Psych Central


Being Married to a Person with Depression or Bipolar: 6 Survival TipsSome sobering statistics: Depression has a much greater impact on marital life than rheumatoid arthritis or cardiac disease. Ninety percent of marriages where one person is bipolar ends in divorce. Persons diagnosed with bipolar disorder have three times the rate of divorce as the general public, which is about 50 percent.

This is all to communicate this message: marriages in which one person suffers from depression or bipolar disorder can be extremely fragile.

I know, because I’m in one.

Here are six tips that have helped us and other couples I know defy the statistics.

87 Comments to
Being Married to a Person with Depression or Bipolar: 6 Survival Tips

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  1. This is so true, I wish my husband would try and understand the difference between me and my illness. The part about feeling suicidal and telling him I feel this way is met with the outburst of “Don’t be silly how do you think I feel when you say these things.” My daughter who is a psychiatric nurse also tells me that she gets angry with me for even contemplating this. Can’t they just understand I don’t feel like this all the time and when I do I really cannot help how I feel. I wish they would take time and realise that I feel like two very different people, the “REAL” me and the “BI-POLAR” me. Thanks for making me see that I am not just being selfish as I am often told.

    • If you know it’s the bipolar you talking and how it makes them feel, why say it? I got married 13 months ago and was never told he was bipolar, but I am tired of bipolar people being so selfish. It doesn’t always have to be about you!

      • I’m so sorry he didn’t tell you. I feel your pain and anger. I thought I met the man of my dreams and foolishly became engaged within a few months. He moved in with me after only a month. Little did I know his enthusiasm was hypomania which led into full blown mania then psychosis. I had no idea what I was witnessing. He left while psychotic stealing a great deal from me. His family advised me after he left that he was Type I with psychotic features and ultra rapid cycling, with comorbid mental issues, diagnosed as a child spending 2.5 years institutionalized until he reached the age of majority and they had to legally release him. I’m several months out and I’m still in shock. As this and many articles suggest, please find some therapy for yourself. I’m still unable to regain trust for new people. For me, him not telling was the ultimate betrayal. He’s 50 y/o and refuses any form of treatment. I’m convinced he is going to hurt someone, I encountered his violence and I’m still terrified of him. All of his family have abandoned and fear him and after what I went through, rightfully so. I realize this is a spectrum illness and your husband may not have as severe a case. I’ve since found out he has a lengthy criminal record including sexual assault. Please take care of yourself!!

      • She only knows it when she isn’t bi-polar. Your question is like asking a nauseous person why did they vomit when they know it’ll get everywhere.If they could help it then they would. Learn some tack.

  2. Ok. Just wanting to say that the title of this article is appalling. “Survival Tips”. Ok you get “bear attack survival tips” CDC people get “epidemic survival tips”. The fact that you are classifying living with a mental disorder as survival, is ridiculous. The person should not be quarantined is ridiculous. That’s all I am going to say on the matter.

    • Dakota,

      Bipolar and depressed people DO fight for survival (although i’m not sure where you get the notion that anyone is suggesting they be quarantined). Any one who has lived with someone who constantly fights suicidal ideation knows this. Consider yourself — and those you love — fortunate if you cannot understand why the use “survival tips” is completely appropriate, in terms of individuals suffering mental illness as well as marriages.

    • Dakota,

      Kit is quite right–and you have no idea what you’re talking about. For depressed and bipolar people, every day may be a fight to get out of bed and not to put a gun to their heads and pullll that trigger for the only relief left. The title, and the word ‘survival’ refers both to the marriage surviving, and not being pulled down emotionally. This disease takes a tremendous toll on those around you, and any tips for how to deal with this disease in loved ones are going to be tremendously useful to some people who love their spouse or significant other but have a terrible time dealing with the disease; I’ve lost three major relationships to it–people who really loved me–myself, so I hope you can understand how important this is to some.

      And Mr. Platt, below disease isn’t fate. Yes, bipolar makes things substantially more difficult than they would be otherwise, but if you’re aware, and want the relationship to work, education like this could help you make it through the dark times and mean something to each other for a lifetime–though, yes, it may be very hard at times. Best of luck.

    • I am bi-polar and my husband has paranoid schizophrenia and seizures, trust me after 40 years of marriage, survival is exactly what everyday is like.

    • With you on this! Survival Tips is a horrible title!

    • Wow….seriously? You just wrote the above cold and callous remark to the wife of a bipolar husband who bared her very soul for the rest of us who SURVIVE, yes, I said SURVIVE, the symptoms our mates behaviors put us through. Clearly, you are either not a mate of a bipolar spouse or you are in denial that living with them needs survival tips. I made myself leave my bipolar spouse over 20 years ago because I could no longer SURVIVE the way his symptoms affected my heart and the hearts of my young boys. Survival tips? Bears? Husbands? You bet.

      • Survival is definitely the correct terminology.For all those that have kept surviving in a marriage with a bipolar person, good for you. I have been married to a bipolar wife for more than 20 years. Sometimes you just want to through in the towel but then you realize that you do still love that person and that you are their safety net. You continue due to your love for that person and not because you are a hero. If you see the statistics of how few bipolar marriages last it is definitely a case of fighting for survival and not being part of a statistic.

    • As the wife of a Bipolar husband married for 45+ years, I totally agree with the author’s terminology.
      Who better than to describe the relationship than someone who suffers from the disorder herself. I applaud the author for her honesty and transparency.
      I love my husband with my whole heart but I have to honestly say, if this ride ever stops I’m never getting on another one like it. My life has been filled with stress. My body is almost completely been destroyed because of the year’s spent as caregiver, counselor, advocate, researcher, and mother. Yes, I said mother. There were many instances in our life together were no other moniker could be substituted for the role at the time. Let me say, there are quite a few bipolar in my life;in-laws, a son, a sister, a sister-in-law, and a very dear friend. Those relationships require patience, understanding, and compassion. However, spouse reaches an entirely different level of endurance. If I did not have the relationship with God that I do, did not know how to pray, I would never have been able to remain. When health care providers meet us for the first time, they are shocked that we have remained together for over 20 years, 45 is beyond their comprehension.

      Yes, survival is an appropriate way of describing such a relationship.

      • Sue you have put in words exactly how I have felt over the past 20 years. My husband is a maniac (if there is such a description) depression sufferer. At this stage his depressiobn is get worst. He has had 6 ECT treatments in a period of 2 weeks including a change of meds…..but still there’s NO improvement in his depression. He is still VERY negative, never ‘feels’ hungry, always not feeling well and very much withdrawn. It is like having a zombie for a husband. We have been married for 45 years and the first 25 years, there were not any sign of an enemy identified as DEPRESSION. The spouse of the sufferer needs the assistance, understanding the situation and love of her/his family just as much the depression patient. Staying positive for both you and the suffering spouse is sometimes very, very difficult, but you need to remain strong and have faith in God, for He will supply you with the necessary strength and guidance.

