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Old 05-26-2011, 01:44 PM   #1
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missmiss40 HB User
Looking for some answers

Im new to this group. My husband of 20 years was just diagnosised with Bi Polar II (last week). Over the course of the last 2+ years we have encountered growing marital striff due to his changeing attitude and behaviors. He had always been easy going, even tempered (had only seen him lose his temper once in 18years) got along with everyone and had a great sense of humor. We were able to discuss anything and agreed on how we wanted to raise our kids and how to go about achieving it. He has changed from that person whom I dearly love into a mean, controlling, agressive bully. His behavior has alienated my family and he has closed himself off tohis family (his dad is bi polar also). 2 yrs ago he was diagnosised with ADD and began treatment for it - things were okay more of the time for the first 3 months. Then the downhill spiral began. Snide rude comments made at me in front of family and friends, yelling at the kids, just out of control behavior. In Sept 2010 we went to counseling and we were working on putting our marriage back together; Oct and Nov things had greatly improved we were actually happy and laughing with each other again. In Dec 2010 he decided to go off all meds and not tell anyone. Dec 2010 he was in a steady downward spiral, heavy drinking not sleeping, believing his boss was "out to get" him at work,ect. Due to holidays and illness we missed counseling sessions in the month of Dec. By Jan 2011 he had decided that he and we didn't need counseling any longer and he wasn't going back - by this time I could tell that he was off the charts - depressed and stressed out about his job and that he just needed to make it through the month and all would be okay. In Feb we were working on our marriage and were at dinner together discussing how we both were looking forward to making our lives better and in the middle of dinner he became agitated and stated he had to get out of the restaurant immediately. We left and in the car he stated the he no longer was attracted to me and the we could continue to live together and raise the kids but not have a marital relationship of any sort. That he would continue to make the money and I would raise the kids -that nothing had to change and there would be NO divorce. And that no one was to know about this. Also, I am able to date other men but not allowed to bring them home. The next morning he began changing email addresses and passwords to our joint finanacial accounts. He has spent a great deal of money which we are not feeling the finanacial pinch, he was controlling, mean and unpredicatable, his moods go from 0-60 in 1sec with no apparent cause for them, his job is suffering from his feelings of powerlessness and borderline paranoia, the kids wonder what is "dads problem now" and his marriage of 20 years is so broken and he seems fine with it. Sometime between Feb to the end of April I asked him if he considered that he was bi polar -that did not go over well. By the grace of God we ended up in couseling again (he chucked all his depression and ADHD meds (w/o letting anyone know he was doing that) in Dec 2010 and marriage counseling too) and after 3 sessions the counselor became concerned that he maybe bi polar - he went for testing and is was confirmed. He has an appt to see a pysc next week but he has already said that he doesn't like or/and want to take medicine which of course is the way to treat bi polar. So I guess what my questions/concerns are: (1) if treated will my husband (the man that I married Pre-Bi Polar) return? Or will this angry (at me;its all my fault for everything) mean, cold man remain? (2) Is what has happended to us over the past 8 months normal for someone with bi polar to do? (3) Do bi polar people automatically reject medication?(4)others are telling me that they believe he still loves me but all I get from him is cold, mean, hateful and passive-agressive behavior from him.I have tried to be warm (give hugs to him) but he is unresponsive, he doesn't want to move back into our bedroom, he seems very comfortable with our situation as it is now. Everything I do is wrong, nothing is appreciated (i make his meals, clean the house and laundry,ect). Is there any hope at this point?

 
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Old 05-26-2011, 10:48 PM   #2
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jennifer83swart HB User
Re: Looking for some answers

