Hi everyone! Found this board by a google search and really have some concerns/questions to give around. I'm sorry for the length of the post, but I really do want some good information here
I am a 27/m currently in a very serious relationship with a bipolar 24/f. She's come out and said it, and been diagnosed after watching a show on MTV about teenagers living with bipolar issues. Identifying with them, she was diagnosed as bipolar (I'm not sure what type).
She is a wonderful person, and I care very deeply about her. Heck, I'm about to give her a ring (though I've already asked her to marry me )
But it's hard for me, and I'm getting frustrated, and wanted to know if some of these things are part of her being bipolar or simply her own mindset.
It seems most days we're wonderful. Things vibe great with us and all is well. But then she'll just randomly drop a bomb on me. Knowing that I've been cheated on in previous relationships, I've talked to her about my fear of her leaving, and she understands that and asks me simply to trust her.
Yet she'll make comments about how hot other guys are, or how she would like to be with them.
She'll say at times she's lucky to have me, then other nights she'll say that I should go find someone better than her, that she doesn't deserve someone such as me.
Currently we're having issues because she had told me of a guy previously she was attracted to, but he wasn't giving her the things she wanted in a relationship. We hooked up, and he started talking to her again. I'm not concerned about it, we're serious. But she didn't tell him that she and I were together for two months. She simply didn't see it as details he needed to know. When confronted about it, she'd simply say that he didn't want to hurt his feelings, but then realized she was hurting me in the process. It took her a month and a half after that to tell him we were together.
Now he's invited her up for a visit for a week, after she's told me that he has no romantic feelings for her anymore. It's simply a visit between friends. This, of course, makes me quite nervous, and I've expressed my hesitance about this situation with her.
She simply tells me I need to trust she'll do the right thing. She won't cheat on me. Ever.
But we were talking last night, she has an online diary she posts in, but I can't read all of the entires, some she keeps private for her "close friends." She asked me if I thought she was a ****, to which I of course replied no. She hasn't been with anyone while she's with me, and I know her past sexual history.
She then said "Well how do you know I don't write about the other guys in the entries you can't read about?"
I'm lost and confused and seriously hurt by all of this. Her birthday was in the middle of October, and things got really bad for her. I couldn't do anything to help, though one of her ex's whom she's still friends with, seemed to get through to her (again, something I don't mind.).
When she's with me, she's vibrant and happy and exciting and a joy to be around. When she's gone, she's like another person. It seems she just pushes to see how far I can bend before breaking.
Is this common among these types of relationships, or is she just playing me the fool?
Welcome to the board. If you could provide a little bit more information, it would be helpful. Was your GF diagnosed by a psychiatrist? Is she following a treatment plan and is she prescribed medications (and taking them) by a psychiatrist?
Before posting further I would like to have that information...but I do have a number of thoughts for you.
OK, I have read your post a couple of times and it's obvious how much you care for your girlfriend and how serious you are about your future together.
I have been married to my BP II hubbie for almost 12 years, I love him more than anything and we have 2 small children. We went thru a period of "hell" in our marriage because of his illness. He was in denial at the time, didn't think anything was "wrong with him" and tried to blame all of his bizarre behaviour issues on me. With him, he was very angry, ranting on and on and causing chaos at home, he was irrational, had poor judgement, argumentative, mean, it was very scary. He was like a different person. I finally convinced him to go for help and shortly thereafter he was dx and started meds. I tell you this because I am speaking from experience and am going to try to make a couple of suggestions.
Being in a relationship with someone who struggles with BP is not easy at times. It may take some time, but it can be normalized if the person has a good handle on their illness, takes the necessary medications to balance their brain chemistry, and therapy is a great addition to all of that. I'm not sure if your GF is on medications or if she sees a therapist?
Based on what you are sharing in your post, your GF seems to be displaying some of the traits of her illness, which leads me to wonder if she is on medications. Imagine if you get married, and this continues or even gets worse. How you will feel if she is constantly causing you this kind of uncertainty is your relationship, or you are forced to always question if the marriage is stable.
I have seen the difference the right medications can make. My hubbie still has his ups and downs, but for the most part is stable. But I feel we came very close to me having to leave him because of the damage that this illness caused our family.
Please think carefully about your expectations for your marriage, for how you want your wife to treat you and what kind of commitment you expect her to show once your married. Then talk to her about this needing to happen before you make that step. If you both love eachother, a little more time isn't going to matter before you propose.
We're talking about the rest of your life. Ensuring that it will be happy with this woman who you want to choose is crucial.
There are some really insightful people on this board who also struggle with BP, I'm sure they can share some helpful tips as well.
Please keep us posted on how things are progressing...
I know in my past with boyfriends I would feel so insecure with myself that I would start situations to see how they would react AND if I didn't get the reaction I wanted it would kill me inside...
Basically I needed to be told that I was loved 24/7 especially when I wasn't feeling okay with myself and when I didn't feel it I would play the whole "I talked to my ex" or say something I know that would get my BF attention...
Is she a very insecure person if not sometimes all of the time and does she seem paranoid with your relationship at times but refuses to let it be shown?
Thanks everyone, I've been reading over some previous posts (this is my first visit here and learning so much!)
