Medical Questions > Mental Health > Bipolar Disorder Forum

dealing with bipolar girlfriend's aggression

We have been together for nine months, and for most of that time i have been something of a 'light' in her life, but over the last two weeks things have changed and now i am on the end of her aggression, and i am the target of her hurt.
I know she loves me alot, and i know she has extremely low self worth, and she admits that at times she tries to sabotage our relationship because she doesn't feel like she deserves me and because she is scared that i might leave her one day anyway.
I could really do with some advice or to be able to talk with someone who understands better than i do about what she is experiencing and how i can best serve her. I love her and i am determined to stick by her regardless of what she throws at me, but i need to know what i can do that will be best for her.
Thank you.
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First Helper User Profile WaleedEliphas
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replied March 18th, 2008
Extremely eHealthy
You have already answered you own question. "Regardless of what she throws at me". That is the key to a BP relationship. Stand by her during her bad cycles and just be there for her. The more you are there, the less she will think you will leave her and become more confident about the relationship.

Hang in there. If you love her as much as you say you do, it will all work out. Us BP people tend to do stupid and errational things sometimes.

Carrie
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replied March 18th, 2008
Extremely eHealthy
Unfortunately, the people that are the most trusted and loved are the targets of the anger, rage, and uncertainty that accompanies bipolar disorder in someone. The plus side is that it shows how much she trusts you and loves you. This seems to be opposite to what one would think but people that suffer with bpd need to vent. When they vent they want to be safe with who they go off on. My kids give me all the rage and anger. I am the one they feel safe to vent with. I know that is not quite the same but I have read this to be true in many situations.

Get some counseling to have a place to bounce feelings and ideas around. Get a new perspective on the situation and some advice on coping.
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replied March 8th, 2009
Experienced User
This is difficult.
There's a balance. You want to be there for her, and you want to set limits on aggressive behaviors. Stick by her. It's a delicate balance that I really wouldn't know how to handle. It's hard to be someone's punching bag during a spell. I know my sister-in-law, who I care a lot for, really became verbally abusive to me during an episode. It was a shock! I didn't know how to handle it. I think things like this have to be approached with strength and caring.

