Recently, Bob posted a story on our original Bipolar Blog called “Heartbroken and devastated from ending a marriage with my bipolar wife.” In his story, Bob talks about all he would do for his wife only to feel unappreciated and heartbroken. I don’t know Bob or his wife or their situation. Nobody really knows what goes on behind closed doors in anyone’s home. However, I could sort of relate to Bob’s description of how he responded and how he felt.

When you’re in a loving relationship with someone who has bipolar disorder, it’s common to feel frustrated and unappreciated at times. No matter how much you do to show your love, your loved one may not be in a condition to return that love or respond to it in any positive way. The more you do without receiving anything positive in return, the greater the frustration and resentment.

You might start to wonder, “What about me? How long should I have to put up with this?”

140 Comments to
What Happens to Love in a Bipolar Relationship?

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  1. When I was diagnosed with bipolar I didn’t receive the support that I needed at the time from my boyfriend, he was busy with other stuff… I think he doesn’t know either what it is, and besides that we live far away from each other and it’s going to be for a long time that way because I need the support of my family. of course my mood when I talk with him swings a lot but must of all I feel sad, lonely and despair. Don’t know what to do… thank you

    • Hi Dani, You didn’t ask to have bipolar and yes it is a lonely disease even if you are in a group of friends you feel alone and so dishearted..nothing can bring you out of it unless you keep super busy with something you like and stick with it!!The right meds can truly help alot and then some and getting a stubborn mind with your illness for example…if you are feeling that lonely feeling or spinning thoughts train yourself and mind just to even say out loud you aren’t ruining my day piss off and concentrate on something else not the feeling. Takes alot of work but it really can be done. My hubby i have been with since i was 15 we dated alot i never knew he had bipolar since he was 16, he was like anyone else just quiet not loud and goofy like me. When after our 1st baby when i was 17 he had his 1st deep depression. I was so confused. Did i do somthing wrong, was the baby too much stress? He went to his job daily no daily but ignored his son and i and our short lived closeness stopped as did our intimacy times…I feel so lonely and ugly :(You can be different then him show feelings to your partner, be verbally open..i know this illness isn’t fair but you keep seeing your shrink and try to remember what i wrote and you can have a very happy life i promise with some work from you, t.c. Jacie

    • I hope you are in treatment and have some other family support. If not there are support groups every where, just check online or with your Doc. I am bipolar and have been well maintained on my meds for over 20 years. Good luck, get the right meds and stay in treatment until your are level!

    • I have been married 21 years and diagnosised bi-polar for 6. Since the day I was diagnosised, it’s like I fell out of love with my husband. I don’t want to be around him, I don;t want to talk to him, I want no part of him. I don’t understand what has happened. We were so happy for 15yrs and all of a sudden I can not bear to look at hi, I won’t sleep in the same bed with him. I know deep in my heart he is still the same good man I married and we could have the happy marriage back if I would just stop, but I can’t seam to stop my deep resentment of him. It’s almost like I blame him for all that has happened . I want no part of him. Please help me understand this.

      • I know just how you feel. I have been married to a bipolar for 30 years, He is in a swing now and is driving me crazy. I am so over him and really wish I had never met him if, however I love my children. He is really driving me crazy now drinking, talking incesently and being generally obnixious.

      • Abby I understand most people don’t. Ive been with my wife 3years. I’m bi polar and its tough. My mood swings are horrible at times I see it coming but I cant stop it when its building. Like she is always in a excellent mood I sometimes resent it. Our brain chemistry is not like others. I wish I could wake in a great mood I feel like I fake it. I’m a good Christian and try to live that lifestyle but my anger starts again and then my cursing and yelling begin. Wow is it powerful. Then I blame God for it. My meds work most of the time. Plus I’m a recovering addict and that doesn’t help. I love my wife but like you I push her away at times more lately. Shes so mooshy and happy it makes me sick at times. I evny her I wish I could be that way. So abby your not alone so don’t push him away know its the disease not the woman. Try 12step program its not just for addicts it really does help. Please write me we have a lot in common. Adam

      • I know this is hard on you . And on the other hand it is equally or harder on your hubby. It is as equally unfair to him as is to u. Bad behavior on your end is not classified as bipolar it is bad behavior as is with everyone. So if how u r treating your hubby is wrong and u know it then confess to him u know it is wrong and u want it to change but need help. Recognize his hurt from your behavior confess your wrong. Remember people don’t heal until they take responsibility for there actions no matter how u feel! feelings will not get you where u want to go , behavior will! Don’t let this disease take your marriage . I challenge u this day to come out of deception!

  2. I was in a 3-year relationship with a man I loved deeply. He had a history of depression which I knew about before we started dating and he told me about 8 months into our relationship that he could feel a depressive episode starting. Because he didn’t have heath coverage, it was difficult to get him to seek a psychiatrist and start to take anti-depressants. However, he did so because I was so afraid for him given that he was having suicidal ideations.

    When he began taking antidepressants we were both optimistic. He had been consumed by depression for 2 years and I had waited to get the man I loved deeply back as a full partner in my life. We had been talking about getting married prior to his depression, and I really wanted to return to a healthy relationship where we could continue that discussion.

    The antidepressant made an immediate and dramatic change in his mood and behavior. Even he noticed how much better he felt on just the half dosage. By the time he reached the full dose, he had energy – tons and tons of energy! He spent 8-10 hours a day cleaning – cleaning the house, cleaning the yard, cleaning his car. He even washed the walls! He didn’t have a job – because his depression had consumed him so much that he was unable to work – but he didn’t look for a job. He said, “I know I should be worried about money, but I’m not. I feel good for a change, and I just want to enjoy this for a while.”

    His behavior didn’t make sense. But, at the same time, he had been so depressed for so long, the change was welcome. I had him back, in my life, responsive, awake, active, communicative. If he was enjoying this time of enhanced mood, I was, too. Things would settle down soon, and normalize – or so I thought.

    I had no idea what I was seeing was a danger sign. Because I was not a family member, I was cut off from accessing his medical records or communicating with his psychiatrist. I had not been included in the treatment plan. In truth, I didn’t think it was necessary until things really got out of hand.

    Our relationship ended in the worst possible way. He cheated on me with someone he barely knew and caught herpes from her. He believed he would be marrying this girl whom he barely knew. He stopped paying his rent so that he could spend money on her. He borrowed money from friends and family since he still wasn’t working. He believed that a friend would give him money and magically fix all of his money problems.

    The crash came soon after the new relationship began. By then he was no longer a part of my life – I could not be part of his life after the cheating and herpes (which, thankfully, I did not catch from him). But we were in a long, and extremely painful, process of sorting apart our lives which forced me to have some contact with him. Once he told me that his antidepressants had stopped working for him, but recently started to work again, I woke-up.

    I started to do research and found that people with bipolar disorder are often misdiagnosed as having depression and that some antidepressants (including the one he was taking) could trigger mania. It was clear that he was in a manic phase, that his life was out of control, that he was seriously damaging his heath, his relationships, and his finances. When I found out that he was 2 months behind on his rent, I felt I had no choice but to contact his family.

    I told his family about his new relationship, about the herpes, about his irresponsible spending behaviors. I also told them that he and I had been talking about getting married before his depression began – something that they did not know since we hadn’t finalized any plans before his depression hit. I knew better than anyone what he had thrown away in this new relationship with the girl who gave him herpes, and I knew that all the things he was thinking about his life – that he would marry this new girl, that he had no reason to worry about money, that something would just magically happen to make everything okay – were all part of the mania caused by the antidepressant. I had been there with him when he started taking the drug. I could report to his family the immediate mood change, the hyper activity, the cleaning, the talking, the inflated optimism, etc. I thought surly, with the new relationship, the herpes, and his not paying his rent, they would listen to me and help him get the right treatment.

    Sadly, they did not. His family rejected me. I am not sure that they ever believed anything I reported to them. They did believe him when he told them he was planning to get married, and they didn’t want to appear to not support his new relationship. As his Mom said to me, “He is happy now, and you just need to accept that you didn’t make him happy.” It was crushing. It is 3 years later and it is still crushing – I am crying now as I write this.

    Needless to say, the relationship burned out as quickly as it began. He found himself unemployed and broke. He was kicked out of his apartment. He moved back home to live with his family. He had been unemployed for 3 years, and in this economy, the best he’s been able to do is to find a part-time job that doesn’t pay enough for him to move out of his family’s home.

    I got a text from him the recently. “I miss you.” I had to tell him that we are not friends. We can never be friends. I wanted to marry this man and spend the rest of my life with him. But, I cannot and will not return to a relationship or friendship with him. I am not sure how much of that is because he is bipolar, or how much is because he cheated, or how much is because he now has herpes, or how much is because of how his family treated me. As I see it, all of those things are part of the same illness.

