Skip to main content
Forums Home
Illustration of people sitting and standing

New here?

Chat with other people who 'Get it'

with health professionals in the background to make sure everything is safe and supportive.

Register

Have an account?
Login

cancel
Showing results for 
Search instead for 
Did you mean: 

Our stories

Highlighted
New Contributor

My bipolar wife is emotionally breaking me

Hi everyone,

 

I signed up because I dont know what to do. My wife has been diagnosed with bipolar, and every day is emotionally devastating for our family (including 2 young toddlers). My wife is acting out of frustration and anger, often over things that would normally seem not too bad. I am trying my best to help her and she is trialling medication, but in the meantime she is very spontaneously aggressive to myself and two children. She says that she has no control over her behaviour because of the bipolar, but she has done some things to myself and children that can only be described as emotional and physical abuse. Are people with bipolar really not responsible for anything they say or do? Multiple times a day she will say or do something so terrible that i will be shocked and hurt. Due to this, I am withdrawing and honestly are drinking too much and are myself getting depressed. She doesnt want me to go to work or anywhere because she is scared she will act on a whim and hurt our children. What am I to do in such a situation? I dont want to leave her but are every day so broken in response to her harsh behaviour. Please - amy advice could be life saving for our family

5 REPLIES 5
Highlighted

Re: My bipolar wife is emotionally breaking me

Hi @David101  and welcome.

Your story sounds so familiar. I support my wife wjo lives with borderline personality disorder.  We have 3 children aged 3 - 15. 

When our youngest was a baby we were in a situation where I often was unable to leave him with her. I was in a most fortunate position where I coult takw him to work and uni classes with me. And my mum amd inlaws were a massive help also.

Do you have family close by who can help support you?

Also are you seeking any professional support for yourself?    This is something I refused for far too long and it resulted in burnout. 

 

On the back of a truamatic week there is not too much I can add at the moment as I am still collecting ysef emotionally. I will tag you in a thread that documents our family journey. Hopefuly thus may be of help to you and I am happy to answer any questions or just listen. 

Highlighted

Re: My bipolar wife is emotionally breaking me

Thanks Determined. 

I might sound ignorant but I have little faith in social workers or therapists. I am a psychology graduate myself and are very introverted - i work through things alone and have had no success with therapists or councillors at helping with my previous depression. But I do need help so perhaps it's time to, reluctantly, talk to someone about it all. Moreover, I just cant provide the right support for my wife or even parent to my best ability, due to the fact that my wife's moods disrupt out daily life to an extent that... I can't even explain. Believe me when i say i have had a very hard life. I just want to live in peace. But every dau there is something new that my wife gets upset about, and literally all i want to do is avoid the problems and hide. Yes i i need help, but u dont think some culturally ignorant therapist can provide jr

Highlighted

Re: My bipolar wife is emotionally breaking me

@David101  Hi David101 I was originallly diagnosed with bipolar I and now schizoaffective disorder and yes it has taken a few years to get the medication right and yes my behaviour was out of control. Just remember it is the mental illness that is doing the talking for your wife. Some of the things I apparently did I cannot remember but my kids assure me it is true. It takes time for the meds to work months and in my case years to get things spot on due to the damage done by they mental illness.  Just make sure to look after yourself during your wife's recovery and like I have said it is not her but the mental illness that is doing the damage. Take care. greenpeax

Highlighted

Re: My bipolar wife is emotionally breaking me

Understand your thoughts on the 'professional' help @David101   I have had some leas than useful experiences. I am lucky to have a psychologist at the moment who has been fantastic. For me often it has been more about me having an impartial ear to discuss concerns with that has taken a big load off as it is hard being the responsible one all the time

 

Highlighted

Re: My bipolar wife is emotionally breaking me

@David101 I am sorry that you have been going through a difficult time and I cannot stress enough the importance of looking after your own well-being. I too spent so much time trying to care for my partner and completely abandonned by own emotional and mental needs which led me to become resentful of our relationship and resentful towards him. He would also say really hurtful and damaging words which affected me deeply.

 

I am also reluctant to speak to a professional because I believe that I am not the one who needs support however the more energy I give towards helping my partner the more I feel like a counsellor will help just to get my own thoughts in order so I am beginning to strongly consider some help outside of my family.

 

If you are not ready to take that step then I have a few suggestions that you can try, I found that they helped me to understand my partner and therefore understand how to approach his disorder.

 

 

  1. Educate yourself as much as possibe about your wife's condition - I started small by following a few mental health pages on instagram and eventually branched out to some wider reading. Books that I found particularly helpful was "Love Me Don't Leave Me" by Michelle Skeen and "Loving Someone With Bipolar Disorder" by Julie A Fast and John D Preston. 
  2. Educate yourself about the role that you play in helping your wife - I always thought I needed to drop everything and help my partner with everything and it was not until I started reading more about the experiences of carer's that I realised I had a lot of it wrong. 
  3. Educate yourself on how to communicate with your partner - simple yet effective. This could be something both you and your wife could work on together. My partner and myself began with some youtube videos on communication.
  4. Have a physical release - going to the gym has saved my life. It is my place and my time to literally sweat out any of the stresses and negativity that I feel. With COVID in full force I have been walking/running a lot more by the beach, park or through the neighbourhood and I found it really soothing to distract my mind with my natural surroundings even if it is for 20 minutes. 

 

You can't do everything all at once. So start with one thing and go from there. I began by making time once a fortnight to have an open and honest conversation about what he was going through and about what I was going through. Eventually he began talking about receiving professional help and now he has booked in his first appointment.

 

Be kind to yourself 

Illustration of people sitting and standing

New here?

Chat with other people who 'Get it'

with health professionals in the background to make sure everything is safe and supportive.

Register

Have an account?
Login

For urgent assistance: