Relationship Falling Apart? Do NOT Give Your Partner Space

My partner is bipolar. Out of the blue, our relationship became difficult and we are hardly communicating now. When we last spoke I said that I understand the need for space, but I’m afraid my partner will just completely let go of me.

If your thoughts are something like this and you are confused, you aren’t alone. This is theme I hear most often in my e-mails.

A usual pattern is that you and your partner met a few months ago and you both realised you were great for each other. And it has been great. And now – now you find that you and your partner have stopped doing fun activities together, or have simply stopped doing the things that hold a relationship together. Your relationship just drifts or limps along.

You are feeling that your partner may be avoiding you or is not communicating. When you try to discuss any problems, your partner is distant or skirting around the issues. Or they may be agreeing with you, but during the discussion you feel as if you are talking to a blank face or a blank wall, or you feel as if everything you say is falling into a black hole.

Your partner may be irritated by any discussions you might initiate, and they may act as if they don’t particularly care about the relationship. Or they may talk about breaking up. All of sudden, your relationship is falling apart and you don’t have a clue why.

Familiar?

Here’s what happens.

When us bipolar people have depression episodes, everything goes wrong simultaneously. We are then either busy applying patch after patch to our failing lives or we are not doing anything at all because we are depressed. And unfortunately, relationships are not spared – we have difficulty holding up our end of a relationship.

When I say everything goes wrong in a depression episode, I really mean it. This is not a bad hair day kind of things going wrong. This is a Titanic sinking and dragging our entire lives under the sea kind of going wrong. Everything in our lives eventually stop working, down to being unable to brush our teeth. We are aware of all that is going wrong, but we are unable to do anything about it, because that’s what depression is. And though we desperately try to prop up our lives, we always end up watching everything collapse around us.

Not surprisingly, once a depression episode begins, problems start to appear in a relationship. And for us, dealing with a confused partner’s questions becomes one additional complication in the craziness our lives have become. To make matters worse, when we are depressed it is very difficult to talk with people – even people we care about – because that’s also part of what depression is.

So, as we try to halt the collapse of our day to day lives by getting rid of non-critical pursuits / projects, it often feels easier to break up with our partner, and we often try to do just that. It sounds incredible that a great relationship suddenly falls under “non-critical”, but we are having to expend real effort to shower and change. Pretty much everything above basic existence becomes non-critical.

Now, there is no reason why we try to break up the relationship other than we are depressed. In fact, in the big picture there really is nothing wrong with the relationship, so there is no real logic in saying we want to break off the relationshp – and if we succeed, we will often regret the breakup afterward. But at that moment in time, none of this matters – we are simply following a pattern dictated by the depression episode.

Your depressed partner will often tell you something like “It’s not about you, it’s about me,” without giving any specifics. A useful interpretation for that is “I’m having a really difficult time just getting out of the house on mornings, so trying to handle the complexities of our relationship is beyond me at the moment. Please leave me alone.”

To compound the problem, if your partner is depressed, their thought patterns tend to fall into the “I’m not worthy of being in this relationship / it’s easier to not be in a relationship because we just argue / you are better off without me anyway.” There may be nothing truthful about any of these statements, but that is how we feel.

Because of this double whammy – feeling unworthy and feeling unable to cope – almost any standard conflict resolution method you use to prevent your partner from breaking up will actually make things worse. In fact, your just asking what is wrong can make things worse, because the question itself is yet another thing for your depressed partner to deal with.

Picture the situation. Things are going wrong with your relationship. You reasonably ask questions on what is happening. We cannot cope so we draw back or get angry with you. You become even more concerned, so you are more insistent. So we pull back some more or get even more angry. And so the situation spirals downwards.

Now here’s the riddle. If the stuff that you do to save the relationship can actively make the relationship worse, what can you do?

Well, there is one thing you can try. It’s being with your partner without actually interacting with them.

Huh?

I’ll explain. But I am making the following assumptions – that you and your partner live apart, and the situation has reached the point where (1) you aren’t communicating much and (2) the relationship has not completely fallen apart.

The earlier you catch the potential breakup of the relationship, the more likely the following suggestions are to work. Conversely, if your partner has made any of the “it’s over” statements, I’m not sure anything here will work, no matter how much you try.

Right, back to work. When I say to be with your partner, I mean do NOT do the polite thing and “give them space.” Do not stay out of their life while they “think things through.”

The longer the time you spend apart, the more likely it is for the relationship to fall apart. Remember, if your partner is depressed, they are already trying to cope with basic details of surviving through the day. On that scale, you aren’t very high on their list of important things. You rank below, say, putting on clean clothes, which has suddenly become a super-difficult task.

And your partner isn’t “thinking anything through.” My experience has been that while depressed, dealing with a relationship is (1) an annoying complication, or (2) a task that is not critical to survival, or (3) something to be discarded to make my life simpler.

There is no reminiscing over good times or weighing of the pros and cons of the relationship. It just doesn’t happen. And if your partner is depressed enough, they aren’t thinking of anything at all.

So giving your partner space doesn’t help the relationship at all.

Worse than that, in trying to cope with the mess the depression is creating, your partner will try to reorganise their life. If you are not around, you will be reorganised out of their life. There is no good or bad or happy or satisfied or upset about what your partner will do – it’s just what will happen.

Yes, you are important to them, but if you leave your partner alone, the mood swings will occupy sufficient of their attention that they will not have time to pay attention to you. Not staying in touch is likely to make any cracks in the relationship wider and increase the distance between you.

We tend to drift away from things / people that are out of sight and mind.

I’ve also noticed that when I come out depression my priorities are always different than when I entered the depression. So priority 1 might be lowered to priority 6, and priority 8 might move up to priority 2. You get the idea.

The problem is that if you were priority 2, you may get bumped down the list, and if your partner happens to meet someone else while you are giving them space, that person might move up the list. I have not been able to figure out why this happens yet, and there is no sense or logic for the reshuffling, but it happens.

You need to be physically present to remain important and high on your partner’s priority list during depression and as they emerge from it .

So how you you actually stay in touch?

Your physical presence matters. My experience is that only a physical presence tends to slow or prevent the fading of the connection in the relationship. Talking by phone / e-mail / IM / texting / facebook / twittering / skype / etc. is not a substitute for being physically present. I strongly recommend that you visit your partner often if you want to increase the chances of keeping the relationship together.

The problem is that your partner may not want to deal with your visiting. You can’t just show up and continue as if nothing is wrong with the relationship. If nothing else, you will certainly stress out your partner.

The compromise position is to be physically present but not necessarily making claims on your partner’s time. I have realised that I can cope with my partner’s presence as long as they don’t try to draw me into doing things.

My best suggestion is to show up at your partner’s house with dinner and desert and a DVD. The food provides an excuse to visit and the DVD provides an excuse to stay for a while.

Take away, like chinese or arabic, is better than home cooked as there are no obligation issues (i.e. – I slaved for the last two hours cooking for you). I like belgian chocolate ice cream for dessert, but anything goes. You could carry microwave popcorn to go with the DVD.

Alternatively, you could carry a book to read instead of a DVD. In fact, carry both in case your partner doesn’t like the DVD or thinks it will be too noisy. Remember, you are trying to have a reason to stick around after dinner, and reading quietly on the couch works just as well as watching a movie. Or you could carry your knitting, crosswords, or a 500 piece puzzle – but no music or noisy things.

If you know your partner’s schedule, I’d suggest simply showing up in person rather than telephoning to find out if it is ok to come over. If we are depressed, we don’t want to see anyone, so if you call to find out if it is ok to come over, we’ll say no.

