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

7Mar/140

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/141

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.

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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.

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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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29Jan/135

Reached the end of the line

Posted by calimom07

I have been married to a bi-polar spouse for 13 years.  He was diagnosed 18 months ago and has been on medication and going to therapy ever since.  But despite those efforts, it is still a daily struggle.  The mania and depression continue, the outbursts, name calling, wild spending, lying, manipulation, guilt, silence, gambling, passive aggressiveness, sleeplessness, excuses, inactivity, depression, laziness, distance...it never ends.  Every day is a new cycle. I don't know which husband I am going to wake up next to.  The one I love with all my heart, or the one I hate, who has ripped my very soul to shreds and left for dead.  I am a shell of the person I was.  Our children have learned to cope, in ways they shouldn't have to. My oldest is angry, calls him lazy & mean.  My younger daughter defends him to a fault, loves him no matter what.  My son continues to withdraw, not knowing what to think or feel of this crazy mess.  And our poor baby, less than a year...has no idea what lies ahead. I have had to put her in daycare full time because he is unable or unwilling to care for her.

Now granted, as many of you know, its not all bad.  We hold on to those days that are good.  That's what keeps us going.  I love my husband dearly.  I know he loves his children and would lay down his life for them. Our kids are actually incredibly well adjusted, despite it all.  Straight A students, awards galore, favored by friends and parents.  There is love there, a lot of it.  But what sickens me, is how all of this affects them long term. The name calling, the bullying, teasing, explosive reaction to normal "kid stuff", them hearing the verbal abuse he dishes out to me... how can we make it stop?

To complicate things, I used to be a pretty good alcoholic.  I was what you call high functioning.  I have been blessed with an amazing career, such that I could support the family while my BP husband could stay home and tend the children. I got sober 18  months ago, during what I call our "Come to Jesus" moment.  He found out about a 1 night stand I had several years ago.  I got sober. He got on meds. We have been through a lot of pain over the years. Lots of therapy. I am shocked we are still together.  I've seen couples with fewer issues divorced all around us.

And yet, here I am.  At the end of the line. What was the last trigger?  He chose to gamble away $500 despite taking away all the cards etc.  He stole money from my account, went off to a casino who knows when, out of spite.  Because I am an f*ing whore. Out of spite because I leave him a chore list when I go to work, because without a list he will literally sleep and watch TV all day.  I am done. I called a divorce layer today.

Thank you for listening, its been very cathartic.  I hope my story can help others, somehow.

 

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15Jan/133

Is this the beginning of the end?

Posted by Lioness726

After 3 years or marriage and 9 years of relationship, the smoke and mirrors are finally starting to clear. I'll give it to him, he had me going for a while. I really believed that he was only an extremely "passionate" and "creative" person. That his lack of common sense or decency was due to his left brain thinking. I love my husband. I just wish I had known his diagnosis before we walked down the isle. At least I would have made an informed decision.

These last 3 years have been HELL. I've been abused, cheated, robbed, hated... to name a few. I thought it was just a drinking problem. I thought "if he just quits drinking it will all go back to normal". I know I am a good wife. "For better or worse" i said. Is he doing these things intentionally to push me away? Why would anyone treat the one they love like this? He tells me he cant be in the same room as me now. It must be another woman i think. He stays away from home. Comes in and out at all hours of the night. I have no evidence of adultery besides obscure text messages. When i confront him about it he sounds truthful. He says he's out on meetings... BIG opportunities that will change our lives forever. No more being broke- he will finally be able to take care of me like he always wanted to. 3 yrs later still nothing. No job, no income.

Now we have a baby. What to do?? I cant stand the stress anymore, it is making me literally sick to my stomach. I have chronic aches and pains everyday from all this uncertainty. I refuse to let our daughter witness any abuse in our household. I feel like I can no longer contain this fire that is constantly threatening my household. I don't want to leave my husband in the burning building that is his bipolar but im afraid it is going to consume us all.

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