Forum Archives

Return to Forum List

Bipolar and infidelity

You are not logged in. Login here or register.

Marathonwaseasy posted 10/8/2013 13:53 PM

There is a thread in "I can relate" but not much traffic
I just want to put it out here
My fwh has foo issues but we were happy until 7 years ago. Then he had a major breakdown. In hospital for 3 months, serious suicide attempt, not eating, burning himself. Absolutely terrifying for me and the kids who were 8 and 5 at the time. Before he'd been a very hands on father, worked, studied, had ambitions. He was my best friend. Eventually he was diagnosed as bipolar. I read up on bipolar and it was no doubt. This was the devastating reality. He refused to accept it. Was intermittent with his meds. Wouldn't engage with professionals. I'd lost him. Seven years of knowing he'd gone somewhere. Trying to accept it. Occasional moments of "normality" but never how it was. We had a third child in 2010. 2 years ago he started an EA and this became a PA in January. Dday was 13th September. Throughout the affair and before rather than facing his diagnosis he blamed everything he was experiencing on society and on where we live and on me. She encouraged this of course. I am obviously evil personified even though I was working 4 jobs and doing most of the practicalities at home too. Yeah that's fair
The fog lifted very quickly after dday because he had a total breakdown and despite my pain I just held him. He realised that he is ill and that I've always loved him. NC has been absolute. He's finally not in denial about his bipolar. He's attending his psychiatrist again. Not playing games. Supporting me. Doing stuff at home. He just knows he had to man up and face this shit. That's as much part of my boundaries as NC is. He is absolutely not saying it was his illness and is taking responsibility. He's devastated at what he's done.
But he was ill for years. I'm angry and sad for me. Heartbroken and sickened. But sad for him that it's taken this to make him see his illness and my love for him. Because it might be too late. I might never be able to get past this
And our oldest two kids have not really had their dad for years and have been through so much. Times when they thought he was dead. I can't just think about what's best for me when they need healing too
Just looking for some understanding I guess.

PhantomLimb posted 10/8/2013 14:14 PM

I just want to tell you that I sympathize in many ways with your post, Marathon.

My WS is not (yet) diagnosed, but I think bipolar played a role in his A and our S/D. His brother and father both have it. His sister had issues with self harm. His mother is paranoid and has multiple personalities. All of them have been diagnosed and in treatment (or refusing it) since I met him.

He was more or less "normal" when I met him, but over the years developed OCD and went through major ups and downs. We had one really bad spell around 2007 and I tried to get him to get help. He wouldn't go. Instead he'd ignore his work and go to the gym for hours. When he did have to work to help us pay the bills, he would blame me for making him work too hard to support an extravagant lifestyle (which it wasn't). Right before the A, he started having trouble at his new job for the first time, had started drinking (he didn't consider it a lot-- a few glasses of whiskey at night-- but my gut told me something was off about it), and started doing weird things like talking/yelling to himself when I wasn't around (I'd walk in on it).

By and large, when he was with me, I seem to have kept him accountable and "stable." He wouldn't lash out. He was never anything but a kind and gentle man. But as his behavior began to change in the months leading up to, and including, the A... he was a little bit curt and dismissive. Didn't engage in any of our shared hobbies or interests anymore. Occasionally even said a few things that, in retrospect, may have been intended as insults (e.g., saying something about me leaving the house without makeup on).

Anyway, he was completely unglued DDay and after. I never knew day to day if he'd be remorseful and crying that pulling himself "out of this dark hole I'm in" was only possible if I were there to "save" him-- or whether he'd be angry and start emotionally abusing me. He went into IC for the first time since I met him. He told me he was afraid he was unraveling like his parents. But the IC seems to have just focused on helping him not feel guilty about his A.

Once he started getting verbally aggressive and using ILYB language, I was out of there.

I contacted his other brother (a therapist) and asked him to please keep an eye on him. I half expected in the weeks after I left to get a call that he had checked himself into a facility. It was that bad.

But he seems to be doing fine. At least, he's functioning. Still with OW (who fanned the flames of this paranoia about me that came out during the DDays-- that I would leave him someday, that I only wanted his money, etc).

I sympathize with this role of helping our mentally ill spouses through their disease. I didn't realize how much burden his illness (whether or not it was actually bipolar) put on me over the years, until I was free from it. And it creates a really difficult dynamic because-- to this day-- if I found out he finally got diagnosed and checked in somewhere... I would feel a sense of obligation to help him. It's not his fault he's sick and I made a promise through sickness, health, etc.

Although this sometimes agitates against the knowledge that, regardless of his issues, my WS certainly knows right from wrong... and the A and the way he treated me (and my family) was wrong.

