Marriage and Bi-Polar/Manic Depression

Adobe stock Sad and upset woman deep in thoughtI remember the day I was diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder because I could not believe I had it. Even though it runs in my family, I thought there was another explanation for my ups and downs and overall weirdness. There were more bad days than good ones, and sometimes even my good days weren’t all that good. I had very few “happy” days, and that’s why I didn’t believe I was Bipolar. The outdated term for BP is “Manic Depression,” and I didn’t feel manic. I thought that in order to be a “manic depressive,” you had to go around in a state of euphoria.

BiPolar and Marriage

I knew I was making my husband’s life a living hell. I was in a constant state of confusion and frustration. It took a lot of patience for my husband to live in the same house with me. It also took a lot of patience to make him understand how to respond to me.

Everybody gets depressed. When you look at the numbers, it seems like everyone on earth has some form of mental illness. Sometimes healing from mental anguish can be found in a romantic weekend away. Taking a couple days off work, or going to a few counseling sessions can help too. But my mental health issues were rooted much deeper, and all the quick fixes I tried seemed to make things worse.

Because I didn’t understand the full scale of what I was dealing with, my husband was at an even greater loss because of my erratic moods and behavior. It was hard for him to live with someone who was a doting wife one minute and a plate-throwing lunatic the next. A lack of understanding on both our parts almost made him walk out the front door (as plates and silverware crashed against the walls in the background!)

Depression: the Joy Robber

…Depression is what robs my joy. It’s not just a feeling of being sad or wanting to take a day off work to sleep; it’s this sense that all of life is absolutely bleak and hopeless and nothing you do will ever change that. My sense of reality and my ability to reason virtually disappear.

On a “typical” bad day, I know that tomorrow is a new beginning, and I believe that God allows everything to work together to fulfill some grand plan of His. But when I’m clinically feeling depressed, there are no tomorrows. And worse yet, I don’t care. Instead of feeling that I have something to offer the world, I start believing the world would be better off without me. I am hyper-aware of all my flaws, bit and small, past and present. There have been times when the only thing holding me back from suicide was a deep fear of hell and my theological confusion in that area. Note that I didn’t say my hope in Christ held me back. No, it was fear that held me back.

For a long time, my depression alienated my husband because I retreated and wouldn’t discuss it with him. I told other friends when I was feeling desperate. However, I didn’t tell him because I didn’t want him hovering around me. I mostly wanted to be left alone. I didn’t think I could stand to hear him constantly asking, “Are you OK? How are you feeling today?” So I shut the door in his face, crawled under the blankets, and disappeared.

Married Life, Scary Life

One of my most amazing feats in life was convincing my husband that I was a normal person. He knew about my past when we were dating—the depression, the suicide attempts in high school, the abuse, all of that. But he was under the impression that after many years of counseling and taking antidepressants, I was healthy again. He didn’t know that just weeks before we met, I had been suicidal again.

At first, there was no intended cover-up going on. Falling in love with Scott brought a lot of joy and excitement to my world, as well as new friends and situations. Everything seemed fresh and wonderful, and I was genuinely happy. I had down times, but I loved being with Scott and I was looking forward to our life together. I built my world around him, and I was in a love-induced haze right up until we got married.

But after the wedding, reality kicked in.

As the newness wore off, the old familiar feelings of emptiness came back in full force, and they were so strong I couldn’t hide them anymore. My husband had no idea that his sweet loving bride could turn into a raging psychopath.

The first time he encountered “The Wrath of Julie” was just a few months after we were married. We had invited another couple over for dinner. I had worked so hard cleaning the house, and I’d done all the grocery shopping for the elaborate (and probably too difficult meal I had planned. But there was a snowstorm forecast to hit that night, and our friends, who lived about an hour away, called to say they weren’t coming because they didn’t want to take the chance of getting stuck in bad weather.

