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Old 06-06-2007, 11:02 PM   #1
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abby2004 HB User
Unhappy BP husband - warning long post

Hi. I am new to the message board and I guess I am looking for some insight. My husband and I have been married for the past 12 years yet not living together for the past year; we currently live 3 hours apart from one another, initially due to a mutual separation. We have been back together for several months but still living apart. My husband was diagnosed with bipolar (BP 2) a few years ago and about a year and a half ago he slowly started becoming manic and from what I can tell he seems to be in a mixed state, probably for the last 6 months. My husband no longer attends therapy and has never taken his prescribed medication and basically lives in denial.

During his most recent episode, my husband slowly became very irrational and irritable with me and our kids (my daughter (16) and his two sons (15 and 13) - we have no bio kids together) to the point where he was just unbearable to live with. I moved out and away from where we own our home and where he still lives due to his job. It has become apparent to me over the last few months that my husband (I'll call him Jim) is either having trouble at work or is in trouble at work, I'm just not sure what the reasons are but I do have a good idea. He has a tendency to be an extreme people pleaser in certain situations and states of mind, his need for people to like and accept him is a little out of the ordinary at times. He also happens to be the boss in charge of about 25 people in three different offices. I think that he tried to be the boss that everyone liked and it backfired on him big time; he was way too lax and trusting with people and his boss is the exact opposite in her views about people, esp those who work for her. There is probably a lot more to the story, as there usually is.

At the same time, I am dealing with my daughter who is currently in in-patient treatment for a drug and alcohol problem and she has been diagnosed with BP 1; she is only 16 years old and it has been a rough 16 years for all involved. Over the past 1-2 years our lives have gone through this terrible upheaval and I seem to be the one that manages to hold it all together for everyone. I'm tired - not just tired of the situation but just plain tired.

One of my questions is this, can job disruption be a part of the chaos associated with manic states? Has anyone else ever gone through this with a spouse? I am terribly afraid that he is going to lose his job, a job that he has had for the past 12-13 years. I'll be honest, part of my fear is the loss of income but I also fear what it will do to Jim.

While everyone's situation is different, I am basically looking for insight on what it's like to live with a BP spouse and some of the things I should expect/not expect, advice, tips.........anything will help. Additionally, my 16 year old will eventually move back home and the thought of dealing with this from two people honestly just makes me want to go to sleep or move even further away. I've gotten better at dealing with some of this but clearly not all of it.

I love my husband and daughter very much but I feel like my life/time is just slipping away from me. I've made no new friends outside of work since moving over a year ago and it's tough sometimes. I'm not very close to my family and really know one knows the whole story outside of my mom. I feel too embarrassed to tell anyone else the whole truth about what my life has turned into. While a lot of people talk about their kids going to prom or playing school sports, my daughter is non-compliant in rehab and struggling terribly. Besides my mom, husband, and ex-husband, no one really knows where my daughter is and I don't talk about her to too many people. I end up appearing standoffish with people because I don't like to get too many questions about her or my husband, and I don't like to lie. I'd like to be able to make new friends but I realize that the way I feel I have to be probably puts people off. It used to feel lonely but now it just feels sort of numb, like it would take too much energy to really be social and therefore I'd rather not. I take anti-depressants (Cymbalta) and don't feel particularly happy or sad, mostly just numb.

Any insight from anyone who has gone/is going through anything similar would be greatly appreciated. Thanks for reading through all of this, if you made it this far.

