ive sat here bawling my eyes out for the past half hour and then decided i had to talk to the only people in my life who really understand, you guys.
ive just had a very bad evening. im trying to come off a terrible combination of paroxetine and lithium which has sent my mood swings through the roof, making me extremely reckless and euphoric one minute, and violent and suicidal the next.
ive been quite agoraphobic recently, but my boyfriend wanted to take me to dinner this evening and i didnt want to let him down as i hadnt seen him for ages. i get extremely panicky driving when i feel like this (i was actually in a smash a few weeks ago which has made it even worse) and he hasnt got a car at the moment so i had to pick him up. hes recently moved house and id not been to the new house yet so didnt know where to go, and i get even more nervous driving when i dont know where im going.Anyway,he said he'd wait on the road for me but was pretty vague with directions and to cut a long story short i got lost trying to find him, i kept calling him and telling him where id managed to get to, and he kept asking me to drive to where he was and trying to direct me, and i was getting more and more stressed and ended up just pulling over and sitting there crying. i called him and asked him if he could walk to where i was (he was up the road) and he said no, i was the one with the car, i had to drive to him. i could see his point in a way because it was raining, but i honestly didnt feel i could drive any further because i was worried i was going to get even more lost, and the roads round that area are really busy, and i actually felt scared by now, which is how i get. so i texted him saying i was going to go home because i was in a state and he replied to say "nice one" and was obviously really annoyed with me. ive tried texting him again to explain things but hes now ignoring me.
He knows im bipolar and ive tried many times to explain how i feel and how it affects me, and part of him is so lovely and caring and supportive, but i know tonight he just thought i was being lazy and awkward, and that makes me want to scream because its not like that atall. There have been other times in the past hes mistaken my behaviour for meaning something totally different, like when ive done all my manic overspending hes accused me of being materialistic, and called me a snob because ive spent a lot on designer things, which i wouldnt do if i wasnt manic.hes also commented on how i seem like two different people at times, one part is loving and caring,and the other part is cold and heartless.it makes me so frustrated because i dont ask to be this way, and i constantly try to explain but he doesnt seem to understand. i guess he only time he likes to be around me is when im really manic and my sex drive is through the roof and im loud and fun.
my question is,can a relationship ever really survive bipolar? i know it probably depends on the partner, but if a person cant truly understand, can it work? i know its by no means easy for the partner of someone bipolar, ive seen how distraught some of the partners have been who have posted on here, but at least they are desperately trying to understand. i dont think my partner wants to. i know hes only human and its not easy for him, but right now i feel desperate for support and i just want him to give me a hug, but he wont even talk to me.
i dont want to go through life alone
I've asked myself the same question today. It's not your fault. give your bf time to assess the situation. Right now he's dealing with his feelings and his perspective. Give him time to look at the situation from your side as well. He will calm down. You're not alone. We're here for you.
Hey fallen angel, I'm so sorry you are having to go through this. This sucks for everybody. My opinion, what ever that's worth, regardless of BP or any other disease if two people reaaly care about each other and are willing to do the tough stuff then Yes...It's possible. I'm of the belief that anything is possible. The problem is that most people aren't willing to do the work.(Generalities) It sounds like you are absolutely willing to work at it. I will pray that your guy will too. Hang in there. ...Oz
Angel, don't get down on yourself! You are more than half way there. I would be beside myself happy If my wife would atleast come to me and try to explane what's going on. she won't! she is confused. I now know a lot about this ilness and what to expect and I believe I could deal quite nicely, but she wont even give me a chance. She just shuts me out, and does not want to talk about it. By you trying to explane things he should be (I would be) alot more understanding.
thank you for your replies,
distroyed and wizard of oz- i thought of both you guys when i posted that, as the very fact that you're on this board shows how much you care and that you are trying so hard to understand and support your wives. but i just feel like im being met by a blank wall with my fella. i tried to call him earlier but hes now switched his phone off!!
SOTL16 thank you for the words of support- i dont know what id do without this board!!
Last edited by fallen_angel; 06-26-2006 at 02:35 PM.
Is there anyone out there that can give us a success story? I would love to hear someone tell how there relationship has made it through the trials and storms. It would really help me today. Thanks!!
Your story is so familiar, except for the details, it could describe every relationship I've ever had. So, successful BPD relationships? I've never had one, but I believe in them.
I do know that the right man for me will understand my illness and help me manage it. I know that there are people out there who understand the illness and will care enough to be with me.
Carly Simon is BPD. I once saw her in an interview talking about her current husband. She said, "He loves me not in spite of, but because of my struggle."
