I'm at the end of my ropes and don't think I can get through another full blown mania.
I can understand your utter exhaustion. You say your FWH is undiagnosed...might he consider getting checked out? Does he have depressions as well?
This is the type of "in illness & health" issue that never crossed my mind. It's like living with an entirely different person, sometimes someone you don't even particularly like. At least, that's how I can get to feeling during rough patches.
How can he do this to me? , does he know what he is doing to our family, doesn't he understand, "CAN" he understand?
He is so medicated I sometimes wonder if all these tablets he is taking takes away his guilt.
has the man I married completely gone? he acts guilty, but then lies, then lies again after that? He promises me that he is not with her anymore, but he has lied so much, I don't and can't believe him.......
I suppose time will tell, the truth always comes out eventually. Drip, drip, drip.
I hate what Bi polar has done to us, I was happy to be there for him through thick and through thin, SICKNESS and in health and then he does this. He cries to me that he is so ashamed of what he has done, but he has cried to me before than done it again, then cries to me once more, has he no control over himself?, is there really two sides to him that have no control over the other? If we recover from this, will it happen again when he gets bored, lonely, fed up? Do I chance it?
I am a fairly recent JFO. I have posted my story here: http://www.survivinginfidelity.com/forums.asp?tid=422525&AP=1&HL=
As part of my DDay and learning is that I studied and we confirmed that my wife is Bipolar 2 with heavy tendency towards depressive episodes. We had always known about her depressive episodes but it did not become evident that she has had forms of hypomania for years (ever since our second child did her emotional conditional become a major focus - always on her depression).
I wanted to share some thing I have learned about my WW, about where we are, and see if anyone has experienced anything similar or has words of advice or consolation.
In April we lost our to be 4th child. We were many weeks along but the child stopped developing which led to miscarriage. This is was a very difficult time for us and especially my WW. We both agree that this event, coupled with a few other items which I will detail shortly led to her down a path which concluded with an ONS.
Shortly after we lost the baby my wife had her birthday. I did not stay home for work for her birthday. I never stay home for mine either so I do not see this as peculiar but to her this was venomous. She felt that after the baby, and now me not staying home for the baby, I was abandoning her.
I know this is not the case. I know that I have done everything where I can and when I can within the limitations of working an hour from home and maintaining my career. But that is neither here no there. In her mind, when I left her each day, I was abandoning her.
Over the next several months she did things and said things that separated us. Separated her from our children. And separated her from her friends.
She talked randomly about things like open marriage or that it would be "ok, if you went and slept with a hooker". All these little things to provide structural support to her growing internal pain and sense of rejection.
We always communicate. And we communicated and knew that things weren't "quite right". But we worked together and hard to get things straight. And by most measures things were going ok and we had a relationship that all our friends envied - even made a bit sick with how close we were.
It wasn't perfect but I was always willing to compromise and change to fit her fears, demands, and insecurities. I never resented it and am willing and glad to do what it took to help the marriage - even when she often wouldn't.
Everyday, for years, I never knew who would pick up the phone. Whether it was the happy W, the ok W, the angry W, the anxious W, the sad W, the overwhelmed W, or the lost W. It was such a relief when she was happy - I was constantly stressed.
So this summer she started exercising (2 hours a day) and doing all these self help things. Also spending a lot on clothing (but would yell at me when I asked for a 5 dollar package of white undershirts) and shoes and items when all she was supposed to get was a $10 pair of shorts for our son.
I knew when she was having a bad day when she didn't clean the trash behind when she cooked or got snacks for the boys. It would be a trail of garbage behind her. She literally DIDNT see the mess.
Then, a few weeks ago, I had to travel to Europe (second time in a month or so) for work. While I was out, the kids began school and she started night classes. This was one straw too many. She became angry that I wasn't there for her during this difficult week and that she felt lost, abandoned, and angry.
On Thursday, after me leaving on Sunday, she went out with one of her "fun" friends (during the summer her friend selection became much more narrow to escaping the house, drinking, and just "I need to go out"). They went to a local bar, and she drank excessively.
