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Old 05-08-2007, 11:02 AM   #1
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Is it best to just walk away?

Hello allÖ Iíve been reading a lot of the post on here about people in relationships with someone who is Bipolar. It seems a lot of the time, the advice is to walk away if you can. While, from the outside looking in, I can see where this may be good advice. But when you truly care and love the other person, how do you turn your back on them, when you know itís not ďthemĒ causing the problems, itís the BP?

My situation is that I have been involved with a wonderful woman for almost 2 years now. During this time we have broken up and gotten back together 3 times. Each time, she was experiencing a lot of stress and would get in ďthat weird placeĒ as she would call it, completely shut me out. Then the email or text message would come telling me to move on and that it was not fair to me. I would keep in distant contact for a few months, and eventually we would be back together. We would make plans for the future, talk about how perfect it feels, and just enjoy being with each other. This last time, about a month ago, she started having a bit of bad luck and things started getting to her. I could see her pulling away and shutting down, I just knew this was the beginning of the end again. Sure enough, a few weeks later, I got the text that it was over again. I was talking to a friend about what had happened, they said they thought she was BP. I never understood what it was, so I started reading up on it. Well now Iím convinced that this is the problem (all the signs are there), and I think she knows it too, but wonít fully admit it or do anything about it.

So here is my question for you all to ponderÖ Is it best to just walk away from this, or try to do something and help her?

My heart says to try and help, but to be honest; I donít know what I can doÖ

 
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Old 05-08-2007, 11:10 AM   #2
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Re: Is it best to just walk away?

Hi there,

you mention she thinks she knows too? Does that mean you've actually discussed it? It can be hard work with BP's BUT, those of us that take meds and work as hard as we can at not doing the things we are prone to do, binge drink, caffeine, late nights, street drugs etc can be wonderful, sensitive, loving and fun people. If you love her just ask her if you can go together to the doctor. Where's the harm in that?

Juliet

 
Old 05-08-2007, 12:06 PM   #3
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Re: Is it best to just walk away?

Hi...it is quite obvious that you see alot of good in this woman and truthfully there really is. I would bet that it is as torturous for her to be going through all of this just as much as it is for you. If I follow things correctly you are presently on a break from the relationship which could be the best thing happening. Because if the pattern is the same it is only a matter of time before you get the phone call that she is sorry and wants to resume the relationship.

If this is so...then this is your big opportunity to really help her out. Of course you must be willing to stay strong and consistent. You can tell her that you care about her and that you do want a relationship with her but that before things can be resumed with her that you feel that she needs to be professionally evaluated. Tell her that neither of you deserve to be going through this rollercoaster ride of a relationship and that you have done alot of research and would like to help her get to the bottom of what is actually going on. You MUST make it clear that you will not entertain resuming the relationship until she is evaluated. You can offer to go with her, provide her with names of highly recommended psychiatrists to go to and help her to make the appointment. The thing is that you will only have this window of opportunity to get her to agree to seek out the help that she needs. And the time to do so is when she is not in the fight and flight response.....when she calls you and wants to resume things is when you can rationalize more with her whereas when she is running she is in no state to entertain seeking out any help.

Read up as best as you can....I beleive that there are surveys out there that you can have her take and will show her by her answering a series of questions whether she has signs of Bipolar, Depression, Anxiety I am sure that you can find them with a little bit of research on your part.

The thing that you must realize is that without a proper diagnosis or treatment this behavior will most likely continue and I personally don't see how anybody can live this way when there is a way to make it better. If your GF is not willing to seek out the help then she is in a round about way telling you that she doesn't see the relationship or her coming into it at her best as being of highest priority. And that is when you may have to make a decision as to whether you can enter into a relationship like that.

I wish you luck...please keep us posted. You sound like a great person and she is really lucky to have somebody like you. You may be the one to point her in the right direction that will help her to live a happier and more stable lifestyle.

(((HUGS)))) ~ Goody

 
Old 05-08-2007, 04:18 PM   #4
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Re: Is it best to just walk away?

I won't say to stay or to walk away but I just want to say I have been trying to get my husband to get help for over 8 years! The ups and downs and rages have worn on me a lot. It is never easy with meds but impossible without them. If she realizes what she needs then there is hope. (maybe)

 
Old 05-08-2007, 05:17 PM   #5
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Re: Is it best to just walk away?

Only you can decide to stay or to go. All the advice in the world can only help you to a point in the end it is up to you and how much you can take, and what she is willing to do as well.

