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Bipolar Wife

Question:

My wife is diagnosed bipolar 2. We have been married for just over a year after three years of living together and have been close for about ten years. Recently, her medication has changed, much for the better, she is a much more stable, more energetic person now. She has, however, decided that she no longer wants to be married. Of course there are some underlying problems, not the least of which is that she has begun an affair with another man. We have started marriage counseling, but I believe that she has associated me with the years of depression that we have toiled through and already decided to leave me. Is this a common scenario among bipolar sufferers and if so, what are the typical outcomes. I welcome any information.

This Disclaimer applies to the Answer Below
  • ‘Anne’ is the pseudonym for the individual who writes this relationship advice column.
  • ‘Anne’ bases her responses on her personal experiences and not on professional training or study. She does not represent herself to be a psychologist, therapist, counselor or professional helper of any sort. Her responses are offered from the perspective of a friend or mentor only.
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Answer:

I’m not aware that adultery is a particular problem for bipolar sufferers (except inasmuch as sexual promiscuity does tend to increase with people who are in a manic phase, I’m told). But the situation you are describing is occurring in a more stable period of your wife’s life and doesn’t seem to be necessarily connected to her illness. Adultery is common enough in our society that we don’t need to blame it on bipolar illness. Counseling is the right direction for the help you need right now. My sincere hope is that, through the process of counseling, you and your wife will be able to salvage your marriage, or (if that is not possible) to end your marriage amicably. Certainly, her affair will have to stop before things can even begin to become right again. Good Luck, – Anne

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Comments
  • a.a.

    i have been married 23 years and with my wife 27.she has been bipolar for 13 the last 12 years the mania seems to have reappeared yearly. inbetween bouts we have a wonderfull relationship then come the mood swings,blameing me for all the problems she creates in our life, not haveing money witch she has spent. and on several occastions the affairs that she has had. then she moves to we need to get a divorce. all i can say is i married this women because i love her and this far we are still married. i know that when stableized my wife that i know and love will be back. and though never admitted to she is truely sorry. bipolar is a horrible afflication for all involved. success is not final and failure is not fatal its the courage to continue that makes us who we are.

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