Medical Questions > Mental Health > Bipolar Relationships Forum

End of Relationship with bi-polar man

I wanted to give details here but even with name changes I am not comfortable sharing.
The positive is that I enjoyed the high energy, fun, hypersexual interaction with a charming man.
The negative:
I believe I am the "other woman" who was in a 3-year relationship with a bi-polar man. He has returned to his previous girlfriend whom he once described as a friend with benefits and was undateable. About four months ago I had emotionally detacted myself from him out of self preservation. During our entire time together he continued to take women out to lunch and follow-up with old girlfriends. When I called him on this he said "we're not married". We were living together. There were a lot of other issues as well. I now love him on a different level and told him we could be friends but only if the old and current girlfriend approved.

Financially I watch him headed for disaster. He had blamed his previous financial ruin on divorce. He had just pulled himself out of this financial mess after 6 years but now is spending tens of thousands of dollars rather foolishly.

He is on medication and sees a psychiatrist. He started seeing a counselor but did not follow through. He was mood tracking but that has stopped. I do not wish to police his activities.

What you should know about people with bi-polar disorder -
They were born with brains wired differently than most. I view it as a mental condition, not an illness. They love, hate, desire and hurt, all with passion. They are no different from any of us except along with the emotional turmoil of life they must also deal with a moment-by-moment struggle of a brain wired differently.
There is no cure for BP anymore than there is a cure for having been born without arms. There is treatment and work to be done on their part. BP does not get better with age (he and I in mid 60s).
There are many levels of BP, many may not even being recognized as such. No two are alike anymore than any two of us boring people are alike.

In my case I would no longer deal with lies. I would no longer walk on eggs to avoid confrontation. There was no point in my setting parameters for a realtionship when at times he had no boundaries.

Would I do it again? Yes, probably so. It was a growing, learning experience for me; I can't speak for him.
Would I go into a relationship with a man dealing with BP again? Maybe, but with no expectations. I am not willing to go the distance for the long term with a BP person. That is not fair to "him". Note I said "not willing".

So I am the "other woman", but I fear we all may be. That was harsh but most likely the truth.
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First Helper CandiceW
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replied March 30th, 2012
You are not the other woman.... you are nothing to him.
This is not atypical. I loved and lived a life of turmoil due to my husbands erratic behavior. He left me 3 times to pursue the woman of his dreams. He spent money we didn't have and lied like it didn't matter. As far as feeling guilt, there was none. They hurt the people they love and think we should forgive them all their indiscrections. I believe that anyone should be given a chance, but to continue to be devalued is hard on your health. I would tell my best of friends, never, ever date a person with severe bipolar.
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Users who thank CandiceW for this post: 66 

replied March 31st, 2012
Thank you. To call myself the other woman is demeaning to me. To call any woman "the other woman" who has dealt with a bipolar man is demeaning towards women and I appologize for that comment.
It should be noted that he did not tell me he was bipolar until he after he moved in, nor did I truly understand what that meant.
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replied June 6th, 2012
Bipolar Relationship Doomed
I am living this right now. I am generally a very happy and strong person, but the lies and cheating are more than I can take after three years. Now I think I'm depressed. I can feel myself pulling away from the relationship even as I agree to couples counseling. I do think he loves me, but I just don't think he considers me when something shiny and new comes along. I am broken.
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replied June 7th, 2012
I so understand. Yes, the man who was in my life did love me but also destroyed my sense of self and self esteem as I became a co dependent with his illness. I ended up in counseling and on antidepressants. Not only can I not be friends with him, I dare not even communicate with him. Even though he had moved on with another, he was saying he loved me and she was just a necessity. I cannot even relate to that type of thinking. Apparently "new and shiny" wears of quite rapidly . I am healing slowly but I am healing. the experience has made me wary of any future relationship.
But, I am moving in the right direction for me. We will all heal.
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replied December 2nd, 2012
Going through it
I just broke up with my alcoholic, bi polar boyfriend of three years. I kept thinking he would figure things out... Little did I know he was more than just a little depressed. He is bi polar... After a year I thought it was 'simply' alcoholism , which he had been sober before, so I thought that was it. The lies broken my heart, the detached dead like feelings were hurtful, and the lack of care or consideration for me was mind blowing. He was not the man I fell in love with. I ended up on anti depressants for the first time and most of my friends called him imaginary, since he never wanted to go out. I'm healing, and not sure what I m healing from. Because none of it seemed real. What am I grieving? I feel line I was merely a touchstone of sanity o him and nothing more. As if a barometer to say, see, I'm not so bad.
I cut off communication because this could go on forever, and I'm over feeling the pain of loving someone so vacant.
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