I am the Bipolar one in our relationship and we have been married for ten years now. In that time period I have been medicated for only about a period of a year total. It hasn't been easy on me or even him moreso. But it can be done and with medication I would think the chances of success would be better then without (depending on many factors including severity must be factored in which is hard to do).

I know this doesn't help a lot but maybe a pro relationship in some ways is better then getting too many that might say run while you are still sane or no answer at all.

Eme

 
Old 05-09-2007, 08:44 AM   #6
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Re: Is it best to just walk away?

Well, you all have given me a lot to think about and I really appreciate the advice and opinions! I guess the issue Iím faced with here is not a matter of wanting to be with her (I do, and I can see a future with her when things are ďnormalĒ) but rather, do I try to maintain contact with her or just let it go and see if she wants to try again when the sky clears for her. In the past, I have always been the one to initiate communication with her. Even if it was unanswered, I would try to let her know I was still thinking about her and still cared. I asked her if this time, the breakup was forever, and she told me if I needed an answer right then it was yes. So Iím uncertain if there will be another chance.
The last thing I want her to feel is that I have forgotten her and moved on, but at the same time I donít want to put any more unneeded pressure on her and push her away forever. I guess Iíll need to follow the old adage ďIf you love someone, set them freeÖ Yadda Yadda..Ē and if she comes back, then seriously talk to her about my concerns. Up to this point I have only mentioned in an email (she tends to avoid talking when she gets ďin that weird placeĒ) that I think she knows that something is not right and that I think it scares her. Iíve never told her that I think she is BP.
I hope Iím not getting off topic and turning this into a relationship thread as opposed to a discussion about BP. If so I apologize.

 
Old 05-09-2007, 08:51 AM   #7
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Re: Is it best to just walk away?

You can't really separate the two as BP has such an impact on relationships.

 
Old 05-31-2007, 05:50 PM   #8
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Smile Re: Is it best to just walk away?

Hello,

Your post was insightful for those of us suffering from the illness; I appreciate the glimpse into the thoughts of the "other side" of a relationship. I was dating last year and the experience brought all of my problems to the fore. I had suffered intense symptoms in the past, but this was the first time I was in a situation where I would be sharing the struggle with another individual.

I felt it wouldn't be fair and ended the relationship. It wasn't that we had problems between ourselves, it wasn't that I didn't care about the other person, it was truly because I couldn't handle myself and I felt guilty putting that on someone else. He was willing to work it out, but I imagined him regretting it in the future. I was afraid that if I shared any of my irrational thoughts with him, he would be hurt or not care for me anymore.

I have spent the past year getting my life in order and learning to stabilize my moods by recognizing the symptoms as just that -- symptoms of an illness and not necessarily an accurate reflection of my true feelings. The fact that the man I was dating has been giving me my space only makes me care about him more. It shows respect and love on his part. He has made it clear that he still cares about me through his thoughtful comments and the occasional phone call.

Am I ready to get back together with him? Hardly, but I am in no position emotionally to be in a relationship at this point. I think it would do more harm than good. Still, should I ever be ready, he is the first one I would call. Do I let him know that? No, because I hardly think it fair to ask him to "wait for me." I have come to terms with the understanding that he may find someone else in the meantime and if so, I wish him the best. Still, there's a part of me that hopes I can become healthy and stable enough to be the person someone like him deserves.

 
Old 05-31-2007, 07:18 PM   #9
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4support HB User
Re: Is it best to just walk away?

Hi deguy...

I am hoping this insight will help you, I have been married to my husband who is a BP/ADHD sufferer for 11 yrs and we have 2 small children.

It sounds to me as though you really care for this woman. This is where we have something in common, I really love and care for my husband and I want our family to stay together. It has gotten better since my husband started taking medication and going to therapy, but it has been hell before.

Your lady deserves to be loved like anyone else, but unfortunately if she does have this disorder, it throws an extra challenge into the relationship as you have already seen. The illness, if not diagnosed and treated properly has the tendency to get worse and cause a lot of damage in the relationship. To me, the scary and devastating part of it is the unpredictability of the mood swings and the behaviour that results from those. You know that in order to have a successful marriage, problems must be worked on and overcome together, what will happen if she retreats or flips out every time she feels she needs space or is in her "weird place"? I'm not sure if there are children involved, but this is something else to think about. The hopeful news is that Bipolar is highly treatable and manageable with medications, education and therapy.

I would highly suggest that if you really want a longterm relationship and love and care for her wholly, you address what your suspicions are, tell her you will support her and be there for her during the struggle to get well, and mean it. You may even need to join a support group or go to therapy to learn about the illness yourself.

