Psychiatry & Psychology--General/bipolar 2 infidelity

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Question
My wife was just diagnosed with bipolar 2.  Recently I discovered that my wife has been unfaithful to me in the last year and a half.  She initiated relationships through craigslist for casual encounters.  She had sexual relations with 8 different men in the last year and a half.  She emailed and set up meetings with 7 of these men once or twice. Once of the men she developed an email relationship and met with 5 or 7 times.  She was physical with him 5 times.  She claims that she felt worthless and depressed and that she was high on marijuana every time she was with these men.  She also claimed that she had slept with a person in 2007 3 times.  This person was selling her marijuana.  I would like to know if the bipolar 2 caused this?  Did the hypomania and hypersexuality cause this? Does this sound like something a person suffering from bipoar 2 would do?

Answer
Hi Matthew, thanks for your questions. You asked,

"I would like to know if the bipolar 2 caused this?  Did the hypomania and hypersexuality cause this? Does this sound like something a person suffering from bipoar 2 would do?"

The answer is that it is almost impossible for me to tell, for several reasons. One is that bipolar is almost always misdiagnosed these days. Some many people are diagnosed with the disorder that most who are diagnosed don't actually have the problem. Secondly, there are many causes for behavior - there isn't one thing that makes someone do something. Finally, people are unique, and react differently to things.

Theoretically, people, during manic episodes, do many impulse things (such as sex). Whether you wife was manic or the mania contributed to her behavior, IDK.

I would also not place much weight in a person's statements about 'why' they did something 'bad' or shameful. There's a lot of pressure that the person feels not to displease their spouse (you). Even without that, it takes a lot of work to understand oneself to that level, and most people cannot do that well, if at all. If you are able to listen w/o judgment (very hard to do), then it's possible to encourage the other person to introspect, and the two of you might learn from that.

You might consider going to therapy yourself, to help you understand your own thoughts and feelings about this.  

Psychiatry & Psychology--General

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Bruce Borkosky, Psy.D.

Expertise

any related to psychology, especially related to forensic psychology

Experience

15 years as a licensed psychologist, 15 years in private practice. My practice began primarily doing individual and group psychotherapy, is now devoted to assessments, but I occasionally do take on clients in therapy.

Organizations
American Psychological Association

Education/Credentials
B.A. psychology, B.A., music, Ohio Wesleyan U., 1978 MCS, computer science, University of Dayton, 1984 MA, psychology, Miami Inst. of Psychology, 1991 Psy.D., psychology, Miami Inst. of Psychology, 1993 post doctoral training in Neuropsychology, Fielding Institute, 1995-1997

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