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Bipolar and infidelity

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I've been married to my husband for 10 years now, and he is bipolar. I was wondering if you could please help me understand why is it he keeps having affairs with women he works with. He has like these high and low moments within our marriage. When we are having a down moment (or problems), he seems to have this pattern of getting involved with another women at work, and the next thing I know he's leaving. Now, of course I don't know about the affair until later on. My soon to be X-husband had this same kind of behavior with his first wife. So now I'm questioning everything he had told me about his first marriage. Now that I am seeing things clearly, I have realized that he has a pattern, and I can predict his next move. I believe his bipolar disability has a lot to do with the infidelity patterns he has formed. He refuses to take any kind of medications. One minute he's up, and the next thing you know he's down. When he's down, then I know it won't be long before he gets involved with someone he works with. Why is this????? I am running out of options, and I'm hoping you can help me!!!!!!
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replied February 22nd, 2010
Experienced User
As long as he remains unmedicated, you have no options.

Stay with him, or go. That's all there is.

Unless you are planning on hog-tieing hime down. Then you can force feed him the meds he needs to remain stable.

Your choices are really only to stay and let this continue to hurt you...or go, and figure out how to move on without him.
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replied February 22nd, 2010
Experienced User
As long as he remains unmedicated, you have no options.

Stay with him, or go. That's all there is.

Unless you are planning on hog-tieing hime down. Then you can force feed him the meds he needs to remain stable.

Your choices are really only to stay and let this continue to hurt you...or go, and figure out how to move on without him.
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replied March 9th, 2010
I have bipolar. Infidelity is a choice not an excuse. period.
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replied March 15th, 2010
BP is not an excuse, but...
Parody, I feel for your situation. I have been recently diagnosed with BP although I have suffered with it for at least 9 years. I have been married for 11 years and have had difficulty in my marriage for at least 5 years, in hindsight, mostly due to my BP and depression. I was treated for Prozac (which may have made matter worse for me) for depression for a year or more prior to this .

Last year my wife and I were physically several times, the first time she asked me to move out and the last time she took my son and moved back to the US (we lived overseas). After a long phase of depression, I got involved in an emotional relationship with a woman.

I became more aware of my cycling up and down. I was would find myself shouting at people and getting into altercations very easily on some days and depressed and weak on others.

I have returned to the US for counseling and treatment. I am on Lithium and have a more stabilized mood.

When I told my wife about my relationship, she immediately filed separation papers and I feel that it is only a matter of time before she files for divorce. I feel for her and what she has gone though in the last few years in dealing with me and not knowing what is going on with my up or down, not knowing how I would react.

Looking back on what I have done, I regret that it has ruined my marriage, I have great regret that I will seldom ever see my son because of these factors. I regret that fact I developed such a close relationship with this woman and the pain that I have caused all involved.

As peacefulhippie said, "Infidelity is a choice" but for someone that is not stable emotionally, the good and bad choices are not so clearly defined.

You cannot understand what is going on with someone with BP unless you have experienced it. I am just beginning to understand what is going on inside of my head and I have experienced it for some time now.

BP is not an excuse to do anything you want and then blame the condition. For me BP in the manic or depressed stages alters my ability to make sound decisions. The bottom line is, if your husband does not get medication and or counseling, he will never change and never get better.

I applaud your strength to weather the storm for 10 years of living with someone with BP. Certainly it is harder for the families to deal with someone with BP. Good Luck.
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Users who thank Mamose for this post: scott45 

replied July 18th, 2012
Mamose this was a very interesting post as I have experienced a very similar situation in my own life. I too have BP and often times I act in ways that hurt the person I love, my wife. She has been kind and supportive over the years. I have been married 20 years now and like you I feel for my wife how can she be stable herself if I act in ways that cause confusion and pain. I am almost 45 years old and you would think I should have it together,but I do not.

I was neglected in my childhood both my parents were not affectionate people and I think I needed attention. My wife is very special and she loves me, but yet I hurt her in ways she is not aware of. I too engage in emotional affairs I get a high from them. The women have no idea I have BP and that excites me. They think I am OK.

I notice you posted this two years ago and I was curious to hear if your wife did file for divorce. I secretly wish my wife would leave me so I can continue seeing other younger women and not feel guilty viewing porn. I have two children they are still young and I have a difficult time being a father, I guess I fail at that too.
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replied August 30th, 2012
I am in a bad state tonight. I am trying to understand what triggers these mood swings. I think I am OK, but I am not OK. I am in my head alot of the time and I look for a quick fix to get by. I have close friends just a few drinking buddies they think I am OK.
She left.
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replied March 16th, 2010
Extremely eHealthy
This is happenning because you tollerate it.

