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Helpless husband with diagnosed wife

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by Perzival » Sun Aug 13, 2017 8:52 am

Hello everyone,

To make long story short. I've been married with to my bipolar depressive with hyperthyroidism for close to 11 years. We've had our ups and downs while we were living together with no kids. In 2013 my wife got pregnant, it took us by surprise and I was both a afraid and happy.

My wife's pregnancy went rather well, and then my son was born. The happiest day of my life.

But this is when things started to change. The first year was a very difficult one (for both) fast forward four years I have turned from a perfectly healthy individual to a panic attack and anxiety ridden one.

Many things I had to deal and cope through the years, they finally took a toll on me. My son demands a lot of time and attention, and so does my wife (to some extent) I do most of the house chores except cooking and cleaning dishes. Plus I work hard on weekdays.

I act as a mediator at home, my wife sometimes is unable to handle my son and she becomes very loud and angry sometimes curling into a ball and cry. The yelling and the arguing between my son (4) and wife make me very anxious and sick , I try to calm down the situation and remind my wife she's dealing with a four year old toddler.

Sometime is very bad, so bad in fact that I have to either leave work or or call her mom to take my son till I get off from work. As a manager most of the time I just can't get up and leave. Sometimes she'll send me text messages and I become very anxious at work unable to function well due to excessive worrying.

To wrap things up, I know my wife has a condition, but I am the one who must carry all weight, take care of them both. Sometimes I feel it's too much, I feel hopeless and without any control over my life. I am very exhausted, I can't remain awake past 8 of clock at night. Sometimes I feel like quitting but then I see my son and it's all worth it. And the other happens again, it's like vicious cycle.

Any encouraging words welcome.
Thank you for reading.
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by AvantGarde » Sun Aug 13, 2017 9:20 am

Hi Perzival, welcome.

Honestly, it sounds like your wife not being able to handle your son and making him curl in a ball and all sounds a bit like abuse, even if she doesn't intend for it to happen, it's happening.

Is she on meds? Does she go to therapy?

I think a solution would be to find a family therapist and try to solve the situation. If that doesn't help, neither you or (especially) your 4 year old boy should put up with abuse.

Are you seeing someone too? Sometimes the people who help us need help too. Anxiety and depression are common, but very treatable.

I don't generally like to intervene in these kinds of posts, but a child is envolved and I can't just keep quiet.

Hang in there and any further questions don't be afraid to ask.
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by libellula » Sun Aug 13, 2017 9:24 am

Welcome Perzival,

While reading your story, I was thinking at my husband and my daughter and some tears rolled down. Your wife needs support further to yours (see pdoc and tdoc) because she needs to become really aware of her disorder to handle it in the best possible way. Big hugs
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by Alison » Sun Aug 13, 2017 9:32 am

I know it is very hard, but please remember she is a person too. Get her help if you can. You are both struggling and that doesn't give your son the support you know he needs. As they get older it gets harder. Please see your wife as the person you love and you chose forever. Good, bad, manic, bipolar, all of it. Please reach out, maybe to NAMI if you are in the US. I also know that you working more than average, if you do, can add issues as well. Best of luck.
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by Spm24 » Sun Aug 13, 2017 9:47 am


Well one to the forum. There are many good and supportive people here.

Your wife curling up in a ball crying is not a good thing to be happening with a four year old. If she is seeing a therapist she needs to be discussing how hard it is for her to deal with your so . That way she can get coping mechanisms to put into place.

As someone else has said you might want to to look into family therapy.

First priority is the safety of your son. Since he is a defenseless participant.
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by Perzival » Sun Aug 13, 2017 11:29 am

Sorry for my bad English but it is my wife that's curls up into a ball and cries, or runs to the room and closes the door to cry.

I feel so bad for my son when my wife is like that, things escalate very quickly and before I know it, there is a shouting contest between the two.

She sometimes gets very angry and slaps him, he slaps back at her. I keep telling her not to slap him that'll encourage him to slap and talk back. He doesn't do that to me, all I do is give him a very angry look and he stops. And talk strongly and firmly but not loud. He's very calm when we are alone.

I'm not perfect, sometimes admist all the chaos I loose it. I've been thinking to talk to the school counselor to seek help.

My wife does take drugs, but it's not consistent. I know for a fact my wife absolute adores his son, but she can't control her feelings or think logically when she's like that.

I remember once she took some experimental drugs and she became the most nastiest, angry, and foul mouthed person ever. I came very close to leave and take my son with me.

Sorry to keep rambling. Not many people to talk to.
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by dubious66 » Sun Aug 13, 2017 11:54 am

Sounds like you are really struggling. Gentle cyber hugs...
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by Duckysmom » Sun Aug 13, 2017 1:43 pm

Is your wife taking responsibility for her mental health? Sounds to me like she needs to get in to see her pdoc (psychiatrist). Maybe her meds are wrong. Or maybe she just needs to take them consistently. My SO sends me texts to remind me since I tend to forget.

