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My Husband is Bipolar
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My Husband is Bipolar

My Husband is Bipolar and extremely controlling.  I don't know if it's the Bipolarism or just his pesonality (no one else in his family is that way).  It drives me crazy to the point of it making me depressed.  He controls my every move and even tries to tell me how to talk.  The Bipolar disorder keeps him awake, so he feels that if he can't sleep then neither can I.  I'm so worn down.  I love him to death but I don't know how to deal with someone with Bipolar.  He points out my wrongs and never has a positive thing to say.  He will give you the shirt off his back, but quick to tell you, "like it is."  I'm so opposite of him.  I guess my question is, "How do I cope with someone who has a Bipolar disorder?"  "How can I turn this into something positive instead of it driving me insane?"
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11 Comments Post a Comment
952564 tn?1268372247

Well, your husband may have bipolar disorder but it sounds like he may also have some other problems. Bipolar is a biochemical problem in the brain and nervous system which makes a person have drastic moods of depression and mania. Sometimes people with bipolar do have trouble with anger and agression. When in mania especially poor judgement can be a major problem. Also, if a person with bipolar is suffering from psychosis they may be having paranoid thoughts and delusions.

If he is having anger problems that is something he needs to address with his doctor. You do not mention if he is medicated for his bipolar or seeing a psychiatrist and psychologist. Stabalizing his mood with medication and therapy may help this. But, the two of you may also need couple's therapy to discuss this controling behavior. You say you are also depressed and so you should talk to your doctor about this as well.

If he refuses treatment, then you have a problem. Or if after treatment he is still controling, then I would say that feature is not part of bipolar and is something else. You may have some tough decisions ahead. Many times people with bipolar have other problems at the same time. For example, I have bipolar, boarderline personality disorder, generalized anxiety disorder, schizoid personality type, and dysthemia (sp?) which is a constant low laying depression. So, your husband may be dealing with a lot more than he realizes. It is best to get him into treatment and work together it will be best for both you.

Take care!
1229860 tn?1267541408
Thank you for your advise!  He was on medication but gave it up.  He says he knows how to "deal" with it.  You're right...long road ahead.  Thanks again!
13167 tn?1327197724
I don't know why you need to necessarily have a long road ahead - I think I'd make  pretty short trip down to the courthouse and get out of this mess.

What about him is there to love?  

My guess,  looking at your profile,  that you think this is the best you will be able to do in attracting a guy.

You can do way more better,  girl.
432097 tn?1318552340
Your husband may be bipolar, but that has nothing to do with his controlling issues.  I have been in the mental health system for almost 40 years, I have severe complex PTSD, and I have been around the block with mental health issues.  Your husband picked up his controlling ways from somewhere.  Usually, a father or mother or someone was like that when he was younger.  Maybe the father changed (it can happen).  The other thing is that he is dealing with an extremely poor self image.  People that control are people that are unsure of their selves and their "world" and feel that they have to control everything.  If he was completely comfortable with himself and sure of himself, he wouldn't have these issues.

If I were you, (and I speak from experience), I would get the hell out!  If he is not being treated for his bipolar, he's not going to get help with this issue either, and it will only get worse until he starts abusing you.

It is unfortunate that he is ill and needs help, but don't sit in that trap.  And, it is a trap that will get worse and worse.
1192491 tn?1265035429
I agree with Rock Rose...that doesn't sound like bipolar, it sounds like an abusive and controlling man and he will wear you down mentally and drop your self esteem to the bottom of the barrell.  You are a grown woman with a mind of your own...don't let him treat you like that...it is abuse and you are at the receiving in. You don't deserve to be treated like a dummy that he can rule and walk on...I think you need to do some serious concern for  yourself and not him.  I am bipolar and I would never treat someone like that.  See him for what he is.
1264826 tn?1270052700

I have Bipolar I and have finally found the right Psychiatrist and what I think to be the correct drug cocktail.  Having gone through several Doctors and god knows how many medications, I've learned a thing or two, to say the least.  I've also run the gamut of moods, including mixed states, rapid cycling, depression, hypomania and mania  It sounds to me.  It sounds to me as if your husband is in a manic state.  When people are in a state of mania, there is a tendency to not want to seek help or take their medication, because they start to feel high and that they don't need any care, but it will eventually take a negative turn, to say the least.  

Bipolar disease is grossly under-diagnosed, because people only tend to seek help when they're feeling poorly (it took years for me to be diagnosed properly).  People are usually diagnosed with depression, perhaps along with generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorder, sleep disorders, etc.

It would be really helpful to know his psychiatric history (if you feel comfortable giving that information) and his age, because Bipolar only gets worse with age, when not treated properly.  I'm in my late twenties and have had anger and control issues in the past, but through the proper medication and therapy, I'm learning to control it.  But, like they say, you first have to admit you have a problem.

