Living with a bipolar spouse means that your life will be unpredictable, as that is the very nature of bipolar disorder. Their mood swings will go up and down, as will their days, and you along with them. There are many behaviors that come with having a bipolar spouse, and these behaviors can be very frustrating for you to deal with sometimes.
For one thing, your bipolar spouse can start a fight seemingly at a moment’s notice. The fight can be about nothing at all that you can tell. Or it may be about something that you’ve done (or not done). The point is that your loved one will keep fighting, even if they’re wrong and you’re right.
There’s no sense fighting with your loved one in this case, as you will not win. The best you can hope for is to de-escalate your loved one by not fighting back. You can walk away from them, or just not engage in the fight in the first place.
Anger is a common problem with a bipolar spouse. They may get angry much of the time, and direct that anger toward you. That’s why there may be so many fights. They may get angry over little things, much less big things. They may even be angry over the fact that they have bipolar disorder. They may get angry when they feel they don’t have control over things (or their situation). This may be one of the reasons they get angry with you – the fact that they have no control over you.
Anger may cause them to become abusive and violent, throwing furniture and other things around and breaking them. Verbal abuse is the most common type of abuse; however, if they do become physically abusive, you may have to take action for your own safety. Some supporters have even had to leave a bipolar spouse for this reason.
They may also do things in a manic episode that cause problems for you. For example, during an episode, your bipolar spouse may become hypersexual, and may have an affair. They may even bring home a sexually transmitted disease to you. This can definitely cause problems for you and between you and your bipolar spouse.
Another problem during an episode could be risky behavior such as driving. They may get a ticket or even get into an accident that is their fault. They could do other behaviors that also get them into trouble with the law and cause consequences for you as well.
One common problem that could happen to your bipolar spouse is substance abuse. They may start abusing alcohol and drugs during an episode and then find themselves unable to quit after the episode is over. Then you are dealing with a spouse who not only has bipolar disorder, but who also has a substance abuse disorder, and both problems need to be treated.
One of the worst problems that your bipolar spouse can do is to jeopardize your finances. Many people with bipolar disorder, when in an episode, have been known to go so far as to even bankrupt their finances. You can keep this from happening by taking away the charge cards from your bipolar spouse, as well as the ATM cards from the checking and savings accounts, and to limit the amount of cash available to your bipolar spouse.It’s very difficult to be a supporter to a bipolar spouse. For one thing, communication can break down. Your bipolar spouse may become withdrawn and stop talking to you. They may reject any help you try to offer them, and any support you try to give them. This makes things very difficult for you. In this case, the best thing you can do is simply to be consistent with your support, try to be understanding and patient, and keep reaffirming your love for them.
David Oliver is the nation's leading experts on helping and supporting a loved one with bipolar disorder. You can get learn about many of David's little known, yet effective strategies to cope and deal with your loved one's bipolar by clicking here right now. View all articles by David Oliver