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What is a my bipolar type II boyfriend thinking? I just read...

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someone's question on here. Her ex was extremely verbally abusive and she wanted to know how and why he does the things he does from the people on here who suffer from bipolar. But my boyfriend is not verbally abusive in anyway. He has type II bipolar where his highs aren't as high. He also has borderline personality disorder-I'm sure that matters and plays a part in his actions and feelings.

He never yells or fights with me-we've never had a fight in the about 14 months I've known him. He recently told me that if I were to start yelling at him or argued with him for any reason, he'd be an 'ostrich' and bury his head in the ground until it was over. He's sweet and caring and thoughtful. He never criticizes me or talks down to me in anyway. He has very, very low lows and his highs are not very high-he just has more energy, talks a little more, smiles and laughs a lot more, etc.-he acts like anyone else does on their normal days. But when he is low, he cuts me off-I rarely see him on those days-sometimes weeks or months. He disappears without a word until it goes away. I understand that the yelling and verbal attacks you'll say are probably much harder for the people in your lives than his silence is for me, but I don't know that I can agree with that. I love him sooo much and it tears me apart every single day. I'm always waiting for the next disappearance, wishing he'd just let me in and trust me to see him on the days he can't get out of bed and can barely roll over because he's in so much pain. I just want to understand, but how can I ever understand if he doesn't tell me or at least let me see it. I believe he thinks I'm too weak to handle it, but that's not true. And he's said a thousand times I deserve so much better than him, and I know he feels guilty for being in my life at all. I know a peice of him is wishing I'd just go and leave him. I've considered it many times-I just can't.

He is not co-dependant on me. And if he is, it isn't like what I've read about-he's always trying to convince me to move on, not stay. He wants me to stay-he loves me and he's always happy when he lets me be there that I'm there. I think he's afraid that he will open up to me and once I know everything or at least more, I will leave-he has abandonment issues and trust issues. I just wish he'd finally see that I'm not going to leave him. I'm not weak and I don't need protection. He also had a short relationship while he was absent from my life for 5 month-the relationship lasted about 2. He's never cheated on me, though. He was once permiscuous, but when he lets me in his life, he is just happy with me. I 100% believe him when he says he has never cheated on me-he actually seemed appalled that I'd ask such a question and said, "Why would I?" shocked. And I don't think he's a very good actor, so I do honestly trust him.

From the bipolar side, what can you say about this? And after my research and being on here, it seems strange that he's not verbally abusive and he doesn't have very high highs. Is that strange? He's been on meds for about 6 months now and they seem to be doing some good-he was also just diagnosed with borderline personality disorder-but he has never been abusive in anyway or been super manic.

I know most of you, maybe all of you, can only help from a bipolar perspective for this question and my other. If you could answer from your own knowledge and experience, I would very much appreciate. I know it'll be hard with his BPD added in there, but anything would seriously help me. He is honestly the most amazing man I've ever met and he's very mature, and selfless a lot of the time. Probably too thoughtful. I can't let him go-I've tried-I've even went on dates with 3 other guys while he was gone, but what I have with him, who he is, I can't see myself letting go or moving on. I just need something from someone that can help me! Not being able to help him or see him when I know he's in so much pain is tearing me apart!
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replied August 15th, 2010
hi there,
i dont know if my response will be helpful in anyway, as my partner hasnt been diagnosed with BPD (although we both suspect he has it)
from what i know at the moment, we can never push someone with BPD into letting us in...and that can be really hard. i dont feel i know my boyfriend anywhere near as much as i should, and not sure i ever will. but i am sure he loves me and i love him so much. its just hard to get him to understand that i will never leave him whatever happens. i have been depressed recently thinking about him being promiscuous even though he has told me he hasnt been. but i need to deal with my issues so i can help him with his. he has said i would be better off without him as he will just hurt me...but i cant leave him. i love him so much. i guess in life we cant choose who we fall in love with, but there is a reason why we have fallen in love with that person. i think as long as he knows you are there, and always will be there, us partners of bipolar people have to seek support elsewhere...and I am starting to find this site really helpful.
sorry i know that probably hasnt helped at all, as i have only just started researching this.
with regards to the verbally abusive...i have never experienced that, but my boyfriend does sometimes say things that hurt me...but they are not persoanl attacks...i think it is just he is scared of hurting me, so will say things to hurt me hoping that i will give up on him and leave him (if that makes sense) he thinks by staying with me he will hurt me, so he will say things to make me think he is a bad person and i will just leave (which i wont of course)
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replied June 4th, 2011
It sounds like your boyfriend is experiencing the depression side much more frequently than the up side of bpd, which is often true for most of us. In the depression side, what your boyfriend is thinking and feeling actually has nothing to do with you. It's hard to understand that, but it's true. His brain is being bombarded with thoughts (sort of like a black cloud descending on his brain) telling him that he's a bad person, that no one could *possibly* like or love him, that he is a mess who's done nothing good in his entire life, etc. etc. He physically feels weak and overwhelmed by even the smallest task. When someone feels like this, there is not thought process going on about *your* ability to deal; it's only about how worthless he is. When you seek assurances from him when he is depressed, that alone feels tremendously overwhelming to him. You need to be very calm, and reassuring to him that you don't need anything from him (especially emotionally) when he is depressed. Just be there to calm him and help him. I know when I am depressed, the best thing my partner does for me is just reassure me that I don't have to do or say anything. They just do stuff for me without asking. He might wash my dishes or pick up the house (because I can't make myself do that when I'm depressed), or just sit with me and hold my hand and just make talk about silly things that don't have any importance or personal connection to me. That kind of support is what helps when a person is suffering from bp depression. I hope this answer helps you find a way to relate to your boyfriend better. Check out some books on bp from the library. Those will help you more than internet forums. Good luck!
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