Comments on
What Happens to Love in a Bipolar Relationship?

Some time ago, 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?”

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

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  1. Help! I am Ellie, a treated and healthy Bipolar female, 36, frustrated over the lack of resources for someone having Bipolar I, female, and someone who, like me, was diagnosed in the early 1990s as a teen in high school. I have found nearly nothing online nor in my community (I live in Grand Rapids, MI).
    I recently posted a story, (Ellie, A hopeful story), on this page in the comment section in response to the blog, “What Happens to Love in a Bipolar Relationship” and I am furiously searching for females who are healthy and living with Bipolar I. I have no children, as I made the decision to not have children because of the hardships I have faced on my own. I need to hear other women’s stories, as I know women with bipolar I are out there, hoping they are not statistics, now (succumb to their own suicide). I have been told that women who have gone through struggles with Bipolar I, in particular, at around my age of 36 or younger have found so little help and have killed themselves. I can think of a few women with a similar story to my own, one of them being Dr. Kay Redfield Jamison, psychiatrist and author of Unquiet Mind and other books, and on a less successful note, one of the Hemingway family, not sure if it was Muriel or a sister of hers, who killed herself in recent years. Any help or ideas you out there on this site can help me with would be incredibly helpful!!

  2. Well I just got dumped by my BP ex. Horrible experience. Marriage was always on the rocks. Constant fighting. I didn’t know what was the matter with her. I got angry and just made her feel worse with my yelling and verbal abuse. I didn’t start out this way but I also never really had good self control. When a Bp person demonstrates behaviors that are so destructive to you and your family it easy to get caught up in the craziness. I mean, my ex was always doing horrid things. Every time I tried to roll out of it I got her pregnant. She used to be terrified that I would leave her, that I didn’t love her. Well that all changed. I became so friggin depressed that I just checked out. Blamed her for my own miserable state..which was pretty accurate. I don’t need to get into many details but imagine drug addiction, alcoholism, promiscuity, abandondment of babies to go do whatever she was doing. Credit card abuse like you wouldn’t believe. Pathological lying. No remorse, little guilt. Suicide attempts. And she blamed me for all of it. Of course I blasted her when she did these things. I could be very cruel. Not like I woke up and blasted her just that she was always doing something destructive. It seemed that nothing I did was ever good enough. Nothing. Sure we had some good times. We raised beautiful kids who thus far have not been anything but productive people. It seems though, that the good times were always steeped in extreme alcohol and drug use. Mostly her. I mean she would jump at the opportunity to do any drug.
    The pain she suffered stemmed from a very bad childhood. Molested, raped, ignored by her idiot mother. Enabling, me, too, denying etc. I still don’t know why I stuck it out. Kids? Ya. My own fears. Ya. I loved her? Hell, I hated her too often. She just treated me like crap. Again, what was weird is that she never apologized. Like she didn’t do anything wrong. This is an awful disease. I have counselled my children to NEVER get into a relationship with a person with BP. They just don’t seem to ever change. Man, I have gone, thru, guess I still am, all of the horrors. Heck, I still want to get back with her sometimes. Guess that’s just my ego. I mean I did fall into severe depression with all of its unhappy characteristics. In the end, and no matter how it ended it was the best for both of us. Well, I lost my mind and hospitalized myself. Quit my great job, fled my community in disgrace and shame. Moaned about my predicament to too many people. Oh well, shit happens.
    Now, and after all of this shit I can see real signs of my depression lifting. My self control is the best its ever been. I can more easily stop that ‘broken record’ of woe is me. I have a hell of a lot of work to do but am feeling like doing it now. For any of you who have suffered this fate the first step is to get out of that damn bed. Do something. Anything. I mean anything. Hell, my first goals were to just get out of the bed. Make the bed. Ya, that’s where recovery starts. Sucks, I know, but this is the first step. When you can make that step congratulate yourself. Add another goal. Force yourself to smile. Congratulate yourself. Make yourself just laugh. Congratulate yourself. I spent so much time on the internet trying to find answers to my own problems and hers that it became a habit. A bad habit. However, here are some of the things that are helping me. Fake it til you make it. Wake up and state three things you are grateful for. Repeat them over and over. Exercise, yes I know you don’t want to do anything but just roll over and die, but just go for a stroll. Five minutes, even. Congratulate yourself. Your own your way out of the darkness even if you don’t see it. Which you probably don’t right now. Get up and go sit in a restaurant. So what if you don’t talk to anyone. So what if you are feeling crushing loneliness. The fact that you did it means you are on your way. Go buy some barbells and start using them. Work your arms till they fall off. For ladies do some kind of but exercise. Just do it. Yeah, I know you still feel like shit but why not tone up a little bit while your miserable. Guess what, when you start to see some light, AND YOU WILL, you’ll notice the changes and like them. In fact, you’ll start exercising more. If you have a family member you can talk to do it every day. If you haven’t sought out a counselor you should. Ya, I know that you don’t want to talk to anyone. Ya, I know that even you do nothing seems to be changing. But guess what, soon, and when that demon of depression begins to ebb your conversations with the loved one/therapist will get lighthearted. In fact, and even now I’m thinking about dropping this support group because I don’t need it. However, be cautioned, it is probably best to hang with this group until your conversations are not focused on your misery but are focused on just being conversational. Other things that worked for me. Ya, I know it all seems so friggin childish. After all you were, or used to be above all of this shit. Get up and look in the mirror and say, I really like you. Your a hell of a guy. Or something like that. Another tid bit I picked up was look way into your future. Imagine someone asking you what made your life so great. Well what is it? Say it, repeat it.
    Folks, whatever it is that you do to get through the tough time you are having make it happen. But remember this. YOU HAVE TO GET OUT OF THAT BED. So do it. Currently, I am able to stick to this routine. Wow, you might be saying. He gets out of bed. Yup. I do and I am proud of it. I have a long way to go, yes. Just dealing, or seeing my ex sends quakes of fear all over me. Hell, I gave her that much power. Than I discovered that she was just another excuse to give up. Another cause of my depression and my low self esteem. The bitch loves it that I suffer like this. Remember, that if you are in a BP relationship they don’t give a shit about you at all. They want to control all of you. They want you to think you are inadequate in every way. Yes, bp people, I know you may think that is too harsh of an assessment but tough toenails. Your sickness is toxic. A curse to humanity. You should all be put on an island. That way you can just screw each others lives up and not the lives of decent folk. Well maybe you have enough sense to stay on your meds…mine didn’t. Hell, mine still thinks that her BP is situational. That she doesn’t need meds. Typical of bp sufferers. Anyway, I wish all of you, including you BP horror shows, a healthy and happy life. Now get out of that bed…you are on your way to a better, more fulfilling life. Congratulations.