    He still doesn’t recognize that he has bipolar disorder; he thinks his medication works and doesn’t work sometimes. He simply doesn’t report his mood swings to his psychiatrist – whom he sees every couple months for a refill. He doesn’t see a counselor. But, in truth, those are not the biggest problems for me when I think of a possible friendship with him.

    The biggest problem – the one that will always prevent me from being a friend – is that I know he will tell me the truth, I will hear the pain, I will see the danger signs, and I have no way to help him, or safety net for myself. Since I am not family, I cannot be part of a treatment “team.” And his family has shown me all too clearly what side they will take if he ever gets so sick again that he is destroying his life. I can handle him telling me that I’ve “destroyed his life” – I know he was sick and couldn’t think right when he’s said that to me. But, I can’t handle his family refusing to listen to me when I tell them that he needs help.

    As I said, it’s been 3 years. I am still crushed by all that happened between us. He has not gotten healthy enough to be able to talk to me – just a few text messages and some emails over the past 3 years. He has not apologized for the things that he did – although he has admitted that he doesn’t remember many things that he did or said, so he can’t apologize for much of the most hurtful things he did to me.

    All I can do is look back and know that I did what was necessary to help him – even if telling his family hurt me more than he will ever know. He has lived with them for 2 years. He is in an environment where he is supported, where most of his anxiety is reduced, where he is safe. And, I know, regardless of what his family said to me, that they did listen to me; that they know I was right; that they were prepared to help him when his life crumbled.

    That is all I have from a relationship I wanted for the rest of my life – to know that I did what I had to do to keep him safe. It’s not a lot. But, it is something.

    • i completly understand the emotional trauma you are going through. about 4 years ago I met a lady I thought was the answer to my prayers. she was a lady and seemed like a great person and mom. myself being a single father of two girls aged 8 and 12 thought this person could really add something I might be missing. the relationship grew and I feel deeply very deep in love with this person. I rememberbring at her home and she said she had been taking medication for years to take the edge off and she didn’t need it. this was clue one. it was a mild anti depressant that her father and M.D. had prescribed and that he himself was self medicating for this ailment since it was heredity and he played it down. this was clue two. months passed and we did get married and I was incrediably happy, but noticing a change in more aggresssive behavior toward my kids from my wife. about this time I heard from my wife that her grandmother on her fathers side was mean all her life and she loved her grandfather and wondered why he put up with her since she was down right cruel to him. he finally passed away and she told mesh enacted her grandmother because of the way she treated her grandfather. this was clue three. Soon after I lost my job and money was tight, this was the begging of the end. she had been working at the same place where we met, and remember off her mess. About a year had passed and she was brought up on charges of employee abusive contact,she was a manager, and misappropriation of funds. at home the aggressiveness was now abusive behavior toward my girls. she stopped giving them toothpaste toilet paper and feline products because they used to much. she also was cussing them out and myself daily about eating to much food and crumbles left on the counter top that you would need an electron microscope to see. she lost her job and started applying for work but nothing . meanwhile I was ding the same, but I handle all the domestic duties such as picking up ala the kids from school transporting them their activities, cooking all meals cleaning the house and taking care of the bills.we still continued date night. she laned a sales job commission only with new York life. I told her this going to be tough she said I can do it and she was so impressed by all th cars fancy office spaces and men in suits. she started and the hours become longer and longer. eventually she stopped coming home. meanwhile all the problems we had where my fault and my kids 100%. She ended up getting a boyfriend and th irrational behavior escalaed to point of absurdity. Example, my oldest daughter is graduating with a 4.6 gap and going to Princeton on full ride academic scholarship, she was pissed because her son could decide at 20 where he was going and.hewas her families golden child. it gets better, so then she proceeds to file for divorce lie to get a restraint order against me and my kids having all of thrown out with no where and no money to go. the neighbors took the girls in but islept in mycar for three days until someone said I could sleep on the floor for the next three weeks. I could see my kids for three weeks because I had to stay 100yards away, all because she lied to judge. at the trial she then said my oldest daughter was shooting up heroin and smoking pot in the house. The judge asked how that is possible since she was going to Princeton and she works at grocery store where they do drug testing? my wife yelled I have proof, what is it the judge asked she told me my wife said shehasfinancial wiped us out, she is non accountable and abusive to all she loves.she moved out to a place I don’t know where and for the first time there is peace and quiet in this home. do I miss her yes. the hardest thing to cope with is the reality that she undiagnosed, unmedicated bipolar and her father the doctor is adding to the problem. my other hurt is knowing show will be back and I will have to stand tall for my girls and look her in the eye and say NO, you are not welcome back here. I still love her but the demon inside is more than my family can bear.

      • Once again ever wonder why always on a bipolor website amazing Princeton really? Like the story of USC and and had a PHD, just like praying on people when their mother is dying of cancer.

    • Kat,
      Thanks for your posting and I am sorry of your pain. I have recently been dating a Man that I really enjoyed and to have kind of known him for the past 7 years was shocked to know he is bi polar. He just went through his second time of depression and shutting me out completely and would not accept any of my attempts to contact him. After he finally answered my call i was able to get out of him that he knew he couldn’t ever give my Daughter and I what we needed and was breaking it off. He has known he has had some type of depression and possible bi polar, but for the past 13 years has done nothing for treatment. He too has no health insurance and no motivation to getting medication. After reading your posting i Realized that as bad as it hurts I know I need to let him go and give up all hope. This is a sad disease and I do believe from all I have researched that your boyfriend is bi polar. Thanks again for sharing.

      Tami

    • WOW I must say that if I didn’t know better I would have thought I actually posted that blog myself. With the exception of me being in a gay relationship & not a str8 one and my man also suffering as an alcoholic the circumstances you have described are identical.

      I never understood how my partner could one day love me so much and the next hate me!, but yet I was the same person as the previous day. I feel as though I have done and tried so very much with him, I cook, clean, go to work, pay the bills, am the social organizer of the relationship, renovated his house for him (as it was an absolute dump btw), helped him re-establish contact with his children (yes both of us were married once) and also with some members of his family – he was ostracized by them – like you I have tried to get them to help me with his condition, but have recently discovered they rubbish me behind my back and likewise I think his mom is the same as him as she has severe alcohol problems and in front of me is extremely disparaging about all her son’s and daughters in-laws. Also like you my man doesn’t work – as he is either too depressed or too hung over to do anything – Also like you he has cheated on me more times than he thinks I actually know about – ATM in the next day or so he will be entering REHAB as his alcohol problem has once again hit a extreme point once again. As a gay couple I have no legal rights so i am not able to talk to even talk to his psychiatrist. i have had in my mind for sometime that my partner is disguising the extent of disorder and is only diagnosed with Anxiety disorder, but after reading about Bipolar and Alcoholism being co existent, I really feel he has been misdiagnosed, but am helpless to even have it assessed. I’m living in hope that after rehab, as he will also be prescribed Baclofen to assist with his drinking issues, that things will improve in our relationship, I guess if it doesn’t change I wont have a choice but to walk away – seems from what I read here it only ever ends up that way, which is extremely disappointing to me personally – But thanks for your experience, made me feel a lil better about myself if only just for a brief while

    • This story is sad. Sounds like mine. My bipolar ex is 51 and his 69 yr old sister lives next door to him.I lived there for awhile and would try to remain calm so I would talk to her. She would confirm his anger and actions and tell me he was like that with her and in previous relationships. She would offer to come over so we could chat. The minute she was in his presence, she would flip a switch and tell me if I would shut the f-up, then everything would be fine. He would sit there and watch her. She would tell me that she understands why he is rude and violent because I irritate her too! She said I was the problem and we should end our relationship because it wasn’t going to work. WOW. I made a plan and moved away. I realized I couldn’t be abused by both of them. He came and met me for 2 wks but ran back when he started to cycle-the doctor forgot to send his meds. There is soooooo much here to tell you,I can’t begin. I started reading forums online-no access to a computer when I was staying with him, anyhow I google everything, always have. What I found out…Bipolar is genetic AND I now realize his sister is too…families will feed off eachother!!!! It all makes sense now. Unless he gets away from her, he will never get better. Neither will she! He is on meds since May, but the doctor does not practice properly. Just mails his presciptions but no therapy. I don’t even believe he is on the right meds. My ex has no insurance so that is that! Plus he is in denial. His sister believes that his meds are fine, he just needs to work and I am too demanding in our relationship, she says that she doesn’t expect things from her husband-whose previous wife committed suicide because she was mentally ill-hum. In confidence, I had told her that we weren’t having sex and her reply “well if you are that horny, then just go out and get someone and he will never know!” My mouth went open-what!!! I am not wrong to want sex with my boyfriend-3 times in 7 months is not ok!!! . Needless to say….my heart is broken. This was the most abusive relationship EVER. I could go on and on. I am trying to figure this all out. My brain is exhausted. PLUS his roller coaster ride has left me homeless and jobless. I spent my time worried about him instead of myself. I am so ashamed. I was a very independent person before he came along. Single parent for 19 years-raised a good kid and did it all on my own. My friends say he caught me at a horrible time. Empty nest-menopause-and changing jobs. I am devastated. He knows he needs help-but isn’t willing to leave the comfort of his sister-who by the way pays for everything, complains later that she spends so much money on him, but pops right up to pay-she over spends as well-bipolar….