  3. Therese, I’m sending this to everyone I know. Thanks for putting it succinctly and powerfully.

  4. Gee, Therese, thanks for making my engagement to the person I love feel like an exercise in futility before we’ve even reached the altar. 90% divorce rate for marriage with a bipolar person? Sounds like we shouldn’t even bother. Thanks a heap for the vote of confidence.

    • I can see how this would be a heartbreaking choice, but it will only be MORE of a heartbreaking choice for both of you after you marry. And do you want to bring children into this? Or have kids knowing there is a 90% chance that they will grow up with divorced parents. And even if you were to divorce, with kids together, you will be living with his illness forever. Rather than getting angry at someone who’s been there and knows the reality, you should stop and think about what you’re planning to do, even if you do really love this person, is this good for you, for him and for potential innocent children? ‘A wedding is a day, a marriage is a lifetime’

      • Marriage does not require childbirth. My husband & I decided when we were dating never to have kids (I was 33 then & not diagnosed with bipolar disorder until age 48)—but I knew I had a temper like my father & did not want to stress out over kids. Dad always said he didn’t have the temperament for children & that he wished he’d never had kids. We enjoy our life together, child-free. We have friends who are married without children. So trying to scare people away from marrying because it’s “not fair to the children” is looking at marriage as only a connection for producing offspring. Marriage can be a unity of two people who love each other,encourage each other & have fun together.

    • I don’t agree with the 90% divorce rate at all. My husband & I are going into our 26th year of marriage. Me, diagnosed with bipolar disorder at age 48 (after a life-time of suffering). Meds help. My husband went with me to the first 5 psych/MD appointments. He & I both read tons & keep reading about this disorder. We enjoy theater, poetry, hikes & travel. We encourage each other. Do not let this article stop you from marriage!

    • I’d like to see the research about the 90% rate of divorce for those with bipolar disorder. Is it bipolar 1? 2? NOS?

      Talk about the worst statistic that I have EVER heard of in my fricken life.

    • Effie, The truth is often a bitter pill to swallow. I was married to a man with bi polar illness and it was the most excruciating and painful time in my life. He was in denial and refused to take medication. I understand that after his 6th marriage failed he has decided to just live with a companion….still in denial. Sad but many people go to their grave with this mindset, leaving a path of emotional destruction in their wake.

    • Effie… I truly hope u bathe your decision to marry someone w bipolar in prayer… I hve been married to someone for six years who is bipolar… Did not know he was before we married… He has been horrible to me but he is sick and I can’t leave even tho I want out desperately …he has been diagnosed and is on his meds.. Never misses his meds but he is still a miserable person that all I am Is a caregiver to..best if luck to u n your decision

    • Effie, and others, I’m commenting because I came to this site tonight to find help. I’m married to a good man with a terrible problem, and it took me too many years to realize it. And it’s turned me into someone I don’t recognize or like. Thank god for girlfriends! They’ve saved me. And the hardest part is that I love him dearly, he’s been so good to me. He’s strong-willed, disciplined and knows, but won’t admit he has this disease. And the struggle for me, at this time, has me searching for advice, searching my heart, not wanting to abandon this man, but fearing for my future contentment that I need to be healthy and productive. His symptoms of irritability, anti-social nature, distrust have gotten worse as he’s aged, as has my resentment towards it. I’m ashamed of the things I’ve said in retaliation over financial impulses, among other behaviors, that plague our 18 years together. Any more of that, and this is clearly a sinking ship I’m on. Not sure if I don’t deserve to put myself first, the guilt is wracking me too. He’s a good man, with a bad problem.

    • Effie, also want to say that if you’re planning a life with a man diagnosed with any form of bi-polar, be sure to understand his tendencies and which behaviors need extra attention to avoid conflict when possible, etc. Perhaps you’re part of the surviving 10%, just be careful dear, and keep your communications open as a team. Consider couples therapy before vows to share your concerns, if any, in a neutral space for his understanding. I know my husband loves me dearly, and suffers guilt as well, knowing he pushes me to the edge.

    • Well Effie after 10 years of marriage to my bipolar wife I can say that your future unfortunately looks pretty dismal. I am the husband who can see the difference between the disorder and my wife. I understand the illness and the signs of trouble. I’m financially and career wise in the position to make sure everything is as easy and stressor free as possible. Ten years later though I’ve seen my wife slide slowly and exorably under the weight of the disease and the impact of treatment and successive depressions. I’ve raised my child and kept our home and provided for our financial survival by myself while our doctor has supported her in an addiction to clonazepam that leaves her sleeping 15 hours a day and emotionally blunt but out of crisis so hey she’s done her job… You have to ask yourself how intense will your feelings for your partner be after 10 years of that and how dedicated are you to this person? Are you willing to sacrifice everything most people take for granted in a normal marriage to help your spouse survive?

    • My wife is bi-polar and we have been together for 35 years. I love her deeply but I feel that I have sacrificed my life for her. It breaks my heart that our son is also bi-polar.
      The last 25 years I feel like I have been married to my sister; no show of affection, very few smiles, no sex. It’s a very lonely and depressing existence. I would strongly advise anyone not to marry a person suffering from bi-polar disorder.

    • Four years and mostly stable. I asked her to marry me in the Summer. Right now I wish I could take it back. She has been sick – hyper – delusional – not sleeping for two weeks. I have been as strong for her as long as I can. two days ago I broke down. I thought if I start crying now I will never stop. If I go see a friend or family member I will cry and never stop, and then I will be no use to her when she needs me. I have failed. I wish we had better medical support.

  5. 30 YEARS STAYING THEN LEAVING THEN COMING BACK AND FORTH A BI-POLAR WIFE WHO HAS BEEN IN AND OUT OF INSTIUTIONS AND JAIL,PROBATION JUST ROBBED $1,000,000 FROM OUR SAFE.I HAVE HAD ALL THAT ONE PERSON CAN POSSIBLY DO.IF THEY REFUSE TO TAKE MEDICATION JUST TURN AROUND AND RUN AS FAST AS YOU CAN EVEN IF YOU HAVE TO LIVE IN A TENT.THEY WILL TAKE YOU DOWN TO THE BOTTOM OF THE SHIP THEY HAVE THE KEY TO UNLOCK THE PROBLEM NO ONE ELSE CAN HELP! FOOLISH HEART

    • Agreed! If they don’t take medication, then I’m out of there. Lived through my partner’s suicide so been there, done that.

    • amen, after 23yrs. i went to get help. he told me to run like hell. she will take you down with her. misery does’nt love company..It DEMANDS IT!dosent take her meds properly..does not see her doc. reg, run!

  6. i resent this, a bit. what i need from my husband and what he needs from me are remarkably similar, in spite of the fact that **i** am the one with bipolar disorder, which are the same things that make any relationship work- love, support, faithfulness, fun. yes- my husband has had to do a bit more than your average spouse in some ways, but that isn’t the foundation of the relationship. this article makes it sound like instead of getting a husband i should have gotten a mental health worker. there’s so much more i could say, but i’d rather go to bed.