Bipolar disorder can cause problems with intimacy in a relationship and hypersexuality (one of it's common trappings) can make it difficult to behave responsibly with sex. However there is no aspect of BPD that makes decisions for him. Every time he cheated he did so of with full control of his faculties. He made the choice, not the disease. If he has refused treatment then it is clear that he doesn't even considder his adultry to be a problem.

Stand up to him and demand the respect you are due as his partner. If he falters at all, find someone who can meet your needs.
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replied March 16th, 2010
Extremely eHealthy
Failing to obtain medical treatment for BPD and other anxiety-based disorders is demonstratebly damaging to your mind. For many disorders psychiatric medicine is the only viable road to self improvement.

The site you've linked to contains a great number of easily established falsehoods about medicine and seems to be pretty comically biased by the faith that it represents.
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replied June 30th, 2011
Bipolar Partner
My ex husband is bipolar. He cheated and did other awful things. Through all of the mania and horrible depression, I was right there with him, going to hospitals, doctor after doctor, trying every combination of medication imagineable. He's been stable for the last year and a half - no highs, no lows. I am so hurt and resentful toward him...now that he's okay...he's ready to move on with his life. Taking care of him through all of this - even after we were divorced, I did because I still love him. I prayed for this day, after 35 years from his first diagnosis, that he's finally stable. I don't understand how he can just walk away, that all of the caring for him that I did meant nothing. Time to move on and find someone else. If I had someone that had stood by me and helped me that much, I would be so grateful to have them in my life, and it would make me love them even more. Maybe it's a good thing that I can't understand this. I don't bring up the hurtful things he's done, but seeing as how we are both members of AA, we are supposed to work the steps. All I get from him is, "I've forgiven myself for the things that I did, so you just need to get over it." Maybe after spending most of his life either in euphoria or the depths of hell, he really doesn't know how to feel love in a normal way. I'm trying to believe it, as I need something to help me understand all of this, because I can't make any sense out of it.
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replied July 4th, 2011
Experienced User
Sadirishgirl

I also believe that BP have a lot of difficulty in loving people normally. Its like they cannot understand what love really is. My ex just turned against me after having had my help for one year and a half, he was out of work and could not buy a pair of shoes, I helped him with clothes, shoes, electrical goods for his place, a mobile phone, paid for trips out of state, paid for dinners when he couldnt, gave him money in his hands, put credit in his mobile phone regularly,etc, etc. I did out of loving him , however he now told my daughter behind my back that I tried to buy him by giving him things! Nothing could be further from my mind, I only saw the need and I had some money so I helped him. Now he is away from me, saying he doesnt love me, and I believe he is with a woman he met before, someone he called a 'woman of easy life' and 'stupid'to a point of not even knowing what a computer is.His words. He has left me for her before, came back saying she is not for him but I believe that he is back with her for sex.
I have now learned my lesson and he wont see any more of my money, ever. He even asked me for a lend of a sum and never paid back. He still wants to be friends!!!!! I know what that means in his book, 'if we are friends we still go out and you still put money on me, but I dont need to have a relationship and commit to you'.
I said NO for the offer of 'friendship' and told him I want nothing to do with him.
This was a man who stayed with me for one year and a half, many times a week, slept with me, travelled with me, said many beautiful things, asked me to be his girlfriend, said he was 'my husband'.Now im nothing and he is off me, treating me with coldness and distance.
He completely forgot all the help I gave him, all the things we did together, all our life and everything, he just went without a thought for his behaviour and my pain.
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replied July 18th, 2012
Hi. My name is Scott and I found your post helpful. I have BP and I cause a great deal of pain to my wife. It is true what you say many of us with BP do not know how to love because we did not receive acceptance and love ourselves in our childhood. Both my parents neglected me and I crave attention in ways that I know are not healthy. I have a difficult time keeping myself in balance and I find myself unstable with mood swings and irritability.
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replied July 6th, 2011
Experienced User
Whatever you do....do not lend any money because they won't pay it back. I found out the hard way with the nut I was involved with. She needed some money....I told her I would give it to her....she told me no....to lend it to her....so I did. Never seen one penny of it so what difference did it make lending the money rather than giving it?
I also believe they do not understand what love means....it's simply a word they mumble from their mouth. I also did many things for the nut I was involved with....out of love for her and nothing else however they will turn anything around to suit their twisted ways.