I had been unable to sleep for about a week straight. Planning a huge meal and making the house look spotless gave me something to do as my thoughts raced and my body fought to find rest. But when I found out our friends weren’t coming, I lost it. It was mild disappointment and severe exhaustion combined, and the weight of it made me snap.

The Scary Part of Living with a BiPolar

Poor Scott, I’ll never forget the look on his face as I knocked over one of our dining room chairs and said horrible things. But that’s just where the rampage began. For the next several minutes, I yelled and cursed, throwing things, hitting things, kicking things, all while my husband stood in the exact same spot with his mouth hanging open, speechless. As Scott looked around the kitchen in horror, my rage turned into shame, and I ran to our bedroom, crying hysterically.

I tried to explain to him that I couldn’t help it, or that it certainly felt that way. It felt like a huge surge of anger. Even though I could tell when it was coming, I didn’t know how to stop it. I didn’t want to react like that. I knew it was wrong, and it always zapped me of so much energy, but I felt powerless over it. It had always had a grip on me, and I actually felt even less in control of my temper when I was younger. I told my husband these things, but I know if the tables had been turned. I was a frightening force to be reckoned with.

Learning the Ropes

My husband grew up in a family that never yelled. I didn’t believe him at first, because in my family you weren’t having a conversation unless you were trying to “one-up” the other person in decibels. The first time I went ballistic—when our friends canceled our dinner plans because of a snowstorm—my husband just stood there in the corner, looking like he had just watched me tear the head off a chicken with my bare hands.

My mother would have walked away, or even engaged in the action if the mood permitted, but my husband didn’t have any idea how to handle it. It all seemed so childish and pointless to a man who didn’t even raise his voice—in fear or anger.

The first few times I had an angry outburst, Scott remained calm and either grabbed the car keys and went for a drive or excused himself to another part of the house. Although he didn’t react at first, he didn’t get over it right away either, even after I apologized and tried to make amends. He stayed quiet for the rest of the day and avoided talking to me any more than necessary.

Anger Brought Out Anger

But eventually, after living through too many of my “episodes,” something about my anger brought out the anger in him, and he learned to yell back.

When he yelled back and fed me sarcasm, it made everything worse. It was as if he was pouring gasoline on what was already a raging inferno. We then started having screaming matches.

He told me I was crazy, that he didn’t care if we stayed together or not. One time, when I had been at home unable to go anywhere for nearly a month after a car accident, I was on edge from being cooped up in the house for so long. Neither of us can remember what sparked the argument, but we both remember the angry, vulgar words that Scott shot back. It was not a manic episode, but Scott by then expected the worst. He reacted to it out of self-defense.

When I was in a depression, Scott handled it much better. Even with all the animosity in the house, Scott had mercy on me when I was sad. My tears melted his heart, and he came to my rescue like a superhero. I know that part of what held us together was my need to be cared for and his need to care for me.

That may sound old fashioned, and many modern-day therapists would disapprove of such sentiment, but it is what the “for better or for worse” part of the marriage vows are all about. He knew he was designed to comfort me, and I knew I was designed to be comforted by him. But it was hard staying in those roles, and after turning to my husband for support a few times, I stopped going to him. I felt like a giant burden to him when I was in a downward spiral.

“Fixing” the Depression

People who don’t have to live with depression (or deny their own) go out of their way to “fix” things. In my experience, the idea is either to exhaust oneself by trying to cheer the depressed person up. This is usually impossible, since mood is not the cause of the chemical imbalance. The chemical imbalance is the cause of the mood. They also try to shake them, and “snap them out of it.”

How many times have you heard people say, “I think so-and-so could pull himself up by his bootstraps and snap out of it if he wanted to”? The first idea of thinking it’s possible to cheer up a clinically depressed person, is seldom ever possible. The second idea that depression sufferers just need to “get over it” is ignorant. I don’t particularly want to deal with either false notion, so I pull away and try to get over it on my own. No, my husband never implied either to me, but I knew he couldn’t understand what I was going through. I assumed, however wrongly, that he was thinking all of those things.

