Bipolar Disorder Caused My Divorce?

Thom Community Member
  • I received my divorce decree in the mail the other day. I thought I had comes to terms with it already, the separation and divorce, but it really hit me hard. This single piece of paper, making my divorce a legal fact, caused a rush of images to flood my mind.

     

    I remembered the good and the bad, the images of my wife smiling, laughing, happy, then crying, concerned, confused, frustrated. Images of us running by Niagara Falls in the sun, a quick flash of us hugging inside our first home before we moved in, and the images just kept coming. 

     

    But they turned bad. I recalled the bank overdrafts, the gigantic credit card bills from all of the spending. I could see myself curled up in a ball, trying to sleep, depressed, avoiding everyone all day every day for weeks at a time.

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    I remembered everything, it seemed. I could see her face when she said the marriage was over. She couldn't take the ups and downs any longer, the erratic behavior, the unpredictability from one day to the next of what my mood might be. Would I embarrass her in front of her family again? These are some of the problems that those with Bipolar Disorder run into.

     

    As my final effort, I looked my wife in the eye and said, "For richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health..." I think I was trying to make her feel guilty so that she would stay with me.

     

    But she said, "I never signed on for all this."

     

    And that is true; she didn't. I may be the victim of a mental health illness but I am not a victim of my actions. I am the cause. My actions are my responsibility.

     

    Getting that divorce decree did shake me up. But it also gave me a chance to see that I am in a better psychological place now. I stick to a decent sleep schedule, I take my medicines (and proactively talk to my doctor when they don't seem to be right), and I communicate my state of mind to my loved ones more effectively than I ever had before. These are the things that I learned to do following the wake up call of my divorce. Having Bipolar is certainly a reason for erratic behavior, but not an excuse.

     

    I work hard every day to keep my bipolar in check. I am also on the most successful regimen of meds that my doctors and I have ever used before. I didn't wake up the day after my separation and put my life back together. It's been two years since that day, and I am just now finally to come to work along with my bipolar instead of letting it run me.

     

    I wonder how many people out there have had similar issues themselves or with a loved one with bipolar. Right now I have mixed feelings concerning my bipolar disorder. Every day I try to accept it and work with it, as it is a part of who I am.

     

    No, bipolar disorder was not the cause of my divorce. It may have complicated matters, but it is something that can be lived with successfully too. I have a responsibility to take care of myself the best I can. Could I have saved my marriage? It doesn't matter now. The past is over. What matters is growing as a person with bipolar disorder and learning along the way.

     

     

Published On: February 07, 2010
10 Comments
  • leila
    May. 18, 2016
    I feel great empathy for you as the confrontation of receiving the Decree Nici is like being hit by a truck. It is a VISIBLE statement that can't be rationalized away. But you will be able now to discover who you are on your terms wihout having to please and fit in with others. Isolating? Anti-social? Sometimes Bipolars need to remove themselves from relating.....
    RHMLucky777
    Read More
    I feel great empathy for you as the confrontation of receiving the Decree Nici is like being hit by a truck. It is a VISIBLE statement that can't be rationalized away. But you will be able now to discover who you are on your terms wihout having to please and fit in with others. Isolating? Anti-social? Sometimes Bipolars need to remove themselves from relating.. I do. Just to assimilate the stimulation of socializing and Life. The main thing I have learned I suppose - and it took me agaes.... that though it was wonderful to get released from the mystery of my behaviour by getting a diagnosis and medications. I have also found I need to learn to define myself NOT ONLY as Bipolar but as ME ... I am not my illness - entirely. I have a sick brain - yes. but a SOUL which is the essential me. So as you begin the journey forward, alone, please do not beat up too much on yourself. I have been through the same experience . And by now I am actually pretty much able to manage my illness, meds and lifestyle to ensure I am mostly at peace with myself. Alone still but sometimes I dare to wonder if I could manage a serious committed relationship. All the best Elizabeth
  • wordish49
    May. 13, 2016
    I am facing divorce papers this week. My partner is bipolar she just go the actual diagnoses. It has been a very hard 2 years of ups and downs. We she is up she is "Super-Her" busy all the time, working out like made, working all the time, shopping, making wild life changing decisions. This spring it is a divorce with a med change and ween off a different one....
    RHMLucky777
    Read More
    I am facing divorce papers this week. My partner is bipolar she just go the actual diagnoses. It has been a very hard 2 years of ups and downs. We she is up she is "Super-Her" busy all the time, working out like made, working all the time, shopping, making wild life changing decisions. This spring it is a divorce with a med change and ween off a different one. Don't get me wrong we have our problems I became angry and firm with asking for what I needed in the relationship. This threatened her need for complete control as this seems to have been her way of managing her mental health for years. She seems perfect in public. Then fall hits and with it the deep depressions where I am needed to support her. She drains the life out of my. I pour myself into her to keep her going. As she come out of it we have a good times. Then she nearly disappears form the relationship on "Super-Her", taking care of herself by being busy non-stop. This year I got depressed in the winter and couldn't support her. Now she is done right as I pulled out and have found myself again and she is now seeking help with her bipolar. She still don't have a grip on her emotional state, just certain that I am what is not good in her life. I don't think she even see what the pattern of her bipolar episodes have done to us. And me. With this new information and help in both our separate lives she wants out. Maybe feel of confronting what has happened, or need for fresh start in life, or clouded mind, or just the actual fact that the pain / hurt we caused each other is just unforgivable. What sucks the most is there is no having a rational conversation at this stage of her illness and med change. Its over and I really think I want to see if we could work but is it worth the challenges of a life with bipolar episodes that really end up hurting me?
  • Skeptic
    Mar. 18, 2012
    After 27 yrs of marriage my wife has gotten worse and my two children are suffering. She's wants a divorce but finances are not good. Very difficult time. My wife has been physically and emotionally abusive and now for the first time I'm fighting back - she is retaliating - calling police on me, false charges etc. Very difficult time.
  • scotty
    Apr. 17, 2010