    • Liz, I agree to a degree with you, and I’m an optimist by nature, so I deliver as much affection and support as possible. The only issue is that the illness can include an insatiable need to be attended to and it takes a toll. One does become a caregiver, and I know I’ve struggled with the question of the vows I took – for better or worse – and now I know why I’m wife number 4. Had I realized this 10 years ago, I would have taken the chance and left while I could afford to, and was young enough to land on my feet again.

  7. john platt –

    i’m sorry you were screwed over. but i have bipolar disorder and i have never harmed anyone but myself. and i’ve certainly never robbed my husband. be careful not to generalize your experience to everyone else’s. in addition, i do far better without meds than i ever did with them.

    liz

    • Liz,
      How do you manage without meds?
      What are your rules/techniques?
      Thank you,
      Alli

  8. It would be more helpful if the opposing comments would go elsewhere. I am reading this well laid out article this morning and am disappointed in the people that mostly threw a tomato at this good advise written to HELP people HELP themselves and their marriages. I hope Theresa plainly filters out the negative opinions that are not helping this discussion.

    • So, Julie—are you saying that no one is allowed to disagree with an article? That’s absurd thinking. This spot says “comments.” It doesn’t say “positive comments Only.”

  9. Re: Step 1, I agree, it’s good to “cut the crap”. But, please, really! Give him a book? He would either get mad and throw it on the floor, or just say he’ll read it, having no intention of ever opening it. My husband has ADD and chronic depression (expressed as anger). If I even dare to mention just the ADD, it’s as though I have accused him of being a murderer, he goes ballistic. He’s been diagnosed by 2 doctors, everyone but him knows he has it, he still denies and refuses any treatment. If I call him on the depression, it will just be more of the same. When he’s had rare moments of admitting the ADD, he’s bought books on it himself, then lost the book and bought another. Typical ADD, he starts many books, but as long as I’ve known him, I’ve NEVER seen him finish one book, of any type. His forgetfulness and disorganization, poor communication are difficult, but worse are his explosions and verbal abuse, and sometimes isolation. These are hell. I love him, but it’s not enough, if I could financially, I’d have left him long ago.

    • Pmarie,

      I totally understand and agree with u. If i say anythg to my husband who has bipolar and depression its like a bomb goes off. He thinks I’m degrading him and putting him down. My husband also suffers from addiction. Its been a long long 10 years and we r no better off then we were when this all started 7 years ago. Its so exhausting. We have a child together and I also have 2 children from a previous relationship. If I’d have known he had this disease I wouldn’t have continued the relationship bcuz of my children. They suffer the most from it bcuz they can’t began to understand what’s going on. I hate walking on eggshells all of the time just to prevent him from flipping out. Anyways in agree with you about the financial part. I have nowhere to go and no family to run to but I have 3 children so I feel trapped and stuck. :-(

    • I felt like I was the only person in this situation but reading that others are also in the same boat; makes it seem a little better. To those who balk at the statistics and the article title then you have never lived with a person who is bipolar and expresses it through anger both verbal and physcial against themselves and others. Every day is a survival and writers like should be applauded because they are bringing light to a dark topic

  10. It’s great how you put full responsability on medication. Not everyone is helped by meds. It’s a myth. Did you know there are over 400 combinations of medications for bipolar? Did you know medications come with their own side effects which can be worse.

    How about some actual tips like:

    For the Partner without mental illness:

    1) Learn about your partner’s illness through credible sources and not main stream media or hearsay or comments on the internet. Understand that mood disorders are actually functional disorders and the “mood” is just a symptom of the loss in functioning. That’s something you don’t learn on t.v.

    2) Don’t hold your partner’s illness over their head. Don’t use it as a tactic to shut them down. If they are in a bad mood don’t say things like: “Uh oh, does someone need to go to the hospital again?”

    3) If your partner is having trouble finding a doctor or getting into therapy, lend a hand instead of complain. Offer to go together as a support person if necessary. It can be a scary thing.

    4) Don’t call your partner names like “crazy” or “psycho” when they have an episode. Instead, learn about triggers and coping techniques to help calm the storm instead of add to it.

    5) When difficulties arise such as a decline in self-care, offer to help out around the house. The laundry is piling up? How about throw a load in the wash instead of complaining about laziness.

    6) If your partner tells you that they are not doing well, or you witness they are not doing well, then believe it and help. Don’t just stand there and watch them fall apart.

    7) Help both of you by sticking to routines, sleep patterns, diet, and exercise as a team. Doing it together makes it easier, and these daily things help mental illness.

    8) Don’t blame everything on the illness. Don’t turn your partner into a villain. Realize you have problems as well and that you can also be the root cause of a bad marriage.

    For the partner with mental illness:

    1) Learn everything you can about your illness.

    2) Learn your triggers and keep a mood and trigger tracker

    3) Admit when you aren’t doing well as soon as you can.

    4) Go to therapy and learn coping techniques. If it isn’t working, say something.

    5) If you’re on meds aren’t working, then say something.

    6) Stay healthy with routines, diet, exercise, and sleep patterns.

    7) Remember that your partner can get stressed and be moody, too. Remember they also have problems, feelings, and moods. Don’t assume your illness is the center of all things.

    8) Realize that no one, nothing, can save you. Not meds, not doctors, not therapies. Only you can decide to heal and get better. Only you can do the work. Other things can help you, but if you’re not active in your healing every day, you won’t get anywhere.

    • I was very much helped with meds. But you are right, they do not work for everyone. Excellent post!

    • so i have tried these things and the real truth is reality hurts,the truth is hard to face,but the truth will set your mind free. we all are hurting, we cant change the past. it is easy to hide behind other people’s mis-givings. open a new book. but dont go back to the old one and the chapter where your pee’n on the elect. fence, dont keep doing it.for some reason there is no learning curve here..why go back to the same bad exp. learn-then move to the next book.

  11. I’ve had bipolar for 15 years, but was officially diagnosed 2 years ago. Suicidal thoughts have never really been an issue for me, because I would live forever if I could. No matter how dark times might get, I’d rather go on living than to not.

    My therapist says this is one thing that really works in my favor. My personality is realist and deep. I’m a loner, always have been. The only time my bipolar is near impossible to control is when I’m around people who prod me.

    I’m lucky that my husband is working hard to help me. I’m not completely dependent on him, I run errands, groceries, cooking, cleaning, and he works. I worked full time and did all of that up until earlier this year when we were able to afford to let me stay home. It works out well, since my husband hates doing all the things that I do for us. This way he works M-F at a job he loves and that’s it, I do everything else. We are very lucky in spite of my bipolar.

    The only reason I was able to hang on as long as I did in the workplace is because my mom is bipolar too, and she was….very aggressive, when I was a child through my teens. She hated “laziness” above all other things. I was used as slave labor, yes more than most all kids have to do on a daily basis. I lived on a farm, and was an only child, so all of the caring for the farm and the house rest on my shoulders. And if I had not completed that list by the time she got home each day, I took a beating. Not a spanking….a drag me, throw me down on the floor, punch me in the back with a closed fist and choke me, beating. I can’t do anything without having her voice in my head, even 14 years after the beatings stopped.

