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How did you get your spouse to understand....


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So as of late I've tried to explain to my fiancé my condition (bp2) and how it makes me feel, especially lately since I've been on this manic kick. I know he loves me and accepts me for me, but he just doesn't understand how BP works. When I'm trying to explain to him I'm Afraid he's just gonna think I'm a loser, because he just kinda nods and hugs me, tells me he's sorry I feel like crap, idk he just doesn't really understand. Any tips? Should I have pdoc talk to him? Not sure if I'm a fan of that idea though....

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May she could attend a pdoc session with you.

Or if he is a reader there are several books in the crazy store for bp spouses or family to read.

There are also documentaries about what it's lke to be bipolar.

If it were me, I'd try to the k about his learning style and go from there.

For instance, I bought my husband a book and he didnt read it. I was sorta mad but then I was like duh! He is not a reader. He prefers tv. So we watched this sorta lame documentary on bp (I don't remember the name). But it was a stepping stone for discussion. And that in the end is what mattered.

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I wish that's how my boyfriend of nine years reacted.

 

Instead he thinks he knows how to fix it, tells me people are worse off than me, shit like that.

 

I think the VERY BEST thing that a person who DOESN'T get it can do for me is say "I'm sorry, I don't understand, I wish I could help" I love that. 

 

I don't know how capable people without mental illnesses are of understanding them. The thing you said and what I just listed above are all I could ever really ask for.

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I'm not PB but I still can't make my parents understand what's like to hear random voices criticizing you and not knowing what is real... I resent this.

 

Maybe it is just really hard for non MI people to understand and it is up to us to try our best to explain, or at least to give them a list of what to do and what not to, like some CB user tried on the psychosis forum (too lazy to find it now).

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When things are really horrible and/or don't make any sense, if I try to really explain what that is like, it can be pretty disturbing to my husband.  I'm not sure that my descriptions of my subjective experience really help his understanding.  For the last week I've been quite unwell, and he hasn't understood and got mad at me about not keeping up the house etc., and I tried telling him about how bad things are and what it's like inside, and that seems to just make him more stressed out and upset.  I don't think he can really understand what it's like inside, it's ultimately like trying to explain how colors look.  Also, my state changes enough that it's sort of pointless to get him to understand how I am at any given moment, because it might just pass and then be irrelevant.  

 

I guess mostly I want him to just accept that there is something he doesn't understand, and just trust me that sometimes it's bad and I can't cope, and not get hung up on the details.  I liked in "hyperbole and a half" where she talks about depression as like having a bunch of dead fish, and people don't understand the problem and keep trying to solve it in ways that don't make sense, and you just wish they would say "wow, those fish are super dead.  I still like you though."

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I brought my significant other to tdoc sessions twice.  That not only helped him not to be frightened of what was happening but also helped him understand what was going on inside my head a bit.  I found that just telling him didn't really work since he mainly read that as a reason to show compassion and give me a hug instead of actually listening to what I was saying.  Another thing it showed him was just how serious it is.

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I took my wife to a tdoc appointment shortly after my diagnosis. She was always there for and supported me but I don't think it was until I wound up IP earlier this year that she really dug in and researched it deeply. Obviously, if you can spur some self motivated research without having to go to the hospital, that's a little better. :-)

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