Sunday, April 15, 2012

Sex and the Bipolar Hubby--adult topic, sorry!

I need to talk to someone about this, and, this blog seems to be where I do the talking......so.....DH.  He's not working, as we all know....basically, he sits in a chair all day and watches movies.  He doesn't clean the house, doesn't fix anything that needs fixing (and he does know how to fix stuff), doesn't do much at all.  If he's not sleeping, he'll let the dogs out.  And unless I nag him, that's all he does.  If I do nag him, he might bring the garbage down to the end of the driveway.  Or maybe transfer clothes from the washer into the dryer.  But he NEVER folds the clothes or puts them away.    It's the same ol', same ol'.

With that said, I know it's been going on a long time.  I'm not in denial any more, for sure.  The way things are is pretty much how things are going to be from here on out.  I'm sure of it.  If I want things to change, well, I can't hope things will get better "someday".  They aren't going to.  I am going to have to make the changes or quit griping about the things I don't like.  With that said, I'm kind of tied to the chair as far as changes go for right now.  There is no wiggle room in the budget to allow me to save a little for a "new life for Carol" fund.  Our house is way underwater, even if you somehow managed to overlook all the broken stuff.  And even if I decided that foreclosure was the way to go, well, the animals are my family, too, and who on earth would rent to a "family" like this?  I do have "someday" hope, though.  Two of the dogs are elderly.  Several of the cats are elderly.  This won't be the situation forever.  Someday I'll be able to move, with or without DH.  I hope things get better, I really do.  But my tentative plan is to make changes that make things easier for me, and then if I can fit DH into those changes, well, I'm ok with that, as I did marry him "in sickness and in health".  But I'm extremely tired of living like this.  Probably that's a whole 'nother post.

Which brings me to this:  DH and I no longer see eye-to-eye as far as um....marital privileges are concerned.  As far as I'm concerned, there are a lot of reasons why I'm absolutely not interested any more.  Starting with "he's not attractive", but that really is the least of it.  I can see with my heart and not my eyes, so his physical beauty or lack thereof would not even be an issue if there weren't these other issues. He's not a "partner" to me, he's a piece of the furniture on a good day.  We aren't a team any more, I'm doing it all and just supporting him.  I work 60 hours a week, and if you add in commute time, it's well over 80.  My mom has Alzheimer's and he doesn't go to see her, even with me.  Basically, the way I see it, in the "give and take" of marriage, he's just taking.  And I'm just giving.  Very unbalanced.  Yet, he just doesn't seem to get it.

Some nights it just feels like "one more chore".   Other nights, it seems like "I went to work today, I got groceries, I visited my mom, I set up appointments.....I made sure there was something for supper....and you sat in a chair.  And you want me to do more.  To make you feel good.  Not a chance."  And then there's the whole partner thing.  I don't feel like he's my partner.  He doesn't go out of his way to make me happy.  But he expects me to do that.  And for the most part, I do.  And it makes me angry just typing this.  Because it really shouldn't come down to "what's in it for me?".  But it feels like there's already so little in it for me that asking me to give more is just futile.  And he gets all hurt when I am not interested.  I've tried to explain it before.  I just don't really know how to do it well without saying hurtful things.  So I just keep refusing.  I don't even want him to see me in any state of undress any more, because I'm afraid he'll think it's an invitation (he has before).  But this hurts his feelings too.  But unlike other issues we've had in the past, I stand my ground, probably because I just can't bring myself to be ok with it any more.

I admit to feeling rather discouraged lately.  I'm not sure why, really--nothing has gotten worse (but nothing is better either).  There's no end to this in sight unless I create one.   I'm tired.  I've been doing this for over 5 years now, and things are not much different than when I started, except that I've taken steps to control things that I can control.  I'm not getting younger.  I don't have a life except for my animals, and I don't even have time to enjoy them like I should.    I'm trying to be supportive, but nobody's supporting me.  That sounds kind of selfish to me, when I think about the fact that if he had Alzheimer's, I wouldn't expect him to do anything more than what he's doing now (or not doing), so maybe my problem (once again) isn't DH, it's the mental illness....?  And the fact that I don't really know how much is laziness and how much is mental illness.....well....thanks for listening....


Sharon said...

We all get to a point where we have to say "no more". Some people, no matter what we do, can't or don't want to change.
I have the same thoughts often. Hang in there and keep moving on with a plan. Maybe you won't have to use it, but you'll be ready.

Anonymous said...

Sex with a mentally ill obese guy who drove you to the brink of baknruptcy, who doesn't have a job and who does virtually nothing around the house? No way. You're under no obligation there. What does he do if you say no? Let me guess: pout and act pitiful?

Anonymous said...

Carol, Met you on TOL a while ago. I have been where you are so I know what you are going through - only the people and names were different. You are coming down to the Quality of Life decision for you. Like you I took my vows very seriously but there is "sickness" and there is "insanity" and you are nearing the latter. Marriage was never meant to be a drudgery and a burden. We can only do what we can to help others then we have to look to our own well being. Crashing and Burning your own life to try and save something that is beyond your power to save it will not help. Remember - You have already fought the good fight - given the utmost farthing - walked more that a thousand miles in another's moccasins...You have been faithful over the few things....

Grace. said...

Carol--I have no idea what to say, but just know that there are folks out here who are reading you, hearing you and caring about you.

Anony Mouse said...

I have read your blog sporadically and never commented before. I apologize if you have already discussed these things.

I have bipolar disorder I. I am considered to be severely and persistently mentally ill. I have been on disability for 4+ years and I was approvced right away. No refusals or anything. I deal with psychosis and paranois.

So I don't have a mild case or anything.