    I was afraid of turning into that, so I chose not to have children, and my husband is supportive of that. Even though what I went through was difficult, I have to thank my mom for being the way she was…if she hadn’t I probably would’ve given up and thrown in the towel a long time ago when things got bad. But being raised that life sucks, get used to it, I wasn’t overly optimistic about anything. So when things go wrong, I’m not surprised or disappointed. But when things go right, it makes it all the more sweeter.

  12. My husband is bi-polar. During a manic he moved out and in with a gf. When she left him he wanted back. My condition through all of it was that he be stable. I am tired of being the bad guy because he thinks he is fine but more irritable towards us. His logic is not logical to others, but totally is to him. My tip for surviving bi-polar is remember you are not the one with the illness, your spouse is. Work hard to not be sucked into his way of thinking and protect your kids!!

    • Totally agree

    • How? I allowed my husband to leave. When he was breaking I didn’t feel bad but liberated. But I allowed him back because he decided to get help and I felt deeply that he was going to kill himself. But we have 4 kids together. They understand that daddy has a problem. But what do I do? I am 31 and tired and unsure if he will truly stick to getting help. I am scared that love isn’t in this marriage but he is looking for someone to take care of him. Not love him. There is no separating the disease from him he is the disease he never learn to fight for himself to be independent from the disease. I am unsure of how to help my kids I can only separate him from them. Cause he constantly complains that the kids are stresssful. But he refuses to just stay gone.

  13. As a wife of someone bipolar of 23 years and recently a NAMI facilitator for support groups it took me even as a medical professional getting intensley educated on the subject because I was clueless. This article is just a snip it of what you really need to know. Get educated both wife and husband. This has to be a commitment for a marriage to work. Marriage is a two way street and each has a commitment to adhere to what is necessary to make it work. Boundaries need to be put in place where there are consequences for behaviors for both in a marrriage and a written contract designed from the both of you with doctors input of what you will accept and what you won’t.If the one who is bipolar will not adhere to this or the spouse than the marriage will not work period. There are deal breakers just like a marriage without someone sufering with bipolar. I would like to suggest the book “Boundaries”. It saved my life… Lets be clear…my marriage is not easy and I have wanted to run away several times as after 23 years as I am exhausted…and this is normal to feel this way…but…what keeps us together is counseling, individual and family,
    and… we agree on the BIG things, have 2 children,teens now, and other stuff we just work through..and I have control of the money…It just has to be that way… I have got to write a book as too much to say here.

    • Hi Lori,

      I just read your reply about being the wife of a bipolar husband and wanted to get some advice as I find myself in the same situation.

      Thanks….

    • OH LORI, you said it all. 33 years of marriage and I feel sometimes I have not gained anything. Counseling worked. Meds worked. Then he decided one bright shiny day…”I’m fine now. I haven’t taken my meds for 2 months and you haven’t even realized it”….duh! Yes I have. The doctor quit prescribing because he quit going. And as you all know, you can’t make him go. We (we) are in a down period right now, or I wouldn’t be writing in here, to a place I have never been before. I am at a loss. Just like everyone if I even mention the meds….watch out. If I mention let’s (we) find another doctor. “I don’t need one…live with it…there is nothing wrong with me”….and yes he was diagnosed by 2 doctors and a social worker. Any ideas for getting this whole thing back on track?
      Sorry I’m rambling. Cried the first time in a long time this morning after pleading with him….(I don’t cry easily anymore)….Sign me…..
      Lost and no help on the horizon

  14. Geeze. Sorry for offending so many people. I was merely trying to be helpful by discussing what has helped us and articulating the serious consequences bipolar/depression can have on a marriage. It takes an incredible amount of work, that’s all.

    • I think the main point is that it does Not take an incredible amount of work after the person has been diagnosed & is doing good treatment (medications, rest, exercise, good diet, etc.) Your article made it sound as if being married to someone with bipolar disorder is akin to hiking up Mt. Everest every day. My husband & I have been together for 26 years. We have a lot of laughter,love & enjoyment in our marriage. We belong to writing groups, work in the local theater and encourage each other in our daily lives. Please consider the fact that people who have bipolar disorder are real people with real feelings. Not trouble makers intent on ruining others’ lives.

    • Thanks for the article. I think the comments show that every situation is different. Statistics do show that the divorce rate is 90% so it is not easy. My husband’s diagnosis is bipolar II and we have been married 46 years so I feel fortunate to be in the 10%. We have our ups and downs but many more ups than downs. Just because someone’s situation is different doesn’t mean we can’t learn from all comments given.

    • Therese, Personally I think you are an exceptional person. Your article was very well written, very honest, and helpful. Don’t be discouraged, keep writing and sharing. It goes without saying, but I’m sure you know this; people who deal with this illness, whether family, friends or the patient, often resist reality. Denial seems to come with the territory. You my friend are a rare breed, your transparency is beyond refreshing. Facing the illness, learning all you can about it, and being honest is the only way to survive. We’ve been working on this together for several decades and I know my husband agrees, we’re surviving together.

  15. First of all, no one “is bipolar” just as no one “is cancer.” Please say “she has cancer” or “he has bipolar disorder.” Identifying a person as a disease or disorder is negative.
    Next, shaming a person with embarrassing photos is of no help at all. Your spouse (or other family member) needs support & encouragement, not put-downs.
    Shopping for a good doctor is excellent advice. But it is sadly true that many towns and cities have few psychiatrists who will take new Medicare patients. Often, a person who suffers a mental illness is unable to work. With manias from bipolar disorder, people often suffer extreme insomnia, which can result in hallucinations. Thus, no matter how intelligent that person is; or how strong their work ethic, it is impossible to focus on job tasks while hearing voices or seeing things.
    I am writing this as a person who has bipolar disorder. I worked from age 10 (shoveling snow, sweeping sidewalks) to age 53 (as a teacher & special ed’ teacher’s aide). Seizures (from birth) and bipolar disorder ended my career. That was demoralizing. My husband was my greatest hero. He talked with me (when I was lucid) in a kind way & went with me to my first 5 sessions with a psychiatrist (and an MD & neurologist). We were lucky enough to have good insurance at that time.
    I have since had to go on Medicare. It is not easy to find a good MD or psychiatrist who will take a new patient. I even had a doctor tell me “I don’t like taking care of people with your kinds of problems.” So she refused to treat me.
    The best advice I ever got was from reading Kay Redfield-Jamison’s book about her own battle with manic-depression.
    I repeat: respect people who have mental illnesses. It can be frustrating when they (we) go off on tangents, rants, etc. But we are real people. My husband & I will celebrate 26 years of marriage this June. He did not have to use any tricks to help me go onto meds. Once I realized how much better my life was with medications, I happily take them. Please assume that your spouse is intelligent enough to make this choice.

