The Life of a Bi-Polar Spouse Welcome to our life.

10Jun/140

I’ve done something terrible

My story Jan 2014- May 2014

Hello, I'm new here. My husband has Bi polar 1. We have been married for 8 yrs and together for 10yrs. I knew of his Bipolar when  we were getting married but as he stays stable for quite a long time between episodes (4-8 yrs) I wasn't worried about it and vowed to support him 'through thickness and thin'. We don't have children as failed 3 IVF/ICSI cycles which we found out was probably due to the meds he was taking (sodium valporate is the generic name but often heard of as epilim, carbamazapine, tegeratol retard) as it causes high volume of abnormal sperm. We had been together 6 yrs when he had his first episode with me. He was very manic for approximately 4 months and section 3 times throughout that episode. He was horrible to me then and it really upset me to almost the point of suicide. But he got better and things have been fine until January this yr.

 

He was feeling a little hypo manic so we called the crisis team out and they arranged for a doctor to come to see him at home. His meds were increased but very little change in mood occurred. I am a student mental health nurse and was starting placement in January also. When I was just a week into placement I was trying to get him to get some rest and come to bed (I can't sleep when he's manic and awake) but he was showing aggressive body language and ran up before I turned the lights out. Now we listen to gentle music in bed as he finds it helps him sleep, but when I got to bed he had AC/DC on and I  had to get up in 3 hours to drive 1 hour to placement 14 hour shift. So I asked him to change it to what we usually listen to as I was getting up in a few hours but he ignored me, so I leaned over to change it and he started kicking my violently in bed and restrained me in the duvet. He then ran back downstairs, I grabbed my clothes threw them on grabbed my phone and car keys and ran out of the house and called the police. The police took him to hospital where he had a metal health act assessment but he threatened me as I used to work in the A&E he knew all the doors and corridors and told me he didn't care who he hurt to get away if they try and section him. I didn't want to risk it as I truly thought he would so I very reluctantly said I wanted him at home.

 

By the end of January he was up all night and all day, aggressive in mood drinking alcohol everyday but saying he knew he was unwell and wanted to get well at home and be in control of it this time and not the BP in control of him. It was nice to see empowerment and insight from him but I worried as I knew the mania had well and truly kicked in by then that empowerment would make him more manic. I was right and by February 15th he went informally into hospital. I was so happy he went informally as he'd always needed sectioning for treatment in the past. Whilst in hospital he was dipping in and out of insight and then it was difficult even for me to recognise when he did or didn't have insight. He was restrained on the ward twice in his time there. Every time he had leave with me it went wrong, verbally aggressive towards me, grabbing the handbrake while I was driving, trying to take the keys out while i was driving, continually drinking and smoking cannabis.  I told the ward staff everything and as soon as he had one good day of leave they discharged him! I was not happy about this. So he came home when I was still on placement things didn't seem as bad as before but then as I was on my last week in April I was doing nights and I was putting my makeup on ready to go and he was being horrible to me. I started crying , mascara running down my face, he asked me what I wanted and I said 'please just give me a hug', he refused and said 'no my shoulder hurts' and then said ' don't come back tonight, move out' I said where am I supposed to go ? He said go to ****** (my best mate) I was finishing my shift at 2am so I slept in the car outside her house until she came home from work (night shift).

 

Repeatedly I tried to tell my husband that I was feeling numb and that only he could change that but he wouldn't listen so I rang a few friends asking if they could speak with him. They tired but again he wouldn't listen. I sat every morning outside my friends backdoor crying on my own, I wanted to be alone, I felt there was no going back from here and I still do. I still feel numb towards him.

 

He was supposed to be DJing at a friends small festival which I had decided not to go to because I was so stressed with him and selfishly didn't want the responsibility of him. But I agreed to take him and a friend there. On the day I told him don't call me until you are ready and I mean ready. Well he called me, I went over and my home was trashed!!! He wasn't ready and was playing around probably to get a reaction out of me. I just sat in the car and our friend put everything he wanted in the car and off we went o to filling station as I needed fuel. He said he wanted to get money from the cash point so I pulled up next to the cash point at tesco's, he refused to get out of the car so I said 'You've got 5 mins, if you don't get the money out I'm taking you back home and you won't go to the festival' He didn't so I drove off. He stared shouting at me (he was in the back seat behind me) and leaned through and pulled on the handbrake while cars were behind me! I pulled his hand off and he called me a whore. I got to the roundabout and he started strangling me! Our friend was shouting at him and I pulled over then he let go. I ran off with the keys and he ran after me but I managed to slip him. I got back to the car and our friend was still in the car. I drove round looking for him and tried calling and texting but there was no response. I called the crisis team to let them know and they asked me where I was and called the police to me. My friend and I made a statement and I then dropped him at the festival.