If you do have to call first, don’t ask for permission. Simply say “I’m bringing over dinner” and nicely override any objections we may make.

There are a few rules for when you visit your partner.

1 – This is not a therapy session.

Do not try to get detailed information on how your partner is feeling – chances are they won’t be able to give you a clear answer and you will frustrate yourself and stress them out. It’s okay to ask how they are feeling (and their response is most likely to be “Okay”) but don’t push for the nitty gritty details.

It’s hard not to jump in and talk about how worried you are and how much you care and that you’ll provide the support your partner needs. But don’t do this.

Do not try to be positive or try to cheer your partner up! If anyone comes into my house to cheer me up when I am depressed, my first response is to consider punching them in the nose. My next responses are to (1) become sarcastic or (2) become angry, or if I am really restrained (3) I ignore the comments. Clearly, there are no happy endings to this.

2 – This is not a relationship discussion.

Depression also makes it very hard for us to make decisions or take action, and we try to avoid them at all costs. We also tend to become afraid of people – we always tend to think they are being critical of us.

A relationship discussion / argument is the worst case situation because not only are we put in a situation where we have to deal with someone, we actually have to think and decide. For us it feels as if someone is beating us on the head with a very big stick.

Anything that forces us to have to think, reason, decide, or act stresses us out, and we generally choose the path that allows us to not to have to do any of this – we will consider breaking off the relationship then and there.

3 – You did not visit to be critical.

If we are depressed, we are trying as hard as we can. Don’t bother to bring up things your partner should be doing but is not doing. Your partner already knows that things are going wrong and they are failing miserably. You do not need to rub it in.

If you happen across such topics when talking, then just say “Well, you’ll fix it / catch up when you can” and then move on to talk about something else.

Related to this is – do not clean your partner’s apartment if it is messy. The cleaning up feels like criticism to us – that we are not doing a good job. Leave the dishes and garbage alone, ignore the stuff piled up everywhere, don’t worry that laundry is not done, do not make up the bed, do not water the plants.

You are only allowed to clean enough dishes and clear the table to have dinner, and to move enough stuff you can sit on the sofa to watch the movie. And that’s it. Your partner will not appreciate your being “helpful” otherwise.

4 – Don’t go overboard with the protestations of love.

When you say you love your partner, it creates the expectation that they are supposed to respond to you.

Your partner can’t think well enough to respond or will feel as if their response is artificial. But they also can’t cope with the emotional trauma of not responding, so the situation become stressful for your partner, even though you didn’t intend it to.

In any case your partner already knows that you love them. You showed up with food, didn’t you?

5 – Do not try to get your partner to promise to do anything.

If we are depressed, there is absolutely no guarantee that we will follow through on anything. That includes promises made to you.

Asking for a promise is asking your partner to choose between (1) upsetting you by saying that they won’t make the promise or (2) lying to you to make you feel happy. Nothing good can come out of either choice.

Worse than that, if your partner makes the promise, and then does not follow through, then you are likely to become upset and, well, you see where this goes.

Well, what does that leave you with?

1 – Talk about neutral stuff.

One of the the paradoxes is that if your partner doesn’t have to deal with the complicated messy relationship issues, they can probably talk about almost anything else normally.

You’ll realise your partner might be able to chat on easy topics like who is at the top of the football league, or current news, or about the newest movie, or what exactly caused the financial meltdown on Wall Street, or how many angels can dance on the head of a pin, but not the difficult “where is the relationship going” one.

It can feel weird how articulate, cogent, and intelligent your partner can sound when talking about stuff other than the relationship or other personal topics. My father usually visits me when I am depressed and hiding in my house, and then I chat perfectly normally to him (on everything except why I’m hiding in my house) and he must wonder what the hell is going on. You’ll feel that way too.

But we are only able to talk well on neutral subjects. Bring up personal or relationship or depression issues and you might as well be talking to a blank wall, and you will stress partner out.

However, it is a good thing to get us talking, so please talk about neutral subjects.

2 – Watch a movie together.

One of the nice things about watching a movie is that you can be with your partner without having to, well, talk. The attention is focused on the movie.

I usually dislike going to the movies for precisely this reason – it never feels that I get to talk with who I go with. But in this case, that is the advantage. Your partner won’t feel as if they have to invest loads of energy to talk or otherwise interact with you. But they will, just by sharing the bowl of popcorn.

If you can persuade your partner to go out to watch a movie, that would also work, but don’t force the issue – staying at home is just fine.

3 – Leave you partner to their own devices.

If your partner is sufficiently depressed, they may not even want to watch a movie, and they may well prefer to ignore you and read or surf the internet.

That’s also okay, and that’s why you walked with a book. If this happens, make yourself comfortable on the couch and read. Or set yourself up at the dining table to do the puzzle.

It does not matter if your partner is in the same room as you, or if you are not chatting with each other at all. Your presence is what matters. When I am depressed, I usually have my nose in the computer surfing and I ignore C. completely. But it still feels nice to know that someone is around – that C. is around.

If your partner says that you don’t have to stay, respond with something like “I know, but I like spending time with you.”

It’s also perfectly fine to chat with other people your partner lives with or to watch the DVD with them, even if your partner has chosen not to be part of the conversation.

Do not feel that your partner is being rude because they are ignoring you. You came prepared for this possibility.

The one proviso – if your partner decides to go out, go with them. Do not stay in the house by yourself – you’ll just feel foolish. Say “I’ll come with you” and nicely override any objections in a cheerful manner.

4 – Go for a walk.

Suggest that your partner and you go for a walk in the neighbourhood. Being outside is good for us. But don’t force this on us – suggest it but don’t push too hard.

I don’t recommend going for drive because the intimacy of a car can be too intense for us and can easily lead to the personal / relationship questions you are trying to avoid.

However, if you have to drive to go somewhere, put on the music and keep the atmosphere in the car light and cheerful.

Doing stuff with other people may be possible, and therapeutic, but play it by ear. You’ll probably have to stay away from noisy, crowd filled activities. If your partner isn’t up to this, don’t push.

5 – Ask about medication.

If your partner has told you they are bipolar or depressed, it is okay to ask if they have taken their medication.

Do not criticise if they say they haven’t because this is pretty common. Simply ask where your partner keeps the medication, get a dosage and a glass of water and stand in front of them while they take it.

There might be some resistance on the part of your partner. You can press a bit to make sure your partner takes the medication, but don’t start an argument over it. You can try again before you leave.

6 – Say “I love you” without requiring your partner to reply.

Consider the following phrases –
I think you look wonderful
I just like being in the same room with you
I just feel happy when I’m around you
You make me feel good just by being there
I like how your hair looks

Say them without sounding as if your partner has to respond in kind. And then move on to something else.

It’s okay to give hugs, or pecks on the cheek or the hair, or nuzzle the neck, etc. In fact, touching can be a good thing, a reassuring thing. Just keep it on the lighter hearted side rather than the more serious romantic side. You’ll need to strike the balance between getting close and getting intimate.

When I was sitting at the computer, I used to like when C. would come behind me, hug my neck, kiss the top of my head, say “you’re a wonderful guy,” and then wander off again.

Whether you can cope with keeping company with your partner in this way depends on your expectations. If you try these ideas expecting no more than, well, a nice time, the time you and your partner spend together might be peaceful or pleasant, or maybe enjoyable even.

If however, you go looking for some sign that things will be ok between you and your partner in the future, the set of signals coming back at you will probably be confusing and you will probably have a hard time understanding where your relationship is heading.