Good luck!
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replied May 18th, 2009
run now!
i dated a bipolar girl for some time and i become her little punching bag..you know the one to pick up all of the pieces when things were bad. I have heard it all my friend..i have dealt with all of the lies, cheating, using,..etc..etc. My advice is don't stand by them when they are kicking you. Set strict and stringent limits and when those limits are crossed you walk..and don't balk when you walk..you stand up for yourself. I know the best thing that ever happened to me was to get her out of my life. I cared for this girl more than anything on the planet. I was always there to help..this is the thing you really have to look for with bipolars..they tell you things that are the truth, but only partial truths..for example..i have a family thing to go to..translation..i'm going to visit my cousin and we are going out to the clubs with a bunch of people. You see she really didn't lie because a cousin is family..she just left out the fact that there were a bunch of other people there..this girl is 36 with a child mind you..divorced and got into another relationship while she was married..cheating with the next door neighbor who she bought a house with and he ended up cheating on her..i didn't find this out until after our relationship was over .. if i had known any of this i would have been gone a lonngg time before. these are the little things that you have to look forward to with a bipolar..if you are with a bipolar and feel you can't get out you may have a co-dependent issue that you may want to look into.
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replied May 23rd, 2010
My girlfriend of two and a half years was recently diagnosed with bipolar disorder and is currently being medicated with risperdal and valium. To some extent I can help you but to a greater extent I can relate to the symptoms you refer to, only in my case, this includes promiscuity (which makes it all the more difficult to cope with). All I can say from my experience is that, if at all possible, you need space but not exclusiveness. As things stand, our relationship is based on a 'call me if you need me' theory. My advice would be to allow her some space as you do not want the disorder to become any more of a burden on you than it already is because, if the disorder becomes something that controls your life, your more likely to eventually call it quits, cut and run. The biggest thing to remember is that there agression and acting out are nothing to do with you, its purely emotion brought on by the disorder. For me, this was difficult to comprehend and deal with, particularly in terms of her promiscuity. However, when you are together, you need to channel all your frustrations into making her happy. Don't give up on her
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replied May 24th, 2010
Supporter
I am a 52 year old woman, married for 35 years, and diagnosed as being bi-polar 5 years ago. I know how hard it must be for someone on the receiving end. I would go through my depressive state feeling that I was useless, a burden on my family, sad, and lonely. When I was manic I could feel like I was on top of the world, I felt like I could conquer the world, I would spend money without thinking about the consequences of my actions at the time and then would feel deep guilt. Occasionally I would have fits of rage. I can also tell you that many people who are bi-polar try to self-medicate with alcohol previous to my diagnosis. People who have this have racing thoughts, going from one extreme to the other. I saw 4 psychiatrists, first to get a second opinion, and secondly to find one whom I was comfortable. The problem is that it takes a while to find the right combination of drugs, each person is physicologicly different, if your mates are taking their meds and still having problems its time to go back to the drawing board, see their psychiatrist again, and have him try new meds. I was on several until I found one that worked. I am on Lamictal, xanax for anxiety, klonopin for sleep. I am doing just fine. I avoid alcohol, it is a depressant and will definately mess with the meds. they wont work. dont give up, if it gets to hard for you move out for a while until she/he goes back to the doc and gets on new meds. personally i cannot take antidepressants, they only exasperate my illness so i refuse to take them. but i am now living a normal life. Chrism, I am sorry that you had such a hard time, but you sound hateful, and unsympathetic. Understandably she was making you miserable, I understand why you had to move on, but I wish you could experience the symptoms of bipolarism for one day. You might understand what she was going through. she couldnt help her behavior. Many of us who have the condition have suffered from past physical, verbal, or sexual abuse. eventually these past events surface, and cause this mental illness. i am not advocating that anyone of you stay in the situation because it takes so much patience to live with someone who is inflicted with this illness. But you are so angry, and seem to have absolutely no consideration, kindness, or empathy in your heart. maybe thats why things only excalated in your situation. i feel i am blessed that my husband stood by me, he tried to understand, but most of all he realized i had not control. I was diagnosed shortly after my daughter unfortunately got cancer. i was able to control many of my emotions, i had to be strong, but i also knew i had to get help. she passed away 7/04/2008. My meds helped me, i was strong, supportive, and caring and in control. I am just so happy i knew i needed help, but stress and my past caused the problem.
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replied March 2nd, 2012
Cindy I am also biopolic and most of the times, I have the same feelings to the people who care for me. When I am in those situations, no matter how much they try to tell me things are not as bad as I think, I never believe them. This past week I had a huge fight with my boyfriend over nothing and I made it such a huge story. I am on 300g Epilium in the morning and 500g at night, but this medication is not helping at all. I try to control this, but it is so hard.
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replied November 26th, 2010
Colleague and friend
I have a brilliant colleague. He has always been a quiet person who had a dry sense of humour. We share much in common and have always gotton along great. But today I was the target of overt verbal attacks at work from him - he came up like a loud and aggressive type - I dismissed the first episode but then there were a futher two attacks during the day. I am a female and male aggression = verbal or otherwise - terrorfies me. I have been reading about the manic episode and hostility experienced by BP persons but how do I as a friend and colleague handle him. He is married and I have a feeling he is fighting his feelings of attraction and although I tried to avoid him for the rest of the day he keeps finding me and trying to make fun like nothing has happened. I don't want to fight him publically but don't want to be let him publically shame me. All advice appreciated.
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replied February 27th, 2012
runnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnn!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
my wife is bipolar and its a mess she refuses to take her meds, leaves home all the time, cheats,has fits of rage, asks me to hit her, says shes been on her own all her life, and ever man she has been with has abused her and nothing is her fault she blams everything on me. never hit a woman but i can see how some men have when your backed in a corner spit on and head but, well...no who your with fast if he or she is bipolar run you idoit quick before your stuck.i am disabled and have no where else to live so i put up with it, cant aford divorce. ive caught her red handed cheating and she denies it. i got her disability or helped her and she thinks she scamed the system haha!prayer will help her she says not man and meds. bipolar often use religion as a means of whatever? she didnt tell me she couldnt have children, or that she had herpes, or that she owed 30,000 in child support or was on felony probation, or was married five times ect.......the only way out is to give up or split my home with a deranged psycopath. the law even takes her to next county line and drops her off at gas stations and says dont come back sometimes. she goes to serenity homes and says i beat her or something. bipolars are players they play and lie to everyone at least mine does. she lies to courts about where she lives, runs welfare scams, ssi scams. soon as social security told her shed make more money if she was on her own she was gone then back then gone. shes gone right now havent seen her in 3 months been married 3 and half years shes only been with me about 1 year of that. attourneys can help my situation but need money for that. i keep hopeing she goes to prison, dont judge me you have no idea!my friends and family have told me ive gone above and beyond what any other man would or should do just before they disowned me for taking her back, dont judge them either, you have no idea! police at house every other day, she called 911 one day 7 times and she was home alone and denied doing it to cops so now if i really need them they blow me off! she threatened to kill the census ladys law came, broke her sons arm,sent one ex husband to prison over lies i could write a book and go on and on. run while you can dont be a stupid idoit like me and live hell on earth. psycologist wont even see her one told me shes a liability hes afraid to be alone with her, what!!! ther is no hope there is no help only escape! they have to help themselves you cant do anything for them legally ive tried it alllllllllll! crisis clinics, mental health,law, attourneys,family,friends,meds. she wont comply with anyone, she says God will heal her but she is 40 and gets worse every day! happy one minute then crying the next, then wanting to fight, lies , cheats, steals,adultry,breaks the law, they wont even put her in jail, on probation does drugs,drives without liscens, leaves the state without permision, has warrants in other states ect... still free to roam and cause hell
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replied March 6th, 2012
Experienced User
You say she's bipolar.