For a long time I told nobody how I felt. Sometimes I called my friend in Georgia, or I confided in a coworker. But I said nothing at home that things were not going well. I knew when I was depressed—it was obvious. But I didn’t want to talk to him about it. He has always held up his end of the bargain, trying to reach out to me in my sorrow. One of my greatest sins as a wife is that I haven’t always reached back.

Peace at Last

For almost two years now, an older Christian woman has mentored me. I have always felt comfortable sharing my heart with her, and she knows she has permission to be brutally honest with me whenever necessary, even though sometimes I give her a hard time about it! Almost from day one, as soon as I told her the sad state of my marriage, she encouraged me to seek professional help again and stop trying to go it alone.

I humored her but never took any action until that night in February. Scott and I had to make a final decision about our future. I vowed to him I would work to get healthy. I may always be bipolar, but I can take steps to make things better. It’s not fair that my husband had to put up with the unnecessary stress that could have been alleviated a long time ago.

Meds Can Help

…I started seeing a doctor who prescribed me Lithium, a mood-stabilizing drug. It leveled me out and, best of all, helped me get some much-needed sleep.

I can’t explain how much better I feel and how much happier my marriage is now. My husband tells people that I’m “a delight to live with,” which is much nicer than overhearing him on the phone saying, “I don’t know how much longer I can live like this!”

I still get mad sometimes—I’m a human being. And I’m a woman, which means every so often I’m prone to grouchiness, which has nothing to do with BP. Being the sweetheart that Scott is, he tells me that he thinks the changes in me came directly from God doing a work in my heart, not so much the counseling or the medication. I say it was a combination of both. God certainly sent me to the right people at the right time, no matter how you choose to look at it.

Unhealthy Anger

Yes, I have Bipolar Disorder, and yes, I take medication. But I don’t want to skip out on driving home this point: I was an angry person. I was angry about my past, and angry that I had let my past seep into my adulthood. The fact that my marriage was unhealthy was something that also made me angry. Medication cleared my head enough for me to realize and accept this. Counseling has helped me deal with it.

If your spouse struggles with anger, then you understand the frustration of not being able to win, no matter what you do. Your spouse may try to be comforting and soothing. You get angry though, because you feel like they’re minimizing your anger. If they fight back, you get angry because they have the nerve to engage with you. Even if they simply walk away, you fault them for being a wimp who doesn’t want to face you. But somewhere in the mix, there is a lesser evil. The key is finding the lesser evil and coming to an agreement with your spouse. You have to agree over how you are going to utilize that.

Responding in Love Helps

For example, when I’m angry, I’m not easy to please. But when my husband responded to me in love—acknowledging that I was angry and actually hugging me (which is a lot like willingly stepping into a minefield, I have to admit)—while I got angrier at first, I eventually couldn’t deny that he was making a strong effort and that I was the one acting like a jerk. His love and physical touch defused my rage, which goes along with the theme of 1 Peter 4:8. “Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins.” In my case, it was to be taken literally!

My husband and I have had many conversations about this topic. He knows that walking away from me or getting in the car to leave is like fanning an open fame. And arguing back just opens the door to more hurtful words on both sides. It isn’t easy to wrap your arms around someone who is verbally attacking you (or attacking inanimate objects). My husband knows, though, that this is the most painless way of dealing with me. Does he always do it? No. He’s human. It’s still easier to walk away or lash out. But his efforts have made a big difference in our home.

Selfless Love

What he does for me is the essence of selflessness. It’s extremely important that you and your spouse know how to deal with anger issues. If you can’t work it out just between the two of you, don’t be afraid to seek help. We did, and we haven’t regretted it for a minute.

