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    jadsy posted:
    since bipolar is obviously a lifelong illness, exactly how much should we expect from our spouse in the area of support and education? i ask because i know this illness does take a toll on a marriage, whether not you have a good or a bad spouse. any ideas on what has or hasn't worked for other couples?
    mommaange1 responded:
    I have the spouse that doesn't have a clue. He couldn't gage my mood to save his life. That being said, I don't get a whole lot of support or understanding when it comes to my bp. We have been married 4 years now and he still has to ask me how I am doing and expects me to explain it to him. Just the other day, he and I, sat down and I had to go thru all my meds to explain to him what they were and what they did...again. This is over and over again with him. The only thing he gets for sure is the sleepiness I get from one of my meds in the evening. He wants to go do things like play cards with friends and I am either to depressed and don't want to see anyone or to manic that I can't concentrate on one thing long enough to play. I am sure it is hard for him not to fully understand and I imagine he feels that I am always just giving him excuses. I wonder if sometimes he thinks I just make all this up just to suit myself. I don't of course and he probably doesn't really feel like that, but I always feel bad like I am a disappointment to him. Education wise, I do most of the explaining, but I sure wish he would read a book to help educate himself. I seem to be picking on him alot here and making excuses for why he doesn't get it. Maybe I just don't do a good job making him understand. He is a good guy and works really hard. Sometimes, I just hate to burden him with my problems.....which seem never ending.
    jadsy replied to mommaange1's response:
    so if you don't mind my asking, do the meds work and how well? i am frustrated with feeling like, i am not ever going to get to a place where i can function even partially well. i only get the low parts and no manic. usually lows only last a few days or a couple of weeks, but this time its been months. when it's shortlived, i can hide it pretty well, but lately it's been so long that i have sortof dropped out life and can't hide that. especially from the kids. lithium is my new med and i thought it was supposed to work really quickly. occasionally i think if a little better, but then my husband points out yet another thing i can't cope with doing and then my emotions are out of control yet again. don't get me wrong, it's not his fault - what's wrong with me, but he can definately can push me over the edge. i mean common sense is that if i've been crying for days, don't pick that time to complain that couldn't purchase decent fruit to save my life, or that you haven't been using spray n wash on shirt collars. i am thinking at least i was able to get out to buy groceries, and your shirts got washed. cut me some slack. i don't think he means to be a jerk, but i am as frustrated at me as he is. he can't make me well, but can't he understand that he can help make it worse.
    margaroo replied to jadsy's response:
    Do you think your husband would go to an appt with your tdoc, or if you don't have one, your pdoc? This helped my husband understand.

    There are books to help understand bp, but my husband is not one who reads anything but the newspaper.

    Good luck,

    jadsy replied to margaroo's response:
    he's gone once before and really started to get that there is no cure, no magic pill. but it's been awhile and he's reverted to his old thinking again. but thanks for reminding me about it, because maybe it's time for him to go again.
    ffltat replied to jadsy's response:
    My husband tries to understand but would not step into an office with me at all.

    My solution was to start reading him things from the internet that pointedly explained certain issues to him.

    Very slowly he is starting to get it.

    Still will not step into a tdoc with me but....any movement forward is good right.

    It may help you also.
    jadsy replied to ffltat's response:
    he agreed to to attend support group. yea!!!! now he'll have an outlet for his emotions!!!!
    hope7951 responded:
    Under treatment, most people do not continue to have full blown episodes after their initial treatment. Using therapy, it is easy to learn how to recat/ or choose not to react asyou continue to feel muted emotional urges. After awhile, this repeatable condition, has very repeatable prodromes or red flag behavior that reliably comes before you go into episode with enough time for you to change course and take preventation measures. So as you age, you gain self- mastery and stablity.

    The greatest tool on relationships of before diagnosis when you don't know why you are doing these things. One tihing that has help my 37 years marraige is including my husband as a resource helping me as a frank mood mirror, reminding me of meds, and pulling me from stress fulled situtations. I took him with me to me appointments for a long time. And he admitted the illness scared him as he married me before my diagnosis. Once the therpist suggested that we work together against the condition using my husband's strenghts of protection and honest feedback, then it was no longer me and bipolar against him but him and I against the condition.

    It gets easier as time goes by.
    bpcookie responded:
    Hi Jadsy, My husband has always been supportive and very understanding. I put my husband through HELL!!!! He decided that learning about Bipolar would be a good way to truly understand what Im going through when I have an episode. He learned quite a bit and he now can recognize when Im getting manic. He actually tells me to calm down because Im getting manic. He sees it before I do.

    So its a must for your spouse to learn as much as he/she can about Bipolar. If your spouse is still having a hard time coping with it, then you two should see a tdoc together.

    I hope that helped. Good luck to you both.
    jadsy replied to hope7951's response:
    Thanks so much for sharing this positive with me. seems like with this sort of thing there's so little positive. What you shared is truly an encouragement. Thank you.
    jadsy replied to bpcookie's response:
    Thank for your words of encouragement. I truly appreciate it.

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