Quote:
Originally Posted by missmiss40 View Post
Im new to this group. My husband of 20 years was just diagnosised with Bi Polar II (last week). Over the course of the last 2+ years we have encountered growing marital striff due to his changeing attitude and behaviors. He had always been easy going, even tempered (had only seen him lose his temper once in 18years) got along with everyone and had a great sense of humor. We were able to discuss anything and agreed on how we wanted to raise our kids and how to go about achieving it. He has changed from that person whom I dearly love into a mean, controlling, agressive bully. His behavior has alienated my family and he has closed himself off tohis family (his dad is bi polar also). 2 yrs ago he was diagnosised with ADD and began treatment for it - things were okay more of the time for the first 3 months. Then the downhill spiral began. Snide rude comments made at me in front of family and friends, yelling at the kids, just out of control behavior. In Sept 2010 we went to counseling and we were working on putting our marriage back together; Oct and Nov things had greatly improved we were actually happy and laughing with each other again. In Dec 2010 he decided to go off all meds and not tell anyone. Dec 2010 he was in a steady downward spiral, heavy drinking not sleeping, believing his boss was "out to get" him at work,ect. Due to holidays and illness we missed counseling sessions in the month of Dec. By Jan 2011 he had decided that he and we didn't need counseling any longer and he wasn't going back - by this time I could tell that he was off the charts - depressed and stressed out about his job and that he just needed to make it through the month and all would be okay. In Feb we were working on our marriage and were at dinner together discussing how we both were looking forward to making our lives better and in the middle of dinner he became agitated and stated he had to get out of the restaurant immediately. We left and in the car he stated the he no longer was attracted to me and the we could continue to live together and raise the kids but not have a marital relationship of any sort. That he would continue to make the money and I would raise the kids -that nothing had to change and there would be NO divorce. And that no one was to know about this. Also, I am able to date other men but not allowed to bring them home. The next morning he began changing email addresses and passwords to our joint finanacial accounts. He has spent a great deal of money which we are not feeling the finanacial pinch, he was controlling, mean and unpredicatable, his moods go from 0-60 in 1sec with no apparent cause for them, his job is suffering from his feelings of powerlessness and borderline paranoia, the kids wonder what is "dads problem now" and his marriage of 20 years is so broken and he seems fine with it. Sometime between Feb to the end of April I asked him if he considered that he was bi polar -that did not go over well. By the grace of God we ended up in couseling again (he chucked all his depression and ADHD meds (w/o letting anyone know he was doing that) in Dec 2010 and marriage counseling too) and after 3 sessions the counselor became concerned that he maybe bi polar - he went for testing and is was confirmed. He has an appt to see a pysc next week but he has already said that he doesn't like or/and want to take medicine which of course is the way to treat bi polar. So I guess what my questions/concerns are: (1) if treated will my husband (the man that I married Pre-Bi Polar) return? Or will this angry (at me;its all my fault for everything) mean, cold man remain? (2) Is what has happended to us over the past 8 months normal for someone with bi polar to do? (3) Do bi polar people automatically reject medication?(4)others are telling me that they believe he still loves me but all I get from him is cold, mean, hateful and passive-agressive behavior from him.I have tried to be warm (give hugs to him) but he is unresponsive, he doesn't want to move back into our bedroom, he seems very comfortable with our situation as it is now. Everything I do is wrong, nothing is appreciated (i make his meals, clean the house and laundry,ect). Is there any hope at this point?
i was diagnosed with bipolar 2 five years ago, at the age of 22. I had been treated for depression since i was 13. I can relate to everything your husband is doing and it is part of the disorder. sometimes i hate saying that because you feel like your making excuses for your behavior. I have gone off of my meds countless times until i am literally going from depressed to manic in a matter of minutes. it's kindof a classic thing for a bipolar patient to do, to go off of their meds. on your husbands behalf, there is a battle going on inside of us, really broken up 3 ways, our manic side, our depressed side and then there is our conscience saying the whole time " why are you acting like this?" it's not fun, trust me if we could change who we are we would. I don't like taking 5 different types of medicine just to control it, but i am coming to the point that i'm always going to be bipolar, there is no cure, but there is control by taking our medicines correctly. I feel for you deeply, i have put my family, including my 8 year old through hell. I can't say there will ever be an end to it. Thats a decision he has to make by taking his medicine how he should. But i know this, he needs you, tough love when it's needed, a shoulder to cry on when it's time for it. it's sad to say but you almost have to adapt to his world and be prepared for the changes. This is a very tough question to answer because its not just you involved there are kids too. And us bi polar parients can be some nasty snakes in the grass at times. But just know that its the disorder talking, it's not really how he is, thats what i'm trying to learn now, i have bipolar disorder but i am not just bipolar, i will not let it define me as a person. God bless you and give you strength

 
Old 05-27-2011, 08:04 PM   #3
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Join Date: May 2011
Location: MN
Posts: 10
missmiss40 HB User
Re: Looking for some answers

Thank you so much jennifer83swar for your reply...it really does help to hear from others that what is/has happened is "normal" at times. I can't imagine what living with bi polar is like - the daily, hourly mental battles with oneself must be exhausting. I really will work to have more empathy for him and I already get that its the disorder talking (most of the time) I am still concerned with the kids and how all of this will affect them. With you words of wisdom will help me as I navagate our way through living with bi polar. Thank you again.

