Hello. I have been married for 9 years now, and my wife and I have an 8 year old daughter. My wife was diagnosed with bipolar disorder about 2 years ago. She is currently seeing a doctor and is using medication for it. At first, both seemed to really help, but lately, it seems to have gotten worse. We fight in front of our daughter, and when things get at their worse, she instantly stops and makes me the bad guy to my child and becomes “mother of the year”, further adding to the knocking me down to an extremely low level. I know it is an illness, but it really feels like she is doing it on purpose.
It’s to the point where I want to leave, but my fear of losing my daughter is crippling. My fear of losing my wife is crippling. I want to be with her, but as bad as this sounds, I want the old her. How do I get her to calm down when she has an episode? I don’t want this feeling of wanting to leave my wife. She’s my wife, not someone I can just walk away from. Thank you VERY much in advance for any advise you can give.
I’m sorry you are in this position. As the wife who’s been married for 10 years and only diagnosed for 3, I can sympathize with you all too well. Actually, my husband probably could a bit more … but he’s not so much about writing.
I can tell you one thing, if you love her and you want to make it work, you CAN. It will be difficult, and you’ll possibly go through these things again, but I bet she’s totally worth it.
When we go through episodes we say and do things that the rational us wouldn’t do. And unfortunately our husbands are the perfect catalyst to everything seeing as he’s right there. And who can’t point out a spouses flaw at the drop of the hat? Oh come on … you know you can too.
She is obviously hurting right now, the question you need to ask it why? Are the two of you going to counseling as a couple? My husband and I have found that the easiest way to make a situation rational is with a third party. Our therapist can help us get to the root of the problem, which is unfortunately, most often me and one of my mood swings.
I’ll tell you what I’ve learned … there is always help, there is always support, and there is always a way. However, both you and she need to seek out that help (as you are doing right now by emailing us). You need to find support groups either online or in your town. I firmly believe that medications only get you so far, but adding in cognitive therapy and a little vitamin D from time to time … makes world of difference.
Being bipolar is really difficult. I don’t want to lie about it. But if you’re anything like my husband, I can imagine you adore your wife. I bet she has one of the best senses of humor and leaves you needing her more than anyone you’ve ever met. We’re kinda awesome like that … well, when we are awesome. Unfortunately we kinda really suck when we aren’t being awesome. However, a man who works through these horrible up and downs is a prince charming in my book. And you sound like the kind of man who rides a white horse 😉
I really think the first step to working this out is finding some sort of therapy treatment plan as well as finding a good support system. And tell her about us. I can’t even begin to tell you how much having friends who get me has changed my life!!!!
I’m not sure if this helped. If you have further questions don’t hesitate to ask. And I really really wish you and your wife the best. Don’t give up on her, everyone gives up on us. Unless she’s NOT following her treatment plan and NOT trying anymore, I really think you should stick by. (Though I’m kinda biased. LOL)
Also, here are a few other articles we’ve written about relationships that might help.
Again, please do NOT hesitate to ask more questions. That’s what we’re here for 🙂