Feeling very alone in dealing with a bipolar spouse

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New Member

Date Joined Aug 2007
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 8/16/2007 1:17 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi - I am new to this forum. I am so glad that you are willing to talk about this issue because for a long time I have felt very alone in dealing with a bipolar spouse. I feel caught in the middle of it. I love my husband with all my heart. My family ( parents, brothers, etc. don't understand why I stay - and to be honest sometimes I don't understand ) My husband doesn't feel like the bipolar is an issue and I am tired of feeling like I am at the end of his yo-yo. By that I mean being his best friend one moment and then being the person that he can't stand and blames everything on. My question is : Can a bipolar person control how they react with different people. Am I just the person he choose to take his frustration out on. I try to be really understanding - but maybe I am making it worse by letting him treat me that way. ?? Any insight.

olivia of course
Veteran Member

Date Joined Jul 2006
Total Posts : 1523
   Posted 8/16/2007 3:10 PM (GMT -7)   
I would like to welcome you the HW family and to the Bipolar forum, I'm glad you found us.  There are a lot of people who have been through what you are going through, and I hope you find the support you are looking for here.

Moderator, Bipolar
Dx:  Bipolar 1, Anxiety-Panic Disorder
Support HealingWell: 
"Don't let your yesterday, ruin your today"

Post Edited (olivia of course) : 8/16/2007 5:02:56 PM (GMT-6)

loving frustrated wife
Veteran Member

Date Joined Jun 2007
Total Posts : 865
   Posted 8/16/2007 5:00 PM (GMT -7)   
ob1, is your husband a BPI, or BPII? Mine is a rapid recycling BPII who is regulated on meds, but we still have these issues so I totally understand how you feel. You can see my post string when I first started here if you look for it. I have only started one. Anyway, you are not alone. It is a hard balance to walk, and a difficult thing for others to understand who are not "in love" with the person you are with. How long have you been married? Do you have kids?

To answer your question, I know when my husband “owns” his own moods, and his therapist reminds him to work to ensure he is not taking things out on me; he does great for a few weeks. And our relationship is happier. But then it slips away and he doesn't want to be confronted with his BP as a culprit for treating me - this way or that. He tells me that it’s unfair. I tell him, to then stop taking his frustration out on me, and he denies he is.....but, he starts acting a little better again. So I know, even though he won't say it, he momentarily sees it again. I know he hates that he does this, and he hates that he is so moody, and somewhere, he feels the shame about it. But, like you, I try to understand, and stay calm, and recognize his behavior for what it is...the inconsistency of BP. But when he goes to far...I put my foot down.

I know being on this sight has really helped me. I SEE so much more now, and am much more conscious about seeing the shifts and not getting caught in them by him. That also has helped A LOT!

Welcome, and you will find a lot of people who share your feelings and can be very supportive. LFW

Honey Bee
Regular Member

Date Joined Jun 2007
Total Posts : 114
   Posted 8/17/2007 2:11 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi ob1

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.

Honey Bee

Post Edited (Honey Bee) : 8/17/2007 4:15:15 AM (GMT-6)

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