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Old 04-17-2011, 10:46 AM   #1
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Problems in sex life w/bipolar boyfriend

Hello everyone. My main reason for coming to these boards is in hope of finding other people who have been in a similar situation and to see how it was handled.

First I'll start off with some background info about my boyfriend and I. We met a little over a year ago and were friends for about 3 months before we started casually dating. During this time, he let me know that when he was younger he had been diagnosed as being bipolar. This was a bit of a surprise to me, but I didn't care. He was a great guy.

We took things pretty slowly, but I could tell that he had a pretty healthy sexual appetite. In October (approx. 3 months after we started dating) we decided to have sex. Unfortunately the condom broke. He began to freak out due to his high anxiety and the fact that we had been drinking, thinking that I was going to be pregnant (even though I've been on the pill for 5 years and he didn't ejaculate before it broke) or that I could've given him an STD. Unfortunately again I went to the doctor and found that I did in fact have Chlamydia. This was heart-breaking to tell him even though I knew that it was completely curable and treatable. We eventually worked through it but the idea of having sex was completely off of the table. I understood that. I felt like it was my punishment for making stupid mistakes in the past.

I waited and waited and took two HIV tests and everything was fine. We kept getting so close, but he was just too afraid to actually have sex again. He called it post traumatic stress. Finally back in March (6 months since the first time we had sex) we did it again. It took an hour of him debating with himself if we should do it or not, and the majority of the time when we started actually having sex he was worried about the condom breaking. Three weeks passed before we were able to try again. Things went a little more smoothly but he still kept stopping to make sure the condom was okay. He kept thinking it was too thin (it was just a Trojan Magnum, nothing especially thin about it) and that if we kept doing it, it would break. This obviously completely ruins the mood for me. It has gotten to the point where I almost start crying during it.

I'm trying to be understanding. I mean, I love him and want to continue to be with him even if he has some issues. But it just makes me sad that we can't have a natural, normal sex life. His fear right now is that the condom will break again and I'll end up pregnant. Once again, I've been on the pill for many years and I never miss a dose. We use condoms and although it broke once before, chances are that won't happen again. And worst case scenario, and I've told him this, if I did somehow end up pregnant there would be no way I could go through with it. So in my mind, he has NOTHING to worry about. I know it's not me and that it's the mental illness, but I just feel so alone in this. Has anyone else been in a similar situation?

 
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Old 04-22-2011, 12:01 PM   #2
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Re: Problems in sex life w/bipolar boyfriend

My question to you is, how did you get Chlamydia? Don't mean this as insulting, but did you have it when you met him, or did he actually give it to you?

It sounds to me, like he contracted Chlamydia, and is frightened of giving it (or something worse) to you again.??????

 
Old 04-22-2011, 12:41 PM   #3
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Re: Problems in sex life w/bipolar boyfriend

Ria,

I have been married to a person with Bi-Polar disorder for many years and may have some useful advice for you. First thing to remember is that bi-polar tends to be a catch all diagnosis and can have many other mental illnesses buried inside of it. He certainly may have PTSD from the broken condom incident and /or other things in his past. The stress of sexual activity can likely be bringing out paranoia and or psychosis. My wife had some issues in the past with other partners and little things can trigger memories that make our love making not pleasurable for her, even to the point of her having psychosis triggered. Often causing us to go many weeks or longer until she is ready again to intimate. What works best for us during these times is to go back to what brought us together first and reconnect with those activities and to be very intimate with each other in non-sexual ways. Once you build that trust and intimacy outside of erotic activities, you can then bring the sexual stuff back in. Since his PTSD is centered around intercourse, STDís, and condoms breaking I would start with oral and/or manual activities that can be just as pleasurable for both parties as traditional intercourse. Also, I would assume that he is under the care of a Psychiatrist and Psychologist to treat his bi-polar, and they should be able to help him with this as well. He may benefit from an anti-anxiety medication as well if his psychiatrist see fit.

 
Old 04-22-2011, 10:12 PM   #4
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Re: Problems in sex life w/bipolar boyfriend

I appreciate the advice! Things are slowly starting to get better, but it's still a bit of a battle. And yes, my boyfriend has seen a therapist a handful of times over the past two months and she has suggested eventually putting him on medication. Currently he is on trazadone to help his sleeping habits. His current therapist does not actually think he is bipolar. Instead, she thinks he just has high generalized anxiety disorder with mild to moderate depression. I don't really know what to believe. But either way, I feel like medication might help. I hope.

 
Old 04-22-2011, 10:22 PM   #5
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Re: Problems in sex life w/bipolar boyfriend

Well unfortunately I have to take the blame on this one. It's somewhat of a complicated situation, but I am almost certain that I was the one to give it to him. My boyfriend hadn't been with anyone in almost two years, and in the months before dating him I made some pretty poor decisions. I first had chlamydia in March of 2010 and was treated for it. I got tested again in June of that year and was fine. Between June and when I started dating my boyfriend, I was only with one guy and there was one time when we didn't use a condom the whole time. So I can understand my boyfriend's concern. Although I've since been tested and everything is perfectly fine. I guess his main concern now is just the condom breaking and the thought of pregnancy, even though I mentioned before that he knows that I would not go through with it. He said it's going to get easier and that this is just an adjustment period for him. I hope he's right.

 
Old 04-22-2011, 11:26 PM   #6
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Re: Problems in sex life w/bipolar boyfriend

I'm a clinical depressive which is not quite as severe as bi polar/manic depression. He will suffer from manic highs to being really down in the dumps. I can understand why he's worried. I can't walk out the door of my house without feeling pain with no physical basis. It's just an anxiety thing in my head. Also the thing with depressives once they've got one thing in their head it won't go away. Part of the depression I have in OCD where I actually can't touch other human beings cause all I can think of is how dirty they could be and looking at dirt makes me physically sick.
You're gonna have a seriously hard time to convince him but you're gonna have no choice but to sit down and listen to him if you want this relationship to work. Hope everything works out for. It's not easy but i'm sure he appreciates you being around. I make my boyfriends life a living hell but I make sure he knows i appreciate him being there for me.
Good luck

 
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