My fiancé has rapid cycling Bipolar disorder. We have been together for 8 years and have a 6 year old son. I love him dearly and want to make our relationship work, but it's been a very bumpy road due to the Bipolar symptoms. When he's manic, he's the greatest guy in the world; fun, charming, sweet, loving, romantic, energetic, talkative. However, when the depression sets in, it's like he becomes a completely different person. He is very apathetic, irritable, insensitive, angry, hostile, and verbally/emotionally abusive to me. Everything I do isn't right, and he takes everything as a personal attack, like I'm doing things purposely to upset him. He flips it around on me when he has been mean and nasty and tries to justify his irrational anger by telling me that the reason he is mad or upset is because of something I did wrong, and tries to lay the blame for it on me. He screams and yells at me, cusses me out, calls me names, and is just plain mean to me. It's extremely upsetting, and after 8 years of walking on eggshells I suffer from severe anxiety, depression, chronic pain, irritable bowel syndrome, and fibromyalgia- all of which are conditions caused by chronic stress, and being verbally/emotionally abused.
I need advice on how to deal with his anger when he 'a in a depressive phase so that it doesn't continue to affect my physical/mental health. I don't know how to most effectively reduce or manage his hostility towards me. Nothing I do seems to work, and I wind up being upset and miserable for days until he comes out of it- it literally affects my well being and ability to function. If I don't find a way to manage this, I don't know if I'll be strong enough to stay in this relationship. I desperately want to keep my family together, and love my fiancé, but we can't keep going on like this.
Does anyone have any suggestions or advice about how to manage anger/hostility issues in a bipolar partner?