THAT is the man I'm looking for. And if Carly can find him, so can I.
I hate to say that I think your current bf is not up to the task. If he doesn't start to try and understand the illness, he will constantly judge you based on what "normal" people would do. Unless he stops looking at your behavior like you control it, I don't think he will ever fully appreciate your struggle.
YOU ARE A SPECIAL PERSON! And you deserve a man who knows that. I know it's hard, but I think you have to focus on YOU and what you need. If he can't understand that you're SICK, then he's not the man for you. He seems to be making it worse by putting pressure on you to do things you have told him trigger your symptoms. It's a little like he's berating a diabetic for not being able to eat sugar! And he certainly wouldn't insist you drive down the road to him if you were going into sugar shock, he would RUN to you. Being alone is better than being with someone who makes your symptoms worse. Just use your support network and stand on your own two feet! You are already stronger than you know. When you're stable, the right man will be there for you. (This is what I keep telling myself, too.)
Don't ever let anyone bully you into thinking you are less than everyone else because you struggle with an illness. We all deserve someone who understands and accepts our unique problems.
I just wanted to say I understand how you're feeling and that I'm sorry. Having bipolar is so very hard on us, and yet it's hard on our mates too.
I'm with SOTL, is there anyone that's had a successful relationship once bipolar becomes involved?
I was only diagnosed a few months ago and it's been horrible. I'm in a mixed state most of the time and we're having a real hard time stabilizing me. I've bought and read lots of books about bipolar and even bookmarked a chapter for family members of bipolars for my hubby to read..left it layin' out on the table for 3 weeks, and he still didn't read it. When I try to talk to him about it, he only says that the Dr's need to get my meds straightened out. I think he thinks if he ignores it, it's not really there, ya know what I mean? I've also had a recurrence of cancer since we've been married and he doesn't talk about that either. So, at least I know it's not just the bipolar. Some people just can't talk about serious things I guess.
Ugh! I'm rambling here. I'm sorry about that.
Lots of hugs to you, Fallen! This place is a blessing to all of us.
God, I hope so. My husband was just diagnosed last week. I had suspected it for a while. Right now, I'm glad to have a reason for his behavior. He wasn't like this when we met or when we married. We've been together 10 years, married for eight of those tomorrow.
His behavior has changed over the course of the last few years. I guess I'm lucky in that I've seen him before the illness started and after it started. I know that the bipolar causes a lot of the problems between us, so I try not to get mad at him, but I do get mad at the disorder, if that makes sense.
We have a three-year-old daughter, so I am hoping things will work out for us. I don't want her to grow up without a two parent household, but I can't let her grow up seeing the way her father sometimes treats me.
But, I really hope that a relationship where one partner has bipolar can work out. I hope to be one of the success stories.
thank you to you all for your replies, its great to know i have this much support.
littletimebomb yours in particular made me cry as it rang so true but was so hope inspiring.
anyway here an update- i texted him this morning to ask if he was still talking to me, and he replied to say he was fed up with me making excuses not to see him and that he felt let down. the minute i read the word "excuses" i felt my blood boil. i just wanted to scream at him that he doesnt understand.if i hadnt wanted to see him i wouldnt of driven all that way and got myself into the state i did. ive had to cancel on him a few other times recently due to feeling very sick on my current med combination (which im being taken off) and anyone who's been on a bad combo knows how this leaves you feeling! i think a lot of my recent behaviour has been down to this. he takes painkillers for a back problem which make him irritable and i reminded him of this, and told him if a painkiller could do this he should try being on something that totally messes with your mind! but now hes not replying to me again so im getting the silent treatment.
so littletimebomb i think you may be right, im not sure if he could support me through all this. hes only ever seen the manic ("fun") side of me or when i havent been in an episode and have been fairly stable until now. i think part of the problem is that hes quite insecure himself and takes things very personally so thinks my behaviour is all about him.
i always thought if you truly loved someone you might not be able to always understand them but that you could see above their problems and support them whatever.i was madly in love with an ex of mine (before i was diagnosed myself) and he had big mental health problems, nothing that he would admit to, but i often watched the patterns of his behaviour and wondered if he was bipolar or perhaps schizoaffective. his behaviour was totally out of control at times but i loved him so much none of it mattered. he made a joke once about us being a lethal combination, but we also shared a connection that i dont think i'll ever experience again in my life.
Last edited by fallen_angel; 06-27-2006 at 01:34 AM.