    • Exactly what I have done. 15 years of being with someone who actually doesn’t help his bp is enough. Nearly 1 month on with no contact has been the best thing ever for me and I feel like a new wOman. Well done

  3. My sister stopped wanting anything to do with her family four years ago. This week she called, leaving a message that she was in trouble and needed my help. I called her back and she had divorced her husband of 36 years and was packing to fly to Michigan to marry a Navy Seal. She met the man online and had never met him. I managed to discourage her and urge her to call the base where this man was supposedly located. He did not exist. She didn’t believe it so it continued for another short period, he sending her pictures (that didn’t match at all) and all the love words one can imagine. She and the man had been exchanging sexually explicit photographs as well. After contacting the Navy, and confirming again that he did not exist, I had her call NCIS as this is a federal crime. This had been her fourth time falling in love on the internet and has given men a total of 23,000.00 She lost her job, husband, house……and to this day believes that this last one was a love story. She even told me that she would have to see him face to face to know he is real. She was diagnosed with bipolar disease and hopefully will seek treatment. She has lost so much, ruined not only her life, but has hurt her family perhaps beyond repair. If you know someone who exhibits the symptoms of bipolar, push and push until someone believes you and the person can get help….preventing another tragedy.

  4. I’ve been with my boyfriend for 6 years. It’s been about 2 years since he finally decided to go to a psychiatrist to get diagnosed. After getting meds he wasn’t taking them properly because he would forget to every day. I didn’t know this and felt he was having even more angry outbursts and mentioned it lightly which caused him to abruptly stop taking them which he did all of this kind of secretly. Ever since then I haven’t been able to talk to him about getting help by doing counseling without him getting upset. I am very lonely as he is not affectionate 95% of the time and spends a lot of time arguing with me. He is mostly manic with angry outbursts and then sometimes depressed. I love him so much but I am not happy and he refuses to get any sort of help. He almost uses bipolar as an excuse for his actions. Usually I’ll explain to him how I feel and will see no effort and then I’ll break up and that’s when I see some change and come back but it doesn’t last. After 6 years I just want to be happy but I feel so heartbroken for him. Please help. I’m only 23 and he’s 24. His family doesn’t support him emotionally much his mom I think is also ill but has never took the time to look into it for her or her son when he was young.

  5. Your bi-polar blog is no longer working. The links past 2012 go to the wrong topic and page. This is a very valuable blog. I hope you can fix it.

  6. I was diagnosed several years ago (after I quit drinking-8 years sober) and was married to a guy who would put me down about my illness or use it against me. The emotional abuse kept getting worse and he started to become violent and unpredictable. I left him and was able to get a pfa against him. Several months after I left him, I met a guy through where I was volunteering at. His wife died four months before him and I were talking and getting close. He wanted a to be with me in a relationship and coerced me into living w/ him. I did end up moving in w/ him, but I told him he needs to wait at least a year to make any big decisions. I told him I would sleep in a separate room. He lived in an old house that was three stories and just ginormous. Eventually, he kicked me out because I wouldn’t get intimate, as I was not ready either. After a little while, we got close and I moved back in. He was the only person who learned about my illness. He knew when I was having mixed episodes, or when I was depressed, etc. he wanted to ‘care’ for me, but I thought I had my illness under control. I refused to take lithium as he wanted me to. He got mad when I stayed up late. I was fine with it cuz I was more productive. He would start fights w/ me than he said I started them all and I’m not remembering. I remembered, but he seemed to be out of sorts. We fought every other week, and he would kick me out every other week. Finally, I left because I couldn’t take being kicked out all the time. I really fell in love with him. He said “he couldn’t handle me”. I continuously work on my illnesses with doctor’s, counselor, and caseworker. I’m considered homeless. My parents don’t believe in mental illnesses and they don’t believe in medication. So my support system is minimal. I don’t know what I’m going to do or where I go from here…

