bipolar sings and its symptoms

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    Marriage and Bipolar Disorder

    By A Goldman / Marriage Counselor

    A Goldman

    A Goldman / Marriage Counselor

    I have been a marriage counselor for several years.  Although there are many reasons for married couples to visit my office one issue that has become more prevalent of late is between spouses with bipolar disorder in the family.  One or both spouses may experience bipolar symptoms before or after they have married.  Sometimes a spouse doesn’t even know he or she suffers from bipolar symptoms until after they are married to their partner. Needless to say this causes great stress on the marriage and leads to many problems.

    A marriage with one or more spouse with bi polar disorder can be in big trouble.  A diagnosis of bipolar symptoms in one person is really a diagnosis for the couple.  Bipolar disorder simply wreaks havoc in a marriage, particularly when it is young. A man with bipolar disorder feels inadequate as to whether or not he can offer comfort and strength for his wife.  Unemployment due to bipolar symptoms also causes financial strain between husband and wife. It is little wonder then that many marriages marked by bi polar disorder end in divorce.

    The person with bipolar disorder who loses her job may simultaneously develop unhealthy spending habits, draining her husband’s bank account and running up huge debts.  Overspending and extreme debt are notorious bipolar symptoms and these lead to frequent arguments between couples.  In fact financial strain is the number one reason for divorce today.

    Sexual promiscuity and infidelity are also a major side effect of bipolar disorder and this is far more difficult for most people to forgive.  It is even worst when a spouse with bipolar disorder begins sleeping with his or her spouse’s friends, but it happens.  In that case trauma counseling is often necessary if the marriage is going to survive.

    When a client of mine discovered that her husband had bipolar disorder she was devastated yet at the same time it made sense to her.  He had displayed erratic, unusual behavior for years and she’d often been discouraged and baffled by his bipolar symptoms.  Sometimes he was very sociable and charming.  Other times his bipolar disorder caused him to become very moody and he isolated himself from her for days at a time.  She nearly lost her mind.  Eventually she made the decision to stay with her husband and they agreed to work hard on both the marriage and his bipolar disorder.  He agreed to always maintain self-medication and she gave him the space he needed whenever he felt particularly moody.  So far as I know they are still together.

    It is not easy to be married to a spouse with bipolar disorder.  If you are truly unhappy and that person is unwilling to seek help with his or her bipolar disorder and your marriage then by all means the answer may be to leave.  Sometimes you just have to save yourself.