    Hi Tom..

     

    I just read your story. I too have just lost someone very close to me - when I say lost I mean she just left me, due to my us and downs and the pain I have caused her. I actually just moved with her to her home country where we were supposed to get married, and a refusal from her muslim father to allow the wedding has prompted her to finally...

    RHMLucky777

    Read More

    Hi Tom..

     

    I just read your story. I too have just lost someone very close to me - when I say lost I mean she just left me, due to my us and downs and the pain I have caused her. I actually just moved with her to her home country where we were supposed to get married, and a refusal from her muslim father to allow the wedding has prompted her to finally give up after 5 years together. I have sold all my possesions to be here, and now used up all the money from that. So in a way I have lost everything.

     

    If i go home ill be stayin with my parents with no job and now at the age of 38. So I am completely devestated, and it is not helping my mental health as I am also masively depressed.

     

    I was just wondering how you coped with your situation? I am having a hard time as I blame myself for everything and I think if I had taken a more proactive approach with my health I wouldnt be in this situation now. I know I need to look forward.. but its not easy. I feel like I lostthe girl of my dreams.

     

    I am glad you sound like you are doing well.

    Its been 2 months since this happened. I have been holding onto hope that she will turn around and come back to me.. but she has hardly been in touch and is concentrating on a new job and her future alone.

     

    S.

     

     

     

    • ADRIAN
      Oct. 26, 2011

      Hi ,IM IN THE SAME BOAT DEALING WITH A VERY EMITIONAL TIME THAT MY DIVORCE IS 4 DAYS AWAY.HOPING THAT SHE WILL COME BACK BUT I KNOW IVE HURT HER TOO BAD THAT THE END IS NEAR HAVING TROUBLE COPING WITH DUE TO THE FACT THAT IS THE SECOND TIME IVE HAD A MANIC EPISODE .WE HAVE ONLI BEEN MARRIED 12 MONTHS. HELP DEAR GOD

    • ADRIAN
      Oct. 26, 2011

      Hi ,IM IN THE SAME BOAT DEALING WITH A VERY EMITIONAL TIME THAT MY DIVORCE IS 4 DAYS AWAY.HOPING THAT SHE WILL COME BACK BUT I KNOW IVE HURT HER TOO BAD THAT THE END IS NEAR HAVING TROUBLE COPING WITH DUE TO THE FACT THAT IS THE SECOND TIME IVE HAD A MANIC EPISODE .WE HAVE ONLI BEEN MARRIED 12 MONTHS. HELP DEAR GOD

  • Mark
    Mar. 10, 2010

    As I read, lived it all over again! Always think I'm going through it alone... but not. No happiness in knowing, hurts too much. No one should have to go through the pain. Thank you for giving me a small comfort today. Thank you for letting me know I'm not alone. And God, Oh God, help us...

     

    • Thom
      Mar. 10, 2010

      I feel bad in a way that you can relate so well to this sharepost. I am glad, however, that you realized you are not alone. So many of us go through this every day!

  • Anonymous
    Lauren D.
    Feb. 08, 2010

    thanks for your candor and honesty; it brought tears to my eyes. i relate and extend a hand in friendship and empathy to you and look forward to you chronicling the bright future ahead of you, Bipolar Thom!

    • Thom
      Feb. 08, 2010

      Lauren D:

       

      Thank you so much. That means a lot to me.