  7. Hi! My name is Callie! Me and my father are both bipolar I so the household is quite interesting when we are both manic at the same time! Though he tends to get angry and agitated faster than I do. Though when we are not both manic and one of us are that also makes things very interesting. I am very shy and quiet but when manic I am quite a different person. I’m an ass when I am manic, at least that’s what my dad tells me! But I have found that if you are bipolar and you are either manic or going through depression that you can be the most logical person in the world and know that what you are thinking during these episodes are the farthest from the truth but yet the feelings and irrational thoughts always prevails during these episodes. Then once you are stable, you realize this… and beat yourself up because, “How could I have been so stupid? Why did I think that? That is so stupid of me!”

    Me and my dad both take our medication and see our doctors and do everything correctly. Me I have to take more meds than my dad because I tend to build up tolerance very fast and not one med takes does it and he’s very sensitive to medications while I am not. Every 6 months or so I will have to change one of the medications I take because I will get to the maximum dose recommended by the FDA so then I’ll be switched onto another med and the same thing will happen. It’s a cycle. I wish I didn’t build up tolerance that way I could just stay on just one or two medications like my dad.

    But back to relationships, my father for the longest time didn’t think he had a problem. I was very young at the time so I didn’t understand at the time what was going on until much later when I was diagnosed at 13. I didn’t think that people would get divorced over bipolar disorder because my mom stayed with my dad. I didn’t realize that was such a rare thing until I had gone into the hospital a few times. My family is great. We couldn’t be happier. But sometimes we still go through mania/depression every now and then. But befor it gets beyond the point of no return we call our doctors and let him know and a medication adjustment is usually all that is needed but sometimes I’ll need an extra therapy session if the adjustment isn’t all that I need. Still though, two bipolar people in the house makes for some very interesting times. We all love eachother and will dodge a bullet for eachother. I’m closer to my dad (which I feel bad about saying but it is true) but I think that’s mainly because we both understand eachother in ways that my siblings and mother cannot understand. Though at the same time, they’ve lived through it all with me and my dad being bipolar so I am not so sure lol

    But regardless being in a relationship/marriage with somebody with bipolar disorder can work. It’s not easy to deal with but neither is dealing with Bipolar disorder. We do not choose it.

  8. After a whirl wind love affair with Stan, we were engaged. He did mention that he had a mood disorder, but downplayed it greatly. I now know that he was manic at the time he proposed, or at least becoming manic. After 2 weeks of being engaged, I found out he tried to get a hooker while he was out of town. Upon finding out this information, we had a giant fight and I walked out. He then intentionally overdosed on his anti-psychotic medication. I found him in time and was able to save his life. After a week in the hospital, he stopped all his medication completely, and became totally manic. Crashing his truck, shaving his head, dropping off the face of the earth…I gave his ring back, and he slashed my tires.

    After he was back on his meds and stable, he of course was depressed. Ashamed of his behavior and having to deal with the wave of destruction that followed a single week of mania.

    Its been 2 months, he has been sober, on his meds, seeing his therapist twice a week and joined a bipolar support group. He has acknowledged and taken responsibility for everything. And it has only been since the suicide attempt that I started learning about Bipolar disorder. He is bipolar I.

    I would like to talk to other loved ones of people with Bipolar, and to people with bipolar disorder. Am I doomed to repeat this type of episode with him? I love him, educating myself has helped me to forgive him. But I am terrified everyday. If he continues treatment and takes care of himself, will the manic episodes subside over time? Will they always be so intense? Can I do this….

    • I am going through this now with my husband. We have been married 19 years. Two months ago, he was diagnosed with Bipolar. He told me he didnt love me or our kids. I’m trying to stay strong. But, I’m having a hard time. The first month, I was verbally abused everyday. He has been going to a therapist and taken Medicine.but he still has no emotions. I caught him on a chat room, which I confronted him, and he explained and then got very depressed. He keeps saying it’s not cheating since we aren’t married. My heart is broken, I dont know, what to do. I know he loves us, but he is letting the sickness win. They changed his medicine 2 days ago, so I’m praying it helps. They just put him on lithium and he’s also taking Risperidone.Im loosing hope quickly

  9. i am having trouble in my marriage because of my mental instability. is enabling me make accurate decisions even doubting my love and commitment to my wife. we have such a beautiful daughter and we are also in the middle of a in vitro fertilization. not sure if want to continue fighting for the 4 years together and the family we have built or just walk away. i am taking zoloft and lamictal but not quite sure is fully working.

    • I think this is normal with bipolar disorder. I suffer from bipolar and anxiety. When I think I don’t love my husband it gives me severe anxiety. You should definitely fight for your marriage. Know that you’d feel this way at some point no matter who you’re with. Especially, if she’s a good woman.

