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12/06/2007 10:45 AM

Bipolar Spouse

cleozsister2
Posts: 6
New Member

Hi,

I'm new to this site and find it very helpful to hear others stories and questions on how they deal with life as a bipolar spouse. To summarize my situation, my husband has suffered with depression and undiagnosed other mental illness for quite some time. Married ten years and in spite of what I thought I new, I was completely taken off guard this spring when my husband's entire personality changed. Of course, he has now been diagnosed with Bipolar disorder. My question is this. Since our marriage, he has shown little interest in sex, quite a different story than before we got married. He has no explanation that he can give and I had accepted that it was due to his meds or his condition. This spring during his first manic phase he wanted another woman that he and I worked with and was suddenly very interested in sex. I was totally surprised as he and I are musicians and in spite of the fact that we are in a very promiscuous business, he has always done all the right things to make me feel secure and to keep himself out of trouble. He no longer wanted to be married as well. He has received treatment and in a very short time returned to his normal self and wanted marriage again. I understand not wanting to be married comes along with this territory, but I'm wondering now if I have been wrong all these years to assume his lack of interest in sex has to do with meds and his condition. I'm sure no one can give me an answer but it does feel better to finally have a place that I can speak about it.

Thanks for any comments

Cleozsister

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12/11/2007 06:52 AM
cleozsister2
Posts: 6
New Member

I hope i didn't violate any rules with my subject matter. I am just having a very difficult time discerning what is actual and what is symptomatic of bipolar disorder. It can be very confusing at times and hard to know how to respond to it when you don't know what you're dealing with. Disorder or real personality. I guess it would make sense to assume I'm dealing with the disorder since my husband in the ten years we've been married has never told a lie and always made me feel loved and special. I just don't want to make the mistake of personalizing his symptoms and making decisions that could negatively affect us both.

Has anyone else had a difficult time understanding the difference between symptoms and reality?

Thanks for any comment

Cleozsister


12/11/2007 08:05 AM
Tara
Tara  
Posts: 23
Member

Cleozsister

I do find myself often wondering is it the illness causing the behaviour or is the illness a good get out for the behaviour.

In my case, is the reality the man who tells me that he loves and adores me or is reality the man who was the cold depressed alcoholic having stopped his meds and who doubted whether we even had a future together.

I think my conclusion - increasingly so after having been able to explore the issues on this site - are that it is the bi-po alcohol addition (dual diagnosis). I have to work with the fact that he enjoys the manic phases and that he is selfish enough to ensure he gets these good times ( when he thinks nothing is wrong) even if he then hits the depression later on.

Do I have the right to ask him to deny him his full range of emotions? Not sure but I do have the right to set boundaries eg I control all finances and property.

I suppose I am lucky as it is only in the depressed stage he goes cold with me and I don't know if I would feel the same if he was involving third parties. Probably not I think.

Hope this helps

Tara


12/14/2007 03:09 PM
dstclair1415
dstclair1415  
Posts: 56
Member

Oh you are not alone, my husband has cheated 4 times that i know of? and it is always in his down times,he gets so stressed and cant handle the family life and then he run from us. I know it is not what you want to hear. I just wanted to let you know you are not alone and where he is cheating or not it is still a withdraw from you which should never be acceptable, I know your fears and I am going through a seperation with my husband of 10 years beacause I need to know is it the BP or is this just him? I wish the the best of luck and hope everything works out for you and you husband jsut dont ever settle for less. I know I can no longer!!

12/17/2007 07:58 AM
cleozsister2
Posts: 6
New Member

Thanks Tara,

It does help to know that others understand my position. I have started talking to my husband about his lack of interest in his own condition. It seems to me that I will continue to have problems as long as I am the only one interested in educating myself about a condition that is someone else's diagnosis. I am stepping back from the co-dependent position I've placed myself in and am insisting that he at least begin to ask questions for himself and research for himself. I can no longer do it for him. I don't want to seem cold but I think my focus should be on myself first and then any assistance I can give him I will. I am no longer interested in helping someone that doesn't want to help himself. When he is on his meds he is fully capable of making decisions for himself that would be in his best interest. He has all the necessary tools, i.e., psych md, psychologist, family md, internet, pharmacist, everything! So, if he doesn't do proactive things to help with his condition, my tolerance level will drop to zero tolerance. His bad behavior will not be acceptable at that point. Not because I don't love him, I love him dearly, but because I love me more. I've had to accept that his lack of concern for his own life is much too draining on mine so I have set boundaries for myself, not for him.

Thank you for your comments. They give me strength which I need a lot of.

I hope all the best for you and yours and don't forget to do something wonderful for yourself this week. You come first!

Cleozsister


12/17/2007 08:16 AM
cleozsister2
Posts: 6
New Member

Hi DStClair,

Thanks for your comments. I am so amazed at how clear I have become since joining this site. No one has specifically given me any advise and I appreciate that but just to hear from you and others really helps me to put everything in prospective. Since joining the site, I have been able to make some very important decisions for my own life. Many years went by without me realizing that I had been spending all my time "helping" and literally neglected myself. The incident with the other woman and his change in personality floored me completely. I almost think I needed that to happen just so I could wake up and see just how much I was neglecting my self in the name of "helping". I was reading a book this weekend and it asked the question "Do you treat yourself the way you want other people to treat you?" That was an eye opener for me. So hence, I'm turning a new page. It's not my intention to suggest that we should not care about our love ones that suffer from this dreadful disease, but I do advocate that unless we care for ourselves we can be of no assistance to anyone else.

Thank you for your comments. Sometimes it only take one word from someone who understands to make things so much better. My life is better knowing there are others like you out there to keep me encouraged.

Do something you love this week, ok?


12/17/2007 12:38 PM
dstclair1415
dstclair1415  
Posts: 56
Member

Wow I could'nt have said it better myself!! Thanks

12/27/2007 03:24 AM
sadtee
TerriTee  
Posts: 3989
VIP Member

Before my husband became ill (long story; he was well for the first 22 years of our marriage), he was very interested in sex with me. when he is having an episode, either manic or depressed, he doesn't seem very interested. It's like when he's manic, he's feeling so good he doesn't really think about me. When he's depressed, he is too down to think about it.

I also believe the meds. play a role. Even when he seems interested things don't always work. I know he's faithful, and I've tried to adjust. It's just one of the many changes I've needed to deal with.

Post edited by: sadtee, at: 12/27/2007 05:25


12/27/2007 04:05 PM
red1965
red1965  
Posts: 5627
VIP Member

The meds can have effect on sex drive. Mood can also have effect on sex drive. Discerning which? When my wife is manic - high sex drive, when she is down - low sex drive. She has been on meds in the past that totally removed any sex drive no matter where her mood was. My understanding is each person is different in mood and reaction to medications.

Promiscuity is one of the symptoms of bipolar.

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