My husband has recently been diagnosed as bipolar. He was hospitalized for a short time due to suicidal thoughts. Prior to, during, and after his hospitalization he engaged in an affair of the heart (not physical). He is now working on getting his medication regulated and has begun therapy. Yet he cannot show any compassion for me or what he put me through. When I ask him about it he just says "I don't know why I don't feel compassion for you. I know I should, but I don't" Is this part of the illness or is there something else going on here?

BTW, this type of behavior (the affair) is completely out of character for him. Before and after we were married, he said that if there was ever a time when either of us felt like it wasn't working or we wanted to be with someone else, we would always be straightforward about it. Both of our families are in one ever thought he would do something like this. He even told my mother that once we had children, we would work through any problems that arose, because he didn't want his children growing up the way he did. Now he says he doesn't even know if he wants to try to work things out.

Please HELP!


3165 days ago
I would try and wait a little for the medication to restore his equilibrium. The therapy may also help. As for why he doesn't feel compassion, I think it might be tied into his mania (I'm assuming he was manic.) I see mania as a form of exaggerated dominance. If he's extremely dominant, he may not be ready to be compassionate, since compassion requires a degree of surrender and slowing down and admitting fault. If he's too busy "pushing forward," he may not be ready to see what he did yet. I think you should give it some time and try and be strong in the meantime. These are tough times for you both.

3165 days ago
Thank you so much. The hardest part is not having any support. My friends tell me "you've stayed longer than I would have", which doesn't help. And the psychologist told me that the statistics for a marriage lasting when one person is diagnosed bipolar aren't good. His mom is in denial, so she thinks i'm exagerating things, and my family are very angry with him. He used to be my support, but now I feel like I have no one.

3165 days ago
Well, we're here to listen. You can also post at (if you just want hugs, lol). :)

3165 days ago
I think you should give your husband a little time to get settled with his meds and therapy. Edahn's right -if he's in the manic stage, he will literally find it impossible to feel compassion or empathy. The manic stage puts the person into a very self centred and unihibited state. He is unable to feel those emotions right now and it's not his fault, so don't take it personal. Perhaps you can seek counselling yourself or maybe there's a support group you could join.

I remember my brother was diagnosed with manic depression and it was like he was totally a different person. This was 20 yrs ago, so hopefully meds are better now. I know right now you need someone to understand how you feel and that's okay. I want you to re-think his actions as not being personal against you - the way he lacks compassion is just because of his illness - not his real feelings. If you think of it this way, you won't feel so hurt. Give him some time and patience. You also don't want to be in this situation for a lifetime though - so be smart also. Good luck.

3151 days ago
Yes, give him a bit of time with the medication issues.

However, I do worry about you saying, "Oh, he wouldnt do that kind of thing," when he has done it.

Studies do show that emotional affairs are as serious and as bad as physical affairs.



2960 days ago
as a BP this is part of the illness. He is probably on the wrong meds or is getting used to them.

the med shuffle is an ugly thing. I have been on meds that made me angry,and others that made me emotionally numb. He sounds numb.

I'd encourage you to wait and support him. You cannot expect someone to have compassion for you when they are unable to feel and comprehend what they did and what they feel.

as mean as this may sound I would encourage you to stay the course and help him with his meds,doc visits etc because when he is balanced your relations will probably return though abiet slowly. Being with a BP sometimes means being there when they don't know that they want you there. Being there even when they say they don't want you there.

Now this by no means should imply you sacrifice your life for this person. IF you are unable to take the commitment it takes to be his wife and help him deal with his illness then divorce and be happy.But I would encourage yo uto remember marriage is about better for worst,richer for poorer and sickness and health.

My ex of 9 years pulled away from me when I was diagnosed, he didn't believe me and he pushed me away,then I got the right meds but its too late and the relationship is now over. he of course is my friend by has moved on,while I was terribly hurt and feel terribly betrayed.

Its up to you only you can make the decision.