My Bipolar Husband

We have been together for 12 years and have 2 sons. I call him my husband but in fact we have never married. This is my choice and while I tell him its financial or find another excuse, if I'm honest its because I feel I could never walk away if I made that commitment - and the times I feel like walking away are many. Like so many of you whose stories I've read I've been abused verbally and mentally, cheated on, lied to and treated like dirt. But throughout all that, when he is good hes very very good. But when hes bad hes horrid. We've been living separately for 2 years now because I ran out of excuses as to why it was ok for him to abuse me in front of our children. He was only officially diagnosed this year and is taking his meds faithfully. So far.I think I naively thought that the meds would fix him overnight which I realise is ridiculous but I was so relieved that we had a diagnosis finally that I wanted it all to happen right away.But nothing has changed yet and I still walk around on eggshells waiting for the next incident, analysing everythig he says and does and watching for the tell tale signs. Now I find myself doubting our future and whether I even love him at all. I'm so tired of being his everything and having to live my life day to day. But how can I walk away and try to find some peace and happiness and "normality" when he has, after 11 years actually gone and got help and is on the road to recovery. Does the fact I think about being in a different relationship make me a heartless *****? Do I really want out or am I just subconsciously stepping back and allowing his mental health team to do their thing? I'm so very confused and miserable. Any advice would help.
kyp1972 kyp1972
1 Response Jul 13, 2011

Hello Kyp, <br />
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I usually do my best not to reach out about these things (I think this is due to training myself for so long to be the strong one and thinking no one would understand), but I came across your post and it just about leveled me. I just want to tell ya to keep your head up and please know you are not alone. I have been with my mate for 16 years, 14 of which (in December) we have lived together. In most states we would be considered married, but not this one, yet I still consider him my husband, and depending on his mood, he still considers me his wife. We have two little ones, one is seven and the other is one. I think your desc<x>ription fits wonderfully. When my husband is good, he is a warm, confident, intelligent, magnetic, beautiful soul. He is highly creative and a genius at building things with his hands. He is my best friend in those moments, and I think that is what is so hard about the swing. Because when he is mad it is like a darkness takes over his countenance and he is horrid, irrational, and cruel. These minor episodes (minor compared to the irrational scattered rapid cycling that I have only witnessed once in 16 years) happen mostly in the morning and when his anxiety is blown out of control by specific triggers (like traffic, crowds, no work, etc) I have stopped making excuses for it but I am still madly in love with him and stupidly hopeful that things may just turn out alright.<br />
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I met him shortly after his first major episode 16 years ago when he had to be hospitalized. They clinic originally diagnosed him with major depressive disorder. Besides counseling and attempting to self medicate with marijuana and alcohol, he has never stayed on any treatment. A few years ago, he stopped sleeping and fell into a major episode which lasted two weeks and needed hospitalization to help him through. They diagnosed him Bipolar 1 while there and put him on barbiturates and anti-psychotics. He finished the medication and followed up with an appointment and then was convinced he was stabilized and didn't need it anymore. He hasn't worked at a stable job since mostly because mornings can be very volatile with him, but he does collect himself to do some private contract work sometimes. He has withdrawn from the world, and remains untreated due to a lack of insurance. He is great with the kids, and exceeds at doing his best at not waking up raging when they are around, and to be a good father. They make him happy, but our eldest knows how bad his "tantrums" can get when I am around because he will direct the negativity at me or the adults around. I work to support the home, our home, and at this point I just feel trapped. I have nowhere to go and if we were to separate he would have to be the one to leave. I can't seem to convince him of that, he won't leave. I honestly don't know what the future will bring or what to do. I wish he could just be a happy person, I had no idea how hard this was going to be when I first met him. I am so sorry it has turned out this way sometimes, but most of the time, I just try to think about the good times and focus on the positive because if I focus on what's wrong I will break down. <br />
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Sorry this turned out so long, but I just wanted to say... No it does not make you a *****, it makes you normal for wanting out. Medication may not help, or it may take a long, long time for him to find the right concoction. As you can see from my messed up situation, I choose to stay, but I question that decision every single day, because I know that people exist in this life, and can actually get out of bed and enjoy the morning and enjoy the world, and be content. I know, that would be weird and amazing to behold after so long. I don't know where to start to get there, sometimes I feel like his magnetism is greater than the moon's to me, but it sounds like you have a bit more control over your situation than I do mine, so I wish you the very best, and hope beyond hope that you find your niche... because you do deserve it.