowledge is absent. I have experienced this with my own parents, sister and friends over the past 20 years - they will never truly get it as you are their child etc and can only see what is best for you (in most instances anyway).
The KEY thing here is that you say "your husband doesn't feel like the bipolar is an issue" so can you expand on why he thinks this is the case? I.e. Does he take medication, see a therapist/psychiatrist so thinks he is 'cured' forever? Does he accept that he is Bipolar and 'own' his illness or blame others for the way he feels etc? Also is he BP I or BPII? In my view the Bipolar is always going to be some level of an issue regardless of what meds or other help he may get or be getting, even if it only has a small impact on your life in the future. It is not something that disappears and in fact gets harder to deal with the older you get.
It is very common for you to feel the way you do, yo yoing from one end of the spectrum to other, hero one minute and zero the next, this is one of the things which Bipolar sufferers feel like with people and unfortunately it is often their wife/husband that gets the worst treatment unfortunately, even though they may love you with all their heart.
Also, you do not say how old you are or how long you have been together but this obviously plays a part in how he reacts to you. Understanding is one thing but being too understanding means that he maybe thinks he can get away with murder in taking his frustrations out on you. I have been with my BP hubbie for 20 years and it is only in recent years that I have found that standing up to him and calling him on his attitude and they way he snaps at me sometimes and treats me actually shocks him into realising it is totally unacceptable to be this way. So, yes you could be making it a little worse by being too understanding if you know what I mean, certainly for me not taking his attitude sometimes or calling him on it later when he has calmed down as helped him have more respect for me and realise he cannot get away with it.
"Can a bipolar person control how they react with different people", IMO yes they can most of the time, with the correct meds, therapy and some self-restraint - sometimes I think that it is very easy to 'use the diagnosis' as an excuse for treating people badly (sorry don't mean to sound harsh to the sufferers of BP on here as not everyone is the same obviously :) Again, he probably makes a bigger effort with people who are responsible for say employing him for example and where the effects of his behaviour
have more consequences in his view. He probably knows that he is not going to lose you so you get the brunt of it.
Just my thoughts anyway.
Post Edited (Honey Bee) : 8/17/2007 4:15:15 AM (GMT-6)