14 Questions To Ask Your Future Bipolar Husband’s Psychiatrist-Part 1

Contemplating marriage to someone with bipolar disorder? Your marriage will not be like any of your friends’ or family who do not have to deal with this extra relationship challenge. 

Here are 15 questions to ask the psychiatrist about your future husband or wife if he/she has been diagnosed with bipolar disorder.

  1. How can I participate in my future bipolar husband’s/wife’s therapy plan?
  2. What are the potential long-term side effects of lithium and/or other psychiatric drug treatements?
  3. Is there a chance that the medication prescribed now will become ineffective? If yes, what happens then?
  4. How will other medications or alcohol affect my fiancee over time if he gets sick, has bad allergies or drinks too much?
  5. What if the dosage on the medication(s) is too high? What does medicinal toxicity look like? Is a blood test twice a year enough to detect this?
  6. Will my bipolar future husband or wife ever be “cured?” Will he/she ever be able to stop taking medication?
  7. Are there other treatment options besides medication?
  8. What are the bipolar disorder “warning signals” I should watch out for?
  9. What are the risks to our marriage? What’s the worst that could happen? What are the chances of that happening?
  10. Should we have children? What are the chances we’ll pass bipolar disorder to them? Is that an ethical consideration? Or a medical one?
  11. Will bipolar disorder medication affect my future bipolar husband’s or wife’s ability to have children?
  12. All things being equal, what percentage of a “normal” life can we hope to have together if he/she stays on a treatment plan?
  13. How will bipolar disorder affect my future husband’s/wife’s ability to get medical insurance?
  14. Does medical treatment for bipolar disorder shorten somebody’s lifespan or damage health or organs?
  15. What should I be asking you about marriage to a bipolar husband or wife that I haven’t asked you yet?

Obviously, this is a lot of ground to cover with a medical professional. But even if it takes more than one session with your future bipolar husband’s/wife’s psychiatrist to get these questions answered, you’ll want to take your time in absorbing the enormity and ramifications of the answers.

No doubt you’ll want to discuss the answers with your future spouse, as well.  Better to be informed as possible before you walk down the aisle than to be surprised with information you hadn’t considered after the wedding.


  1. Dianna

    I was married for 35 years and of that time my late husband had bi polar for 33 years, diagnosed. I purchased your book last year after he passed away to confirm to myself personally that I had not imagined all the dramas over the years. Many of our friends are still not aware of the struggles we both faced. He was a good man but slowly the illness was destroying the person I had married. He even said to me that he couldn’t take another 20 years of this himself. He never took his life but I was always concerned that he could have been driven to it. We raised two children who loved their father. I am still trying to heal from the shock and trauma of suddenly lossing your life partner but to be honest, I am also releaved not to have that heavy load of responsibility as a spouse carer. There was no support. They say,” you are strong” but we have feelings too! The dynamics in the relationship was constantly changing. I kepted a diary over the years to prove to myself and to my spouse that it was real these bipolar changes. It didn’t happen over night but later he relied on me for support like when it was time to start getting stronger medication. He could feel that change coming over himself and would tell me but a day or two later he had morphed into someone else. My man would be “gone” for a few months. I often joked that I was married to a few personalities. Some times I lived with bipolar “George” and at other times, the normal man I had married. Perhaps there was also another one when he was in the depressed cycle. Who knows! One thing I do know for sure, is that, all you spouses living out there in the real world living each day handling that challenging caring role -You should be highly commended for showing such courage, determination and great love to your spouses. I realized that I had helped my husband live a successful life. He touched so many peoples lives in his community and was loved and respected. I had helped him paint the canvas of his life. All the struggles had been etched on the canvas of life. We had painted a master piece together. Keep up the good work, get all the help you can for yourself. Remember you are so important too. Don’t forget that. Be proud of yourself and your family. God bless you all.

  2. Elizabeth Atlas

    Dianna, your husband was very lucky to have such a supportive and encouraging wife. You obviously were in sync with his “real” personality, as well as developed accurate radar for when he was about to endure a bipolar episode. For the wife of a bipolar husband the roller coaster life–even when you sort of understand it–is unpredictable and sad. There will be an extra bright star in heaven with your name on it for your dedication to your husband and to your marriage, despite all the odds! Thank you for sharing your story.

  3. alan

    married to mania
    the title tells me just how much we have moved on in our views…grow up and replace it with married to mood problems

    • Elizabeth Atlas

      Actually, the word “mania” is in the DSM. But I understand your point. Technically it’s not “married to mood problems,” either. It’s “married to a spouse with bipolar disorder.” But that just doesn’t have the same catchy ring to it, does it? I’ll leave the title as is. I can help more people this way. Thanks for your opinion, tho.

  4. Madhesh

    I doubt if my spouse is a Bipolar patient.?
    Iam relation with my wife for last 4 years, we recently got married. Before marriage, I have noticed my wife having mood swings,at times she used to behave like a kid and then she would behave like an Adult. At night she used to ring me and cry for no reason, and she would also say that she can hear god’s whisper. Initially I believed this could be normal behaviour. I got married to her, then my problems started – everyday was a nightmare. She used to cry stating – my marriage life has been ruined then she would bang her head in the wall. She will hurt herself so badly. Twice she has tried to commit suicide – by trying to cut her hand. But her behaviour seems to be normal in office. When she is at home – sometimes she uses profanity and she talks very fast. She will not allow me to sleep at night – next day if i ask her the reason – she would say I Dont remember anything. One fine day I left her in her home, so she can be fine. Now she has demanded divorce, she does not want me back in her life- the reasons she has given for divorce is very silly. She does not pick up my call nor likes to pick my call. Iam the second guy in her life. I feel completely cheated, can someone advise was my wife’s behaviour like a bipolar patient.

    • Elizabeth Atlas

      Madhesh, I’m so sorry for your suffering…and your wife’s. In a calm moment for her, why don’t you suggest she see a psychiatrist and go with her? He’ll be able to diagnose her and then you’ll both have options for what to do next. – E

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