If She Knew What She Wants . . .

Posted on January 31, 2011. Filed under: Personal Growth and Freedom, Redemption | Tags: , , |

Note: This is a post from my blog Bipolar His (A Personal Diary of a Non-Bipolar Spouse)* in which I discuss the gift we have through freedom of choice, supernatural love and of course recognition of and belief in the eternal value of another human being.

On my own I do not have this capacity to love unconditionally, but through God and the grace born by Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross I am empowered through the guidance of the Holy Spirit to be more than a conqueror . . . and in the process of this renewal as I reach out to another I myself am ultimately saved.

* also be sure to check out the corresponding Bipolar Hers blog, written with honesty and courage by my wife Jennifer who has just recently been diagnosed as being Bipolar.

No sense thinking I could rehabilitate her
When she’s fine, fine, fine
She’s got so many ideas traveling around in her head
She doesn’t need nothing from mine

lyrics from the song If She Knew What She Wants by Jules Shear

The lyrics from the song cascade in an whirlwind of simultaneous recognition at both the challenges and melancholic ache one feels when you love someone who suffers from Bipolar disorder. This is especially true if you have always lived your life on the deepening principles of self-reliance and a belief in the freedom we have as human beings to exercise our own wills and chart the course of our lives.

I used to think, and within this context, how could anyone be conflicted to the point of not knowing what they want? Note the reference to the words used to.

Do not get me wrong, I still firmly believe that we are all given the great gift of free choice however, not all have the faculty or ability to use this freedom in the manner it was intended. Perhaps this is the lesson that I have had to learn being a partner in what is called the couples illness.

It’s funny but before Jennifer charted a new course which started with recognizing and then confronting the illness that for most of her life has colored the lens through which she viewed the world, she would often times in a fit of rage accuse me of controlling her. The basis for these arguments centered most around the frustration I would feel (and express) when yet another financial time bomb would go off leaving me scrambling to level the family ship on an even keel and make up for lost ground.

Some have a style
That they work hard to refine
So they walk a crooked line
But she won’t understand
Why anyone would have to try
To walk a line when they could fly

Nothing of course could have been further from the truth as you begin to realize the futility of trying to contain or minimize the damage that results from a rapid cycling of highs and lows. In fact there are times that you feel completely powerless because of the undeniable force that encompasses the one you love.

I’d say her values are corrupted
But she’s open to change
Then one day she’s satisfied and
The next I’ll find her crying
And it’s nothing she can explain


I am not talking about a deliberate cessation of decency or an outright abandonment of values, nor am I looking to provide anyone with an excuse for explaining away intentionally contrived bad behavior. Although it is the lack of clarity between this shifting moral line that separates the two, that obfuscates a true understanding of the irrationality with which you are dealing. It is as if you are flying in weather where the line of horizon that divides the earth from the heavens has vanished into an indiscernible haze of at times paralyzing uncertainty. You just do not know what to do anymore, and you certainly do not feel any sense of control or power.

Now some would suggest that you just leave, which given the fact that 90% of all marriages in which one or both partners is Bipolar ends is divorce, seems to be the ultimate choice or perhaps act of power one can exercise. But here’s the thing, when you love someone, and it is not a selfish love where the focus is on how that person makes you feel, there is a genuine caring that transcends simple emotion.

The undeniable pull of commitment that is based on something more than romantic love that reaches within a soul of a man that is neither the product of need nor the acquiescence of personal values in favor of martyrdom, but is instead rooted in the recognition of and belief in the eternal value of another human being. It is a supernatural love, where seeking a fleeting feeling of self gratification takes a back seat to the promises of a shared tomorrow.

It is in the promises of her sparkling smile and the crinkling of her furrowed brow when the sweetness of her vulnerability surfaces past the the muted undertones of extreme behavior that provides the evidence that this tomorrow is more than a hoping against hope mirage. It is elusive at times and for the time being to be certain, but it is real and it is with this power of free choice that I run the race . . . but not alone, for she is there with me. As long as we take this journey together, while there will be setbacks I am sure, together we will cross that line of realizing our potential both as individuals and as a couple.

The fact that Jennifer is beside me perhaps shows that she does after all knows what she wants!

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