Ultimately she had an ONS with someone she didn't know. Her friend drove her to the place...
Here's my questions (sorry for the long post):
1. She cannot remember all the details from the night. She remembers meeting the guy at the bar, but only vaguely. She only has some broad details and doesn't remember leaving the bar or how they got to where they were going (not in any real detail). When she got there she remembers seeing the guy waiting outside for her and her next clear memories was the end. But it's all mashed up. I know some of this was the alcohol but she claims she didn't "feel like herself" and it "wasn't her". Is that possible for a bipolar, when in a manic episode, to black out like that? To have memories collide?
2. Is it possible to separate the actions of the person and the disease?
3. Everyone who I have spoken to, that are close to myself and my wife, who know about what happened all say "That is absolutely shocking - she's not that person at all". We have now detailed times of hypomania over the past 5 years. Could she have had a mixed episode which accounts for the gaps in memory or general out of character behavior?
4. Last, what do I do, as the BS, to confront the demons of what happened and the W that I love so very much? I know her and I know what happened isn't who or what she is (full disclosure, she was a virgin when I dated her). She's never been with anyone other than me and never did anything similar to this in her life.
I dunno - I thought I'd ask other BP spouses and folks to see what your thoughts are... or at least to help me understand what I have to look forward to with a BP spouse and any suggestions.
Attempting to put the pieces together.
Just_hurt, welcome aboard. Just a quick concurrence, I feel like I have two husbands at times as well..Dr. Jekyll & Mr Hyde. Will report back later when I have more news. Hang in there everyone. Oh and one last thing...as soon as you see the mania peeking it's head around the corner, act on it asap. Odds are things are going to keep escalating, & not going to get better.
Has your wife found a Dr.? She needs to be evaluated and begin treatment if you are trying to R. BP doesn't go away on it's own and tends to worsen with age. I hope she is getting the help she needs and you will be able to work on your R. Until she's stable it will be difficult to sort out what happened due to mania and what might have been other triggers.
Keep reading and posting it does help to get it all out.
She is seeing a therapist and has been placed on medication (positive diagnosis - we also work on a time line where we could see starts and stops of her mania and depression... it just steadily got worse but it was so subtle...).
She is a very loving and caring and responsible person. She has NEVER done anything like this - not even NEAR. She still has only patchy memories of the actual event. She can recall the ending and some blurry images but feeling "detached" and like she was "raping herself".
I don't know. It is very hard to process the diagnosis coupled with the A. I feel like she could have prevented it but I've known her for over a decade and I know how things can get for her (and I was not around to help). She has combated debilitating depression which is what we have ALWAYS looked for. She has hypersexuality at times but typically that ends with her just yelling at me because I won't "put out" (aren't guys ALWAYS horny! Am I that ugly??)
Anyways - im a bit lost and confused right now. We are trying to get through this. I know she did not WANT this to happen though it DID. She's remorseful and truthful and has done all I have asked (even when it frustrated her to relive things she can't exactly remember).
Now that we know what to look for I am hoping we can put this behind us as a combination of poor judgment, alcohol, and her condition (which had been building for years).
She has sworn of alcohol and is has returned to therapy. The road is long but going....
I would like to follow up with this on something I wrote...
I am a husband. A Father. I am married. She is the mother of my Sons. She is my Wife. She has Bipolar Disorder.
She has Bipolar Disorder. She is mentally ill. My wife. The mother of our children. Has Bipolar Disorder.
We have been married for 9 years and have known each other for even longer. We have been each others friend. Best friend. First lover and last lover. We have been humble parents and doubting parents. We have seen loss. We have seen joy. We have watched others fail while we ourselves failed. We have succeeded in spite of our odds and as a result of those odds. We have been husband and wife.
We have known fear. We have known anger. We have seen violent outbursts. We have looked through each other. Past each other. We have held each other and dropped each other. We have seen paranoia, anxiety, panic rip deep gashes through our hearts and lives. We have watched scar tissue build. Hearts heal. Scabs to be ripped off in madness.
We have seen depression so deep. So brutal. It left one of us immobile and unwashed. One us lost and hurt. We have descended. But always together. Always.