  16. Please get your language straight. A person is not bipolar, they have bipolar disorder.

  17. I think my Husband is bipolar, after reading all your posts my Husband has all the signs. We are only married 2 years and i am 72 my Husband is 65, we are both divorced and when i met him he was kind,caring and no sign of temper or manic behavour, it did not show until last year when he has a lot of drink taken,he does not drink now but he is manic from morning till bed time, i am so stressed that i ended up in hospital, we both go to a therapist which helps him for a day or so but i can’t cope with his manic carry on he has our home in a terrible mess with drills,paper,tools etc all over the place, he knows i hate the way he carries on but he continues to do it, my therapist say’s he might have bipolar but his therapist has not said so to me but she may have told him. he wont go to the Doctor as he say’s he doe’s not like him. please someone help me as i am too old and cannot cope any longer if i say anything to my Husband he just shouts at me. after 47 years with my first Husband who was cheating on me for 27 years i thought i had found a Man to be my friend for life.don’t know what to do.

    • My husband is bipolar. We have been married for twenty years. I didn’t know he was bipolar when we married. I can look back and see there was something wrong. He is a a professional person but I end up paying for everything. I have paid for everything in the house. I paid for most of the house. He takes expensive trips to keep up his education. But he doesn’t seem to ever have any money. I am 65 and he is 64. We have a teenage daughter. I pay all her expenses and all of mine. He pays everything on his credit card. He has never paid off his credit card. He fights with our teenager like he is ten years old. He is getting worse. He takes medication. Not sure it is the right meds.

  18. I think that we deserve to know where all these “statistics” came from. If Psych Central is going to allow posts like this, there should be proof that content is sound and true.

  19. As my husband said when I was diagnosed…I am not a burden to him or something to be survived. It’s articles like this that make me keep my illness a secret. Too many read them and assume I’m a soul sucking monster.

  20. I guess it is really difficult when you have a partner who is going through depression or who is bipolar. I think you just have to deal with it and seek some help. If you truly love the person, you will help him overcome that feeling or help him get better.

  21. I think we need to make a distinction between “surviving” a marriage with someone who has emotional and behavioral challenges that they deny and refuse to address (like the untreated person with bipolar who runs up $100,000 on the Visa and rages at the kids) vs. a marriage with someone who recognizes they have difficulties and do all they can to be healthy. This could apply to ADD, diabetes, alcoholism, anger issues, workaholism, etc. etc. As someone with bipolar whose marriage ended less d/t my illness and more d/t my husband’s abuse, PTSD, financial irresponsibility and narcissism, I take offense at the assumption that if there is a divorce in a marriage with bipolar, it was obviously due to the bipolar. The fact that I had a “diagnosis” provided a good excuse for my X not to look at his own issues. And I agree — the title of this article is disturbing. To be clear, it’s not saying that those with bipolar are “surviving,” it’s saying those who LIVE with us are “surviving.” I happen to be more stable than most of the people I know.

  22. My wife was diagnosed with BP when she was 14. I met her when she was 23 (I was 32 at the time) when we first met she was very outgoing and happy. We had a great time together and I adored her from the moment I met her. We both had children from previous relationships her a two year old daughter and me a three year old son. Our kids got along great. We were together all the time and I was very happy. Things started to change about a year into our dating period. When my wife would drink she would be totally normal around friends family and coworkers but when we got home she would tear me to shreds! She started making crazy accusations about other woman and my dedication to her and her daughter. I would defend myself but to no avail, she would only get more upset. Then the next morning she would wake up and act normal. I was very hurt and confused. Long story short we are married now with a two year old daughter and our other two kids are 9 and 8. Every year we are together it gets worse and worse. I finally had to talk to someone about what was going on she become verbally and physically abusive to me and the kids. It was told to me that she may have BP. So I read for two weeks straight about what BP was and how if affects the person suffering from it. I was shocked to see it all in black and white. It described my wife and her behavior to a tee. I ran to her with my new found info and was so excited to show her that it is a mental illness that she was suffering from and that with counciling and meds she/we could be happy again!! She left…that was two weeks ago. I haven’t heard from her at all. We are married with three kids and she hasn’t even called once. She told her parents all of our friends and her work that I have been abusing her and our kids and she “needed” to get away from me. Her dad came to my house yesterday to challenge me to a fight in my driveway. I have never done anything to hurt my wife or children i have been through hell and back ten times with her over the last seven years with her and at the end of it all I am the bad guy in everyone’s eyes except our kids. If this illness is not surviving then I would never want to see your definition of what that word means

  23. I just wanted advice i am married to a young man who is bipolar and has major depressive disorder and i recently seperated

  24. The article is accurate and whether or not people like the comments, they’re honest as well. I am in a 10-year relationship with someone who’s only had a BP diagnosis and issue for the last year – it can come on in later life. It’s heartbreaking hell, don’t let anyone tell you differently. You need to search your own heart, figure out what you can live with and what you can’t and make your decisions from there. You need to qualify your survival – no relationship is ever perfect, so you need to understand where that line is for YOU, not for your spouse. It may be that you have enough gain from the relationship that you are willing to remain a caregiver – which is what you will be – or you may realize that the benefits do not outweigh the issues. Despite our human desire for relationships, we all need to live for ourselves. If living for yourself includes continuing the relationship with your bipolar spouse, then you already have your answer: the net gain is worth it. Yes, you will make sacrifices, but if the relationship still yields a net gain, then they are worth it. If the gain isn’t there, then nothing you will ever do is going to improve it. It’s a tough call, and every situation is unique. If you do decide to end the relationship, however, simply get on with it: it’s not effective as a “threat” and if that’s hanging over your heads it makes it all even worse.

  25. I can relate to what she is saying. I have been forced so many times to decide if I am going to stay with my husband who is bipolar. He is not only bipolar, but has a major temper. He blames his stupid decisions on his bipolar illness. He is taking meds and every winter they have to be adjusted. The trouble is, before they are adjusted, he always hurts somebody. Not physically but mentally. My family has all but abandoned me because I stay with this person for 20 years. I feel like if I leave he has no chance. I get treated badly, and then he does something nice. I don’t know how much is his personality or bipolar because he wants to send messages to people without thinking of the fallout.
    I feel myself drowning in anxiety and I fear I will have a heart attack trying to keep him sane. I wonder, what about me? He doesn’t seem to care – he goes to the doctor he says for me, takes his meds for me. But that’s not enough. I don’t want to wake up everyday and wonder what will happen that day. I need some peace in my life.

