New here, husband is BP

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New Member

Date Joined Sep 2007
Total Posts : 3
   Posted 9/11/2007 6:47 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi---New here tonight, I'VE HAD IT.  Husband is BP, we have a 5 yr old and 3 yr old together, I have 13 yr old from previous marriage.  So frustrated because after YEARS of working with pdoc, still same old cycles.  Meds, inpatient, therapy, meds, meds, meds, rehab, meds, you get it.  Mostly depression, debilitating, with him sitting in recliner chair doing nothing and me holding the fort.  Dr. has changed meds so many times, trying new ones and combinations that don't really work.  Been inpatient several times, I am left to work and take care of house and kids, etc.  The house needs help, I can only do so much, the kids are a wreck b/c they see their dad acting like this, and although I know he can't help it they act out.  He is talking suicide, and also has mentioned that he "wouldn't go alone" (meaning he'd take us with him) and this has been going on for about 2 weeks. I think he is bluffing, he is always doing stuff for attention. I really feel strongly about this, I'm sure this is just another threat.  I don't feel fear about this. He spends a lot of time playing the victim "oh poor me I have BP."  Sometimes I feel guilty that I actually want him to go through with it so we could be rid of this disease.  He is also in recovery from drugs (painkillers as well as illegal drugs) and alcohol.  10 months so far, but he has decreased the amount of meetings he goes to because he can't get out of this depression.  He complains of anxiety, the doc reluctantly gives him rx for Klonopin or some such, for 14 days, but they are gone in a week.  He just can't take them as prescribed, even if I hide them he looks until he finds them or I just get so sick of him begging for another pill that I give in.  I'm tired of being the babysitter when I already have 3 kids.  I don't want to take care of a grown man.  I want a partner, a companion, a mate who shares the responsibilities with me, not leaves them all to me.  He is on SSD for the BP, so there is a little bit of money, and I work part time while my kids are little.
How awful am I to be so disliking of this man I married?  Needless to say,   his BP wasn't this bad when we married, it has declined to the point where I no longer feel like I care, and I just want him to go away.  I know there is more to this life for me, I know that I don't want to live the rest of my life like this.  I don't want my kids to have this depressed, unhappy, weepy man as their father.  OMG you all probably think I am the worst.  I feel like the worst.  But I just want more.  For all of us.  Is this really the end of my road?  Is this what my life will be, living with BP?

Honey Bee
Regular Member

Date Joined Jun 2007
Total Posts : 114
   Posted 9/12/2007 1:49 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi there RunFast

So sorry to here that things are so bad at the moment for you, I hope you feel better for joining this forum there are lots of very kind and knowledgeable people on it.

You have done a good thing in posting here, believe me noone will think bad of you or judge you on here. It is a good place as people will completely get where you are coming from and hope you feel better just for venting how you currently feel. As a BP spouse myself (21 years and counting) my hubbie has had many terrible episodes, both highs and lows so I get where you are coming from, we have had some truly awful times some of which I never thought he would come out of, including his last period of depression which has lasted over 7 months with a considerable period of that he was suicidal.

It sounds like you have been doing a great job, especially considering you have children to deal with (we don't out of choice mainly due to the BP). I cannot imagine how hard it is to factor in their needs as well and like you say it is like having another child instead of an equal partner in the relationship. You feel bad that you didn't sign up for this but sometimes just want an ordinary life, I get that.

It is a totally frustrating disorder in that you have it for life, although it can be manageable for large periods of time of course given the right meds, therapy treatment etc. I have been told by the doc that in fact it does get worse with age as the bad experiences mount up, the brain chemistry deteriorates and you find that you are less able to deal with it. This is surprising as you would think that the older you get the more mature and better you get at dealing with the BP but this is not the case. You will read the same stories on here from people about how hard it is to get the combination of meds right and then there effect may not last so you can get more frustrated as time goes on and actually feel IMO that you are making less progress not more over time.

