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07/24/2011 01:37 PM

How To Deal With A Broken Heart

Posts: 4281
Group Leader

Hi everyone. As most of us know, there are a myriad of bipolar symptoms associated with both the manic and depressive episodes of an individual suffering from bipolar disorder.

Today I want to discuss one of the bipolar actions of "hypersexuality" while chemically imbalanced. I will be speaking from a personal perspective and most of this is only my opinion. But, in realizing there is usually pain of some sort associated with any actions during a bipolar episode, I'm not sure any breaks the heart of a spouse more than an affair due to hypersexuality issues while manic. Raging is bad, as well. But I can't speak to that, because my husband doesn't do that very often. So....I am writing this to help any others that may be wondering how to deal with a broken heart.

Most everyone on here has heard my husband's story a million, but as long as I can help someone else get through something similar, I'm committed to telling it. My husband knows I'm on here. He knows I talk about it frequently and he is supportive because he witnessed firsthand how much damage can happen to any relationship when a person who is suffering with bipolar steps outside of their marriage/exclusive relationship with another person.

For those of you who are unaware of my story and for those of you who need mercy (in not having to hear it again...Tongue) I'll keep it short. My husband fell into a severe full-blown bipolar manic episode in late December/early January 2010 which lasted from 6 to 8 weeks. He did alot of things during the episode, but the one thing that broke my heart and nearly destroyed our relationship was a cybersex/telephone sex relationship he had with an ex-girlfriend from nearly 30 years ago.

My husband never conducts himself that way and when he came out of his mania....we both had a broken heart. I've learned a few lessons in my quest for emotional healing and want to share those lessons with anyone who is where my husband and I found ourselves last year. For lack of a better term I will call it a Bipolar Manic Affair.


1) It is possible for a person in mania to function in seemingly an almost "normal" way, while in reality being very "off" in their thinking and decision making.

2) During an affair due to bipolar mania it is truly possible to conduct yourself in a way that is going to seriously impact your marriage relationship.....and not fully realize the impact until you are chemically balanced again.

3) If a person w/bp suffering from severe hypersexuality falls into an affair, it more than likely has nothing to do with whether or not the spouse or SO has been "meeting their needs" or that the person in mania no longer loves their spouse.

4) The part of the brain that is affected most during mania (as far as being chemically imbalanced) is the part that governs pleasure, thus explaining why several manic actions are of a self-gratifying nature like gambling, over-spending, hypersexual affairs, etc.

5) Not all hypersexuality during mania leads a person outside of their marriage/exclusive relationship. It is entirely dependent on the severity of the episode and the level of impulse control the sufferer has at that moment. Also, it is very important for the sufferer to have an understanding of their illness and a willingness to "watch for signs" early on of any actions that may indicate they are falling into mania. This is something that can be learned over time.

6) There are PRN (as needed) medications that can be administered, early on, to possibly lessen the severity of the manic episode and hopefully shorten it, as well.

7) If a Bipolar Manic Affair occurs in your relationship, it is very normal to feel like your life has been interrupted, to feel anger, to feel unloved, to feel betrayed, deceived and embarrassed, or to feel maybe like it was somehow your fault or that you could have done something to prevent it. You may even feel like everyone else knew about it, but may feel foolish to have not known..You may feel like you have something wrong with you or inadequate. You may even feel like there is no way to get past the affair and your life together is over.Sad These feelings are all very normal. But now for the biggest surprise of all.....




8) I learned it is still possible to believe in your spouse and to work toward reconciliation.

9) I realized no one has as much invested in our marital relationship as my husband and I do, and other people's opinions and desires for me to break up with him don't matter. I don't have to listen to them. They don't/won't understand anyway. They will never believe your marriage wasn't "on the rocks" or that your spouse was just discontent in the relationship. They will judge everything by the standards of individuals who don't suffer with bipolar disorder. And no matter what any one says, a person with bipolar disorder has an uphill battle many times when it comes to impulse control, during mania.

10) My husband says an individual who falls into an affair as a result of hypersexuality while manic will be ashamed of their behavior. They will not blame their behavior on anyone else. They take personal responsibility for their actions, even though they really "didn't mean to do it, or didn't plan to do it". They will be afraid of their own behavior and they will be afraid their family is destroyed due to their actions. Guilt upon Guilt upon Guilt.

11) It is possible to forgive the offense and work together for healing, if both are willing.

12) It is possible to get past the hurt, the hate, and the feelings of hopelessness.

13) I have given it much thought and realize if the table was turned and I had the disorder and conducted myself unseemingly while manic, I would want mercy and understanding, if possible. I probably wouldn't think I deserved it, either....but I would genuinely hope things could be resolved.

