Posted May 2, 2008
I have been married 9 1/2 years to a bi-polar man. He was diagnosed about 7 or 8 years ago, on meds for a while then we just ignored the problem thinking it would go away. It didn’t. Three years ago I left after a very bad manic episode and he would not seek any professional help. When I said I was leaving it turned into an even worse episode that landed him in jail for a DUI (I think he was trying to kill himself with the use of the car).
I left for two months and he did everything right. Got help, swore he would stay on meds, let me have my freedom, etc. I thought I had to give it another shot for the man I loved, our dogs, cat and the life we had built together. I returned and we went to counseling and he saw his own doctor. They put him on Lithium and I started to think we may make it after all.
I started to let my guard down and started trusting him again to be the man I thought I had married. Then slowly the bizarre (well familiar to me) and controlling behavior started to creep into our lives. I do not think I noticed at first but my closest friends (all on guard) would ask me if he was on his meds. He started to say he really didn’t think he needed the meds and they prevented him from being the superstar at work he needed to be.
As time progressed, I started to sink back into my hole and things progressed to bad. Everything is my fault, I do not make enough money (I do make a nice salary), he wants a new luxury car, he is God and everyone else is an idiot, etc. He has built a very good company from scratch and has managed to maintain his business success. The thing is though the more we make the more we spend. We have major credit card debt, a big beautiful home (that costs a fortune to run), nice cars, lavish vacations, etc. He thinks if he works hard he should have whatever his heart desires at whatever minute he desires it. It appears on the surface we are the American Dream. I pay the bills and am always on edge that another month goes by and the more credit card debt we have. We have over-drafted for months now. I will let him know we do not have any money after the bills are paid yet it is only my fault since I need a better job. I ask him to curb big spending and then I get in trouble when I spend $20 at Wal-Mart.
Last October we went to a wedding and he was on fire and spiraling out of control on the way there. After he drank heavily for two days and was a monster to be around, he finally crashed. I had not seen this freaking out since the day I left two years prior. He was having a full blown manic attack. Sweating head to toe, couldn’t breath, didn’t want to live anymore, wanted to jump out the window to stop the madness, wanted me to leave him since he was so horrible, and on and on and on. I was in complete panic myself.
Luckily my sister was down the hall at the hotel and I woke her at 3am to help me. We calmed him down and then he promised to take his meds, do everything right and that he loved me more than anything and would do whatever it takes to make it work. Back home, back on meds….
Well, we are now in April and I am noticing all the subtle changes. He wants (or has to have) a new car (always a sign), he wants me home at all times, he cringes if my phone rings and it is a friend, I should have the laundry done and cook dinner (things I have really never done since we met), work is too stressful for him, everyone is an idiot, etc. I looked at the date on his pills and they should have been done weeks ago. He hasn’t stopped talking about how he is going to get his new car and how important his job is and what happened that day in painful detail. I have convinced him to go to a therapy session with me next week (we have not been in over two years), and he thinks the therapist will help me get over my car grudge and let him buy the car. I told him the appointment was for me (it is) and if he wanted to join he could. He thinks his own Dr is a total quack and has no respect for him. He keeps convincing him to prescribe the meds without getting the blood work done or the counseling.
I am just starting to lose hope that this will be my life forever. He said last episode that my friends could call him if I couldn’t break through, and now my friend wants to call and he says no way. We had two golden retrievers who I love more than anything and I know in my heart it was due to them I gave it another shot. We lost one of them in December and the other one is pretty old and I hope he will never pass on but I do think how I will not have any ties after that. Of course, we just got a puppy but I feel she is way stronger than my other two and would be happy to live with her dad. He loves them very much too. (I think the cat will go with me no matter what.)
I know this is all silly rambling but honestly it is the tie that binds. I cannot imagine having human kids (but yet I think about it) and dealing with the roller coaster ride I have been on. I know if and when I leave I will leave with the clothes on my back and probably half the debt since I just do not have the energy to fight for anything. I want him to be ok but I am now 34 years old with no children (human ones that is – scared to death to have them) and do not want to look back on my life with sadness.
In many ways I love him dearly, we met in high school (not high school sweethearts) and we have been friends now for 20 years. I do love the American dream life we live, without the debt of course. I know he loves me way more then I love him on a husband and wife level. I do not want him to touch me anymore at all and he knows it and it is very, very sad. I thought maybe healing over time would bring the romance back but I think as soon as I am about to forgive and forget it all starts over again and I have to put my guard up. Just the other day I actually verbalized jumping off the bridge to have kids. Then, that night, it was a two hour conversation on how no matter what he would buy this freaking car we cannot afford because he deserves it. Did I mention he already has a very nice new car that is 1 ½ years into a lease?
So, now I am at a cross road once again. I honestly do not know why I cannot leave. I have a million reasons to go but I really do not think I ever will and I am not sure why. I could write a book on everything so I have tried to condense it down to cliff’s notes. I am sure anyone who is married to a bipolar person could fill in all the gaps. (I just realized the two instances I mentioned alcohol, to clarify, he is not a big drinker normally but does self medicate with pot daily.) This is where I am today and just wanted to get everything out there to the world. I guess it is therapeutic? We’ll see…