    • Hello , as I read your story, I felt so very sad. I am in the same situation but was married for 16 years. The big difference is that she never admitted in the beginning of our relationship , her parents were in such denial that even when she started on medicine , her father said your fine, this was after 3 stints in phych hospitals.and for so many years we went through such emotional highs and lows. She was mostly manic and when depressed would withdrawal . I thought it was a mid life crisis and gave her space. We have two great kids, 15 and 13 and they have seen me go through and tolerate so much pain. I realize now that I have been in a abusive relationship. I hope that you feel fortunate, that you got away, so often people that are bi polar are so charming, so much fun, so enticing that healthy people can’t see the other side of them. My wife cheated on me, declaired love with a 22 year old homeless kid and financially has crippled our family. Consider yourself SO fortunate that you were the one that got away . I wish you all the happiness.

    • Your story is almost identical to my story…my husband is bipolar, everything started sudenly last year; he is undiagnosed and this year in February left me; since June he is in a relationship with a person I considered our family friend. But the pain I received exactly like you, from his family, not believing me when I told them what happened….my mother in law that told me “now, that he has a new relationship, he may be more calm and ok … suggesting that our relation was not good for him. After 13 yearsof HAPPY MARIAGGE….I was exactly like you said: CRUSHED. I am still in this hell as I am still married to him, I have no power to divorce. Can anyone tell me: if bipolar is an emotional disorder, HOW on earth he can start another love relation? does he love that woman? after 13 years of happy mariagge can he get involve and be happy as quickly with another woman, about which I know he didn’t like her, he founded her unattracted as a woman…?)How long can last this kind of relation?

    • hi there,

      i’m sorry to hear your story, but i would like to ask when he was feeling down, what did you do,my gf has a minor case of bipolar, but i dont want to annoy her more, so hows best to act with her when she has an episode? i dont live with her but see her 5 times a week, when shes is in a mood is it best to leave her to it? or try and comfort her?

    • This is so touching. I have bipolar 2, my wife of 3 months has…something. it is unclear. She has a family history on the XX side of borderline, and she fits many criteria, but she has not been diagnosed, and I am not a doctor.

      I am bipolar2, but I am very high functioning and in fact never had a hypomanic episode until A’s drug addiction came to full light.

      We married , despite the obvious challeneges, because she said she wanted to get clean and also because she was diagnosed with a very dangerous cholesterol condition (she has the blood of an 80 year old unhealthy man as a 26 year old woman).

      Anyway, she has suddenly cut all ties with me, her mother and sister, and has gone to a different state to work as a bartender in a strip club. I was willing to take her back, bt I would not support her recent choices, and she has called me a pathetic excuse for a man and vowed to never return.

      I did love her deary, and all the more so since I watched her and helped her try to be healthy, but now she is gone and has no one to help her, and I am very afraid where she will be in 3 years, 4 classes away from her degree and in the environment she has chosen, as an addicted person.

      I cannot take her back now, and probably cannot be her friend. Thank you for sharing your story, and lets hope we all find the happy lives that are out there for us.

    • Wow!! I so relate! 6 years in the relationship with someone and I know see all the signs! We were due to be married but he’s no longer in love with me because he is in love with god!!! Past substance abuse issues masked all of the symptoms! Blasting music all day long even at 6 am driving like a complete idiot! Family members being concerned! Daughters moving out! I am the last one standing because of my heart! At first I thought it was me and maybe I didn’t understand the whole god thing! It’s become very delusional thoughts about god like he works for him on Facebook saving souls and god talks to him all day! He would never see that anything is wrong please I’m at a loss for words!!

      • I’m in the same boat as you, this site has been an eye opener! We were recently engaged, but now that my partner is manic, I’m no longer the girl he prayed for, I’m suddenly selfish, a liar, I break promises & I never listen to him. It’s like what the way he views me is actually what he’s doing to everyone. His faith has gone to the point that it’s extremist & very off beat. He “prophecies” all day, is totally connected with God & saving souls, getting ready for the end of the world. He considers his faith to be far more advanced then mine is suddenly. In his delusion he thinks its ok to ditch his family to do God’s work.

        I understand your pain. I too am heartbroken. We have 3 children between us & when he is well, he is a normal, kind, gentle, loving & involved father. He is potentially throwing all this away because of his refusal to be treated by professionals (he is currently in a ward)

      • Feeling Heartbroken,
        I have had a similar experience with my BF. I would love to talk to you to share stories and see where he is at now in the situation. How are you doing?

  3. Reading a popular layman’s book on Bipolar, the Author advises his Bipolar Patients to ‘separate’. He was of the opinion that most Bipolar Sufferers marry an abusive Spouse.

    Interesting opinion, one I hold true for myself. What I find so interesting, we choose relationships of what we are accustomed. Bipolar is cross-generational.

    Upon being diagnosed, I traced back past relationships. All had bipolar in the family. My siblings also attracted relationships with mental illness in the family.

  4. Reading on this site makes me think. I am Bipolar since 2005. I was married and divorced but the issue was not my diagnoses.

    I have gone through many episodes and the one thing I experience is a person that continues to do things for me but in a real controling way. The issue is I need a job and do not have a car. I presently live with a friend and want to get my own place. I feel out of control and know the only thing for me to do is move.

    The individual where I stay wants me to stay on here, but it is not a healthy situation. Having the Bipolar and worrying about down the road makes it really tuff. I just want to be myself and independent. I do not like for others to make my life feel like I am strapped.

  5. Do bipolar people often self-sabotage? My bf was diagnosed as bipolar and throughout our relationship, he has broke up with me repeatedly only to change his mind a few days or weeks later. He did it again recently, and it cost us the apartment we had just rented. It is hard for me to understand what is bipolar and what is him. After he ended the relationship this time, he stopped seeing his therapist which made me think he is unstable. But there are times I doubt that he will snap out of it. Does anyone have any experience with a bipolar relationship similar to this? Where the bipolar person sabotages a good thing?

    • Not sure if you are still in this relationship, but this is the 1st time I have looked at this Forum today, I am in love with a man who I have been with for almost a year, and yes, I could swear he sabotages our relationship from almost the very beginning. He will pick fights with me, and if he can’t find anything to argue about, he will make up something. I am so heartbroken. Other times, he’s the most wonderful man I have ever been with. He continually breaks up with me, texts me constantly with abusive words, then about a week later, will either call or text me with apologies. It is the biggest roller coaster ride I have ever seen. I know I should not see him anymore, but it is very hard. He takes medications for diabetes, but I have not actually looked at all of his meds. Not sure if he is taking Lithium or what.

      • sounds like he might have BPD (borderline personality disorder)…there’s a really fascinating website with tons of articles about the condition so if you’re still with this dude & want to learn about it check out gettinbetter.com & go to articles.cheers

    • We bipolar people enter very strong denial depending on where we are in treatment. I was diagnosed in 1985 and went through several serious periods of denial. I was lucky to have family who never gave up on me. I am well controlled on my medication and now would never stop taking it. So to answer your question more directly it is not self sabotage we just do not want to accept our condition and the fact we have to take meds the rest of our lives. It is another way of losing control of your life. I did end up going through a divorce at the time of my diagnosis. I have been married now for over 25 years to a husband who understands and supports me.

    • I do the same thing to my whole family.

  6. Confused, I was in one like that. I think maybe we CAN do that, but it’s hard to say. I think we do this because perhaps we don’t know how to handle fights. Eventually, hopefully one learns to stop this behavior, whether on our own or when we’re with the right person, even if it still takes time with that person. It is hard for a partner, though, if the patient does not want treatment – in that case I can understand having to leave. Otherwise, I’m biased, haha, and want lovers to stay and see it out because I do believe it gets better. Maybe not with all but there are success stories, and I have become lucky in love after all (not career, haha). I think your BF needs to keep trying to find the right medications. Good luck.

