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?”

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

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Comments: 1 2 3 6
  1. Hi…I’ve been in a relationship with a guy for the past 15 months, we never made it official but did everything that couples do.
    We work together & would spend up to 5 nights a week together.
    In the beggining he was the most amazing, sweetest, caring person but the more I was around him the more I noticed something was not right, he would come to my house but not speak a word, if something went wrong it was my fault, he would ignore me for no reason.
    In the middle of last year I noticed a changed yet again, he was so loving, calling me his princess always ringing me during the day, this went on for weeks then he finally told me he wanted a future with me, it was a dream come true only to tell me one week later he changed his mind.
    We still continued with our unofficial relationship then he had a health problem arise which troubled him a lot & every since then he has continued pushing me away, everything was my fault, he stopped enjoying spending time with me & the sex became less frequent.
    He told me a week before xmas that he misses me & always wants to ring me so he can see me & found it hard driving away from me after our weekly monday night dinner date.
    Now he has started seeing another girl.
    I convinced him to go see a doctor as we both believed he had severe anxiety & bipolar & he was diagnosed with bipolar.
    I’m so hurt, I gave him everything, I put him above myself our entire relationship, he was my world & I love him dearly.
    I’m glad he is now getting help but now I’m left broken hearted eith so many emotions.
    All those times he blamed me or I blamed myself,all those times I cried trying to work out what I had said or done wrong.
    I’m lost & I don’t know how yo get past these feelings.
    I’ve been on this Rollercoaster ride for to long & I need to get off!

    • I’m so sorry for your hurt. I am going through something similar, however I was married and he decided he just didn’t love me anymore. I too have wondered what I did wrong.

  2. Recently my love and I went through a very trying time. It was not easy but it was worth it. She went several months and could not say that she loves me and I was so frustrated that I was going through an emotional hell my self. Eventually I had to become cruel and I hated having to be “mean” to her. It was worth it. She was forced to come to terms and acknowledge her love for me and I have become even more grateful to have her in my life. We were so close to splitting ,I thought it was over, and very sad myself. I said things publicly and privately that I did not want to but I had decided that love is nothing to be embarrassed about and then just did it. Bipolar is nothing to be ashamed of , what matters is the love even if it has to be a tough love. In short, fight for the love that you both know is there even when you get dragged down with her or him. Fight and don’t give up, that love is worth it.

  3. I have been married for 4 years, to my husband who has bipolar, schizophrenia, and ADHD. We have been together a total of 10 years. We were inseperable, and I thought we were happy. I can relate completely to be unappreciated, cut off physically and emotionally, and the hurt turning into resentment. I tried therapy, but he refusrd. The longer I felt ignored, and unwanted the worse I felt. He was diagnosed in his early 20’s, and is now 34. 5 months ago he experienced what he says is a manic episode, and decided he did not love me anymore, and left. I was devastated, and have tried everything to convince him that his illness is talking, and not him, but without success. He has now obtained a girlfriend, and has placed photos with her on social media. I don’t know who this man is, he hated social media, would never make an effort to acquire some friendships at a church or other get together. And if it did not interest him, it wasn’t a priority. I feel so used, and heart broken. I have researched, and read on the subject. However I wondered if anyone has experienced a similar situation and what helped to get them through it. I’m not real clear where to go from here.