  10. In December 2010,I met a wonderful and Beautiful Lady, we hit it off right away, She was all that i was looking for, July 5th, 2011 she proposed to Me at a Baseball game we were attending, her 2 children, a sister and her Mother were at the game with us, i had arranged to have her name and a happy birthday put up on the jumbotron, it was her birthday, well the time came and sure enough Happy Birthday (name) was shown on the jumbotron, then to My surprise a man holding a camera appeared and (name) got down on her knee and proposed to Me, I said Yes of course, and that was the start of 4 long years, we were married 6 days after she proposed to Me,(name) had planned everything out weeks before, she bought the rings, the wedding dress, planned the ceremony and the location of the wedding, everything. Well the rain came, held off for the ceremony and came again. The first year and a half of marriage was wonderful because (name) was on bipolar medication and she was attending mental health court for an incident that she did while on a manic episode, whcich this incident landed her in jail, but this is how she was diagnosed with bipolar disorder II, she spent 3 years going to therapy and mental health court, in 2013 she graduated (early) from mental health court, then a month later she chose to quit taking her medication, and the rollercoaster ride started,in the 4 years we were married she had 5 manic episodes, which included sexual grandoise with several other men and one woman,she ended up being hospitalized each time against her will, one episode even led to her and a guy friend running me over with her car, fractured my pelvis and cracked 3 ribs, and after all of the things that happened i stood by her side and supported her because i knew that it was her illness that caused all of the crazy antics, she even transmitted an STD from one of her flings,needless to say and very heartbreaking we ended up just recently divorcing (2015) She decided not to continue taking her medication and we decided it be best that we go our seperate ways, it’s been over a month now and we haven’t even seen or talked to each other and she still refuses to take her medication, with all that happened while she was having these manic episodes and the hateful comments she made to me, i stuck beside her and assisted her every step of the way, i was physically and emotionally hurt by her actions, and to this day she has not said Thank You, or I’m sorry for what she said or did each time, i still have alot of love for (name) but it was time to end the hurt that she caused and was causing Me, i hope that someday she will decide to take her medication, she pushed her 2 wonderful children away from her, and pushed Me, the only man that has truely loved her away also, this unfortunately is what happens when one person in the relationship is bipolar and refuses to take medication.

    • You went thru hell. I am so sorry you had to go thru this. I am sure you are scarred for life. You will be stronger as a result of this. Church helps…going back to things that make you happy helps. Being alive and cherishing what you do have helps. Its a nasty form of an evil illness. It is controlling your loved one. They are just wired differently, and cannot express feelings of empathy and sorry because they are too focused on their own illness. When you have the flu, can you help others? Its 50 times worse. Your not alone. Good luck in life and be safe. That is all you can do.

  11. I’ve been reading all the comments and I’m so relieved that it’s not just me that has been going thru this ! My relationship with my partner has been a nightmare , been together nearly 3 years and can not count the amount of bad episodes he’s had or the amount of times he’s ended it with me , even tho I’m the woman of his dreams , his world blah blah ! I’ve done everything I can possibly do to help him , even lending him money and skinting myself so he can feed his daughter when he has her , then I struggle to feed my 3 children , but he can’t see all the things I have done for him and believe me there has been a lot ! Don’t get me wrong I’ve ended it too when it’s got too much and I can’t cope with him ! Me and my children have suffered for nearly 3 years now and he won’t seek help although months ago he admitted he thinks he has bipolar ! So only 2 days ago I ended it because I can’t go on anymore and need , normality , peace and calm back in mine and my children’s lives we have put up with him long enough ! All the promises , he will change , seek help etc… Mount to nothing ! So I’m staying strong and not taking him back this time , I’m going to focus on myself and my children because we have all been neglected while doing everything for him and been too drained and exhausted to focus on anything else but him ! I know this next chapter for me will be pretty tough as I’m upset at what’s happened and how he’s tret me and the horrible cruel things he has said but I’m also looking forward to getting back to how I was before he turned my life upside down ! Thanks for reading , all the people who have shared there lives on here have made me realise I need to stay strong ! I really hoped I’d be with him forever but that’s not going to happen and I realise that finally

  12. My fiancee just recently got diagnosed with Ptsd/bipolar and for the past two months everything has gone downhill he will be loving, understanding and kind and then If I bring up anything he will snap. This past weekend he confessed to me about how his therapist who I do not think is helping him whatsoever told him to talk to me about poly relationships since it has worked for her and that she suggested to him to research that. Also to throw more into the mix he confessed to me that he had been getting sexual messages via facebook and eventually I ended up finding the messages and this woman turned out to be also bipolar and married and had contacted him first and her way of reasoning was that she suggested sexual things and she had told him that she was more more open my minded then me and pretty much tried to manipulate him into cheating on me and of course he believed all of it she even told him that I should be understanding and that if I love I would be okay with this which was crazy. When I told him how hurt I was and how mean and disrespectful he was for doing this after 7 years of me doing everything and trusting him he pretty much blew up at me telling me that needed to grow up and be tougher and he told me I was being jealous and basically turned the blame on me for not being understandable and reasonable while at the same time switching it all around and telling me he does not want to lose me and that he loves me. So after the fighting and me finding out who the woman was and confronting her and more fighting I eventually ended up at a friends house because it was just all over awful. So fast forward to today he asked me to forgive him and I said we can try to work things out but I told him that he needs to be understanding of my feelings if I tell him what I feel when he has his outbursts and yells at me. At first this was going fine but then he told me to trust him and then I said give me time and asked him if he was going to continue chatting to this woman if she ever decided to interfere again and he then proceeded to yell at me and tell me that this was stupid and told me that why should I care what he does I do not know why he became so defensive about this but we ended up arguing again and I feel like I am to blame for not understanding his bipolar or his needs I feel selfish for feeling hurt and feeling jealous. Im a mess and I do not know what to do.

