An update, mental health, and praises/prayers
Many thanks to SLS for bringing up mental health and giving me the push I needed to write this post. This is a bit of a long one.
Wifey has been recently diagnosed as bipolar II. Current research points to bipolar and unipolar (depression) disorders existing on a spectrum. Where bipolar I classically manifests as switching between crushing depression and euphoric manic states with a feeling of invincibility, Wifey’s bipolar II cycles between chronic low grade depression (fatigue, low/no desire or motivation) and anxious agitation (irritability, difficulty concentrating or staying on task, racing thoughts). A recent medication change to a mood stabilizer instead of antidepressants helped her doc and therapist reframe her diagnosis.
How this manifests in our MB is that she is unavailable during her depressive states, or her anxiety prevents her from being fully present and engaged.
Firstly, I thank God for providing us with competent and engaged doctors/therapists to understand and work with Wifey on her treatment. Our church partners with a local Christian counseling organization with psychologists to help people from a medical and spiritual perspective.
Praise God for His response to prayer! This recent diagnosis gives us a better understanding of what we’re up against and how to fight back against the enemy’s attempts to divide us in our marriage and separate us from our loving Father.
Wifey and I have had numerous conversations about sex over the last 12 years, mostly arguments as I’ve felt undesired and craving connection, and Wifey feeling like a failure and that she’ll never be enough (she also has poor self-image issues). We’ve had much more positive conversations over the past year or so and she will now lay next to me while I MB if she is unavailable for sex or a handsie. I know that Wifey is genuinely good natured and she wants to be able be there for me. She wants sex to be a vibrant part of our marriage! Thank you Father for giving me a loving and supportive Wifey!
Praise God for leading me here! The journey He has taken me on to help understand myself and Him better has lead me to this community where I can be known and not alone. When I get discouraged I can get close to pulling away from this group because of painful reminders of what I don’t have in my relationship that others do. About that time someone posts something that reminds me that this is where I need to be, and that God is in this.
Pray for me that I can focus on the good that we have. I get overwhelmed and discouraged at setbacks. I take on lots of the responsibilities around the house when Wifey is unable to do them, in addition to my regular job which is mentally taxing rather than physically draining. I struggle with balancing how much I take off of Wifey’s plate and how much I should challenge her to grow. I struggle with how to lead our home when so much revolves around how she feels for the day. I struggle with the inconsistency of daily moods and even how they can change throughout the day. I struggle with feelings of inadequacy and unmet needs. I wrestle with God and how our situation fits with the design of marriage. I get weary and respond poorly. I have no ides what self-care for me looks like.
Pray for Wifey to have a sexual awakening! I haven’t given up hope that God can work miracles and bring us to a place of connection and healing.
Pray for Wifey’s continued treatment and medical team. We’re awaiting some test results that may help with fatigue and body aches, pray for additional understanding of the fight we are in. This is looking more and more like an ongoing battle for us to fight through, pray for our stamina and resiliency to work through the ups and downs.
Pray for Wifey’s connection to Christ and that she will grow in rich understanding of His love for her.
Pray for God’s continued provision! The psychologist Wifey was working with is moving on and her replacement hasn’t started yet. Pray that the new doc’s insights and demeanor will be a blessing to a Wifey and help in her healing and restoration. We still haven’t finished putting our basement back together since it flooded 18 months ago, one of the precipitating events (pun intended, it was a heavy rain storm) that started us on this journey. Our finances are stretched and our medical expenses are eating up the margin we have as we explore treatments for Wifey.
Many thanks to the TMB team for their heart for vibrant God-centered marriages and the community for your prayers.
Thank you so much for sharing this. The stigma surrounding mental health is decreasing, but is still very much present. It took me about 5 years after my hospitalization and correct diagnosis to be open about it. There is such a great need for the conversation about mental health to be open. Awareness and discussion literally saves lives. I applaud you for your bravery.
I will pray for the growth that both you and your wife will make through this process. I’ve seen first hand the miracles that God and his team of medical experts can work in this area. If you ever need support, give me a holler. I am not a therapist, but I learned an insane amount about treatment of various diagnoses in my 6 week outpatient program. The resources that are out there right now are incredible.
I have Major Depressive Disorder, Generalized Anxiety Disorder, and OCD. I’ve often said that the empathy I’ve gained for others as a result of my journey is how I am best used to God’s glory. I’d never wish this on anyone, but God shines through it and I’m grateful for that.
Prayers for your journey, and that it brings similar glory to God.
Jesus will meet you right where you are and your wife right where she is. I am praying for your belief. That you will believe in who He says He is and that He will do what He says He will do. He is the Lord who provides and the Lord who heals, and I like how the NET Bible says, “He is your constant source of stability; He abundantly provides safety and great wisdom; He gives all this to those who fear Him.” (Is. 33:6)