It’s not real pleasant. To thrive in a bipolar marriage means to distinguish between the person you married and her condition. If you believe in God then pray…multiple times a day. But each time I tell the story I feel a little lighter. For example, her not wanting to have dinner with you doesn’t mean she no longer loves you. If you would like to send in your story and have it posted here, send it in here with "BP Story" in the subject. As one writer put it, “Think of what you know about being alive, about pain, about joy. In June of 2011 I found myself in the hospital with a severe depressive episode. To stay out of the holiday blues or bipolar depression, I am approaching this season proactively, tackling loneliness directly and finding ways to be festive and joyful. Beka is one of our bloggers and her husband, Ron, wrote this post for our couples series. CONTACT US. Finally, after a long mania ending in psychosis, she was hospitalized and diagnosed with Bipolar I. It is incredible that someone can change so much. You may despise the irresponsibility and aberrant behavior of her mania. But I mean, we did a psychiatric history right in her office. If you haven’t been ostracized by your BP spouse from your entire network of family and friends like I was, then please find a neutral person with a good heart to help you (even just to hear you vent or cry). Here are some strategies for tolerating the turbulence and remaining strong together. You just may break yourself trying to! Your email address will not be published. It’s achievable. SUBSCRIBE TO OUR NEWSLETTER ... Today 40 to 50 percent of today’s marriages end in divorce. However, the mess is not as important as how two people rebound from chaos. Research statistics do show that bipolar disorder is slightly more common amongst the single and divorced. Now imagine it’s under water and you can’t breathe and you can’t think and you can’t move and you want to die but you can’t because although you’re under water somehow God has still seen fit to let you continue to breathe. How do bipolar marriages stand a chance? My Story with Bipolar Disorder . Only my wife or ex wife is aware of this behaviour and to everyone else i am a saint with a bad temper. But we never really know what’s coming down the pike. We immediately connected in many ways on several important issues to us such as music, movies, philosophy, religion, politics, sarcasm, favorite foods, etc. It may feel as if you are at war with each other. What can I say? Mahatma Gandhi once said, “I first learned the concept of non-violence in my marriage.” Imitate the Indian activist and put down the weapons. I entered into another deep depression. Curse at the symptoms of your spouse’s bipolar disorder all you want, but love and respect the person who has the illness. Therese Borchard has written for a variety of websites, including CNN, The Huffington Post, Everyday Health, and Psych Central, and is the author of Beyond Blue: Surviving Depression & Anxiety and Making the Most of Bad Genes and The Pocket Therapist. I was on schedule to graduate after spring quarter. Do the self-affirming things you’ve always wanted to do but couldn’t because you were care-taking your BP spouse and fearful that any attention you turned to yourself would be interpreted as disloyalty or that you no longer loved them like you once did and now they feel entitled to cheat. Life went on. Life went on. Things may not always work out exactly as you had planned or even hoped for, but at the end of the day sometimes all you can do is say, “It’s ok, I know you are trying, and I love you.” Whether you need to say this to your spouse or to yourself, just say it. However, here are a few to consider: Determine the number of days you will tolerate symptoms of depression and/or mania (and how acute they need to be) before the doctor is called. Of course it doesn’t last long, so it creates an addictive pattern of behavior … hence—hypersexuality … I not only want those with bipolar to know that they’re not alone in their experiences, but I also want their spouses and ex-spouses to know that they’re not alone in their experiences. One outpaced the other and soon we were unbalanced. Was she supposed to know that I actually had bipolar disorder? Take care of yourself. But each time I tell the story I feel a little lighter. Every playground demands a set of rules. “You come to love,” says American philosopher Sam Keen, “not by finding the perfect person, but by seeing an imperfect person perfectly.”. Subscribe Share Your Story. Press & Media. Only this depression was worse than any I had every felt in my life. Not to mention I’m so irritable by the time that you wake up, dear husband, that I greet you with a string of swear words and start our morning off in the land of misery. Of course I was also hypersexual and I thought we were in love. Do you think someone like that can change? This is because it is more likely for a spouse to be understanding of a depressive episode than a manic episode and this double standard can cause resentment and extra tension. Only God can *fix* the BP spouse who is hellbent on destroying a marriage and themselves. However, the insensitive words and actions of your bipolar spouse have less to do with you and more to do with her experience of pain. Marriage Divorce and Bipolar Disorder. Bipolar Disorder Stories . Friedrich Nietzsche once said, “It’s not a lack of love, but lack of friendship that makes unhappy marriages.”. David Oliver is the nation's leading experts on helping and supporting a loved one with bipolar disorder.You can get learn about many of David's little known, yet effective strategies to cope and deal with your loved one's bipolar by clicking here right now. Things may not always work out exactly as you had planned or even hoped for, but at the end of the day sometimes all you can do is say, “It’s ok, I know you are trying, and I love you.” Whether you need to say this to your spouse or to yourself, just say it. Imagine the coldest, darkest, loneliest place you can think of. War & Peace II, is to share with you my story about my ride on the Marriage-Go-Round. But if you’re like me, “bipolar disorder” is on your mind all the time. Be willing to be split open.”Natalie Goldberg, author of Writing Down the Bones: Freeing the Writer Within. Well, placing blame or even looking back with questions such as these now really serves no purpose. So where to begin…? There are exceptions to the rule, and if you're getting treatment for your illness and being open and honest with your spouse, your … Do what you can to get them help if they are amenable to it but ultimately leave them to God. We broke up. But the only reason I opened up to the entire world about all of this and told you my very embarrassing story is because I’ve read and heard so many stories similar to my own since being diagnosed with bipolar disorder. People with bipolar disorder