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Bipolar And Sexual Dysfunction?

Question:

I found out by myself that my husband suffers from Bipolar Disorder after I got married. He is Type II . I have been educating myself about this……it is not easy at all!!! This marriage has been very stressful to me. He is taking various medications like Valproic acid and Prozac along with some others meds for high blood pressure, high cholesterol….. We have been having lots of fights caused by his behavior and for 2 years I am confronted with another problem. Sex became very complicated for us. I caught my husband , in numerous times, watching porn online and masturbating at 3 AM. He is having a subscription and pays for it. It seems like this is what he wants to do each time when he feels sexual. I told him about my negative feelings and how this is affecting our marriage and asked him not to do it anymore but the fact is I don’t really trust him since I saw him watching porn the first time and he admitted he was still using it after we talked. He told me that I should not taking it personally, that he thinks I am pretty and sexy but when it comes for having sex together he can not perform. He is not aroused by me. I have noticed he can’t have an erection, or if he has it he can’t keep it unless our love making looks like a porn script. At one time he asked me to let him watch it because he said" I need to see the images."He doesn’t see that he has an addiction …….as I see it. He even told me that he has been having the same problem with his ex girlfriends. My question is :Is he having an addiction? Is this caused by his mental illness? Or, does his illness make him more prone to some addiction? What should we do in order to have a normal sex life? Regards.

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Answer:

I rather doubt that your husbands interest in pornography is due to his bipolar disorder because most people interested in this do not have a mental illness. In other words, you do not need to have a mental illness to be addicted to internet pornography.

Of course, his behavior makes you very unhappy. It seems to me that a possible route of action is for the two of you to schedule an appointment with his psychiatrist or have his psychiatrist refer the two of you to a marriage therapist. Also, you could find a therapist on your own for the two of you.

Clearly, what he is doing makes no sense because he has you as his sexual and intimate partner. It is possible that his medications slow his sexual response and the extra stimulation from porn helps him to get an erection. Even then, it makes sense that he would want sex with you rather than masturbating.

Understand, I am not implying that he does not have a problem with sex, a psycological one. I am only pointing out that it is not necessarily related to having bipolar disorder.

The two of you really should see someone together in order to work on this problem and his psychiatrist would be a good starting place because he/she knows him already.

 Good Luck

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