  13. I had never dated a girl with bipolar disorder before. I was recently dumped by my bipolar girlfriend, and when I say truth is stranger than fiction, I’m not kidding. I’m an attorney in my early 30s, tall, and I would imagine good looking in the eyes of most. She’s in her mid 20s and pretty. There are always things that can go wrong, but I wasn’t expecting this. She broke up with me, saying she was going through I rough time, and couldn’t be in a relationship. I thought that was maybe BS, and I was right. Her ex husband got a hold of me not out of malice, but because he felt bad for me. She left me for a convicted sex offender that was discharged from the military for bad conduct for, among other things, sexual conduct with a 15 year old. He has a history of emotional abusing children, and is remarkably ugly. He also has borderline personality disorder. Oh, and she has 2 little kids who apparently she lets hang around him (this is another reason the ex contacted me – he’s concerned about this, and rightfully so). A week prior to breaking up with me, she was telling me things to the effect of she thought “I was the one for her,” and everything seemed to be going so well. Then, she told me she was going into a “depression pit.” I told her I was there for her. She told me I didn’t understand. And I think she was right, I don’t understand. I don’t think there’s anything to understand here. All I know is bipolar is an absolute deal breaker for me in any future relationships. I understand some of this is uncontrollable, but if you make decisions like this, make no mistake – you don’t deserve someone like me. And if you happen to be with someone like me, its a mistake. Just because you have a mental disease doesn’t mean you aren’t a terrible person, or that you shouldn’t feel bad about your actions, even if your fragile little mind can’t handle it. I don’t care if that isn’t PC – its right and you know it.

  14. You know i find it excruciatingly discouraging reading these comments! I understand that loved ones who do not have bipolar disorder get to the point that they feel victimized, but i have a few things i want to touch on here. I am bipolar I, i just recently got diagnosed with it, i have done extensive research on it and im on medication. I didn’t have any kind of addictive behavior except for smoking cigarettes i was up to 2 packs a day and i quit by myself it took me years and years but i dont give up! I finally did it and ive been smoke free for 1 1/2 years, I did that without medication. I have been through hell and back in my life, i can bore you with all the details about the shit i have been through but as everyone says about bipolar people i dont want to seem selfish. i don’t want to brag about something that i have to live with and deal with and know that i am the reason why i have no friends im loosing if i havent already lost my fiance none of my family talks to me except my mom, but yet im just dramatic because i’m bipolar. People with bipolar disorder didn’t ask for this, just like people don’t ask to get Alzheimers, dementia, etc. it is all the same with the chemical imbalances of the brain and the misfires in the brain! Unfortunately there is no cure most people feel greatly overwhelmed and when their loved one literally gives up on them because rightfully they feel abused the person with bipolar feels the same way and to make matters worse we know that we are the cause for all of the turmoil that is going on and there is literally nothing that we can do to rectify the situation! Someone once said to get out while you can dont destroy your life with someone who has bipolar disorder, bipolar people are selfish/have addictive behaviors/etc. etc. well just remember not every bipolar person is the same and if everyone feels that way and everyone that i have come into contact with acted like that to me of course i would want to kill myself because i cant explain why i feel the way that i feel and why things come out the way that they do. It is literally uncontrollable!

    • Becca. You’re right. I lost a woman that I loved to this disease. She was so destructive and emotionally and physically abusive, it ended. Sad thing is that she ended it because of a manic state. I would have stood beside her through it. It was so painful to watch a woman who meant the world to me, be lost to this disease. But the trauma I have from it is real. It’s an incredibly difficult life for everyone involved. I wish there was a cure. You could have a normal life and I could have the woman I wanted to spend the rest of my life with. I hope you can find some peace.

  15. My wife of 25 years had, up until 4 weeks ago, a full hypomania episode, her 2nd one. The result is she had to move in with the affair guy, my best friend. Watching her spiral down ward was tough but totally out of my hands. Nothing I could do or say would change her course so I moved out of our room and wrote her a letter telling her to be happy with who ever it was going to be, she had my blessing.I then had to wait for the inevitable. After what turned out to be a 10 month affair I ended it by saying, ‘come on guys enough is enough, come and get her things. Drugs and alcohol played a big part in this episode, she lost kilos and looked terrible.I am still friends with the friend and I passed on my concerns about her mental health, he doesn’t want to hear it of course but the stigma of this illness means that the spouse is suffering as much as the ill person. It is a terrible thing.