I would be dishonest if I said that the road won't be bumpy ahead. Everyone has their issues, this just happens to be BP, and BP isn't pretty at times.

There are plenty of people on this board with and without the disorder who have maintained successful, longstanding relationships. From what I have seen, the unsuccessful relationships are usually when the BP partner is not medicated. I can tell you from experience that my husband would have been impossible to live with for much longer if he would not have started medication.

Either way, you will know in your heart what the right thing for you to do is. Trust your gut, but just don't expect it to be easy when she's not doing well. I don't mean to be discouraging at all but I am being realistic, know that finding stability can take some time. We have gone thru some serious hard times before my husband's diagnosis, several doctors and evaluations, my husband's denial, many different meds, and lots of therapy.

You've come to the right place for support and insight...

Best of luck to you,
4support

 
Old 06-01-2007, 03:41 AM   #10
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Re: Is it best to just walk away?

Wow, deguy, you sound like a real sweetheart.

We bipolar ladies can be a real handful! I, like your inamorata, often push my partner away and can be quite the horrible witch! I even broke up with him last October over what was (now that I think about it) a relatively minor incident. We remained close friends. I was descending, at the time, into severe rapid cycling and mixed episodes. And he was just there, as a friend, expecting nothing else. I knew he still loved me at the time, but he stood by me through the worst bipolar experiences I've had to date. Once things came down, I realised just much I love him, how special he is to have done that, and knew I couldn't lose that.

My advice to you is send her a text/letter/e-mail advising that you care for her, and you really want to be there for her as a friend, (and that the rest is entirely up to her). That way, even if she doesn't want more for now, you can help this lady about whom you obviously care deeply.

Best of luck!

Last edited by AussieTam; 06-01-2007 at 03:42 AM. Reason: Hmm, didn't read too well

 
Old 06-01-2007, 01:53 PM   #11
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Re: Is it best to just walk away?

Hey everyone,
I havenít posted in a while, but Iíve been reading the post on here daily. Especial the one started by Dutches because it pretty much seemed like a continuation of what I was going through. I am also amazed at how many people are in a situation like myself and to be honest, it has been very comforting knowing that I was not alone in this.
In my last post I was going to let go and hope for the best. But the more I read here, the more convinced I became that she is BP. I decided that I did need to walk away, but not without telling her of my concerns and at least making one last effort to help. So I sent her an email telling her that I was concerned for her and that I thought she had an issue with depression or was BP. I emphasized that I was not trying to be mean or hurtful, and that if she wanted to see a doctor, I would go and stick by her.
Well that went over like a ton of bricks! She called and said that I was the one with a problem, that Iím not a doctor and canít make that decision. She was mad that I was ďtalking about her behind her backĒ and for me never to contact her again. This was followed by an email a few days later saying basically the same things. Then a week later, I got a text msg (around 2am) saying she wasnít mad at me, but hurt that I lost faith in her. I replied that I didnít and was only trying to help. She got mad and I turned my phone off and went back to sleep. I havenít heard from her since and have not contacted her.
I feel that I can now move on. I believe I did all that I could and can only hope that she is either not BP and I just misread everything, or that if she is, she will eventually see it and do something about it. When I look back on it now, I realize that when times were good, I was the happiest guy on earth. But the bad times hurt me more than anything I ever experienced before. I think that if I knew that she was definitely BP, it may not have hurt so much. But I now see that the bad was much more often than the good.
In spite of that, she will always have a piece of my heart and I will always be here for her if she needs me. Unfortunately though, I have to close this chapter of my life and move on to the next, but not without folding over the corner of this last page, just in caseÖ.

 
Old 06-01-2007, 05:18 PM   #12
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Makin' it HB User
Re: Is it best to just walk away?

WoW, deguy!

Not only did you ask my question on here, but my life is running almost parallel to yours!!

A fairly new friend has been recently diagnosed with BP II/ADHD. For the last several years, he's tried the 'self-medicating' method which just worsened the situation.

I met him a little over a year ago and instantly clicked with him, however, due to some of his actions, I was unwilling to pursue the romantic aspect of it. IMO, it seems that he only contacts me when he needs something or out of a sense of obligation. I have huge amounts of pride and loyalty and they are warring big time right now. I don't know if it's in his heart that he wants me around because his actions say one thing and his words say the opposite. And it seems that everyone else (not family) has given up on him.

