Being Married To A Bipolar And Keeping It Together


Maintaining a happy married life between two people requires hard work.  This is always part of a counseling discussion of . There is no assurance that marriage will last.  What more being married to someone with bipolar disorder?   It is like being married to a person with many faces.  Now, he’s fine, the next he’s sad then he’s hype.



The mood is unpredictable, so is the status of marriage.  There will even be times when the thought of divorce will pop up in your mind.

It’s Not Easy, and I Want to Give Up

“Mental health struggles are real. They can be painful. You may feel alone. In some of the darkest times, you may feel like something is “wrong” with you to the core.” Erica Thompson, LMFT, LPCC once said. There are plenty of reasons why you might want to give up on the marriage.  The following can be the reasons for disagreement and problems in the household.

  1. Refusal of your partner to undergo treatment. Treatment helps in controlling moods, but refusal to treatment will result in worsening depression, sleep problems, and irritability.
  2. Abuse can happen anytime in any form. Blaming is most common.  Verbal abuse is often overlooked, and when disagreement gets out of control, he tends to be physical.
  3. He’s not accomplishing anything. He’s eager to start and then will suddenly quit.   This attitude can cause him trouble at work.
  4. Substance abuse problems. Most people with bipolar disorder resort to substance use to control their mood.
  5. Exaggerated self-esteem. This can result in impulsive spending and sometimes extramarital affairs, which will most probably never occur when he is in his normal state.

Bipolar Marriage Ending in Divorce

Sometimes, doing your best is not enough.   Marriage is a dance between two people.  Making the marriage work involves not only you but both of you.   He should also make an effort to improve his condition.  Do you think putting yourself at risk is worth it?  You should also protect yourself, especially from abuse.  “Targets of abuse don’t necessarily start with low self-esteem, but they go through an incremental brainwashing process in the relationship in which they become accustomed to accepting more and more damaging behavior from the partner.” Elizabeth Babcock, LCSW explains. It’s sad, but sometimes when your life is in danger, you must learn to say goodbye.


Does Bipolar Marriage Have the Chance of Survival?

Of course.

Marital problems arise, whether you’re with someone with a bipolar illness or not.  It may be hard to deal with a partner suffering from bipolar disorder, but with patience, understanding, communication, and cooperation from your partner, you can both live with it.

There are some marital issues which can be the cause of stress and can worsen your spouse’s mood.  Be sensitive to things that can trigger his symptoms, and always be aware of what best approach to take when he has his mood shifts.


Be Challenged To See the Good Side

It is really a big challenge to be with someone with a bipolar illness.   It may be a roller coaster ride, turbulent and uncertain. The unpredictable mood, depression, manic episodes, irritability, poor decision making, and more will make you want to divorce him sometimes.   A bipolar person is not all negative.  He also has his fair share of good qualities.  He can be extra sweet and loving.  During the manic phase, he can be fun, talkative, engaging, upbeat, and full of energy, so when things are starting to get rough, focus on these things. “Many relationships have power imbalances. If we’ve denied our power and don’t express ourselves for any of the above reasons, it’s natural for someone else to fill the vacuum.” Darlene Lancer, JD, LMFT emphasizes.


Learning how to deal with your spouse’s every mood, understanding what triggers his depression and his irritability can help save the marriage.  Encourage him to have treatment.   Be his support.  Go to counseling and therapy together.  Marriage is a partnership which involves both of you to make it a happy and successful one.

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