Join Date: Jan 2009
Bipolar wife. PLEASE help !
I'm a 40yo man. I am not bipolar. This desperate post is
about my wife.
I feel SO alone with my pain....if I don't talk to someone about
this.....I will lose my mind.
We're married for 10 years. We have a 7yo boy.
I've noticed some issues a long time ago, even before getting
married, but I didn't pay too much attention. After the wedding,
I was shocked by her mother's behavior and got panicked
when asking myself if she will grow old like "her mother" or
not. Her mother is retired for mental reasons since she was
not even 50, not taking any medication and she's simply
impossible to deal with. I think she is passed the bipolar level
and developed schizophrenia, since she never got
medication for her condition. On top of all this, she likes to drink more
often than occasionally....and this exactly what she doesn't
I think my wife got the sick genes from her mother who's
behavior was in some sort of limits up to her early 40s.
Since then, it was all a nightmare for my father-in-law and the
Although she was not diagnosed yet with BP.....my wife has
more than the symptoms. The last episode that made me
write here was spending $1500 online in two days, with a fury
to "get all now, nothing else matters". This amount of money
means a lot to us and the financial situation in this moment is
not good, having zero savings and $35,000 in credit card
depts., besides the full mortgage !
A few years ago I cancelled her credit card after another
episode of "burning money" that we didn't have. Then she got
on the debit card. After a while, after another budget crasher
fury , I had the password changed on the debit so she would
not know what money are "available" (I would transfer money
in that account when we were going to buy groceries or gas,
Then she asked me for the EBay password. I give it to her
asking kindly not to abuse it. Well, I was wrong to hope she
wouldn't take advantage. She would just bid and tell me to pay
that stuff. If I get "the nerve" to kindly protest (off course in a
decent a reasonable manner)....she would explode with all
sort of inept attitudes, with zero tolerance or wish to
understand another point of view.....who was basically saying
not to buy diamonds for $500 when we don't have gas in the
cars, food in the fridge and all the credit cards
are maxed out !
When I would tell her that I work 10 hrs a day and half day on
Saturday ......she would say "-Well, don't go to work anymore" !!
When I would ask her "-What if I would spend money the
same way ? You think I don't want to buy some stuff ?".......she
would reply "-Buy, who's stopping you ?!"
With the latest economy cuts, I don't do overtime anymore so
the money is tight. After the mortgage (weekly paid) and some
automatic transfers for the other monthly fees (insurance,
taxes, utilities, etc)....the account would barely have enough to
buy some groceries and almost enough gas for the next week
of work). Well, it happened tens of times to get home on
Friday and see that she already took care of things....buying
some bag, or skirt, or whatever.....leaving the account with $20
or so.....for groceries and gas for a week !! If I try to have a
decent conversation with her about this....she would explode
again, in a completely unreasonable manner, hearing nothing
and unable to make a point or explain.......only yelling that she
cannot stand this anymore, she cannot live with me, etc.
I have to mention that my wife is far from really needing the
stuff she buys. She has about 80 pairs of shoes and many
hundreds of clothing articles of all kind. Also a very decent
amount of jewelry. A normal person would consider this 20
times more than "plenty enough". 90% of all.....she worn once,
that's all !
If I would try to explain that we need to have something into a
savings account, in case the car dies, or a pipe breaks in the
house, or the furnace collapses, etc, etc, just "emergency
money"....she would reply something like "-If I don't enjoy
these things now when I'm young.....when would I ?! When I
reply to this that "you can get something now and then, if you
need it or even "just like that", but only if buying that would not
interfere with the important things (mortgage, insurance, gas,
groceries, utilities, taxes). I'm not even mentioning about
some money for retirement, which we don't have. If I would
open a conversation about retirement and tell her that I
already work for 22 years and do not want to die working
because I cannot afford to retire.....she would start saying all
sort of nonsense like "-We'll see what we'll do when we get
there !" . If I would ask "-Where do you want me to get the
money for that?".....she would reply with "-From where there's
I had literally dozens of experiences of wanting to pay
something with my checking card and be denied for "not
enough funds", forced to charge it on the credit card AGAIN !
SO embarrassing !
We already made a "before term" remortgage and add
$25,000 because the 18% interest was killing us. We are
"back on track" with another $11,000 on the credit card that I
cancelled for her. How ? Well, if you cannot use the debit for
groceries.....you use the credit ! Or, in short, I take money
"from where there's none" !! And why do I charge the credit
card ? Because she has access to the checking and she
takes care of things without asking, without caring what her
actions generate in our family.
She was like this all the time since we married, but she got a
lot worse since my son was born. She blamed it on "post-
partum disorder" and she got some medication for that. The
medication appeared to work, allowing a lot less crises and
making her a little more responsive. After about a year she
changed it, and changed it again, and again, for 6-7 times.
Sometimes (like right now) she would decide by herself to
leave any medication because "there's nothing wrong with
My son told me "- I want mommy to be the same all the time,
not different every day" !! My 7 years old told me that !!!
WHAT WILL I DO ? I HAVE NOBODY TO TALK TO ABOUT
THIS. I FEEL SO ALONE. I AM LOOSING MY MIND.
The thought that my son would not be able to have a normal
family around him......crushes me !!
I am still with her because of my son. I grew up in a very
decent family, with quality time spent together, great
vacations, great communication, getting a concrete strong
education and balance. She didn't have that and that's the
main reason for her imbalance. Her mother would beat her
senseless when she would get an A- instead of A !! She
would scream insane and insult her over and over again. Her father
was gone almost all the time because of his demanding job.
The guy was sane and decent until a point when the
overwhelming pressure would get him to drink a lot, lose his 6
figures manager job and get unreliable and incoherent.
This is the influence that my wife got from her family.
When she was on medication, I told her several times that
she is a completely different person, loving and caring, decent
and warm. I told her that I know what she had from her
parents and family and I want our family to be for her all that
she didn't have. She would be warm and hug me in that
moment and I would feel that I need to protect her with all I
..........But that's when she is on medication and I really can
have a normal and decent communication with her.
I will stop writing now. I can write for many days about these
things but don't want to bother the readers with my problems.
To all the people who took the time to read this....Thank you !
If anyone have the time to write back some ideas and
feelings, maybe an advice, anything......it would make me feel
that I'm not alone, which would mean a lot to me.
Have a great day, to all.