 

On bank holiday Monday he was finally sectioned. The problem is I have felt numb for a LONG time now I'm cancarian and very true to my sign. I need home, love and affection. But for almost five months nothing of the sort have I had. I became aware of a friend of ours liking me more than he should of. So I said to him '**** you are my friend and I love you as my friend but this is wrong I am still with **** (my husband). He agreed and I suggested we didn't see each other for a few weeks which he agreed to. But then I got drunk with my best friend and invited him round, he came and later as he was leaving I kissed him! I couldn't believe I had done that so arranged to see him the next evening to talk about it and say it wouldn't ever happen again. We went to McDonalds to talk and we both agreed it was wrong. I then said I'd drop him home but wanted to go sort my dogs and cats out first as we were close. So he came with me and I found one of my cats had been run over but was still alive! I had to ask him to drive me to the emergency vet which he did. I had to have him put to sleep. We then went and buried him in the woods late at night. I was very upset as you can imagine. This friend I talk about has supported me all the way through this episode. But on Wednesday we didn't text, call or see each other at all.

Thursday I got a call to say my husband was missing and went home to find him there with another patient!! I know my husband can be violent when ill but I knew nothing of the other patient. I called the police as both on a section and the risk to myself. My husband was saying 'do you want me to punch your face in?' I was angry, not numb just angry. The police picked them up and I then became upset as I can't see a future with him anymore. As my best friend was in bed I called my other friend and went to his. He cuddled me that's all and made me a cup of tea and I kissed him again! I then went to my best friend’s house and slept at hers. In the morning I text him (my friend) asking where he was working today he was 5 mins from me so I asked him to pop in for a cup of tea. He came round had tea and hugged me again then went back to work. I carried on with my day then last night went home had a shower went round to his and slept with him. It was good I loved it and I don't feel guilty why? I'm not sure but I know is bad and I shouldn't of done it. I have been faithful for 10yrs up until now. Usually it's the person with bipolar having a fling/affair but his time it's me! And it's unheard of. I don't know what to do; it may/may not happen again. I would never tell my husband either.

On Saturday I spoke with my husband on the phone to say i still felt numb. His reply was "That's ok, they all leave me in the end, except for ******, she never left me and she's fertile" This as you can imagine seen me plummeting into depression and tears all day. So I called the ward and told them and asked that he is not to contact me until I say it's ok to do so.

 

Sorry for the rant but needed to tell the whole story so you can see the whole picture.

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20Mar/140

Our Bipolar story

Posted by Anonymous

Hello everyone. This is my and my partner's story. I don't know why I feel the need to pubish it as I 've never written anything on the internet before, but I do. I guess we all need to know we are not alone in this.

We are both 43 and have known each other since high school. we were friends then and there was the attraction but the timing was always bad. Then we lost contact for 14 years during which we both got married, had children and got divorced. We met again 3 years ago, when he came back from the UK where he lived all those years, and we thought it was fate for us to finally be together. We were very happy for a while and very hopeful for our future as we had both been through a lot. We really thought we had found our soul mate and that we were not going to be alone again. We had a year of long distance relationship (although he was divorced for 4 years he was still living at the same house as his ex-his house-for the children's sake who were still very young) during which we found we were very compatible when we were together. We also spoke on the phone daily and, even from the phone, he was the best partner and the most supportive one a woman can have. He finally decided to leave that house, went to his sister's and started looking for a new job. He used to have a very high-profile job in a big pharmaceutical company, which he had lost- he said because of the divorce. We were making plans that he would find another job and that if things went well between us I would move there with my son. I am a teacher and I liked the challenge as well as the opportunities this opened up for my teenager son and my son liked the idea too. It seems so far fetched now. During my partner's stay at his sister's he was not well (slept all the time, drank) so decided to leave and come back to his parents home and continue looking for a job. I was happy to have him near me but soon he started being someone completely different to the person I thought I was with. Had I not known him since we were 16, I would have left him right away.

