I’m Bipolar. This is a fact of my existence, and it’s something that severely messes with my perception of events.
This especially becomes a problem when I have an argument with my husband. We rarely argue except for when I’m headsick… at which point my worldview becomes distorted.
I don’t remember facts clearly so much as how he made me feel, and how I felt can be completely irrational at best. AT BEST. I’m all hot emotion and tears.
And so, as we’ve learned each other’s quirks, arguing with him has become an act of trust.
Do I dare trust that his view of events is accurate?
Can I accept that mine is twisted and all tied up with headsick?
Can I trust that he will remain rational when I’m reacting wildly?
And he does generally manage to be both fair and rational, despite my blow ups. He is a very mellow, very sweet, and very logical man, and he puts real effort into making sure that he is FAIR, even when it isn’t fun for him.
He keeps his head.
In turn, I have to be willing to look at situations that, for me, are clear cut and instead be willing to trust that he is being truthful when he says that I’m headsick and misunderstanding the situation.
And he does his part. Even when he’s extremely upset, he works to fight fairly. Even down to the classically advised ‘use “I feel” statements’ so that arguments are about the way he feels and aren’t an accusation.
Even when I’m being completely left field and irrational.
He’s amazing at this.
So I listen. I listen when he says I’m acting sick and irrational. I trust that, even when he’s angry with me, he has my best interests at heart and will be honest.
This is a rare thing, and my previous relationships couldn’t manage it.
It has to be hard for him, and it’s probably unfair that he has to pull so much of the weight.
But it keeps our relationship strong and defuses my headsick, and I adore him for the effort he puts in. Especially since, fairly, he shouldn’t have to.
How do you deal with arguments? What concessions have you had to make to be sure that arguments are fair? If you’re bipolar, how aware are you of being ‘headsick’?