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Marriage and the Bipolar
September 9, 2002
2:36 am
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EVA_43
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Marriage and the Bipolar.

Here is the question did I make to fast of a decision and was it unrashional?

Here is the story.

My wife and I have known each other for 10 years and been married for 8 years. We have stuck it through thick and thin and seen tons of good and bad times. We have gone through a time where I had hit her to times when neither of us knew if the other one had slept around on the other due to an STD.

I always let the problems roll off my back and constantly tried to change and make things better but every 6 months I would go into a mass depression and kick her out or throw a fit.

Well this time she left (moved out) on her own while I was trying not to ask her to go. Still trying to make it work I got a councilor involved and after one private visit with that councilor my wife of 8 years began to be extremely angry towards me and even went out with another guy (late it was explained that he was just a friend, have yet to meet him but either way I do not approve and a month later almost I still do not, even though he moves to Italy in 2 weeks).

Well anyway I flipped my lid and attempted to kill myself but having some common sense in me I called for help first. That is when I found out I was bipolar and would be placed on depakot for the rest of my life probably. Currently I am taking 1kg, and it seems to be working just fine except tonight I can not stop thinking I screwed up.

Anyway, the councilor asked if we wanted to work on or marriage (a new one the old one yelled at me and told me my wife did not deserve me before I attempted to kill myself). I answered a resounding YES!!! My wife however still bitter almost a month after that meeting with the councilor said she could not give up all of the pain I had issued her. So this new councilor asked us to have a business relationship and barely talk if at all able to. I did not like this because of the other guy thing but I agreed.

Well my wife total had about 2 full days to have alone because she was buying a car and so on. We however had a fairly good time together at her request and sometimes demand for the car.

Once we meted again with the councilor the same question was asked do we want to work on it? I said YES again, she said she could not give up the pain and she did not want to hurt me. I said “Well I can not compete with the person in her head so I give up.” The councilor wanted to give it another 6 weeks of us not talking, but it bothered me to much.

Part of me says this was a good decision because we are just hurting each other more and more and the biggest part of me that REALLY LOVES HER, hates me for doing it. Also now I am caught in as she puts it I called wolf so many times she does not even get upset when I say it is over anymore.

I am lost I only told you a small part of the story, and I have only told you things about me. She either no longer finds me attractive or has no desire to be intimate or even social with me since in my memory before I first hit her. The hitting was never called for, EVER but I only punched her in the arm or leg not like a mass beating and I am getting help for it. It had stopped for 3 years.

Help, did I jump the gun and should I have given it 6 weeks or is there a study that says this will probably never make it. I’ll be honest I’m a numbers kind of guy if you say 90% will I will take my chances if you say chances of her dropping her pain is low I will bail.

EVA

September 9, 2002
9:48 am
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beenthruthat
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Hi.

Bipolar makes you do wierd things sometimes. I have had some experience with this, but being on the side your wife is now on.

You were doing things, due to the bipolar condition, which were not part of a loving relationship. You indicate physical abuse (don't discount your actions by saying it was a simple punch and not a total brawl). Did you verbally and emotionally abuse her also?

Your wife may be extremely resentful and became much angrier with you after she physically separated from your daily involvement. Six weeks is not too long - it took me over a year to get over the anger of four years of abuse - and I was never hit!

I can imagine you are confused yourself as you deal with your own condition, but realize if you want your marriage to work it will take LOTS of effort on your part and LOTS of time invested.

Good luck in whatever decision you make!

September 9, 2002
12:00 pm
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Cici
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Well, you have to understand that years of hurt can translate into a lot of pain and resentment later on. And (I have said this to my husband before) - it suck sto get lots of apologies. Because that means that a lot of stuff goes wrong. And you can keep apologizing after the fact, but that can't take away all the pain.

Discounting the abuse really doesn't do any good to anyone but yourself - and saying that "I only punched you in the arm" to me if I were your wife would be hurtful in the extreme. Abuse is abuse, and it not only hurts physically, it is mentally draining and it makes the abuse victim feel like they are a child. It makes them feel helpless in their lives. It tears down your self-esteem. It just sucks, and hitting as you know is never OK - so just admit you made mistakes and apologize for it, with the awareness of the degree of severity that she has experienced.

It will take longer than 6 weeks to "get over" stuff - infidelity, abuse, so much rage - it can even tkae a lifetime. I am still angry at an abusive boyfriend in my past. It's been almost 4 years and if I saw him today I'd still want to drop kick him into the stratosphere, and I dated him briefly. I can forgive him from a distance but we could never, ever, ever have a relationship.

It may take a long time to rekindle your romance, or it may not be able to be rekindled because sometimes people say "enough is enough" - and you have to respect her boundaries.