He started being irrational, irritable he had terrible mood changes, slept a lot, drank, talked non stop, did not have sex with me, did not do any of the normal things people who love life and each other do, and very often blamed me for several things. In the beginning I was in shock! I couldn't talk to anyone as all my friends had told me from the beginning not to rush things but I hadn't listened. In addition, I couldn't communicate with his parents as he always had something against them to say, which i believed. I tried many times to talk to him but he always said I shouldn't push him and he always minimised things, blamed his insomnia and his ex for not letting him see the children as well as his stress for not being able to find a job. I kept believing him. I kept inviting him to my home or driving an hour to visit him, spending my energy, my time, my money and my patience for him. He kept talking irrationally, telling me lies which I didn't know they were lies then, like he used to be with the doctors without borders, that he had won the trial about a jod he once had had, a second for him being able to visit his children freely e.t.c. There was always a problem or some big happy news which he delivered without batting an eyelid. I believed him or, in the cases I didn't, blamed the stress and the depression.

Lots of times I tried to suggest he had depression but he always denied it. All the problems a person thinks that are normal after a divorce, or they are just baggage you have to accept, became even bigger and harder to deal with. things deteriorated fast: a long episode of what i now know is a mixed state began. When I came home from school I feared who I was going to find, my sweet, caring partner or this cruel stranger who abused me in all kinds of ways? In between the bad times he briefly was himself and that was when i fell in love with him all over again, thought we were going to beat this illness. Also that was when I tried to talk to him, and he listened, really did, but was unable to do anything. Finally, he conceded to going to see a psychologist, who then diagnosed major depression and suggested seeing a psychiatrist as well so as to subscribe antidepressants. None of these went well, Actually it was all a disaster. My partner didn't take the meds properly, destroyed the treatment many times by drinking alcohol and didn't tell the therapist the truth of what he was really experiencing. I was always so angry with him, so bitter he didn't turn out to be the person he had promised to be. When he was well he apologised but didn't really talk about what he had said and done and didnt really admit to the abuse, the grandiose plans, the lying, his incapability to have sex, nothing. When, in spring, the therapist said he didn't want to treat him any longer (he kept missing sessions, lying, he really was not commited to it), I was devastated. That was when I realised there was something more in this depression, but by then I was depressed myself and couldn't handle any of this. I went on medication, forbade my partner to come to my home again -finally I saw I had to protect my son and myself- and tried to regain control of my life.

Many people who make all the right choices in life would wonder why do you stay with a person so long if things are so bad, but I believe that most of you readers understand. You see the bipolar as a real person, as someone who does not want to be ill but who cannot help it. We see what is underneath the layers of the illness, the personality of the patient which does not vanish. We love that person and we know they have little responsibility for their decisions. I myself had one additional motive to hang in there, I had not pushed my sister hard enough to see a doctor on time so she dieds

 

All this time his parents were on denial. They thought I was overreacting and that he only needed to pull himself together and find a job(!). As I found out later, that was also what the psychiatrist thought(!)  But my partner started doing really well after quiting therapy, he took his meds properly and stopped drinking. He supported me in my depression, told me everyday that it was all going to be alright and he made real effort to be normal in the everyday sense. Me, in my depression, felt a little optimism, felt that since he was taking his meds and a psychiatrist was monitoring his progress, it would all go well. But that was when the clear episodes began. He has has had 4 since June, and , although in between the depression seems better, the episodes are more defined. I had looked bipolar on the netr many times before but the word euphoria always confused me, and since his episodes are mixed, they didn't seem like mania or hypomania. The psychiatrist had diagnosed depressionso, who was I do defy him. But after a 3 week episode at christmas which emotionally sent us back a year I decided to take action. I visited the psychiatrist behind my partner's back

