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Married to a bi-polar (manic), 6 children, failing badly

Bipolar Disorder

Oct 26 2012, 21:00
  • TLH Newbie

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    I've been married to him for15 years. Our oldest child is 14. His manic episodes seem to be getting closer together and more severe. He's been on medication in the past, but very reluctantly, and has refused it completely for the last 3-4 years. Almost every year he's pulled the children out of school in some fit against the authorities. He seems to always get his way about things. Everything just turns out for him. We have separated a few times, but always talks me into giving him another chance, and makes everyone so very miserable when we're apart. He pulls the children into the fray, and forces them to take sides, at the same time criticizing their behavior. I don't know what to do. I've seen the way he treats others when he feels wronged, and I've seen him get away with it every time. I'm afraid that if I call it quits, he will blame me for breaking up the family, (which he's always done in the past), and then exact a severe punishment on me for doing it. Any advice would be appreciated.

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    Oct 26 2012, 23:06
    I am unclear as to why the bi-polar is an issue. I hear you saying he is getting more manic but am not hearing what he is doing that is so manic...the whole letter is really fairly vague. Some bi-polar people do not need medication. I guess for starters it would help if you were more clear and specific, with real-life examples. What is it you hope to accomplish ultimately? It sounds as if you want to leave him and as if you consider him abusive or at least inappropriate, but again, the letter is very vague. And this was posted to the bi-polar section, not the abuse forum. Does he at least hold down a job? If he is unmedicated and frequently manic but still managing to work, that is something. Why do you keep leaving and then going back? Isn't that hard on the children as well? 6 kids is a lot to support and raise without one parent being able to be at home full-time. Are you planning on working if you leave again? Lots of things to think about.
    • TLH Newbie

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      Oct 28 2012, 11:43
      I'm sorry, I guess the details are so many, it's hard to know where to start. Before we were married, I thought he just had some maturing to do, and didn't have any experience with mental illness. The symptoms he exhibits are as follows: He gets very talkative, rapid thought processes switching from one subject to another, gets very paranoid and starts thinking he is more intelligent than anyone around him, and no one can understand him because of this. He gets where he wants to be a writer, or a protester. Also, as children were added to the mix, he becomes very controlling, and insistent about everyone doing every little thing exactly the way he wants. he is hypercritical and loose with his words, often saying and doing things that hurt or upset (especially those of us in his immediate family). He will burn bridges at the drop of a hat with lifelong acquaintances, and puts the police on speed dial to report speeders, suspicious activity etc. He will keep me up at night ranting about this or that , and usually descending into a "you're to blame for all my problems" speech. Just a little example of last fall's episode. He started up his own occupy movement, spent 12-15 hours a day on the computer, arguing with people or posting videos on you tube. He'd get up in the night, and I'd find him sitting there still. Then, he decided to run for state senate, switched to house of representatives, campaigned and planned, then dropped out to be a stand up comedian. (Meanwhile, we had leased a building across the alley from my house to start a discount grocery store, which sat for 8 months waiting for him to be focused enough to start working on it). Also during this time, he was waging war against the grain elevator across the street because they didn't have the proper filters and were spewing dust all over the town.
      This is just a small example of the life we've been living for quite some time. There have been some lulls in between episodes where he can focus and think clearly, but as I said, they are getting fewer and farther between. I have been working towards independence for quite a few years. I managed to purchase a house and have it in my name, because I didn't want to continue living with the insecurity of him walking out the door, or telling me to leave which he's done several times. Then, I thought I could do it, and after he pulled the kids out of school last year, I tried to go it on my own, but the store wasn't quite set up, and I couldn't bear to leave my kids and work, and he cried repentant tears telling me how he sees so clearly all he's done wrong, and I foolishly took him back, hopefully expecting it to be a real transformation. I have seen him reign himself in when he wants to, but I have also seen him appear to be completely out of control. I don't know if he needs medication or not, but I know that the times he's taken it, it seemed to keep him a lot more even keel. Last year, he had the psychiatrist tell him that he is "no longer bi-polar" he just has racing thoughts. I'm not sure what solution I'm looking for. I guess I'm just at my wits end, and don't know how to handle anything anymore. I hold onto one lingering hope that if he would take medication and eat healthy, and keep a good sleep schedule, that we could have a relatively nice family. On the other hand, if he isn't willing to do the things it takes to be healthy and live in peace, then I would rather not be around him, but that is a risky option because he punishes people when he doesn't get his way, and I know that if I presented it to him that way, it would become a serious case of vindictiveness, and I'm afraid to chance it. I think there isn't a good solution, and therefore I am sentenced to endure, but it does feel good to vent it out right here. Sorry for the vague opening.

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    Oct 28 2012, 14:28
    that does sound really bad. when he is on medication as he was before, how long does he stay on it/what triggers him to go off it? Does he get manic and then that feels good to him, which is what I have heard happens a lot? I was just curious if there was really any point in hoping for him to stay on his meds.

    of course, if you leave, you know about domestic violence shelters, orders of protection, and all that, I'm sure. Might feel good to get really far away from him, but he does sound pretty crazy, so it might be hard to know if he'd follow you or not. If you could take all the money, he'd have a much harder time following.

    depending on what state you are in, you might be able to get a court order for him to take his meds and go to outpatient treatment, but I am not sure how often this is done, just that there are provisions in place much of the time for it to be some kind of possibility. the National Alliance for the Mentally Ill may be able to tell you the laws in your state and they're a good resource to know about anyway. Also your local court house.

    That, ironically, might be the best time to leave- with him on meds. You could tell him a year on his meds and you might take him back, see if he can do it voluntarily when the court order runs out with his family as an incentive. ?

    In some situations you can get child support through the courts without him knowing where you are, fyi. Like everything else, it's not a perfect solution, it has pitfalls, just thought i would mention.

    Any path you take might necessitate some kind of documentation, I'd keep some notes.

    I hope you have some kind of support system in place, especially I would hope his extended family would support you, as they know how he is.

    Just random thoughts- it does sound like a very bad situation.
    • TLH Newbie

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      Nov 9 2012, 14:55
      Thank you Ginny, that is helpful, I've never heard of the National Alliance for the Mentally Ill. I am going to look into that.

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