Divorce sucks. It doesn’t matter if you’ve been there yourself or if you’re a child of divorce. Any way you slice it, divorce hurts. If you’re lucky enough to not be in either category, hats off to you. Statistically you’re an anomaly.
I’m twice divorced and remarried. I’m pretty sure the third time is a charm. If you’ve looked up Bipolar Disorder and marriage and/or divorce, you’ve no doubt read the doomsday line claiming those with Bipolar Disorder have a 90% chance of getting divorced. There is no scientific research to back up this percentage. I say again there is zero, zilch, nada.
In fact, actual scientific studies have been done that prove those with Bipolar might run a slightly higher risk, or “no increase at all”, than the national average, which is 40%. “Slightly higher” doesn’t come anywhere near justifying 90%.
Does Bipolar Disorder of a spouse cause added conflict and chaos in marriage? Yes! Speaking from my own experience, it certainly does. My husband and I were married a year before I received my diagnosis. It took another year to find the right combination of medication that worked for me.
I wasn’t easy to live with and that’s a fact! I would fly off the handle at the slightest indiscretion. Sometimes I’d do it without a reason at all. I’d cry for no reason and I “kicked him out” 100 times or more. I never really did but I threatened to repeatedly.
I’ve gotta hand it to him. The man stuck by my side. He’s one tough SOB. I will gladly admit his tolerance is a thousand times higher than mine. Deep down, he knew there was something off and he was never willing to give up on me or let me give up on myself. I found one in a million.
I’d bet my life that we experienced more trauma in the first two years of our marriage than most people endure during their entire lives together. We made it stop together though. It couldn’t have happened any other way.
We came to the conclusion together that I needed help. I willing went and together we make certain I take my medication as directed. He’s learned my triggers and does his best to support my recovery in every way he can.
I will coincide that marriages where one or both spouses suffer from untreated Bipolar Disorder, the likelihood of divorce is high. But when the Bipolar spouse willingly seeks treatment, and stays on their medication, the odds are in our favor again.
The equation for a successful marriage with a Bipolar spouse is simple:
Supportive, dedicated and patient spouse + Bipolar spouse willing to seek help and stick with their treatment = a happy marriage
People who spout that 90% statistic contribute to the negative stigma of mental illness. Don’t buy into it. Don’t accept it. It’s not who we are. We are capable and deserving of happiness.
Don’t ever let anyone convince you otherwise! 🍀 💍