My husband and i met in college - we were totally in love. We finally got engaged after 4 1/2 yrs of dating, and married 2 yrs after that. We've been together for 8 1/2 years now and he was recently diagnosed. Looking back I can see the signs now. He comes from a broken family - all who have mental illnesses. But he's always been successful and for the most part loving, so i thought it skipped him. I got him a therapist 2 1/2 yrs ago thinking he could solve some of his past childhood issues - but it didn't seem to help much.
Things started going down hill once he started grad school and 2 different certification tests (which had 4 parts each). He studied TOO much, after work, on weekends...We moved into a home, started renovating it, and all the while he just didn't do well with stress. We thought it was just a stress/anxiety issue, but it got worse and worse. If I ever got stressed out or upset he could never comfort me becuase HE was the one always stressed and NOBODY understood HIS pressures. He grabbed me a few times when he got really upset - nothing too bad but it did frighten me. His studying got more excessive, and i think it was a coping mechanism now. I felt alone all the time.
Then this past Feb 2008, it went downhill. He was always tired (couldn't sleep) and had pounding chest pains. He started to complain non-stop, picking apart his job, me, our marriage and life in general. He also had memory loss and couldn't keep instructions straight and couldn't concentrate at work. He was seeing every Dr imaginable to find out what was wrong - he went to the cardiologist, nuerologist, you name it! This was around the 1st time he took off work, and found out (or thought) he had depression. He stayed in bed for a week and started to verbally abuse me. Nothing i did was right. If i pointed at him or tilted my head the wrong way i was evil. If i picked him up a gift i was a liar. It was insane and after a month of this I started getting out of the house to get away from it all. Then he would blame me all the time for leaving him and not being there for him. Yet he wouldn't let me go to his Dr's appts with him (he later said he didn't want me to tell the Dr's how he was really behaving - he always wanted to look successful to everyone).
I finally found a marriage counsiler because i began thinking maybe he was just unhappy with me! We went once and he seemed upbeat about it, but then it got bad again. I went to my parents for a week and wrote him a letter, basically outlining how he's been acting, what i've done to try to help, and that i was leaving him for a while. He called me and begged not to leave him - told me he loved me and was nothing without me. So i came back and saw a different Dr with him - who diagnosed him with bipolar.
I was heartbroken. I've seen his mother deal with this - and it was nasty. We went home, everything seemed ok for the night, and when i woke up, i found him standing over me yelling at me again. I couldn't handle it - i called his mom to come take care of him cause she is the only person who he was listening to. She in turn took him, and never called me. I felt helpless, like i had failed. I know none of this is my fault, but the fact that not only was my husband excluding me from his treatment, but now his FAMILY was too! It disgusts me, but my family has made me see that they are sick as well and i can't count on them. He continued to blame me - even though he sometimes didn't know why, and sometimes he would just nit-pick at things to pin on me. I would ask, "why do you love me one day and hate me the next?" and he'd say "i don't know" but then when i bring that point up he forgets he said it.... then he call me and tell me "i don't think i am bipolar, and i don't like this medication." Denial......
Meanwhile I was running around seeing the marriage counciler by MYSELF still, plus his Dr's and I even went to bipolar support groups. I know why he's pushed me away, but HE doesn't seem to realize it, which is the one thing i can't get over. I have great friends and family around me, but i miss my husband, or at least the husband i knew and have loved for almost 9 yrs. Once he began threatening me with seperation and divorce, i couldn't take the verbal crap anymore and went to a lawyer and had a letter sent to him basically saying, stop sending mean emails, make an appt with your wife and Dr, or go thru with your divorce threat already..... well he got that, came home, and went to see a lawyer. I can't bear living in the house with him right now. He's an empty shell of the man i used to love. I pleaded with him to go to the marriage counsiler with me but he just wants to throw our love away. He moved some clothes out yesterday, and I'm at a loss. I've been the one fighting for this and why? He's only been on meds for under 4wks and nothing has changed... he's heartless towards me, even when i cry. I guess i have to let him go, and i'm crushed because i loved him so much, and our life together with our dogs. I wonder if in a year he will wake up from this and realize what he's done - pushed the only support and constant love he ever had out of his life for no reason at all..... i'm so devastated. To think you will grow old with someone and then to think about starting life ALL over again when you had everything........
Facing the challenges5 Rules for Bipolar Relationships