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7Mar/142

I just need advise, and to know I’m not the only one

Posted by katz10

I have been with my husband for 11 yrs.  I have a 15 yr old daughter that is not his.  My husband is bipolar/schizophrenic.  He goes to his psychiatrist and lies.  Says he's taking his meds but they don't work.  He doesn't take his medication, or he picks and chooses what he wants to take.  He is more emotionally abusive towards me then physically.  He gets extremely angry with me if I go out with my sister.  What I mean by go out I mean out to dinner.  That was the latest.  He hates when I am not home and it always turns into a mean and nasty fight.  He is disabled and spends most of his time in the house.  He feels I don't care about our marriage anymore.  And to tell you the truth I don't know how I feel about it.  All the years of the fighting, screaming, arguing, keeping me up at night with music or screaming at me, the cheating before we were married and having a child with the woman, the nasty name calling, I am numb.  I have always thought he has hated me.  Last year he stayed on his meds for a stretch, and quit drinking.  But I didn't try at our marriage.  I don't know why.  Maybe cause I tried for 10 yrs, and maybe I have given up.  I'm sad.  i can't go out and spend time with my friends or family.  If I do I know there will be backlash from it.  I don't think this is how a marriage should be.  I am so lost.  He is so mean.  I don't know and never knew how to handle him.  What do I do? How do I make this better? Do I stay or go?  If I go, I loose my house, and have no where to go.  And then what happens to him?  I suffer from anxiety which I never had until a year after I was with him.  I feel this is torture.  I feel if I leave I am a failure.  He tracks my every move.  If I am out of the house even to go to work the phone is ringing at exactly 5:00.  And he stays on the phone with me until i pull in the driveway.  Sometimes I wish I didn't have a cell phone.  He thinks I cheat on him. ( never had I ever cheated on him).  I also don't have sex with him anymore, I don't know why. I have never given him a reason not to trust me.  But yet he has never trusted me.  I think tonight he has locked me out of the bedroom so I can't sleep in there.  I won't be able to get my stuff to get ready for work in the morning.   Please someone must have some kind of advice that can help me.

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18Feb/143

Don’t know what to do

Posted by ineedsleep

When I got engaged to my husband I didn't know he had bi polar, when I moved in with him I still didn't know. He was going through a "normal" phase and was very attentive and sweet, if a little lethargic at times.  once I moved in he experienced a high, he was living on 1 hours sleep a night, ereatic behaviour, bought a car he couldn't afford. This lasted around 6 months and I coped with it because I lived him. 1 week before we got married I found out he'd been arrested and jailed a number of years ago for arson very early on in his diagnosis. Again I coped And we got married. We've been married for 3 months and his behaviour is increasingly worrying. He has altercations with people on the street if they park in his space on the road. He shouts at me all the time. I work as a teacher and it takes me 1 hour each way to get to work. He works from home but refuses to move. I'm usually tired when I get home from my 12 hour day including driving. He complains because he doesn't see anyone (he can't even hold down a temporary job), but refuses to go to places on his own, e.g. Church (which I've never been into but I go for him).

 

I do love my husband but he is very hard to live with. He feels because he doesn't work he is worthless. I try to encourage him but he doesn't listen. Tonight I'm at the end of my sanity. He's kept me awake for 3 hours putting the tv I loud, playing games on his phone, telling me to leave (it's 3:30am). I just want someone to read this and tell me I'm nit alone. I want children but query about him looking after them whole I'm at work Boeing the only breadwinner.

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29Jul/131

Looking for Relief

Posted by Sayyadina

I wasn't sure where else to turn, but my frustration level is at an all time high.  My husband is a wonderful man, but his childhood was terrible, and through a series of terrible things happening to him over the years he became incredibly anti-social.  On top of that, he's probably suffered from bi-polar disorder since his early twenties.  Unfortunately, even though he was in counseling for all the lousy stuff in his past, no one made the connection until about a year and a half ago.

He was fired from his job for a manic episode three years ago, and although I suspected it was something...  I hoped it would blow over, so I ignored it.  Then about a year and a half ago he wanted to try going to school, but being socially anxious, I pushed him into asking his GP from some social anxiety meds.  A few weeks later he was taken away by the police and hospitalized for a severe manic episode.  He spent a couple of days in the local mental hospital and was released by the courts, but he has struggled, daily, with this since.  To top it off, his family looks at this whole thing like a pull yourself up by the boot straps and get over it kind of situation, making him feel guilty about not being able to walk this off.  It's awful.

