I guess it’s predominantly a woman in the situation, to the point that one of my counselors kept on remarking that I had the woman’s role in all of this. I can’t directly tell her she is in a manic episode, because I’m viewed often as the enemy or the source of her problems.
I have to be very careful about what I say to my wife about her illness. I have to get outside help to convince her what’s obvious to me.
I’m in a situation where I’m trying to get her to get a job and move out. The typical situation is it’s a male with bipolar who’s going through all of these things.
All of the examples that I find to protect myself were geared towards women.
I know she has a disorder and she’s not choosing to behave this way, but I have to keep her at arm’s length.
If I was angry with her, it would just create more opportunities for her mania and episodes. I’m not playing her like, “Oh, we’ll be together someday,” I’m playing her like, “Let’s go baby steps. I need you to do that.” I’m having to make the love very conditional, very transactional, which is a horrible way to conduct a marriage, but when you have somebody that never follows the agreements you make, you have to make it a cash-only transaction kind of reciprocation in the marriage.
I thought maybe he felt that there were things that we needed to work, but just to say that was a jolt. I took a few days to think about it and I came back to him and said, “Let’s get some counseling.
Maybe there’s things that we can change.” And he said, “No, you’re not going to change and it won’t work.”Also at that point we had actually decided that we would stay together for the kids. There’s no love or you have no more love but we can still stay together for the kids because they’re still pretty young.”That was okay for a couple of months and then at Christmas time we went to my parents for Christmas and he was very uncomfortable there, couldn’t wait to get out of there.
So, when I told her doctor what was going on, that led to a bipolar diagnosis and a round of treatment that eventually didn’t work.
Then, I had to intervene again with her treatment and get her on something else.
Now that she’s better again or trying to be or whatever you want to call it, I can’t release and trust her again, because if she does hurt me again, I won’t have anything to pick myself up with. No matter what she does, I have that promise to myself.
I’ve had to really try hard to stick myself to that promise and she’s actually helped me keep it by being worse.
In terms of how, a legal separation may address some concerns with breaking your marriage vows and is worth exploring.