have strikingly similar experiences in terms of symptoms, even though we may come from a variety of backgrounds, cultures, religions, and even generations. This is not everyday, run-of-the-mill marriage stuff. Bipolar marriages are especially full of oops moments. Individuals with bipolar disorder tend to become suicidal, especially during mixed states such as dysphoric mania and agitated depression. So we spent an afternoon at the National Arboretum in Washington, D.C., followed by a leisurely lunch. By autumn however, I was feeling good again and had moved in with an old boyfriend. In her classic Gift by the Sea, Anne Morrow Lindberg likens a loving relationship to a double-sunrise shell, comprised of two symmetrical shells joined at the center. However, nurturing your friendship with your spouse and laughing together are critical threads that bind you together and protect against the fraying that can occur over time. This separateness leads to deeper intimacy and appreciation. Researchers have found that the brains of people with bipolar disorder lack the homeostatic regulation necessary between the amygdala and other parts of the brain. I am happy you are doing well. Depression cycles always feature the worst parts of my personality. You are an expert at humanity. And that is how I felt from December 2011-September 2012. Main 703-524-7600. Sir Harold George Nicolson once said, “The great secret of a successful marriage is to treat all disasters as incidents and none of the incidents as disasters.” While you should confront problems when they surface and work toward solutions, fretting over every bump along the road will deplete your reserves. Furthermore, chemicals released during arousal generate a sense of safety in the brain. I was embarrassed. When I asked him to leave, he almost seemed happy about it… like he was no longer going to have to be under pressure to take meds and get a job. Bipolar disorder: blogs and personal stories The following blog posts are written by people with personal experience of bipolar disorder . And she prescribed me an antidepressant to bring me out of the deepest level of hell that I had been residing in for so many months. During the marriage, I was wilting and being completely drained from taking care of him and horribly mistreated but I didn’t know he was BP. I am so happy to have stumbled across your stories. After hearing the painful and heartbreaking stories of so many others looking for answers or even just solace from the bipolar marriage-go-round, I felt compelled to share my story here and let others know that they are not alone. Why? This also led me to doubt my diagnosis. I believe that this time i had given a considerable amount of thought and came to the conclusion that divorce would be best for the kids. Bipolar Disorders. Hurt people hurt. It was friendship at first sight. It all was jump-started during finals week of my second to last quarter of college. Get honest. Founder of the online depression communities Project Hope & Beyond and Group Beyond Blue on Facebook. Thank you again for sharing and listening. Does it sound like i had a BP episode? This means holding your tongue when you want to lash out, not blaming your spouse for the emergency of the hour, and acknowledging the many things he gets right instead of focusing on the few he gets wrong. Accessibility Toolbar Then we got engaged. Of course it doesn’t last long, so it creates an addictive pattern of behavior … hence—hypersexuality …. While it seems kind of high to me, I suppose I understand it. One outpaced the other and soon we were unbalanced. “Bipolar Disorder” may not even be in the top 100! According to Psychology Today, the divorce rate for couples where at least one spouse is bipolar is 90%. Marriage without mental illness, so I’m told, is challenging enough. Member Services 888-999-6264. As one writer put it, “Think of what you know about being alive, about pain, about joy. Please do not think that there is something *more* you could have done or could do. In that span, I tried to take my life three different times—2007, 2008, and 2010. We immediately connected in many ways on several important issues to us such as music, movies, philosophy, religion, politics, sarcasm, favorite foods, etc. depressed, manic, over and over. I have done everything I can think of to help him and I he just doesn’t seem to want it. 89 votes. I then went to another psychiatrist who said that i dont have BP but adult ADHD. This is because it is more likely for a spouse to be understanding of a depressive episode than a manic episode and this double standard can cause resentment and extra tension. You may hate the apathy and irritability of your spouse’s depression. The guidelines will vary according to the personalities of the couple and the severity of the illness. I was diagnosed with BP2 about 7 years ago after i had divorced my wife in a fit of rage. I was 25 years old and it was the happiest day of my life. Suffice to say I lost my first wife when she became bored with me and got a career and left me behind with my illness, that was a marriage of 9 years. Internal rhythms that cause me to wake up at 3am to rearrange the furniture, dye my hair, and write an essay all before I get ready for work can become exhausting after awhile. I could go into my entire life story, but it would take too long and bore the pants of anyone with an eyeball. So my parents lovingly let me stay with them and nursed me back to health through a steady diet of love, organic beef and kale, and just the right amount of attention and space. I have bipolar. Come up with a compliance plan to ensure that medication is taken as prescribed. Today 40 to 50 percent of today’s marriages end in divorce. You never know maybe you’ll get back together with them being stronger and better for you, for themselves all without having destroyed you in the process. A better strategy is to fasten your seatbelt, put your hands in the air, and stay as calm as possible. we got along well, for 11 weeks, then she comes in telling me to leave, because she said her family did not care for me. Add in bipolar disorder or some other mental health diagnosis and you are in for some extra work. Some of you may be wondering how in the world anyone else could have a story even remotely similar to what I just described but I’m telling you, it’s true. Living and loving a person with mental illness is heartbreaking, stressful, challenging and can make you feel powerless. In February 2014 he proposed once more, and on December 24, 2014, we were married once again. Now, here we are, just over a year later from our second marriage to each other and having celebrated our first wedding anniversary. 31.5%. Now double it. “He recognized that his family had a history of alcohol abuse. And then finally, after a long, long wait, I got in to see a psychiatrist. 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