Enjoy time spent with your partner for what it is, not what it means or what is says about the future. At this stage your major job is simply to be present and visible so that when your partner is feeling well enough to be thinking about your relationship again – there you are.

If all the suggestions sounds like being a friend rather than a partner, well it’s knowing when to stay light ‘n easy so as to not overburden your partner.

As the days pass, you might feel as if you are in a limbo position regarding whether you are or are not in a relationship. That’s sorta about right and it is going to drive you crazy. The problem here is that your partner will not be able to talk about the relationship until they are back to something approaching normal. You can’t do much about that and unless you know how long their mood swings last, you won’t know how long you’ll be waiting. And unfortunately, it can be a while -measured from 1 week to months. Consider asking a friend or family member how long your partner’s past episodes have lasted.

Your partner may also have better days and worse days, so there may be days when you feel the relationship is solidifying again and days when it feels as if you’ve taken two steps back and they are as distant as ever. All this is normal for depression and may not say anything about you or the relationship. Don’t read too much into what your partner is actually saying or not saying to you. The statements and actions may be the inaccurate indicators at the moment. Trust your instincts. Assume that you will be frustrated sometimes.

Confusingly, your partner can appear and sound perfectly normal and rational even if they are depressed. So you might have a difficult time figuring out whether they are feeling better or not. You might have already learned to read the signals of when your partner is becoming depressed, but if you haven’t one of the simple rules is to assume that your partner’s anger is depression related and try to calm rather than escalate problems. Similarly, assume that your partner not wanting to see you is depression related.

Your partner may talk to other people about personal stuff that they aren’t telling you. Don’t get angry or reproach them about this. However, if it is happening, see if you can steer the overall situation so that your partner feels they can have the same sort of intimacy with you.

In arguments, do not ask leading questions like “So you want to break up” because it makes it too easy for us to say yes.

If you can, also override the “I don’t love you, don’t call” statements by saying something like “I think you are depressed so I’m not accepting that today. I’m going to wait until you are not depressed.” But be careful, this can equally easily antagonise you partner further.

If you are able to do all the above, I suggest that you get all the support you can. Ask whoever is available, your friends or your partner’s friends and family. Don’t go for the tough minded independent action. Remember that your partner’s friends and family will also be worried, so the support may actually go in both directions and you may all feel better.

You also can’t keep up a focus on your partner every single day of the week; you’ll burn out. Make time at least once a week to go out with other friends for a drink and some laughter.

I have a standard line that I ask C. to remember when I am depressed. It’s “I love you, but I can’t show it right now.” As you interact with your partner, remember they are in the same situation too.

Some other things to consider

Verify Depression

My descriptions / suggestions have been mostly for someone who is depressed. If your partner is manic, you need a different way of handling the problem.

Check this. Your partner can be either depressed, manic, or relatively normal. Use the descriptions for depression or mania to see which describes how your partner is acting. Not all the descriptions / symptoms may be present, or they may appear at a lower intensity. Check with other people to see what they think.

Or your partner could be normal in which case she would come across as feeling looking and acting pretty normal (funny that – and in which case the discussion about the relationship is beyond my realm).

You are Intruding on your Partner’s Space

What I am suggesting does not fit under the usual concept of polite. You partner is trying to get you to leave them alone, and you are ignoring the request.

Nevertheless, part of the reason I’m suggesting this is that the standard rules for the couples / partners / dating game doesn’t work very well with us bipolar people. If you try to abide by these rules, it may well work against you and your relationship. Sometimes you have to change the rules to fit the situation.

What about respecting your partner’s wishes? Well, as half of a partnership, you do have some rights too, and one of those is the ability to initially ignore a request for separation, or space, or a time out. In fact, all of the above is based on your privilege as one half of a relationship to claim space and time from the other half.

It’s also perfectly acceptable to conspire with parents and friends. If you haven’t been able to get in touch with your partner, call their family or friends and find out what is going on. And ask for information and help too – this may not be time to hold a sense of independence or strength.

If you are not certain that your partner suffers from bipolar disorder or depression, it is okay to ask someone like a parent or close friend. Make sure to phrase the question so that you come across as wanting to know because you love your partner rather than as an inquisitor.

What you are doing is trying make sure that a good relationship survives for the benefit of both you and your partner.

Right. Having said that that it’s okay to brazen this out, let me offer a few other words that can also be used for what I am suggesting – pestering, annoying, harassing, stalking.

Because there is a fine line between support and harassment, you are going to have to monitor what you are doing and how your partner is reacting. While it is okay to override your partners wishes initially, at some point it is not going to be acceptable to do so. You are going to have to make the judgment call.

If you know a close friend of your partner’s, I’d suggest that you ask for help, and also ask them to help you determine when you are indeed becoming a pest.

If You Can’t Visit

I’m don’t think that telephone calls or texting or e-mail are a substitute for being physically present. They are too easy to ignore, so your partner may not answer the phone or return the text or the e-mail.

My experience has been that I do not even listen to voice mail or read mail when I am depressed. You might be saying that you love your partner, but they aren’t even getting the message, much less replying to you.

Even if I do listen or read the messages, it can be complicated or difficult to think of a reply, so I don’t. If you aren’t hearing from your partner, this may be why.

The messages can also be irritating, so leaving frequent ones can actually make any interaction worse. If you show up in person, you are both difficult to ignore and easier to deal with.

I suspect that trying to prop up a relationship with someone who is bipolar when you cannot visit frequently because you live across town or in another city is somewhere between difficult and impossible.

Nevertheless, if you cannot visit in person, use them because they are better than nothing at all.

When Your Partner is Coming Out of Depression

If your partner has come out of depression, you can bring up relationship issues. You’d need to do it diplomatically, etc., and they will still probably feel a bit stressed, but they should be able to manage dealing with it.

Now that things seem to be moving, one point to keep in mind. If later on you find that even though your partner is feeling better / normal, they are refusing to discuss their mood swings, this is a big problem. The mood swings will always be there and will have to be dealt with as part of the relationship. If you both cannot discuss the mood swings in the open and work out ways to accommodate them, then chances are the current cycle of being together / attempting to break up will continue to occur.

If your partner is up and around enough to go out with other people, they aren’t that depressed any longer and they can have the discussions.

If You’ve Already had the Breakup Argument

If you’ve started checking out the ‘net only after your partner said the relationship is over, then this whole scenario gets complicated. You could try the actions above, but there is no guarantee that the relationship can be repaired.

You can exploit ambiguities in the breakup statement. If the breakup was “I can’t continue this with you / I’m not good enough / You are better off without me” then you can simply insist that you are perfectly happy with your partner as you take the actions above. If you partner said “People change and I don’t love you anymore” then you say “I still love you and I’m not giving up without a fight.” Be creative on how you get around the breakup statement.

Treat the breakup as just a nasty argument rather than a breakup. Assume that you are still in a relationship. You may irritate your partner further, but I figure that if the relationship is technically over at the moment, things can’t get any worse. You might as well try.

Alternatively, you could try simply waiting until they are in a reasonable mood, but I’m not sure this will work. However, if you wish to try this, you can improve your chances by putting a post card under your partner’s door (simple post card not in an envelope) saying that you still love your partner and if they want to get back together you are willing to do so. Keep the note simple, two or three sentences.

Decide in your mind on how long you would be willing to wait (two months or so?), and tell a friend about it. Realise that if you do this, you’ll be a complete wreck between now and the final date hoping to hear from your partner, so consider carefully before taking this action – and remember there are still no guarantees.