What I don't get is why your husband is just sitting day-after-day, not doing a thing other than watching TV.

Is he so heavily medicated that he has the Zombie Affect?

I know you are waiting for approval for SSDI and finances are tight. But most major cities have resources for the severly mentally ill. I go to a center that provides me with case management, a psychiatrist and an MD, and groups to partcipate in.

I don't pay for these services, since my only income is SSDI. And until my insurances were straightened out, they helped me anyway. It was a mess when I got there and they helped me with everything.

Likely, your husband will not work full time at a job again. But sitting around doing nothing is not the alternative.

Maybe he needs to be seen by a different PDoc and have his meds reveiwed. Maybe he needs a social worker, case manager, or counselor give him a bit of tough love to get him up and about again. Something has got to change, for both of your sakes.

I have a decent quality of life now. No, it aint what it coulda been but I don't dwell on it too much. The point is I have an active life, do the best I am able, and do not make my family suffer for being related to me.

If you want, I can make an anonymous email address and you can tell me where you are located. I can try and see if there are ANY resources nearby.

The meds can make you lethargic, the illness can cause you to be a jerk (even worse), and depression and shame can suck the life outta a person with bipolar.

But turning into a selfish potato is not a side effect of Bipolar Disorder. I could write more but I don't want to come across as "crazy" or take over your comments page.

Anonymous said...

Unfortunately for Anonymous April 19, 2012 8:02 AM - "sickness" does equal "insanity", if you knew the scientific definition of mental illness.

You present a framework that supports the stigmatization process for the mentally ill, a practice which will always be heartily endorsed by the ignorant masses.

However, you are correct in your analysis, as to intent. You just need to find a better word than "insanity", esp. around those that frequent a blog like this one.

Also, as far as I have been able to tell (and I've been around the block a few times and am not a 'spring chicken'): marriage was never "meant" to be anything beyond the legal bindings. We simply make of life what we can or will, and that includes our marriages.

Marriage can be both a burden and a drudgery and still be a good marriage. Amazing but true. You simply have to engage the obvious nuances springing out of the false hopes presented to you in those 'holy books'... just my 2 cents!

Ilovecats said...

Your story is so much like my own life that I keep feeling compelled to comment to you.

I've mentioned it before - antipsychotics and other medications made me gain a lot of weight and sit around the house and do nothing but drool and watch TV. It is unfair to ask someone to take that stuff and expect them to be functional as well. Antipsychotics used to called "major tranquilizers." They specifically happen to remove the ability to motivate from most people.

Bipolar disorder should cycle - your bipolar hubby should have long periods of time when he is "normal."

Antipsychotics and some other drugs take an intermittently severe disorder and convert it into a permanently severe disorder. Lithium can steal all positive emotions - love, happiness in some cases - and fail to help depression one bit, in most cases.

In any case, good luck. I do care. A lot.

perphila said...

This situation isn't any different than when you want DH to take out the garbage. He just isn't in a place to truly empathize with you because it is always about him and will always be about him. When he is depressed he wallows in self pity. When he is manic it's all about "his" plans. I'm not saying he doesn't have moments of clarity when he understands what you are going through. Those moments sometimes lead to a depression spiral knowing how much he has hurt you. It is just those moments are few and far between. Those periods of normal you have been striving for that has of yet haven't really been a reality for you. You don't have to feel guilty to take some control of what are willing or not willing to do. It doesn't matter if it is doing the laundry or being intimate. The big question is how you are feeling about your level of emotional attachment to DH? Do you still love him or the memory of him? Make plans according you your answers.

Anonymous said...

Oh god, this sounds familiar.

I work, he doesn't. He does the dishes when he feels like it. He waters the plants when he remembers. He does spend time with our son, but 3/4 of his day, while he's awake, is spent playing video games. If he gets up to do something, it almost always means I'm about to get my head bit off because "he has to do everything around here."

Meanwhile, the house is a disaster because whenever I try to clean, he picks a fight with me because I'm using the wrong cleaning product, or in the wrong room to start with, or I'm bothering him. My house has never, in my entire life, been this disgusting.

He takes four medications a day which have caused him to gain a ton of weight, and while they're adjusting the medication, he's a giant asshole. He's also an asshole when he drinks, or is in a bad mood, or out of fucking nowhere when he can dig at me in front of other people. He actually told our son's teacher that I never do anything with our son, because I'm too busy.

His nastiness during manic phases and his habit of blaming me for his problems has left me with zero desire to have sexual contact with him. I have to try not to cringe when he kisses me.

It's been eight months since the last time anything resembling sexual contact occurred between us. He alternately tells me he's repulsed by me (during the occasional medication adjustment) and blames me for not having sex with him (when he acclimates to the medication.)

I've actually gained weight because anytime I work out, he follows me around complaining and he nags me compulsively to eat.

Every problem we have is heralded by him accusing me of being insane. No matter how nicely I ask, using 'I' language, offering compromise, doing everything in my power to make it easy for him to listen, he blows like a volcano.

He constantly complains to me that I'm stealing his friends, and that no one likes him. Any time they talk to me, he gets angry. I keep encouraging him to meet people, offering to pay for him to go out to events, reminding him that his friends like him, but it doesn't matter.

We own this house together, and I can't detangle my life from his easily, or I would have done so by now.

It's heartbreaking, because it isn't as if I didn't want to commit. I don't understand why someone who is a perfectly rational human being right now will turn around five minutes later, apropos of nothing, and say "you never loved me" or accuse me of stealing his friends.

I have autism, so I understand what it's like to have a disability, and I am absolutely stunned that he doesn't control himself better.

I've already told him I'm leaving, but he cries and makes me feel horribly guilty, and I end up staying because I feel so bad and because there's no money for me to leave.