  7. BTW, I have bipolar but I believe I always show love. I can be a little self-focused financially since I used to have so much more money than now and it’s so hard to have so little when I used to buy nice things (more), but I shower my honey with affection, I think always. He just gets frustrated when I’m depressed because he’s always trying to make me happy. I tell him I’m always happy WITH HIM, but I get depressed sometimes, it’s my illness, nothing is wrong with him. Well, I think it’s a discussion we’ll have for a while.

  8. Confused, my situation seems exactly the same as yours- and I wonder if self-sabotaging is the way to explain it. My boyfriend has not been “diagnosed” as BP, but I suspect it through my own research. Within minutes of being hopeful and loving, he will turn to want to disappear from the face of the earth. Sometimes it is an hour, sometimes it is a week. He is always regretful for the things he says, but seems to need to be in a position of total control when the episode is happening. He blocks incoming phone calls and emails but then insists on texting and calling to leave messages. I don’t know how to get him to get help, because I know this isn’t “him”. It has started since being in rehab for prescription drugs and alcohol, and I suspect by cutting out these methods of masking all the other symptoms, he absolutely doesn’t have a clue how to deal with them. I’m afraid for his safety, he has cut out his family and his children, and I’m the last one before he leaves on a motorcycle to “start a new life”.

    How to get him help when he doesn’t want it? Scary…..

  9. I was with a man for 16 years and I stood by him through the most difficult times of his life. Than I started having alot of problems and didn’t know why. The shopping sprees, moods, fighting, crying. He ended up walking out. He was very controlling when he left I was devastated, I wouldn’t leave my room, eat did nothing but sleep and drink until I would either have a major episode or pass out. Than the voices oh God the voices and I would talk back and the hallucinations and I just wanted to die that’s all I could think about was dying but I have 3 kids and I couldn’t hurt them. I was so bad my daughter was scared to walk into the house cause she wasn’t sure if she would find me dead. She ended up having me admitted. She was 17 years old and they wouldn’t release me without her permission or the doctor’s. That was the best thing that ever happened to me. I still have problems but not nearly as bad. I think I need a med adjustment because I have been on the same ones for 2 years.

  10. I am in a relationship with a woman who has bipolar disorder, but I did not find out until a couple of weeks ago when she started to suffer from symptoms. We’ve been dating for a year and a half, and have known each other for seven. During that time, she has never told me she even has the disorder, nor has she suffered any episodes (that I know of). I know this is not her first time having symptoms because according to her family, she had manic/depressive symptoms about a decade ago. I realize that bpd is genetic and she can’t control her moods, but I can’t help but feel shocked and deceived by the fact that she did not tell me about her disorder. This makes it difficult for me to even stay with her. I still love her, but the thought of maintaining a relationship is troubling if she is going to continue to be secretive about this. I’m just going to wait and see how she acts after she recovers.

  11. Just ended a4 month relationship with a man that sabotaged our relationship. His black and white thinking, and controlling active lifestyles never made sense to me. He would do things on impulse and go into a depressed state. I gave so much emotional support. It was like dating an emotional vampire. I neger understood this, but after doing research and matching many symptoms. Its obvious it is BPD and some mania and depressed symptons. He ended our relationship over night over nothing, and I was left with no answers. It is so heartbreaking because I know at the end of the day he is just ill.

    • Its so hard and unstable, sometimes no matter what you do, it isnt enough..All I can do is my best and know that it may or may not work out..I have chosen to live my life anyway…to try and be happy anyway..to take care of myself and enjoy time with the kids anyway…

  12. I have been in a relationship for over 5 years with a guy that I believe is bipolar. We recently broke up a few weeks ago. He told me he wasn’t in love with me anymore, which was a complete shock to me. I even found out later that he was planning to propose by Christmas.
    I have just talked to him since we broke up, and he told me he started to go to counseling and in his last session the counselor brought up that he might be bipolar.
    After he told me this everything seemed to make sense. In the beginning of our relationship I went through similar experiences (or cycles) where he would break up with me, act crazy, get depressed and then want to get back together with me. Even, his mother has told me about depression cycles he had when he was younger. Also, he has been on medication for depression and anxiety since he was a teen, and as child was diagnosed with ADHD.
    However, as of now, he still claims he’s not in love with me and now says he never was. I’m hurt and confused by his comments. I know what he says, but I don’t think it’s how he truly feels.
    For the past 4 years, we’ve had a great relationship. We wanted the same things out of life. We’ve always been completely honest with each other. And, he’s normally a loving and caring guy.
    He isn’t seeing anyone else, and said he had no desire to do so.
    I don’t understand how it came to this. It’s like he is someone else. He suddenly became extremely selfish and delusional. I have tried to understand and reason with him, but it only pushes him away. This is not him!
    I love him with all my heart and want him to work out his issues. I believe we could still be happy together with help, and I’m willing to do what it takes. But, I don’t know what to do. Should I try to support him during this time? Or, do I let him go?

    • Re : I am in the same situation, I have been in a marriage for many years, and she became a different person, I even wrote a song about it called “there is a stranger in my house” I allowed her back after a 4 day hypomanic sexcapade, . She admitted herself into a hospital and got on medicine.
      I held onto what used to be for a long time, but honestly, her feelings are gone and I can not waste any more time hoping that they will return. She is now a cold fish.
      If I did not know different I would say she is in love with someone else. She is now numb though and I have to be away from her because I still am in love with the life we had . I will move on and next time, I will really find out more about family history , before I get to involved .. Good luck

  13. My story is similiar to Kathrynanne. I’ve been out of my relationship for almost a year. The thought of its demise is equally heartwrenching. I had a wonderful relationship with my b/f. We had any normal relationship issues, but we worked them out with good communication. He had issues with depression as well. Mental illness runs in his family. It was clear that his father suffered from untreated BP and it resulted in his suicide. My ex exhibited many BP characteristics that I see now after the fact, but sadly, its too late. During the realtionship, he complained about feeling depressed. I innocently suggested he try a mild antidepressant to help him “take the edge off.” Big mistake. Looking back, I saw the build-up to mania, but I didn’t know what it was. He had just proposed to me and only 3 weeks later, he clearly alternated between a hypomanic /manic state for 3 months. The episode had a quick take off, happening within 5 days. Drinking to excess, lying all the time, spending money he didn’t have on expensive clothes. Spending hundreds of dollars at the bar on strangers. He was already in severe financial strain. Verbal abuse. Swearing at me. Racing thoughts. Irrational thoughts. Thoughts jumping from one thing to another. I couldn’t keep track. Very bizzare behavior. Extreme up & down moods. Uncontrollable anger, for instance, screaming at me for taking a quarter off the counter. Lying to his family about money & me. Painting this horrible picture of me which was simply not true. Lying to me about money. He was like a different person. So smug. Cruel & vicious. I had never experienced anything like it. It was like I was living with a different person that changed back and forth over time. I thought for sure he had a drinking/drug problem. The strange thing was that he had periods of normal, lucid behavior. I consulted with his mother and told her what was going on. She thought it was a drinking problem, too. Later, I find out he had been cheating and propositioning many other women during our entire engagement. I found all of this out after my discovery of his many sex profiles on very inappropriate sex sites, some crossed-gendered. It was unreal. I confronted him. The break-up was like a neutron bomb. The lies and betrayals never seemed to stop. I was shocked to see everything I thought was real to have never existed. I had been going through the motions thinking we should be planning the future when I was bombarded with all of his lies and betrayals all within the span of hours in one night. To this day I can liken it to someone taking an ax and chopping off his head, it was just so sudden & heartbreaking. In one moment he, our relationship, our future & our life together was gone. I had to go to a psychologist to deal with the trauma. After explaining all his behaviors, the timeline, his family’s mental health history, etc., the psych said it was BP with no doubt. Triggers to his mania include the antidepressant, engagement and making future plans. I told his family about what I discovered. However, I don’t know how seriously that they took it. Their thought was that “he just wasn’t ready to get married and he wasn’t grown-up up enough to handle things. I wasn’t the right person for him. I didn’t make him happy and was too controlling.” The sad thing is that this pattern will be repeated. I don’t think that they are not going to encourage him to get help. His mania is fed/encouraged by his co-workers, some family members, and additionally enabled by them. The whole situation is so upsetting, even now. I truly feel that my finace died. I lost him to a mental illness.