 
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Old 06-07-2007, 05:03 AM   #2
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goody2shuz HB Usergoody2shuz HB User
Re: BP husband - warning long post

Hi, Abby I really feel for you and your situation. I am the mother of a 16 year old girl (she turned 16 today ) who was diagnosed BP just about a year ago. Of course her problems started about 2 years prior to that but I do know how difficult it is to live with and support somebody who is BP. It has been a rough road but it does get better. But realistically BP is a lifetime disorder that will have it's ups & downs with some minor breakthroughs but with meds things will be so much better. I look at my daughter now who has been on meds just shy of a year and there is a tremendous difference!!! She is smiling and for the most part life is good, we had a few breakthroughs but I am attributing that to our still working towards finding the right med dosages. Last month we increased her Seroquel and this month we are increasing her Lamictal hoping that will iron out some of the mood swings that we experience. But overall, things are soooo much better and we can finally experience a sigh of relief. So there IS hope!!

What you need is support and lots of it. I would highly recommend that you get in touch with NAMI and look into a support group in your area....it will be there where you will find people who truly will understand what you are going through. Also, they have some programs that will help you transition and understand more of what BP is and how your family can work towards stability. I have found most of my support here on this forum where there are other mothers going through the same thing. Besides myself we have Hope who has a 16 year old son, Zac and Lor with a 13 year old son, and Jules and Tsohl who have sons in their 20's. We also have Denise who has a 15 year old daughter....I may be a little off with the ages but there are plenty of us here who are walking in the same pair of shoes....some a little ahead and some a little behind. We also have a wonderully bright 17 year old, Paige, who is BP and has such a wonderful insight and offers a glimpse of what it is on the other side of the fence and how to work towards stability. And of course, all the other posters who will reach out to you despite their own struggles going on. EYES seems to be our well seasoned and wise BPer who has been stable just about 35 years. So, please know and take comfort in knowing that you are not alone.

As far as your husband goes, yes, problems at work or any kind of stress can throw somebody with BP who was pretty well stabilized into mania. Paige is currently under alot of stress with school and is having a tough time....I am sure she will share that with you.

I just wanted to give you a great big welcome and tell you that it will get better but more than understand how exhausted this all can be. The best advice I can give you is to take good care of yourself...it's like they say on the airplanes before takeoff....you should put the oxygen mask on yourself before going on to assist others. And that is soooo true!!

Please come here to talk, to vent, to laugh or to cry. There are many here with warm hugs and understanding. I hope you get as much as I have here on this forum....it is my lifeline and I have made so many great friends on this board who truly understand and go out of their way to help me to learn and understand what it is like to be BP and how it is to live with and love somebody who is BP.

Lots of ((((HUGS)))) and a warm welcome from another mom who understands ~ Goody

Last edited by goody2shuz; 06-07-2007 at 07:29 PM.

 
Old 06-07-2007, 07:51 AM   #3
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marshmallow HB User
Re: BP husband - warning long post

Not only are you dealing with a bp husband not on meds but a teen with problems. No wonder you are worn out. I can relate to almost all you mentioned about your husband and have experienced most of it too. I know it is a heavy load. There are many on the message board going through similar so I think you should get lots of encouragement and support. My thoughts are with you and I hope you find some peace and refreshment for your soul. You sound like a very dedicated person with lots of love.

 
Old 06-07-2007, 09:21 AM   #4
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4support HB User
Re: BP husband - warning long post

Hi abby and welcome to the board...

I completely understand where you are coming from, I am also married to a husband who is BP II/ADHD and we have 2 young children. I have been married for 11 yrs. My husband is on meds but still hasn't 100% accepted his illness. I remember very well what he was like before he was dx and started medication and it would have been impossible to live with him much longer.

I will give you the insight I have and any support you need. It often feels lonely when dealing with a spouse (and in your case, also a child) with this disorder. It's confusing, emotionally heartwrenching and draining. To me, the most devastating part of the illness is the unpredictability, I really never know what sort of MOOD my husband will be in and it will change very suddenly. He has said hurtful things that I will never understand but then doesn't want to talk about it when he is doing well. Sometimes I also feel that people who don't truly understand (really only those who struggle with the illness, or their loved ones) will be able to help much, although it's nice to have family/friends or a good therapist for support. My family does not know about my husband's illness, I do have a wonderful therapist and the friends on this forum, but this is definetely not something easy to talk about, although I would like to see it become more acceptable and not so stigmatized. Have you been to therapy for yourself?

