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  1. #51
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    Re: How to Care for and Cope With a Bipolar Spouse

    I guess noise cancelling headphones would be an inappropriate response to others arguing.

  2. #52
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    Re: How to Care for and Cope With a Bipolar Spouse

    Today was also his birthday. He later said I ruined the day for him and it was the worst birthday of his life because of me. It's like being an unappreciated employee where I have to understand my boss's challenges, but he doesn't understand mine.

    When these bad days happen, I feel stupid for staying with him, and I wish I was dead. Even if he has no choice but to act this way, I don't have the resources to deal with this on my own.

    Hopefully, I can use this as an impetutus to get a local job since my fear of COVID-19 has vanished after the way I was treated today -- since life seems quite unhappy now.

  3. #53
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    How to Care for and Cope With a Bipolar Spouse

    I'm sorry to hear that, Daniel.

    Relationships are not easy. Relationships which include bipolar disorder can be especially difficult since you are often put in the position of being a caretaker and a peacemaker as well as a spouse.

    I don't want to over generalize my comments. Some bipolar relationships do certainly work but they work when the bipolar partner is consistently compliant with medication, doesn't mix it with other substances, and remains in regularly scheduled therapy. From what I understand, when that happens, if it happens at all, it's because you insist on it and monitor it, putting you essentially in the role of parent as well as caretaker and spouse.

    It's not an enviable position for anyone to be in.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  4. #54
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    Re: How to Care for and Cope With a Bipolar Spouse

    Since I am losing hope, I think I am done trying to be his caregiver for mental issues anyway. The resentment just continues to build, especially since I often feel just as lonely as I did before I got married (if not more so).

    The marijuana or his own self-focus also makes it hard for him to remember things, causing arguments. He angrily told me earlier this week to return a $20 foam roller (that my doctor recommended) to Amazon since I have never used it, even though I have used it in front of him before (and when he was sleeping). And I told him, even if I never used it, I bring in way more money than you do anyway, and I don't spend $100 a week on marijuana. He later apologized, but he doesn't understand what I have to go through with my own mental health issues. (Who tells someone with a history of suicide attempts to stop wasting money on seeing a therapist? At least now, there are no-copays on mental health for the rest of the year, and next year the co-pays will only be $20.)

    In any case, I "see" my new psychiatrist on Monday, and I will be asking him to refer me to a therapist. My biggest problem now may be a general sense of hopelessness -- being tired of dealing with OCD and depression along with "problems of living."
    Last edited by Daniel; October 23rd, 2020 at 12:28 AM.

  5. #55
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    Re: How to Care for and Cope With a Bipolar Spouse

    Sorry to hear that Daniel, it sounds like a really difficult situation. Putting yourself first is definitely for the best. Him being unwell doesn't mean that you have to put up with being treated poorly or being blamed for things that are his responsibility.

  6. #56
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    Re: How to Care for and Cope With a Bipolar Spouse

    Next time there is a blowup, I think I am going to try to reframe his symptoms as anxiety or OCD so I can relate to him better. He does have a laser focus like I do for things that are not ideal.

  7. #57
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    Re: How to Care for and Cope With a Bipolar Spouse

    I am angry at myself for staying -- again. He yells at me on the way to the vet (what he calls talking loud), angry at me for me insisting we take the 11-year-old cat the vet (because the cat is having problems breathing and won't eat as of last night). Then, after an x-ray, we find out the cat is dying of advanced lung cancer and may die within a day or a week, which can be a painful death of being unable to breathe. So we had to put the cat down this afternoon.

    Then, after we get home, he yells at me that I don't have the heater ready in the bathroom for his shower -- like he requested (which I have no memory of).

    Even as the vet was putting the cat down, he even complained to the vet about something she forgot to do years ago concerning another pet we had (getting paw prints done before putting our dog down). And that is not just from grief since that is his bipolar disorder (and being abused as a child, etc).

    Now he is all calmed down. Like nothing happened.

    So I guess I will just stay with him like always, but the resentments are there and I don't know what to do with them.

    The crazy thing is he says I am acting like a child for yelling FU after he continues to yell at me.

    I guess I just will put it all down as stress making his bipolar worse. He didn't want to take the cat to the vet because of the cost of diagnostics. Before we saw the vet, he blames my OCD for worrying about the cat. I told him he was just living in denial since cats hide their illness very well, and by the time they have symptoms, it will only get worse without treatment.

    And our senior dog who is living with chronic bronchitis/COPD probably got that too from my husband smoking cigarettes in his house forever before I met him. But he still smokes marijuana in the house even though he has mild COPD himself, which is why I got two air purifiers and now keep the COPD dog and myself away from him when he is smoking dope.

    Back to taking one day at a time... But with my existential anxiety, nothing makes sense (or feels "just right") much of the time anyway.
    Last edited by Daniel; December 2nd, 2020 at 10:27 PM.

  8. #58
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    Re: How to Care for and Cope With a Bipolar Spouse

    So sorry you are going through this Daniel. I am having a bad day also and it is like 'what the hell?' Good that you can talk about it and hope you can figure something out. I do not have any expertise on illness so can not do much except offer support because everything I hear from you makes me think you are a great person and your posts have often cheered me when I am down.

  9. #59
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    Re: How to Care for and Cope With a Bipolar Spouse

    Quote Originally Posted by Mari View Post
    your posts have often cheered me when I am down.
    ditto

  10. #60
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    Re: How to Care for and Cope With a Bipolar Spouse

    The Burden of Sympathy: How Families Cope With Mental Illness

    Quite simply, what do we owe each other? In this vivid and thoughtful study, David Karp chronicles the experiences of the family members of the mentally ill, and how they draw "boundaries of sympathy" to avoid being engulfed by the day-to-day suffering of a loved one...

    Powerful cultural messages spell out two contradictory imperatives: pursue personal fulfillment at any cost and care for the family at any cost.

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