I have just started a relationship with a bipolar man, we are dating and get along very well.
He is aware of his cycles and takes his meds. When we first met, he made the effort to talk to me everyday and was quite upbeat, but now he seems to be in more of a depressed cycle, as I'll go for days without hearing from him, but he still makes the effort to tell me what kind of day hes having, or if he just needs space.
I'm not sure what I should do...is there anything I can do to help him? I want to tell him that I'm in it for the long haul if he'll have me, but I dont want to pressure him...Do I give him time and let him set the pace? How long should I wait before telling him how I feel? Hes not emotional or physical right now at all, and this is a change as well, from when we first met.
What were all of your experiences when you first started dating someone with bipolar disorder?
As the mother of a 20+ man with Bipolar disorder, I can tell you I have answered the same questions from his girlfriend on several occasions. If you decide that putting up with the rollercoaster of his disease is worth it in the end, you need to let him set the pace. The man you love today will not always be the man you see tomorrow, but he may be back in a day or so. Being strongly supportive, but maintaining your own stability will probably be the sturdiest aspect of your relationship. He is reponsible for his actions, but he may not always be able to recognize it. He will be remote, then close, then distant in a constantly continuing cycle. Insist he stay on his meds while he is with you. Prepare to leave him if he doesn't, because off his meds he can be dangerous, mostly to himself, but often to others. Love him but don't live for him. Good luck.
I'm bipolar (also bpd) and my boyfriend is bipolar (also adhd). Being with him for almost 4 years now, I can honestly say that it is difficult to help out at times and you just need to be there for him. Sometimes being there in silence is better than not being there at all.
It is not easy to "go with the flow" of a bipolar. We have many moods and can change at the drop of a dime. Make sure you are willing to be there for him, make sure you love him. If you aren't sure if you love him, then for his sake break it off, if you don't, then you will be hurting him and yourself for no reason.
Sorry about the negativity, but this disease is a tough one to explain becuase it is so random with every person that has it and it isn't easy to help some one through (my ex husband can tell you that).
When I first started dating my bipolar (currently) ex, he was stable, so I did not realize that he is bp until after a few months. He would detach occasionally, but he always made sure he communicated it to me and it was usually only for a few hours. During the summer, he cycled a lot more (detached more, was depressed, hypomanic, stable during one day or a few days), but he was still *there* and made sure that I know that he loves me, but was not physical. I was ok with that because at that point we had decided for him to see a pdoc. After two weeks of depression, he went into mania and psychosis, within two days he emotionally detached and started an online relationship with a woman who is nothing like me and the opposite of what he always wanted. He went from loving me more than anything else to having no empathy, no idea how I am feeling, hurtful, mocking, aggressive (not so much towards me - he knows I am not having it), delusional, etc. It's been 3 months now and he seems to come down a bit, but I am not sure.
He is not on medication and I have no idea what will happen. It was all so very sudden and sometimes I think I am still in shock. I would have never expected this. I love him and I know he is very ill, so I will wait until he is stable and see from there. He needs help, but is very much in denial currently (the other woman agrees that he is not bp - makes him feel healthy...). I would have handled it differently had I known from the getgo what was going on, but when the mania first started (he tried to keep it up, but there was no love or emotion), I had no idea what was going on for some reason (it was a very stressful time in general).
I don't mean to scare you and it's great that he is on meds and aware of his cycles. When my ex was not yet manic, we talked a lot about his cycling, what triggers it, etc. and it really helped both of us. So I think communication is key. But it looks like one has to be prepared for everything. The difficult part is also that all of my friends think I am nuts for not just kicking him out of my life. But there were signs in between that he still loves me and is afraid of me leaving. This episode is the longest and worst ever and is taking a toll on his career and his life. He does not realize this right now and I want to be there when this is over.
Kleeko is so right with what she says and I have gotten the same advice from other mothers with bp sons in my support group. I decided to give it a shot and see what happens, but I have to brace myself for the fact that he won't go on medication or stay on it and I have to promise myself to leave then because I have seen the rage and anger and I don't dare think where that can lead to should this get worse...and I don't ever want to put up with another woman again. Boundaries are really important I think.
