Less Than Perfect

I’m coming down those dreaded steps that lead to my depths of hell. I have been getting things done the last few days. I’ve been getting a load of laundry done every morning, cleaning the kitchen, vacuumed, made my bed, showering, brushing my teeth, along with keeping up with three children and a husband. Most of what I just listed are what the medical field considers Activities of Daily Life (ADL’s). Some days just getting those basic needs accomplished are entirely too much for me to even consider.

My husband loves me more than I deserve. When we met I was partying like a college student with endless money. I was self medicating big time. I had a horrible doctor that prescribed Xanax bars like it was candy. I was drinking and popping pills every night. I lost a couple years of my life.  He was the responsible one in our circle and the youngest. Luckily my best friend got me off of the Xanax and I can never thank her enough. Travis turned 21 a few months after we started dating. We had fun. He worked out of town all of the time and would be gone for weeks. I would just take off and go stay with him for weeks. I quit my job and fabulously traveled around like there was no tomorrow. It was great. We were perfect.

Six months into our relationship I got pregnant. We were hysterical for a few days but ultimately excited that we were bringing a baby into our perfect relationship. We got married and had a honeymoon. We came home and had a house built and had a baby. We were just perfect. My husband was blind sided by the post partum depression throughout each pregnancy. He didn’t understand why I didn’t even like my baby. It was horrible, but we are perfect right?

I told him when we were dating that I was bipolar and he brushed it off with the “that shit isn’t real, they just want you to buy medicine”. Almost ten years later and he is still here. I have threatened him with divorce more times than I can count. Any time I stop taking my medicine I always just want him out of my life, BUT we are perfect right? 

One of the hardest things I have ever done in my life was to ask him for help. I turned over all of the financial responsibilities of the home to him. I guess it is a pride thing and I am a stay at home mom but I feel like a failure. I should have no problems running a household but it is obvious that without my supportive husband that I love to hate, I could not. I had to do it for our bank account and for my health. I was always late paying the bills and late fees would add up or I wouldn’t even pay them. I knew the money was there and I knew the bill needed to be paid but the anxiety of doing it was excruciating. He gladly accepted the proposition and we have more money in our checking account than we ever have. I cannot manage money, how can I manage being a stay at home mom? I’m supposed to hop through town with 10 kids and a mini van bopping our heads around singing Paramore, and take my children to activities outside the home. It is rare for me to “play” outside with my kids. I am not a good stay at home, but we are perfect. He also took over cooking. He soon realized that if he didn’t cook, we would be eating everything in a box or straight from the freezer and there is always a drive thru. He comes home from work and immediately starts cooking dinner. How does he put up with that? How does he put up with my ups and downs and twirls around? Maybe because we are perfect?

The fact that my husband was willing to take on such a complicated situation shows me how much he loves me. I’m stingy when it comes to affection. He hugs me and won’t let go. When he sees that I am getting overwhelmed, he just does it. He doesn’t enable it, he lets the trash build up, the dishes and clutter until he sees that I’m not going to do it. He knows I NEED a nap daily and he watches the kids and makes dinner while I sleep. Without his help, I don’t know where I would be. Our relationship is more complicated, mentally, than anything I’ve heard of. We don’t communicate about our feelings and I’m surprised we are still married. Communication is crucial in a marriage and inside of the mind of a bipolar spouse. It’s hurting us but we are perfect. We will always be perfect in our fantasy land. I cannot imagine being the spouse of a mentally ill person. I would love feedback from spouses of bipolar sufferers. I need some perspective because we are way less than perfect.

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6 thoughts on “Less Than Perfect

  1. Oh, wow, that’s a hard situation. It’s so wonderful when a spouse takes over the things that can’t be done, and it can also feed a dependency that’s hard to break due to fear and guilt (Where will I find anyone else to do this? He’s so amazing for doing “more than his share” of the household work. Why can’t I be more thankful? and so on)–or at least that was true for me. The person who’s doing the work can also become attached to being the “savior.” But that doesn’t mean the marriage can’t be worked on and people become closer through the experience. (Not that that’s necessarily the answer.) His denial of the bipolar sounds problematic, but that’s something that may (or may not) be worked out in counseling, if both people choose to do that. In my own situation, I got divorced. For multiple reasons. And it was a good choice. But our problems would not have been worked out in counseling….it went way beyond my being bipolar and got into our personal core values.

    • You make an extremely valid point with the dependency and who else would ever take care of me like he does. Who would want to? He now knows and accepts that my bipolar is serious. He even counts my pills. So yes, he takes care of me and I depend on him. That is not healthy. Thank you so much for your perspective on things. I honestly never thought of it that way, but it’s exactly that way.

      • I hadn’t realized he took it seriously now. That’s good. It’s such a thin line between allowing others to give to us and an unhealthy dependence. I wish you the best in all this.

      • It is a very thin line and I may walk it a little hard and milk it, whine, flip out until HE can fix it. He fixes everything and it drives him crazy that he can’t fix me but he loves all of my broken pieces. Thank you so much. ❤

  2. I understand EXACTLY where you are coming from. My husband is also bipolar just like me, but my highs and lows are much more extreme. I was so focused on him getting help for himself. I was drinking everyday and completely in denial about myself until I was arrested for domestic violence after a huge fight we had. It was at that point he and I both realized we need to make serious changes and fast if we were to stay together. We both began counseling and we both take our “crazy meds” . The rough part is that we feed off each other. When we are both manic, Walmart needs to watch out. LOL. I completely depend on him now and I have never in my life had to do that. I work from home when I can, but have a hard time leaving the house. We have gotten better with communication and we know that if one of us says, “It’s a bad day” then the other knows to pick up the slack.

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