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Dealing with Hypomania

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Much2Regret posted 1/11/2013 11:29 AM

I am a WW who is trying to get her behavior under control. I am emerging from a very dark period where I desperately needed male attention and desperately craved the excitement of illicit sexual encounters. This phase hit me completely out of the blue after many years of faithful but unhappy marriage. I am struggling to figure out why this happened, how best to disentangle myself from it, and how I can keep it from happening again.

There is a history of depression, bipolar, and NPD in my family but until recently, I never struggled with any of these problems. However, prior to getting married, I went through several hypomanic phases where I wasn't sleeping, eating or doing anything except thinking about sex. I am pretty sure that this is where I've been for the past few months as I repeatedly trampled my marriage vows.

Does anyone have experience with hypomania and infidelity? What is the best way to deal with it? I need to find a path forward to clean up the mess I've made. Is coming clean with my BH the only option?

She-Ra posted 1/11/2013 11:57 AM

Hi Much2regret:

Welcome to SI. You will be able to get a lot of support here.

Im not familiar with hypomania per se, but I can relate to repeatedly trampling over my marriage vows in a short period of time. I went on what I've called an affair bender. Multiple men in 6 weeks. Seriously.. It was ridiculous.

I came to SI about 2 days fresh out of my last A. My BH had NO CLUE what I was up to. I wasn't sure if I should confess or keep a secret. I learned a lot of lessons here and created a post that I just bumped for you: Affair confessions - everything to learn in 1 post.

Find an IC immediately. Talk to out loud to someone who can help you. Weigh out pros and cons of confessing or not. It took me several weeks to decide to confess. It was the hardest thing I had done but has resulted in being very rewarding in healing myself and our marriage.

Please spend some time here on this website. You might get some harsh advice but the mods will keep everyone respectful. If you want to move forward and clean up your mess, it will take a lot of work and soul searching.

I wish you the best. Thanks for joining us here.

knightsbff posted 1/12/2013 12:45 PM

I feel for you. Sadly,I am now familiar with all of those things. Illicit sexual activity after many years of faithful but unhappy marriage, hypersexuality, hypomania...all of it I never thought of before.

Coming clean with your BH is essential IMHO. I truly believed confessing would be the certain end of my marriage. I did not believe my BH could handle the true horror I had brought into our M. But I knew I HAD to tell for me to be able to become a person I could learn to love. And my H deserved to know what was happening in his M so he could make his own decisions about how he wanted to deal with it. I can see now that I had already hurt him and my M. He knew something was wrong. He just didn't know the source of the pain so he had no power yet to decide what he wanted to do about it.

I had to get myself to a place where I knew I had to tell him no matter what happened. I accepted (and expected) that he could kick me out, tell all of our family and friends, divorce me, and battle me for our kids. I had to let go of that accept that his responses were and are beyond my control and decide that I was going to do the right thing from there forward to the best of my ability no matter what the outcome.

My BH surprised me and gave me the gift of trying R. We are both all in and I'm beyond thankful every day. This is really really hard but in spite of all the hurt, anger, sadness, and anxiety I never knew that we were capable of M like this. We really communicate now. About everything. I don't have to hide things even if they are hard to talk about.

This is so worth it. Not the A, but the R. Hardest thing I have ever done but we are doing it and we both know we will make it. Sometime one of us gets discouraged but the other has always been there to pick up, dust off and say, "we are doing this, dammit!" BH hates me some every day I think, but he is so much more than I ever gave him credit for. Even when he is hating me he still insists that we will make it through this as long as I'm doing my part, which is being all in, all the time.

About the hypomania. See a PDoc. I'm sending you a PM.

Good luck!

I read this to BH and he said, "you didn't say how much I love you in there. We could be doing this for the kids or some other reason by the way you wrote it."

We both LOVE each other and we are determined to get through this and be deliriously happy at least some of the time, generally happy most of the time, and at least stable, faithful, and honest the rest of the time.

[This message edited by knightsbff at 12:58 PM, January 12th (Saturday)]

cinnamongurl posted 1/12/2013 15:24 PM

Hi M2R, I'm BP2 and have experienced major bouts of hypomania and hypersexuality. Though these things did contribute to my state of mind and my impulse control at the time, ultimately, after much soul searching, I've come to the conclusion that it was I who made the choice to cheat and lie and hurt my BSO. Its a tough thing to face, and though hypomania is very tough to deal with, especially considering the addictive euphoria that comes along with it, it does not justify betraying the one person who has always faithfully stood by you. IMO, it definitely contributes to blurring of boundaries, but how we choose to handle this is just that, a choice.
Are you seeing a counselor and a psych professional who are familiar with medications? The best way to regulate behavior is through proper medication and frequent counselling. I've also kept a small journal in the past to track my moods and helped recognize when hypomania was about to swing on in full bloom. Also, sometimes being on the wrong medications can be a trigger. I was on an antidepressant, that for maybe almost 2 years brought on hypomania and in turn hyper sexuality. I was quite literally out of my mind for stretches of time. Hard to explain to someone who's never been there, but I know you understand. Those uncontrollable urges seem to try and overpower every aspect of your life, and you can recognize something's off, but its almost like you don't care. Like there's feeling of ambivalence about the "real world" and its just so easy to get caught up in the high speed ride that is hypomania. Best of luck. Once you have the right combination of medication and counselling, its very easy to keep this nasty disorder in check. Feel free to PM me if you have any questions, and I'll try my best to help to answer them.

