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Bipolar And Abuse

by Mindi
(Safe House, USA)

Last July I fell in love with an incredibly sweet man and we got married in December. I knew he had a history of being an abuser but I also egotistically believed our love was different and I was woman enough to help him not go back to abusive behaviors.

It wasn't long before patterns started showing up...fits of rage easily triggered, narcissistic signs, screaming. Then came the arm grabbing, shoving and finally the strangulation, which ultimately led to me leaving.

I tried to open up to his sister who told me I was overreacting. So now we have been separated for about a month, however we are in constant contact. He has taken 100% responsibility for his actions and admitted he is bipolar and has not been on his medication. He has agreed to seek the psychiatric help this mental health disorder needs and has agreed to counseling.

I want to believe that everything will work out and we will be able to work towards our happily ever after. I'm debating packing and driving the 2200 miles to get home and yet I am nervous about actually getting in the car and going back.

I don’t want to end my marriage, however I wonder if that's best for myself and the 3 kids I adopted before I met him.

I miss my husband, the kind doting sweet man he is when not in a fit...and am wondering will the medication truly be enough to help him or am I living in a romanticized fantasy?

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May 13, 2018
Important Considerations For You
by: Dr. DeFoore

Hi Mindi

Thanks for telling your story here, so that others might benefit.

I want you to consider these things:

1) Your husband has engaged in life threatening behavior toward you (strangulation).

2) In order for you and your children to be safe in his presence, he would need to be in intensive, regular treatment (not just medication) for his bipolar disorder for at least a year.

3) He would also need to show a record of being free of violence for at least that long.

4) Bipolar disorder neither explains nor excuses his violent behavior toward you. His tendency toward abuse and violence would need to be addressed and treated separately from the bipolar disorder.

5) You also need to address your own issues, looking at why you would enter a relationship with someone with a history of abuse. If you don't deal with your own underlying patterns, this could happen again with your husband, or others if the two of you end your marriage.

Think this through carefully Mindi. These are serious considerations, and there is a lot at stake, for you and your children.

My best to you,

Dr. DeFoore

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