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Loving someone with bipolar disorder

This is a terribly difficult situation for me and I'd truly appreciate any advice you can give. Smile

I've known my boyfriend for around 5 years, and we've been together off and on for nearly 3. We are in a long-distance relationship which does put a damper on things. The "off" periods, however, have never been a decision of mine. Periodically, he will find a reason to break up, but usually not more than a month will pass before we discuss getting back together, assuming we are both single at the time.
Of course, it hurts me every single time, because I am convinced he has changed and will be consistent with me this time. We've just recently decided to give it another try, and he has been mostly wonderful and has made me happier than I've been in a long time. However, he is going through a stressful period in his life and it seems like every few days he will either seem angry with me or not want to talk to me. My question is, should I give him his space when he gets like this, or try to help him? It seems like if I leave him alone, he assumes I don't care...but if I try too hard to keep in touch with him, he will sometimes ignore my calls...and I have no idea what to do. I do not want to lose him, and I really want to make it work...but it hurts me so much when he runs hot and cold like this.
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First Helper User Profile firstlove
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replied July 7th, 2008
Long distance relationships
Long distance relationships rarely work unless each other can't stand one another company. Is there any reason that you guys can't spend quality time in person? Here are things to keep in mind when becoming involved in these...

1. You really don't know anything about this person...only what he or she chooses to tell you.

2. Most online relationships have very little truth involved and is more in line with role playing of what this person wishes he or she was.

3. The majority of online relationships have one or both people doing exactly the same with others...meaning carrying on more than one so called relationship at a time.

4. If the other person asks you to send money....run while you can, its usually a scam and this person could care less for you other than you being an easy mark.

5. Be aware that the prison systems have computers and a good reason for this person to avoid meeting in person is because you are going to have to go through a number of bars to get to them.

6. A vast majority of on-line relationships are with people from other countries either trying to scam you or gain citizenship in the USA from marriage. This person is going to book once this is completed.

7. The internet is full of scary people....I tell everyone especially the kids, for every person you meet online...picture a 61 year old bald guy unless you know this person locally.

8. If and when you decide to meet this person....do it in a public place and bring a friend or muscle bound body guard along.

Finally....my best advice is to meet someone locally either through your church, friends or family.

In order for your relationship to actually work Laine....you guys need to spend some in person time. Honestly I think the reason for him running hot and cold stems from this type of relationship where it tends to send mixed messages. I hope it works out for both of you.
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replied July 7th, 2008
Thanks very much for the reply; I suppose I left something unclear, however.

It is not an online relationship, we've spent time together before. I certainly would not waste my time and emotions on someone I'd never even met.
One point, however...he DOES tend to collect a bunch of girls on the internet. Even if he is in a relationship, he might be talking to quite a few other girls, and of course I don't have a clue what about.
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replied April 6th, 2011
The talking to "other" girls to me is not a commitment at all emotionally. Unfortunatly it sounds like you are wasting your time. The ups and downs , on and off are emotionally draining and wear you out layer by layer. Think about what you want and expect you so deserve it. Good luck to you.
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replied April 6th, 2011
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Hi firstlove:...Unfortunately, this post is three years old...Hopefully someone will benefit from your words...Take care...

Caroline
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replied April 14th, 2011
I'm actually STILL dealing with this character, lol.. but yea, 3 years down the road I'm just as confused by him, but no longer trying to pursue a relationship with him. It was too much effort for such small reward, and my self-confidence took a huge blow by the end of it all. Sad
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replied July 8th, 2011
I had to deal with the exact same thing Laine.. Its sad and unfortunately it probably wont work. I myself am bipolar and I tried my best to let this same type of person into my life and he had the same problems. Bipolar is a selfish disease. You do tend to collect people that meet your needs at the time that you are feeling good or feeling your worst. It never turns out good unless you as a person with bipolar,decide to get help, which I did and he didnt. The attention he gets from other people and you is addictive and hard to quit. I ended up falling in love with this man, wanting to take care of him because it was easier than taking care of myself , living with him and he tore my heart out. I still love him and thats the sad part and now I have an EXTREMELY hard time trusting other people because of his seflishness.You cant say I love you to someone and treat them with that much disrespect, bipolar or not. Do yourself a favor..delete his every text email and tear up every letter picture block him from all venues...and find someone who deserves the big heart that you obviously have..and hope that one day he will realize the caring person he lost.
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replied July 8th, 2011
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Hi Jwilson1978...Wise, wise words...Hard to do, but must be done...I have found that sometimes life presents a twist that hurts so much it seems unbearable...The pain of losing someone you love can tear you apart...However, I found it was only when I truly was able to accept this to save myself and move forward that I would finally be able to come out of the shell that this person kept me in...

