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05/16/2012 02:50 AM

1st support group! Need advice please :-)

Faith29
Posts: 5
New Member

I have no idea where to begin. My husband is in the military. I brought up the whole "bipolar" thing at the end of last year (2011). He promised he would get evaluated to see what could possibly be wrong with him. I truly believe he is bipolar. His mother is a medicated bipolar. Bless her heart! Well, after a session of marriage counseling in January the truth had been revealed by my husband that he did not want to see a doctor because he would be in a position to lose his career in the military if he did have a mental illness. Which I completely understood, however I can't live like this anymore. Everyday I feel like i'm walking on egg shells. He gets angry quickly and says the brutal things to me, and then depending on the time frame he'll switch and act or want to act like every thing is normal as though nothing had even happened (us fighting). With him not being able to get evaluated because of his job, I offered for both of us to see counselors separately. I figured it was a baby step in a optimistic direction. Maybe him talking to someone else could help. Well, he never did see a counselor nor does he dhow any initiative to want to. I feel as if he doesn't care about our relationship enough. I don't know what to do anymore.. Anyone have any advice?

I'm sorry for not being completely detailed with my story; it's just such a long one. If any questions feel free to ask Smile

Thank you in advance!

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05/16/2012 03:08 AM
lifeishard
lifeishard  
Posts: 1651
Senior Member

Welcome to the group! It is absolutely essential that your husband obtains a formal diagnosis. If you honestly cannot live the way you have been (and walking on eggshells is unacceptable) then you may need to begin thinking about setting some ultimatums. You may consider telling him that he needs to see a psychatrist (pdoc) and/or a therapist with you or you will need to separate. It is very important that you go to the pdoc with your husband so they have a complete and accurate picture of your husband's behavior.

05/16/2012 03:16 AM
Faith29
Posts: 5
New Member

Thank you! I know, I know. I wish he's/we'd go and just do it already Sad

I've done the ultimatum thing already. I also left him a couple months ago. I came back because he kept calling my family and I telling us that he'd change and all of the wonderful things that I wanted to hear. He is and has always been a very good manipulator. I feel like I've tried all I can. We've brought up seperating and divorce plenty of times. I feel like he doesn't take any of it seriously. He's used to being babied by his mother and I apparently also do a good job of it so why would he want to get rid of me? Rhetorical question. This whole thing has taken a huge toll on me as well. I feel like I love him but I am no longer in love with him anymore. I've been hurt way to many times by him, trust issues. I'm just exhausted and fed up.


05/16/2012 03:29 AM
lifeishard
lifeishard  
Posts: 1651
Senior Member

I am so sorry you are going through all of this!! ((((((Faith29))))))

One thing about ultimatums is that there must be a follow through (easier said than done Tongue). Maybe this time instead of allowing him to tell you what you want to hear you can demand that he show you! You may also consider posting in the following support group as well:

http://www.mdjunction.com/spouses-of-bipolar-in-active- relationships

I have found a lot of support from this group and it is geared towards people who are in active relationships with BPSOs. A member of that group (hopefulcb) often uses a well know saying that is powerful: 'nothing changes if nothing changes". It sounds like what you have been doing is not working so you may consider some drastic changes. It might also be helpful to discuss with your therapist how to handle this situation.

I think everyone is sleeping right now Wink but you should get some other responses soon!


05/16/2012 09:25 AM
getolife
getolife  
Posts: 95
Member

Faith,

Can you do a bit of research and find out exactly how a diagnosis would impact his career. It scares me to death that the military would prefer to have its mentally ill members remain undiagnosed and untreated. I know that there is a stigma and that there is a lot of bad information out there, but seriously? People who accept their diagnosis and enter into a treatment plan can lead normal lives with appropriate support and understanding. People who attempt to hide their illness by refusing to consult a doctor or start treatment can not lead normal lives and will hurt the people closest to them in ways that end relationships and bring their lives to total chaos. That may be just my opinion, but I've seen enough people in support groups I've been in to know that it happens very reliably.

It may be that he is exaggerating the impact of a diagnosis, depending on his position, and if you can know that, it will help you to feel more comfortable about setting a boundary around it. It may be that he will lose his job because of the bipolar, but it will be a lot harder on all of you if he loses his job because he acts out at work than if he loses it because he is found to have a mental illness.

Work on setting boundaries for yourself. Boundaries are plans to protect yourself and are not dependent on his co-operation. You will not live with abuse so what will you do to escape it? Telling him your plan may influence him to change his behavior, but if it doesn't you still have the plan and know how you will stay safe. Look up "Boundaries" by Cloud and Townsend for more specific information about boundaries.


