I get asked a lot about my marriages as a woman who has been living in a world of bipolar and depression for thirty years. I’ve now had four, and this one is teetering on divorce. Why? At this stage of my life, I have very little tolerance for verbal disrespect and dishonesty. They are basically never tolerated in my world. I don’t allow family, friend, or others to cross the boundary I’ve set to keep myself safe. I refuse to lower my standards, and I refuse to settle. This is not to say that I am not the one crossing the boundaries, nor am I saying I am innocent of some of the verbal abuse. Keep in mind; however, I am speaking from my own heart and soul.
To answer the question of ‘how to stay married to the depressed or bipolar mom or woman’ is to continually be exposing yourself and her to new adventures and experiences. The likelihood that she has never experienced healthy relationships is real, and the need to see how others interact within groups and in public is paramount to your success. The type experiences gained through exposure to new or different environments come triggers for her, and possibly you if your own past experiences led to a loss or unprocessed grief. This is where the two of you find each other in the season of marriage that can be exciting and very personal.
It takes a lot to live this way. It’s nearly impossible to find another human that gets it. If you keep us tied up and bound to your expectations of what is real will most likely lead to divorce or separation. It will kill the two of you and bring about isolation and frustration when there should be some interactions and freedom of expression mixed with Grace for the changes.
Life moves at a fast pace and a depressed, sad, or bipolar brain experiences this reality on a deeper level. One that is tough to understand when they swing from high to low. The heights of those highs and the depth of those lows will begin to level out as the relationship matures. The more you both learn about yourselves, the more harmony and conversation you will have, and the longer you will stay together. The most important takeaway is to grow and be kind while setting healthy boundaries, so you are not taken back and taken in by the mood swings and unhealthy behavior. That goes for both of you.
There is no room for dishonesty among yourself and others. This one act will set the person off and go south quickly and will not survive the encounter without more damage to both of you. Just remember her reality is different than yours, and you must always be learning about her, not the diagnosis. She is the most loved person in your life, or she is the most hated. Your decision will dictate your reality and possibly hers so be mindful of what your true intentions are and not what is necessarily best for the both of you.
You must strive to live in peace at all times. When that peace is shattered, you have no relationship. It is best to pack up and leave than to suffer at the hands and words of a depressed or bipolar maniac. Let that person go and heal and recover. Staying on perpetuates the problem and breaks you both down. My goal in this blog post is to help you understand that staying or going will only result in the same behaviors in future relationships. We don’t live in a time where most are healthy, and a few are sick. We live in an imperfect and unstable world which needs more understanding, love, and forgiveness. But the bottom line is healthy boundaries will set you free of entanglement and co-dependency on either’s behavior.
I’d love to hear about your progress and story. Please connect with me via Social Media or my Facebook Group for answers regarding lived experiences with people who have mental health issues. I have additional blog posts that might be of help in the recovery process. Please see them by clicking here.