It also only makes sense to consider waiting for your partner if

(1) You have past experience in how long your partner’s depression episodes last, so you have an idea on when to expect some real feedback from your partner.

(2) Based on your experience of your relationship in the past, you think you have a reasonable chance of getting things to mend if your partner is in a reasonable mood. You should ask a close friend or two what they think – they may be able to provide a clearer idea than you since they are not directly involved.

And even while you are waiting, don’t stay away from your partner. I still recommend that you show up now and then with dinner.

Or, you can move on. You’ll be broken hearted, because, well, you know. But there are other really nice people out there – just as good as your partner is. Really. You can spend time and effort hoping for a reconciliation with your partner, or you can spend the same time and effort looking for someone new – and you’ll probably find someone. Not the same, but equally perfect.

In case you are wondering, if you are still courting, you do have the option to walk away from a partner who is depressed with no obligations. You may be worried about them and wondering what you can do to help, but remember they survived perfectly fine without you before the relationship. They can do it again. You are not your partner’s guardian angel.

Remember though, there is no best solution here. When love is involved, we all tend to follow our own path regardless of advice others give us.

Finally

If the relationship really does fall apart, this is not your fault. The breakup really is a symptom / side effect of depression. Do not feel that if you could somehow have done something, then everything would have been all right. Do NOT feel that this is somehow your fault.

You are who you are – which is marvellous, wonderful, special. You aren’t perfect, but nobody else is either, so don’t ever feel this is a bad thing. Feel good about yourself because you deserve it.

To Summarise

The advice above is how to weather the current storm in the relationship, so that you can continue it again when the sun shines. Until your partner is pretty stable, you are in a holding pattern. This is the rough period because you won’t be getting much signals as to where the relationship will eventually end up, or you’ll be getting wildly conflicting signals.

However, the holding position is important because as your partner comes out of depression, they may look for someone new. However, if you are physically present during that period, they will not be able to ignore your presence.

Well, that’s the hope anyway.

I have no guarantee that this will work, but it is a substantially better scenario that being politely absent. Your physical presence matters and it’s always a good time to visit someone to share a pint of chocolate chocolate chip ice cream.

211 thoughts on “Relationship Falling Apart? Do NOT Give Your Partner Space

    • Thank you so much for this, after reading the first 2 paragraphs, my relationship with the woman I love resonated so much. I want to be there to help, but I never knew how. When she was having an episode, I did as she asked and stayed away, but I felt her and still do feel her slipping away. Thank you so much. I hope you and C are doing well.

    • This is a general email for those who are interested. I have had bipolar for more years than I care to remember, and have experienced a lot of aggression and compassion from a number of people. It took many years for me to get over the self-hatred and the crazy manic behavior. The repeated hospitalizations were worse. Deep depression and suicidal attempts have been a constant companion. I have lost great jobs, friends, educational opportunities and husbands, not to mention a big blow to my self-esteem. I have been avoided and abandoned and even my church turned their back on me. One woman (no two) got up and walked away when I sat down next to them. However, I really respect the love and loyalty shown by many of the people in these posts. I am so pleased they are taking care, and are educating themselves. But, please believe me, bipolar can wear other people down. If you can’t function yourself, how do you expect to help someone else? Respecting barriers seems to me to be a reasonable break for both parties. This is a terrible disease, and even with the best intentions in the world, their is nothing another person can do to stop the train. I wish you all the best.

      • Me and my partner Lewis meet February 8th 2017. We had some
        Amazing times. But when he received a letter from the benefits saying that he has to go for a medical thing started falling apart I have insecurities. And allow them to destroy my relationship.
        Last Wednesday we had a row as I PUT my insecurities first without knowing. He as now ended the relationship. Spoken to me I replied to any message since. Is our relationship over.?

      • Who knows cos they dont know what they are doing. I had the similiar relationship with a man that ripped my heart apart and too and fro was who he was. The partner that is not bipolar ends up destroyed and the other has no recollection of the pain and hurt they caused. Mine dumped me nearly 3 years ago and 6 months after he dumped me rocked up.at my house to tell me he living with someone that the best thing since sliced bread, and that she was younger and better than me and opened the wound back up. Left and the text me 100 texts a day telling me how good we would have been together.You either have to think like a bipolar and dont give a dam or do yourself a massive favour and walk away, forget your feelings they wont go away. I am left an empty shell unable to love again. Sorry u dont want to hear this , a bipolar is not the person they really are.

      • Why does every comment have the underlying tone of an all or nothing situation. Take bipolar out of the equation, and you are left with a person. My diagnosis is not an excuse. How many times have I had to shoulder the blame for the problems my partner had. How many times have I been the easy target? It’s all well and good to protect yourself, but the years of dirty looks and abandonment, the 22 attempts at suicide, the various 72-hour holds…they stay with me forever. You can move on be happy, that’s your right. I am sorry this diagnosis is too much for you. I am also sorry I, like many others with this diagnosis, understand sacrifice more than you will ever know. We are in this prison for life. It must be nice to walk away when you are at your limit. I passed my limit 20 years ago, but I don’t get to walk away do I? No. You must have it so hard. Take your poor me attitude and stick it. I struggle every day to keep myself calm and under control, along with millions of people like me. We struggle to keep you from passing your judgment and disgust back to us. And what do we get for that? Abandonment. In the height of a manic episode, I don’t remember most of what is said and done. I only know what happens because when things calm down, it’s just me here, alone, trying to figure out why I should wake up again. Take a step back. But don’t leave. But be clear about what you’re doing. Let us know. “Hey, I need a break or I will crack. Give me 24 hours, and I will be back!” In the moment, we might be pissed, but ultimately, we understand. Be specific and not vague. Make this about us and not you or I. It’s not an all or nothing situation. It’s give and take. We give and give and it seems everyone sees that and just takes. It’s too much.

      • I hear u as i heard him , and gave him space for weeks on end , when it was the leave me alone time. And i dont want u in my live time , easy to judge from your side i am sure , but i am.not sure you understand the non bipoalrs situation , this man left me with debt he had risked while in a manic episode and in the hyprsexuality side of things an std. I lost my house also attempted suicide unable to cope and am a completly numb empty shell So i have my just reasons to feel the way i do , and u or anyone else has not got the right to judge my only personal situation as i dont yours.Bipolar is a disorder that may be impossible to live with even with mood stabilisers, and clearly the person has no full control over their actions , but whoever , whatever person , i dont have to allow their condition to rip my live and sanity apart just bcos that is what their live is like.

      • With all due respect, I do get to judge because I am the one living with this condition. I never said you have to allow your partner to rip your life apart. You allow that to happen by not clearly stating the boundaries. I find it fascinating that people love to point the finger at those of us with mental illness (it’s now classified as such, not simply a mood disorder) because it’s the easy thing to do. It never seems to balance out. The bipolar partner gets blamed because of our “behavior”, which indicates there is a choice as behavior can be modified by choice. Often times, it goes unrecognized that this is a biological disorder. Think of the unruly child in the grocery store and the parent who just looks worn out. How often do we (and I say we because we all do it) say to ourselves or even quietly to the person we are with, that child needs a slap. We never take into consideration, at least not immediately, that the child may have a biological issue creating a situation in his or her brain that causes the outburst. And we never think the parent looks worn out because he or she knows this and doesn’t have an answer but knows that he or she will tirelessly be there for that child? That child is going to cost a lot of money, stress, anxiety, perhaps parental fighting and even divorce. But that mother or father will be with the child forever because there is love.

