I'm here because I'm failing to help my wife with her bipolar disorder. She is currently on Lamictal, one other mood stabilizing medication and also takes colonzepam (sp) for panic attacks. I guess I'll start with symptoms. When she gets into her "manic state" she will frequently get ahold of every credit /debit card with either of our names on it, go to the mall and spend our rent / car payment on clothes ( yes I mean $900.00 in a day). Later on when I find out what happened and I begin to protest, she breaks down and sometimes threatens to hurt herself before I get the first sentence out. Of course I can't give her a hard time when she's screaming on the floor when I all I did was ask her why she did this thing.
Our current lifestyle is as follows, she is medicated and sees a doctor regularly and only works maybe a week a month because our company grants her FMLA leave due to her bipolar disorder. Lately, the outbursts have become worse. She spends 3 days/ nights a week usually with her exboyfriend and I permit this because she says he's bipolar and understands her and helps her out as a friend. Now it has escalated to where she ditched me to spend christmas and new year's with him, when I called her to ask her what was going on , she told me her bipolar was making her feel bad and she needed to be with others like herself. I tried taking a firmer approach to this issue by stating I didn't think this was appropriate and her immediately reply was to threaten a divorce and to clean out my bank account. When her verbal attacks provoke me into saying something back, she calls every name in the book and threatens to hurt herself, walks out, stays gone for days and calls me when she runs out of money.
I love her and want to believe that she loves me but I can't live this way anymore. I refuse to leave her over this because I vowed 3 months ago to love her " in sickness and in health" but I was just fine going into this marriage and now my doctor has prescribed anti-anxiety medication for myself as an effective counter when she goes off and starts becoming verbally abusive because I'm a 24 year old with symptoms of hypertension.
She's physically ok but happened to wreck our car yesterday while she was in a manic rage driving down the highway. What can I do to help her? As I'm supplying loving, supporting comments she replies by cussing me out and threatening to leave me for " a real man who can handle it" and I know its not her saying these things its her bipolar disorder but the line between what she says and what her illness makes her say and do is starting to become fuzzy.
All I want to do is help her feel better so this behavior will stop. Any suggestions?? Thank you for reading as I am a new member to this forum
I think you should ask yourself if this is the way you want to spend the rest of your life. If so ok then no one can help you. As for your wife allowing her to abuse you this way is not helping her at all. You cannot have a marriage if she is with her "boyfriend". People with bipolar can be responsible for their behavior but it seems to me she is using it to do what she wants. To me this is not acceptable behavior but its up to you what you will put up with. Think about this carefully.
Thank you and I will. I may be oversimplifying it but I wish there was a treatment out there for her that will work. I don't know if this is common but she takes her meds when she feels bad but when the mania kicks in she refuses to take meds because she says " I'm afraid I'll lose it" ( guess she's referring to mania).
I need serious help handling my wife's bipolar disorder. Things have escalated. Tonight she admitted to lying to me about having her exboyfriend over at the house while I am at work and when I asked her why she lied to me she broke down in tears, aparrently had an anxiety attack and told me that there is no explanation except that she is bipolar and I can't understand what its like to be bipolar and thats why I'm obligated to forgive her for her "indiscretions". So no explanation at all except that she's bipolar and has to mingle with other men in order to get by and if I can't understand that than all the pain I feel as a result is 100 percent my fault. I need help. I don't want to leave my wife but I cannot survive like this any longer. I mean, please give me an honest opinion here... could she be in the right? Is it my fault she does these things? My lack of understanding? Please help me understand. I've combed through this thread and ****pedia articles and am even seeing a psychiatrist solely so I can understand what I need to do to help her and my shrink's only answer is " be loving and supportive". I can't do that anymore. This is evil of me but I'm about to run out of understanding and forgiveness. My wife refuses to explain her actions with anythign besides " I'm bipolar and have no control". I need something that will give me hope that things will get better. Please please help. I can't trust her.. she says that its not lying when she makes up false stories because when she's manic " I'm a different person"... I need to know if this is common behavior to people who suffer from Bipolar II because I can't deal anymore. Thanks for any and all replies, just need something to bite onto here.
I don't know whether your wife can change, but I do know that people in general rarely change drastically, and bipolar people cannot be cured.
You have to assume she is not going to change. Do you really want to live like this for the rest of your life?
How much money will she have to take from you, how many holidays will she have to spend with other men, before you leave? My suggestion is to cancel the credit cards, cancel the debit cards, and try to get your marriage annulled so she doesn't get half of your assets. Maybe someday she will wise-up, get herself help, stay on her meds ALL the time, and truly change, but if she's not even willing to try during the first few months of marriage, when will she be motivated to change?
She is using her disorder as an excuse for inexcusable behavior, and she will continue to do so forever, until you no longer accept the excuse.
I hope you don't mind how harsh I sound...I am amazed at how selfish she is. You are not an fault in any way. You deserve someone who wants to build a life with you, not someone who wants to tear you down little by little.
Thanks and I appreciate the direct reply. Just like alot of other people who post questions on any board, I think I may have known what I need to do all along. Just helps sometimes to hear ( or read) another voice. Thanks
It is quite common for people with bp and not on meds to blame others for the things they do. She is using her illness and that is so wrong. I know that most of the people on this board with bp will say that doing that is wrong too. You deserve to be respected in your marriage and she is making excuses for being with other men. I personally do not think you should tolerate that. Again I say think about what you want out of life and be honest with yourself. I wish the best for you.
My wife like yours is unmedicated most of the time and has displayed much of the same behavior through the last 7.5 years. She has spent money like it grows on trees in an effort to provide happiness that never seems to arrive. I know how helpless you feel and only wish I could give you hope. I've found that my wife will go manic and blame the world on me over and over. After all these years I finanly decided in October enough was enough and I filed for divorce.
We filed last year also which ended up being dismissed but that wasn't until after she bought another house, move out and then 20 days later wanted it all back. I know much of her behavior was linked to the disorder but just as many people here with BP they must take responsibilty for the disorder. Alcoholics can't tell the judge the DUI was a result of their disease and expect to just walk away unpunished. BP is no different and they must take responsibilty to manage the disorder using every means available.
I'm truly amazed at what us spouses of BP's have allowed before finanly throwing in the towel. I know many stick it out hoping things will change but as we all know most people rarely change and when BP is in the picture it's 10 times as hard to expect change. I think if I would have stayed much longer she would have really started to affect my long term mental health. My wife has jumped into another relationship just as she did last time. The problem is this seems great to her until she starts to get depressed -vs- manic and then the new guy seems far from interesting. She then starts to realize how much she has lost and wants it all back. You just can't allow this as they will continue to do it thinking they will always be able to run right back.
Also, dealing with the destruction this disorder causes when the BP is in denial and won't accept the proper treatment can drain us non BP's and cause us to do things we won't normally do. I have been unable to focus, have taken some refuge drinking, and just feeling so drained and hurt that I'm having trouble working. I feel much better today and know I can't 2nd guess myself any longer. Each situation is different but I do feel we need to rescue ourselves rather than have this false sense we can rescue our unmedicated BP that refuses to accept responsibilty.
I wish you the best of luck but please understand the only person that can truly help you wife is herself by taking responsiblity for managing her disorder.
We as spouses also have a reponsibilty to ourselves to set boundaries and not allow them to continue to pound us in the ground over and over again.
Last edited by Used&Abused; 01-03-2007 at 09:20 AM.