He's a huge people magnet so it baffles me that he does not have any friends as well. I've done a ton of research on these topics and feel somewhat well versed but my mind needs to grasp some sort of logic so it's harder to understand what the right thing to do is.

Sorry that you're going through a bad time right now but I think people cross our paths for a reason. Long or short term. I hope for the best for both of you!

 
Old 06-01-2007, 06:18 PM   #13
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Re: Is it best to just walk away?

Hi deguy...

Just a little feedback on your last posting...when my husband was experiencing his first severe manic episode (4 yrs ago), he was convinced that I was the one with all the problems, blamed everything on me, yet could not specifically tell me what the problems were. He was impossible to talk to, angry and hurtful, and he looked at me as if I was his enemy. This, after we always had a solid marriage and wonderful relationship. He couldn't believe that I thought something was wrong with HIM, and we even began therapy because he thought I needed to work on MY issues. The therapist and pdoc (who he subsequently saw for evaluation) immediately knew something was wrong when he was irrational and unreachable. Remember, you are using a rational mind to reason with someone who is not at the moment.

I just wanted you to know that the denial that anything is wrong, the defensiveness she is showing, and the quickness to blame the problems on you are a part of this illness. It is probably too painful for her or she feels too much guilt to address the problem right now.

It sounds as though you have made your decision, but if you were to change your mind, once you both are educated on the illness, there is still a chance the relationship can work if she received the proper treatment.

Best,
4support

Last edited by 4support; 06-01-2007 at 06:19 PM.

 
Old 06-01-2007, 06:53 PM   #14
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Re: Is it best to just walk away?

Quote:
Originally Posted by 4support View Post
Hi deguy...

Just a little feedback on your last posting...when my husband was experiencing his first severe manic episode (4 yrs ago), he was convinced that I was the one with all the problems, blamed everything on me, yet could not specifically tell me what the problems were. He was impossible to talk to, angry and hurtful, and he looked at me as if I was his enemy. This, after we always had a solid marriage and wonderful relationship. He couldn't believe that I thought something was wrong with HIM, and we even began therapy because he thought I needed to work on MY issues. The therapist and pdoc (who he subsequently saw for evaluation) immediately knew something was wrong when he was irrational and unreachable. Remember, you are using a rational mind to reason with someone who is not at the moment.

I just wanted you to know that the denial that anything is wrong, the defensiveness she is showing, and the quickness to blame the problems on you are a part of this illness. It is probably too painful for her or she feels too much guilt to address the problem right now.

It sounds as though you have made your decision, but if you were to change your mind, once you both are educated on the illness, there is still a chance the relationship can work if she received the proper treatment.

Best,
4support
I know this thread has nothing to do with me, but I just wanted to TY for explaining that the way you did, About the denial and defensiveness, and quickness to blame. I'm sorta dealing with that myself with someone I love. Out of the blue he just HAD to be alone, with no warning or anything, denying there is something wrong, when there clearly is and so on. I guess you can see, I'm just searching for answers to get me through each day. I guess even on meds one can have episodes? I don't know much, but I do know your post for some reason hit on some things I'm going thru, so for that I thank you for sharing.

 
Old 06-01-2007, 11:52 PM   #15
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Re: Is it best to just walk away?

I have to admit, I never thought this thread would be resurrected, but I have to let you all know that I sincerely appreciate the kind words and support you have given me and others (namely, Dutches and Malissa8) over the past few weeks. You may not realize how much your replies or continued discussions on certain threads or posts mean to other people who just “lurk” and only read for advice or understanding! My last post was not a farewell, but more of an “I have found peace” kind of statement. Trust me… I will always have Love in my heart and will NEVER turn her away if she needs me. But at this point in my life, I have to focus on myself and my children. And please try to remember… I can only assume that she is BP. There is no admission or diagnosis here. Just what I have seen…
I’m sure this may seem selfish to some, but for me, I now realize that you cannot help someone who does not want to be helped. Am I co-dependent? Possibly… But how do you distinguish between that and Love? There is such a fine line between the two.
All I (or we) can do is keep them in our thoughts and prayers and hope for the best for everyone involved with this. We all have to make our own decisions, but with places like this, we stand a better chance at making an informed decision. This is because of people like you all… insight and explanation lead to understanding and compassion for people like myself and others here.
DeeNah and AusieTam, you have both been very good in explaining what others do not understand. Your explanations as to why, what, or how you feel truly do help us who are uninflicted with BP understand a bit more.
Thank you all so much… and I wish you the best in whatever situation you may be in.

Last edited by deguy65; 06-02-2007 at 02:14 PM.

 
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