 
Old 06-01-2011, 07:17 AM   #4
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Join Date: Feb 2011
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Mihral21 HB User
Re: Wife of a newly diagnosised bi polar

You have a lot going on. I hope you get some good responses to help you think things through. I've been married for 20+year to a bipolar guy. For years we didn't know that he had a mental illness at all. Then he was diagnosed with depression and then, about 3 years ago, with bipolar.

To answer some of your questions (from my limited, personal perspective...) I think your last eight months are probably not unusual. I see a lot of posts on the boards about angry, accusatory behavior from the sick partner. My husband will go through a lot to avoid admitting he's at fault It seems he does that because ultimately, he has a sense for how difficult he is to live with. That's hard for anyone to admit, but perhaps particularly so for someone with mental problems.

I don't know that bipolar people automatically reject medication, however I also think it's not uncommon that they will And it's also not uncommon that they'll stop taking the meds because they feel too "flat" and sedated and/or they miss the mania. My hubby takes his pills religiously. However he then does very little else to help himself. He gets up and around more now (at least for the time being) but in the past, he would pop pills and then lay in bed all day. The meds can't do all the heavy lifting. I see more and more over time, the importance of behavioral changes to address the bipolar.

Others tell you he still loves you, but he acts cold and hateful. That can be affected by the illness. While I believe it's important to try and help people we care about, I don't believe we're obligated to sacrifice our own mental stability for someone who refuses to address a problem. Now granted, this is me saying do-as-I-say-not-as-I-do.
Frankly my husband is largely a burden and has drained me of energy and joy and yet here I am. His mental problems and my survival tactics have lead me to become angry, resentful and constantly on edge. I've been told more than once, by people I respect,that I over function and he under functions and the less he continues to do, the more I pick up. (I think back in the day, this would be called 'enabling'?). I've reached a point where I feel little but contempt for him. If you're reading this and thinking "I gotta get me some of that" then, by all means, put blinders on and charge ahead heedless of the wall you're going to hit. It sounds like you're on the 'over functioning' path, and if he doesn't make significant strides to change, it will not get better.

So that leaves the big question; will you ever get back the husband you used to know? And that's a question that sadly no one can answer. It's cliche' but really only time will tell. My only advice is, if you get to the point where the cost become too great, don't be afraid to leave. Particularly if you have kids. I'm not a proponent of easy, frequent divorces, but I've come to believe there can be a time where leaving is the healthiest response.

I hope you hear from other people with their stories and/or suggestions.
good luck with what is really a difficult, thankless situation. And if you feel like posting, please let us know how things go.

 
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Old 06-01-2011, 09:56 AM   #5
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tinkerbell45 HB Usertinkerbell45 HB Usertinkerbell45 HB Usertinkerbell45 HB Usertinkerbell45 HB Usertinkerbell45 HB Usertinkerbell45 HB Usertinkerbell45 HB Usertinkerbell45 HB User
Re: Wife of a newly diagnosised bi polar

Hi there. I read your post and i wanted to let you try to see a few things from someone that suffers from being bi-polar. I have been bi-polar for SEVERAL years and it has taken ALOT of time and effort to try to get me on an even keel.ALOT of tweaking with different medications,ALOT of therapy and ALOT of understanding from my husband and the rest of my family.Over the years i have pushed SO many people away from me because of my mental illness.I guess what i am trying to say to you is that bi-polar is a VERY EVIL disease and it does NOT discriminate.I can understand your frustration with your husbands feelings and his lack of compassion for you as you ARE the one that is having to live with him AND his illness.Also only YOU can make the final decision as to what is best for YOU and YOUR children.I don't know if i have been very much help but i wanted to reach out to you and let you know that we are here to listen and to try to help in anyway we can.I will be more than happy to chat with you ANYTIME just drop me a line. GOD BLESS you and your family!!Until next time TAKE CARE!!!!

