Barb and Michael (an SO story)


Michael and Barb


I not so long ago wrote Michael's story, with his permission and approval. I'd like to write another personal story. A little different this time, from my point of view. How it is loving someone with this disorder and how difficult it can be. I hope this helps someone not make the mistakes I have made, and somehow provides comfort to anyone enduring the same thing.


As I said in Michael's story, I met him over a year ago. Things have not been easy for either of us.


At first, before we knew about the bipolar disorder, I could not understand how he continued to hurt me with his irrational behavior. I couldn't see how he could and would continue to drink, lie, betray, hurt, and the many other things that at this point in life seem no longer relevant.

Since we found about his disorder we both have made many mistakes.

He has fallen back at times, thinking he could and would fix it himself and not hurt me again. That backfired. I seem to always know, without words, what is happening. Just a feeling I suppose.


With this came lies again. Lies that may come from good intentions at heart, again not wanting me to be hurt, but lies none the less.

I can only speak for myself, but to me, lies is the worse pain. There is no truth to me that could hurt more. Lies break trust, bring doubt and heartache.

Mistakes made have not only been Michael's.

I also made and continue to make many. I read and understand that when he is having an episode, you never accuse. You don't bring up mistakes made or pain caused. Instead you talk.


That is the logical rational side. The intellectual side that knows this. That side  by no means controls the emotional side. The side that cries, feels pain, anger, hurt, doubt and wonder.


It is this side that has me asking things I normally wouldn't. It's that side of me that can take the smallest thing and think it all wrong. And in the same breath have Michael getting angry at me for not understanding. An anger he can't grasp and cope with while he is manic, or rapid cycling.


I have sat and wrote to him, telling him he is not the man I see, the man I know. I have done this when I have felt so hurt that I just can not understand why he would hurt me so badly.


This is a mistake. Because I have degraded him during a time that he isn't himself. I have made him feel shame and guilt that he already felt and again couldn't control. I took advantage of that and made him feel more. I did so because I was hurt.

I don't think either of us is right or wrong here. I think that coping with someone who has this disorder and trying to deal with it is almost as hard as having the disorder itself.

We go through many of the same emotions they do.


Communication is the key. No matter what never stop talking. When that happens, all the wrong thoughts emerge. All the wrong conclusions are found.

I have stopped believing in Michael and even told him so, much to my regret and shame. This is not the fault of me or him. It's what happens when one is afraid and the other doesn't understand.


After I told him that, I sat thinking and knew in my heart I had just lied to the man I loved. I had not given up, I had not stopped believing in him, I never would.

I would continue to pray, hope and talk to him. Together we would find our way and overcome all obstacles that are put before us.


This is not easy for either of us, nothing in life worth having is ever handed to you. I keep that thought in mind and I try harder to not accuse or belittle him. When I feel like crying, I read and learn more about his disorder. I try and understand more what he is enduring at this time. I try and be patient, and oh that is such a hard one.


When I met Michael, I knew he was brought to me for a reason. I have always known his thoughts, his feelings, his emotions, even without words, even when I didn't understand myself. We were connected from the start and as many times as I have thought I would and have tried to do so. I can not walk away, something holds that connection between us together. I will not give up on him, even though I now feel shame and guilt for telling him that I have. I only hope he knows just how much I do love him and that what is said during times of pain is not always the truth.


I truly hope this helps other couples who are in the same situation. I hope it helps them understand a little better, both for those who have the disorder as to what their spouse is feeling, and brings some comfort to the one who is enduring the same thing. You are not alone. Just don't give up.




Bipolar World   1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014
Allie Bloom, David Schafer, M.Ed. (Blackdog)
Bipolar World Partners:  John Haeckel, Judith (Duff)
Founder:  Colleen Sullivan

Email Us at Bipolar World

About Us  Add a Link  Advance Directives  Alternative Treatments  Ask the Doctor   Ask Dr. Phelps about Bipolar Disorder   Ask The Doctor/Dr. Phelps' Topic Archives  Awards  Benny the Bipolar Puppy  Bipolar Chat  Bipolar Children  Bipolar Disorder News  Bipolar Help Contract  Bipolar World Forums  Book Reviews  Bookstore  BP & Other mental Illness   Clinical Research Trials & FDA Drug Approval   Community Support   Contact Us  The Continuum of Mania and Depression   Coping   Criteria    Criteria and Diagnosis  Criteria-World Health Disabilities,  DSMV-IV   Dual Diagnosis  eGroups  Expressions (Poetry, Inspiration, Humor, Art Gallery, Memorials  Family Members   Getting Help for a Loved One who Refuses Treatment  Greeting Cards  History of Mental Illness  Indigo  Job and School  Links    Medications   Medication and Weight Gain    News of the Day  Parent Chat  Pay for Meds  Personal Stories  Self Help  Self Injury  Significant Others  Stigma and Mental Health Law  Storm's Column  Suicide!!!  The Suicide Wall  Table of Contents   Treatments  Treatment Compliance  US Disability  Veteran's Chat  What's New?