  14. Ohh guys.. This is so true.. Your post are so true, I went onto same relationship also.. my ex moves from relationship to relationship, when i first met him, he’s so down and almost like exagerated all the things that’s happening to him, and was like he’s the victim, we’re fine for week one, but after that he showed his true colours, so abusive, so draining, we broke up for almost 20+ times i can’t even count bec. of nonsense thing, he told me before he’s bipolar, but as months pass he kept on lying and lying and i no longer know what to believe he says he has ptsd, bipolar, schizoprenia, or sometimes he thinks he’s psycho or nything.. he loves me now, then when i got pissed he wants me back, then when i start to show him forgiveness he lash out on me again, i feel like im walking on eggshells.. i even gulped so many cruel words his nasty mouth spit on my face, from cunt, to slut, whore, fuck, then he’ll say sorry.. then do it again, blah blah.. whatever.. we even have plans on getting married, but when he got his work, guess he’s been lured by his new workmate… i think he cheated on me, and he just suddenly left me without any explanation, he just went with som1 whom he barely knows, i got traumatized, and i wanted to get into psychologist… i don’t even know how to explain to my parents and relatives abt. his sudden disappearance..

  15. I’ve been with my boyfriend for two years. We are currently living together, and I am bipolar. The first time we dated, I broke it off with him because we had problems communicating and he wasn’t assertive enough physically to convince me that he was actually attracted to me. Here’s the fun part – I have no idea how much of that was true, and how much of that was just my illness exaggerating things and making unimportant things important. Eight months later, we got back together, and moved in together five months after that. We have a solid, stable relationship, we communicate well (maybe even over-communicate!), we want the same things in life and have similar goals, and we have a future planned out together.
    Most of the time, this is amazing to me, and I love him. But because of my illness, there are times when this cozy, well-oiled relationship makes me feel claustrophobic in my own skin. I feel stuck, and forced into this relationship that I chose and that most of the time, I love. I have to remind myself that this is good, convince myself that it is working, look at the facts because with my bipolar, I can’t trust my own emotions.
    We’ve talked about breaking up, or just taking a break. Sometimes it makes me feel calmer, entertaining those ideas, and other times it makes me panic. We’re working on developing a plan to finally deal with my disorder – I’ve lost jobs and dropped out of school because of it – but the road will still be long and difficult.
    I just wanted the perspective of a person who is bipolar and in a relationship to be heard on this site. I am very aware of all the work he does just to keep this relationship going. I know what it takes for him to stay up, night after night, with me, comforting me through breakdown after breakdown. I know it’s hard and I can’t believe he hasn’t decided I’m not worth it, already. But even though I know all this, I still can’t flip a switch and turn this thing off. I would do anything to be able to – to be able to trust my gut, to listen to my own heart and be able to tell whether it’s me or my illness speaking… To lift this burden off of his shoulders. We’re working on it. But in the meantime, I’m still plagued with the idea that this is just too much for any one person to ask another person – putting up with this illness. And sometimes I think it would be better for both of us if we did break it off. I would be free of the guilt of hurting him and demanding so much of his energy, and he would be free of me.

    • Hey all,

      I was diagnosed with BP almost 10 years ago. Also, I have temporal lobe epilepsy and this affects my emotions too. I have tried many things to sort myself out, diets, shrinks, medication, more shrinks, and today I am seeing my doctor because I am in the depressive stage. I have held down a job at a large company for almost 8 years. They know about my condition but I don’t think anybody has done any research so they don’t quite understand it.I have tried to commit suicide 4 times in about 4 years. Ended up in ICU, sometimes having my stomach pumped and sometimes just waiting as it’s too late to pump it. It’s just touch and go. I have always attracted alcoholics, cons, cheaters, not sure why. I also became a serial dater because I believed that nobody could love me, that I didn’t deserve it. I used to cut myself, stopped it for many years and did it again about a month ago. Even though I have met a fantastic guy and life seems to be improving. But then the paranoia sets in, I believe he is cheating on me or will, I actually canceled my facebook account because everytime I saw his friends were sexy women I freaked. SO in order to keep my sanity, I figured I should rather get rid of it.

      Guys, living with Bipolar is exhausting. To try and behave “normal” every damn day, to try get out of bed when you just want to hide from the world is draining. Then the mania’s are friggin awesome! But, a lot of damage is done at the same time. I don’t cheat and manipulate, and for that I am grateful, but I do sabotage any relationship as soon as it seems too good to be true. I push the person away yet deep down I am screaming for them to help me. While I am doing this, I know in the back of my mind it is wrong and I am accusing the person unfairly…but it’s like I don’t care. Almost like a runaway train, you can see the edge of the cliff but you don’t slam on the brakes.

      To anyone who is in a relationship with someone who has BP, firstly, if they don’t want to admit it, self medicate, stop taking their meds because they feel great, I am telling you now, walk away. You are slowly killing yourself (yip, said by someone who is Bipolar).

      For someone who is dating someone who does take their meds, sees a doctor etc, be warned, there will still be ups and downs. Just not as bad or as often. We can say the most hurtful things, we can hurt ourselves and you will feel helpless because you love us and hate seeing us hurt.

      You will fall in love with us quickly because most of us are impulsive, which makes an exciting relationship. But after a while that impulsiveness will hurt you.

      I have been in a 2 month relationship with a wonderful man. He understands a little bit of Bipolar, which is more than anyone else had done. I so wish that people would do research into it before judging. I still try sabotaging my relationship with him though although in the back of my mind I am hoping he won’t leave me. I dont’ cheat or anything like that, I just become paranoid that he is cheating on me. I think my past relationships with cheaters hasn’t helped me either. I could go on and on and on.

      I guess what I am saying is this, Bipolar is not something anybody asks for, I wouldn’t even wish it on my ex-husband :-) It takes a very strong person to stay with someone who is struggling with it. But, don’t lose yourselves in the process. And DO NOT stay with someone who is not trying to get help. It would be like farting against thunder. Don’t stay with that person out of compassion. It will kill you. You have to be very strong, well informed. I always told my boyfriend’s upfront that I am bipolar, it’s only fair.

      Hope that somewhere this has helped someone…if I can use this exhausting, mindfcking disease to help just one person…well then my illness won’t be in vain.

      • Hey guys,

        Wow, BP is tough. I am married and deeply in love with my BP2 husband. yeah he can be very mean, abusive, hurtful and sometimes always running… out of fear, and feelings of self pity. Some Times getting trapped in a victim role… but what I’m hearing beneath all the exterior madness… is a person who is traumatized. They can’t get out of their own head, they cant shut up the thoughts that they know are bad… but don’t want to admit their thinking because they know we “un Bipolar” people will JUDGE. We SHOULDN’T JUDGE. We should be compassionate, calm, helpful, not pushy, but encouraging.

        Is it easy to be THAT person? Hell no!! Its tough as F$$K But… with Therapy, communication skills, maybe even medicine, it IS POSSIBLE TO HAVE A GOOD RELATIONSHIP THAT IS WORTH IT TO YOU. Too many of us now a days give up too quickly and wonder why we never find true love…

        Also, to share some knowledge… Bipolar sufferers in manic (super fast thinking, racing thoughts, insomnia or loss of or no need to sleep, paranoia, trust issues, insecurities, impulsive behaviors) all these things are actions that the BRAIN tells the body to do. Yes, in a fast or Manic state they feel wonderful, but what about the feeling that someone or something is going to take that (Mania) away from them? My husband doesn’t like that, but has had to learn it is unhealthy to feel euphoric all the time.

        Lithium. 2 kinds. The kind that Doctors sell that is totally marketable and causes toxic problems in blood and liver… OR THE ALTERNATIVE! I FOUND A WONDERFUL OVER THE COUNTER CHEAP ($15.00 FOR A 2 MONTH SUPPLY) DRUG CALLED LITHIUM OROTATE. IT’S A MINERAL WITH NO NO NO SIDE EFFECTS!!! IVE DONE RESEARCH AND WHEN coming out of the “genius” manic state where the brain is overactive and driving you nuts… it begins to get tired. Swollen, and sick. Bacteria cells develop AND LAY EGGS THAT HATCH EVERY OTHER DAY and cause more swelling and secretion of toxic metals = BAD. CRASH. DEPRESSION.

