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My Bipolar From My Husband's Point of View

An Interview With Mark Delaney-Howe

By J. Delaney-HowePublished 2 years ago 4 min read
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My Bipolar From My Husband's Point of View
Photo by Camila Quintero Franco on Unsplash

I have been very open about my struggles with bipolar disorder. Some would say too open, but I usually don't respond to that criticism. If we don't talk about it, how will we ever end the stigma that mental illness carries with it? Instead of writing about bipolar from my point of view, I am writing about my husband's point of view. I interviewed him, and it was an eye-opening interview for me. Maybe it will be for you as well.

To get things started, I wanted to know his thoughts on marrying me, knowing I am bipolar.

Tell me about your thoughts on our wedding and marrying me.

At first, I was actually terrified about getting married. Not for the fact it was you, just in general. The wedding was amazing, especially at night when all the window vase lights were turned on. It was a very magical day.

(That answer melted my heart.)

What were some of the signs you observed at the beginning of our relationship that I had mental health issues?

Some signs were not sleeping, then being or talking about everything and anything randomly. The mood swings and not knowing what was wrong. Things being said that you didn't mean but couldn't stop saying them. It was tough at the beginning. I didn't know how to approach you, which is why there was lying about things because I didn't know how you would react to the truth.

What has the journey from the beginning of our relationship been like?

It was a tough road. It was very rough. Not knowing how to handle/deal with bipolar. Not sure what the triggers were. Me sabotaging us and not knowing what to do.

Has there ever been a time when you have wanted to leave because of the struggles with my bipolar?

There were times after we first got together that I thought about leaving, especially when there was all the yelling and arguing. I stayed because I started reading about bipolar and how to approach things and then sitting down with you and talking about signs and symptoms.

Please explain why you stayed with me during and through the difficult times

Because first, I love you. Second I learned what bipolar does to a person, so I know in those manic times, it's not you. I realized that we would get through the episodes, and you would return to your usual self.

What's love got to do with it? What point or part does love play in all of this?

To love someone is to go through everything, the good, bad, ups, and downs, with them. Everyone has to have that one person that has unconditional love no matter what the other is going through. If a person doesn't love the one they are with, that will cause more mental issues. It makes them think they aren't good enough, and no one will love them, they are alone, etc.

You pick up on signs and triggers, most often before I do. What kinds of things do you observe?

It starts with insomnia, sometimes days at a time. Then comes talking about seven different topics in 5 minutes. Paranoia comes next, thoughts of running away, putting yourself down, and wanting to do everything right now. As you come down, you get emotional, start sleeping more, depression sets in, and you think you can't do anything right.

Have we lost friends/relationships with family members, or have those relationships changed since the diagnosis?

I feel that friends and family saw or heard what was happening with/between us and backed off. It might not be that, but it does seem that people "check in"...."oh no, I hope he gets better soon," and then they are gone for a while

How has my bipolar and your going through it with me affected your life positively and negatively?

I can tell and see other people that may have it and go out of my way to make sure I do or say something, so they know I understand. It made me grow up and realize how to talk and treat people differently. There are no negatives now because I know what to expect

What are some of your coping skills to deal with the ups and downs of my bipolar?

When the weather is nice, being outside, doing yardwork, or on the tractor mowing. Playing my game on my phone and talking to those friends that have never left our sides and do truly understand

Photo from author

From the Writer

Writing this piece was very eye-opening for me. I am so wrapped up in my bipolar disorder treatment and self-care that I cannot see how those around me are impacted most of the time. It was good for me to see what was going on from his viewpoint. As he said, it has been a bumpy road-but he travels it with me. He is my biggest advocate, my strongest ally, and my biggest encourager. He truly is my center. (Well, a big part of it anyway).

Thank you, Mark, for being willing to share your side. And thank you for all you are and all you do, not just for me but for our family as well.

P.S. I love you!

Thank you for reading my piece! I appreciate reads, comments and feedback.

If you would like to read more of my work, my profile is here:

HeroesHumanity
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About the Creator

J. Delaney-Howe

Bipolar poet. Father. Grandfather. Husband. Gay man. I write poetry, prose, some fiction and a good bit about family. Thank you for stopping by.

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Comments (15)

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  • Lamar Wiggins5 months ago

    Well now, you may be onto something. The fact that it worked for you in more ways than one could mean that interviewing a spouse could be a great exercise in marriage counseling. Great Idea!!!

  • Oneg In The Arctic5 months ago

    This was so sweet and honest and honestly, helpful. My wife has depression and anxiety, and there were some big traumatic shit for both of us this summer, so we’ve been navigating all that and our mental health- and it’s tricky, really tricky. I almost wish this interview was longer!

  • I read this a year ago. The reread was just as impressive as the first time I read it.

  • Test5 months ago

    Such a beautiful love story. I am so glad you talk about it, You are absolutely right, nothing can change unless people do 🤍

  • Mother Combs5 months ago

    🤍very heart-touching piece

  • Antoinette L Breyabout a year ago

    very good piece, sounds like a very healthy relationship

  • Cathy holmes2 years ago

    Really great piece, Jim and very brave to share it.

  • Caroline Jane2 years ago

    Such a brave interview to share.... really have added an important lens here. ❤

  • Okay, you got me with this one. Excellent interview and I learned a lot from it. My mom struggles with mental health issues. She has been diagnosed with Major Depressive Disorder and I do not know how to deal with it. Anyway, from your interview I have come to realize that I do not know how to deal with it. So I guess I must take the next steps to learn how to do with her mental health issues. Thank you reading this has made a difference in my life.

  • Dawn Salois2 years ago

    Wonderful interview, Jim! It says a lot that your husband made the effort to educate himself about your disorder and how to approach things, rather than leaving. You are very lucky to have each other.

  • Heather Hubler2 years ago

    This was so emotional to read. What an amazing relationship you two have :) I love that you were brave enough to ask those questions, and he was loving and honest with his answers. Thank you for continuing to share your journey.

  • Babs Iverson2 years ago

    Loving, impressive and fabulous interview!!!💖💖💖😊💕

  • Judey Kalchik 2 years ago

    This is everything: "Because first, I love you." Beautiful.

  • Mariann Carroll2 years ago

    This should be Top story. The questions was the best . I am a sucker for true love , it really endure the good and the bad. Great interview story for sure. Wishing the best especially regarding your mom 🙏🏽💗

  • KJ Aartila2 years ago

    This is a great piece! You definitely need to keep talking about it - what a special guy to make the effort to understand, rather than just leaving. Thank you for sharing your insights! 💕

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