Sometimes I spend too much time dwelling on who I used to be. That makes me angry. But there are now more good times than bad ones now. When I know my mind is psychologically cycling, I try to give people fair warning, especially my husband. I’m able to control myself, even when I’m cycling, and not go to extremes as much as I used to. Even though I get angry, it is very rare that I get enraged anymore. It’s also very rare that I contemplate harming myself anymore. The fact that I was able to write this book, after a lifetime of not being able to finish anything I started, was a major victory for me.

Being a Good Spouse under Bad Circumstances

I conducted a survey about the impact mental illness has on marriages. I got some very honest and moving responses, and both Scott and I could relate to all of them.

Possibly the most important response I received came from a woman my age. Her marriage had ended in divorce due to her struggles with depression.

If you suspect something may be wrong, DO NOT ignore it or discount it. I have to live every day for the rest of my life knowing I could have prevented destroying our marriage. I’m not huge on the psychosocial sciences, but some things are just too important to ignore. Don’t expect to fully understand how they are feeling; sometimes it’s just not possible.

…Reassure them with your love. Don’t withhold yourself from them because you don’t understand. That was one of our downfalls. James didn’t understand what I was going through so he withdrew from me, which just made it worse. Remain committed, no matter what. Even if you don’t “feel” love for them, your job as their spouse is to show them God’s love. So at the times when it’s hardest to love them, just resolve to show them God’s love. And never stop praying for them.

I couldn’t have said it better myself.

It’s Difficult to Understand

You can’t expect your spouse to understand your emotional problems if he doesn’t have them himself. This is something you really have to experience to “get it.” It’s a matter of working toward keeping a line of communication open. You also have to be willing to explain your illness to your spouse. After all, he can’t help you if he doesn’t know what he’s dealing with.

Those lines of communication flung open wide after we started to realize it wasn’t just my problem, or his problem. This is a problem that we shared. Part of being “one” means dually carrying each other’s burden.

This article comes from a wonderful book titled, Adventures In Holy Matrimony: For Better Or The Absolute Worst, written by Julie Anne Fidler. This book is published by Relevant Books. There’s a lot more to this chapter (and book) that we couldn’t include that you’d benefit from reading. Julie Anne tells about the painful journey of her first years of marriage. It’s a marriage that stood on the brink of divorce and, happily, remains intact. This is no fairy tale, however. As you read about Julie and her husband Scott’s beginning to their life together, you’ll find great advice and encouragement for your own adventure —including how to never, ever quit.

To learn more about Bi-Polar Disorder:

Please read:


•  Frequently Asked Questions about Bipolar


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24 responses to “Marriage and Bi-Polar/Manic Depression

  1. (USA)  Julie ~ May 15th, 2010 :

    I must pass on this story to you….I am currently under treatment for about the past 8 weeks, for an “undeterminded mood disorder”. I take 2 meds (Depakote, and Cymbalta.) We have made significant progress and I have an amazing doctor. To assess the manic determination, at the beginning of this week we dropped the Depakote below the therapeutic level. From Monday – Friday, “episodes” began to return. And Friday night I had a very disturbing and heigtened relapse with many out of control episodes.

    While sitting in the living room during my cycling of understanding could I really be “bipolar”… I googled “married to a Bipolar woman” and your website came up and the link to this reading was there. When I clicked on it and read it, I knew from the first paragraph God lead me to read this at that very moment. During the entire reading I wept and by simply transplanting my husband’s name in where Scott’s name, your story became an almost replicate account of my life.

    When I finally calmed down enough to explain to my husbnad what I had found and he most generously agreed to hear me read it, after reading it he asked me “when did you write that”…. and I told him “I didn’t write this”. Tears filled his eyes and he said “oh my gash, other people out there have gone through this same thing haven’t they? We aren’t alone”… He then sat there in quiet for quite some time and after a quiet sigh said “well thank you for reading me that. Everything is going to be ok. You are going to get better and we are going to do whatever it takes to get you there.”

