My Spouse Is Acting Strange and I Can't Take it Anymore!

Patient Expert

Another batch of relationship questions: Question

itllendintears asks:

Since the last time I was on here there's been many changes in my life. When my husband came out of the hospital in August for his

3rd suicide attempt in our 4 year marriage, he decided he could no longer be married. Ours was his second marriage, and my first.

Now that some time has gone by I am left reflecting on so many things, and recently I have begun to feel anger towards him for not trying hard enough. I feel like the bipolar was a third person in our marriage and now the two of them have run off together and left me behind.

I know that I sacrificed my happiness, security and comfort over and over again in my marriage, and I had to bend and be creative to make our life together work. I honestly feel I put in a great effort, the best I had, but I feel like he didn't and I go back and forth wondering if it's because he couldn't or because he didn't want to.

Now that he's out on his own, he's still taking his meds, but he's also now smoking cigarettes and pot. He's refusing to see a psychologist and I just feel totally discouraged because I had hoped that at least he would have grown from our relationship and that the knowledge I imparted to him could've been the beginning of him starting on a healthy path to living better. I thought that outside of our marriage he would be free from all the pressure and stress of trying to care for our relationship and he could put his energy and focus into caring for himself in the best way possible.

Is he just a selfish jerk who doesn't want good things out of life, who is content with living alone, having superficial relationships, being satisfied with ****, choosing quick fixes like substance abuse despite the long term effects, being entertained by graphic horror movies, and being a generally dark individual or is it that he is trapped inside the illness and it is controlling his life? Is he just a quitter who should've been exercizing, eating right, going to therapy and avoiding substances or is bipolar really so hard that some people can't even try to live well?

I am certainly very confused.


Hi, itllendintears. It really doesn't matter whether your husband's behavior is related to the illness or his own personal shortcomings. What you need to consider is how his behavior affects you and what is in your own best interest. You don't need to feel guilty about letting go.


emotionallydrained asks:

I'm wondering if there is a way to stop the constant yelling of a manic

episode? In the past I have yelled back, tryed agreeing, apologized for things I didn't do,...this time I'm ignoring her (going outside when she is inside)... you get the picture. I told her I was no longer going to participate in her rediculous arguments anymore. Well evidently she really wanted to fight because that sent her over the edge and she left.

If dart guns (like the ones they use on wild animals to sedate them) were legal...I could deal with her so much better.

Seriously though, now she is spending money we don't have on a hotel.


Hi, emotionallydrained. When your loved one is more calm, you are entitled to insist on boundaries. Having said that, you might want to examine your own actions. Not that you did anything wrong, but sometimes something that may seem totally innocuous to you may be a trigger to someone with a mood disorder. When she is calm, you might want to ask her if there is anything you can do to make her feel more safe and less threatened. If she responds to that, then you have something to work with. If not, feel free to reconsider the merits of staying in the relationship.


kchronister writes:

II think my husband has bipolar disorder. It appears to be escalating and there is some violent behavior appearing. He was diagnosed by his Dr. and it made a light bulb go off in my head. It all made sense to me. He immediately changed Drs & doesn't want to discuss it. We have an appt w/ a marriage counselor on Fri., should I tell him(Dr) of the diag. or let him figure it out? I'm afraid if I mention it my husband will say that I swayed the counselor and not want to go back. He is in denial and gets mad if I try to explain to him that I am scared of his behavior. I need all the advice I can get, please guide me because over the last 3 years he has always put all the problems that we have had on me and blocks out anything else that may be happening. He is also drinking more and more every night. He is talking to himself and blacking out. It is so bad that I now stay with my sister and her husband most nights.

How do I handle all of this? I'm not sure how much longer I can hold our marriage together, and I know that ending it would be difficult and possibly dangerous.


Hi, kchronister. I would let the marriage counselor figure it out. You can always press your case later.


Scalded writes:

Help I am reading too much that sounds like us. He was so charming, beautiful, fun, participatory and the best potential stepfather life has served up. Slowly, he began disappearing for days at a time...saying I had burned him. He wouldn't answer calls. He would ship a small but completely non-feeling communication about where he was but not answer calls. Last year at this time, he moved out when we were away. We returned and he totally jumped ship. Then he came back saying: Let's get counseling. He never did. It got uglier and uglier as did I! I checked his email, his voicemail. His vicious outbursts were getting uglier and uglier to me and also to my beloved children to whom he never even once apologized about his disappearances. When he would 'go' they would call begging him to respond so that they knew he was ALIVE. He would stay away days. And then return to his beautiful family and we would have him.

Wednesday...a week ago. He called us all together and said he was leaving. We said WHERE ARE YA GOING THIS TIME? He's over. We all cried desperately, begging him not to go. He packed when I was at the therapist. He is gone now and no contact...he told me "just get to the other side of it...just get through it, it will be over soon."

On the day we bought furniture I saw that he had written some woman who is working on a project with him. He told her that speaking with her brought him bundles of joy and he wanted a couple of hours more with her.

I confronted him....he denied it even though the words were infront of us. He dismissed it. Yet he had talked about how sensational she is...

I am the money. I paid for it all. I paid for everything for three years. I brought him to life everytime he felt faint in the world. And then he'd be high and mighty and insult me and my family to the enth degree. The worst is that I had his 23 year old son and his son's friend with me allllll summer. They got into trouble with the law and so they stayed being supported by me. One night his son got drunk and made advances to me (his son is adopted). Not only was his dad in the next room, my children were in bed with me. I shooed him away and told his dad.

Now he says he is leaving because I made up that ridiculous story about his son and he knows his son (who has been in so much trouble regularly) would never do that and I am using his son as a pawn to manipulate him.

So he has packed and moved and I am so sickened. I wish I didn't miss the crap out of him. I wish I didn't wish he would contact me and love me again and stop saying all that bad stuff about me over and over again. And yet. HE NEVER OFFERED ONE PENNY OR TAKE THE TRASH OUT.

Someone help. Tell me he's done?


Hi, Scalded. I think you answered your own question. I know how hard this is for you, but you deserve better than this. You have been subjected to abuse. When a spouse crosses this line, there  can  only be one response.