I am so sorry for your situation though, but you need to look out for you and your safety.  The pain that this disease inflicts upon the people that it effects is gut-wrenching, but family and friends are often overlooked and I've watched those around me suffer, not knowing what to do with me.   Of course, I don't know him, but if there is any chance that he could turn violent, an intervention of some sort may be necessary.  It may be best if he is hospitalized for a bit, where he can begin to receive the psychiatric and psychological help that he needs.


Avatar n tn
Controlling and anger can be a bipolar symptom.
My husband I believe has rapid cycling bipolar. During his normal phase, he is kind, hard working, fun and generous. Then after several days or weeks of normal,  a trigger (lack of sleep, too much caffine, work stress) will set him off to an anger stage. He becomes controlling, gets mad at everything, wakes us up at 5am to yell about somthing he can't find or somthing that one of us did. His sleep cycle changes, waking up sometimes at 3am and drinking cup after cup of coffee then yelling that we put decaf in his coffee cause he's not getting his coffee buz and did we really think he wouldn't notice. (it was not decaf) and when i got up  he was bouncing of the walls and didn't even realize it. He gets really controlling, telling everyone what to do , what not to do, where to go, where not to go. He doesn'st want to see anyone, he hates everyone. He wants to quit his job because his boss isn't as smart as him. noone is. etc. etc... then it ends and he will be normal again. He also had what i believe are called manic phases. During this time he wants to go go go. do this do that, stay up , work 14 hours, go on vacations, buy crazy things, drink (he never consumes alcohol during any; other phase). His angry phases were always very short, a day, no longer than 3. same with the manic phase, Most of the time he was fine. We have been married 20 years. But now its changing, he seems to be getting the angry stage for longer and longer. The last one lasted 3 weeks then nice and normal for 3 days then angry again.  2 or three days i can handle and ignore as being illness related, but more than that is just too stressful. He won't see a dr. He truely believes he is fine. It may be time to move on.. sad.
Avatar f tn
The solution is to not be controlled, period. Stand your ground but not in a confrontational way. Each time he wins and you bow down it will only get worse with time. If he is being treated for the condition, he needs his meds checked but that will not stop his effort to control. Only you can do that. If he is not being treated, leaving is the best thing you can do for you. Unless you want to be part of the disease and an enabler of it, you need to quit changing to suit his needs. You are You! Do not give you up for anybody because you will only learn to hate him and ultimately yourself for allowing it.
Avatar m tn
I have bipolar disorder, im not controlling with my partner.
Controlling isnt a symptom of bipolar more connected one.
his controlling behaviour could be down to paranoia, psychosis in fact a number of things.

I have personally sulked during my sleepless nights because my partner can sulk and i cant, its more of a "lets not sleep, lets do something!!" thing though.

There are plenty of things you can do to help you cope, as well as making it easier to be together.
You have fallen  into this routine where he knows you'll do as he demands so be prepared for anguish and tantrum anger as you change it.
You have every right to get to sleep, your married but your two seperate people, if you need sleep you need sleep. He needs to understand that if you can stay awake with him you will, if not then you need your rest.

Explain to him how its effecting you and stay posititive through out it, he may throw comments out there like "just leave then" ect. Point out if you wanted to leave you would of left a long time ago and that your there because you love him but you cant live like this anymore.

Feeling that you dont need medication is often a sign the persons heading towards mania. The fact is if he doesnt need the medication then he wont feel any different on it anyways. He should be on it.

I think he has a controlling personality myself, as people with bipolar experience things like anyone else does just more intense at times.  On medication his controlling may soften, but like a few people have said, its routine now, you have to start standing your ground.

He has an illness, your not his lap dog your his wife, your there to support him not give into his demanding nature.  Happiness is key here, talk about why hes not ok with you doing certain things. Him opening up may be a battle, but once he does open up and you know why he is the way he is, youll have a better understanding to deal with it.

Id suggest him speaking with a psychologist too, as well as you as they often offer help to the family of people with bipolar.
I wishs you all the luck in the world.
Avatar f tn
Never let him give up his medication. Bipolar disorder isn't something you can "control". There is literally a chemical imbalance in the brain so that it's not getting the right chemicals where they need to be when they need to be there. No surprising that he can't sleep, the chemical that makes it so you can do that isn't getting where it needs to be!
There may be things that he needs to learn to handle on top of his meds, but without medication, he'll never be normal.
973741 tn?1342346373
Sounds like you've been through this with someone.  A bipolar partner is very difficult to live with and indeed, medication is very important.  Glad you found med help and hope you come back.  
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