    He then continued to tell me that my decision to try meds needed to be just for me. Not for anyone else. Not for him, my mom and/or any of my friends. He said we will handle this however I want. If I want to take meds then that’s what we’ll do, if not then we won’t. He said that this reading had finally opened his eyes to how I was feeling and also shed light on his own feelings of being my super hero. He said he understands better how to handle me, but also appreciated how the reading acknowledged his confusion in the matter. We talked for some time and then he grabbed me and hugged me so tight and I let out the longest “boo-hoo” ever and in that moment it was like we both were one person and God pulled all my pain out of me and with the power of my “superhero” made all the pain float out of the top of my head. He then said to me “I think a hot shower will help you feel relaxed” and carried me into the bathroom and got the shower started. That evening we reintroduced the Depakote back to the therapeutic level and this morning things are beginning to level back off.

    I wanted to take this opportunity to tell you how life changing this reading was. And give ALL the praise and glory to God for this website, this reading and for allowing you to be His messenger of your testimate. May God Bless you in your continued journey with your own issues. It was the most amazing feeling to know someone else had the same story. But, it was even more shocking to see a story so similar that just changing a husband’s name could make my own husband think it was my own personal account.

    I am forever indebted to your faithfulness to the Lord! May God Bless you and keep you safe, Magen.

  2. (USA)  I truly believed that results for Manic Depression can be achieved from natural remedies. Contrary to some beliefs, when it comes to psychiatric treatments, psychiatrists, preferably those specializing in cognitive behavior therapy is still the best one to search for a lasting cure for Manic Depression. Thanks for this read, it really helps to know about these things. Once we know, we must share.

  3. (USA)  Thank you so much for your article. My husband has manic depression and was just admitted into the hospital this past Friday. Yesterday I visited him and he said he wanted a divorce. And now I am at a total loss of what to do. I thank you for your article because I do see it as a ray of hope. Even though right now I do not know how to talk to my husband, I am looking up to God for direction cause quite frankly He is all I have. My family doesn’t even know about this last episode, cause all they will do is tell me to leave. I do have faith believing friends and they are being very encouraging, which I am thankful for.

  4. (USA)  Please do not let Bipolar disorder define who you are. My husband was diagnosed at age 27, just 7 months after we were married. It was a horrible thing to go through. He was hospitalized for a short period of time (all the while denying that anything was wrong). It was very hard for a while and I did not think that I could stay with this new person.

    After much prayer and counseling, I decided that I loved him with all my heart and that with God’s help, I was willing to do whatever I had to do to keep us together. I never gave up on him and here we are 20 years later and I still love him with all my heart. He has had one other episode when he had to be hospitalized, and it was very difficult, but we got through it with love and support from family and friends, and God’s ever present love.

    We decided early on that we would not let Bipolar define us, or our life. I have never walked on eggshells with him. I have never thought of my husband as disabled or unable. We have had mostly a normal marriage with the same joys and frustrations as any other marriage. Sometimes I feel like Bipolar was a blessing because it has actually made us closer than we might have otherwise been. Get “it” under control and then take your focus off of “it” and back on your life.

  5. (AUSTRALIA)  Hi there! This is a really great site. It gave me a bit of insight into bi-polar. Thanks heaps…
    My husband and I have been married now for 22 years. For 15 years; he was horribly violent and abusive. He beat me several times over the years, and our 5 kids and I lived in fear as we never knew when the next rage would occur. He stopped the physical abuse after I had a threatened miscarriage when I was 5 months pregnant with our 5th child. He’d thrown me to the ground in a rage after throwing some keys at our second-oldest son, cutting his finger open.

    After this, he never beat me again, but the other forms of abuse continued. My Pastoral care Pastor started counseling us, and he said he believed VERY strongly that my husband had some form of mental issues and told him he needed to get help, as his abuse of me and the kids was beyond a joke. He refused because as far as he was concerned, he was fine. I was the problem in eyes. As far as HE was concerned, the kids and I “provoked” him. He became worse and worse, and eventually, I was forced to take out an intervention order out against hin and flee with the kids to a women’s refuge. This was because my husband threw a bike and a vacuum cleaner at our then 4 year old son. He also kicked 2 of our other chikdren.

