Medical Questions > Mental Health > Bipolar Disorder Forum

living with affected husband

I read through some of the other threads of wives/husbands dealing with this, and I am relieved to know I am not alone. I also now know I am not dealing with stuff as bad as most.

My husband does not have an honesty problem, and he is not cheating on me. He's not really intimate with me, but thats another story I guess.

We have been married for 8 years, and have a 6 year old daughter. When I dated him, he was taking meds for this. It was fine for many years.

When he is good, which is 80% of the time, it is a wonderful marriage. We have a lot in common and get along really well.

The other 20% of the time, I am convinced he hates me. His comments, his snide remarks, and his emotional coldness just kill me.

I have come to a point in my life where I have just realized that I tiptoe around him. My daughter knows the meaning of "daddy is grumpy, leave him alone" and that makes me sad. I try to make his life flow soothly, in hopes it avoids blow up (although for him it's less a blow up as an emotional ice freeze) but it doesn't help, (of course), but makes me a neurotic mess. I'm now at the point that if I can't get home before he comes home from work to "tweak" the house so something doesn't set him of (daughter's sock on floor, light left on...) I become frantic and paniced.

BUt I am tired of living quietly in case I "set him off". I am tired of making excuses to friends for WHY he didn't come to the dinner party. I am tired of seeing him be SO nice and helpful to everyone else, then a wicked monter to me the next minute. Living this way is just destroying everything happy and good in my life.

He is not physically abusive to either of us, but several kitchen chairs and coffee tables have been shattered in his rages. Although he HAS been better lately.

I cannot talk to him, as this is SURE to send him into an episode. He does not take meds anymore, for two reasons. He is worried he would lose him job if they found out, and he hates the disconnected feeling they give him. I WILL admit, the first time I saw him laugh was after he stopped taking them.

I am at the point where something has to change...I KNOW I cannot change him. But I HAVE to change my response to him, or else leave him, because his depression is bringing me down, and I am tired of it. I am a wonderful, happy person. While I do have depressed moments, I have started having days and weeks where I am sad because of his mood! I have even become depressed THINKING about him coming home from work.

Any help, support, ideas, or even just similar stories are appreciated. I'm not sure how to do this, or even what it is I need to do, but something has to change, my life has really become a prison to his illness.
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First Helper chelle2005
Users who thank chelle2005 for this post: margoslater 

replied September 10th, 2008
I'm no expert. I'm just a guy with bipolar who nearly destroyed his own family.

You're in a tough situation.

Your husband needs treatment, though. Bipolar doesn't go away on its own and can't be treated with good foods and good thoughts, to the best of my knowledge. Everything I have read says that it is a biological condition. Since it is a biological condition, your husband is not going to improve without a chemical counterbalance.

If the meds he was taking were not working for him, that does not mean it is the only possibility. Medications have to be adjusted until they fit. It's not like a light switch where you turn it on or off. The combination that fits probably won't fit forever, either.

This thing takes work. It's worth it, though. Believe me, I know. A year and a half ago, I was raging at the people who meant the most to me and neglecting my son. In my current state, I can't even imagine doing such things. My wife, who I pushed to divorce me, is now everything to me. I could not remember what I saw in her and now I can't imagine how I could have forgotten.

I don't know how you convince your husband, but he needs treatment. That is the only answer in my humble opinion.

Edit: I reread and saw your mention of his job. There are HIPAA laws now to protect privacy, but if his job has security requirements that require him to reveal any mental conditions, I think the right thing to do is to put you over the job. And himself... he is not being good to himself. He cannot be happy right now.

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Users who thank geekylotus for this post: lookforans 

replied September 14th, 2008
You are not alone
It breaks my heart to read your note. My wife is BP and it is such a mirror image of both how she treats me and how I am feeling that it's scary. It's just so sad that so many spouses are going through the same thing and we seem helpless at the hands of this illness. If I told my story it would be identical to yours except I did let her get off her meds and it got so bad it does sound like others here including having an internet affair. With all the things we have gone through there was one thing I thought I could count on - her faithfulness. I lost that. Don't let it get that far. It is quiet despair that you fall in to and before you know it you are changing your behavior to tippy toe around their illness.

I am sure that your husband is a good man and if you love him the way I love my wife I am so sorry for the pain this is bringing you. He needs to be on his meds. Once off it requires a herculean effort to return them to meds and , but for your child's sake - YOU MUST.

I am beginning to lose my faith. Prayer ot me through the last ten years but I am starting to think prayer makes no difference. Don't let that happen to you.

God Bless you and good luck
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replied September 15th, 2008
Thanks everyone!

I appreciate the replies. It helps to know I am not alone. I wish he had that same support.

He refuses to go back on the meds. Has flat out told me, if I can't stand it, get out.
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replied April 16th, 2010
It IS helpful to hear of others with similar problems - This is the first time I have ventured on to a forum like this but I am desperate to share my feelings with someone. My husband has suffered from depression most of the itme I have known him (30 + years) - very up and down. I too tiptoe around him - I would do ANYTHING to make him less difficult to live with (most of our confrontations seem to centre around my other activities - I'd give them all up but I am coming to the conclusion that this wouldn't help either). he gives me such mixed messages and after an 'upset' I feel so emotionally drained and miserable but he just asks 'why' - he has ABSOLUTELY no understanding of how his depression affects me.Naturally I am a cheerful, optimistic person but I have slowly felt the love of live draining out of me. If I didn't have a strong faith I'd have given up long ago.
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replied April 16th, 2010
I have a the same problem with my hubby. I even left him but then I felt guilty and moved back. since I have been told this is a medical condition, It is hard to leave. I have found a wonderful book called "stop walking on eggshells". its for people living with a person with this disorder. it has a work book too where you can write down your feelings and tells you why you feel the way you do. This book helped me alot,.. I am still trying to work on things and how he has put me into a post tramatic stress disorder after 5 yrs of marriage and trying to keep him from having episodes. one tends to lose their happy self. I have , and I am seeing a counselor now too. best wishes to all who love someone with this disorder.
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replied July 22nd, 2010
Thankyou everyone I too am experiencing a husband with raging fits . I am not sure how to feel I married him ,without knowing he was bipolar and I had 3 children at the time I met him, well they feel hurt by the way he talked and treated them as they were younger, I have been with him since 98 and I married him in 2002,But I am finding it hard to stick through because now they are big and they are tired of living this way, They tell me to make him go, I too am having to see a counselor I feel like I am going crazy , maybe i need more understanding on how to handle him. I do love him ,but sometime i feel he takes advantage of that ,I dont like seeing my other 2 younger boys, feeling like daddy is crazy what kind of advice can i get .He is not taking meds ,but he takes marajuana is this good ,should he be on meds. I dont want to have to leave him .please write me. Thankyou
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replied October 29th, 2010
My husband also smokes marajuana, unfortunately he abuses alcohol too. He is on meds but doesn't go to therapy.I too have older kids that are constantly mad at me for staying with him. The problem is i feel sorry for him and don't know what he would do if we left. It is hell living like this and the only thing that keeps me sane is my job. I don't know how I feel anymore.
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