MDJunction - People Helping People
Ask a Question
05/03/2012 07:23 PM

Unemployed for 1yr husband making me crazy

Posts: 5

Hi I'm new to the group. Been trying to reach out to talk to someone lately. Really searching for Godly counsel, the world always says just leave him, you only live once etc. But its just not that easy.....

My husband lost his job a year ago. He got fired while he was sick (physically ill). He has bipolar (diagnosed shortly after having second child) and is suspected that he has EDS (its like this chronic pain thing). Anyway for months and months we waited for arbitration to get his job back. He tried here and there to find something but there was one dumb arrest that got in the way. After a short while he stopped trying. Now he's planning to go back to school which I'm fine with but we started discussing this in doesn't start till fall. That is a lot of months he could have a job.

Anyway what is making me the most crazy is his sleep schedule. Up all night and sleeps all day sometimes into the evening. We have two boys age 4 and 2. And he has them on a completely screwed up schedule. I wake them up when I get home from work at like 2 or 3 in the afternoon. Hubby does absolutely nothing to help out around the house, literally nothing. It doesn't matter how much I talk to him about it, it doesn't change. I work full time and am trying to do a biz on the side on top of that. All he does is sleep and get on Facebook. He thinks because he is "ministering" to people that it justifies it somehow. He doesn't interact with the boys all that much he says to them he is "working." Any extra money he has obtained here and there he wants to use to fix up an old car we don't even really drive. I have told him I feel completely taken advantage of but he doesn't get it. Because he has the boys on such a screwed up schedule and isn't always up with them I am not getting much sleep.

I know this is running on and on. I'm just at my wits end, its like being married to a child. Oh and as an aside he used to be an alcoholic and we got through all of that self medicating I guess (didn't know he had it then) now to this. Lately I'm so depressed and run down.


05/03/2012 07:41 PM
chelle005Posts: 2473
Group Leader

Sleep schedules are very important for people with bipolar It is also important for the kids esp the 4 yr old who will be starting school soon. You may want to talk to him about it. can you put the kids to bed at a decent time and then wake them and hubby before work.

As far as the old car goes, if you can figure it out let me know,

05/05/2012 06:56 AM
Posts: 95

I really think this might be something his doctor can help with. Sleep schedules can be hard for people with bipolar and not having a regular sleep schedule is destabilizing. He may need to change medications or take them at different times. We've been through this a few times and that's always been the easiest fix.

Both your husband and your four year old will soon need to be awake for school and those changes can take time, so do talk to him about working on that now. If he's impossible to wake up (my husband can be) it might be easier to work on getting him to bed at a normal time. There are sleep medications that are safe with bipolar, but he'll need to ask his doctor or pharmacist about which might be best for him.

I think that if he gets his sleep cycles straightened out you might see more rational thinking and he'll definitely do better in school when he gets there.

PS I wish there were a way to get dumb legal stuff that happened in episode expunged after a period of successful treatment. It makes it doubly hard to get back to normal. BTDT, too.

05/05/2012 12:50 PM
shjihmPosts: 175

Try 11 years unemployed.

I have been through this scenario so many times in the first decade of marriage I should probably shoot myself. We are in a much better place now, but if I knew then what I know now I would do it differently:

1) I would have recognized that a few months is long enough to find a job, and that if it wasn't happening maybe there was something else wrong.

My husband always had another excuse. But really it was the bipolar that was keeping him from being ready to work. If he really wanted to work, he would be able to find some kind of a job within one year, even if it wasn't the “dream job”, right? Walmart or something, right? Just to help out with a little extra cash until the dream job comes along? Having a record can really make things more difficult but it is not impossible. What…he gave up quickly, and is too busy spending all day "working" on Facebook? Been there, seen that…signs, signs, will not get better until your husband gets the right treatment and if this many symptoms are still going on he doesn't have it yet. Do you guys have a good psychiatrist? Do you go to all your husband's appointments? Does the pdoc listen to you, the spouse who sees it all and can give him lots of clues as to how the patient is really doing? Have you read up on bipolar? Google Julie Fast. Do you monitor his meds to make sure he is taking them and doing so correctly? You have a right to be involved in these ways because it ultimately affects you and your children.

2) I would not have let my husband go to school before I did.

He skipped classes when he was depressed or tried to take too many when he was manic and although he eventually finished it ended up a big debt neither of us could pay because he still wasn't working. School can just become another place for a bipolar to ruin his life is if he is not yet receiving proper treatment. When my husband and I think back to how different his school career could have been had he been receiving proper treatment…it's enough to make both of us depressed about it. Have both of you finished college and is he going on for post-graduate education? Or have neither of you completed college? If not, you go to school first, so that you can rely on your own salary to support yourself and the kids. When you are done, he can go or not go to school...doesn't matter, because at least you will be able to rely on yourself in order to survive.

3) I would have separated my finances a long time ago.