I think he's Bipolar II, but he is very close to the breast about this, finding the diagnosis and entire experience mortifying.  He has low self-esteem, and is a very negative person.  Thankfully he's never been all that rude or mean to me (even at his worst he was good to me), but he seems to resent (if not hate) the rest of humanity, and it's like pulling teeth to convince him that the world is not out to get him.  He's been very paranoid, too, and this seems to get worse with mania.  The only silver-lining is that he is so devoted to me.  I told him, as soon as he got the diagnosis, that if he ever didn't take his meds I'd leave him.  Period.  I've heard people don't like to take their meds with this, and I am NOT putting up with that mess again if I can help it.  I often double-check with him to make sure he takes them.  I hate to have him think I don't trust him, but I definitely don't trust this disease.  But, the meds do affect his sex drive, and make him tired, and have other cruddy side effects that make me feel pretty bad for him.

Now, to top everything off, as things are finally starting to even out for us (I may have a decent teaching position coming my way *fingers crossed*), to the point where he can handle life somewhat, he just gets back from a visit with a new GP (he can barely maintain a relationship with a doctor--he often thinks they are judging him or messing with him in some way, this is very annoying--it took me years to convince him to get this one), and they say a cyst he has needs an ultrasound.  He goes home, looks at WedMD, and convinces himself he has stage 3 testicular cancer.

Now what?  I try so hard to be positive, but he just doesn't respond it and often angrily rebukes me when I try to spin things in that way.  He thinks he's gonna die, and if it is cancer, I don't think he'll fight all that hard to stay alive since he seems to hate life so much.  He's so beaten down by his childhood, terrible losses in his young adult life, and even the bad luck that we have had (lost jobs on his part, and a diagnosis of rheumatoid arthritis on mine) that I think this would just cause him to curl up and waste away--he pretty much said as much, too.  I'm not sure I could take losing him.  I'm begging him to be positive, patient (considering we haven't heard a diagnosis of anything yet), and fight, but it falls on deaf ears.  And no matter how things turn out, he'll probably be the house spouse when (if) we can ever have kids (being that he can't hold down a job), but I'm afraid that something will happen.  What should I do?  Or think?  I love him so very much, but I'm so worn down.

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29Jul/135

Do You Ever Begin To Question Your Own Sanity?

I'm a 33 year old wife of a bipolar husband; and I'm to the point in my 10 year marriage, where I am beginning to question my own sanity.

 

My husband comes from a family who's church and heavy Pentecostal Evangelism can be construed as more of a cult than a religion... they're a bit over the top. Women are 2nd class citizens, they speak in tongues and jump around... I'm Catholic, Hispanic and 4 years older and that didn't go over well at all. They've actually told people they think I'm demon possessed. Getting the picture? There's been a lot of abuse in this family, including incest and rape of my husband for practically all of his childhood by his brother who's nearly 8 years older than him with no intervention by the parents. His father and this older brother have both been physically violent with me (the older brother has been diagnosed as bipolar I and his only treatment is prayer and I suspect their dad is also Bipolar)... so there's a lot of issues as it is. Despite all of these things, my husband and I were madly in love and determined to be together no matter what. In the beginning, things were great. Looking back I can see the red flags that something wasn't quite right with him though. He always goes back to this family for more abuse. He can't seem to realize these are people who don't have his best interests at heart. He takes what they say as gospel no matter how outlandish it is, he allows them to turn him against me and scapegoat me for pretty much everything. They feed into his illness knowing exactly what they are doing. They've completely disowned him now with the exception of calling him at work and the occasional text only if they think they might get him on a plane and back to Florida with them. They've actually told him they won't do anything for him until he calls from from the actual airport so they are sure he's leaving me and our children.  They have nothing to do with our 2 children at all (they did with our 10 year old son when he was a baby but they sort of abandoned him around 3 years old and have never met our 3 year old daughter) and despite my many attempts to explain his illness to them and try and open the lines of communication between myself and them for the sake of our family... they push on derailing my husband's treatment any way they can. They don't even dignify "me" with a response. They know my husband is bipolar, before his diagnosis his mother told me he had some learning and mental issues but that they never sought treatment because they thought Jesus and prayer would heal him. One thing they are very good at is playing with his mind because they know all the right buttons to push.

 

So this should set the scene a bit.