Chris


Reggiane wrote:
Sadirishgirl

I also believe that BP have a lot of difficulty in loving people normally. Its like they cannot understand what love really is. My ex just turned against me after having had my help for one year and a half, he was out of work and could not buy a pair of shoes, I helped him with clothes, shoes, electrical goods for his place, a mobile phone, paid for trips out of state, paid for dinners when he couldnt, gave him money in his hands, put credit in his mobile phone regularly,etc, etc. I did out of loving him , however he now told my daughter behind my back that I tried to buy him by giving him things! Nothing could be further from my mind, I only saw the need and I had some money so I helped him. Now he is away from me, saying he doesnt love me, and I believe he is with a woman he met before, someone he called a 'woman of easy life' and 'stupid'to a point of not even knowing what a computer is.His words. He has left me for her before, came back saying she is not for him but I believe that he is back with her for sex.
I have now learned my lesson and he wont see any more of my money, ever. He even asked me for a lend of a sum and never paid back. He still wants to be friends!!!!! I know what that means in his book, 'if we are friends we still go out and you still put money on me, but I dont need to have a relationship and commit to you'.
I said NO for the offer of 'friendship' and told him I want nothing to do with him.
This was a man who stayed with me for one year and a half, many times a week, slept with me, travelled with me, said many beautiful things, asked me to be his girlfriend, said he was 'my husband'.Now im nothing and he is off me, treating me with coldness and distance.
He completely forgot all the help I gave him, all the things we did together, all our life and everything, he just went without a thought for his behaviour and my pain.
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replied July 8th, 2011
Sadirishgirl/hotandsunny sad stories. Hotandsunny; I have read many of your posts and it all rings too true/close to home. Many people within these forums have gone through the same ordeal with a Bipolar partner. Within these realtionships; there are the three choices: stay, friendship or leave. I left as it was too much on me mentally. Many stories within these forums ring all too true. The person w/Bipolar does not understand nor care what pain they inflict on another human being. It's all about them and only them. They tend to make excuses to "cover" their behavior regardless of whether they are true or not to make themselves feel better about the situation because most view themselves as a "bad" person to begin with. Additionally; I believe they do not have a full understanding of love nor do they have the capacity to love another they way normal people can (that is what ever is normal??). I am sorry for both of your heartaches. Best wishes to both of you!
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replied July 18th, 2012
TomHolly, I just joined this forum as I have been having a difficult time. Reading these posts are helpful, but also I feel even worse. I want to be honest and as a man with BP and depression since my 20s I have to say that you hit the button. I do "cover" my behavior as you stated. I secretly have several passwords on my computer so my wife won't see that I view porn or visit dating sites. I take my iphone everywhere and I keep it close. I like the excitement that the iphone brings when I think she may be suspicious. I see other women. I am a bad person and the worst part is that I like it. And then I hate myself for being so sick. This is all so ridiculous. I know I need help. I am 45 years old and I act like I am a teenager.
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replied July 9th, 2011
I want to address all of you who are confused about bipolar disorder. First off, there is Bipolar 1, then there is Bipolar 2, which is me. Bipolar 1 is very serious and the person must be on medications to control the mood swings. They would be the ones most likely to race their car, spend too much money, have affairs..etc while manic.

Bipolar 2 has mood swings that can be very severe but not to the extreme of losing touch with reality. My highs were too high and then I would crash and my lows would be too low. Sometimes it would be hard to get out of bed in the morning, whereas during the manic phase I go with little or no sleep.

I have been on an antidepressant since 2003 and a mood stabilizer since 2008. It has helped me tremendously. I couldn't even function on jobs when my stress from the mania or the depression would effect my job performance at times.

As someone who is happily married for 20 years, a persons moral values are set. BP can not be used as an excuse provided the person is taking the medications.
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replied April 5th, 2012
Bad Choices
I have BP and I destroyed my marriage of 15 years. I had an affair while in a depression. I rationalized the behavior by saying I needed "this" for my happiness or to find some pleasure. It wasn't happiness of course. Just the rush from doing something I knew was wrong. I didn't love the person I was having the affair with or even find them attractive. I have made several dangerous sexual choices since the break up which deeply disturb me. I am normally a loving and kind person that puts the needs of those she loves ahead of her own. But in the past few years things have gone to hell. I am not trying to sherk responsibility for my actions.They were my choices! but I can not express enough how out of character they were for me.

I am still trying to find the right medication. I have lost my family and I am worried I will lose my job eventually too because of these ridiculous mood changes!

Julie
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replied February 24th, 2013
I know its been a while since your post, but I hope you respond. My girlfriend of 6 months has gone off her medication. She was on lithium, seroquel, zoloft and about 3 others that I am not sure of. She told me that she was going to quit takiing the lithium (probably long aafter she had actually already stopped) and may have stopped some of the others. She went out, had an affaair with a guy at work, which caused her to possibly lose her job (not determined yet), spend money she didnt have wildly, send her daughter away to live with her dad. And this is all in the last 6 weeks. She told me that she is incapable of loving someone (she hass childhood molestation history as well as completely disfunctional rrelationships with her entire family). She told me that she still wants to have a relationship with me, but sexual only. In the last 3 days she went directly from my bed to the guy sh had an affair with, then tried to immediately come back to me within a period of 36 hrs. I cannot wrap my head around this behavior and any response you have may not provide me any answers. I have spoken with her best friend, who has known her since she was 6, and explained to me that she has never been faithful to anyone, but that her current behavior iis way out of line.I want to lessen her responsibilty for her actions by factoring in her myriad of mental illnesses, not just BP, and not being on her meds, but Im not sure thats the case, I wonderr if she has never been on the right combo of meds. Is ther any hope of helping her to live a "normal" life or am I sticking my head in the sand?
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replied April 5th, 2012
Hi Julie:

I tried to respond back to you this morning but forgot my password.

