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A manic life with Bibolar partner

Forum for significant others, family and friends of people with mental illness to discuss relevant issues they face.

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This is a support forum for the family, partners and friends of those with mental health issues. This forum is intended to be a safe place to discuss information, give and receive support and learn about all the issues related to being involved with a person with a disorder. Whilst it can be healthy to express various emotions, please remember to be respectful about the disorder itself. This is a place for constructive discussions, not a venting forum.

The issues experienced by the significant others of those with disorders cannot always be discussed in the other parts of the site in a way that does not trigger those with disorders. Moderators may therefore move threads from other forums into this one at their discretion.

A manic life with Bibolar partner

Postby TheOtherHalf » Mon Feb 10, 2014 1:52 pm

I am living as a 'significant other' to someone who has bipolar (my husband). Much of the time, though I feel very insignificant.

He was diagnosed years ago with rapid cycling depression but now, after having done lots of research and talked to a few people, I realise he must have bp. He admits it himself but has yet to do anything about it. He says he has seen psychs before who were no help. (he lied to them, telling them he was much better than he actually was - one of the psychs actually told him, he should come to work for them (he is very smart and lies very well about himself) This doc should be sued!

He is currently on the 'run' again, as he has done so many times in the past (about 50 times) He started a huge fight over nothing, absolutely nothing (I bought too many groceries according to him) he threatened me and our children and he refused to go, so I ordered him out of the house. He was dangerous, I was scared. His eyes had evil in them. He left quietly, seemingly uninterested and triumphant that he thought he was in the right (even though he knows what he did was shameful and wrong).

Now, days later, he talks of killing himself, he is ashamed, remorseful, admits how ill he is, says he doesn't want to take the drugs, and that he has coped so far, and that he will continue on his own, without me, that I don't care, etc. He's sleeping rough and/or with acquaintances. He doesn't work. He depends on me financially. Basically again, he is only thinking of himself - my feelings about our marriage and the years we have spent together, seem to mean nothing to him - that he can just walk out into the sunset.

My brain tells me to just get rid of him forever. He has brought so much pain to my home. But as many of you will no doubt agree, our bp spouses are loveable at least 1/2 the time, very lovable.

Below are some of the things he does - and has done - are these indicative of bipolar? Do you experience these things from your SO? Are they surmountable or should I just throw in the towel?

- used alcohol excessively up to 6 hrs per day every day - went to the bar at opening time, didn't come home till 4.00 in the afternoon - never seemed to appear 'drunk'. (he has now stopped this)
- eating sweets all the time?
-excessive eating
- not eating at all
- going to bed at 5.30pm saying he's tired
- getting up at 3.00am
- not sleeping all night, laying awake.
- walking for hours and hours, disappearing, (no clue what he does or where he goes)
- eyes change during bout of madness - uncaring, cold, steely - scary!
- argues constantly, must have last word, talks over me
- picks fights at drop of a hat, has grabbed my arm at times, hurting me.
- verbally abusive, slinging horrible insults and questioning my abilities as a mother
- personal insults of every variation
- hurls things across the room
- OCD type behaviour (cleaning cleaning cleaning)
- never admits he is wrong, always my fault
- life of the party when he is putting on his 'face' to others
- hates being in the company of my friends/family
- no self esteem/confidence
- depression runs in the family
- his family are in denial (they blame me) They also drink and are depressed.
- no real friends, just acquaintances
- no hobbies
- does not want to spend time as a family together/wants to stay home
- has to be in utter and complete control
- has no regard for my feelings - is never there for ME when things go wrong in my life
(tells me to pull myself together)
- won't talk on the phone after an argument - he just disappears and sends insulting
texts full of threats he is leaving, etc. (always comes back)

and so much more.

Every two weeks like clockwork, he goes into an 'episode', he creates a fight, storms out or I throw him out. His words cut through me like a knife, he hurls anything and everything he can to make himself appear right. He has triggers, I know what they are, but he doesn't seem to. Maybe he does though, and he just can't control himself.

I know I am not alone, I just would be very appreciative of some advice. He's not getting better. When he was younger, he could cope better, but as he gets older, he is more prone to his moods. He can't cover them up anymore. I can't deal with much more and am seriously thinking of filing for divorce to protect my family. I can't make him get help and i don't trust him to get it without me. I can't go in the doctors office with him, so I can't ever be sure that he is doing something for real in terms of seeking help. I don't trust him. I desperately want to help him and to save our marriage, but it seems i can't do right for doing wrong.
thanks for reading.
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Re: A manic life with Bibolar partner

Postby Otter » Mon Feb 10, 2014 2:27 pm

My goodness! Your post seems exactly like what a friend of mine is going through now, with her daughter, who was diagnosed Borderline Personality Disorder. Her daughter is in her mis twenties and out of control. She refuses to take medication.

My friend is exhausted and frightened. She and I were talking recently and I think she is going to tell her daughter that she has to take her medication in front her or leave the house. I thought this was a good place to start. Maybe with medication her daughter will be able to reflect on her illness and see that her life can be a lot better with it.

It's a hard thing for my friend to do, tough love, but without some change it is going to burn out, and not in a good way.

Good luck with yours, I am sorry you and your children have to endure this.

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Re: A manic life with Bibolar partner

Postby tazinhoover » Tue Apr 15, 2014 10:31 pm

So much of that sounds like my life too. We have been married for over 20 years. The first ten were pretty volatile like you describe....and we did split up for about 6 weeks at the 8 year mark. I went to Alanon. It truly gave me some tools to help me take better care of myself, my daughter and to set some boundaries for unacceptable behavior as well as safety. I can only share what has helped me, may not work for others. I quit trying to have a rational conversation with an irrational person, realizing it is pointless to try to make them understand when they are in that "not normal" phase - either way, up or down. I let him take responsibility for his drinking and other odd behaviors. No excuses to family and friends.... just let him deal with it. I have my own bank account - my husband goes out and spends money on the craziest things on the manic days. We have 5 snowmobiles and we live in Alabama - for example. I do not argue with him. I do not criticize or point out his wrongs - as much as possible..... that is. I try to just let him be when he is manic, let him take responsibility for his drinking binges, whatever other crazy stuff he does. By not condemning him for it, he has started to call me when he shouldn't drive or at least just stay put. He will at least text me now and say he is too messed up to drive. If he doesn't get up and go to work till noon, I just let him sleep and let him explain it to whoever may be looking for him. If he gets up at 3 a.m. - I just try to find a quiet place in the house to sleep and let him be. Life is just much easier when I try to just take care of myself and in earlier years - my daughter too. He may be sick, but he is an adult. They are aware that help is available. If there is still some rational person in there at the normal moments.... by not reacting to their crazy, it gives them the opportunity to see it for themselves a little - can't be mad at you if you don't play along. I totally get the getting mad about groceries type thing, not much you can do about those times other than to say yes, you are right, I won't do it again - whether that makes any sense in the real world or not - what does it hurt to just say what they want to hear? I love my husband. He may never get any better. He may never be ok with taking meds. I have accepted that this may be our life forever. I will be there and love the normal days and I won't leave him unless it becomes unsafe for me or he does something beyond what I know I can live with. That is a choice only you can make. You are the only person who has control over your life and your feelings. You have to do what is best for you and your children. I found that I needed support and help for MY mental health too... counseling is not just for them. I also laugh at some of the stuff now... and try to make him laugh too.... Oh sure, doesn't everyone have 5 snowmobiles? Why of course I am up at 3a.m. there was a Law and Order marathon on I just had to watch..... well, you slept through Christmas, so at least you didn't have to deal with cousin Eddie this year...
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