    • I have been married 23 years with the many happy memories in my young life!!! When I met my love of my life I thought I was floating from happiness!! I was raised in a home with the GREATEST family!!! But I made my decision to move and get married farther away. As the years of our marriage progressed I had excuses for my husbands’ mental abuse and …. I use to blame myself and thought I must of said something wrong… or did something.. My parents never fought ever!!! He had issues and I would try to protect him even when I knew he was wrong!! I loved him and wanted to be the best wife for him!I spoiled him!! Years later, We had a problem conceiving and I never wanted him to feel any pain .. he wanted to divorce me!!(I now have 2 wonderful kids) I told him I did not marry him for children I love him for who he is!!! His mom is bi polar and always had issues… Created my husbands angry but I would see it and keep him calm and always tell him everything will good!! I can tell u 100 stories of me protecting him and how he has been means to us. He is been so bad lately breaking or destroying our home and being very harsh with his communicating! Everyday I am scared to face what mood he is going to be!! The scary things is he never hears what he says to the kids and me. MY son has jumped on his back numerous times to save property of our home and me!!and my daughter does not want to talk to her dad because she was told many nasty things!! He tries to buy her love and my son tried to help me but it causing dysfunction in our beautiful home!! Repeatedly tells me to shut the f… up he never talks nice to me but he will trash me to my family. Well for Christmas he told me he HATES ME and wishes me to die one minute before I went in the my mother’s house. I had to lie to my family why I was crying!! 10 minutes there he was acting all nice in front of them.. wanting me to sit next to him!! I sat and held my head up but I was crushed my heart wanted to melt!!! I work with him and I have been so patient with his actions and I am breaking in because I live for my family!!AT work people love me and tell me why are you always smiling!! I am a very happy person but I realized He cant mentally abuse me as much as he does at home!! He never has a plan!! He always tells me am not he standard and tells me my sisters greater and better!! He tries to create problem that Am not loved and I know I am !!! I am secure and I know am not perfect but it bothers him that people love me!!! He tries to get me jealous telling he is moving to start a new life!! He opened a bank account and even open a storage unit, just to threaten me!!He is very insecure and creates his own problems!! I am on another page of my life. I am worried about my son getting into college trying to juggle work and all the work at the house!! He does not get it … that I have so much cleaning to do before and after work!! He curses me on the phone to come quick to work but yet everyday he reminds me how he hates me and he does not need me!!” I cant stand the sight of you” I don’t want a divorce but I have been alone for my years in my role as a parent decision!! I would never want this life for my kids!!THe fighting is really sad!! I beg him not to fight in front of our kids!! I try to keep us strong but I think am about to break!!! I dont want my father in law to get upset, his 85 years and he would be devastated if we divorced!! I know he goes through the same thing with his wife!! He escapes for month to go back to his country because his wife is wacky crazy!! PLEASE He takes this medicine and I not sure why its not working anymore!! Does anyone know any good DOctors!! NEW Jersey. Ny Phila

  26. I’m sad and desperate for some answers. My husband was diagnosed 7 years ago. Refused the medication and chose marijuana instead. He’s messing up at work, messed up our finances, and refuses to listen to anything I say anymore. I am at the end of my rope and am ready to walk away. I’m scared for his life and only hope he can wake up and see what he is going to lose. We’ve been together almost 20 years and the disorder may be winning. It’s definately a battle every day at this point. My health is being affected now. Sad cause the love and compassion is there. I will read the book.

  27. My husband was diagnosed with bipolar disorder at age 65. We didn’t even know what that was until then. He’s since had three manic episodes, two requiring hospitalization. We’ve just had the third episode and managed to get through it without hospitalization but it has taken a month of 3-year-old child-like behavior to get us there. We live in a small town, 2 1/2 hours drive from a larger town so health care providers are not real easy to come by. Have been married for 30+ years and run a cattle ranch but with this kind of behavior and after this last episode am wondering if I can continue to do this for much longer. I think “surviving tips” pretty much says it all as that seems to be about all I can do these days….

  28. I didn’t know where else to go, but this seemed like a good place. I met my girlfriend 4 months ago, and knew she had suffered from anxiety and depression. Eventually she stopped taking medication and self-medicated with drugs and alcohol. Her parents through her out and she lived with me temporarily. She got so out of control with everything that I had the cops remove her. She was finally diasnosed with BP and started treatment as well as detoxing. She is on lithium, and clean so we tried working it out. Everyday seems horrible now, and she is constantly down and wanting to quit life. No matter what I say it just leads to a problem and everyday is like WW3. She only has negative things to say and gets mad at me if I try to say anything that disagrees with her. I am basically at my end and have no idea what to do. It doesn’t help that I suffer from severe anxiety, paranoia, and OCD.

  29. I don’t think this should be titled “Being married to a person with bipolar or depression.” Several paragraphs towards the end convey that this was written by a bipolar woman who’s husband helps her manage and avoid her episodes. Other than educating himself, it doesn’t really seem to offer any advice on how he manages to keep his sanity while doing it. I have been married for over 30 years to a man I love with all my heart and soul. But it’s been 30 years of the best and worst roller coaster ride of my life. We have 4 children, 2 grown, 2 teens and 2 grandbabies. I was hoping to find an article that helped me cope with his moments of depression. Things I could do to get myself through another day. Most times I can pull him out of it before it gets bad. But on the weeks I can’t, it is so emotionally and physically draining. I barely have enough energy to take care of my home, let alone all the other responsibilities on my plate. He has never been good at taking care of life. I used to be able to do it all in the blink of an eye, but anymore, when his attitude drops and the words start to fly, it leaves me lost, helpless and alone.. and that seems to be happening more and more as we both get older. It has certainly taken it’s toll. And days like today, when I’m sitting here in tears because once again, he’s at odds with our world.. (the house takes all our money! life is so unfair! other people have it better! why is everyone against me?).. I just don’t know what to do. I know he’s in there somewhere.. but what I really need is some advice on how to get through these moments without him, until he finds my husband again. Ironically.. every article I’ve found so far, is from the view of the bipolar or depressed person and how strong their partner is, how they help them get through it and ow understanding they are when they can’t. And that’s great. I applaud them for making it work. But what I want to know is.. how do they do it? How do they keep themselves steady when the one person who is supposed to be there in life, seems to get lost every other weekend? We have worked so hard to get where we are, but I just don’t think I can hold it all together for much longer. He is a good provider. But other than income, everything else, including keeping him happy, is always on my shoulders. I’m tired, I’m alone and I wish I knew how others get through it, cause I’m out of ideas anymore.

    • Absolutely agree, I came here looking for advice, from other comments my gf is definitely suffering from Bipolar, there are absolutely no useful hints here, especially as I can’t even get her to acknowledge there’s a problem

  30. I am in agreement with SC. I have been married for 31 years to a wonderful man with Bi Polar, and am mentally and physically worn out from the fight; and while that might seem offensive to some, that is exactly what this roller coaster ride has been. I told my husband recently that I am not sure I have much fight left in me. That he needs to worry when I no longer care enough to fight for our marriage, and our finances. I don’t know where to go to get support or encouragement, as we live in a small town and he doesn’t want people to know he has BP. I can’t afford counseling and can’t even share with my friends. Our families and our children are all that know about his diagnosis. When he is good, he is an amazing talented, fun man to be around, but when he is not good, he is still all of those things to others, but to me he is mean spirited, thoughtless and careless with our finances. If I even shared that I thought about leaving him, everyone, except our kids would be shocked, I feel like our friends and acquaintances all think I am the one with issues, because I often have a scowl on my face and am stressed out. I was wondering if NAMI meetings in another town nearby might be an option for me. My health has suffered as well from the years of stress, I wish I had known when I was younger, what I know now. I still love the man, just really tired from the roller coaster ride I can’t seem to get off.

