I need my husband’s support

By Dr. Marie Hartwell-Walker

My spouse of four years adamantly refuses to believe that I have bipolar disorder. He attributes my moods to internal laziness and belives that I can alter my moods with a simple change of perspective. He has stated that he does not want me to go on medication because “it just makes people crazier” and that people with bipolar disorder have more pronounced symptoms that what I experience.
I have experienced three suicide attempts, self injury, nine months of self starvation ,have been bulimic for eight years and walked off of a cliff(resulting in a broken back) during a psychotic mania, my husband is well aware of these things. He doesn’t want me to self injure and threatens to divorce me if I do it again yet he won’t take me seriously when I tell him that I cannot take care of our son sometimes because of my tidal emotions.
What can I do to convey to him that I need his support and understanding to help me seek treatment?

A: There is probably far more to this story than you could write in a letter. I’m sorry you are having such a hard time. And I’m sorry that the person who should be your best support is in such disagreement with you. You are only 20. You have a serious psychiatric history. The most friendly explanation for your husband’s apparent lack of support is that it scares him and he doesn’t want to think about it.

It’s certainly too bad that you don’t have his active support but the important thing for you now is to focus on giving yourself support. You don’t need him to agree. You need to make an appointment and get yourself into treatment – for your own sake as well as the sake of your marriage and your child. Arguing with your husband about your diagnosis is beside the point. Don’t let the argument become a major distraction from taking care of what matters.
I wish you well.
Dr. Marie

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Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 15 Apr 2007

APA Reference
Hartwell-Walker, D. (2007). I need my husband’s support. Psych Central. Retrieved on October 22, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2007/04/15/i-need-my-husbands-support/