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  Posted to group - Bipolar/personality disorder/alcoholic spouses    <<Previous    Next>>

dealing with bipolar spouse?

Anyone dealing with bp spouse? How did you manage to avoid a break up?

by libelle   6 Posts 
Posted on 6/27/2011 9:05 AM
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Tags: bipolar , bp , bipolar disorder ,
bipolar spouse

Answers for "dealing with bipolar spouse?"  (10) (You must be logged in to answer)

My second marriage of 20 years was to a bipolar woman that refused to take medication.  I live in a very abusive relationship and it has affected my current marriage.  I believe that the time I spent in my previous marriage affected me physically and mentally.  I'm not sure how it happend but I was taking it out on my wife and now it is too late.  I have forgiven my exwife but it hurts me to know that my current wife left and will not return.
by JerryD   7 Posts
Posted on 9/26/2013 1:59 PM

Divorcing someone with mental issues can be extremely challenging. 

On the one hand, you feel like if this were cancer or diabetes and you were thinking of leaving, what a cad you would be. 

On the other hand, the Catholic church sees mental illness in a spouse to be a justifiable reason for annulment - as in, the person is not in the proper state of mind to execute the terms of the contract of marriage.

I'm not Catholic, but it made me feel better about leaving my marriage to an increasingly unstable person. People whose lifework is to consider the ethics and the moral thing to do in the stickiest of life's situations said it's "ok if you feel bereft of a partner and make it official." 

Whatever you decide, research all avenues available to you and your spouse.
by stuckette   622 Posts
Posted on 8/26/2012 12:29 PM

A bipolar spouse is very hard to live with. I've been married to one for 23 years and its taken a real toll on on my emotional and mental well being. She has tried suicide many times and has caused finacial issues from spending money during manic phases. I stayed in the marrage to keep the family together and looking back it may have been a mistake. I have two kids that are in college now. She would also withhold sex. She would say stuff like if you do this and then we can have sex. I totally understand your question. I dont know how I managed for 23 years and now looking back I have a lot of resentment towards her. I know it is a disease just like someone with cancer. All I can say is get counseling and take care of yourself. I wish I had gotten counseling sooner.
by mntbiker56   5 Posts
Posted on 8/26/2012 8:55 AM

Wow, you all seem to be experts in bi-polar and being on medication. 

Bi-polar is caused by a chemical imbalance in the brain.  It is a disease, just like cancer, or diabetes.  The thing is that the person who has cancer or diabetes treats themselves to live full lives; the bi-polar person treats their illness so those around them are more comfortable.

by SmartNSexy   72 Posts
Posted on 8/11/2011 8:18 PM

thank you so much for all your posts. its really hard to make someone realize that they help help beyond the normal support a spouse can offer. sometimes it hurts their pride. im still trying to find a way to talk to him without offending him. im sorta scared of how he might react.... anyway thanks again for your comments and experiences shared!
by libelle   6 Posts
Posted on 8/11/2011 8:01 PM

I have been married to someone with Bipolar for almost 19 years.  So many ups and downs and suicide thoughts/attempts.  My best advice is to keep him talking and on his medication.  I have been patient and encouraging the entire time.  6 years ago, he had an affair that ended our marriage.  I knew something was wrong and got him into a doctor and a therapist.  He was diagnosed as Bipolar and we remarried 6 months later.  Now I find out that it has been going on with 47 different women for 18 years.  I tell you this to be careful as hypersexuality is huge in Bipolar.  I could always tell when he was cycling as he would be hypersexual or wanting to be alone and live alone without the kids or I.  You can definitely have a happy successful marriage with someone with Bipolar but it takes a lot of work and you have to learn how to read them.  At the first sign of trouble/change get into the Psychiatrist.
by whatiswrongwithme   18 Posts
Posted on 6/27/2011 9:47 PM

I've been living w/early onset bi-polar since I was 7 years old. I was able to control my actions to some extent w/out medicines.....early onset bi-polar was unheard of back in those days. However, I did not get the intense manics, they call it hypo manic these days, so the urge to act out was not as strong.

That being said, I am now medicated and have been for the last 6 years and stbx has said it makes a world of difference in me. I have stayed on the meds because even I could tell the difference after 3 months. What scared me was the intense black moods I would get into and the hair trigger anger. I was never violent, but I was not much fun to be around either.

And I know my current decision to initiate divorce is not the result of a manic phase. My counselor, doctors, and I have my meds pretty well stabilized, so I know I am thinking clearly. So I agree w/the others, the best course of action is meds and a counselor/psychiatrist that understands the dis-order.
by pasivelybeat   161 Posts
Posted on 6/27/2011 9:06 PM

Most bipolar people who go off their meds do it in an attempt to reclaim their manic phases.  They feel so creative, so high, so intense while manic that normal everyday life on meds is boring for them.  They need to make a commitment that they, too, can live a "normal" life...because that's how their relationships can be saved. 

I don't think I could live with anyone who had serious mental illness and wasn't committed to taking meds as prescribed and seeing a therapist.  Like Julie said, it's too dangerous.
by Iam   7272 Posts
Posted on 6/27/2011 6:20 PM

I absolutely, wholeheartedly support my ex-sister-in-law's decision, and would have made the same one if I was in her shoes.

Good luck! We're here for you.
by JulieG   5763 Posts
Posted on 6/27/2011 5:47 PM

I have a cousin who was diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder after years of misdiagnosis.

The incident that finally led to the correct diagnosis was him carving himself up with one of his Mom's kitchen knives when his wife and son were downstairs, then running downstairs with blood flying everywhere. I cannot even try to imagine the scene. He was involuntarily committed to a psych ward, where the folks there unraveled it - before that, he'd been diagnosed with Lyme disease that was the explanation for the depressive episodes, and had been to rehab twice (that I know of) because he decided to "medicate" himself with the help of the internet.

When he decided to go off his meds because he wsn't interested in having his kidneys fail as a possible result of the meds, and stopped seeing a counselor because that wasn't doing much for him, his wife packed up and left him - she was not about to go through the "horror show" again.

They divorced, and as he was on disability and she was the primary breadwinner, he had custody of the kids and she had visitation. The last weekend that she had the kids, he was found dead in his home by his brother. I don't know what the coroner found.

Bipolar Disorder can be managed with meds, and anyone taking psychotropic meds needs to be in counseling, as well as under the care of a psychiatrist experienced in medication management. That's really the best way to deal with it. If that's not happening, the person who has the mental illness is tap dancing in a mine field - and should they cause one of those mines to go off, anyone close to them will be part of the collateral damage. Those close to the person, even if they are on meds and going to therapy, will have challenges that only those in similar situations truly understand, so significant others (spouse, close family members and friends) can benefit from a support group for them as well as counseling during especially trying times.
by JulieG   5763 Posts
Posted on 6/27/2011 5:46 PM

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