Good luck to you, I hope things get better and you get to know yourself. Bipolar mood disorder is a serious mental illness and should not be treated lightly. I recommend that you do some research and reading about this.

http://www.pendulum.org/
http://www.mhsanctuary.com/bipolar/

Surviving Manic Depression: A Manual on Bipolar Disorder for Patients, Families, and Providers
by E. Fuller Torrey, Michael B. Knable

Overcoming Depression and Manic Depression (Bipolar Disorder) A Whole-Person Approach
by Paul A. Wider

Bipolar Disorder: A Guide for Patients and Families (Johns Hopkins Press Health Book)
by Francis Mark Mondimore

By knowing about your disorder you will be able to take a more active role in your own life, take responsibilities for your past actions and be proactive about your future. It will also help you to learn how to diffuse the tension that will have naturally built up due to actions you may not be proud of from your past.

Good luck.

September 9, 2002
1:51 pm
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EVA_43
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I'm sorry I must have mis-represented what I was trying to say. Never was I excusing what I did with the hitting. I just have a friend that is helping me understand the trama I may have caused because she had gone through it. Her story however is much worse I mean things of being kicked, stabbed, beat and the list goes on. I never will excuse what I had done or the times I had done it but it was never to this extent. Those in my mind are unable to repair and is a loss of the marriage. I guess a punch in the arm maybe seen as the same to some but to me on this side of the fence it is worlds apart.

Either case I thank you for your help so far. It sounds to me like the damage I have created is to great to get over and it maybe best to call it quits.

EVA

September 9, 2002
1:57 pm
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EVA_43
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Blondie,

You and I are closer than you would think. It takes me about 2 hours to get angry with constant badgering. Then I get loud and can not slow down to clear my thoughts.

The Depakote seems to be helping this a lot. Now all I really do is get depressed and cry, or think. I have yet to get angry even after 2 hours of badgering. My marriage councilor is really good and in November I will meet my personal councilor.

EVA

September 9, 2002
4:33 pm
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Cici
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Well, every case is different so copmarisons are sometimes hard to make. In terms of reactions to trauma, I mean.

For example, there was a long term study done on veterans and rates of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). There was no controlling variable to the level of severity when they developed PTSD - some men developed severe PTSD and never fought in the front lines. Others never developed PTSD that was clearly diagnoseable, yet they fought for an extemded period of time in the front lines, some of them were even wounded in combat.

The researchers deduced that other factors, like childhood and cultural background, can have an impact on the development of PTSD and coping with violence and physical injuries.

So the same could be said for victims of abuse - some women are abused severely for years and are still able to have romantic relationships, and are relatively functional. Others are abused to a lesser extent, in comparison, and have severe emotional trauma. Factors that could affect PTSD in female victims of domestic violence include past exposure to physical violence, verbally or physically abusive parents or past boyfriends or lovers.

So - your relationship may not necessarily be damaged irreprably. But I think what we're saying is - give her room to breathe. Give her room to explore her feelings of betrayal, and anger and jealousy and hurt. Give her time to process this, and to grieve over the lost relationship. Once this is complete you can start over trying to re-build a healthier relationship if she is still interested. But if you really love her you must give her time.

Men and women deal with and process their emotions differently. I recently had a miscarriage and I was very frustrated with my husband. First off, he wanted to start trying for another baby right away. Secondly, I was confused about how he was dealing with our loss. But I realized that men deal with their emotions differently, sometimes so much so that their reactions are foreign. I need time to process my grief and get over our loss, but he just wants to "fix" it.

In the same way - you just want to fix your broken marriage. But your wife may need a long time to get over her anger and resentment, and you just need to take a step back, and work a lot on yourself. This is your opportunity to prove with actions rather than words.

Good luck, keep posting.

September 9, 2002
6:02 pm
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EVA_43
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I agree CiCi it is just hard. I want someone to love and support me, but because of my past I screwed it up.

Guess we can not win them all.

EVA

September 9, 2002
11:04 pm
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EVA_43
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Would it be fair for this time to possible include her dating others or is it just time to sort things out?

EVA

September 9, 2002
11:23 pm
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irishlass
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Sounds like you have a lot on your plate...Bi-polar disorder, marriage breakdown..in terms of your wife dating others, you have no control over that..but you do have control over how you are going to respond to it..and i guess this would be key because she is probably expecting a very negative response from you. Show her you are worthy of her trust by maybe endorsing and encouraging this new development in your relationship. Ask her if she feels in her heart that your relationship still has a chance? You can start from square one again and just be friends, you know, other couples have found their way back that way..think about it.

September 9, 2002
11:51 pm
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EVA_43
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Wow intresting but I feel worthless and cursed and well my reaction has not been that good.

Trying though,

EVA

September 10, 2002
12:01 am
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irishlass
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Well, Eva43, I have a new approach on this stuff, other than you have work to do...when in doubt..heal thyself. I know what other people do or not do can confuse and overwhelm us, especially if we care for them, but again..people can't be controlled...everything in it's own time...and sometimes only on their terms. ; ]

September 10, 2002
12:11 am
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EVA_43
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Even though I know you are right do not expect a Christmas card.

September 10, 2002
12:58 am
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irishlass
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LOL...YOU ARE WAY AHEAD OF ME!!!

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