  31. I believe my wife may be bipolar. Just little things while we were dating, nothing that could be really said to be really bad or scare me off. But 12 years of marriage later and it seems to get worse every year. The mood swings could get bad, the rages were scary. Kicking holes through the bathroom door I had locked to hide in and get away. I left her early in our marriage and demanded she get some kind of help with her rages. She agreed to therapy but after I moved back in, she stopped the therapy. She doesn’t believe in it, doesn’t believe she is wrong in anything, throws our money away on junk or often doesn’t know where she has spent it or unwilling to say. I have come to believe that this is BP after talking to others about what BP is, but I have no idea how to talk her into getting help that she does not believe she needs. Any advice would be very helpful. I just can’t take it anymore. She either lays in bed or runs around the house screaming or has to just go do something “RIGHT NOW” on a whim, but has to do it and I have to do what she says too or I will be “kicked out of the house and she will never let me see my kids again”.

    • Bryan
      I realize quite a bit of time has passed since you posted, so things may be much worse for you, or greatly improved. My comment is based on my brothers marriage, even though I’m married to someone with the illness. My brothers wife has reacted as your wife. I don’t know the ages of your children, but I would encourage you to find a way to get your wife the help she needs for your children’s sake as well as your own. Is your wife a stay at home Mom? Do your children attend school, or are they homeschooled? If they attend school, I would imagine eventually your wife’s behavior will be questioned. My sister in law was arrested for child endangerment then court ordered to a mental hospital for treatment. I sincerely hope you don’t experience this. As a parent, it’s our responsibility to ensure the protection of children living with a potentially harmful person. I would encourage you to find a support system, NAMI, or a similar group who can advise you, offer assistance with suggestions, and even possible aid with authorities, or legal help. The most important point I can make is that your wife sounds as if she is ill. If she is suffering with Bipolar Disorder, she may not be able to understand, or control what she’s doing. She will threaten you, physically fight you, probably resist every effort you make to reason with her, or help her. Her brain may not be capable of understanding that you are concerned, or trying to help. All of her instincts are screaming inside of her to protect herself. You are going to have to find a way to help her even as she’s cursing you, possibly threatening to kill you, physically lashing out at you. My husband became extremely angry with me, threatened to kill me, if I had him committed to a mental hospital. He had a severe manic episode, couldn’t sit still, walked our neighborhood for hours, even began to undress in public. Driving him to the hospital on an expressway he attempted to exit the car twice. It was my worst nightmare. But, after he was stabilized with medication he thanked me for intervening. Talk to a professional, seek the help of an intervention team, do whatever necessary just don’t sit back waiting. You may want to consider contacting a mental health unit at a local hospital where you could describe your wife’s behavior and ask for their advice. Things will probably continue to worsen if you do nothing. Spouses often fill the role of the link between hope and disaster for a person struggling with bipolar disorder. Good luck, I hope things improve.

  32. WOW!!! Thankyou to everyone’s comments! I’m not alone! I can relate! I have been going crazy trying to understand my husbands disease! emotionally draining! I’m a very strong person, but the mental abuse is cracking me. I haven’t spoken to many about his disease as I’ve been trying to keep it behind closed doors, of which has leaked out for my neighbours to see, EMBARRASED MUCH! I’m tyred of hearing “I’m sorry” or “I can’t help it” after a manic episode! Damaging and cutting my realistic manured approach! we have been together for 7yrs of which the first three were bliss! I first really noticed (but could not understand) his depression 3yrs ago when I went away with our daughter to visit friends and celebrate their 30th, he attempted suicide, and never did I see it coming! Its been a rollercoaster ride since then! I do need these types of articles on ‘survival’ as we have a 3yr together and I want to protect her from this disease! I feel he’s pushed me into this cage, threats are what makes me stay! My cage is small but I have a room within, of which I go when Manic comes knocking! My husband hates this place I go as I give no love, no pity, I HATE HIM!! and all he needs is me and my love! I can’t help, im exhausted, but trapped within his boundaries! I want to see him get better, im not a tap to turn off and on! I constantly worry I’ll come home to a dead husband, (he tells me its not because of me or our daughter he wants to kill himself) I still don’t understand! exhausting trying to keep calm, and feed his needs and not my own….
    So yes keep these articles coming and comments from everyone, it helps but its sad at the same time!
    any advice or tools to help us both would be appreciated??
    Negatives don’t comment, everyone’s situation and experiences are different your not necessary right!
    A drowning survivor.

    • Beurself,

      You cann’t sacrifice your life and especially your daughter’s for him. You cann’t save him but you can save yourself and your child. What better way to show your love for him is to love and protect his daughter, give her the life he’d want her to have.
      My soon to be x daughter-in-law has done so many horrid things to my son,their children. She walked out a year ago, filled for divorce, but has dragged it out and it’s been hard but I take care of her children, my hearts, I try to be the mother figure that I know she would have been if she could. My heart breaks for those that have been burdened with this horrible disease but sometimes love is not enough.

  33. My husband is Bipolar. I wanted to know if anyone has experienced this themselves or seen it happen. My husband basically acts like he is drunk. It happens from one minute to the next. He could be fine, talking to me, then in a second he starts sluring his words, walking like a drunk person, stumbling. his eyes get low. He starts saying things that don’t make any sense. And when I tell him he says hes fine, he feels fine. And then the next day he doesn’t remember. This has happened whe my son was a month old. Then when my husband came back from Afghan. So 6 or 7 months later. So I didn’t think much of it. He takes meds so I thought it would be fine. But this week he got like that 3 times. it has never happned so often. its usually months in between. Is this normal? Please help.

    • Sonia, I’m not a doctor but I live with one, and I come from a family with BP and variations of ADHD & OCD. Nowhere in the vast spectrum of symptoms have I heard of those that you mention, and suggest that you have him see a Neurologist. You said he did a tour in Afghan? He may have sustained an injury while there, or an earlier one that went unnoticed? The slurring words and loss of physical control run the gamut of mild stroke symptoms to inner ear damage, do check it out. Good luck to you.

  34. My husband has been in a treatment hospital for 3 days and wants to come home. After 10 years together he finally got a diagnosis of bi polar disorder. I dont know details yet, but after all this time going thru “MANIC” episodes, highs, lows, financial ruin and now a new baby, i am struggling for hope. I am going to be seeking therapy and so is he. As long as he keeps trying, so will I. I cannot beleive this is my life. It seems to get worse as he gets older. I just pray that being diagnosed correctly and the right meds and support and education can give us a leg up. I cant beleive i let this go on for 10 years and just now suggested we take serious action. I guess being a Mom has made me really see how we have been living. I need to find my hope. I just want him to feel joy and want to live again. And be nice too! I also realize that we have alot to learn. At his first meeting with the psychiatrist she told him to pack up his family and move to a medical marijuana state. Anyone ever received advice like this from a professional?

