I’m not sure how I’d approach my marriage any differently if I weren’t bipolar. I’ve only ever been married as well as bipolar, never been married and not bipolar. See what I’m saying? But I guess that could be applied to several aspects of my life. I’ve been a diagnosed bipolar person almost all of my adult life. It’s what I know, and partially, it’s who I am and have become. Although it’s not what defines me, it’s definitely part of me.
At this point I wanted to share the perspective of a spouse of a bipolar person. Who better than my own husband? You’ll likely read elsewhere on the blog how we met, but briefly, I will share. We were married in 2007 after two years together, and have three adorable kids. He’s my champion, my support, the love of my life and has played a humongous role in my stability. When he was introduced into my life I had new motivation for living and a new example of what life could look like. I wanted life with him so bad. It was then, upon first dating him, that I had a renewed hope for what my own life could be like.
Don’t get me wrong…I’m NOT saying two things here. Firstly, I’m not saying a MAN is the answer to bipolar disorder. Secondly, I’m not saying it was easy. I was very insecure, especially when we first became a couple. In my life, before Mr SQ, I always had a fear no one would love me. I don’t know about you, but I was worried about it. Bipolar disorder aside, it was a real worry of mine. I worried that I wouldn’t be accepted. Then, I was diagnosed and, of course, that fear level increased tremendously. How could a man love me for who I am, and what I’ve done, and throw in some mental illness…
But, what I thought I “knew”, wasn’t true, nor was it right. God had the right man for me. I’m also not saying he cured me. I still have my ups and my downs. I’m still very bipolar. If you read about how hard pregnancy was for me, you’ll learn about how I had my bipolarity strongly confirmed when I was taken off all of my medication at once.
It’s wonderful how God is in the details of life. My husband will tell you he knew from seeing me at a distance, at first-sight that there was “something about her” and he knew he had to meet me. And he made it happen. Well, maybe He, made it happen.
Let me just share something before we start the interview. When I first read these questions to my husband, I asked him what he thought of them. He said they’re very thought provoking and implied he hadn’t really thought that much in depth about some of these things before. To me, it potentially shows a couple of things. A) he’s a man and hadn’t thought about it and/or B) He’s so loving and accepting, he hadn’t thought twice about these things. However, now he’s been forced to dwell upon these questions. Continue forward to get to know him, me and us, as a couple, better.
1. How do you think God prepared you for a bipolar wife.
I grew up with [a bipolar person] in my family, although we didn’t know it until later. I naturally learned how to live with it.
2.How did your wife tell you she was bipolar and what was your immediate reaction?
I don’t remember when she told me she was bipolar, but I remember thinking “ok, she’s bipolar” and didn’t think twice about it.
3. How do you think bipolar disorder affects your wife’s approach to marriage?
I don’t know how it affects her approach. All I know is she has a good view on God’s perspective of it… it’s a God-based marriage.
4. How do you think bipolar disorder affects your wife’s approach to mothering/motherhood?
These huge life things we do, we don’t do them through the goggles of bipolarity. Like, marriage, having kids. So I don’t think it does affect her approach to motherhood. But, it may diminish her patience from time to time.
5. How do you think your wife would be different without bipolar disorder?
I truly don’t care to know.
6. What is the main thing you wish everyone knew about supporting a wife with bipolar disorder?
I guess, I’d like everyone to know the symptoms of bipolar disorder don’t make a person. They don’t make a full individual…they just have symptoms of an illness.
7. What’s the main thing you wish everyone knew about your bipolar wife, Laura?
That she is honestly the best thing that’s ever happened to me.
8. What does your wife’s stability mean to you?
9. What would you tell someone who is dating a bipolar person, regarding relationships and marriage etc?
I would say like anything else in life, you have to go all-in for it to be worth while.
10. What is the one thing you wish everyone knew about bipolar disorder in general?
I’d like everyone to know that a normal life is very attainable in someone who has bipolar, stability being the key.
PS. I didn’t alter his answers at all. Not for editing or writing purposes. These statements are truly his.
I love him.