        If you say you love someone, there are no conditions or requirements. Only love. It’s unconditional and gratuitous. Don’t tell me you love me if you only love me when I am not a certain way. Because when the dust settles, all I hear is I am not good enough. Then the monologue starts over in my head. If only I wasn’t this way, I would be happier. Or if only I was good enough. Like I said, you have the luxury of escaping the prison because you can walk away from a person you claim to love. But I don’t have that luxury. My loved ones walk away, and I am stuck here in this prison. I don’t get to escape. Why should anyone else?

      • This mental illness person as u state is not a mood disorder cost me everything and nearly.my life.And your side of the story as a person with the same mental illness is yours. You presume i did jot love him unconditionally. I was at the time receiving advice from my doctor and other people that deal with this kind illness and all my friends and family said it was him.or them as they could see my demise. I did jot listen i stuck with him , kept getting the shit from him in all forms even when i found his sexual addiction through the hypersexuality stage.meant he with other woman. I should have listened earlier as it was me that had the breakdown , me that had no self worth. Not him , he was riding the cloud of mania gambled my car and sumiliar things. I may be free of him , but.not free of what he has left behind, and for that what right have u to judge ?

      • Who knows cos they dont know what they are doing. I had the similiar relationship with a man that ripped my heart apart and too and fro was who he was. The partner that is not bipolar ends up destroyed and the other has no recollection of the pain and hurt they caused. Mine dumped me nearly 3 years ago and 6 months after he dumped me rocked up.at my house to tell me he living with someone that the best thing since sliced bread, and that she was younger and better than me and opened the wound back up. Left and the text me 100 texts a day telling me how good we would have been together.You either have to think like a bipolar and dont give a dam or do yourself a massive favour and walk away, forget your feelings they wont go away. I am left an empty shell unable to love again. Sorry u dont want to hear this , a bipolar is not the person they really are.

    • Thanks for this. However it seems that you remove all personal responsibility from the depressed partner and that the non-depressed partner has to simply kiss ass, continue to be treated like crap, and risk losing all self esteem in order not to “bumped down the list”. That is horse shit advise.

      Depressed….or not, no one has a get out jail free card as license to treat another like crap because of a medical condition. No one.

      In my experience, with two different depressed partners in my lifetime now is the best approach it this:
      1. Give the partner space but let them know you are there for them. Don’t abandon them. Make abandonment their decision if need be.
      2. Encourage counselling.
      3. Encourage fun activities. Expect to be denied and if so, go have fun without them so you don’t become a basket case yourself.
      4. Set behavior boundaries and when they do something that is simply wrong, tell them so.
      5. Be patient. Seek help from family members and friends.
      6. If and when they refuse to respect the boundaries of normal human society…or stray from the relationship to another (most do), then leave them. Give them all the space they want….forever Go find happiness with someone else and don’t worry if they regret their decision in the future (they will). In the end, that was their adult decision and they get to live with the outcome of it…..depression or not.
      7. FInd in your heart to forgive them and let go with compassion, not anger, for your own well being. Move on and enjoy your own life as you only have one! Knowing that you did all that you could without becoming a doormat will set you up for someone next that does not treat you like shit.

      My two cents….

      • I’m going through this now….he’s become very manic.
        Been broke up for a month…he’s wants to get back together. He just came home from hospital after a heart procedure this week but doesn’t want to see me yet…..lots of excuses.
        He’s slipping away….we talk on the phone or instant message.
        So complicated…

      • I agree with this. One thing you have to remember is to help, but not to lose your sanity either – which is easy to do when you’re attempting to care for someone with depression. Take care of yourself. You can’t help someone who’s drowning if you don’t have a life vest on yourself

      • I agree Thomas; This is great advice and makes me feel alot better..so a heartfelt thanks. I am in this situation with my boyfriend who has been a depressive for many years since the 90’s party ended, we all had to grow up and he was no longer a pill popping star DJ. I am afraid to say I pandered to him, run myself ragged and burnt myself out physically and emotionally to support him – especially this last year since him mum passed away. I am sad to say I have gone down with him and am now also recieving treatment. My view is it is ok to support someone, on the provision that there is no negative impact on your own health and life; once you go down too, you are useless to them anyway. Give love and support but maintain a sense of self. And know when it it time to call it a day. In actual fact, by being over supportive, I probably didnt help him at all.
        Thank you .

      • We are still apart…he just finally talked to me yesterday online. Says he’s still manic but coming down slowly. Says I can visit sometime soon…I want to see him but not get back together. I can’t live like that anymore…I was always wondering when he would breakup up with me again.
        I love him but I know it would be a rollercoaster ride again…

      • Thank you for this remark. I had the same thought when reading the post. As though the other party just has to put up with all the whims and wishes of the depressed person and can have no personality or emotions of their own. My bf of 2,5 years and I just sorta-ended things. He calls it a timeout but I’m starting the process of moving on. His moodswings and episodes of depression kept getting worse and his attempts to push me away kept getting less subtle. When he wasnt deprrssed he’d tell me I was the best thing to have ever happened to him, thst he couldn’t have wished for anyone better, he was so blessed with me etc. But everytime he slipped into depression he just wanted to be alone and I was a burden along with everything else in his life. He kept tjonking of new external citcumstances he had to change in order to be happy. Though I did try to make him understand that the source of his unhappiness was within himself, I went along to the point of even agreeing to a polyamorous relationship when I’m naturally monogamous. He now told me he was seeking lightness with these other women because our relationship was so heavy. Meanwhile I was only ever heavy when I was around him and his depression dealing with his moodswings and his fulfilling his ever changing needs, such as the one to fuck around no matter how much that hurt me. Meanwhile he also pushed me to find someone because he’s not jealous at all and this was his idea of getting more space in the relationship. So after over 2 years of him pushing me to find someone to have sex with I finally did. Except this new guy fell in love with me. So I checked with my ex who was still my partner at the time and he was still cool with it. Then I started falling in love with the new guy, checked again, still Ok. Until one day on a whim after a particular encounter of his with another woman, he realized he and I should just both be monogamous. Where was that attitude 6 months earlier when the contrast between the emotional roller coaster from hell that was him, and the kind, loving, patient man that was my new man. Next thing he wanted was a time out. So now day 2 of timeout later which I am processing as a breakup for my own sanity, I still miss him at times when I think of the good times, but mst of the time I realized I dodged the bullet of a lifetime of walking on eggshells and subjugating my personality to the whims and wishes of a chronically depressed and egocentric man.

      • Maaike:

        Dump him. Move on. Life is too short to deal with that bullshit.

        Lynn: Jump off the rollercoaster. It is a HARD landing. IT hurts….bad! But you will walk away and heal.

        Thomas

      • I went back to him and it lasted 5 weeks…we were apart for almost 3 months. He said he didn’t know if he loved me…I was devastated. During the 3 yrs we were together he only said it once and once in a card.
        He says he doesn’t know what he wants and could meet someone else…I was sick.
        When we first got back together it was great and as the weeks went by he started becoming distant and wouldn’t call or answer my messages. So 2 days ago I ended it…he was shocked. But didn’t try to talk me out of it. I have to finally move on with my life….

      • I feel for you ,as i have heen in that very place. He dumped me by text and was already seeing someone else un be known to me . Six months later turned up at mine to tell me of her. to add salt to the wound.. 2 years on i still weep of the rubbish he put me through , and yet they appear to live together happy ever after? 3 years of emotional torment he put me through and yet i loved him uncondionally. I am scared for life and despite tryin have heen unable to move on.