I am sorry that your life feels like such a mess right now. I do believe that if you can find a really good Psychiatrist, that they can get you on the right medications in order to stablize you. I take Lexipro for depression and anxiety and Lamictal for mood swings. It has really helped my life.

I wish you well. Once you start to feel better again, your whole life will change.
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replied April 5th, 2012
Thank you for your kind response. I feel incredibly alone so it means a lot.

Julie
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replied April 21st, 2012
Hello Julie, Just a quick note to let you know you are not alone in this! I have found a wonderful psychiatrist who has diagnosed and medicated me, when no one in my 40 years could. I have made so many mistakes in my life, they are mine and I own them. They may be the only thing I can truly call mine.. LOL. My doctor told me the stories of my infidelity helped to diagnose my BP. It all added up to the making incredibly poor choices part of being diagnosed.

I am currently taking Effexor, Wellbutrin, and Limictal to manage my symptoms. And for the most part I feel wonderful.

I believe we are all different, even in the way BP effects us, but I'm going to be honest and tell you I still have the urge to do something crazy...jump off the deep end, from time to time. Most of the time, those thought revolve around sex. As you said in an earlier post, I too believe it is the "thrill" of doing something wrong that my manic self is looking for.

I wish you well in your search for a good doctor and in your treatment. As I began, please know you are not alone. I was only diagnosed a year ago. I have destroyed 2 marriages, and currently in my 3rd. And when I was diagnosed I had never felt more alone.

Hang in there Girl! Smile
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replied April 24th, 2012
Thank you Keilce!
Your words are kind and ring true. It is nice to not feel alone. I am trying a new med right now and I am hoping it will help. Good luck with your journey!
Take care
Julie
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replied November 20th, 2012
i am a horrible person
I was diagnosed with Bp and i have been so distructive to myself and everyone in my life i was on medications for about 3 years and my marriage was perfect and life seemed to be content and then i got off of it becouse i thought that maybe i was cured and it seemed like within a year of being off of the medications i was cheatin and lieng i couldnt find anything that made me happy and i was always trying to fill a void and the emotions that come with this is horrible anywhere to wanting to kill myself or out to find someone to tell me i am sexy or smart all the things that i am not know i sit here after ruining my life i have no job i have no husband or boyfriend and i have four that still sit here beside me no matter what but i have drug them through so much damage and i want so bad to be better but i dont know what to do and it scares me
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replied December 5th, 2012
The struggle is everyday. I am learning that I had to dig up the past and look at my relationship with my parents especially with my mother. Most of my childhood I felt rejected by her she was too busy with my ohter younger sisters and brothers and I felt invisible in her eyes. So I had to find ways to get attention.
Be grateful for what you have today.
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replied December 5th, 2012
The struggle is everyday. I am learning that I had to dig up the past and look at my relationship with my parents especially with my mother. Most of my childhood I felt rejected by her she was too busy with my ohter younger sisters and brothers and I felt invisible in her eyes. So I had to find ways to get attention.
Be grateful for what you have today.
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replied December 30th, 2012
Consequences of bipolar
I have been diagoinsed with BP many years ago I am 38 and I take lamitical, topamax and celexa . Before my diagnose my husband was in the military and I bought a new car, had an affair and put us in debt. This is a serious illness and can ruin your life. I was completely unaware of my actions and never thought about the consequences until it was to late. I too suffered a negeled childhood where I lacked any maternal contact. I do realize I don't have an understanding of real love because you can't give what you don't know. Even with my meds I do go through highs and lows still but not nearly as bad. The worst is the overwhelming feeling of depression you can't get rid of where my whole personality disappears and that is what no one understands. I just hope my children are not cursed with this.
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replied March 13th, 2013
My husband of 29 years was dx with bp 2 about 14 years ago. We definitely had some real tough times with his explosive behavior. One time he grabed my wrist in anger. I immediately told him to let go and if it ever happened again, I would first call the police and then a lawyer. He never touched me in anger again. It was more verbal or going into the garage to break some scrap wood. He never strayed from the marriage. I doubt that I would have stuck with him if he had. He is completely med compliant and still sees a therapist periodically. Things are not perfect but are so so much better. His mood swings are few and far between. Not every bipolar person cheats. I did stand by him through tough times but never would tolerate being treated like a door mat
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