        HERE’S THE ANSWER FOLKS. IF YOUR BIPOLAR AND HAVING A REALLY TOUGH TIME LOOK INTO LITHIUM OROTATE. I HEARD A GREAT PSYCHOLOGIST TELL ME THAT LITHIUM OROTATE 25 MG A DAY (TWO 5MG PILLS IN THE MORNING, ONE AT LUNCH, AND TWO WITH SUPPER) FOR A COUPLE WEEKS TO HELP THE SWELLING GO DOWN IN THE BRAIN……FIXES AND HEALS BIPOLAR. THIS STUFF IS SO GOOD FOR THE BODY BECAUSE NUTRITION OR MAL NUTRITION CAN EVEN TRIGGER UPS AND DOWNS IN BP. THERE’S JUST NOT ENOUGH LITHIUM IN OUR FOODS TODAY NATURALLY… SO A PILL FORM IS NEEDED. AND LISTEN TO THIS… THIS IS SOO COOL…. LITHIUM OROTATE CAN BE TAKEN BY A NON BIPOLAR PERSON WHO LET’S SAY HAS HAD A DEATH IN THE FAMILY AND GOING THROUGH A HARD TIME… YOU CAN TAKE 10MG OF LITHIUM OROTATE (MINERAL)AND YOU WILL FEEL AN EASE IN STRESS, LESS PANICKY, MORE RELAXED, NOT ZOMBIEFIED…

        DID YOU GET THIS? IT FIXES. TAKES CARE OF THE PROBLEM. NO MORE GOING TO THE DOCTOR AND ALL THOSE MEDICAL BILLS… THIS IS A NATURAL MINERAL FOUND IN HOT SPRINGS THAT HEALS THE BAD THINGS BIPOLAR DOES TO THE BODY. SO??? NO NEED TO BE ON ANTI DEPRESSANTS, CUZ UM…. DONT FEEL DEPRESSED!!

        I wish we found this sooner and could have given it to my sister in law who we think was Bipolar. But its too late to know because she lost her struggle. Out of her sadness and confusion she turned to Meth, pain pills, and put a shot gun to her chest and took her own life. She had 4 babies, the sad part? the dad committed suicide 13 years ago too…. Bipolar is a seriously tricky condition. Plant your feet strongly and make the decision to make a difference. Find some kind of spiritual guidance whatever it may be that needs to be first, then take care of yourself, THEN comes your relationship, then your kids, then your job, ect.

        Hope this helps. Just a compilation of a bit of info I have learned along my journey. Keep your heads up!! Life is good, and fun with a bipolar lover! Don’t get stuck pointing your finger at the other person.

      • I want you to know that your post probably saved a life. It is clear to me that my life is in danger when you say it, someone with the disorder. So many people say he’ll kill me one day..or that the stress of it all will..but I honestly just kind of..laughed it off.
        I’ve been with a bipolar man for a year and a half, and more recently, choked out twice. He WILL NOT seek help and claims to “run circles around therapists” anyways. He knows that a demon/his mind is taking over his life, sometimes admits to having a strong family history in mental illness and that he has been diagnosed ..he speaks about diff diseases, but now is just admitting to anxiety.
        He is also an alcoholic and drug addict. I lived with him in the woods in the mountains for a couple months on his weed farm and slept next to paranoid him a shotgun every night in a trailer, that was the scariest two months of my life. I just stayed high enough to forget. He’s called me horrible names and the stories and the lies make me feel like a tornado is running through my head, rummaging it all up, sucking my soul out of body, as well as any logic.
        I needed you to say that it will kill me. I know now, I KNOW he is BiPolar after reading all these posts and researching for months, but now…NOW i think every ounce I have left in the precious body of mine needs to get up and scramble away.
        Thank you. thank. you.

    • Hi this message is specifically for Martha…. I am new here, and after googling “why do I want to break up with my boyfriend every few months”, find myself questioning whether I could be bipolar. I went to see a psychiatrist fairly recently to address my concern, and did not seem to think I am bipolar, but instead possibly inherited some bipolar traits from my family and thinks I could benefit from talk therapy.
      (nobody in my family is formally diagnosed, but after describing many relatives behavior, it is clear there is some type of temperamental irritability)
      Your post stuck out to me as one I can relate to… I know I have an amazing boyfriend and i have never and would never cheat or disappear or other nonsense like that… but find myself changing my mind every few weeks, and getting paranoid and insecure. It is my relationship that I feel is the only time my behaviors maybe mirror bipolar; not in any other aspects of life.
      I want to ask how you first knew/were diagnosed as being bipolar and some experiences you deal with day to day as well as throughout your life. I think it may help me in my search as to discovering myself.

    • So after reading this particular post I have a bit more hope. I have been dating although not together at the moment my g/f for the past 4 months. When we met I fell for her instantly. Beautiful, smart, funny and affectionate. She told me that she was on medications for bi polar mainly because I was open about myself being on depression meds but was not informed about the severity. She is without a dought the women of my dreams and I love her with all my heart. The first 3 months of our relationship had to be the most amazing times of my life. She is absolutely perfect for me in every way but once her symptoms started to show I began to see the other side and the pain started. We had a few disputes on things before this but once she actually told me that she wasnt in good space and that things were to serious for her my immediate reaction was that she was gonna leave me. Which she didnt but slowly she took herself out of my life and showed me less and less of that love and affection I had grown used to. It was killing me and we did talk about it often and I even started to research heavily about the disorder and got some closure from all the things I read and found out. The problem was I had already been hurt and just didnt feel ok with how she pushed me out of her life and became a stranger. It took almost an entire month of being apart for her to see me again. A friend of mine had really helped me through all this and been there for me while me a man cried over this girl every night. I couldnt put it together. It took me down to my knees and no matter what I still couldnt give up on her. Recently I told her that I had been talking to this girl and just didnt feel that the things she had once said to me such as ( I was her true love, her soulmate, an amazing man for her daughter to look up to, her future husband, the only man she will ever love again) etc… That all these things just couldnt be true if she was able to put me through what she had.. I told her I may give this other person a chance to date me and thats when she really finally came out with the anger towards me. I knew what I was getting into when I found out about her disorder but the lack of communication on her part put me in a place that I didnt know what to do. After I told her this she suddenly found all the things I did wrong and lashed out. Not once before had any of these things been issues nor do I think they really are and she was just looking to hurt me more at that point. She seems like she just has an excuse for everything no matter what it is, always defending herself and I know BP people have trouble with feeling wrong all the time, have trouble with emotions on levels I couldnt understand although I do a bit being a clinically depressed person. She always said stuff that she didnt want to be a bad girlfriend and that she only did things because I told her to, which is crap because I never tried to do anything that she hadnt told me she wanted for herself. What I have come to see is that BiPolar people feel things about 10 times more then we do. Depending on the type of bipolar it makes a big difference to research and find out if this is for you. Most of the time they are gonna come back to you and I know she will come back to me and well come up with a new plan. The problem is that many times you end up waiting for the person you fell in love with to come back. That probably wont happen but you will always get some of them and with the proper treatment can live happy lives together. I know without question that I could spend my life with this girl and although some of you may say its only been 4 months to me it has been much more then that and we have something worth fighting for. Some bi polars are way worse off and really arent the best people to try and have relationships with. You have to know when to let go as hard as it is. I have never felt so forgotten in my life yet once I found out that nothing is personal and this may happen here and there I was able to accept it much easier. One other thing is that prepare yourself to be blamed for almost anything. A week ago she or he may blame themself for things but then all of the sudden every problem is because of you, that you arent giving them space, not letting them be independent and such. Its all part of there disorder and the sooner your able to distinguish between them the easier it will be to deal with episodes. Bi Polar is a disorder that is all about prevention< Lifestyle changes that require work and hard work for many years before you figure out what works for you and them. I am willing to go through anything for my love. The choice is yours but not all relationships have to end badly.

      • yes it is hard with any diseases/mental illness..dont ever give up…and live your life…dont ever apologize for it…take care of yourself too…I have made a decision to be supportive plus live my life and enjoy the kids…or what is the point? I have my “happy place” I can go to and exercise…I hope it works out

  16. As a chronically single but very attractive woman my bi polar girlfriend developed an army of young suitors who she would lean on for support. Many of them were former boyfriends or dates.

    As a friend I encouraged her to seek medical help to balance her condition…held her hand through the difficult period of balancing medications and even drug and alcohol abuse.

    On the other side of that she seemed to be much happier, mostly balanced. On her balanced days she is excited about her future, productive, and loving.

    On her bad days though she behaves inappropriately …having text conversations with guys that are inappropriate, making plans to go on vacation with them, or meet alone at their apartment.

    As a boyfriend I feel like I have to step outside normal boundaries to preserve the relationship…its just not going to be “OK” for me to share a relationship with her while she goes on vacation with another man or to their apartment, or to romantic dinners while she is in her confused state….and of course when she is balanced these aren’t topics of interest for her anyway.

    Sometimes her anger at questioning her poor decision keeps her upset for 30 hours in a row …and when she finally backs down she can resent me for days.

    I encourage her to reach out to newer and more appropriate friends. (not guys who want to sleep with her or drug users)…but making friends is hard for her.

    and yet for 20 out of every 30 days… she is most compassionate, beautiful, creative and loving person I have ever known.

