Trying to Save 37 Years of Marriage With My Bipolar Husband
I have been married for 37 years to my husband, most of which has been fine if not great at times. Seven years ago the plant at which he worked closed and, at 50 years of age, he had to find new employment. We lost everything but, as I told him, we did not lose each other, our children. But, to him he had failed. Soon after we lost my father as well, a man my husband considered his best friend.
About two years ago I noticed changes and so did our children. He became withdrawn, moody (always had been moody to a great degree). One day he lashed out at me that he knew I had had an affair nearly thirty years before. That accusation went from that to that he knew I also had an abortion due to that affair. No matter how much I deny it, and am extremely hurt by it, he insists.
It is awful. I get woke up at night and questioned. He has anxiety attacks calling or texting me from work with more accusations while saying he can't function. His family and I finally convinced him to get help. At that time he was diagnosed first as severely depressed and then to a diagnosis of Bipolar type 2. He is on meds now but his accusations have gotten worse. He will get through one accusation and scenario and will soon follow up it up with another. I told him it is due to his illness but he insists that I am using that as an excuse and that I would willingly make him ill so I don't have to admit what I "did" all those years ago.
I am now at a point where I am not sleeping at all. I had already had problems with sleep due to fibromyalgia, but now it is nearly non-existant. I cry all the time because I can't seem to get through one day with this man I have loved nearly all of my life without him accusing me. If I respond it becomes horrible and if I don't respond I feel tried and convicted. He now tells me that if I take a polygraph and I pass he will be fine and it will prove it to me and to him that he isn't
Bipolar. His sister was diagnosed bipolar just three years ago. He says that he can prove that I am not lying if I simply take the test.
I don't know what to do any longer. The Guidance Center he goes to put him on meds but no counseling yet. They explanation they need his "feelings" to even out with the meds. That was nearly a month ago. I truly love my husband, and I have gone through a literal hell on earth these past two years. I want to be with him, live the rest of my life with him, but who is going to fix me even if they manage to fix him? How do I learn to handle his moods, his aggressions, his accusations, and now his total lack of interest?
I told him yesterday, "You don't bring me flowers anymore." It took him a minute but he understood. My lover, my best friend, is gone. I feel alone and isolated from family and from friends. I am supposed to be strong for him but how can that happen when I can't even be strong for me. Each time he accuses me and adds more to the story I am left feeling overwhelmed and at a loss.
I don't know where to turn. I need sleep and I need help.
THE ANSWER TO THIS QUESTION WILL NOT BE DISPLAYED UNTIL YOU HAVE INDICATED YOUR AGREEMENT WITH THE DISCLAIMER PRINTED JUST BELOW. CLICK THE 'I AGREE' BUTTON TO AGREE TO THESE TERMS AND SEE THE RESPONSE.
- Dr. Schwartz responds to questions about psychotherapy and mental health problems, from the perspective of his training in clinical psychology.
- Dr. Schwartz intends his responses to provide general educational information to the readership of this website; answers should not be understood to be specific advice intended for any particular individual(s).
- Questions submitted to this column are not guaranteed to receive responses.
- No correspondence takes place.
- No ongoing relationship of any sort (including but not limited to any form of professional relationship) is implied or offered by Dr. Schwartz to people submitting questions.
- Dr. Schwartz, Mental Help Net and CenterSite, LLC make no warranties, express or implied, about the information presented in this column. Dr. Schwartz and Mental Help Net disclaim any and all merchantability or warranty of fitness for a particular purpose or liability in connection with the use or misuse of this service.
- Always consult with your psychotherapist, physician, or psychiatrist first before changing any aspect of your treatment regimen. Do not stop your medication or change the dose of your medication without first consulting with your physician.