I am about to leave for the day, but I am going to write to you later tonight. It's been comforting to know that we are not all alone and that there are many of us out there who are struggling with this each and every day.

More later........
4support

Last edited by 4support; 06-07-2007 at 09:23 AM.

 
Old 06-07-2007, 10:20 PM   #5
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luckygem13 HB User
Re: BP husband - warning long post

Hi Friend ; )


I sure can relate to a lot of what you wrote. Especially the part about being "numb" and on antidepressants and not wanting to answer questions about your child.

Don't be ashamed of your family....we ALL have imperfections. Love them the best you can and don't forget to take care of yourself!


((((HUGS)))) Luckygem

 
Old 06-08-2007, 10:30 AM   #6
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langlee HB User
Re: BP husband - warning long post

Dear Abby,

Welcome to the board! I'm sorry you are struggling, but you have come to the right place. There are many supportive, wonderful people here who will be able to give you great insight.

Was your daughter recently diagnosed? Have they started her on meds? Often substance and alcohol abuse are attempts to self-medicate when the world doesn't feel right. Perhaps with medication and the intensive help of the in-patient program, she will start to thrive. Are you happy with the in-patient program?

Please keep us posted on both your husband and your daughter. You have alot on your plate and I can relate to the feeling of being tired - just plain tired.

Hopefully, your new friends here will be able to help some.

Always,

Hope

 
Old 06-11-2007, 05:30 PM   #7
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abby2004 HB User
Re: BP husband - warning long post

Hi, thanks for your response. My daughter was recently diagnosed but I've *known* for a long time. I have lived around BP relatives my entire life and so my daughter's dx was no surprise, not to me anyway. Her bio dad does not seem to want to accept it, but that's a whole other story. I'm not entirely happy with the in-patient program but it's better than what she had been doing - ineffective counseling (not entirely the counselor's fault, my daughter is very non-compliant) and probation. My daughter has been truant from school, assaulted her bio dad more than once, and has shoplifted, which is all part of why she is on probation. She tends to be very aggressive while manic and she has been in a manic state for well over a year.

Again, thanks for your response - it's nice to hear from someone who understands what I'm going through.

Abby

 
Old 06-11-2007, 05:36 PM   #8
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abby2004 HB User
Re: BP husband - warning long post

Don't be ashamed of your family....we ALL have imperfections. Love them the best you can and don't forget to take care of yourself!

Hi Luckygem ,

I try very hard not to be ashamed where my family is concerned........and to not buy into negative things that other people might say. Living in a bigger area where I don't have to deal with the small town gossip has certainly helped. Just over a year ago I lived in town with a population of 1,500 where everyone knows everyone else's business. That was tough because people can be harsh sometimes.

Abby

 
Old 06-11-2007, 06:01 PM   #9
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abby2004 HB User
Re: BP husband - warning long post

Quote:
Originally Posted by 4support View Post
Hi abby and welcome to the board...

I completely understand where you are coming from, I am also married to a husband who is BP II/ADHD and we have 2 young children. I have been married for 11 yrs. My husband is on meds but still hasn't 100% accepted his illness. I remember very well what he was like before he was dx and started medication and it would have been impossible to live with him much longer.

Hi, thanks for your nice response. When I moved out just over a year ago, my husband had not been in that state of mind for several years - he had been depressed for quite some time. This last time I lived with it for just about a year but could not take it any more. Right now I would say he is fairly stable but the hard part is that I never know when that will change.

I will give you the insight I have and any support you need. It often feels lonely when dealing with a spouse (and in your case, also a child) with this disorder. It's confusing, emotionally heartwrenching and draining. To me, the most devastating part of the illness is the unpredictability, I really never know what sort of MOOD my husband will be in and it will change very suddenly. He has said hurtful things that I will never understand but then doesn't want to talk about it when he is doing well.