The threat of suicide in that his words "wouldn't go alone" sound a little worrying to me. Obviously you know him well and sound sure that he is just making a threat but I wonder if it is worth talking to his doc about this. Do you go with him ever to his appointments? You don't mention how long his recent period of depression has been but maybe it is time to intervene again. Obviously the current meds are not making much difference and I know from our experience that it is easy to leave it too long and think (and hope) that tomorrow will be different and the mood will lift. But again if he has been in hospital before it sounds like he is in a bad way currently. How involved are you with his doc, do you think there is anything else you can do? I am sure you feel like it is all too much at the moment and can't go another week but you will know that it DOES pass if he has been through many cycles before. Is there any possibility of changing docs if you don't feel like they are helping/interested enough anymore. Maybe a fresh approach and view from someone else would help?

I can see why you want to get away as it must be hard for your kids to see their dad this way and you are right it will have a bad impact on them over time can see why you are worried. My hubbie's father was undiagnosed BP as are his 2 sisters and their household was hell for most of the time he lived at home and it had a massive effect on his life.

Obviously the BP isn't his fault but if he is making no attempt to seek help currently and has stopped going to his meetings that won't be helpful. Are you able to sit down when his mood is slightly better and have a serious talk to him or are you seriously thinking that you want out (and I am sure noone would blame you for this). I think one of the things BP spouses seem bad at in general is looking after and out for themselves (IMO).

You will know from your past experiences with him but would he be better being admitted into hospital again. I know this means that you will still have all the chores, kids, responsibility etc. but at least it will give you a break from him and a bit of peace and quiet, less pressure to really think about what you want for the future?

Finally, sorry for the long post and these are just my quick thoughts but once again, DO NOT FEEL BAD about your feelings, like can be hell sometimes and you often just want the problem to go away even when it can be someone you love deeply.

Honey Bee


Post Edited (Honey Bee) : 9/12/2007 2:56:13 AM (GMT-6)

olivia of course
Veteran Member

Date Joined Jul 2006
Total Posts : 1523
   Posted 9/12/2007 9:34 AM (GMT -7)   
Run Fast,

I would like to welcome you to the HW family, I am glad you found us. 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"

loving frustrated wife
Veteran Member

Date Joined Jun 2007
Total Posts : 865
   Posted 9/12/2007 3:02 PM (GMT -7)   
Run Fast, welcome and glad you found us. Okay, I am going to just jump right into it as I am currently pressed for time at the moment. NO THREAT no matter how benign you think it is, should be taken lightly...especially the ones like that. Whether you want to hear that or not, you must for the safety of you all. Look at the story of the wrestler who just killed his wife, son and himself. Everyone is shocked and devastated because they would NEVER have expected this behavior from him. So, with that said, I urge you to take action to these words he is using immediately to get him the help he so clearly needs. You say he is doing it for attention...well, give him his wish...hand him over to the doctors at a lock down facility until he is no longer a threat to himself or others (meaning you and your kids). He will get PLENTY of attention there.

Now, as to stay or go..."your feelings are completely justified and understandable" so stop thinking you are this awful person for feeling this way. I have said this in another post that if you want to see people working their tails off to gain control over the BP and lead responsible and positive lives in spite of it, just read some postings from people like Mogli, Dutchie, or countless others who are doing everything in their power to own this disease and manage it without whipping others with it. Are they But are they doing EVERYTHING right...absolutely. You will see a distinct difference between that, and your husband. It should help you feel less guilty about what you are feeling. Because here’s the thing…once a person knows they have BP, from there it is a CHOICE to take control and wrestle it to the ground or not...or play victim to it. I am the spouse of a BPII, rapid recycler. He is far from perfect on this issue himself, but he does stay on meds, sees his pdoc regular, sees a therapist semi-regular, and while he says he "owns it", in truth he still needs to work on being willing to connect some of the dots about it. It would be great if he joined a BP support group, but he won’t. But we are a team 70% of the time, and he is a good dad, and he remains functional…I consider him a work in progress. We have 3 young kids and our oldest is also a BPII-rr. And while I don't deal in the same level of this disease that it sounds like you do, we do have our similar challenges. My husband can not handle chaos well, too much stimulation for him, so I find I am the main source of consistent discipline in the house. I get REAL tired of this. I keep all schedules, and handle all the “bits and details” of day to day living (dr. appts, house, school stuff, sports stuff…etc) and delegate out responsibility. But he is a man who does do dishes! Because of all this, I know what it feels like to resent that my partner is not consistently my equal. It is frustrating and hard – especially when they are behaving in ways that make life (which is already hard) harder.