I know you didn't mention this as an issue but this is one of the things I wish I would have learned early into the diagnosis. Separate your finances and take control of them. Close out your joint credit cards and get yourself a new one with only your name on it, or get his name removed from it. Call the company and have a limit put on all transactions, so they deny any charges above a certain limit unless you call in first to authorize it. Get yourself a second account at your bank, and do not put him on the account...deposit your paycheck into your account and run all your savings and bills through that one. Use online banking so you can transfer money from your joint account to your personal account...he will have no way of accessing your account because his password will only bring up the joint account. That way you can make sure you always have enough money to pay bills and stay he can't get his hands on. It's not being greedy...because by paying the bills you will be ensuring his survival too.

4) I would have recognized the “projects” and signs of bipolar and educated my husband about them being signs of the illness.

This would have saved me lots of stress. The car? Ministry via Facebook? There will always be a project he is fixated on. My husband is doing way better than he used to be after two years adjusting meds, but he still is caught up in a "project" that on the surface seems to be normal...what's wrong with fixing up a car, right? or ministering to others when you can't even help your own wife do the dishes?...but the timing, the way he places an inordinate amount of priority on it, the demands that come along with the project, etc., are clues that it is not the same for him as it would be for the dude down the street just a workin' in his garage in his off time and actually getting something done. It is a sign of bipolar taking over his life. We have learned to “manage” the projects…this was by far one of the hardest things to do and one of the biggest sacrifices my husband made to get healthy. Again, not completely sacrificed but waaaay better than it used to be. Meds helped with that.

5) Meds meds meds.

I tried to pray, and alter my behavior in hopes it will cause him to respond differently, and adjust my expectations, but in the end I learned that God works through mysterious ways and many of those ways have names like…

Lamictal (first med)...he stopped being an asshole.

Remeron (second med)...he started sleeping and eating normally.

Abilify (third med)...he started acting more responsibly

Effexor (fourth med)...he started believing he could accomplish things and started working again.

6) I would have stopped trying to find the magic words.

Because there are none. Ooo, if I only could have accepted this one years ago. You can talk until you are blue in the face…until he is healthy he won't be capable of listening or contributing on the level you would expect from a normal adult…and even when he is doing much better it may never be the kind of marriage they tell you that you are supposed to have on those marriage retreats and all that kind of crap. Because he will always have to deal with he will always respond to things differently to some degree.

These are my suggestions, lesson learned that I wish I could go back in time and tell myself…and every situation differs so there is a lot more good info out there on this site from people who have been through hell and back. Indeed I love my husband and I am on TEAM JESUS, but I can tell you if it weren't for the meds and the fact that my husband was on board with me being involved with his treatment and with asserting myself so much in our marriage and family life, I am not so sure it would be God's will for me to be living in the same household and keeping my kids around someone who was being more of a steamroller than a husband and father.

Please excuse my rant. I'm probably talking more to myself than anyone else here. Hindsight. If only time machines were real!

Post edited by: shjihm, at: 05/05/2012 06:49 PM

05/05/2012 01:02 PM
shjihmPosts: 175

Oh, and #7...walk away...learning to walk away has saved us a lot of hassle. When I don't walk away from something that is getting heated, the conversation usually becomes one of those "bipolar conversations" which never end well. That's a hard one for me, I still take the bait sometimes.

05/05/2012 09:34 PM
Posts: 5

Thank you shjihm that was so helpful.

05/05/2012 09:38 PM
Posts: 5

I've been talking to some people mainly his own sister and husband who are pastors. They recommend that I make a statement and leave for a while. Has anyone found this approach affective or is it more of a getting the right meds situation. Oh and I found out today that he stopped taking his lamitrogine prob a couple weeks ago. Don't think he talked to doc about it just did it on his own. Didn't notice anything too crazy other than naps in the evening at really stupid times.

05/05/2012 10:03 PM
Posts: 11217
VIP Member

Zays, circadian rhythms are really crucial to bipolar people. When they are up all night and sleeping during the day---99% of the time that means they are manic. Manic is NOT good.

Lamitrogine (Lamictal is the brand name) is a mood stabilizer. So your husband quit taking THE most essential med for bipolar stability.

SHIJM gave you priceless advice above. Really helpful and useful info.

I know a number of spouses who have sent their unmedicated unstable BP partner a letter that sets out what will need to happen if the relationship is to continue. The results are mixed, with some very good outcomes. (Some people are too addicted to the mania.) If you are at your wits end, then why not try it?

05/05/2012 10:08 PM
Posts: 5

Thanks marriedtoit, very helpful

Share this discussion with your friends:

Disclaimer: The information provided in MDJunction is not a replacement for medical diagnosis, treatment, or professional medical advice.
In case of EMERGENCY call 911 or 1.800.273.TALK (8255) to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. Read more.
Contact Us | About Us
Copyright (c) 2006-2014 All Rights Reserved