Wife has mental illness and off meds because she’s pregnant and its causing huge turmoil in our marriage


Hello all! My problem is this: My wife was diagnosed with bipolar when we were dating and put on medication. They tried different combos, some worked and some didn’t but when they worked it changed who she was and we didn’t like it. She lost her health insurance and had to come off the medication. I joined the military and we got married. The first three months of our marriage was a nightmare. She wasn’t on medication and would regularly push me to wits end where I would feel I couldn’t take it anymore. I regrettably would threaten divorce and she would often head to a hotel until she would call and apologize or I would call her back before she would waist the money on it. I have no problem being single and celibate for the rest of my life but I love my wife and prayed to hang in there until she got to her appointment for medication. When she was finally put on medication the type she was on was prefect. It was a blessing because it calmed her over the top outburst from nowhere yet didn’t change who she was. We have had a happy many months, but now she is pregnant. We are both thrilled and are greatly looking forward to being parents but the problem is her medication can cause birth defects so she had to come off while pregnant. It’s only been a few days and the nightmare has started to come back up. Today again I threatened to divorce her which I don’t really mean but at the time I feel like I mean it. I don’t know how I can handle this for 9 months. I try and remember her disorder, but you can only be pushed so much before you can’t take it and push back. I love her so much and wanted to have a big family with her but now it looks like we will have to use NFP to avoid future children because of her disorder. Not just for the sake of our marriage, but also for the sake of the child we have on the way now. It would be unfair to the child to have a mother with outburst and mood swings like this. I can’t image we are the first couple to come across this problem. I have been able to find little help on the internet and I was wondering if anyone out there has any ideas, suggestions, or information. Prayers for us would be a great help also. I don’t know what to do, I want to be a good husband, but I’m afraid of the next 9 months. Please help me!

God bless


I don’t know what meds your wife is on, but many times, a woman can go back on the meds after the first trimester. It is while the baby is being formed that the danger exists. Once the baby is formed and only needs to grow, the danger of birth defects isn’t there. Check with your OB about that, but I have had a number of clients who were pregnant and went back on the meds with no problem. Again, check with your OB.



That is what I was going to say!

I have bipolar too, and I am also currently off of my meds due to my second pregnancy. Also, if she can’t go back on the meds she previously was on due to birth defects, she could try other ones that are known to be safer. I actually got pregnant (with my first baby) while going through withdrawl of my meds and we did a bunch of extra tests to make sure she was ok, and she was.

Also, we saw a genetic counsler, who gave our doctor an outline of tests to check the baby with. Not that meds is a genetic problem, but they have all the up to date info about all the meds, risks, solutions, even more than my psy doc and gyn doc knew, so I would recommend seeing one, if you can. They might be able to recommend a safer drug combo.

Good luck!


I have no suggestions but prayers for you, your wife, and your unborn child.


First off… I commend you for your desire to do the right thing. You and your wife are clearly BOTH struggling through this to bring a precious little life into the world and you will be blessed for your efforts.
While I have not experienced bipolar disorder, I have had minor anxiety/depression issues, and have come off medication during pregnancy. And to make you feel better about your reaction… even having a husband who has had anxiety/depression issues, it’s still almost impossible to receive “perfect sympathy” from someone who is not dealing with the exact same situation. So your reaction is not out of the ordinary.
My advice is to seek precautionary counseling during this time. BOTH of you (either together or alone) would benefit from from preventative measures… it can help in communication and sympathy.

You and your wife will be in my prayers. God bless you both during this difficult time.


Please, please try and get expert help. There must be an OB/GYN who specialises in women with mental health problems, or a psychiatrist who has experience of mothers to be.

It is absolutely vital that great care is taken of your wife, throughout her pregnancy, and that she go back on her meds as soon as possible after the birth.

I feel very strongly about this, as I had a dear friend who had bi-polar disorder and had a baby - unfortunately it did not end well.

I don’t wish in any way to be alarmist about this but please please be very careful and get the best help you can


My prayers are with you redsoxfan. My mom was diagnosed as clinically depressed, this was back in the 60’s, before I was born, and my sister told me that during her pregnancy with me, things actually got a lot better for her. She was off her meds. I hope the same balances out perhaps for your wife.

My dad always stayed with my mom. They died when I was young, but my sister always thought he should have left my mom, because she caused a lot of issues for the family. A lot of heartache for my dad…but, he was a devout Catholic, and always prayed for strength. I pray for you and your wife to come through this victoriously. I know this is hard, but keep praying for strength, and for healing for your wife, believe in miracles. They happen every day. I will keep you in my prayers!


this is great advice, as well…I agree. There must be someone ( a doctor) out there who can help.


You may be able to find some support from the St. Labre Guild guildbjlabre.com/

Also check with www.catholictherapists.com

Prayers for you!


I think that only psychiarists know what meds will help without causing problems for the baby’s developement.
Remember that Psychiarists are M.D’s and had the same training as M.D.'s but chose to help the mentally ill people.

They see these problems all the time. They have years of experience.

Please don’t wait until your wife ends up in a hospital with mental problems. Please get medical help as soon as you can.

You can start by seeing an internal medicine doctor first who most likely can help your wife or refer you to someone who can help.
Bi-polar is a very serious problem. People who don’t have mental problems will NEVER UNDERSTAND!! They just will say, “Snap out of it”. The answer to that question is,“I would if I could”.

I have depression problems and am taking meds for it. I make it very public that I have that problem and there are lots of people who don’t understand that I am mentally ill. I do have a therapist whenever I need to talk about a problem. I am glad I am not bi-polar because those people really suffer in their minds. They must feel all alone in their illness.


Many sufferers of bipolar not only take medication, but also seek counseling on a weekly bases (both individual and group). You and your wife should seek out counseling to help you along. Also, for you, read up on bipolar to help you with your patience and sanity. You should also read The Bipolar Child (as should your wife) because there is now a probability that your child may be diagnosed bipolar one day and the sooner you’re educated on the signs, the sooner you can take action (also it may help your wife to get back on her meds as soon as she delivers - my sil who’s bipolar refused to go back on her meds after delivery because she thought she didn’t have a problem, that it was just the rest of us with the problem and she only went back on them when she reached a horrible bottom of thoughts of suicide when her son was 11 months old). Your cross right now is not a light one, but remember, it is also not light for your wife either. If you read bipolar websites/forums you’ll find that many bipolar women either avoid pregnancy or have abortions because of how they are when off medication.


I’m so sorry for what both you and your wife are going through–just remember this: your wife is sick and she’s giving up treatment for your baby. Don’t threaten to divorce her–no matter what she does. I’m not bipolar, but I do know that during both the short times I was pregnant, I had very bad mood swings because of the medications I was on. If my husband had threatened to divorce me while I was dealing with the anxiety and pain and a pregnancy, I would probably have gone ballistic.

Now I’m not bipolar and I know that your situation is much more serious than mine was, but I think you really need counseling to know better how to handle your frustration with your wife’s condition. It just really seems that she’s cornered with no medication and a husband who whips out the d-word. So I commend you for trying to change things but I think the solution is going to involve you BOTH getting help.

Like PP’s have said–your wife needs to be closely monitored and you need to see if there is a way your wife can go on medication at some point into the pregnancy. And you need to see a counselor.




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