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02/24/2012 02:51 AM

Relationships with Bipolar people

Posts: 2

Hi everyone,

I have been in a relationship on and off for five years with someone that suffers from a bipolar disorder. Has anyone had a similar experience and is there a way to make the relationship work? The relationship runs fine for several months, then he becomes distant when he goes into a depressive state and cuts me off. When he seems to be 'stable' he says he really loves me and wants a future with me but it is all contradictory when he is in a depressive state. Any insight/input would greatly help. Thanks in advance!


02/24/2012 05:04 AM
Posts: 925

Whenever a person is in great pain or feels his or hers health has declined, that person is going to isolate so the whole world doesn't have to see them or feel them going through that.

Before I was diagnosed with BP I was a very social person. But since my diagnosis I have had some hard times where I felt so sick that I didnt want to be around anybody. You have to understand that the deep depression he goes into is not personal. You need to give him his space and let him heal. Try to have empathy. Bipolar depression is terrifying and you cant function very well and be around others. If you cant put up with these times then you should look for someone that is normal. Good luck.

02/24/2012 10:37 AM
Posts: 42739
VIP Member
I'm an Advocate

I'm sure my husband feels left out at times when I have gone into depressions. I pull back and become non-communicative. I just can't handle being around people when depressed. It's too difficult to manage my pain let alone interact with others. I don't stop loving him, I just can't handle the relationship. I am fortunate in that he is understanding and supportive. He gets it and for the most part doesn't take it personally. You really have to ask yourself if you are willing and able to live with this. If he is on medications, then they need to be adjusted because the depressions don't have to happen. I am stable now. If he isn't on medications, then that is something to discuss. This is something you will need to think through and whatever you decide, I hope you will be at peace about it.

02/24/2012 12:11 PM
Posts: 16686
Group Leader
I'm an Advocate

It's really hard to watch someone with depression. I tend to isolate when depressed. Just don't feel like doing anything or talking to anyone. It's when you need the most support and you just reject it. He should be more even if he is on the right medications. Shouldn't be having extreme episodes. Does he take medications? If he doesn't, he really needs to get on them. That and therapy is the only way to get stable and stay stable. I hope he will go to his doctor and explain how he is feeling. I want to welcome you to this site. I think it's great that you joined. You will learn a lot about bipolar here and meet some nice friends.

02/24/2012 12:57 PM
Posts: 2828
VIP Member

i think in distance relationship, just in mania states, we see each other, i went to a meet up with bipolars couple times, the going off meds the on and the ones needing them,, like a bunch of mixed people, was interesting tho, of course did not last

09/14/2012 03:53 PM
Posts: 1
New Member

HI Tanz245,

I also was in a realtionship with a bipolar person for nearly 5 years. I completely understand about everything going great for a few months and then the person caves and is unresponsive. It's as if they're unreachable emotionally. He would typically behave very mean and hurtful during this time. My boyfriend was 44 and had been on litium since his 20's and on lamictol to lessen the depression, as well as an antidepressant. When things were good, it was an amazing relationship. I tried my best to read books and get as much information about bipolar as possible. I thought I could deal with it. My boyfriend had never married and never had children. Although he had had several long-term relationships, none seemed to last. He told me that he had never been as in love with anyone as deeply as with me. I can't help but think that the failure in his past relationships was because of his bipolar. I will never know.

He would start fights and create drama when he wasn't feeling good about himself. He would cave for several days, and nothing I could do or say would evoke any empathy from him. Often times he would say very hurtful things and after several days he would apologize and say I was right. This went on for nearly 5 years with several break-ups (his doing, saying he could just not handle the fact that I had kids and had "belonged" to someone else before him.)

