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How do I get my husband to admit he's bipolar and his nighttime secret masturbation?

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Hello Mark,

I was glad to find your website.

I am married to a man who is bipolar and won't admit it. But I know because he has said that he used to be bipolar but God has healed him. Well, praise God for his healing power, but to make this story short:

I understand that heavy sex drives can be a part of the side effects of bipolar, so in these last few months, I've noticed a change in our sex life. My husband has started to get naked every night and sleep on the edge of the bed that is close to our bathroom. I could hear some moaning of pleasure and he would hop out of bed and go to the toilet. It would be a little silent for a moment, but then he would urinate. I could smell some semen effect when he would get into the bed after he would come in the toilet. I told him about this and he denies it. He won't admit it.

How do I get him to admit it? Because it's not good and is hurting our marriage. I feel worthless and that he could care less about pleasing me sexually. And that's not good at all.

This question was submitted by 'Dana'

mark tyrrell

Mark says...

Hello Dana and thank you for writing in.

When we label someone as bipolar or, in fact, with any condition, we may come to see all of their behaviour as symptomatic of that condition when it might not be. Some people have high sex drives not as a side effect or symptom of a condition, but as a characteristic of who they are as a person.

Your husband may be genuinely bipolar, but originally this was a condition called 'manic-depression', in which sufferers would go from wild psychotic states in which a sense of reality was all but lost down into states of severe depression that may have resulted in an inability to leave the bed for months at a time.

An increase in diagnosis – some say a widening of the criteria for diagnosis in order to create a market for drugs – had diagnoses go from ten in a million a few years back to 1 in 20 now. This is known as 'disease mongering' in order to create pharmaceutical markets.

It may be your husband is or was genuinely bipolar or got caught up in a frenzy of professional diagnosis, so I urge you to read this short blog to see what you think about that: 'Am I bipolar?'.

It may be that your husband genuinely doesn't feel (and perhaps isn't) genuinely bipolar. You don't say whether he displays other symptoms (such as psychotic mania and paralyzing depression) or just has mood swings. If the only symptom is a powerful sex drive, then that certainly shouldn't be seen as evidence of Bipolar Disorder on its own.

It may be that your husband is highly embarrassed about masturbating at night and therefore might be quite naturally reluctant to talk about this. Admitting it to you would only feel natural if he felt that would help in some way. You don't say how often or whether you and your husband make love, but it may be that tensions in the relationship are blocking a good sex life at the moment.

I would focus on reigniting intimacy between the two of you rather than trying to get him to admit this or that. You may find this useful: 'Increase Emotional Intimacy in Relationships'. You might also suggest that you'd like him to pleasure you and take pleasure in pleasuring you. But if he's been feeling under pressure to perform or admit some 'sinful' wrongdoing or feeling overly judged, then that may have been blocking intimacy.

You both have needs and you need to be needed too, of course, so tell him what you need in a gentle way and work to build the relationship.

All best wishes for your future together,


watch icon Published by Mark Tyrrell - August 31st, 2015 in

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