  16. Thank you for your post. I was having a rough morning and I came across it. I am dealing with a bipolar spouse. He is currently in an episode and decided after many many years together he doesn’t care about me, and we need to divorce. In the span of a week, he has went from being moody to insisting we have to do this, going so far as finding paperwork to do it without a lawyer. Has taken off his wedding band and is acting like this is just how it is. We didn’t have a rocky relationship, or even a bad one. Our last main issue was his last big episode a few years ago when he was initially diagnosed bipolar. He went back to the dr a few weeks ago from not going for way too long, and is on medication now, but its not been long, not long enough for it to be effective. I woke up so sad and frustrated, was ready to just concede. I honestly do not know if i can ride this out with him. I just need a ray of light but finding his band was taken off was like the straw that broke the camels back with me. It was our wedding anniversary and i find that, like all the years are nothing. I cannot even express how devastated I am. I have told very few people what i am going through because i know this current man isnt him, but even then i told only one member of my family and they arent supportive, they say well you know relationships end. I tell his family and they are concerned, they tried to talk to him, then told me, thats not him, its like i am talking to a stranger. so i keep second guessing myself if i am just hoping its all the illness or if its truly over. They seem to think its all the illness but i still have this sick feeling in my stomach, of what if it isnt. I know people get through this, but its so unbelievably hard. I look at my children and i am so sad, they deserve so much better. I wanted to give them the world and soon im afraid we will be thrust right into poverty and he wont be around at all.

    • It is the illness. Their moods are so strong. Your love for him was also about you loving love. There is nothing you can do about this nor is it your fault. You have to ask yourself…can I continue to handle this? Your saying you will if he gets back to his old self. However, chances are certain that IT WILL happen again. Enjoy the non-bipolar acting up times, and prepare for the worst. This may be over, but it was always about the illness and not you. You deserve to be happy….stay busy…focus on your children and the things that make you happy besides him. You need to live…life must go on. You cannot count on him. Its sad but that is the reality.

  17. I am a 46-year-old male who went undiagnosed with bipolar disorder/anxiety disorder for many years. I wasn’t diagnosed until I was 40 years old. By then, my life was in chaos. I was trying to run my own business, which was failing as a result of my on-again, off-again depressive episodes. I lost my home to foreclosure because I couldn’t stay on top of my finances, but was spending money like I didn’t have a care in the world. I was acting out sexually and with substances, all of which only exacerbated my poor mental condition. I wound up on disability because I had lost the ability to function normally. Throughout this period of time, I was in a relationship with my partner, who has to be the most patient and stable person I know. Knowing that I was sick, he stood by me during all of the turmoil my disorder was creating, always reassuring me that I could trust and rely on him. And, he followed through on his words with actions when I needed him to. Even though I wasn’t always able to listen to what he was saying, some part of what he said/did must have sunk into my brain. Today, we are still together, and I have – after trying five different medications – finally found a successful treatment regimen so that my mood is stabilized and I am not nearly as anxious as I once was. I have been able to return to work, and no longer act out in self-destructive ways. I hate the word “normal,” but after years of heartache, anger and despair (and not knowing why I was the way I was) I finally feel normal. I credit my partner’s willingness to stand by me as a big part of my success story. Had I been alone during the worst of it, I probably would have killed myself because I was so miserable. I know that remaining with me was not easy for my partner, but he persevered and helped me through it. I love him so much for it.

    • Your situation seems a little like mine, just a very much few years younger. 6 months ago I met a beautiful person inside and out, we were rocky in terms of him not telling me about that hes got BP. I stuck by him regardless and said bipolar isn’t you, it is a thing that we can deal with. 6 months down the line, still things going good, he explained to me hes feeling a little bit funny and not to worry and we are still fine as ever and he loves me no matter what and wants to always see me regardless of which stage he is in. he is on medication. recently not being able to sleep properly, I realised that and tried to help but meds arent doing anything. the day after he told me we are still ok, etc. I get a message saying he cant do this anymore and i deserve someone to love me fully and its not him. Now I do love him very much, I told him I will give him space to think things through as I do want it to work, he replied i know you want things to work but i need to think he thanked me and I have made no contact. I have reached out to you E.G. as regardless of the age gap its somewhat a little like my situation.

      can you tell me if I have done the right thing in giving him space for a bit? How much time do I go from not talking to him, to sending a message asking him if hes ok? It would be much appreciated and a massive help in this journey if you could let me know your honest answer. I am running out of things to do/say, p.s. he wont see me see him face to face ‘yet’.

  18. I too fell in love with a Bipolar woman. She still is the most beautiful young woman I’ve ever cared for. She was so sweet, and thoughtful. We fell in love, and I was sure she wanted to spend the rest of her life with me. We said we love each other every day. Then she started to be manic. She reached paranoia..she was easily angered. I noticed this and just kept quiet. It was hard. She became a different person. She reached point of a major episode which forced her to be hospitalized for weeks. I told her I loved her by phone being I lived long distance, and was never told she wanted to see me. The day she’s out of the hospital she is still not the same, and I didn’t hear from her for a week. The first call I did receive was from her saying to not contact her mom…which I was to see if she was OK…and that she’s done with me….I said how could you? and all she did was hang up on me. That is last time we spoke…a 90 second call after a month of worrying about her well being. I love this girl so much…she didn’t break up with me….I didn’t break up with her. Bipolar Mania broke us up. I hurt daily. I loved her and her family so much. I must go on…but it hurts.