    • Our situations are very similar. My husband and I have been together since high school, going on 14 years. He had always had a distance about him, but I was able to overlook it for many years. He had always suffered from depression and high anxiety, medications were switched around for many years. He has always been high functioning, we have 2 young kids as well that he loves dearly. But he has never been able to handle stress rationally, and over the years his outbursts and personal filter seemed to get worse, almost abusive. However, he did always rely on me to lift him up, I was his supporter and crutch and gave my all and above to him all these years, above myself. Always made him my first priority. This past november (2016), things escalated in about 10 minutes, no fighting no nothing, just watching a comedy show with a couple of close friends, he suddenly got up, put his coat on, turned to tell me he has never loved me in these 13 years, all i have done is bring him down,i have always stopped him from doing what all he ever wanted to do and more ect…and then he just walked away. Within 24 hours, he had a new apartment, moved in with what is known as the whore/slut of town, spent every penny of the only savings we may ever have(2000$), borrowed even more money, cash advanced 100’s of dollars from work… It was truly unbelievable. This was a man always so worried over money, as we have never had it. The torment and heartache the kids and I went through was unbearable. He acted like we didnt really exist, although he did come to visit each day for supper. He had no feelings or emotions towards any of us, me especially, and this was someone who felt so much compassion for everything and loved his kids. He was numb inside and out, suicidal thoughts started surfacing and taking over more than in the past. He commited himself to the local er, 8 hours of assessment, he was diagnosed bipolar in a severe manic state, caused by his antidepressents he had been on for years. A week later, he got in with a local psychiatrist, who also diagnosed borderline personality disorder along with the bipolar, social anxiety, depression, and the list is still being added on. It took about a month before he started coming around mentally, his new gf left him about 3 weeks in, then he hit a bit of a depression. Therapist hadnt started meds yet, just seroquel to help bring the mania down until his next appointment. We started reconnecting, him spending more and more time with us each day. Still walking on egg shells most days though. I asked him if we could be friends with benefits for the tine being, i know he couldnt suddenly feel love again as quickly as it left just yet, but i became desperate for some kind of more connection. He said he didnt want to hurt me by doing that, which was nice to hear he was starting to feel guilt and emotions again, just weeks prior he wouldnt have cared at all. We tested the waters, and both of us realized we did crave it. Just sex though, no affection yet, i promised him i would be patient with that part. Just after christmas he asked if he could move back in, i said no at first, but a couple weeks later things started to crash on him and trapping him in another city, so we agreed to make a spare room downstairs in our house, his room for when he needs his space. He has been living here ever since, and things are gettig a lot better. Therapist started him on a medication, as he is medication resistant they called it, so it is not a typical lithium or bp med. But it does help with the other diagnosis, and the doses will be going up slowly every few weeks, with new ones added. Still a long road ahead, with no gaurantee how each day will fold, but i try to keep the atmosphere neutral as best i can for him. It is so frustrating, like i am trying to help my new husband, all while remembering my old one. Teach yourself distancing. Seperate the person you have known and loved all these years from the person you see today. I had no support for me, i still dont, so i am just talking from experience and not what may be recommended to do. Do your research on these diseases, and keep repeating that this is not really him. Time will tell how he really feels, but only if he gets professional help and the willingness to comply with a treatment plan. I dont always agree with my husbands therapist, and i feel he doesnt tell her all that has happened over the years leading up to his manic episode. I just try to remind him of things when he has a clear minded moment, and hope he will remember them when he sees her next. Writing to you right now is probably the one time i have actually opened up to someone, and i regret that now. Because no one knew what was going on and the severity of it, like my close family and friends, i feel like if i tell them it all now, that ive been living a lie to them. I suffered alone, still do, so please find someone you can trust that is not biased, someone rational and able to just listen. Not many truly understand the world of mental illness, but for the few that do, it is a dark and lonely place to be in. Theres days where my husband still is convinced what all i say is a lie, how i tell him what our life has been like, just doesnt exist. He has called me delusional many times, but it is him that cannot seperate reality from fantasy. Hyper active minds, like our husbands, can escalate from the smallest things, almost like they are thinking too fast to process how events unfolded, leaving them forgetting how things happened or why, allowing them to believe so deeply in false memories. Not that they are lieing to themselves or you, in their mind they are truly justified in their words and actions. They really believe in what they feel at that moment. I am not sure if my husband actually remembers all that he has said and done or if he even realizes how hurt we all are, but i know that until he is really stable on a daily basis, i cant ask for answers. Dont look to deep into everything he does or says, it will make you hurt even more. I feel now like i really did give up my life for him all these years, and now that he is gone mentally and sometimes physically, i dont know who i am anymore. I dont remember the person i was before, its been so long. I live my days in fear of him even going to the store and not returning. He doesnt understand why i feel like that, that he isnt going anywhere, but i remind him that not long ago, in a span of 10 minutes, he left us without any indications, explanations or reason. Trust will be hard to build back up. I hope your husband comes around, even if just as a friend at first. If he sees that you can just be his friend, not see you as his therapist or someone emotionally unstable, im sure he will come around. I didnt expect my husbands crash of depression to come so soon after, but i thankful it did. He got himself help when he realized he just made his life worse and miserable, on his own. He needs to want to get help and better before you can even attempt to repair things. He cant be there for you right now, please dont torment yourself over what has happened, as most definitely none of it is your fault. I know its hard, but a little bit of tough love can go a long way, make a small life outside of him for yourself, you will be happy that you did. It may even pique his interest, seeing you so in control, he may reach out to you sooner. I wish you the best, be strong for yourself, and take of you right now. This will not last forever, but only you can decide when enough is enough.

  4. i was married to a man for 45 years who was never told he had bipolar,but now I am sure he did He had no control at all He had sex with everyone and everything.He would throw things,and hit me.He would expose himself in public.I couldn’t understand what I was doing wrong,but it was not me.Our youngest daughter has had bipolar for 20 years.She is not violent,but often refuses to take her meds.She has two little boys that I have to take care of . Sometimes i don’t know what to do. prolixin works for her better than anything,but she says it makes her too sleepy, Now she is going on abilify. I am afraid she will find out it is going to sedate her and make her just as tired ,or more so.

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