But your guy is taking meds, so that's great! I personally wouldn't express my love for the first time when he is unemotional and distant. You could just be there and keep it up. It will be over eventually. But then I am not bp, I just know that nothing penetrates my ex when is like that and it hurts to tell someone you love him and it does not register.
In a nutshell, it's so unpredictable. I am in for it should he get treatment, but I also know that it will be hard work.
Sorry for writing so much. It helps to talk about it I guess.
How is doing now?
Neleah - He's going into a depressed phase right now, I've kind of seen it slowly building for the past few weeks. He actually let me know a little while after I first posted the bulletin, that he thought he was going into a depressed phase. I appreciated him telling me this, and I'm glad he feels hes able to. People have been telling me that it will pass, and I know it will. I'm not an impatient person. I guess I'm just at a point where I don't have alot of knowledge of his cycles. It will be interesting to learn more about him before I decide how deeply to get involved.
Alot of people have mentioned co-dependancy to me, and how I shouldn't get caught in "the trap". I don't know much about it, but I decided how I felt about him before I knew he told me he was bipolar - I guess that means theres so much more to him than I originally thought. I'm trying to go into this with eyes wide open.
When he told me he thought that he was entering a depressed phase, I told him that if he needed anything, or needed space, or needed someone to drag him out for a walk or something that I owuld be there. I haven't heard from him since that convo 2 days ago. I'm assuming its best just to go on with my business and then let him get in touch with me when he feels he has the energy - does this sound smart?
I have a Bipolar husband and we've been married for 6 months. I knew he had Bipolar, but he was on meds and was quite loving and supportive. He called me every day and made efforts to keep me in the loop. There were times during our relationship when he would pull away and said that he was confused and at these times he would not communicate with me. These episodes did not occur very often and I coped with them quite well. The roller coaster ride wasn't too scary. However, about 12 weeks ago he travelled to Australia from the US and he was like a different person. He cycled from loving to hypercritical and paranoia. I was the worse person in the world and nothing I did was good enough. He continually threatened me with divorce and was totally cold and uncommunicative. When he was in a calmer mood he told me that he had been taking half of his meds for about 2 weeks. Even though he went back on to his usual dose, his moods didn't even out. He walked out about 3 weeks ago (after stopping his meds completely) and he told me that I was dishonest and that I have psychological problems. He has now cut off all communication and I am pessimistic about hearing from him again. He also told me that he has a woman who was waiting for an answer from him, so I would not be surprised if he is already in another relationship. I don't want to sound doom and gloom, but be prepared. I was not prepared and it is only now that I am finding out as much as possible about the disorder. I'm not saying that it is impossible to have a long lasting relationship, but you will have to learn coping strategies. I didn't handle his flip-outs very well and ended up being very hurt, bewildered and abandoned.
I have a Bipolar husband and we've been married for 6 months. I knew he had Bipolar, but he was on meds and was quite loving and supportive. Before we were married, he called me every day and made efforts to keep me in the loop. There were times during our relationship when he would pull away and said that he was confused and at these times he would not communicate with me. These episodes did not occur very often and I coped with them quite well. The roller coaster ride wasn't too scary. However, about 12 weeks ago he travelled to Australia from the US and he was like a different person. He cycled from loving to hypercritical and paranoia. I was the worse person in the world and nothing I did was good enough. He continually threatened me with divorce and was totally cold and uncommunicative. When he was in a calmer mood he told me that he had been taking half of his meds for about 2 weeks. Even though he went back on to his usual dose, his moods didn't even out. He walked out about 3 weeks ago (after stopping his meds completely) and he told me that I was dishonest and that I have psychological problems. He has now cut off all communication and I am pessimistic about hearing from him again. He also told me that he has a woman who was waiting for an answer from him, so I would not be surprised if he is already in another relationship. I don't want to sound doom and gloom, but be prepared. I was not prepared and it is only now that I am finding out as much as possible about the disorder. I'm not saying that it is impossible to have a long lasting relationship, but you will have to learn coping strategies. I didn't handle his flip-outs very well and ended up being very hurt, bewildered and abandoned.
