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  1. #11
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    Re: How to Care for and Cope With a Bipolar Spouse

    Quote Originally Posted by Mari View Post
    What a difficult position to be in! Curious, why does he want a goat?
    He wanted a goat for the novelty factor and to eat the weeds. But I convinced him the goat would ruin our cars unless he paid to fence more of our property. So now he has no interest in a goat -- for now anyway.

    (A number of people in our area have goats, but goats are good at escaping and he doesn't even like goat milk/cheese.)

    And he reluctantly seemed to agree today that he won't get a big dog. But he has done that before. We actually got a big dog last year, but it kept trying to run away. So we gave it to a friend. And then he got a chihuahua instead.

  2. #12
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  3. #13
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    Re: How to Care for and Cope With a Bipolar Spouse

    Intermittent explosive disorder - Wikipedia

    Intermittent explosive disorder (sometimes abbreviated as IED) is a behavioral disorder characterized by explosive outbursts of anger and violence, often to the point of rage, that are disproportionate to the situation at hand (e.g., impulsive screaming triggered by relatively inconsequential events). Impulsive aggression is not premeditated, and is defined by a disproportionate reaction to any provocation, real or perceived. Some individuals have reported affective changes prior to an outburst (e.g., tension, mood changes, energy changes, etc.).

    The disorder is currently categorized in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) under the "Disruptive, Impulse-Control, and Conduct Disorders" category. The disorder itself is not easily characterized and often exhibits comorbidity with other mood disorders, particularly bipolar disorder...

    Bipolar disorder has been linked to increased agitation and aggressive behavior in some individuals, but for these individuals aggressiveness is limited to manic and/or depressive episodes, whereas individuals with IED experience aggressive behavior even during periods with a neutral or positive mood. In one clinical study, the two disorders co-occurred 60% of the time. Patients report manic-like symptoms occurring just before outbursts and continuing throughout.

  4. #14
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    Re: How to Care for and Cope With a Bipolar Spouse

    Today is going well, as did most of yesterday. I am checking his pill box each morning -- at his request -- since he forgot to take his meds two mornings in a row (on Wednesday and Thursday this week).

  5. #15
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    Re: How to Care for and Cope With a Bipolar Spouse

    Hopefully I will be moving out soon. I was on the receiving end of another rage/verbal attack. It is getting real old. I took care of him all day today and yesterday since he had a minor procedure on his foot. And my reward is being yelled at to the point that all of the dogs are afraid and under the bed. I was hoping he would get better with age or something but it feels like trying to expect a dog not to bark.

  6. #16
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    Re: How to Care for and Cope With a Bipolar Spouse

    Sorry to hear that, Daniel. That's too bad but you can't live your life on eggshells.

  7. #17
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    Re: How to Care for and Cope With a Bipolar Spouse

    Ironically, I would probably cope better with his BS if I were in therapy. But he gave such "tantrums" about the cost of therapy, that I stopped going after two sessions since he agreed to save money and stop getting marijuana. Of course, that was another lie/delusion.

  8. #18
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    Re: How to Care for and Cope With a Bipolar Spouse

    Sorry to hear that he's been continuing to treat you poorly.

  9. #19
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    Re: How to Care for and Cope With a Bipolar Spouse

    As usual, he apologized today and things got back to normal by late morning. Every time this happens, I try to tell him that there is no reason to yell, e.g. who did I kill? And I reminded him that it activates my fight-or-flight response, e.g. I was looking at apartments last night and thinking of moving to another part of the country.

    He already talks loud, so when he yells, it is really, really loud. I did find another suggestion on dealing with rages -- to try to switch the target to something else.

  10. #20
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    Re: How to Care for and Cope With a Bipolar Spouse

    Quote Originally Posted by Daniel View Post
    My advice (mostly learned the hard way):

    1. Avoid partnering with someone who thinks therapy is a waste of time.
    2. Do not "engage" when being yelled at. Walk away.
    3. If overspending is an issue, secretly save some money in a separate bank account just in case. This also gives you more freedom to leave the relationship or temporarily separate if need be.
    4. Develop friendships and spend more time with your other family members. You will need them when the going gets tough.
    5. Pick your battles but don't walk on eggshells.
    6. Go to therapy yourself, especially if your support system is lacking or you have a disorder yourself.
    7. Go on more "date nights" even if you have to encourage your spouse into doing so until it becomes routine.
    I would add to my list:

    Remember why you liked him/her in the first place. And as with most disorders, there is usually a positive side somewhere, like being the life of the party or being more alive/exuberant, driven, charming, or outgoing in general -- "the bipolar advantage."

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