    We were seperated for 10 months, and during that time, he saw a psychiatrist and was diagnosed with bi-polar and put on medication. Slowly, he began to change, and become more stable. 10 months after I left him, we reconciled. Things were great for two years. He stayed on his medication and saw his psychologist regularly, and as long as he did this, he was fine. We continued to see our Pastor at church for counselling too.

    Unfortunately, it didn’t last. He started to believe he was fine, and started skipping out on taking his medication and “forgetting”. Things were still good between us, so I didn’t realise any difference til he started becoming surly and actually raised his fist at me to strike me! I confronted him about his not taking his medication, and he admitted he’d gotten careless, and went back on them. Unfortunately, over the past 3 years, he’s resorted to pretending to take his medication, and lying about it.

    I am actually at the point now where I’ve had to say to my husband that if he does not go back under his psycholigist’s supervision and taking his medication, then I will need to take the kids and leave him. Up til now, he has told me he will NOT go back on them, saying that “he doesn’t need them”, that “God is healing him”, that God “told him he doesn’t need to be on them”, and my personal favourite one: that God “sees him as different and special” …other bi-polars have to take medication, but not him!

    My Pastor at church advised me to tell my husband to get back on his meds and under his psychiatrist’s care again; or else I will need to leave. He warned me that my husband will regress and become violent and abusive again. I’ve given him the ultimatum…. my heart is breaking; because I love him… but if he continues this way, then I’m not safe with him. If you have any further advice, you have my email adress. We are both born-again Christians. Thanks for listening. Meg

  6. (USA) This was like reading my life in reverse. My husband has manic depression. He lied to me the entire time we dated (as did his family) and I married him 14 years ago. Six months afterward he shot himself 6 times in the chest (semi automatic) and had a stroke. His heart was damaged, through a clot to his brain. Though he is medicated, it has been an interesting roller coaster life, at best. He’s a good person but the mood swings, even on medication, are not fun.

  7. (USA) This article is incredibly sad, at least in my circumstance. All I had to do was switch Scott’s name with mine. It was actually spooky to read.

    The problem for me is that you don’t describe how you finally got diagnosed. I begged my wife to see a doctor. I would pay for it. I found one of the top BPD docs in the country. The more I begged, the more she resented me. I explained there was no stigma, that life as she knew it would get better exponentially. That it would only take a few hours of her life, that she had nothing to lose. All with no avail.

    Now I am divorced from the woman I wanted to spend the rest of my life with. The woman I stood by in sickness and in health. What if she ever gets diagnosed and gets help, and everything becomes clear? Then our marriage will have already been dissolved, and this makes me feel even worse. The thought of me moving on is hell. Thanks for your insight.

  8. (USA) Hello, I just stumbled upon your sight and I am so thankful I did. I am a recently diagnosed Bipolar newlywed that has been married for a little under a year. My progression from every once in a while to full blown occured at some time I do not recall. I have three failed marriages all at my own hand. In my third I had two adorable, beautiful daughters. I’m in my fourth marriage now and my BIPOLAR/Manic has all but ruined it. I am married to the absolute love of my life. She is my everything and anything all at once; my sun rises with her and sets on her. There is nothing in this world I wouldn’t do for this woman.

    Shortly before we were married, I began attempting to be the “Fixer” of everything, have the answer to all things, push all of the right buttons, do all the right tasks, from making coffee perfect to bringing her lunch everyday to sending flowers. Shortly thereafter when she began to want a little space. I freaked and thought she was attempting to leave, back away, back off. My manic personality could not bear this so I overcame. I couldn’t control it… as most of you know, it becomes you, you’re there but the steering wheel is gone and someone else is driving.