      • Julie….Thank you. I feel empty and angry all wrapped up together.
        He was back on the dating sites and lied about it. It was only a matter of time before he would dump me again. I felt empowered that I chose to end it this time. He acts heartless about how I’m feeling and how much he hurt me when I loved him unconditionally. One day at a time for me now…trying to stay busy and spend time with my friends. Thanks again Julie

      • This so could b me writimg this. zThe hypersexuality addiction will never go away and mine too was alwYs watching porn or chatrooms , that i am afraid is part of the illlness and will never go away. you best rid , i know how u feel as my heart is broken and i am just an empty shell . i so know this sounds familar to you. Try to be strong i know it hurts. x

      • Julie my heart breaks for you….as I know I will have those days when I will fall apart.
        I hope as time goes by you will find peace. The more posts I read on this website I know now I did the right thing 2 days ago. His behavior would have just gotten worse and in time he would have ended it again. Tonight as I write these words the tears are flowing…hugs to you Julie.

      • I am so grateful for this comment. As much as I try to understand the depression, it is not a card to use to treat me like garbage. I understand where Thomas is coming from. One day is great the next day he has “the sads” and regardless of what is happening in the world I am expected to feel like eggshell walking not knowing what to do. I could literally have things in my world falling apart. But it doesn’t matter. I should shutup and wait for his happy to appear again. Heaven forbid I have a bad day.
        Would love to chat with Thomas to hear more thoughts.

      • Thanks for this reply. As the non bipolar participant it seems as though the bipolor behavior borders on narcissistic.

        While this letter from a bipolar person was very informational it leaves me wondering why any healthy person should put up with this treatment. Instead of asking yourself what you can do to keep this relationship in tact, a better question might be….why do I stay, when with time I can meet someone that isn’t bipolar and have a life without this constant drama. And it is constant. Thank you to both readers. The bipolar writer has convinced me this behavior will not change a
        nytime soon and it’s time to cut my losses.

      • Excellent response. I have trodden on egg shells for long enough and been told to show some understanding for his condition after the umpteenth ‘sexual fling’ which is him ‘self medicating’ during a manic period. Its a shame he is ill but it is not my illness and I am worth more.

      • This article answered many questions, but made me think the same thing,especially when the person isn’t doing anything to fix it even though they know it’s a problem and it’s killing you in the back of thier mind, I mean if someone has another illness,like cancer etc… do they just sit back and do nothing to make it better, I would like to think not, but wth do I know!! I have been with someone like this for almost 6 years and it’s been hell but I’ve never loved anyone more and somehow we keep ending up back together to do the whole cycle again!

      • Could not agree more. My partner of 4 years is going through her first manic episode during our relationship. She has ended the relationship. I was a wreck for about 3 weeks until I decided to get on with my life. I’ve started dating other women and I’m thinking about my ex partner less and less. It’s her decision. It’s a bit like an alcoholic who goes back on the booze. She went off her meds. Why should her behaviour be tolerated any more than an alcoholic behaving badly. Her decision. Her outcome to regret later. She said that I am no longer a friend. That’s fine, her bipolar is no longer my problem. It may sound harsh and it is but so is what she has done and said. Having self respect is what it’s about. I refuse to be disrespected.

    • Hi I found that so Intresting and helpful my Girfriend of 8months one week is great one she wont return my calls or texts says she cant help it.I find its making me feel down now never quite know how I can help.her .

    • Wow, thank you for sharing this useful information. If love the opportunity to speak with you, but feel you are a knowledgeable friend whom just empowered my battle with my bp boyfriend.

  1. I wish I had found this before. I’ve been going out with a manic-depressive for over a year now and sometimes I think he drags me into it too. I don’t know how have we managed to get this far,specially now that I’ve seen that there are just few points from your list that I meet. I don’t know if I start following your advise will become weird for him, as when he tells me he needs space I always give it to him and end up not seeing him for long periods which makes me really sad…
    We also have an extra problem, which is that, me not being an English speaker, can frustrate him. I don’t know how to work around him many times and the language barrier doesn’t help.

  2. These are all helpful. I have bipolar disorder and I am always worried my boyfriend is going to get tired of my mood swings and leave. I wish I had a better grasp on them. I can relate to alot of these situations my episodes recently seem out of control. And I wish I could articulate to him why my mood swings are so sporadic. Im always feeling so ashamed and embarrassed for getting so angry and flipping out that’s when I get really depressed and I find myself having a hard time doing anything laying in bed crying seems like the only function I have. When I blow off work, friends, and my boyfriend because I can’t get out of bed it just gets worse and it seems like the downward spiral will never end.. 😦

  3. Describes us to a tee. I’m so happy to have found this, we’ve been in our relationship for over 2 years and have dealt with this 3 or 4 times. Fortunately, this time, I decided to use the approach you’ve suggested, before I found this and read it. Seems to be working for now. Bookmarked for reference. Thank you!!

  4. Broke up with my love in a protracted fully blown manic episode. However, it was “Easy” for her to take it, we were in therapy but I was undiagnosed the whole time. I also suffered from hypersexuality and that was a disaster. Now….I am diagnosed. I want her back because I know my symptoms were the biggest part of our problem. But she won’t talk to me and I think she believes I am just lying and manipulative. I am on lithium and it helps keep things more level. But I need to move on as wishing for her to reconcile is causing a very deep depression. I love her so much, but I have to let her go. For the record I don’t think I will ever find anyone who I love as much, I know how I feel. She is free of the monster and go find her prince, I am free to go live alone under a bridge.

    • Hi I’m in a relationship with my bipolar boyfriend he loves me to death but he’s hypersexual and manipulative to me on a sexual side I find this hard to.deal with especially when he’s asking me to do things when he’s manic or drunk, he has only after 12 months admitted to me he may have bipolar even though I know for sure and all his family including his grown.up son have told me they 100% have always thought he is bipolar,
      He’s the most loving honest man.I’ve ever met I have put up with him getting angry over the most ridiculous things like if I’m just 5 mins late or I don’t answer my phone for 30 mins cause I was driving and didn’t hear it etc
      This is my situation now he had a bad day last week.and phoned me to.say don’t cook for me well have a takeaway I didn’t hear the phone I was in Asda buying our tea he’d asked if I’d cook.a certain thing the day before because I didn’t hear my phone when.I. Got to him he was cold and non.responsive then started shouting at me saying he was beyond angry and upset cause. I didn’t ring him back.immediately…. I always do.but I.didn’t hear my phone he kept saying he hates lies and I.was a lier, he gets really paranoid at times so he then wouldn’t eat any tea and wouldn’t let me hug or kiss him he wouldn’t even.get in bed and he just kept drinking beers out the fridge the next day he text me to say he loves me then then nothing for a few days then.I text him to say I can’t believe what he,did just cause I didn’t hear my phone it’s not normal and then he said let’s call it a day he then text to say he’d packed all my clothes and to come pick them.up (we don’t live together full time, I have children at home but we are together between houses most of the time) I said I’m not coming over tonight and I.went out for a meal.with my grown up daughter while I was out I felt I’ll inside cause I just wanted to be with my darling then he phoned me and left 4 messages on.my phone saying hope your having a good night and you’ll never know how much I.love you, hello god I.love you so.much etc then he text to say come over use our key baybe etc, I.went over and stayed we made love in the morning and he kept saying all morning god I.love you so much
      The thing is before this happened he,was always pestering me to have my nipple pierced and I did give in cause I wanted to.make him happy but when he said let’s call it a day I was so.Upset I took them out and now I’ve told him he’s saying he wants us to spend the weekend together but he wants me to have my rings put back.in I don’t want to go through the pain.again but he’s got it in.his head now if won’t do that for him I don’t really love him he said I wouldn’t mind putting up with a few mins pain getting them re pierced if I.love him and he’s saying this is the ultimate test in his mind, I said I want to spend the weekend with him cause he loves me not what I’m wearing etc ( he always wants to telling what to wear etc due to.his hypersexual thing!
      But I feel like I’m been blackmailed please help.I don’t know what to do anymore

      • Read this book: “Controlling people” by Patricia Evans. Better yet, let him red it. Your boyfriend sounds like Controlling is his middle name. From demanding that you answer the phone when you don’t want to/can’t, to telling you what to wear, to telling you to pierce your nipples TWICE, to testing your love. Why would you want that? And when is he going to prove his love for you?