We started our friendship in May 05, but it did not become romantic till August 05. The one thing I wasn't very good at was to leave him alone when he pulled away. I also couln't resist answering back because I was very emotional and hurt. The one thing I didn't grasp till too late was that my efforts at getting him to see my things from my perspective were useless and it would only cause arguments.
I'm sorry to hear things are going so badly for you
I really have no idea what to think, everyone is different and has different types of bipolar, so I've heard good feedback and bad feedback about having a relationship with this guy. From what I understand about his history, hes been able to have stable relationships. He broke up with his last girlfriend because he wasn't ready to have children yet...I dont know a whole lot about his history other than he had ect quite a bit (which is scary)....He holds a fulltime job, has his own business, owns property and is a complete genius...
Reading your story made me realise that I havent been realistically thinking about the disorder, that things can go from normal to crazy in such a short period of time.
In the end only you can decide whether the relationship is worth pursuing or not. I don't regret my relationship, until this last episode, my husband was loving and supportive. I'm hoping that now he is back on his medications, his moods will stabilize and we can talk. Bipolar affects each person differently and there is no one size fit all answer on how to deal with it. If you do decide to go ahead I would really recommend you building up a strong support network of friends and mental health professionals. Good luck and I'm cheering for you.
I have 2 sides of this for you! I have an ex who is bipolar and a son who is to. When I married my ex he was not diagnosed. His family did not wish to know but knew I believe. He dealt with it in many ways. Later it went to drinking/drugs. We dated 2 yrs before we were married; we had ups and downs, but the love I needed was absent quite often. He was later abusive. 3 children later, I raise them on my own (8 years now). It's one thing to try to love someone who you deeply care for; who also makes you sad and angry to but it is another to bring children into chaos. My children miss their dad but he is chaotic more times than not. I loved him as much as 1 person could love another but it's wasn't enough. We think our love will fix it all and sometimes perhaps it can, but I gave over 10 years to him and I do regret it. My son is a different person often. He is not violent or mean to others,he is pretty much a genius also. I often tell him that he is in control of many factors in his life and not to use being bipolar as an excuse for bad behavior. Making him stand accountable is a good thing. Somethings are immediate responses he does without prior reasoning. NOT GOOD! I never fell to make him be accountable because society will hold him accountable for his actions if he's bad. He is mostly quiet but is easily aggitated. I want him to meet someone who will love him unconditionally but I also know from personal experience that it takes more than want, desire, and love. Him and I talk that not everyone in life will love him unconditionally like his mom, and that he has to learn and accept who he is and embrass it and move forward regardless, but to always medicate #1. He believes he doesn't need it, everyone else knows he does. It has been hard to say from a wife's stand point when I love my own son dearly and want someone someday to care and love him despite the fact he's bipolar. He can be a woderful, kind, caring boy but also can say and do hurtful things. Later he's sorry but I know a wife will get frustrated. He's almost 16 now, but you will have to accept the pros and cons if you choose to stay and be willing to overlook a lot and accept what comes your way. Give it much thought and consideration. I hope this helps. Bless you for loving him.
Hi Arvc, I agree with you. It is a different thing when children are involved. I'm a very tolerant person but I could not cope with relentless criticisms and complaints. A person would have to be very strong emotionally as support from a BP partner is often not there when needed. I don't regret my relationship, but I have not been in this relationship long. I'm sorry to hear that your son also has BP. I really support you in teaching him not to use his BP as an excuse for bad behaviour. At the risk of never hearing from my husband again, I told him that he is responsible for maintaining his wellness. I think that my marriage is pretty well over (his decision), but my conscience is clear. I've done all I can for the marriage and, in the end, I can only be responsible for my own actions.