    We got married and the little fights became bigger. At first she would cry and say I couldn’t take words back. I wouldn’t call her names or things like that but was constantly telling her that she lied to me, she never loved me, she was going to leave me like all of the rest. I would even use my kids as emotional ammo about how could she hurt them and she lied to them. I would get so irate and what I was fighting about was FOR her and FOR her love. In one fight she taped, I am screaming “WHY WON’T YOU LOVE ME???”

    Then I finally after trying to get help for so long I was diagnosed with BP, put on lithium and Wellbutrin. I am in the first days of treatment, but I know I’m clear now. I see things now that I couldn’t before. I know what I did that was so emotionally damming to her. She has receded into a cocoon. I know now what I did was wrong and hurtful, but how do you explain while it was you, you couldn’t help it? Can some of the spouses please help me on how to rebuild her trust and love… PLEASE!

  9. (UNITED STATES) Hello, thank you for sharing and I have to say reading your story was like reliving my life. I too can’t explain things I feel and I don’t know how to control them fully. I have found minor ways of controling some aspects. And medication would be a blessing but I currently can’t find anyway to get any. I have insurance and everyone around our town wants like 150 or more per visit to get meds. Unless I leave my husband then they well help me for free. Seems kind of stupid if you ask me, here I am trying to make my life and my family’s life better and they aren’t willing to help me unless I destroy my life completely.

    In the past year I’ve tried to take my life, so that I could help my kids in the only way I knew I could. After that I did come back up and I just can’t find a level spot. I’m either in mania or depression. I’ve managed to stay in mania for months, which does make my everyday life a little easier or at least more productive. But I can tell I’m heading down the roller coaster again. I’m numb to everything and do nothing but yell when I speak to the kids, and I don’t know why. I pray for some medication but I just don’t know how to get it. I’ve applied for my disability hoping they at least help me with some insurance. I want to live a good, productive life and be the kind of mom and wife I know I can be and want to be. Thank you again for sharing.

  10. (UNITED STATES) Mom mother sent this to me and well, I wish she would take the advice herself??? Mom, I think this fits you better. Thanks for your concern but please redirect your anger.

  11. Hello, I am married to a man who originally has the diagnosis of schizo-effective disorder but recently was re-diagnosed with bipolar disorder, however, I think that they are the same. Anyway, thankfully he is stable on medication and understands the importance of taking the medication, so we have no problems there. But we have had to change medications approximately 3 or 4 times due to unpleasant or severe side-effects that were occurring.

    Now he is on another medication and this is where the problem lies. The other issue is that his relationship with the Lord has somewhat diminished. I have been encouraging him to seek God in our circumstances, but it seems as though God’s word is falling on deaf ears. My husband is a very smart and intelligent man, but this medication leaves him indecisive, quiet, distant, and we have not been together sexually for a long time. When we do, I have to initiate everything, and many times he turns me down. Lately, I really have been having to initiate everything else besides sex. Just to have a conversation with him is difficult. The man I married was loud mouthed, and vibrant. He loved the Lord above all else, and he enjoyed every bit of being with me.

    This recently abnormal behavior has caused me to think he is cheating on me. It has made me think that I am not good enough for him. I know it is not the truth of the matter. He desires to get help but what works with the medication? Almost nothing. I feel as though I am a single mom of three children (I have 2, he is the third). I always imagined that my husband would be the leader of the family, that he would take care of us, but this is not happening and it makes me desire divorce often. It is Christ who holds me here; that is all. I need some sort of support group in my area that is Christ-centered, but most support groups for mental illness are secular. I need some relief from this, or I am going to break. Please help me.

