I’m trying to decide which can cause more damage to my marriage: the medication side effects or an unmedicated illness.
Ever since I started medication for my bipolar disorder years ago, I have secretly struggled with a decrease in sexual desire.
I could stop the meds. Then I wouldn’t have to force myself to have sex with my husband. I wouldn’t have to start mentally preparing myself in the morning so that I could initiate sex that night and make my husband think I’m all fired up.
I am, in fact, fired up. But it’s not something that instantly happens anymore. I can’t get spontaneously turned on and desire sex at random times. Not since I began treatment for bipolar disorder.
I have to spend hours working towards it. Mentally, I self talk. I do thinks to make myself FEEL pretty. Paint my nails. Or style my hair. Send David a few kinky texts at work. Texts I have already written and prepared and saved in a file. Ready for when I need them. Maybe I put clean sheets in our bed.
And sometimes I go to our “special” drawer. A place where we keep our adult toys. I hold one and visualize the things we’ve done with it. I pick up another and another and imagine what I could do with it with David that night.
Sometimes I start to feel a tinge of desire. Of longing. And I begin to get excited for him to get home from work. I lie back on my bed and all of a sudden I feel like crying.
I should not have to work this hard and I should definitely not need to prepare myself like this in order to be intimate with my own husband. So I battle with the thought of stopping my medications.
If I do that, what happens then? A completely different problem arises. The bipolar itself. A whole new kind of strain on our marriage.
Stopping my meds means the depression will surface. I won’t want to get out of bed. I’ll be very irritable and end up causing arguments with my husband over little insignificant things. Without my meds I blow up over everything.
I may become manic. End up spending our mortgage money on dog toys on eBay. I stop sleeping so I don’t even make it to bed for nights on end.
And sex? Yeah! I can’t control myself. I want to be touching him all the time. I need to be near him every minute that he’s home, often causing him frustration because I take away his personal space.
Then we argue.
We get frustrated.
And I get suicidal.
All of this because I stopped my medication so that I could be more intimate with my husband. But instead, the bipolar has made things even worse.
So ultimately, what has more effect on intimacy in my marriage? I don’t exactly have an answer to that. Living with bipolar isn’t easy and there isn’t a single area of my life that isn’t affected. I wake up every morning, afraid. Afraid that he will leave me because intimacy is so complicated for us.
So what would cause more damage to my marriage? Taking the medication or living with untreated bipolar disorder? I’m not sure and I’m not about to find out.
Because thankfully I have an amazing guy who tries his best to understand me and my illness. We communicate openly about intimacy in our relationship and I know that I won’t ever have to stop my medication in order to keep my husband satisfied sexually.
And I hope you never feel the need to do that either.