Because our connection was so intense and we had such an intimate connectio and had so much fun when we were together, it was hard for me to stay away. I always thought "if I could just reach him, he would get out of his funk", but unfortunately the cyle would repeat itself every couple of months. We lived only 5 minutes from eachother. After 3 years and a breakup, he moved 1.5 hours away and sold his house. We tried hte long-distance relationship, but each time he would come over for the weekend, we would have an amazing time and be so close, only to be followed by him withdrawing and doubting whether he could handle a relationship.

After nearly 5 years, I think I've finally had enough. I had planned a three day weekend over Labor Day to visit him and was all set to go when he said he just couldn't deal with the relationship again. I've been deeply hurt by him so many times. I'm tired of the emotional rollercoaster and the emotional abuse from someone who goes from Jekle to Hyde so often. I wish you best of luck. I still struggle with the intense attraction but am trying to not make contact with him.

09/14/2012 04:42 PM
luvmyfamilyPosts: 138

I would have to agree with Sarah on many things. I did terrible things to my husband, tried suicide which was super messy, he watched me leave this earth in an ambulance and I cheated on him with a guy I though I had created a connection, replacing him.

After being hospitalized and diagnosed with Bp a lot of things started making sense. While I dealt with my issues, he spent all day reading and studying Bp. he became a sort of expert.

Unfortunately my husband developed ptsd. He is a police officer and had seen horrible things but to see his wife really messed with his head. he stayed with me for a few years helping me through it, all the time learning, recognizing and helping me.

One day he couldn't take it anymore and he left. He just packed his things and walked out. I didn't know where he was or if he was coming back. I considered ending it but I realized I could deal with it and work through it. So I did. I also realized how far I hadn't come. He was my stability. i still had a lot of me work to do.

After some time went by, I didn't blame him for leaving me. I wouldn't have had half the strength to do what he did for so long.

In the time he was gone I became someone I never thought I could be. I can honestly say I love myself and I am beautiful. Without him leaving I may have never learned this.

One day my husband walked into the gym and saw me. looking at him I realized he was in love with me and he looked at me like it was the first time. We talked and started dating. In the time he was gone he had worked on himself and finding who he had become after all this.

We are doing fantastic, better then we have before. It's not the same it's a different love. Now we live with the fact I am Bp and need to always recognize the symptoms. But we are good. Most marriages that suffer infidelity don't make it much less one with Bp.

But we are a rarity! it hasn't been easy. It's a work in progress every day.

like I said before, I DID NOT blame him for walking away. He had to do his part and I had to do my part in order to be where we are...

You need to be healthy too. just like my hubby. Being with a person with Bp can almost be abusive and some times is. TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF that is the most important thing.

My heart broke when he left. I had never felt that kind of pain in my life. It still hurts. But I will share some words of wisdom my mom gave me. They didn't mean much till after I healed.

"My daughter, no one dies of a broken heart. When have you ever heard a doctor say this patient died of a broken heart"

You are amazing for sticking it out. I admire you Smile

09/14/2012 06:54 PM
Posts: 2524
Senior Member

I'm sorry, I'm the one with Bipolar so I can't say I understand but in a way I do. However I am wondering if MDJunction still has the group for families/significant others of people with Bipolar to help them cope. I know there use to be, Joy?? Can you answer that for me?

10/10/2012 03:22 AM
Posts: 2

Hi everyone, thanks for all of your contributions. I haven't actually been on here in months! My relationship with that person ended, I don't feel like he could meet me even close to half way in the relationship. I also feel like the relationship took a serious toll on me, it was emotionally abusive and I feel like I need to rebuild my life again. He wasn't medicated and he didn't want to get help. I'm a registered nurse and like to think that I am a caring and understanding person, but if someone can't accept help or help themselves then there really is no hope for a happy and healthy relationship with them.

10/10/2012 10:27 AM
Posts: 14

Hi Tanz,

I just stumbled upon your discussion page. I understand the pain of having a loved one with bipolar disorder. I couldn't blame you for the decision. I'm a sister to someone with the disorder, and it is often heartbreaking.

I wish you all the best and I do hope the experience taught you well.


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