Hi everyone, I'm kind of at a loss. My heart tells me that a realtionship where both people are committed can survive anything. My wife went to in-patient treatment 4 years ago for alcoholism. We had 3 kids at the time and the youngest was 2. I stayed at home with the kids while she went to AZ for treatment. I thought that month was the worst month of my life. She wanted to get divorced then but I set bounderies and told her I was taking the kids and she was moving out. Next day she changed her mind. Still really don't know why. After 6 months or so we were doing great. We were all in therapy, aa, al-anon the whole shooting match. I thought at that time if we could make it through this then we are bullet proof. Guess I was wrong. I still believe that relationships can survive. Everyone, and I mean everyone has problems. It doesn't matter if one or both have mental dissorders. The more I look around I'm beginning to think we all have some form of mental dissorder. It's called life. Sorry to rant. I still have and pray for hope....for all of us....God Bless....Oz
Hi fallen angel. I too believe a relationship can survive if both people are committed to it. I am determined to stand by my man! I love him totally and am doing my best to understand his bipolar.
BTW, i posted a thread asking about group therapy in the UK (lancashire) I have noticed you are from the UK. Dont suppose you know of any of these groups? I would appreciate any information.
Chin up, you two can make it, just make sure you keep him informed of your moods, how you are feeling, and what it is like for you. This should help him understand better.
thanks for your words of encourgement, he has actually said that one of the problems is the fact that i dont tell him how i feel at the time, i just act bizarrely and then explain later after everything has blown up. but its very hard to think rationally when you feel like that. my automatic reaction is to put my barriers up because i feel so lost and alone and that no one understands.i guess its just something we need to work at.
to answer your question about support groups, i unfortunately dont know of any in the UK. has your partner tried speaking to his pdoc about this? they might be able to put you in touch with one in your area.
Hi fallen, i am so sorry to hear that you are having problems with your partner. Bipolar is a difficult illness to understand and alot of our symptons are often mistaken for general bad habits or 'normal' mood swings.
Since i was diagnosed, i think my mood swings have made my relationship worse with my partner, especially because of my anger. Things have also been difficult because he too is going through some problems and things are dragging on.
I have asked my partner many times to come along to one of my psychologist appointments with me so he can see how i deal with my problems and so i can undestand my illness. But he often refuses because he feels that i dont need medicine and i can get better with my religion.
Its confusing because he has more belief in religion healing the person, rather than the explanation and healing from textbooks and people. So he is sometimes abit hesitant to learn about my illness.
But i have just brought a book called 'The Bipolar Disorder Survival Guide: What you and your family need to know'. I got it mainly for myself and for him. I have only read the first chapter but i am very anxious to read the rest because it has a lot of information about the illness and how the symptons occur and how they are different to 'normal' mood swings. I would definately reccomend the book if you haven't already got it, its written by David J. Miklowitz.
I told him i will be highlighting the things i would like him to read and he agreed to read them. I also said i wanted to turn to my religion again aswell and so he was happy about that because there is alot of emphasis on religion in our lives anyway.
I think to make the relationship work, you have to find a balance. Try to work out a way to make the other person understand the illness, so they are aware of what to expect. Find a way to communicate with one another, so that it is easy to open up to each other. I like to create the atmosphere similar to when we first met, kinda be in the same place, have the same surroundings, smells, all that stuff. Maybe this could help you.
Dont feel rushed to find a way to put your barriers down and open up. Take your time and let your partner know you are trying. But you should also agree on a way that he could try to understand your illness more, so you have a good comprimise. Talk to your partner about things your comfortable with and it could improve the relationship.
It took my partner nearly 2 years to open upto me, and i feel blessed that he can do that now and i feel i can be more supportive.
I always say to my partner that i have no idea how he can handle me and my anger and then still love me the way he does, but he just replys with that he loves me and he cant live without me. He also says that when i am stable i am the most amazing person to be with, which makes me feel like everything is going to be ok and that it is my illness that makes me act the way i do sometimes and not me.
I agree with everyone when they say that if two people really love one another, the relationship can survive anything. Its a matter of meeting the right person and i believe there is a person for everyone.
I dont think i am a bipolar relationship success story because we have our ups and downs and we had an extreamly bad day the other day. But life is like that anyway, having menatl health problems just make it worse because they are difficult to understand.
I wish you all the best with your relationship.
__________________ Saw it, wanted it, threw a fit, Got It!!
Thank you Lai,
your reply was very sweet and encouraging. i already have the book you mentioned and think i will try highlighting areas for my other half to read, as you have.
i wish you lots of luck too xx