      • Omg don’t take that “if you love me….” crap. That is pure manipulation. If he loved YOU there would be NO stipulations. Run, run, run this is a huge red flag of what a rollercoaster ride you’re in for by remaining in a toxic relationship. I speak from experience.

      • End it now….it only gets worse and he has no respect for you.
        I’ve been there and as of today it is finally over. This time it doesn’t hurt like it did the last 2 times we broke up. The rollercoaster ride is not good for you.
        Believe me…

    • hey I know its a bit late, but I just want to say dont be upset about it, if they love you they will always be there for you maybe even return and they would know who you truly are! not what dp made you who you are when you cant control it.
      one day you are going to meet someone who would give you all the love and support you desire and willing to share all the up and down dp had brought into your life with you.
      god bless you, wish you all the best.

    • big.sad.white.guy I hope you’re feeling better now that some time has passed since your post. My husband of 8 years committed suicide last August. We have a three year old son. I have been dating someone who I recently learned also has a struggle with depression. Reading this article almost made me ill in thinking about what a partner has to sacrifice and give up in terms of their own needs for connection, closeness and security in order to be in a relationship with a depressed person. Truly, I probably have some form of PTSD after being in a perpetual state of level 7 stress/alert for years waiting for the next depressive episode to strike. I would do it all over again with my husband because I loved him so deeply but I have decided to break it off with the new person because now that I’ve been through it once I really want a more fulfilling relationship for myself this time around. It’s sad because people who are depressed would probably benefit from being in a relationship with someone like me because I get it but people like me who have experience with it might say the same thing that I would which is that I just don’t feel like I have the strength to do it again. I hope you are able to find a partner who can cope with the pain your illness will unintentionally cause them and that you’ll do all you can to reassure them of your love and commitment even in the dark times. Best wishes to you.

    • I have lost mine he was bipolar , and dumped me in a episode , and when he came out of his mood , went on a website and straight way moved in with another which i know was a rash choice. 6 months later he contacted me to tell me this and text saying he was mentally confused at the tume of dumping me and went over the good times we had , but never said he wanted to have me back and i was so hurt and did not want to pressurise him that i never suggested a fresh start even though its do what i wanted. I loved him and so wanted him , and his 60 texts a day whilst with another became metal torture for me snd sadly in tje end i contacted his new partner and told her to keep tight rein on him as ge had been texting me continiously and yet was still with her . I felt swful but his contact with no end was eating me alive . They still together and i have nothing all my fault , he changed his number and i think deleted mine and i lost him . If only he came out of denial and got some help things might have been diffetent how sad !

  5. Thank you for helping me understand the frustration of a 7 yr off & on relationship. The space inbetween, has sometimes been as long as a year with ‘friendly’ chats and emails. Always with words of love that never ‘fit’ the behavior. Due to his business travels, it is difficult to ‘be with’ that person, thus the rollercoaster ride stops occasionally to get back on. Reaching the sunset years, I’ve tried to move-on without much luck….at least I finally know how better to deal with it or if it’s worth continuing the ride.

  6. What Do You Do When Your Man Says “I Need Space”?

    liezl • a day ago
    Thank so much, Now I understand why my bf is asking for space..And being so panic,and a lot of crazy text I sent to him, he got mad and I feel I push him away from me, We are living together with their family in 6 years and total of 7 years in a relation..I love him so much and I know he loves me to..almost two months after I heard about the space he is asking for, and almost a month I totally understand to understand what he is asking for..From time to time a little changes may happen, I got a care from him sometimes, he ask may location if I’m not around,Although he is asking for space, I always prepared him a breakfast and coffee, at the start he got mad when I did, but eventually he became calm. Although he asking for space, we are always eat breakfast and dinner together.I know that the love and concern is there because if he got home early, he wait for me to eat..
    But now, I have a big question,,, May mother is very concern to our relationship,and now he decided to talk to may boyfriend, to ask question and also to give advice to him,,,Is it OKAY or not,,,Please give a pointers,,,I so much confuse…

    • No I don’t think it’s a good idea. I’m a mom of a 17yr. Old dating a bipolar girl and I questioned and as visited myself into Noone wanting to talk to me at all. Do what works for u.

  7. The person writing this post sounds very self-absorbed and is promoting the dependence and co-dependence of partners. In short, I am not going to change or work on my bipolar, so you need to walk on egg shells, don’t worry about getting your needs met at all, and bring me chocolate ice cream or chinese food. If you don’t, I will forget about you or cheat on you? This person is selfish and wants everyone else to adjust. Gross.

    • I completely agree!! Bipolar people feel they do not have to me mindful of other people. They are completely caught up in themselves all the time and it is not worth it. Run away!

      • I now think that I’m better off single than with him. I think it would have been quite a bumpy ride for me and my little girls. I still love him dearly wow but I have one life to live and he’s made it clear that he doesn’t love me. His family doesn’t understand what happened to us at all but it is what it is.

      • I had so much pain all the time. My boyfriend completely lacked any cognitive empathy and didn’t spend much time thinking about me or my needs. I love him dearly but it felt like I was swallowed up in a deep dark hole that anything about me did not matter because the entire relationship was based on his moods and how he was feeling. I got lost every day.

    • “In short, I am not going to change or work on my bipolar, so you need to walk on egg shells, don’t worry about getting your needs met at all, and bring me chocolate ice cream or chinese food.”

      – Medication and other measures (daily routines, healthy coping mechanisms/countermeasures) may never completely prevent future episodes, but to say that their manifestation must always indicate a refusal toward self-betterment is both unfair and insulting. Yes, there are people that willfully do not seek, or follow treatment. Please do not assume this of everyone.

      “If you don’t, I will forget about you or cheat on you? This person is selfish and wants everyone else to adjust. Gross.”

      – From what I read, the point was to passively support your partner, and remain relevant to them. Human contact can be surprisingly beneficial to someone in the throes of depression.

      • I agree with you and found this post very helpful.My husband is in the throes of an episode and he has never gotten the proper help. He has suffered some bad childhood trauma and sometimes his demons get a stranglehold on him. He also has very little to do with his family. He had a very bad experience with a Psychiatrist so it is unlikely he will reach out for help again willingly. Right now I know that he can only work on getting through the day and he is medicating with alcohol so having a serious conversation during that is not helpful. We have been together for 18 years and right now he is working in the next province. I was going to fly there this weekend but he is so busy with work that I feel it will just put unnecessary stress on him. It really is hard for a partner to grasp, I have never suffered depression though I feel like I suffer his along with him I know that we are in very different places. When he starts making plans to end our marriage saying the kids and I would be better off it takes me a bit to get past my own pain to realize what is happening. When he is in torment I think he sees himself as the captain of a sinking ship and he wants to put the kids and I safely in a lifeboat before sinking. It’s so hard but your advice is pretty bang on. He needs to know I am there without the demands, additional pressure and the relationship questions. Sometimes just being there is the most loving thing to do. I could run, as he says all the time, it hurts him knowing that I could have had a better life but we have a great love it is not something I will willingly walk away from. I do a lot of research on the science of happiness and mindfulness and I work on myself constantly because for me it is simple, someone in the throes of depression does not have that luxury. I think for him knowing that I will be there at the end of it, when everything is hard and he tries to give me an out, it has to be some sort of solace. If he told me while he was not amidst an episode that he thought we would be better apart that would be a different situation with different rules.