Well all you are experiencing is the depressed side of ther poles. You see bi polar pople are really just very depressed people who also experience mania or hypomania. During that period they are nice as anything, full of energy, helpful, insightful and very charming.

In cases of BP1 thery also may go too far and fall into promiscuity, overspedning and act like nothing matters.

If you haven't seen that at all then you have only seen the depression. BP's spend about 3/4's of their tome in the down cycle so it can be long and even longer than that. I'm BP2 by the way.

As smeone above said best advice is rrruuuuuunnnnnnnn. I agree entirely as bp is for life, not curable.
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replied July 7th, 2012
think before you speak or put a sock in it bipolar type 1
well hello everybody. I am kinda upset at some of these messages. I have bipolar type 1 and running from a loved one just because of bipolar is completely messed up. not everyone w bipolar lies,steals, and cheats. we may get physically and verbally abusive at times. so if a person cannot deal w that then they shouldn't be in the relationship. i guess my point is that: people w bipolar handle the illness differently. So you cannot put all people w bipolar in the same group. So next time you speak about bipolar please think before you speak.
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replied July 7th, 2012
I have bipolar type 2 so I can relate a little to being stuck in the downside. I do the same to my own fiance. I love him very much, we even have children together but there are times that I myself turn him into a punching bag. I regret it afterwards but the damage is done. Personally, all I want him to do is back down. I know that sounds weird, and very bad, but if he did, I'd stop and apologize. Our arguments usually start with something simple. Maybe he got the price wrong on gas or there's a few dollars missing from our bank account that I can't account for. I instantly go into a bashing rage where I call him dumb and stupid and I'll take the children and say I'm leaving.. the intensity starts when he begins to fire back, or try to argue the point... If I say a dollar is missing from the bank, he will say it's because I spent it, then it goes back to what I've spent and then I argue he's the one who bought McDonalds, and then he starts yelling I should get a job and just back and forth....

I say the best thing to do, is walk away, back down. I know it can be hard, but walking away is the only way to avoid the situation entirely. Be there for her when she needs comfort but when she goes into fits of rage, stand down. It'll save you both a lot of hurt and stress. She might be upset at first, but give her a little and she'll realize what's happening and will calm down and ask to cuddle instead, then that's your opening to do so and just remind her how much you care during those moments. Those are the times she will remember it the most. I wish the best to you both!
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replied September 5th, 2012
shocked
i find it shocking that people advised other people to leave their partners based on typical stereotypes of the disorder, everyone is difference as in people who do not suffer...at least those of us who suffer show some kind of emotion unlike some who have made negative comments on this page. And as for those who advise run for the hills...I really hope they did..thats where they belong! The disorder gives us so many emotions, thoughts and actions that we do not understand ourselves at times and those who choose to support us truly are angels.
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replied November 15th, 2012
now hold on..
Judging from the horror stories - his sounds like in some cases your wives are very difficult women. I cannot say that this is true of all bipolar sufferers. On a positive note many extremely talented and creative individuals have used their illness to do wonderful things. It is a blessing and a curse. If it wasn't for bipolar we would not have the incredible music of Mozart, the comedy of Jum Carey and Robin Williams, the poetry of Byron. It sounds like many of you are in nightmare relationships - sounds pretty subjective to me, and not a reflection on bipolar sufferers as a whole. Ever watched Stephen Fry on the tv- talk candidly, warmly about his disease. I can't imagine a more thoughtful and kind man. If you really try to understand and control the illness - the suffering experienced can give you great insight and compassion. Remember- we've faced the pits of hell and danced with ultimate joy. we have a lot to teach you about life. Yes - we can be difficult, very difficult, but I don't know one bipolar sufferer who isn't delightful, charming, funny and fun to counteract all the bad stuff.
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replied November 5th, 2013
Bipolar Disorder
I just realised that I am bipolar today. It is a pain. All along I thought I was suffering from all the pain and hurt from my relationship but it seems this is deeper than ever. I love my boyfriend and he is very supportive yet all the anger and aggression that I exert on him are totally wrong. My mother and my younger sister have to always witness the pain on them too. I just shout for no apparent reason and I am a very loving person. I am lucky to have the people I love around me and they love me back but I keep hurting them for no apparent reason and it is painful. I need to consult soon.
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replied February 5th, 2014
I came to this forum because I am almost certain my girlfriend is bipolar. She however will not admit that she is which excludes the hope of counseling or medication for her. My question, to the people that are bipolar, is how do you want to be treated when you're going through a manic episode? I've been through it ALL with her, every aspect of abuse and because I love her I stay. I just need to know how I can help her. What can I do or say in those moments that will soothe and calm her. Most often, I just sit quietly and let her vent. Sometimes after she gets it all out she leaves and calms then comes back and acts as if nothing happened. Sometimes she apologizes. And sometimes my silence seems to exasperate the situation and make the manic episode worse. She will literally go from 1 to 10 on the mood scales in a matter of seconds. Any advice or suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