I have stated before on my postings that regardless of the love I feel for my husband, which is a lot, if it ever flips that his presence in our kids lives is a detriment, or he was not at least this level of responsible for the BP, I would leave. End of discussion for me. I have young minds to care about that are forming and developing issues that will be with them and affect them throughout their lives. I have a responsibility as their mother to ensure they develop well with positive examples around them (I think this statement would be true even if it were reversed and I were a husband with a BP wife). They don't understand that if daddy was behaving as you describe your husband, they should not to. They think these are the ways they are SUPPOSE to they do. Because we as parents set the example of what is acceptable. It doesn't work to say learn as I say, not as I do. By the time they are capable of even understanding what you are talking about, it is too late. Acknowledging and relearning a behavior it is harder for even adults to do, then just learning the better ones first, so imagine how hard it is for a child. So, for the sake of YOUR kids, I urge you to stop trying to do what is right for your husband, and do what is right for your KIDS FIRST! They didn't ask to be born, and therefore we are responsible for how they turn out (minus genetics). If you are looking for permission to have it. And I say that without judgment. Also, I am NOT saying that your kids don't need their father...they do, but they need him well - or at least fighting to get well and being responsible in the process. It doesn't sound like that is the case here.

If you leave, and he get's on the right track, there is nothing stopping you from reconciling when he is stable and ready to be your partner again...but I say this as not a 1 or 2 week responsible...but life changing responsible - as in "no going back" kind of level. It IS attainable...just ask Maurice Bernard of General Hospital fame. But it is not easy. He and his wife (and all the support players - Dr's, therapists, etc) are part of his team for his wellness. They all work together. What you are experiencing is that you and your husband are not on the same team, and he is not striving for wellness yet. If that ever changes, then your can change your mind about the choices you make. My best wishes to you. Sorry to all for the length of this post, guess I had more to say than I thought. LFW

New Member

Date Joined Sep 2007
Total Posts : 3
   Posted 9/12/2007 6:25 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi guys,
I sincerely appreciate your words today.  I really feel as though you get it, where I am and what I feel up against.  And I feel reassured that I am not a toad for feeling so angry and resentful toward this man.  A few additions to my history, and some answers to your questions.  Yes, he actually is involved in his recovery.  He takes his meds faithfully, (I see him do it, he really does), and he and I both really like the doc.  In fact, I see her too for mgmnt of my depression which fortunately is very well controlled.  She and I talk, and she has called me before in private to hear my opinion on the situation.  She knows that he often wont tell her the truth about what is really happening, so she talks to me.  I have no problem telling her the truth.  I have often gone with him to appts, but he feels as though I "throw him under the bus" when we are there, and he feels ganged up on, (which I guess I do understand) and so he went today but he decided not to have me come.  Pdoc will call me later if she wants to.  So my frustration is that so far the depression has been only slightly controlled, with more bad days than good. 
LFW, I really appreciate the way you described how you handle all the details.  My husband hates the chaos too, so b-day parties, neighborhood cookouts, trips to the swimming pool are a no go.  I handle all appointments, etc just like you said.  HoneyBee, it certainly does appear to be getting worse over time, and there is also the component that he very well may have fried his brain even more with this latest episode of drug abuse.  (Has been clean 10 months).  I notice simple things that he just cannot do, forgetting things, leaving burners on on the stove, getting out of the car and leaving it running, those types of things.  Yet more crap I have to watch for, babysit, and correct and handle.  More resentment.  Another child.
I want something to change, I want this disease and him gone.  I am sick of dealing with it, I'm sure I still love him, but this has just tapped me out.  Now after today seeing the pdoc, they are considering a "partial" program at the local hospital, not inpatient, but 3 hours per day with the hospital staff, counseling, etc.  All the same crap he's done a dozen times.  I just don't think I can hang on again while he does all this and I am working and taking care of everything else.  And this is just another way for him to get tons of attention, and he thrives on this stuff.  Even he admits he gets "attached."  Neither of us has family where we live, 6 hours away is closest.  He has no where to go, no job, and I count on his SS to help pay the mtg.  I am stuck.  Stuck stuck stuck.  I want my kids to have more, I want them to have the daddy that the neighborhood kids have, they walk and play, toss balls, go places together.  Mine won't even take them outside because he "can't handle them."  They stay inside and he sits in his chair and yells at them then gets mad because they drive him nuts.  They are really good kids, just beautiful and a joy.  I ache that they will only know this way of being a dad. 
Enough rambling.  Thanks again for your words and encouragement.  I really need it and will continue to seek it here!  RF