    I dont know what to do…sometimes in a lucid moment she says to me – “I dont trust my judgement, but I do yours …so on these issues I submit to your viewpoint” …and then seemingly a few days later she has forgotten all about that.

    I feel for all the couples being robbed of time and energy and happiness by this disorder.

    • I totally empathize with nearly everything I’ve read. I 100% understand the 10% or so of heartbreak vs. 90% of affection. I’m fighting tears as this site has hit me hardest with all of your honest accounts.
      I recently (6 days ago) parted ways with my bi polar bf after living together for a year. He posted on Craigslist for men and women, cruised singles sites and constantly downloaded porn, abandoned me during a family tragedy, and was at a “friend’s” many a night. He promised to seek help and medication but only grew angry when I attempted to rebuild trust. I went against my better judgement and attempted to forgive and work through it but he said he was sorry he couldn’t make it work and nothing could fix our relationship.
      He betrayed my trust and broke my heart! As much as I love him or at least the face he wears when he wants something, I will NEVER take him back. It’s the hardest most draining breakup I’ve ever experienced. He hasn’t called since Monday, nor I him. I pray he doesn’t try to get back together when he does call or that I’ll be able to ignore his call. Regardless as much as I enjoy his company I can never be happy with someone who can’t help themselves. I tried and tried to help but found myself unable to help even myself lately!

      I commend those of you who are struggling to save your relationship. And I’m proud of those of you who left. My thoughts will be with you as I attempt to repair myself and life. Wish me luck :)

      • Right now I am going through so much with my husband. I never knew what was wrong with him, but I always knew there was something. Just like week he came home accussing me of cheating. We were fine when he left out in the morning. I just can’t take this any more. He has really caused my self-esteem to go down. One minute he is the nice guy the next minute he can be the curelest man in the world. There is to much up and down for me. Right now he is on probation from stealing and I truely believe that the only reason that he is not hitting me is because he don’t want to go back to jail. His probation is up in August and I really want to leave him. He has threaten me so many times what will happen if I leave him. He think it’s me who have a problem not him. He won’t get help and I can not do this any longer. He has physically abused me in the pass and even last week he has grapped my face. His mouth is so bad. He can say very hurtful things and do not appericate anything that I do for him. He always want more. He wants me to spend even my child support on him and he just spend his money on his car. I am taking the bus everyday. Please I really need help right now.

  17. I have known my current girlfriend for over 20 years. In 2000 she was diagnosed with BiPolar disorder and put on medication. At the time of her diagnosis she was involved in an abusive ( Both physically and verbally) relationship with another man. Finally in 2005 she got up the courage to leave this man. We reconnected in 2006 and have seen each other ever since. Initially when I re-entered her life she said she only wanted to be friends however, as time passed we grew closer together. She has had several manic episodes since 2006 which required hospitalization and each time her medication was adjusted. She is currently taking 5mg of Zyprexa which seems to work better than anything she had been on in the past however, since being on the Zyprexa ( About a year and a half now) she has not had any manic episodes but has fallen into a depression. She says that by being on this medication she is ” No longer BiPolar” which is a complete fallacy because as far as I know, there is only medication to control BPD and not cure it. She claims that her doctor told her that she would not have another episode by taking this medication, again, something I find dubious. I believe she is in denial of her illness. Also, I have tried to very subtely suggest that perhaps she might ask her doctor about combining an anti-depressant with the Zyprexa and she will bristle at the suggestion saying she is not depressed. I believe she is as anytime I suggest social outings she is rather reluctant however, she will jump at the opportunity to go to the local Bingo hall and gamble. Not that I don’t enjoy taking her there as it is fun ( from time to time) but she expresses no desire to meet my friends and when we get together I am the one who has to drive to her place where she lives with her parents as she has lost her confidence in driving even though she is a great driver, she now believes she will either cause an accident or be involved in one. Trying to get her self confidnce back and encouraging her to try doing things outside her comfort zone is like pulling teeth at times. I think she truly believes that by taking this medication she is on currently she will never see the return on her BPD however, she is in my opinion in the throes of a rather deep depression right now. I should mention that when she left her ex boyfriend in 2005 child protective services awarded him custody and her visitation. Something she took really hard and still suffers from to this day. I have tried being as supportive as possible and since her ex and the kids live about 5 hours away by car, I drive her down as often as possible as I think it is important for her to maintain a relationship with her kids. Again, however everything I do for her to make her life more comfortable seems to be ” expected” and yet when she will do something for me, she will want a big production made of it as to how nice it was of her to do something for me. I have spent countless hours as well as $$$ trying to make our relationship work but I am finding it increasingly harder and harder to hang on much longer. I have suggested in conjunction with her medication she return to counselling, she stopped going as she believes she does not need it and is cured on her current medication but I believe it would help her better deal with her depression. Also, I have read that diet can play a vital role in people with BPD and I must say, her dietary habits are atrocious. She is not overweight or anything but will definitely be heading that way as she consumes way too much regular Coca Cola, something she just took to recently as well as eating chocolates and hardly any fruits or vegetables are part of her diet. I have noticed that because of this change in her diet it is definetely affecting her mood. Does anyone else have similar experiences? I feel like I am alone in this journey and it seems that I can no longer do right by her. I would like to continue our relationship but am just worn out. If anyone else has had similar experiences I would love to know how you dealt with them.

  18. Hi
    I thought i would post my story & would appreciate all the comments back

    I have been married for 25 years . Im 44 my hubby is 46 we have 3 lovely kids.

    The reason im writing this is i feel my husband may have bipolar. I’ll do my best to explain please bare with me.

    We had only been married 2 years when my husband came home from work & said i dont love you anymore & then went into a deep depression, he came back after a few months? 4 years and then 4 after that he did the same.

    Just over a year ago i found e-mails and texts that were innapropriate in content . Not stuff ive ever heard him say. He sent flowers & built up two friendships with two female colleuges . We suffered a few bereavements and he was stressed at work when all these events took place. He cant remember sending any of the e-mails texts etc. He explained to mevthat he felt he had been hit with a bolt of lightning when i showed him the e-mails. He was so schocked thst he went to see our doctor and was diagnosed with a nervous breakdown.

    He has acted outbof character more so in the past few years . At times he became disengaged from me and the kids. He would spent money on stuff that was’ nt needed.

    All this behaviour has been devastating and im not sure what else to do . I feel that he has BP and he said if he ever feels depressed again he will tell me and will go back to the Doctor’s and seek help ,i however feel that it should be adressed now.

    My hubby has always been a work aholic however lost his job after 20 years due to innapropriatevtalkmto a female. He is a lovely guy well loved my me ,his kids family and friends adore him. I want to help but sometimes feel like walking away sorry if that makes me sound harsh butbim just being honest.

    I would really welcome your thoughts and advice.

    Regards
    Ann

    • we are both 41, kids from previous marriages, he is bp, we are engaged for the moment..i think he is ultra ultra rapid cycling..its mentally exhausting..you are not alone..i am the most horrible person, etc..his ex-wife is better-I told him to go back to her..I think I am better than everyone-he is insecure…He threw coffee at me one day..I told him next time to make sure I wasnt wearing his coat…I have told him to leave, not talk to me that way..Supposedly I am cheating, I am afraid of failure-although I face it everyday with him…this is what I deal with…We have some good times..I have chosen to not walk on eggshells and live my life…I love him, I support him, I will help him to get help..I am not a doormat either…live your life and enjoy the kids…take care of you too…you deserve to be happy…its not that nonbps dont have problems, I choose to look at the good in life and I am thankful to be me-i’ve had diabetes 20 years..I get ups and downs, its not an excuse to hurt people or be unfaithful..While the difficult takes time, the impossible takes a little longer…I hope you stay strong