I have been there too.....it's almost like my husband has no clue just how hurtful some of the things he says are.


Sometimes I also feel that people who don't truly understand (really only those who struggle with the illness, or their loved ones) will be able to help much, although it's nice to have family/friends or a good therapist for support. My family does not know about my husband's illness, I do have a wonderful therapist and the friends on this forum, but this is definetely not something easy to talk about, although I would like to see it become more acceptable and not so stigmatized. Have you been to therapy for yourself?

I have been to therapy for myself on a number of occasions but cannot afford it right now due to the cost of my daughter's treatment. My mother does tend to understand what I'm going through but only when she is able to focus on something other than herself. She has a very "woe is me" personality and tends to be very self-centered - when people talk to her she tends to change the subject a lot to keep the focus on herself. I sometimes wonder if her self-centeredness actually borders on **********. My best friend's husband is bipolar but she and I have very different viewpoints on BP. My dad's family, including my dad himself, does not even know the trouble I am going through and they are very 'surface' people - it only matters if it looks good, doesn't matter if it is actually very unhealthy internally. My husband has a high profile job in the area in which he still lives and my grandparents are impressed with that.....they think I should put up with anything I get because of this - I'm not valued by them for who I am as an individual; they treat their daughter and her husband the same way. I'm really not that close to anyone in my family, either side, and that's part of my frustration. Trying to make new friends is tough because I am afraid once someone learns about my situation that they won't want to stick around and the sad part is that at this point, I would hardly be able to blame them. I used to feel lonely but the scary part is now, I have even less social contact and I just feel numb about it. Something tells me that feeling numb may not be the healthiest thing in the long-term. The only time I don't feel numb is when I am confronted with a social situation......most of which I try to avoid. The thought of being social, for lack of a better description, freaks me out. The thought of doing something social with anyone other than my husband and kids pretty much fills me with dread.

I am about to leave for the day, but I am going to write to you later tonight. It's been comforting to know that we are not all alone and that there are many of us out there who are struggling with this each and every day.

I hope you get a chance to write again......thanks for listening.

Abby

More later........
4support

 
Old 06-12-2007, 07:52 AM   #10
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4support HB User
Re: BP husband - warning long post

Hi abby...

I just read your posted reply to me - I apologize I haven't written more yet but I have been loaded up this week with my business. Plan to write back to you within the next couple of days, just wanted u to know - I hear u and am thinking about u!

More to follow...

4support

 
Old 06-12-2007, 11:22 PM   #11
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kuween01 HB User
Re: BP husband - warning long post

My partner is BiPolar. She and I lived together for 2 1/2 years, and I finally had to kick her out because she's also an alcoholic/addict. Except for 1 time a few years ago, she's been sober for 15 years. The addiction is another story. I told her that she could come back and live with me after she had been clean and sober for at least a year. Well, it will be 2 years next month, and she still slips every couple of months. Nobody else in her family would take her, and she's been to 5 different homeless shelters.

Now, she's in a government program where she has a one bedroom apartment and a roommate. She's been doing really well there, up until the last few months. She even got a job working 2 days a week, 4 hours a day. A week ago, I called her, and she sounded like she was over-medicated. I asked her about it, and she said that she took an extra Seroquel. We had a long talk, and I told her that self-medicating was the same as using. Yesterday, she did the same thing, so I told her not to call me anymore because I'm tired of being stringed along, and that I'd be rich if I had a nickle for everytime she said she was sorry.

Kicking her out was the hardest thing I've ever had to do, but I realized that I wasn't helping her - I was just enabling her. Now, I am thinking that I'm still enabling her because I continue to forgive her everytime she uses again. She says that self-medicating with her meds isn't the same as using, but I don't agree. What do you all think?

Last edited by kuween01; 06-12-2007 at 11:23 PM.

 
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