Honey Bee
Regular Member

Date Joined Jun 2007
Total Posts : 114
   Posted 9/12/2007 7:41 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi RunFast

Glad we could help in some small way, they are only words but I think speaking your mind and letting it out often feels good!

I was reading LFW's post again and I think she is totally right that your main priority should be you and the kids and sounds like you feel this way too. I probably didn't focus so much on this in my original response to you as we have none as I said.

However, I can give you some truthful perspective and experience from the other side of the fence in how my hubbie's fathers illness has affected him his entire life. My poor hubbie's home life was terrible, his mother and father got married young and his whole life his father has been angry, telling my hubbie and his sisters and mum that they are responsible for his dad's crappy life. His father's moods due to the BP controlled and overpowered the whole house all of the time. He was abusive both verbally and physically, unfaithful many times, didn't do anything with the kids, never gave them any guidance in life both emotionally, career wise, was totally arrogant that his behaviour was acceptable etc. My hubbie finally left home at 17 because his mum 'kicked him out protect him from his dad' which was terrible. He was now old enough and big enough to stand up to him which obviously didn't go down well.

As a result of this environment it has taken him a lot of years to understand what a 'healthy family life' is like, how to treat women (you learn much of that from your father I think) and also that control, anger and violence are not the answer to everything. He is now estranged from his family as they are just too much of a nightmare and too messed up to deal with. He hasn't had any contact with his dad for 9 years, his mum for 2 (who stopped calling when he finally got a diagnosed for BP and buried her head in the sand as she has done for all of her life) and his sisters for 2, they are all too messed up by their family life and upbringing. This played a huge part in our relationship to the point where we did not get married until 12 years into our relationship, we have been together for 21 years and did not have children because of the genetic link to BP and also because my hubbie thought he would end up being just like his dad as a parent, although actually he would I think have been wonderful as he has experienced the worst of how not to treat your kids.

I tell you all of this not because I want you to hear my (sob) story :-) but to try and fast forward you 10, 20 years in the future and maybe give a glimpse of what things will be like if your situation doesn't change. My hubbie's dad used to constantly shout at them and they all felt like they were walking on eggshells all of the time. I used to hate going round to see them as you could feel the 'atmosphere' in the house as soon as you walked in. Even after his mum and dad had divorced only a few years ago and his sisters lived with their mum the same old patterns and behaviour still occurred even though they were away from him as it had been so ingrained for so long and none of them knew or were able to behave any differently!

Anyway, sorry for the long and rambling post, I think that LFW and I are in competition for the longest posts and are both unable to say anything succintly. I know she won't mind me saying this :-)

Basically, please do everything you can to keep your kids safe and minimise the effect your husband's behaviour is having on them. Their partners and spouses will thank you for it in years to come.

Take care.

Honey Bee

Post Edited (Honey Bee) : 9/12/2007 9:21:19 PM (GMT-6)

New Member

Date Joined Sep 2007
Total Posts : 3
   Posted 9/13/2007 6:41 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi--A little better day today, husband got outside with a neighbor and sealed our driveway.  Huge for him, but what I wanted to say was "see?  you just try and you can do it!  Quit laying around and TRY."
I also had a good talk with my stepmother who is a therapist, and although can be a little too opinionated, she has some good things to say and is always supportive.  Although she can be blunt and I sometimes feel a bit inferior.  But then we talk about that and I tell her how I feel, we clarify, then it's ok.  All in all a good support for what I am up against these days.
Thank you for your replies, I am so grateful that I am not alone, and there are others who understand what I say and how I feel.  RF
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