  19. Hi i would appreciate any comments :)
    I’m dating my bf for 1and a half years now. He has been diagnosed with bipolar disorder since he was 16 i think and he is 27 now. He is on medication.
    He told me he was bipolar after maybe a month of dating. We had a great relationship. He was very loving affectionate he would spend all his time w/ me. He was truly the most amazing person ever.
    Only after months of dating we had started talking marriage. He said he wanted to marry me have kids spend his life w/ me how much he loved me how much i made him happy etc.
    I’m his first girl friend btw. I admit at time i treated him bad. I didn’t appreciate him as i should have.
    He was only working a few hours a week and i think that made him really sad. He would travel an hour more or less, to come see me every day. Or to pick me up from work. A year later he moved apartments to be closer to me. He also became permanent and did 40regular hrs every week. He had a bad case of acne when i met him and around the time he became permanent (in April) he started the accutane treatment.
    Starting from then on his behaviour towards me changed dramatically. Side effects of accutane include emotionally distant , aggressivity among others.
    In July he moved closer to my area and i was having problems at home (I’m 21) and i moved in w/ him.
    It is now been 8 months we have been living together. We had so many fights and arguments. We physically abused each other and him verbally also.
    I ‘m always supporting. I cook all his meals and wash his laundry. Clean the apt and look after his cat. I go to school and work part time. I’m always there for him never bother him or prevent him from doing things he wants even though Sometimes they make me angry (like when he goes to strip club)
    he has told me Sometimes when he gets really angry that he doesn’t love me and that I’m an obstacle in his life.
    He’ll want to break up and I’ll get so heart broken I’d cry for hours and he’d just look at me.
    We never broke up. The last outburst was 4 days ago. He told me he doesn’t love me. He’s tired of seeing me everyday. I’m an annoyance. He hates waking up next to me. He hates that it looks like he’s dating a 12 year old. (i don’t look like I’m 12!) he doesn’t want to have sex w/ me. Etc it was so painful for me. He said he’ll give the relationship another chance but chances are much much higher that he breaks up than stays w/ me.
    He’s very distant now and Tells me to shut up when i try to start a conversation.
    I’m really sad knowing that we once had so so much love…and now its like this.what should i do!

  20. Wow, i am reading these posts and its scary. my boyfriend of four years has once again broke up with me. He does this every 3 or four months…..His out burst are down right evil. He goes from loving me madly, then can’t stand the site of me. Its always my fault when hes angry, and i deserved it. He calls me horrible names such as whore, cunt, slut, etc….. He will leave for a week , give or take a day.I have caught him on swinger web sites, talking to other women. Which he flipped off….said he was bored just bored. After he tortures me long enough, he will call to say sorry. Tell me how much he loves me. He has also hit me, slapped me and throw food in my hair. He scares my children and family. Which i might add, hate him. I know it sounds crazy but I love him. Although i have decided to not take him back this time. Its so hard to do. I am not sure if hes bi-polar or not. He says hes just fine!! He is calling obsessively at the moment….I think that loving a bi-polar is the hardest relationship to deal with, because there is a good side that you love and yearn for. But the bad side is agonizing, and ohhhh so stressful. I felt so unable to love anymore. He drained me dry, and broke my will. So ladies please think twice about staying with someone who displays this type of behavior. I lost that loving feeling.

  21. Currently in a relationship with someone who is bipolar. We have been together almost 6 months. I’m 23, he’s 24. He was sent to the hospital 2 months into our relationship and the doctors said his parents were a trigger to his anger/depression, so he came to live with me in my apartment. Things have been good, but lately his anger towards me and everything else has been extreme. He tells me he wants to be single, then an hour later “realizes” he really loves me and wants to be with me.. this has took a HUGE toll on my life and trust for him.. I love him, but I don’t know what to do at this point. :(

    • Hi .. I feel the same about my girl friend… She loves me so much the 30 min later she thinks I’m cheating on her:(

  22. Seeing as so many of you have had experience with this, does anyone have advice on how to talk to someone who has never had any intervention or help with their bipolar? My boyfriend is 27, and he, his best (and pretty much only) friend, and I all believe he’s bipolar. I’ve been the only one around enough to notice that it’s happening every other day now,a nd to realize long before that that he wasn’t happy. I’ve finally talked to his best friend and explained my side and what my boyfriend has told me when he’s been drunk and such that really scares me and makes me even more sure that he needs some help. His friend and I want to do something for him, and intervention, to help him to help himself, but we aren’t sure what to say or how to go about it and it’s only us two. We don’t’ know his family well enough and there isn’t anyone else to help us in supporting him. I’m scared I’ll trigger him when we try to help him, any advice?

    • I have been with my boyfriend for 5 years. He was diagnosed with bipolar disorder a few months ago. Now that I am educated on the subject, I can look back and see he’s had it since the day I met him. Unfortunately, he didn’t seek help until his life had completely fallen apart. Before he was diagnosed , his breakdowns would send him to the hospital. His family doctor would write him up a xanax prescription and send him on his way. This did not help at all except to make my boyfriend feel dependent on xanax even tho it doesn’t help much. After a major break down the night before, my bf decided to go back and see his family doctor. Thank God he wasn’t there! They sent him to see a differnt m.d. Who had the sense to refer him to a psychiatrist. It didn’t take the new doctor long to see that my bf was bipolar. As for your question, this is what I think could have helped him seek help sooner. You are already one step ahead of me. I didn’t research bipolar until after he was diagnosed. If I would have known I think I could have urged him to get help sooner. Even tho my boyfriend knew he had been diagnosed, he made no effort to change except taking the medication. He was still drinking, not sleeping, and slowely started going into mania despite the medication. I ened up having to call the cops on him. The next day once he was calm, I sat down with him and read him numerous articles about bipolar disorder. Once he learned all the signs and symptoms, he was finally being real about having it. I think he was in denial up until that point. He started eating right, sleeping, and is working his hardest to stop self medicating. Everyday is a struggle for him, but he is way less hopeless now that he knows about his illness and that he can one day control it with a lot of work, that he can feel better. My advice to you is don’t let to get to the point of rock bottom, because if you do much more work will have to be done. Print some things up about bp. Not too much because you dont want to overwhelm him. Wait for the right time because if you don’t it could turn into a disaster. Simply show him the signs and symptoms and tell him you are concerned and want to help. Dont tell him he has it, ask him if this is how he has been feeling and if he thinks he has it. If he reads it and says no chances are hes in denial

  23. Hey I have a girl friend that is bipolar we both would be saying stuff that is sweet and loving … Then out of no we’re she hangs up on me (this hapens once or more a day) saying that I’m cheating on her and that she’s mad at me.. And I tell her I love her but she juss dosint care …. But tonight we were talking sweet lyk usual and she had her moment were she said I’m cheating on her … And I couldn’t take it( I’m man anuff to say this) so I started to cry and she emediatly stoped being mad and started saying how much she loved me… That’s the only way I can stop her from changing from loving to depression

  24. When I started reading this i burst into tears. Every word, every emotion mentioned, I know how it feels. I’m dating someone with bipolar, for a year now, and I have days where I just feel giving up on myself, it feels like I don’t do enough. At times I get so hurt I wonder what I’m doing, but I really love him so much and I remind him daily that I’m always there for him. Could you give me any guidlines perhaps on dealing with bipolar, the do’s and don’t’s? What I could do to make myself stronger?

  25. My girlfriend and I have been dating for about 1.5 yrs. Reading this has answered so many burning questions about her personality. She’ll be unbelievably loving, so caring, tell me I’m amazing and wonderful. Then, the next day, lasting for usually a little less than a week, sometimes more, she’ll shut down completely. She’ll say I mean nothing to her, and will come up with all these bizarre reasons why she hates me – nonsensical and strange things. She’ll cry randomly and hide away in her room and say terrible, cruel, illogical things. She’ll have random outbursts of anger for the smallest little thing. This seems intermittent, she will go for months with no signs of it, then it will happen a few times. Every time I have gotten so hurt and I never understand why she does it. She turns into another person. She has not cheated on me, but she did kiss another man during one of these episodes. I forgave her, as much as it hurt, mainly because she said she didn’t know why she did it and barely remembered why.

    Sometimes he will act crazy with unlimited energy, and be so happy, bouncing all over the place and wanting to do all sorts of crazy things. She’ll talk all over the place and just be hyper as anything. I didn’t ever really think anything of these, I just thought some days she was randomly hyper, but it sounds like a ‘hypomania’ episode.

    As of right now, she is undiagnosed, and maybe I am just confused, but her symptoms sound exactly like all of these stories. It makes me want to cry. I love her so fiercely, and it kills me to see this happen to her. Whenever she says horrible things to be, I’ve always just taken them with stride, but now I know why she does them, and that she can’t even help it. I feel awful for her. I’ve tried to get her to seek professional help, and I think she’s going to get an evaluation soon.

    • Hi Eian, Based on my experience I say run run as fast as you can and don’t look back. If you stay in the unbalanced relationship you will be in for a wild emotional roller coaster ride that will impact your own mental health. You might as well be drinking poison. The bipolar person cannot control their moods and cannot build the basic building blocks for a lasting relationship. the only thing they respond to is the infatuation of an early relationship (sex) and will cast you aside as soon as the honey moon is over. The bipolar person is a good candidate for serial relation ships. Good Luck!

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Candida Fink, M.D. and Joe Kraynak are authors of
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