14) I've learned it is easier to forgive than forget.

15) Some things I did on my quest for healing was to read books on strengthening my marriage relationship, got very quiet and was willing to unplug my phones if I needed time for myself. I learned to say "no" to other people when I was stressed out and didn't want to deal with them, at the moment (to include family members...) I learned that I am an okay person and things weren't always my fault. I had a sincere desire to work through the mess caused during the manic episode. I really considered my feelings for my husband and decided he was worth standing by and helping. I was willing to talk to my husband about all of it and seek to understand. I was willing to learn about his illness and use the information discovered to better assist him in his recovery from the episode.

16) After the discovery of the affair, I went through a very terrible period, as well, where I isolated and shut myself off too much from the outside world. But I realize now it was necessary at that time. Each person heals in their own way. I talked about my story and told it over and over until I began to desensitize myself to the things that had occurred. It was my coping mechanism. For others it may be different. And some people can't tolerate the betrayal, AT ALL, for ANY reason.... and there is no condemnation in them calling it "quits" either. Each person has to do what is right for them in a case like this. For me, I chose the route of reconciliation...with some deal breakers and guidelines laid out for my husband.

17) I've heard it said before that "I couldn't heal as long as I was asking....why did this have to happen?" When I finally quit asking "why" and was willing to thank God for all the good things I still had in my life, I started to heal.

I am thankful that my relationship was not totally destroyed because of my husband's Bipolar Manic Affair. I believe we were able to make it due to both of our willingness to see it through, forgiveness, prayer, honesty, etc. It was hard but so far, so good. Our relationship hadn't ended and I was still willing to rebuild.

18) And finally, I've learned it is possible to laugh again and find joy in the small things.


Post edited by: lollipop, at: 07/24/2011 02:07 PM


07/24/2011 05:45 PM
enoughalreadyPosts: 1406
Senior Member

Thanks for sharing lolli, this is wonderful and inspiring!!

07/24/2011 07:16 PM
Posts: 175

Great Lolli-

I would add to the healing. When you are angry, depressed, suffering from the feelings of resentment, humiliation, etc, etc, etc.... show them kindness and an act of love. I know it seems counter-intuitive, but it works. If it didn't work out, I would know it was not because I contributed any more negative feelings or actions

While I have often suffered emotionally during the last year, I decided one thing- I would just love her. When I thought about what happened, I would give her a kiss and tell her I loved her. When I was at my darkest, I treated her with even more kindness and compassion.

Has it fixed or healed everything, from my end- hell, no. I will say that it has helped a great deal with our relationship and her illness; and that is a start.

07/24/2011 07:42 PM
Posts: 4281
Group Leader

I totally understand Vinny, and I agree wholeheartedly...

07/24/2011 08:48 PM
Posts: 332

Post edited by: chuckels82, at: 05/13/2013 10:57 AM

07/25/2011 09:27 AM
Posts: 1153
Senior Member

Thanks, Lolli. I've tried to be so forgiving and loving, but I think that the person suffering with BP then has to deal with their own humiliation and guilt, which can be quite a heavy burden to bear. Although I told DH I forgave him, his struggles to forgive himself have led him to believe that divorce is the only solution, that by divorcing me, he ensures that he never hurts me again.

Hypersexuality doesn't just hurt the betrayed spouse, it also hurts the BP person. I think Vinny is right, the best you can do is LOVE.

07/25/2011 12:55 PM
Posts: 1463
Group Leader

Okay, so I've been lurking in the background lately and trying to figure out when to jump back in. I have been struggling a lot lately with this very thing. A light bulb went off when I read what Vinny wrote. Although my husband didn't physically cheat on me, he did have an online affair which turned into texts, phone calls and pictures being exchanged with someone a few states away. I can't imagine the pain of a physical affair. This girl has been haunting my thoughts, my dreams, my life. My husband is doing so well and we don't talk about what happened. Well, when we start to get close to it, he tears up and I just have to change the subject. I am not angry with him over it anymore. I know he was the most manic that he has ever been when this occurred. After I sent a FB message to her telling her that I have WebWatcher installed on my PC, then I knew I didn't have anything to worry about. But, last week I got a phone call from a close friend of mine and the girl had sent her man a message saying to tell my husband hello and thankfully my friend caught it before her man read it. I told her to just delete it and don't respond. That feeds this sick individual. Oh and she just got married about a month ago!! So, I know that this recent activity has messed me all up again and I can't talk to my husband about it. My friend swore me to secrecy because she didn't want her man to know she checked his account. I hope all of this makes sense. Anywho.... thanks so much for that suggestion. When I think about it, I'm gonna go give my hubby a big ole kiss or hug and tell him I love him. I will not let her win this time!