At the same time, near the end, I was beginning to get ill myself. I was breaking out in rashes and had stomach aches all the time, joint pain. My physicians thought I was developing an autoimmune disorder. As soon as I walked away from WS, all of that stopped.

I wish I could give you some advice. I really don't know what I would do in your situation. But I guess I'm just sharing my story to let you know that I hear you and you're not alone...


[This message edited by PhantomLimb at 2:18 PM, October 8th (Tuesday)]

Rainbows posted 10/8/2013 14:55 PM

I'm really sorry. My STBXWH is bipolar and my heart goes out to you.

It is a very challenging road because there are many other issues that co-present with bipolar, including addiction, impulse control, etc. It can also take some time to get the right medication cocktail. Your partner has to be willing to work on it. He has to want to get better and once he's better, he has to stay on his meds.

It's also important for you to understand the illness and take care of yourself. I learned in IC that I was codependent because it was easy to blame everything on the illness. I put up with a lot of stuff and have finally decided to take care of me.

There are a lot of online resources for spouses of bipolar people. Reading other stories and sharing support helped me learn about the subtleties of the illness and find ways to minimize triggers. It helped to know I wasn't alone because that ride is very isolating.

Just keep in mind that a bipolar diagnosis is no excuse for bad behavior.

Lionne posted 10/8/2013 15:36 PM

My experience was similar. My story is in my profile. I can tell you that the difference between a medicated BP and an unmedicated BP is literally sanity and insanity-for both of you.
The resentment I still feel for all the lost years, for all the abuse, for the hard work I put into a marriage that was so one sided is immense. And there is the fear of slips, medication not working properly, etc., all which still affect me everyday.
It's a very tough thing to be married to anyone with a mental illness.

Marathonwaseasy posted 10/9/2013 00:29 AM

Yes this is very hard. But if we work together I believe there's hope. A change has occurred. He accepts his illness. He is educating himself and it's very painful for him. We are talking instead of just giving him drugs when the anxiety hits. I have drawn lines in the sand about what I will accept and what I will not. I'm breaking free of my codependency.
I feel this morning a sense of resolution that I will do my bit and he needs to do his bit. If that continues there is hope. Nobody can know the future. But I'm not lying to myself any more. And I will prevail whatever.

Lionne posted 10/9/2013 04:47 AM

It's important that you and he are no longer in denial. Don't bar yield up about that. You did what you thought you were supposed to do. But now, set and KEEP those boundaries for both of your sakes. Medication is critical but he has to learn a whole new way of thinking.

EZ4U posted 10/9/2013 09:39 AM

My Ex is Bipolar . I truly feel for your pain. Hope is surely out there IF he sticks to his regimen but my experience is that no matter how carefully they control their meds and keep to their Psych appts, the monster of their illness still finds a way to rear its head sometimes years later. If he is clear headed and commited to the family plan he will come to an understanding that YOU need to handle the bills, the bank accounts, the credit cards. He needs to direct deposit bill money to YOUR separate account that he can't touch or squander in a manic phase. You need to know his passwords, GPS his phone (they just run away sometimes) and have permission to talk to his doctors. Check he is taking his meds everyday (they will suddenly stop for no good reason) and realize everything can change in a minute, so protect yourself and your children by saving money for those unfortunate rainey days.
Very hard, very tiring, he is a lucky fellow if you decide to ride this out. Please stay strong.

Marathonwaseasy posted 10/9/2013 10:09 AM

He's been a bit feckless with money but that's not a big issue tbh. His risk taking behaviour was all around the OW. I won't oversee his meds. I did that and it fed into him being a child and me being the parent and I won't get into those roles. I will help when he asks

EZ4U posted 10/9/2013 13:31 PM

Yes, alot of Bipolar marriages devolve into parent/child relationships. At least it feels that way. But please do protect yourself emotionally and financially and hopefully he will take seriously the extent of how involved he has to be in his own health.
It is good you expect him to own up to self-manging his meds and such. The illness is sneaky though, that is why so many spouses turn into caretakers for their bipolar loved one. Even when we don't want to.

Marathonwaseasy posted 10/11/2013 11:25 AM

Feeling just bleurgh
4 weeks since dday. Such a roller coaster. My kids are traumatised by his illness and the way he's stepping up finally to be part of things, helping with running our home, caring for me and them, addressing years of financial mismanagement is amazing. It is one of my criteria for staying together along with nc with slut and get as well as possible with bipolar
I am trying not to organise him as much. Letting go more. But it's a balance as he had a bad evening with disabling anxiety yesterday and I talked to him and helped him address it. He felt much better after. Although it exhausted me. How can I get away from being his carer and all the codependent shit at the same time as supporting him. Where is the line there?
And all the time I'm broken bloody hearted. It's one day at a time. I know that. Even if I threw him out I would still be destroyed and then the bipolar would be a greater risk to him and the kids would be so upset and and and
This is not the life I ordered
But I do feel better when we are together and I'm going home from work soon