Have any of you tried any natural things, I.e a clean diet or exercise and if so has that helped? I'm desperate.
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replied March 21st, 2017
My Sarah !!
Okay i ve been with this girl for almost 7 months now i really loves her so much . at the beggening of our relation she told me that she have Bipolar but i didnt know what m dealing with until the 6 months ( we had a couple of fights but not as much as this one ) when we star fighing about nothing ig i became her punching bag n then she broke up with me i felt so useless that night i didnt know what to say or do i just said " u can go sarah " she replied by " i didt want that but okay " she called me crying but i pushed her away by saying that she's a part of my past now . I REGRET IT . after a week ig we start talking again she kept saying sorry n sending quotes made by IDIOTS who telling other peoples to just give up on theirs beloved n run away from em . i just wanna know what kind of humans u are . anyways we re back thnx god n m reading n searching for things to deal with Bipoal because i really love her n i won't leave her not now not tommorow and not after a million year .
She made me the happiest mman ever she s caring n loving she s just awesome she s reaaly exquisite . why would i leave instead of dealing with it with an open mind HA ?? they r a million of deff kind of humans they r not the same at the end i would say
get close to your beloved dont leave em because of Bipolar try to figure solutions to make it out to make it work between u both............
just DON'T LEAVE

To my beloved Sarah i adore you !
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replied April 12th, 2017
I am experiencing this for the first time with my wonderful girlfriend of nearly 7 years.

We have been unbelievably happy together until about 6 weeks ago when she literally went from being the most loving, caring, considerate woman to icy, cold, unable to say how she feels about me, tries to push me away mentally. It is hard not to over analyse things and think its my fault. It was literally like flipping a switch.

She doesn't want us to break up but says it isn't fair that she can't feel emotion or intimacy at the moment. Her anger is not just directed at me but at her son, her daughter, friends etc.

She has had small lows over the years for a few weeks but nothing ever this bad, just grumpy and then apologises at the end of it. I've never held it against her.

She recognises that this is similar to the other lows but has hit her harder for some reason and doesn't know why she can't snap out of it like she has done before.

She is undiagnosed clinically but has all the symptoms and signs of bipolar rather than just depression.

We don't live together because of my business and her family commitments but this has worked for us just fine, now as part of her low cycle she says the relationship is stuck because neither of us can move.

I am set on being supportive to her as this isn't a five minute relationship, I love her very deeply and I know she loves me. She says that if we talk about us she can't cope. Every now and then I see a little of the woman I love and then this veil comes back down.

I need to find a way to cope myself as this is beginning to feel all too like a previous mentally abuse relationship which took me years to get over and find my confidence to talk to women and form relationships again.

From reading the messages above there are mixed advice from just run to be supportive.. I don't favour the run idea.

I fear for my own health a little in this as well.
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replied May 24th, 2017
Hey dude ! u dont need to run at all u need to stuck to her fo real !
n u know girls or woman can hide theier feelings well so when she push u away be sure that she want the opposite she doesnt want u to leave at all she want u by her side just be patient for her n keep loving her as u ever did !
i really wish u all the best with her
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