  19. Hi!
    It is so sad to read that a lot of people are going through the same issues I am. My husband is a wonderful man (I say is because I think he is still somewhere there) we have been married for a little over 5 years and have had some issues but nothing that can make our marriage end. We met when he was 21 and I was 23, we fell heads over heels and got married 3 weeks after we met, life was not easy the first six months, he had to work two jobs for a while in order to support us. Now he has a great job and works very hard on a daily basis. Since I met him he has been on antidepressants, but he stop taking them about a year ago and said he was very happy with his life and his marriage that he did not think he needed it. About six months ago I noticed he was drifting away, playing video games all day long and giving me a little to no attention which I kept whining about and upsetting him. At the beginning of February his assistant manager left but before that she confessed she was in love with him and was heartbroken because he never gave her a chance, then he had her friends bullying him for being such a jerk and not dating her (they did not care he was married)He had a meltdown right after that which made me angry because I thought he had feelings for her, I told him to stop talking to her or he would lose me as I was not willing to deal with this inappropriate behavior, he then said he would stop talking to her and that he loved me and was so in love with me that he would do anything to save our marriage. I spoke to him and told her it might be good if he went to the doctor because I thought he needed Prozac again, he agreed and was very upset because I was not able to go to the doctor with him, but I was not able to get off on time. He started taking Paxil and it only made him feel worse, 6 days later I got home and he told me he wanted the divorce and that he still loved me but was not in love with me, he then proceeded to ask me to leave and leave him alone, I left because the arguments kept escalating and thinks kept getting worse and worse. I told him he should visit a psychiatrist because I started researching and all his behaviors pointed towards bipolar disorder. I graduated school on May 6th and on May 3rd I texted him and said I would love if he would attend my graduation as he is still a very important part of my life, his response was “ugh I will have to think about it” and then remembered an argument we had 2 weeks prior to that text because I found out that he was texting another girl (over 1000 texts in one day) he then proceeded to tell me he would rather die than be with me and if he has not been cleared before he would say it again, he would not want to be 100 feet near me, he also said he was ready to file for the divorce and wanted to know if I had an attorney which I decided to give up and just send emoji’s to not put more fuel to the fire. He said to never talk to him again but called me the next day to yell at me about my credit card bill. He messaged me on FB the day after my graduation saying he was very proud of me that he would text me but I blocked his number and that I should enjoy my life and party with my friends because I deserved it, he asked me why I was not talking to him and I responded that I was just doing what he asked me, he said he fell really lonely and wished I could talked to him more often because he only speaks to his mom and then is depressed the rest of the time, silly me started being nice and texted him to see how he was doing and he responded well for the next few days, then he proceeded to send very explicit pictures of himself to me and when I questioned him he said well I do it because I can. Last weekend I had an issue with our dog and contacted him and he blew up on me saying all I do is bother him and that he does not want to hear from me, he also said he said all he wanted to say and did not know what else to say to me. I really do not know how to deal with this, I have been going through all this for three months and seriously I am about to go crazy, I found out he saw a psychiatrist on 4/28 and she prescribed bipolar meds to him, but instead of helping that medication made him feel worse and she changed him to lithium two weeks ago as of yesterday. I seriously love this man, I DO NOT see myself sharing my life with somebody else, he has been a wonderful husband and we had a good life together, I want him to get back to the sweet, loving and caring man I use to have, I told him I was here for him and he responded he is toxic to me, that he does not want to drag me through his mud and that I should date (which he freaked out thinking I was dating my roommate’s boyfriend) but I said I am still here for you and even though we did not have wedding vows I am here to help him during illness and health. I do not want to divorce my best friend, I feel like a doormat but at the same time I know many of the things he is doing is due to the illness, my biggest question is, will he ever come back to me? How long until the medication works? Please help me.
    Thank you so much.

    • Hello I read your story I’ve been with a person just like your husband and it’s a horrible life I would move along and try to find someone that will make you happy

  20. At last a site with some current comments . Most others I’ve visited are years old. Im 60 my wife of 14 year is also. we have 8 year old twins she gave birth to at age 52. Amazing woman.Such was the strength of our love then and for several years after. But the last 4 have been a roller coaster of living hell for me that has just about erased my once strong self esteem . she is Bi polar/manic phase. she was on seroquel for a year and was flat lined . No laughter no tears no nothing. After much fighting and pressure I got her to see a different doctor who immediately ditched the Seroquel. And started her on tegratol and Latuda. The difference was amazing except for one devastating side effect for me.It erased her once normal labido. I mean she doesn’t even want me touching her in any way period. No hugs no affection at all. as long as I go along with that she’s happy go lucky and focuses on the kids 24/7. And me? Who am I ? She says she loves me one day and so long as nothing interrupts her “vortex” (she’s really gotten into listening to speakers like Ester Hicks, Byron Katie. etc. Its all she hears all day during her household things and her work day.) she’s fine . But one slip of the tongue by me on anything she deems intrusive to her “inner peace and joy” and I am satan himself and she hates me. After verbally ripping me another orifice she will then the next day tell me she loves me and the kids and we are everything . were a family. and I should just take what she says when she’s upset and (her words) “let it scar over and forget about it . Learn to forgive. Unlock me self and release my inner joy and peace and be happy in life. When she says she loves me , but don’t touch me, I believe her. When she say’s she despised me and that I am trying to destroy who she really is, I believe her. She claims I am angry at her personal growth and resentful because I cannot grow as she has. Perhaps It seems that way to her . I am not angry I am at the ragged end of a twisted rope of confusion. A once confident guy she fell for is now a wet noodle in side. And according to her I am the biggest narcissist she’s even known . After researching the narcissist condition It is she who is the narcissist when she’s manic.