  12. This is the first thing I have found from the perspective of the bi-polar person. There’s plenty of advice out there on how to live with a bi-polar spouse but very little on how to repair your marriage if you are the bi-polar one. If you all have any advice or know of any place that I could find more advice, I would love to hear about it. After 17 years of my husband standing by me, he’s at the end of his rope. It’s not just the present, it’s all of the things that I did or said when I was at my lowest. Please, I love my husband and I want to save my marriage but sometimes I feel like my hands are tied.

  13. I have a Bipolar husband. What do I do? He has been told by two doctors he is hypo manic depressive (bipolar ). He refuses to get help. I love him to the moon. We have been married for 34 yrs now and was diagnosed about 2/3 year’s ago. He has shopping sprees, mood swings, and is very unstable on his thoughts. I’ve tried begging, crying, fighting, trying to force him to get help. My mistake. He says I can’t control him anymore and has temporarily –I hope –moved out.

    Now hes been off of all meds (3 months) he can’t decide if he loves me or not. He thinks he can fix himself. He doesn’t want to hear about meds or counseling. He is in denial. Our marriage is on the rocks.

    I can’t live the rest of my life with a bipolar man. I told him I’d give him til September to make up his mind about a commitment to our marriage. I’ve told him I would do whatever it takes to keep our marriage alive. I’m considering telling him, if he says he wants us back, we both seek counseling together. I’m currently in counseling.

    What if he says he wants us to stay together but no counseling?? I’m so sad and hurting. What to do?? Any suggestions? Ps… He hasn’t been physically violent, verbally at times and when he lived in our home he’d hide in the basement playing candy crush saga. I was abandoned, felt alone, neglected, not appreciated. I was blamed for a lot for his own issues and consequences.

  14. I am 35 married and have three children. I am just reading this article after years of putting my husband through my hell. I thought I would google marriage and bipolar. While reading the article I had to stop and cry and pray. One, because I couldn’t believe my family would hide such a illness. Two, I was happy I could find someone who I could relate to. I am most concerned because I don’t want a pill to heal me. But lately my suicidal thoughts have come too close to home and I am scared of losing myself. I feel like I have no control over my moods because my husband sees it more than I do.

    I can’t continue to say nothing is wrong with me. I have been depressed most of my life; while I don’t cut myself anymore, I have cut off my hair, cut up my clothes and acted in such a way that makes me ashamed. I need help because I have a husband and kids who love me and I want to be able to love myself and not let these mood swings control me. It’s harder for me to be happy all day.

    It’s a challenge and I’m tired of being defeated by thoughts all day that make me sit and think. I’m tired of feeling like everyone is talking about me; I have lost jobs and friends because of this and I think I may need to give medication a chance. I need to conquer this and not let it conquer me. I don’t know anything else to do but I know it will destroy my family and myself if I don’t get help. I am glad that my husband is here for me and is willing to go through all it takes to make me happy again. I am glad I came across this article, though it is a tough pill to swallow. I am glad I have a name to why I am the way I am.

  15. Wow. After 21 years of marriage and thinking it was “just” an alcohol problem, I had a question if it could be something like BP, but I also thought BP had a corresponding euphoric phase, which my wife has not. And after her last bout in August, 2015, I was naively pretending that after 21 years of dealing with this it all went away until this morning when someone threw the “wake-up switch” back on and she went, well, crazy again. In desperation I typed in to a google search something like “deal with a cyclical extremely hostile wife” and found this article.

    I still have no idea how to handle, as when I thought it was strictly alcoholism, whenever I brought it up I might as well have been sticking my head in a hungry great white shark’s mouth. But I’m taking a stab at it –I just dropped off a letter to her doctor explaining the symptoms I’ve observed over the years, the damage the condition is causing the entire family, the layman’s diagnosis of BP, and a request that he call her in for a “re-evaluation of her current medications and conditions”.

    If that fails, I’m going to send her copy of the article. She only reads romance novels, but it’s my hope that she’ll see so many similarities she just might read it a while after she first rejects it in disgust. Unfortunately unlike Julie, she is not a very Christ centered person, but I am, which is why we still are married.