 

About 4 years ago... my husband pretty much went totally bipolar and had his first real manic/depressive cycle. I'm not sure exactly what triggered it... but he was on unemployment at the time and spending a lot of time online looking at conspiracy theory stuff. He started reading Alex Jones's website and crap like that. When he got his next unemployment check, he immediately went and bought a rifle spending the entire check on this rifle because he thought FEMA was going to be coming for us with buses, to take us to concentration camps and kill us all. He literally got to the point where he saw a military vehicle, and jumped out of our truck while it was going about 25-30 mph and rolled into the ditch all vigilante style. This vigilante type attitude carries over into our marriage too. Suddenly I'm the enemy. The worst thing that's ever happened to him. It's my fault his family is the way they are. I've ruined his life. I'm keeping them from being around the kids. I dragged him out to Arizona from Florida against his will to isolate and trap him. He says some of the meanest most disrespectful things you can imagine. He also gets hyper religious too... but it's not normal religious stuff. He's found the "Alex Jones" of religion. His name is "Nicklaus Arthur". He believes that our social security numbers are a mark of the beast, and that we shouldn't have car insurance or registration or SS cards because it's all part of "The Beast System". Polygamy is part of God's law, Catholics are satanists, women are lower than dogs... etc. There's also a pornography/masturbation/bisexuality/infidelity issue too.

 

This is my life when he is manic.

 

My husband went through a series of bad doctors but finally found one that was more than just a drug pusher who actually diagnosed him as bipolar. She's very good. She started him on the max dose of lithium XR 1200 mg a day. My husband at first was very ill from the meds but committed to our marriage and family and he pushed through it. It took him about 2 months of being on the lithium to finally feel normal again. He stayed on it for about 6 months and it was just like the beginning of our marriage. I cry just thinking about how awesome things were between us when he was on the medicine. He also saw his family for what they were. I'm not sure how much contact he had with them during the time he was on the Lithium, but I can tell you it was considerably less and he was much happier and more well balanced for it. But then they started calling him at work and he told them he was on medication and how well he was doing etc. That same week his back flared up and hurt so bad that the only medication that would make it better (NSAIDS) he couldn't take with Lithium. His back injury is legitimate, he's got serious issues with it but yeah, he had to quit cold turkey when he got his next flare up. Before the flare up though, I noticed he was manic for a few days. I saw him taking his medication but I think the recent contact with his family again, sort of derailed the progress he made. His back is feeling better now (its been about 6 weeks) but he's not gotten back on the Lithium or even seen his doctor about potentially getting a different medication that won't interfere with the NSAIDS he needs to take. He's made 2 appointments but cancelled them both. It took me 4 years of doctors and dealing with him in his manic rapid cycling states just to get him to the point where he finally was diagnosed and treated... and he's so unwilling to go back now. I've bought herbal things to help... Valerian root, GABA, passion flower extract, Gotu Kola, vitamins and omegas... and he is taking them... and they sorta of helped in the beginning when he first got off of the Lithium but now it's getting almost as bad as it was before.  His actual diagnosis is Bipolar N.O.S. because he rapid cycles so much. He can go from manic to depressed 20 times in a day.... then stay manic for a few days, or a few weeks.... and the worst he was manic for 4 months straight directly before getting on the Lithium. Today, he's been totally manic for about 2 weeks. Things are pretty bad. Which brings me back to the title of my post....

 

......Do YOU ever begin to question your own sanity?

 

I know I sure am.

 

I knew his family was REALLY dysfunctional before I married him. I've spend the last 4 years of our marriage living pretty much in hell. The only time I haven't cried every single day is when he was ON the Lithium. I didn't cry once during that time. But what does that say about me? That my husband has to be medicated in order for ME to be okay? He loves to put this all on me, and I have to admit, I'm starting to wonder if it really is me. Why would I stay in a marriage like this for so long, exposing my kids to this behavior? I've been to doctors and psychiatrists... the only thing they can find wrong with me is that I have a serious panic disorder. I didn't have this disorder before 4 years ago. I am strong enough however to manage it with no medication and I have not had a full blown panic attack in nearly 4 years... but I still wonder. What am I still doing here? Regardless of who is right, who is wrong, who's mentally ill or not the feeling in my heart is a bad one. I'm miserable MOST of the time because he's not medicated MOST of the time. I must be insane to have not left yet.