05/16/2012 10:18 AM
Faith29
Posts: 5
New Member

Thank you (Lifeishard) =)

I think you're completely right. I need to make some drastic positive changes. I think I've been in shut down mode for a while. When he gets home him and I are going to talk. It's not fair that I feel like this and he puts me down. He tells me he loves me and honestly most of the time I don't believe him. I don't understand who treats someone the way he treats me if you love them. We don't have any kids yet either, which is good for this situation. And I'm scared for when we do have kids. I don't want them to go through any of the feelings i feel because of their father. Thank you for the link.


05/16/2012 10:29 AM
Catbaloo
CatbalooPosts: 6811
Group Leader

A diagnosis of bipolar disorder would affect his military career, but there are ways around everything. If he is diagnosed and treated by a private psychiatrist, there is no reason in the world that the military needs to know about it.

If you pay for his meds out of pocket or use a non-government insurance policy to pay for them there will be no way for the military to know that he is diagnosed with bipolar or is taking meds for it. Your pdoc can help with this by prescribing cheap generic drugs or lithium, which is dirt cheap.

Pdocs are very sensitive to privacy issues and will help your husband keep his secret every way they can, so there's no real reason why he shouldn't seek help. He needs help for his own sake and for yours.

Best wishes.


05/16/2012 10:30 AM
Faith29
Posts: 5
New Member

(GetOLife) I have tried speaking with a couple counselors and that is what they told me; being diagnosed could put his career in jeopardy. I feel like he is being completely immature and maybe thinks if he even goes to be evaluated and even worse diagnosed he'll feel embarrassed and shameful. I tried to be supportive as a wife and bestfriend but that didn't work.

He doesn't "act out" with anyone else besides me, his mother, and a bestfriend. I think all 3 of us "trigger" him and have similarities doing so. But I think he's been bipolar for a long time actually. It's just getting worse. I've read on a discussion that it can get worse by age and it terrified me. I'm kind of thinking to myself, no wonder all this is happening.

I don't know where to start with boundaries. I've been saying I wanted to go to the legal office on base and find out info. on serperating and divorce. But I think I keep chickening out, plus he has the car for work so I'd have to sneak and take the bus and hope I am back home before he is. I wouldn't want him to know I went. Although, he brags when we're fighting that he went to see a lawyer before I left him a couple months ago. I don't know if he really did or he is just saying it to get under my skin. I'd just want to seek legal advice because I don't have anything or anywhere to go if I left him. The 1st time I stayed at a friends house but I can't do that again.


05/16/2012 10:37 AM
Faith29
Posts: 5
New Member

(Catbaloo) Thank you! I've thought about that before but had no idea how to seek info. on it. Do you know if the meds could sure on a urine test?

Sounds like a great idea but I'm so scared to bring it up again. I don't know how to speak to him about it. I'm scared for the fighting that may come along with the subject. Any advice how to confront him on it?


05/16/2012 11:26 AM
Catbaloo
CatbalooPosts: 6811
Group Leader

I hadn't thought about urine tests. Hmmmm. I'm not sure what they screen for on those. I would think they would only be looking for illegal drugs, but I honestly don't know.

Your best bet is probably to seek advice from an attorney about what your husband's rights are and how a diagnosis/taking meds would affect his military career. An attorney who specializes in employment law can give you the answers or tell you where to find them. It should only be one consultation, so it shouldn't be too expensive to find out.

I can't give you advice about how to approach your husband since I don't know him, but I can tell you the approach that worked with me. It was my brother who talked me into seeing a psychiatrist.

He printed off an online quiz about depression and anxiety for me to fill out. I scored high for both depression and anxiety. That test and my insomnia convinced me to see a psychiatrist.

There are also online tests for bipolar disorder. They don't diagnose you, but they tell you whether or not you are likely to have bp. I found those tests really helpful after I was diagnosed. My results really reinforced my diagnosis. Maybe it would help to have your husband take a few of them?

My advice is to be be as direct and honest as you can without being accusatory. Talk about how his illness affects you and your relationship. Tell him how you feel and how frustrated you are. He probably genuinely doesn't know how you feel. When things go along for a certain way for so long, people just gets used to the situation. He may be really surprised to hear that you are no longer willing to accept the situation as it is.

I think that's the most important thing: you have to decide that you aren't willing to continue on with the current status quo and you have to convince him that you are not going to tolerate it anymore. Unless he genuinely believes that, he'll probably just do nothing, knowing that you will back down and let it go.

My husband and I had allowed my illness to become our normal. We just accepted the way things were without considering that the situation could be improved. We just thought that it was my personality. The idea that I had a mental illness never crossed either of our minds.

Thank goodness that my brother recognized the problem and brought it to my attention. Seeing the psychiatrist was the best thing that I ever did. My life has changed for the better in every way since I went on meds. Even the ones that gave me side effects helped, but I eventually found a combo that works for me with no side effects that I can detect.

Bipolar disorder is like any other disease. It has to be treated or it gets worse over time.

I wish I could help you more. I feel for you. Feel free to PM me anytime. I'm happy to share my story and to listen to yours.

Big hugs.

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