Point is, and I don't mean to sound judgemental at all, but your wife needs to take responsibilty for her mental health or the circle will continue.
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by 50calty » Sun Aug 13, 2017 2:26 pm

Most of this has been said but I'll make it short and in bullet points.

1. Take your son and let grandma have him for awhile, till things iron out. (I hope thats possible).
2. Your wife needs to go back to pdoc and tdoc. Key words right here - YOU go with her and leave no stone unturned. Tell all.
3. Hold her accountable after appointments and make sure she goes to following appts.
4. Talk to grandma and I hope she somewhat understands and try to setup an emergency plan with her or maybe she could watch your son three days a week till night time when you get home. That gives your wife some time to work and focus on herself.

I hope with this and what others have said you can find help and a plan. Just remember that Son takes priority and needs to be protected at all cost.
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by Perzival » Sun Aug 13, 2017 2:45 pm

Thank you all for the replies, and again apologies for my bad English .

My son and I have really good relationship, we play, do school stuff together, etc. It just when my wife looses control things go really bad. I try to keep everybody calm, taking control of the situation. When I'm at home I try to keep us busy doing chores an whatnot. When it comes to discipline and getting stuff done.

The one thing that really bothered me, during a rough patch between me and my wife , she said she would not apologize for her condition, that bothered me (how could you not be responsible for your actions?) I'm sure friend (who happens to be bipolar as well) influenced her.

When things get really bad I start to resent her, not sure how long I'm able handle this, and I don't want to because I love my wife.

There so much I would like to say but, I'll just stop right here.

Thank you all again.
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by dubious66 » Sun Aug 13, 2017 3:21 pm

Totally agree she shouldn't have to apologize for her illness, but that doesn't mean she's not responsible for her decisions and actions and the impact they may be having on you and your son.

Have you talked with her and her doctors to try to get an understanding of what is and what is not modifiable?
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by Duckysmom » Sun Aug 13, 2017 3:25 pm

Your wife should not apologize for her illness, but she does need to apologize for her actions and reactions brought on by her loss of control. She needs to be responsible to go to her pdoc and spill the truth about what she is feeling, doing and acting out on. Being Bipolar does not give anyone the right to abuse anyone! Using the illness as an excuse is not acceptable. Leaving you to handle everything all the time is not acceptable.

Therapy for yourself might be a good way for you to learn how to set boundaries. Your wife needs to get back to her pdoc for help before things spiral further out of control. Focusing on her mental health and getting stable should be a HUGE priority.

Your son is being effected greatly by your wife's loss of control. I speak from experience. My daughter was 10 when I was properly diagnosed, but her first 10 years were hell. I was never physically abusive, but I had my rages and my severe depression. When I was properly dxd, I told her about my illness. Her response was that she was relieved to hear that my craziness was not her fault.

Your wife needs help now!

And your English is fine.
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by Perzival » Sun Aug 13, 2017 4:14 pm

Thank you all again. Yes I try to get her involved in daily activities, I'm a very active person, do exercises and Martial arts, but rarely do she ever want or have the motivation to walk with me, or to take our son out to ride the bicycle around our neighborhood. She spends most of the days either laying on the sofa or sleeping (something I wished I could do) Tried to do things diferently, like changing diets, lifestyle changes, etc. But it wouldn't last for more than two weeks.

I mean we do go out, parks, movies , etc. When we are able. I set boundaries but it's so exhausting having to go over them over and over and over again. May sound crude but it's like having a four year old and a 42 year old toddler sometimes. ( I do pick up after her clothes, underwear, shoes, tools etc) I gave up the arguing and the fighting over this long time ago.
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by Tigger » Mon Aug 14, 2017 4:29 am

Hi Perzival-

It sounds like your wife doesn't work outside the home and is with your son 24/7. That is hard for anyone. Although you are the one working outside the home, coming home doing chores, probably cooking dinner and doing the shopping, she is also doing a job but because of her disability, she's doing it pretty poorly. Sadly, your son is on the receiving end of her disorder and poor parenting decisions.

I have a couple of suggestions if you are able to afford this:
1. Hire a babysitter to take your son out of the house a few times a week for a few hours each time. And not jut to benefit your wife, but you as well. Also, see if grandma can take him for an over night a few times a month. This gives EVERYONE a break.
2. Get a therapist for yourself. You are not doing well. You sound like the anxiety is getting to a clinical level. And there may be some depression going on as well. A pdoc will help diagnose but a regular therapist can help you sort through your anxiety and some practical day to day issues.
3. Hold your wife accountable for her management of her illness. She needs to see her doctor regularly and consistently take her medication. If she can do nothing else (i.e. participate in parenting, house hold management, etc) she needs to be responsible for her own mental health.

I hope things get better soon. You are dealing with some tough stuff.

Mom to 12 year old boy with bipolar

Meds: 300mg Lamictal; 300mg Lithium; 10mg Abilify
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