 

How do you know when it is time to walk away?

 

 

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8Jul/132

Heart Broken

Posted by lvatchr

My husband and I have been married for 7 1/2 years. (we do not have children).  He was diagnosed with bi-polar disorder before we were married and I failed to do a lot of research on it before we got married.  He has had 3 major manic episodes since we have been married.  All 3 caused hospitalization.  The first one was minor (4 day stay).  The 2nd one was major (2 week+ hospital stay + court).  He was placed in treatment by the police in November 2011 and released in early December 2011.  Currently (the last 2-3 weeks) he has been manic and the mania is steadily increasing.  He missed a few days on his meds and is on the generic form of Depakote and his doctor insists that does not work the same for him.  His doctor just called in a script for Seroquel in addition to Depakote.  I am not sure how I am going to get him to take these meds since he is not thrilled about the three he takes now and this would be adding 3 more per day.  I am praying and hoping like never before that he will remain out of the hospital if these extra meds help him. I  am   He hasn't been sleeping (3-4 hours if anything at all).  This past Wednesday he woke me up in the early AM and demanded my wedding ring and told me we were getting a divorce.  He threatens me with divorce often.  Just like every other time, he comes back a few hours later apologizing and saying how much he loves me.  On Thursday evening he took off to go up north to where his parents have a place about 4 1/2 hours from our home.  I had mixed feelings as I didn't want him being alone but I couldn't stand him calling me names and the yelling.  He does these crazy things with his hands while he is driving, shouts out the window to other motorists and randomly stops and then steps hard on the accelerator.  He does these weird things with his hands and arms like twisting them about.  He makes these random guttural voices almost like tourette's syndrome but he can control them if he wants to.  He rarely works so I am responsible for the majority of the bills.  He also smokes marijuana daily and that seems to help him stay calm.  Since his mania has started he rarely smokes at all and drinks alcohol instead to add to his mania.  Many people often ask me why I just don't leave.  There are a few reasons:  1.  I believe marriage is for better or worse and in sickness and in health.  2.  More importantly he is a sweet, loving man when his illness is not controlling him.  He picks me flowers, writes me nice notes for no reason, helps me with school work, helps my parents out when they need something the list goes on.  Yesterday he called me from up north and I could tell he was still manic by the way he was talking. He then told me that he may not come home until Monday.  What if he never comes home at all?   Today he has not called at all however my father-in-law is up there with him (my in-laws are extremely helpful and educated with his mental illness). My father-in-law is up there because last night one of his friends called to tell me he was worried about Mark being manic again (this friend saw it once before). I lack self-esteem and take everything personally.  He says the cruelest, ugliest things to me and I cry. His bad moods and temper tantrums make me cry and embarrass me if they happen around people.  I am not sure if it is because  he really wants a divorce or that he won't come back to the way he was.  I am afraid these mood changes will make him decide he doesn't need me in his life anymore.  I want to believe he has not cheated on me and have no signs that he ever has but I know hyper-sexuality is part of this horrible illness so I am not sure if he was or will.  He has gone on massive spending sprees and I have caught him masturbating often at various times throughout the day.  I guess that is better than cheating.  Has anyone felt like this?  Am I making myself sick for no reason or do I have a legitimate concern that he will divorce me?  I haven't gotten out of bed much the last two days.  I have four wonderful friends that are supportive but they have no idea what it is like to be married to bipolar.  My mother-in-law tells me that this is the illness talking not my husband.  I apologize for the length of this letter but I am asking for any help or support or words of encouragement that I can get.  Maybe I am not the only one that gets treated like this through manic episodes.  Any thoughts or help that you could give me would be more appreciated than you will never know.

Filed under: Our Thoughts 2 Comments
29May/133

Frustrated

Posted by sse36

My husband and I have been together for six years.  We have 3 beautiful children together and I had two before we met.  All five of the children have various special needs or disabilities.

