Forum Archives

Return to Forum List

Mental Health - Can it cause Infidelity?

You are not logged in. Login here or register.

Daysie posted 6/14/2013 07:25 AM

My husband has recently been diagnosed as having Bipolar. He admits to long term periods of being in a low mood state that he could manage and always thought it was just how he was . He is trying really hard to help me come to terms with his A - 32yrs ago(read my former posts).My problem and his is that he can't tell me about what really happened. He only admitted to it when he had his first manic episode recently. He states that although he knew he had done something all those years ago he couldn't remember any details. Yet during the mania he told me about being with my now XBF. He says he can't understand why and has no memory of what happened or any of the details she gave to me when I confronted her. He thinks that he must have been in a bad place mentally at the time because he says WHY has he no memory of this ????? Can anyone help or do you have experience of this ?

JustDone posted 6/14/2013 08:29 AM

Daysie, I'm not sure if bipolar has anything to do with memory or not, but memory can be affected by trauma. Search "memory of traumatic events".

Perhaps he, or you, or both of you, could discuss this issue with whomever diagnosed him with bipolar disorder.

Good luck!

windowsnotwalls posted 6/14/2013 08:43 AM

Ok, I see a couple questions here.

The title is can mental health cause infidelity? Well, I guess in a way, it could. The underlying untreated dysfunctional traits such as need for external validation in some disorders could lead to infidelity. Still, though, the responsibility does fall on the person to recognize the dysfunction in their life and seek treatment BEFORE betraying the most important person in their life. So I don't take mental health as an excuse for infidelity.

The second question is can mental health cause memory lapses. The answer to that is a resounding yes!

I have severe PTSD. When my PTSD is at its worst, I lose parts of my memory. Sometimes, it's short term memory loss. Sometimes, it's long term.


Went to Wal-Mart the other day, remember driving up the hill talking to my friend on the phone, remember still talking to her on the phone as I got a buggy inside and headed to the deli where I got off the phone with her. DO NOT remember pulling into the parking lot at Walmart, couldn't remember where I parked, walking in, nothing. It's not the same as walking in a room and forgetting what you were there for. In those normal instances, you can retrace your steps and recall the memory. In this type of situation, no matter how you retrace your steps, the memory is gone. It's like it didn't store, didn't process. It's just an empty room when you seek the information. It's quite scary.

Oct. 8, 2010 my best friend claimed MrWNW raped her (which he didn't but that was her attempt to tell me of their ONS without claiming responsibility). Dec. 12, 2010, MrWNW asked me to move out via email. Between each of those dates, I have NO memory except one day, Christmas shopping and later giving MrWNW his Christmas gifts early. I've gone back, read IMs, emails, seen pictures the kids brought me home from school, etc. Nothing restores the memory. It's just not there.

I have other times that are similar in life. Extreme stress and trauma are when my memory gaps occur. The longest is an 8-10mo period after my rape in 2001. Don't remember much at all. Shorter gaps, like the Walmart instance, occur about 3-5x per week when my PTSD is going haywire.

It's truly frightening, but yes totally plausible. My doctors are setting me up with EMDR. Not sure if that treatment is effective for bipolar, but it apparently does wonders for PTSD. Perhaps discuss that treatment option with your husband and his doctor?

Daysie posted 6/14/2013 09:26 AM

Hi Just Done & Windows without Walls.

Thanks so much for getting back to me.

I should explain that my WH is not using this as an excuse - perhaps I went for the wrong title.

My WH is not blaming his A on having a Mental Health Disorder but is finding it difficult to remember any details about something that was so major. We are also having difficulty with R because of this. I want details about what he was feeling at that time and he can't help me with that . He really is devastated by what he did and can only guess that he must have been in some sort of episode at the time .
I just feel like I don't know who this person WAS or IS anymore ?????

windowsnotwalls posted 6/14/2013 09:32 AM

You can try a polygraph to ensure he's telling the truth of the lack of memory and hypnosis to try to recall the memory if he is telling the truth. However, I've opted not for hypnosis for any of my memory losses. My IC explains that it's the way my brain is protecting me from traumatic events. If I was capable of processing and dealing with the information in those time lapses, my brain would allow the memory recall on its own. For me, whatever's behind those locked doors of large gaps of memory loss is apparently too painful for me to process. I respect my body's response to protect me from it and don't go knocking those doors down. However, in your husband's case, he has bipolar, not PTSD, and the memory gaps are not necessarily traumatic for him but information you feel you need to heal, so it's worthy of a discussion on hypnosis.

tushnurse posted 6/14/2013 09:36 AM

As a medical proffessional I have a resounding YES - Mania and complete abscence of memory can go hand and hand. It seems to be all there (very vivid every detail) or all gone, when people are experiencing mania.

He may be able to restore some of those memories, but he may not. It's kinda like dropping your hard drive, the info is there, but sometimes it's so jumbled up you can't make any sense of it.

mainlyinpain posted 6/14/2013 09:38 AM

My husband was just diagnosed with BiPolar II. He had affairs with the same woman, in 1999, 2011, and 2013.
I believe it started after the trauma of his mother's death (mommy problems)
He has trouble with memory of all of these but I think it is "selective" memory where he will not/can not remember or voice something that will be detrimental to him telling. So the details. I am just starting to learn about Bipolar II but memory or just not being able to tell truths so claiming no memory seems a part of it. My H also can't answer what he was feeling at any of these A times. It is very frustrating. (((Hugs))) to you Daysie.

hobbeskat posted 6/14/2013 09:46 AM

I have bipolar disorder and a very sketchy memory in general, but particularly during manic episodes. It's one of the most embarrassing aspects of them- other people tell me the stuff I did and it's humiliating. My memory comes back in flashbacks which is very distressing.

[This message edited by hobbeskat at 9:46 AM, June 14th (Friday)]

painpaingoaway posted 6/14/2013 10:59 AM

My DS23 is bipolar, and he has little to no memory of his behaviors during manic or extremely depressed periods especially if they are abusing drugs and alcohol at the same time.

Also, many people become promiscuous during manic periods.

It's a horrible disease.

Daysie posted 6/14/2013 13:09 PM

Thank you all for your posts.

Its been so hard to R with so many unanswered questions. I would think that all BS's need to know why it started, what was going on during that time and why it ended? For me "Did he end it?" or if she did? is that why he stayed with me ?????

Return to Forum List

© 2002-2018 ®. All Rights Reserved.