My best advice is the same as you have said, stand tall, hurt and grow with life...You can't change what you can't change...Take care...

Caroline
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replied July 8th, 2011
Re: Loving someone with bipolar disorder
First and foremost: you have to let them have their space because they usually have feelings of suffocation within the relationship. Do not read anything into it just allow him his space. They usually come back after a period of time. When someone should become concerned is when there are signs that the Bipolar person has entered into another relationship. Good luck to ya.


LaineCambria wrote:
This is a terribly difficult situation for me and I'd truly appreciate any advice you can give. Smile

I've known my boyfriend for around 5 years, and we've been together off and on for nearly 3. We are in a long-distance relationship which does put a damper on things. The "off" periods, however, have never been a decision of mine. Periodically, he will find a reason to break up, but usually not more than a month will pass before we discuss getting back together, assuming we are both single at the time.
Of course, it hurts me every single time, because I am convinced he has changed and will be consistent with me this time. We've just recently decided to give it another try, and he has been mostly wonderful and has made me happier than I've been in a long time. However, he is going through a stressful period in his life and it seems like every few days he will either seem angry with me or not want to talk to me. My question is, should I give him his space when he gets like this, or try to help him? It seems like if I leave him alone, he assumes I don't care...but if I try too hard to keep in touch with him, he will sometimes ignore my calls...and I have no idea what to do. I do not want to lose him, and I really want to make it work...but it hurts me so much when he runs hot and cold like this.
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replied July 8th, 2011
This is so true! True words of wisdom below! Take note everyone!

Jwilson1978 wrote:
I had to deal with the exact same thing Laine.. Its sad and unfortunately it probably wont work. I myself am bipolar and I tried my best to let this same type of person into my life and he had the same problems. Bipolar is a selfish disease. You do tend to collect people that meet your needs at the time that you are feeling good or feeling your worst. It never turns out good unless you as a person with bipolar,decide to get help, which I did and he didnt. The attention he gets from other people and you is addictive and hard to quit. I ended up falling in love with this man, wanting to take care of him because it was easier than taking care of myself , living with him and he tore my heart out. I still love him and thats the sad part and now I have an EXTREMELY hard time trusting other people because of his seflishness.You cant say I love you to someone and treat them with that much disrespect, bipolar or not. Do yourself a favor..delete his every text email and tear up every letter picture block him from all venues...and find someone who deserves the big heart that you obviously have..and hope that one day he will realize the caring person he lost.
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replied July 8th, 2011
I appreciate that people found what I had to say helpful, and I have to agree with tom from my standpoint that feeling suffocated makes you push people away...but its still not fair. I have tried to make my amends with people, ex's Ive hurt, like I said bipolar is a selfish disease.
There is a fine line though between pushing someone away for other women or men and leaving them vs stringing them along because you are too selfish to let them go.
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replied July 20th, 2011
Should I leave my bi-polar fiance?
I'm in the midst of a very similar situation. I've been engaged to my Bi-Polar fiance for 2.5yrs. He has been pushing me away for the past 6mths, no matter how understanding and effectionate I continue to be, pressuming he's going through a low mood. Recently, only 3wks ago, we had to put down his dog of 17yrs. He was extremely close to the dog, and got a tattoo 1hr after his passing. I'm a serious animal over too so I understand the huge difference the absence of a loved one can have on your life, daily routine etc. This was enevitably becoming a reality given he was 17yrs old and I feared how he could react.
Unfortunatly now we are having a very tough time and I think te relationship is over. I moved to my mums 1.5wks ago and only spoke and saw my fiance yesterday. I had thought he was having a manic/depressive episode by the way he was behaving. He starting buying big things a few days before we took the break. I hear this is unusual for a bi-polar person to suffer for both extremes at once, is this true? But he seems to be calm now.
There is a huge amount of emotion and deep love between us, this is way i'm so devastated. It's like he put me down with the dog. He's not sure he's making the right choice, but feels it may go down hill again. He now knows how much he has hurt me and feels so mean but doesn't know why he was doing it.