Um, I know she went and was diagnosed, but I don't think she's on any medication (well, except that she's taking pain killers to feel "happy" when she has no pain, and she takes..what the name of it..oh..*****n to sleep. She was over one night when she took it, her mood was...disturbing..when it kicked in to say the least. Very hyper and giddy like.)
I love this woman, and I'm willing to stick by it. Reading these posts, I can start to see that it is the BP speaking sometimes when she's talking to me, often times she'll say things like "I didn't even mean it, I don't know why I said it."
She constantly talks of how she feels so unappreciated and uncared for, how she's not deserving of love or tenderness, and at her low points, it doesn't matter what I say or do, I just know she's in this void that I just can't get into.
She's coming to see me for 10 days next week, and I'm treating her to a time where she can just relax and be herself, totally pampered.
But it's just rough at times, really. Between her saying she wishes I could understand how much she loves me, to her saying she wants other guys, to being madly in love with me, then calling to ask if she can make out with another woman...it's maddening and frustrating and hard...
But I love her.
I'd seen a book title tossed around here a lot, Loving Someone with Bi-Polar Disorder, so I think I'm going to pick it up tomorrow if I can.
I think the hardest thing is just knowing that when she's tossing out these low blows, they aren't really her, she doesn't mean them. But it's just hard to hear sometimes.
I think our next serious talk will be about her meds, and seeing if there's a way to get her back on track. I really do wish to support her as much as I can, and I think that reading the posts here and doing my own research will really help things out
**Edit I can't say a mbien?**
Last edited by PhoenixAngel; 10-25-2007 at 10:19 AM.
Reason: was trying to cite a medication name
One thing to keep in mind is that bipolar disorder can be considered a degenerative disease in someone who is unmedicated. It is not something that improves or goes away with age. In fact the opposite is true. As a person ages, the episodes of mania and depression come closer together with shorter and fewer periods of "calm" in between. Also the symptoms become more severe...again, this is when I person is not in treatment and not taking medications for bipolar disorder.
It sounds to me like this woman is very confused about what it is she wants. Only some of this may be caused by bipolar disorder.
I would encourage you to learn all you can about bipolar disorder, the various treatments and drugs that are used in treatment. As you will see from reading through older threads on this board, life can be very difficult if you are married to an individual who is in denial about his/her bipolar disorder. Some never become compliant in taking their meds. Some remain in denial their entire lives. You need to learn as much as you can so you enter into this relationship with your eyes wide open.
Be a little careful how you approach her on this whole topic! Some of the ladies on the board who have BP would be better able to advise you on this! Just be aware that she may not react well if she feels defensive...and, indeed, I doubt you'd be able to predict how she may react! So, tread gently and bring it up out of concern for her well-being and your future happiness as a couple.
Here are two websites that I feel are the most factual on the internet. One is the National Institute for Mental Health, a branch of the NIH -- www.nimh.nih.gov.
The other is www.nami.org. NAMI is a national organization that has state and local chapters that provide education, support groups and are a great source for referrals and information. At some point down the road, you might want to look into attending some of their meetings or activities.
Yes, it can be the "BP talking, and not your GF. BP distorts thoughts, emotions and words unfortunately. Tsohl is right about approaching this possible disorder carefully with her. Defensiveness, denial, blaming the other person for any problems is common. From what you are explaining, the vascillating back and forth reminds me a lot of what my husband used to do, this can be one of the symptoms, but usually there are others present. She does not seem to be clear on what she wants, or as Deenah mentioned, she may be a very insecure person looking for certain "reactions" from you when she says these things. There may be some personality issues here. It really takes a good pdoc and therapist to sort all of this out. If her dx is accurate, meds are in order, and necessary.
It is a degenerative illness that will get worse over time, please do what's necessary to get to the bottom of it before making any bigger moves. You have the power to save yourself a lot of heartache in the future.
She was DX'd as BP Type II, but can't recall the med she was on. She thinks it was Topomax (or something like it?)
No, she's not on anything now.
Like I've said, it's just been frustrating, hearing her swing from one thing to another like this, when I know deep down she just wants to be with me.
But I think it's right too that she may not be entirely sure just what she wants, besides affection.
I guess that's stuff to ponder later, as I work third shift, and 1:30 in the afternoon is a bit toooo late for me to be up.
Thank you everyone for your input, and I'll be back again soon
hi my name is deedee and i just wanted to say after reading your mposts that you're gf is lucky to have such a supportive bf. i know the words cuts like hell hang in there, and get a fast jump on sorting this out . bp can cause so much pain on both parts. my husband use to say some of the off the wall and unnessceary things to me, and now all is somewhat well, but for me the scars are still on the surface, i feel it, look at it, and am sadden by it still to this day. head up my friend
*smiles* After the quick talk and getting all that sorted out, it's really evened things out for us now. I'm taking time to do research, and she's proud of me for taking this seriously. I know at first the bp part was just a footnote, but having such a serious discussion has helped us out tremendously. Just feels like a weight off my shoulders
If you are serious why does she feel the need to hide certain things in an online diary and tell you she may be hiding things? What is there to be gained from her going to spend a weekend with an ex?
Maybe I'm wrong, but I get the impression she is hiding something. Something just doesn't seem right to me. How can you trust someone completely who is basically telling you she is hiding stuff? If I were you I would discuss that with her. Trust isn't a given, it's earned.