heforgot posted 10/11/2013 11:54 AM

I've read all of your posts and I feel that I should give you all the bipolar person's side of the story. Seven years ago I wound out I was bipolar. I was having an EA at the time. My head was literally telling me that this was acceptable behavior. My H told me that he would only stay if I saw a psychiatrist. We talked about the amazing high I was experiencing. I was invincible! I exercised obsessively. I rarely ate. NEVER slept. And worst of all I had convinced myself that I could have any man I want and my H wouldn't mind. Once I came down from that high I hit bottom. I was suicidal over what I had done to my H and my family. Luckily I have an amazing H who stuck with me through it all. I've found the right combination of meds and I've been stable for at least 5 years now. Being married to a bipolar person isn't easy. My H knows the clues as to when he should worry about my mental state. He has complete access to my phone, my emails, EVERYTHING. I'm sure he checks from time to time to see if I changed my password. I don't see this as distrust. I see it as him looking out for my mental health and the heatlh of our relationship.

For those of you who have read my story: This is the whole reason I feel that I have no right being upset about my H's "A". Please read my story if you feel the need to comment on the above.

Marathonwaseasy posted 10/13/2013 07:40 AM

Thanks heforgot
Good to hear from the other side as it was. I've been married to someone with bipolar for years. For the last few weeks he recognises it so I guess there's hope. Stability can never come from denial
Fwh's affair came more from depression with agitation (a mixed state that's he been in for about 5 years )
But he was genuinely delusional about stuff between us that was his rationalisation. He remembers things with me that just never happened. He sees this now and sees it as proof that he has an illness. Of course he still shouldn't have acted on the delusions. Hard to know how much to hate him/his behaviour and how much to hate the illness.
The fact that our children have already suffered so much makes a difference regarding hoping for R. And the fact that throwing him out could kill him is an added pressure. I want R but I hate that I feel there's little choice.
Also I have to be mindful that his mood will crash if he doesn't sleep so nights if I can't sleep are very lonely.

However I can console myself that he chose to have sex with the slut at least in part because he was unsound in mind at the time. No surprise because seriously she is such a skank. At no point have I actually felt threatened by her supposed charms.

It's like when someone commits a crime with the plea of diminished responsibility. The crime remains but does it make a difference regarding how you see them?
Incidentally he has not said him being bipolar makes it ok. He says it was in the mix as to why it happened and more than that he should have dealt with his bipolar years ago. His pre existing KISA stuff, poor boundaries and low self esteem are not bipolar related. Although he has heard me say that and agrees.

So confusing

welcome14 posted 10/13/2013 09:17 AM

((hugs)) to you, I know how difficult this is. My daughter told me three weeks ago that my WXH has been diagnosed at age 52. Went through 24 years of hell with him before that. He told her at his wedding. I just want to send his new wife a sympathy card. He is very arrogant, so I can't see him doing the work and taking the meds regularly. And I am not sure that he isn't just BPD and not treatable, at his wedding he and my daughter had a falling out over a facebook message she sent his sister (very benign) that ended with DD crying in a huddle behind a dumpster after running away in downtown Atlanta. Nice one Dad! Thankfully her boyfriend was there and was able to care for her, but seriously, I hope he can get help before he destroys her also. If I had found SI before while I was with him, I would have seen things much clearer and never entered into a relationship with WXF. Red flags were a-flyin. I hope you two can work this out, it sounds like you have a good start.

Marathonwaseasy posted 10/14/2013 01:11 AM

Red flags...
I hope my kids do not want to rescue anyone ever
I love my fwh and our children who wouldn't exist without us but his low self esteem was apparent way back when we met and I sometimes wish I had known how dangerous that was and ran :(

heforgot posted 10/14/2013 07:42 AM

Most of you are posting here that being bipolar isn't an excuse. I agree with you completely. I've owned my actions. And even today, many years later, I'm embarrassed, ashamed, and incredibly sorry for the pain I caused my H and children. Failure to cope with problems in our marriage contributed to my poor decisions. Being bipolar just made it easier to rationalize those decisions. My mind seriously thought it was OK.

I do have to say ,though, that many good things came out of facing my A and my disorder. My H and I are closer that we ever were. We know each other and cherish each other in ways that we didn't express earlier in our marriage. I can only hope that everyone here can feel that good about themselves and their relationship at some time in the future.

Marathonwaseasy posted 10/15/2013 04:11 AM

Thanks heforgot
That's my hope too
Very intense evening yesterday while he continues to learn about his illness and address certain triggers

Return to Forum List

© 2002-2018 ®. All Rights Reserved.