  21. I have been there when it comes to having a partner with bipolar. He was my SO for three years and then we broke up and stayed friends. We were friends when he died two years ago. I think I was able to negotiate the situation reasonably well, but I had to learn as I went along. I knew he had bipolar going in, but I wasn’t aware of all that entailed.

    First, let me say that if you decide to be supportive and continue the relationship, there will be no thanks or appreciation. Do it because you value the relationship and for no other reason. People with bipolar do not get better. There will be another episode. My SO and many others, although not all, was verbally and emotionally abusive when he was manic. You have to have strong boundaries and a strong sense of self. If the abuse gets to you, you should probably leave the relationship for your own good.

    The relationship will never be on solid footing. He broke up with me hundreds of times before I finally made it stick. The longest break-up before the last one was one day. People will not understand why you stick with the person and will tell you to get out. If he is physically abusive or threatens to be, definitely get out. I did not have this problem. When he is manic, you may not be able to go to social events with him if you do not enjoy public scenes. Don’t expect to enjoy a vacation with him when he is manic. Save your money. Consider children, marriage, and even living together very carefully and only after seeing how your loved one handles the illness over several YEARS and through stressful times. I made the decision that even living together was too close to the fire when he was manic, although early on I thought it was a possibility and it probably would have worked when he was stable. And no, “I’ll be more stable if we are married/living together/have kids” is not going to happen.

    You have to know how to firmly but with understanding keep yourself safe both physically and emotionally. You have to know when to walk away and how to make it clear when you will be back. Basically, you have to learn how to have compassion under fire, how to whisper while having obscenities screamed at you.

    I value the relationship we had and miss it, but it wasn’t easy.

  22. I have tried writing this post for the last six months but every time I have started I gave up because I grown very happy living in this bubble. I recently went on vacation with my family and found that my bubble has burst. I have been married to my husband for 20 years and this is the first week I have come to accept that he suffers from BP. I always thought that he was just out of the box or I was to blame for his extreme reactions. I was foolish, blind and dumb to have been in some kind of coma all these years. I got pregnant and we decided to get married very young. I really didn’t know anything about him, his stories of his past was always changing. I already felt something off and people everywhere kept telling me to run. I thought I found Mr Right and felt everyone was jealous. Stupid Me. It didn’t take to long of his manic self to come out. I can tell you the exact place and date where he first verbally abused me. I was numb the rest of the day, even blaming myself for his outburst. Found out he was a raging alcoholic, the funny thing is never affected his health in anyway. When he was himself, I would fall in love when you was manic I would fall apart. I have three kids with him, he switches back and forth in warp speed now. I keep telling him he is BP but denies it. I left him twice and everything he was on the next plane to come get me and bring me back to his hell. He quit drinking for awhile but slowly that crept back. He just stop drinking beer and took on cider as his drink of choice. He also smokes pot, he takes money that I have earned to buy it everyday. His kids encourage his smoking because that is the only time he acts normal.
    Sometimes I think I should just stop wishing to leave because he will NEVER let me. He has nothing without us, which makes him very dangerous. He has never hit me. He is a master of words, which is worst than getting hit. He doesn’t work, always has some kind of business on the side. He is most amazing salesperson, can truly talk anyone to get anything. One day he can be flat broke and the next with tons of other people’s money. He has burnt a lot of people and also helped a lot, but never have we seen any benefit from it. At the start he convinced me that normal people have sex up to six times or more a day. I kept telling him I didn’t want to which it triggered his manic emotions. I have now become dead f**k. He doesn’t ask anymore and I have learn to space completely out while its happening.
    I have always been working full time and raising my kids by myself. He took me away from my family from the start to make sure he has complete control.
    I want to leave but not sure how. The kids want me to leave him. Why am I so scared. I feel so bad for him, he doesn’t recognise he suffers from BP. Would I have to always look behind my back if I leave? He has taken everything from me and all I want is peace. I don’t want anything from him. I need advice. Want I really want is for someone to guide me thru the first few steps. Anyone out there…

  23. I have been with Bob for 5 years. We have…what I call a light switch relationship. One day he loves me and the next he does not. I have to “reason” with him daily. He’s had some great moments where he’s lovable, caring and listens. Then, he turns off the light switch and verbally and mentally puts me down. I am “always” the problem. Even if I am not with him when certain things happen. Watching a movie or when he has quiet time and thinks a lot. He will bring up things in his past and blames me. I moved cross country to relocate to his home town. He does take medicine. But, sometimes I wonder if he should have the dosage upgraded. I love this man and have stood by him. I tried to get counseling for him and I and all he did was say everything in his life was my fault. The Counselor picked up on him needing one on one counseling. Which he did for about 2 sessions and stopped going. That’s only when the Counselor said it was him that needed the help not me. I have tried several avenues. If anyone has any other suggestions…… please let me know. Thank you, Vivian

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