We have seen infidelity. Betrayal. The sharpest of knives. Wielded by unanswered questions and lost dreams. A garden laid low; flowers and weeds equally destroyed.
My wife has Bipolar Disorder.
Through our marriage things changed. Stress increased, life became more immediate. Children found. Children lost. The moments that marked the highest moments came with a ghost. A drifting depression. An enabling mania. It stole our spirits. It took my wife, it took our family. It took advantage of my heart. It stole my sacrifice. Compensation replaced with betrayal. It became emboldened through time. Each time returning in a greater and more deadly form. It undermined confidence, self-esteem. It pulled carpets out from under anyone standing. Whimsy became consequence free then became resentful and became angry. Anger became a toxin used to dissolve the mortar of our love. Detached and resolved obsession became a heat seeking missile of self-destruction; driven by determined self-hatred, insecurity, loss, and a future not seen.
My wife has Bipolar Disorder. An unseen violence eroding a great love. Our miracle.
All these years. In plain sight but never seen. Never understood. Never connected. The highs cherished as respite for the deepest and most frightening lows. A secret held. Floors created, cakes designed, hats made, homes wrecked.
Time to rebuild. With no blinders, no false expectations. Betrayal to be turned. Danger to be seen. Structures to be erected. Foundations to be re-enforced. Trivialities never to be confused with seriousness. Mutual trust reconfigured, redesigned, redeployed.
My wife has Bipolar Disorder. I hate it. I hate what it has done to me. I hate what it has done to my family, my children, my home. I hate.
My wife has Bipolar Disorder. I love my wife. I love what she has done to me. I love what she has done for my family, my children, my home. I love.
A journey forward, with a night sky with added stars and a road. Just a road. Just one road and one journey. Together. Until the end.
I am sorry to hear what you are going through. I myself am dealing with the recent diagnosis of my wife and the wreckage it has already caused.
I do not have much I can offer in suggestions or thoughts as this is far too fresh for me but wanted to respond to let you know folks are out here.
This seems to be a pretty silent forum as it relates to bipolar affairs. I am not sure why that is but other forums (psychcentral.com comes to mind) may be helpful for you if you are seeking some insight and advice.
It really is one of those "snake in the grass" mental illnesses and a serious lack of awareness as it relates to its insidious nature. Especially if the diagnosis is not fully recognized or the ill person is not on medication.
Good luck and continue to share. My antenna is up about this and any thoughts or vents are more than welcomed :)
I am sorry that is happening. There is nothing you could have done differently. It is not your fault. If he were unwilling to take medication or get treatment to a very serious mental illness he knew he had then the failure is completely on him. Again, ITS NOT YOUR FAULT.
Unfortunately those who are unwilling to treat themselves for their disease after being diagnosed are wholly responsible for their actions.
I am sorry you have to go through this. If your husband is unwilling to help himself then the choices are limited at this point. Certainly if he is hurting you or the family whether through anger or abuse then steps need to be taken.
I wish you luck. Keep posting your story. We will be here to support you.
[This message edited by Mrs Jenkins at 1:22 AM, October 23rd (Sunday)]
Reading your posts about your wife and bipolar felt like pulling the words right out of my head. I wish I was coherent enough now to have formed my thoughts into those wonderful messages.
As for answers, I have few to none to offer at this time, but wanted to say that I appreciate you posting the messages that are in my heart regarding my bipolar WW...
I wish you and all dealing with this disease the best. All we can do is to do the best we can do. I'm doing the best I can do, but I have no idea how it's going to work out for the M.
I do know that I have made it to the point that I am re-claiming my self to become the father that my children need and deserve. They've lived too many years with less than two whole parents - I won't continue to let them live with less than one whole parent.
He enjoys duping people.
I have always told him he could win an Oscar.
I just wonder if anyone here on this thread has wondered the same thing?
How was my WH able to function so well in the corporate world for 30+ years sans meds?
I am sorry you are going through this.
