I'm a man, age 50, married for 21 years now. We have four kids, most of them grown-ups except for the youngest.
The love we initially had faded away over years, but we decided to stay together so that we don't break up the family. We’re both loyal but love and passion have been missing for many years.
My problem is that my wife is on a wave cycle. For almost two weeks every month she’s the sweetest lady and I start feeling that we’re close and it’s safe for me to start falling in love with her all over again.
When I reach that high point of feelings and I'm ready to open up my heart again, she flips and becomes very nasty in the way she treats me.
Any word I say or any move angers her even if it’s the slightest mistake. I become very careful about what to say or how to react to anything in her presence, fearing that she’ll burst into anger.
We spend around two weeks in this state and then she slowly goes back to being a nice, sweet lady again, tolerating and outgoing.
This cycle of emotions is destroying me and when she gets to that low point I feel sick, with no energy and no appetite for life.
Sometimes I feel it’s not safe for my heart to open up again for her, because at one point she’ll smash it when the high wave ends.
This happened many times and it hurts every time.
We’ve been like this ever since we got married, but initially I didn’t notice the wave cycle.
Only with the passage of years was I able to figure it out and predict it accurately.
I'm not sure what’s the professional solution here but she’s the woman that I loved and would like to fall in love with again.
I'm not giving up on this relationship yet, and I want to do everything that I can do to save it.
You’ve taken an important step just by giving the idea of hope a chance.
The next important step is to do some early research into this regular cycle of personality change. Once you have even a basic understanding of what’s involved physically, psychologically and emotionally in these “waves” of behaviour, you’ll know what kind of professional therapy she’ll need, if and when she agrees to it.
It’s an important, courageous step you’ve taken instead of giving up on your wife, whose bound to be as troubled by these mood changes are you are.
A quick Google search, as just one example, brought me to Bipolar Disorder on the Mayo Clinic site: It’s described as “a mental health condition that causes extreme mood swings that include emotional highs (mania or hypomania) and lows (depression).
It’s usually treated with medications and psychological counselling (psychotherapy).
To see a psychotherapist for an actual diagnosis and treatment, whatever the cause, requires getting your wife to want to learn how to moderate her waves of mood and behaviour.
Talk to her during her period of calm and sweetness. Suggest that there may be ways for her to feel that way more often and assure her that you’re not blaming her for any mood changes.
You’d be wise to initially contact your family doctor for her to have an overall health check, in case there’s a medical basis to her ongoing “waves.”
My sister is very smart and runs her own very successful business. Her husband’s a creative guy who was doing well for a while, but since the pandemic his promotion ideas haven’t been bought by the companies he pitched.
My sister loves him, their nine-year-old son adores him. But I feel badly that she has to carry all the responsibilities and workload to pay their bills.
How can I tell her that it’s unfair that she do everything for the business and cover his needs as well? She just paid to replace his old car.
Say nothing. Instead, be supportive of her efforts and as an aunt to their son. She’s apparently not asking you for help, and as you said, she loves her husband.
The COVID-19 pandemic has affected the incomes of countless people, including many involved in the arts and other creative fields.
Your sister’s financial arrangements with her husband are her business.
Tip of the day:
Regular mood changes over years calls for a medical check and possibly for psychotherapy. Supporting a spouse through this shows true partnership.