Thanks, guys!! I have really missed all of you and I will post again.... just gotta get back in the game. I can tell that I am not doing as well without you guys.

07/25/2011 01:13 PM
Posts: 1153
Senior Member

Counseling. That's all I can say, innerglow. I tried ignoring it, but it doesn't go away. The other woman haunts me, too. Not talking about it doesn't help, either. But yes, show him lots of love, show him that he CAN gain your trust back.

Ugh, I don't understand those other women, who don't have a problem with cheating. They're sick. Sad

07/25/2011 01:35 PM
Posts: 4281
Group Leader

It's good to hear from you innerglow. I just had you on my mind earlier today and wondered how you were doing.

I'm sorry you still struggle so deeply with the emotions revolving around your husband's online affair. It is understandable that those emotions would be fanned into a flame again by that inconsiderate woman trying to slip a message to your husband through a friend.

That is the very type of behavior that caused me so much difficulty in getting past things when my husband had his episode last year. It is difficult enough to try and wade through the fall-out of a serious manic episode, without having someone else trying to continue an affair after they've been caught and asked/told to stop. Personally, I think women in particular have a hard time stopping having an affair with a man because they personalize it more and whether it is subconscious or not they feel in competition with the spouse. But don't worry innerglow, you have your husband because he loves you. So remember what VinnyB says and whenever those fearful and hurtful feelings try to surface, just hold on to the fact that your husband could have said he wasn't going to stop the online affair....but instead he CHOSE to continue his relationship with you! If he had cared about her, he wouldn't have stopped. She is just a trouble maker and a loser. Try not to let her attempts to continue the relationship ruin your life with your husband. And you are right, ignoring her will probably be the best thing to do. She doesn't deserve any attention at all from you or your husband. In my opinion, anyone who will continue to try and have an affair with a person when they KNOW that the person is married and has a family who will be affected, is a low-life opportunist piece of trash. In fact, I almost could have felt a little bit sorrowful for the ex gf my hubby was messing around with if she had stopped initially after being told to back off. I actually could have said, "Well, she was wrong, but possibly a victim of his mania, too." BUT NO WAY. People who continue to try to cause pain and destruction to other relationships DELIBERATELY by stoking up the problem and continuously trying to keep on, aren't victims....they are "victimizers". That's what I finally realized about that woman who admittedly had continued to contact my husband. That caused me much grief. And I think that may be where you are right now, by realizing she is trying to keep up the relationship with your husband. She is victimizing you. Don't let her succeed.

(((((((HUGS AND LOVE))))))))(((((((INNERGLOW))))))))

And Innerglow, another I said talking about my situation over and over and expressing myself...even when I threw fits and put my inner most feelings out there for everyone to helped me to move past it. Some people find more solace in getting totally quiet and pushing their feelings down. That didn't promote healing with me. I had to get it out. This forum allowed me to do that. No one ever told me to stop being as real as I felt I needed to be on here. I had to be honest with how I was feeling if I was ever going to get inner peace. Please feel free to come on here and talk about what you are feeling because of what happened to you. Infidelity in ANY form (whether physical or emotionally) is a very big thing and not taken lightly by a person who is in love with their spouse! Get it out. This is a Spouse Support Site and we are here for you!!!!

Information is shared here about the illness, but also we are a sounding board for each other to help comfort each other and share the load until you can carry it on your own. At least that is what mdj has meant to me. So blast away if you need to. Get it out. We need to support our loved ones with this disorder, but we have to find comfort ourselves so we will be strong enough to support them, too.

My counselor told me there is no proper timeframe for healing from a thing like this. She said it takes as long as it takes. And for me not to feel guilty or pressured to reach the goal by a certain time. I had placed alot of pressure on myself to be able to forgive and get on with my life. But in the end, it really does "take as long as it takes". Just remember this one thing. As long as your husband is trying to do right, don't worry about what dumb thing that chick will do next. She is nothing to you and your husband. Take care. Love ya!

Post edited by: lollipop, at: 07/25/2011 01:44 PM

07/25/2011 03:29 PM
Posts: 4891
VIP Member

Innerglow, I'm glad you posted!! I've missed you. I understand how this issue can continue to bother you. 7 years later, I still am haunted by the %^&@##@ who took advantage of my manic fiance, when I drive through our old town. Not to the degree of years past, it has gotten a lot better.

It sure helps that your husband is more stable now and realizes the hurt he caused.

I hope you get back to posting, I agree, it helps to be here and we love to hear from you.


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