Someone with BP can regularly perform in the corporate world, or any world, fairly
effectively. In some ways, it can help them. However, over time it will get worse
as it is a progressive mental illness. That means it just gets worse over time and
the more often they have. It does cause brain damage as well if untreated.
Most people are diagnosed with bipolar in their early to mid 30s. This is usually
when the disease has progressed enough to cause "clinical relevance". Sometimes
they are never really diagnosed as it or if they are the person can be in denial.
In these instances, they just run with it. Without treatment their highs will
keep getting higher and lowers will get lower and the damage they do to themselves
and those around them will only increase.
Many are seasonally affected, as is my wife. She too is typically depressed in
the winter and starts to spin in the summer. Sadly, I prefer the depression. She
hate it. I prefer it because a "too depressed to yell" person is easier to cope
with than someone "so manic that even my shoe laces are offenses".
Explaining their behavior is difficult. But I would ask:
1. Is your husband in therapy?
2. Does your husband take meds?
3. How long has your husband been diagnosed?
4. Is he still drinking alcohol? (Quick answer here though, if he drinks he's not
stable and if he's not stable he's not serious about getting healthy and if he's not
healthy then he's not serious about your relationship. Hard line on this)
5. How is his sleep patterns?
I wish you luck. Shoot me a PM.
Contending with a BP spouse is very difficult. You know this as well as the rest of us.
Healing comes more difficulty for both in this situation so I wish you the best
Finally answering your question sad12008...well, my WH is set for his 1st appt with a psychiatrist on Tuesday for an assessment..if he keeps it. His company has a big installation & WH is a big part of it...is it any surprise the stress seems to be keeping him in mania?
Basically I was able to find a large psychology group that deals w/sex addicts/trauma etc. Since hypersexuality is also part of bipolar and also BPD (borderline personality disorder), hopefully they can come up with some diagnosis of any kind.
WH is denying the SA, which is wierd, since his cybersex & porn usage was what brought this all out 14 yrs ago and has continued to this day. We did counseling w/an expert at the time & even participated in a snippet of a show on same subject on the Discovery Channel (back in the day) He's refused to read anything I've printed out for him..says he wants to have an open mind and not be biased in switching up answers, etc, which is okay in theory, but just sounds like a way to delay bad behavior, ya know? My retort was that my patience is at the end & altho he may be SA/bipolar/BPD, whatever, he's not legally insane and is capable of basic reasoning skills.
I'd also set him up for counseling w a CSAT, but again, this project was down to the wire @ his workplace & then he had to fly out of town, so he skipped that. Since I'd set it up, the deal was the two of us or just myself go or he'd have to call to change it just to him. So I showed up & talked with the CSAT. Let's just say she didn't tell me anything I didn't know about myself (did counseling for 5 yrs over 1st H being an arrested sexual deviant) and she told me I was AGAIN a trauma victim as well as dealing w/emotional & verbal abuse...sigh, yep that's me and I'm sure I have a lot of company here. FWIW, I'll give you a hint how they come to that conclusion. I reverted to old habits & was very matter of fact, logical & displayed no "feelings" during my session with her *shrug* She also said my WH may have reached a point (low I'm sure) where he will no longer admit being an SA.
What I have a question about is were any of you also consulted before the diagnosis was made with bipolar on your personal observations? My daughter also was diagnosed with bipolar a few years ago and she tells me she remembers nothing from her manic and hypersexuality phases (that might answer your question Dreamlife & Mumoffour & as Phoenix3711 confirmed). Since going on medication she is doing great and recognizes her mania coming on & makes a stop at her psychiatrist for any add'l medications. This is what I fear will keep him from getting diagnosed...lack of memory. I completely notice it on many occasions. Even within a few hours he can deny saying something. Of course if I step in, say with written info ahead of any request, I'd be labeled codependent, but I don't see how else some of these things are going to be brought up.
just_hurt, thanks for the beautiful prose of love & the referral to psychcentral. I started looking around and I found something that fits my WH perfectly: On average, someone with bipolar disorder may have up to three years of normal mood between episodes of mania or depression. This is my husband & I can certainly understand my confusion over the years. But all along I've been saying it's something more than "regular" infidelity because of his changes.