My husband was diagnosed as bipolar just after our son was born.  At the time he went from being the most wonderful husband to being verbally and physically abusive and having an affair.  The doctors have diagnosed him as rapid cycling, but this was based on 1 week of observation.  I see longer cycles when I look back over the past six years.  These cycles start with things being wonderful and us getting along great and end months later with him being abusive and usually having an affair and leaving.  He blames me.  He has said that I won't help him manage his triggers or that I am the one who is crazy.  He has accused me of affairs (even with my therapist), and of intentionally causing him to get worse.  I try so hard to be a good wife and mother.  The children take up a lot of my time.  I do my best to stay organized and manage my time wisely, even though these are things I have struggled with all my life.  I feel like I have to choose between taking care of him and taking care of the kids.  I have tried so many times to explain to him that I can not do everything and that he is going to have to help me manage his triggers, even though he works hard every day at his job.  I feel so frustrated.  It might not be so bad if he would talk to me.  Tell me how he feels or what is bothering him, but he won't.  He says after six years, if I can't figure it out, then I am stupid.  I am definitely not stupid.  I am also not perfect, nor am I a super human.  I can not do everything myself and I need more than ten or fifteen minutes help a day from him.  Until I can figure out how to change things, I go on everyday doing the best I can and spinning around on this merry go round.

Filed under: Our Thoughts 3 Comments
18Mar/133

need support.

Posted by zannab

It is so nice to know that others are dealing with the things I am.

I have been with my spouse for four years. When I met him he was a heavy "social" drinker so I really wasn't aware of the problems hiding behind the alcohol. About six months after we got together, he stopped drinking and was soon diagnosed with bipolar disorder and ptsd. He was prescribed medication and things were better for a while. He soon developed a severe problem with prescription pills and was taking six times his recommended dose a day. I knew something was wrong but he did his best to hide it from me. I eventually found out, well after our first child was born. He lost every job he had and finally ended up in rehab. When he came home, he confined his medication ( no benzos this time) and things were great. On thanksgiving he decided to go cold turkey off his lithium, which he had been on for two years. It has been nothing but headaches since. He has been rapid cycling and entering periods of depression that last for weeks. He barely shows any emotion. I don't even feel like he's really here when he's home. I am lonely and have taken on all of our stress. He has a good job and I work 45 hours a week (nights) to help relieve his stress about money. The only time he does show emotion is when he is angry and he is becoming hostile and violent. Everyday I take care of our daughter by myself, clean the house, run our errands, make him dinner and then work until 2 am. I don't mind doing these things, but I am so tired of getting nothing in return. All he does is sleep. He is refusing to go back on medication. He can't see past his needs and tells me that I'm crazy, that his bipolar is under control. I feel so detached from him and am now finding it hard to look back on better days. I feel awful. He asks what he can do to make it better and I can't even tell him what he can do. I know he is ill and I know that he has a chemical imbalance that makes it hard for him to experience emotion. He tells me that I should leave him and then when he's manic starts accusing me of cheating and plotting to take our daughter away. I do not want her to grow up in this environment but I feel like I am fighting a losing battle.

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18Mar/132

Hanging on by a thread.

Posted by Fergie09

My husband was just diagnosed. I feel a bit of relief that I now know what the problem is. I'm not sure if he'll get the meds. He thinks it's a governmental conspiracy that if he goes to a psychiatrist someone will come and confiscate his arsenal of guns. sweet, huh?

We are now on our 3rd counselor, and I'm grateful that she was able to identify the problem. I thought I was losing my mind. The rages, the blame, the lying, the impulsive spending. From what I understand, hyper sexuality is an issue, but my husband has zero interest in sex. Their is no communication, it's like talking to an alien. His latest kick is that my career is ruining my life. The people I work with are f'ing up my head. I actually believed I was not as nice as he needed me to be. The real issue is he wants to relocate to the middle of Missouri to pursue his hunting hobby. He has been activlely looking at properties. Even though my career is pretty far away from Missouri and provides half our income and ALL of our benefits
I believe that God can heal all and have refused to leave despite several pros advice. My biggest concern is for my children. This is their stepfather, and they are crazy about him. Their own father is hiding from the law for counterfeiting. I have some picker! My son Ryan is about to graduate from college and is happy to be spending some time with us between school and work. He is 26 and struggles with PTSD from a very volatile deployment. Do I tell him? I am somewhat afraid. Mostly of these guns that are all over the house and my husbands obsession with weapons and hunting.

I'm never sure what will set him off.

Afraid to leave, afraid to stay.

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