    • Courtney, you’re not alone. Mine was diagnosed 6 months ago at the age of 42 and had been living with it the majority of his life. He also wanted to come home after day 3 of his 10 day stay. He blamed me for his being in there and was angry. We didn’t speak for a day because in that moment I was his trigger so I stepped back and let us both take a time out. Please understand that this is not an illness that can be fixed, but it CAN be managed. It’s going to take a lot of work, love and understanding on both your parts. I urge you to seek counseling with him and for both of you to see the same counselor outside of the facility he’s currently in. That relationship I have found is key. Also remember, that like shoes, doctors need to be tried on for fit. Having a doctor tell him to move to a medical marijuana state isn’t going to solve or fix this. I can’t speak to medical marijuana because It’s outside my realm, but I can tell you that your psych doc is going to be a key piece in the foundation of that lasting relationship. Also, your husband has to want to take his medication and work on himself to try to separate who he is from the disorder so that he does not define himself by it – meaning, your husband isn’t bipolar, he is your husband and he has bipolar disorder. I wish you the best of luck.

  35. oh boy. I really despise these manipulative people. I didn’t know my gf was bipolar until 2yrs after we met. the blaming , mental abuse ,arrogance and narssicism are overwhelming. by manipulative I mean the are very much in control of their actions but use the bipolar label as a license to treat their loved ones like shit. I’ve
    heard her talking to her boss/coworkers on the phone during an ‘episode’ and she can appear normal if she wants but when we’re alone she lets loose . they are dangerously manipulative and persuasive. they r also notorious control freaks. my advice is : fuck em. end your relationship NOW . no amount of love is worth your sanity and wasted time . believe me.

  36. My husband has just been diagnosed with bipolar in the last week. He is going to be coming home from a hospital tomorrow. I am so afraid. I dont know what to expect. We have been married 25 years. We have have many ups and downs. He is a recovering alcoholic. (2 years) He has used marajuanna for years. I have had to pick up the pieces so many times over the years. I dont know if I can do this. Im afraid of what life will be like. Will I ever have a normal life? He can be such a caring person and he has a big heart. It is so hard to see him like this. Im trying to read up on bipolar as much as I can. We live in a small town so not much if any support here. I think the scariest thing once he comes home is the unknown. Any advice would be great.

  37. I didn’t know my husband suffered from depression & anger when we got married. The first 6 months of our marriage was living hell… he threatened to kill himself way too many times and was verbally abusive towards me (never physically though) until I had enough and found him plenty help with counselors and got GP to prescribe medication which he takes on and off cause he doesn’t think he needs them. He doesn’t talk to counselors… I have to do all the talk and he follows my lead more or less. He is friendly/very talkative with outsiders but when it comes to me or his family he just shuts down. We have been together for almost 5 yrs now and let me tell you I can’t see myself going for more… why? I have a 1 yr old daughter and all my energy is being put towards her learning, well being… her day to day needs and I could be able to cope with my husband if he would be more into me, caring or at least willing to give a little bit of love back to me… I seriously don’t ask much! I feel like his nurse more than a friend or even a wife! I am a firm believer kids see the parents relationship and use that behavior on future relationships. That’s why I do not want my daughter seeing this almost like arranged marriage behavior. If anyone saw us on the street they wouldn’t know we are married cause he more or less treat me like The Help. Never feel like going out with me but with others, doesn’t have any joy by doing anything with me and I feel like I have completely disappeared in this relationship. He helps around the house so I can’t complain there even though i have not asked for help there but just for a bit of affection to feel it is worth me staying.

  38. There’s no way around it that bitch just needs and a good old-fashioned ass kicking. Next time she gets like that grab her by the hair and just smash her in the face a couple of times. It might take a few treatments of this but don’t worry she’ll come around.

  39. I just stumbled upon this and feel like I’ve found a support group. My partner is 31 years old and was diagnosed with bi-polar disorder last year. His lows are quite low and lengthy but his highs are VERY manic and psychotic. He takes 900 mgs of lithium a day and when he is certified into the psychiatric unit (often) he is given Olanzipine to bring down his behaviour. It is a constant ‘flip flop’ of acceptance and denial which makes it almost impossible for me to support him. When there is risk of separation he seems to acknowledge and address the issues, however when he becomes manic there is no reasoning with him to take medication voluntarily and we will always end up in the hospital usually by police escort. I am scared and fearful of a life with him if he cannot manage and embrace maintaining his mental health appropriately. We were engaged over xmas but these last two episodes have really made me withdraw from him. I feel like my life is walking on eggshells and I am always anxious.

  40. I have been married to a bipolar spouse for almost 11 years. My husband was diagnosed about half way through our marriage. I just went along on when he was in a bad mood that he just had a bad day at work. He could be verbally nasty at times and has a temper. He lashed out at a coworker and realized he had real anger problem. He went to see mental health professional who diagnosed him as bipolar. He takes his medication, sees his therapist and phychiatrist for his regular appointments. We have a 7 year old son together. I chose not to have anymore children as I felt it would not be fair to child or myself and husband based on how our relationship was not a stable one at times. I have always worked full time snd so did my husband until about two years ago. He was working and was almost killed. Was put on paix leave of absence only to go back to work and be laid off a week later. Worked another three jobs but was laid off from each of them. We both searched for a new job for him or i should say i did. He did get called for interviews and went to them with no in getting new job. I make fairly good money but not enough to pay the mortgage, utilities and buy food and everything else! I told him if he was not getting a job then file for disability. Well this is another story unto itself. We are waiting for his case to be heard by a judge sometime this summer hopefully and will get approved! I have had to learn to be my own self advocate and try to get any help possible because my husband is not working. I have become his caregiver and well as have had to make sure the bills get paid. I am tired and stressed out to the max. We have sought counseling to address marriage issues for the sake of our young son. We both agree that his needs and well being come first befors everything. I cry alot because of not being happy. My husband and I do have talks about how we each feel. I feel he is very selfish and only thinks of himself. He is in a good if he gets what he wants but can become an insensitive jerk if things do not go his way. I am honest with him when he is acting like an ass. He gets jealous if we do not get to spend time together before ourselves. Trying doing that when you work full-time and have a young child. I have explained a person can only give so much. I cannot give more of myself than I have. I take life a day at a time and have to learn to take care of “me”. I question all the time how much importance one should use or blame having bipolar for the problems or issues someone has. Life is not defined by want illness a person has. A person with any illness should live life the best way they can by getting any and all help and support for that illness.

  41. Your first paragraph in this blog is very ignorant. “I’m not crazy”, really, you think that someone with bipolar disorder who says that is in denial. As someone with bipolar disorder, I try to take responsibility for the actions associated to my diseases. By doing so, it helps me to recognize triggers and avoid letting my bipolar control my relationships and actions. To me, saying I am not crazy, is NOT denial, it is me standing up for myself against those who are uneducated about the illness. I have no problem communicating to my spouse and family that I have a mental illness, but I will correct anyone who says I am crazy. Do you call all mentally handicapped people retarded too?

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