Bipolar husband and failure to connect emotionally with me.

I find that no matter what our problem is that no matter how many times I try to explain my feelings of being isolated, not heard, and invisible, my husband continues his distant behavior. Is it possible that this is a symptom of bipolar disorder? He is on meds and supposedly stablized but continues going to work at 11 PM every night and not coming home. He is also having a severe bout of cluster headaches and I am concerned that is a part of it. Thanks for any help.

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I am so sorry you are having to deal with this situation.  It certainly sounds like a touchy one and I hope I can bring some light to the situation.

Relationships that have a person with Bipolar Disorder are almost never easy.  There’s a lot of work that has to be done to maintain the relationship.  I am not sure why your husband is isolation you and I have a few ideas as to why he might be behaving like that.

I am going to write a few distinct statements next but I want you to know before hand that I am not making excuses for your husband.  These are just ideas as to why his behavior is so isolating.

A person with Bipolar Disorder can tend to isolate.  Especially, during the depressive episodes.  Does it seem like he is depressed or manic?  These behaviors are pretty distinct.  Maybe your husband feels badly that he is putting you through the whole idea of having Bipolar Disorder.  Does he know how to communicate?  Have you used “I feel…” statements to him?  Usually, I feel statements will get through to some people.  If he is going to work at 11:00 p.m. I am assuming he is working graveyard.  I truly believe and from personal experience know that graveyard shift is the hardest on a Bipolar body and brain.  If he’s not coming home then where is he going after work?  Is he with other family or friends?

I can’t imagine what it’s like for you to be constantly isolated and ignored.  That must really hurt.  Have you asked your husband to go to therapy of some sort?  Have you personally talked with his psychiatrist?  Sometimes people with Bipolar Disorder can fool a doctor about how they are really doing.  Does he have a therapist?  Can you speak to him or her about his behavior?

So….yes, his behavior can be a result of his Bipolar Disorder but I don’t think the constant isolation is related to the illness itself.  Maybe he needs other help besides medications.  Personally, I would take it slow with him.  I know you are already frustrated and hurt.  It’s only up to you how far you want to pursue the relationship.  If you have children together then it can make it a little more touchy.

I really hope you can work this out somehow.  It grieves my heart when Bipolar Disorder wins and breaks hearts!

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