Mrs. Jenkins...I can certainly relate to how you, in particular feel, after having a long term marriage and giving "the best years of your life" and to be stomped out like a bug. I hope you will feel forgiveness and closure against his disease. The fact that many of us have provided shelter & love to them in sickness isn't a bad thing. But bipolar's don't have a good track record in relationships & marriages & ultimately it must boil down to thier mate's needing to protect themselves against the disease, much like alcoholism. For me, I've harbored two men that became bad choices for me. Should this marriage not work out, I've gotta say at this stage in my life, I'm not interested in falling in love again. I love myself too & am not willing to risk the chance I pick wrong again & the hurt and devastation that could follow.
Other than that, I hope everyone is able to have the best holiday possible, under the circumstances (as my mother always said)
Oh one last FYI. Has anyone seen episode 11 of Homeland. Carrie is part of a bomb blast and is without medication for about a week in the hospital & she goes into a manic state. Umm, okay, if you watch it, is this like your spouse? Can't say I've seen that severe of a response if "that's" supposed to be mania...looked more like a manic psychosis.
"But all along I've been saying it's something more than "regular" infidelity because of his changes. "
It is important to make that distinction for our own sanity. We cannot always dicern
the difference between their illness and what is personal (and in their control). It
is up to us, as the spouse, to determine if we CAN and if we WANT to. We have a
choice in this, just as they do. In their case, they must make a CHOICE when lucid
to GET HEALTHY and to ACCEPT their diagnosis.
This is hard to do. To admit that not only are you mentally ill but you have caused
pain to your spouse and your perceptions of your life are WRONG is difficult to admit.
In some ways, the healing process is more difficult for the BP spouse than the one
suffering the infidelity. It may not feel like it but someone with BP will show
true remorse after their actions. This they can do (as long as they are no longer
in an episode). When they do, they cannot determine the WHY they behaved the
way they did. They have SOME memory but not much and the decision making is outside
of their own "normal" decision making so it's alien, foreign.
My wife, for instance, doesn't remember much and when asked "then how do you know it
was consentual?", she responds "it doesn't matter - neither scenario was consentual".
That's how she feels. She feels she raped herself. There is no joy in their actions.
It is not NORMAL behavior for them or for anyone else.
I hate the definition of "victim". We are not victims. We are people confronting
challenging things and are hurt but we are not victims. That would imply a
conscience decision on your spouses part to specifically hurt you with intent. That
did not happen - even in standard infidelity situations the intent rarely is to
HURT the other person though hurt happens. That's my view though. Ultimately, we
are all hurt and we all need healing but we're not victims because we are stronger
and have a more positive self identity than that.
You are absolutely right in that spouses of someone who has BP /must/ protect
themselves and establish deal breakers. For my wife and I it is her medication
and her therapy. Stop those and we're done. Period. Do not pass go. Without
her meds she will revert and that's a person I do not want in my life or my children's
lives. It works, and besides, she WANTS to be better and she has CHOSEN to take
responsibility for her actions and to do what it takes to heal HERSELF and ME.
I have not watched that show or that episode but mania can take many forms. Some
times it can be psychosis (true mania from a BP1 diagnosis) to hypomania (a milder
but equally scary in it's own ways) that does not have psychotic features. But
in either state they lack judgement, consequence, and moral understanding.
I would just say about hypersexuality, that it is not necessarily Sexual Addiction.
Hypersexuality is more than just "really horny" but an absolute mental nightmare
going through their minds. It's likely anxiety related and serotinin addiction
if I had my guess (Which I don't since I'm just a peep). Anyways, folks who
are like this, male or female, will have serious outlet issues including compulsive
masturbation and inappropriate behaviors within a marriage and outside of it too.
Once you treat BP the hypersexuality goes away - as does the overdrive. They
aren't addicted by want like someone with SA but addicted by demand.
Hope that helps or at least gets more thoughts out there.
Spending, enjoying carols, sending me cards with different fonts...and the beat goes on!
Has anyone had this happen to them this Xmas year? (Mania, I mean).