 
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Old 06-01-2011, 10:17 PM   #6
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missmiss40 HB User
Re: Looking for some answers

Mirhal21- thank you so much for your reply to my post. At the same time I am sadden to hear that you have been dealing with so much over so many years. Yes, I believe you are correct "enabling" is the path that I am on. It is difficult to draw the line when I can't figure out if he is having a "good" moment or not. For example he asked me to go with him to his psyc appt today-I agreed. Rearranged my schedule to accomodate-ended up sitting in the waiting room(at the pysc request) and then told that we had to return in 2 hours to meet with the pysc again. We went to lunch discussed what the pysc thought and meds and options. Went to the bookstore to look up side effects of the suggested med. Up to this point things were going well. We were having good conversation some deep some light and we were able to discuss his options without me "telling" him what to do. Ok so we get the bi polar books and he takes off with them finds the one open chair (in a group of 3) sits down and reads - leaving me standing there looking stupid. For the next 1hr he reads and I wonder the store (at this point I have honestly already read all of the books on bi polar that are on the shelf) to kill time. We meet back up he hands me the book that he wants and says he going to look around. I go and pay for the book and try to find him...he wanders away from me, doesn't acknowledge im there - basically doesn't care to communicate. Ok fine. 20min later we leave the bookstore to head back to the pysc office. Once we get there he is again "nice" to me (acknowledges Im there, speaks to me) we meet with the pysc (who isn't 100% sure he's bi polar. Really? The psyc has spent 1 hr with him and read 1 report on him - I have spent the last 25 years with the man in the past almost 3 years his behavior and attitude has deteriorated to the point of being just plain mean with the last 9 months have been a nightmare.)Anyway, we finish with the psyc go to make the next appt and DH says you can go now Ill make the appt. Ok I leave to head home. When I get home he is once again withdrawn and isolates himself. Until our son comes home then he's ready to engage with him. And now again this evening he was just plain rude...won't answer my question wouldn't even acknowledge that I asked a question. At some point, I guess I feel that I deserve to be treated with respect 24/7. I feel very used tonight. I feel as though he "needed" me to go with him and once that need was met there was no longer any reason for him to be nice to me. This also happened when I was required to go to the bi polar testing with him. Nice all the way through and once we were in the hallway he became verbally mean and didn't speak to me for the entire weekend. Well its obvious that I still love him (or I would be gone by now) but I have to know what his deal is. Why the meanness? He is no longer depressed so that isn't it. He seems to be back to his "normal" range for the most part. He is highly functioning which I think makes it difficult also to understand his actions/words. Anyway, you are right, there will come a day where I will need to make a decision on what I will accept. For right now, I would like to give him the chance to try the meds and see if that helps. We are in couples counseling but he still insists that the problems (which he can't/won't define) are caused by me. So I can't figure out if its the bi polar (which he's not depressed and seems to be close to "normal") that is making him think this way or if he really does believe that I am to cause of all the undefined problems. I just need some answers. I don't live in limbo very well and for the past 9 months its all I have done. Im concerned that if I don't get some answers I will just give up all together. Im not sure that the pain of ending our marriage would hurt (him or me) any more than going on as we are. Thank you again for your reply.

 
Old 06-01-2011, 10:24 PM   #7
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missmiss40 HB User
Re: Wife of a newly diagnosised bi polar

tinkerbell45; thank you for helping point out that being bi polar is a difficult road too. Its good for me to get that message and helps me have empathy for my DH. I appreciate all of your comments and thank you for your time in replying. Yes, I will need to be the one to decided when enough is enough. I do need to learn some more about bi polar and I need to wait to see if the new med will help his attitude towards me or not. I acknowledge the fact that he may just be mad at me and may really feel that I am the root cause of his unhappiness but I also know that I can't be wrong 100% of the time-that's impossible. So for me, I need to get answers to his attitude towards me so I will be able to better understand where he is coming from and hopefully not take it all so personally. Again, thank you your words have given me a good deal to think about and to try and understand where he is coming from also.

 
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