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child of alcoholic father and possibly bipolar

My husband recently left me. I mean literally just up and left and packed his bags while I was at work. It's been over 6 weeks since this happened, and it happened just short of our 6 month anniversary.

I've known him for 8 years, and dated for almost 5 years until finally getting married. The thing is, I think he is also is exhibiting symptoms of bipolar disorder which runs in his family but is undiagnosed. His brother and my sister-n-law tried to warn me but when I addressed it he would always deny it and act like everything was fine.

Before he left, he kept saying to me that he had to take care of everybody and he was getting tired of it. I didn't know what he was talking about or why he was feeling like he did. It wasn't making any sense and his thought process seemed erratic.

I found a few days after he left that he cheated on me and he was signing a lease with this woman. In the minimal times I've spoken with him he said that he wasn't moving in with her but then how do I know that wasn't or isn't a lie? I don't know anymore what were lies and what was the truth.

He will only communicate with me over email. His emails are so different from the last, the first was angry that everyone was making themselves as the victim from him leaving me rather than him. It was that first email that he told me to ask my psychologist (I started seeing one after he left because it was so unexpected) about children of alcoholic families and the relationships and roles that developed. So I did and I have been trying to learn as much as I can on Adult Children of Alcoholism and about bipolar disorder. He has stopped talking to his immediate family and his friends. From what I understand, I am the only one he will even email. He keeps telling me that his brother and sister-n-law have abandoned him (even though he's the one refusing to talk to them) and that his parents are in denial. He is the eldest child of an alcoholic family, his father is alcoholic and also suffers from depression but medicates it with alcohol.

How do I talk to him? He's my husband. Something tells me he just wants me to wash my hands of this but I still want to help him get help. As I read about adult children of alcoholism, and about bipolar disorder, everything seems to tie in now. Right now, this isn't the man I married. How do I get through to him? He says he's seeing a psychiatrist now but....I'm at a loss. Because he just up and left with no explanation, I find myself trying to fill in the blanks....do I just walk away? Do I stay and try to fight for my marriage? He seems confused as to why has reacted the way they have to him leaving me.

He seems angry at everybody. From what I have been reading it seems like he is exhibiting some of the traits of ACOA but he also exhibit traits of bipolar disorder. How can I reach out to him where I'll get through? Especially if he'll only communicate over email? It's almost like he forgot that we got married. When I married him, I meant my vows, for better or worse....how do I do this over email?
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replied October 9th, 2009
I cannot tell you what decisions you should make with your life but I can tell you as a practicing psychologist and as an emapthic young woman what I feel would be the more right course of action for yourself. Also I should note that my father had severe alcoholism with quite an abusive hand to him towards his kids. I havent seen him in 11 years and havent spoken to him in5 because he just could care less. But i know how it affects me and I will be honest about this as well (thought thankfully I am free of burdens of mental disorders). Yes he is your husband and you've known him a very long time and you did promise for better or for worse which may make you feel onligated to try and prevent his total crashdown...but take a momentary breath and think about your life and future. If he truly is bipolar that is a lifelong issue he will need to deal with, and bipolar is one of the hardest to treat as they tend to stop taking their medication. You are likely to (if you and he get back together) experience him leaving under the claims of extreme duress more often than you will care to remember. Besides how can a woman feel happy knowing the man she married, the man who is meant to be her rock, could not mentally handle the idea of a new, unburdened marriage for all of 6 months. He will need a psychologist for the rest of his life and medication to help him cope.
Now think, do you want to have children? Think what sort of life you want your kids to have. Understand that genetics play a huge role and alcoholic disease likes to skip generations. By having children with him youre exposing them genertically to those weaknesses. But whats worse is he has exhibited signs of an extremely lacking self esteem and personal strength and this man would be the role model as a father to them. Do you really want their and your lives to be confined in that way? Do you think you and they will deserve the misery that comes with it? The stigma those kids may suffer in school and how that will affect them in the future. And having alcoholic and emoionally disturbed gradparents is no treat either.
Now your questions about trying to fill in the blanks, darling you cannot fill them in. Having mental and emotional issues/baggage results in irrational actions, and you CANNOT decode them. It seems that he left because he psyched himself out into feeling pinned down by the idea of responsibility and thinking that his life is now all about taking care of you both instead of just himself, and the idea overwhelmed him...despite the fact that there was obviously nothing overwhelming about your relationship.
You can remain a friend and a support to your husband but for all that is worth to you please consider whose happiness is most important to you at the end of the day. You can sacrifice your own (and possibly that of your future children) by devoting your life to his well being... but why the hell should you be dealt such a short hand in life. Oh and also he is probably living with the woman if his name is on the lease and he is too ashamed to admit it to you, because it seems to me he obviously loves you and is carrying guilt around but he is not able to cope.
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