Much2Regret posted 1/12/2013 15:45 PM

Thanks so much for the wonderful advice. It is so helpful to hear that I am not alone in this. I am on the fence about whether to tell my BH. We had a very unhappy M that may very well have included As on his part. Personally, I was so unhappy I really didn't care one way or the other.

So I am struggling with whether it is worth it to me to come clean in the hope of starting the hard work of getting to a better place. I may simply D.

I have actually never been on meds, and I am worried that starting them would send me into another tailspin. If I were going to go that route, I would definitely tell H first so that he could keep a closer eye on me. In the meantime, the journal is a very good idea.

cinnamongurl posted 1/12/2013 15:54 PM

M2R, regardless of whether your H wants to R or not, the best advice I can give you is to come clean anyway. This will help lead you towards living a more authentic, healthy, and fulfilling life. Once you have made those first steps towards honesty, you will be able to become well again... for yourself first, and later, if the cards are stacked in favor of your M, you will be able to be the best you possible!

sohowamI posted 1/13/2013 04:50 AM

Much2Regret: I think that you most definitely need to see a psychiatrist who will prescribe you the medication that you need to balance you out. I've had much experience dealing with a bi-polar son and daughter ;(

Both have had hypomania.

Neither of them have had problems with sexually addictive behaviours - although drug addiction has played a serious part in my son's background.

A psychiatrist should be your first port of call. Most of the mood balancing drugs have few side-effects and they work! The dosage has to be tailored specifically for you. Once you have managed with the medication, then you can have in depth IC to deal with the consequential symptoms of hypersexuality.

All the best. Hope that you manage to find peace among the depression. It's the worst.

Kelany posted 1/13/2013 06:36 AM

Betrayed spouse, but my husband has bipolar among other things.

Have actually been diagnosed or are you thinking its a possibility? If you haven't had an official diagnosis I would urge you to do that first. That was so helpful for my FWH.

Second, I know medication is scary at times, however with bpd, it really is the only way to manage it along with therapy. It's imperative.

Medication and therapy have been life changing for my FWH. His moods are manageable. He does not have manic phases like he did before. His hypersexuality is very much under control.

One of my non-negotiables for our reconciliation is that he must be compliant with his meds. Bipolar is a progressive disorder. It's something he will always need to treat. Therapy is also non-negotiable.

As a betrayed spouse, yes I needed to know everything about his affairs. I encourage you to come clean to your spouse. And please please don't lie and drag out the truth. The lies were so much harder to deal with.

BaxtersBFF posted 1/13/2013 07:56 AM

Welcome Much2Regret,

Before you cut and run from your M, I would suggest you take a hard look at the unhappy part of your M. A typical subject in the WS handbook is to re-write the marital history, which often includes the phrase "unhappy marriage". Sometimes it's true, other times it is the summing up of the M by the WS in such a way as to be the WS's reason for cheating. So are statements like "may very well have included As on his part". Again, sometimes that is true, but it is usually a tactic used by the WS to try to blame someone else for the A.

On to the subject of hypomania, even if you do have that, which you may not have it at all, during the normal times, what would have been preventing you from realizing that having sex with anyone besides your BH would be okay? Somewhere along the way, you knew what you were doing, and rather than fixing that problem, you did it anyway. So, is your choice to sleep with other people really the direct result of an unhappy M, the "possibility" that your BH may also have had A's, and the hypomaia? And, is it really best to just D your BH and move on when you have had no openness with your BH about what you've done?

The most likely outcome of you D-ing without telling your BH is that you will do it again. It's amazing how shining the light on something is the best way to fixing it.

jaguarete posted 9/22/2013 15:53 PM

My husband has just been diagnosed with Hypomania and Bipolar II. Apparently the trigger was a big summit that he had to plan for work. Went hours without sleep and obsessed with this. He also cheated on me and got a woman pregnant (she had an abortion). He is going to start lamactil and is going to therapy. My questions to you are:
1) What are some ways to deal and be supportive while he starts his medication?
2) How do you deal with someone who is hypomanic and is speaking very fast and spending money? Should I pretend to ignore it?
3) Is there hope that he will stabilize and be himself again?

He says he feels like he is starting to awake from a dream. He is moody and irritable. I imagine he also misses the mistress. Any advice and help is appreciated.

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