If anyone can enlighten me I would appreciate it.
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replied September 8th, 2011
Long distance relationship with a bipolar man
I couldn't help but cry when I read all of your posts here. It actually described my relationship with my bipolar bf. We met in a social networking site last year. He is in the US and I am here in the Philippines. He told me about the disorder during the first month of being in the relationship. He tried to kill himself 13 years ago when his ex-gf then broke up with him to get back with an ex. He was diagnosed with a Bipolar disorder at that time but he thinks that he was misdiagnosed for according to him the only manifestations he has are either overlseeping or not being able to sleep.

I am a nurse so I have an idea how it is but I didnt know how it could affect me till I experience it now. Everything was just perfect. He had so much promises for the future.. Future plans of being together. I was happy that he visited me last month. For 3 weeks it was a lot of fun. It was the first time I have met him in person and we had chemistry. I told myself that I have found the one for me. It really meant so much to me for him to visit me here. He even talked to my dad about marrying me. He even met my dad in the US first before we met until July 18 he came back to the States everything changed so suddenly....

I don't know what to think. I thought we had fun. I thought everything was real until he said he's sick and he's been sleeping most days (most of the time). He has acute gastroenteritis and it's been 1 month now that i couldnt believe he's not fully well. I felt that he totally changed his mind about me, about us but he kept saying it's not. It's just that he's sick and too sleepy to think. He's so distant to me.I felt that I am so torn apart. My self-esteem is very low now. I am starting to doubt how he truly feel about me. It's like getting sleep is more important than spending time with me. He used to look forward to our chats before. Now, everytime we chat, i feel that he is ready to leave and say goodbye and for that, i feel like a door mat. I can't go on like this or I will just end up hurt. But I really love him so much. In fact, ever since he came back to the States it's like I always do all the efforts in the relationship and it's emotionally exhausting. I feel drained. Tomorrow is our first year Anniversary. I know I can't help expecting so much from him as I really don't feel special anymore. I don't know how long will I try to understand the situation. I don't have any clue if it's the disorder or me. Everything might changed after we met in person but I really thought we had fun together while he was here. Pls help me. I am sorry to hear about other there people who have experienced it. I just can't get over this depression. I am emotionally and deeply affected coz I feel it's me and not the disorder but based on the comments that you have here I feel that it is just the disorder... I just don't know how long it's going to be and when it's going to end because for no apparent reason, we won't talk like we used to. He's not so into me anymore and I don't know what to think. I am totally clueless. I thought meeting each other in person would make it more better in the future. He said, he had fun....but it tells me the other way around. Just awhile ago, I greeted him a Happy Anniversary and he just said, he love me and he will let me go coz he's really sleepy. For 22 days since he got back to the US, he didnt show any emotions...just blank...empty. I don't want to linger on it....but it is our First year Anniversary....I don't know how to handle this. I am totally crushed. He used to be so affectionate, smart, caring and sensitive to my needs. Now, I don't feel like I exist. It's like whether I am here or not, doesn't matter to him anymore. One time he said, he's going to wake up to chat.....but after 5 hours of waiting i finally decided to call him up and he was just sleeping. It's nice to know I am not alone in this. I really need all your comments about this. I am going to freak out on our First year anniversary. I feel so alone. But I love this guy so much that I couldn't let him go. I hope it's just the disorder and not about me. Sad
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