    • Agreed. It’s like being brought into their world….what about what the other person wants? I’m in the same situation and trying to be as supportive as I can but I can’t allow my life to become their black hole. Medication, therapy, action….and yes, understanding and support but it is alarming to read an article that starts off by saying “don’t respect someone’s boundary when they ask to be left alone”

    • I am in a relationship with a bipolar guy and he’s been the best person I’ve ever met, even when he’s manic everything is controlable and exciting….but depression came 2 weeks ago, and I feel like I do not exist for him….Still, having some issues myself, issues he always takes and tends to while he’s ok, I am NOT GOING TO GIVE UP on MY man, simply because he is ill….

      So to people like me, who are with someone we really love, his advice sounds lifesaving…
      I am not going to leave my guy because he’s going through a medical situation right now…It would be like leaving the person u claim to love because they can’t move after a car accident….to me, that’s what’s gross…..

      • I am pretty sure it is easy for people to look out the windows of their glass houses and judge but when you love someone and they are ill and tortured it is a very different thing than someone who just treats you poorly. I have been with my husband for 18 years and I understand,

  8. All these suggestions do is help co-dependent caregivers remain codependent (all of you responding sound very codependent) so that the bipolar gets help, and the codependent continues to get nothing. I am not sure in that scenario who needs more help.

  9. My boyfriend is manic depressive and we are going through pretty much everything you wrote about the only problem is he wants to be on medication but do to his past most drs write him off as a drug abuser what should he do to get on his medication?
    And this arrival has helped a lot thank you

  10. My boyfriend drank a lot so he decided to go to detox and rehab to become a better person. He said he needed to fix himself so he can become the boyfrienfd I thought he was or needed him to be. The thing is….two weeks before doing that move he avoided me at all cost. Texted me a little, called me that is it. Couldn’t answer me when i asked him why he no longer came to see me. The night before leaving he told me that he loved me and told me that he wouldn’t be here if he didn’t. He left and he never as much as called me yet. It has been 6 weeks. He cut all lines of communications. I am heartbroken. Really. I feel on a emotion roller coaster ride:-(

  11. Yesterday I did the same thing to my partner. I told him it is over using the cliche statements you listed. He was upset and angry as this is not the first time this has happened and told me I have bi-polar and to get it looked into. I have been reading and my browsing brought me to this article and after only two paragraphs I burst into tears. I have read the whole thing and I am still bawling my eyes out. What can I do to be a better partner? The state I am currently in I truly believe I don’t want or need him in my life that I am better off single. What do I do to get rid of these thoughts or determine if they are the truth or just a side effect of me potentially being depressed?

    • Seek help in order to better yourself. My boyfriend left 6 weeks ago for alcohol detox and hasn’t even called me yet. Said he loved me and told me nice things and never so much as ever called me since. I am thinking he is bipolar, as a natter of fact, I am 95% sure. Since he left I have cried, lots of anxiety, stress you name it. Lost 7 pounds in no time. It is very hard for someone who isn’t bipolar to understand it all. I’m thinking you guys ciuld go to get help together. Good for the both of you 🙂 As for me, the guy I love….only returns in December. I don’t know what will happen but it isn’t a good feeling especially before the Christmas Holidays. Seek help and things will be better 🙂

      • I do hope things work out for you, it isn’t nice to be in the dark about where you stand. I am going to do some research and go to see a specialist, I hate that I feel this way. I just wish my head would unjumble itself and I could stop feeding others cryptic information. Good luck 🙂

  12. Well he left me. Told me he apologised for the lies and misleading he had caused me. Has lied about his feelings for me for 9 months. Who does that? Hard when I love him lots and would have been there for him through thick and thin.

    • I had the same thing happen to me. He said he didn’t know about his feelings, and wasn’t sure. In my case we were together 13 years, own a house together, and he had just finished planning our wedding. Then suddenly he decides he hates himself and wants to restart, and avoid me.

      • Well, it’s hard to understand. My ex and I used to get along so great. Even his family thought we were in for the long haul and then paff. He dumps me saying he lied and mislead me and that he needs to work on himself so we no longer can be together. I ask him why he did this to me and his reply is “I really don’t know and might never be able to answer that. That’s all i got. Sorry” He won’t even call me. All this on text. Mad is an understatement for me. There are kids involved and I find it hard because my kids got attached to him and his got attached to me. I’m going to miss them so much.
        But I now know it is a pattern of his to date women and when he tires of them, he just wipes them out of his life like nothing ever happened. Not a nice way of life. All I know is that I want to be single for quite a while. This man has hurt me like no other and I have loved him like no other. Very difficult time but someone better will come my way:-)
        When we think positive, positive things happen they say.

  13. Kiara – hang in there. I recently broke up with my bipolar boyfriend because it was too much for me. It was an 8 year ride. Along the way due to the depression-none of my own needs mattered. I simply became completely lost in a relationship that was 100% about him and what he had to do to cope. Everyone loses. I give props to those who can stick it out. I got to a point I could not do it anymore. My life was slipping away from me and I was not happy and none of my own needs in a relationship were being met. Unfortunately, I can see why 90% of bipolar relationships fail. They just do.

    • Susan- I completely agree with you. My husband suffers from being bipolar and is going through his depression again. He has been estranged for three weeks this time so far. It is so rocky and unbearable. He text me from time to time, at first hes cruel and mean, then tries to apologize. Then I don’t hear from him till perhaps the next day. He has left so many times during our 5 year relationship. When he is sweet it is great. Though the dark times are too much to even speak of. It is always about him, even after everything I tried to do to help him with. All the times he was unemployed and I did what I could to help cover the bills. I even worked a part time while 8 months pregnant to cover the rent. He couldn’t find work because he does not have a license and doesn’t drive. I have mixed feelings about him being gone this time, more like relieved. I know that sounds bad because we were so close for so long and I trusted that he would be here for me and our child. Sadly, he couldn’t explain his depression, just that he wasn’t happy, again, and had to go. It is so up and down. I love him but still yet so confused.

      • I know how that feels. For me this is all new, he broke up with me 3 months ago, but we have only seen each other 3 times since. He used to push selling the house, now he avoids talking about it, or us. I’m left in limbo, as I’m in love with him, and want him to go to therapy but I can’t force him to go. Especially as he is in the mania stage he seems to think life is great.

  14. My husband out of the blue said I don’t love you and I want a divorce.
    I have been with him 20 years since I was 22 and although we have had ups and downs I have been there for him for his many depressions with his bipolar 2. He even went and put down a retainer for a lawyer even though he knew he couldn’t afford a lawyer and to pay alimony. I have 2 disability’s, a disease in my spine that makes mobility really hard and Epilepsy. Since I got worse was when he said he didn’t want to be with anyone disabled, not like him. I have watched him have depression after depression and this one is bad. He acts

  15. He acts normal around other people but at home I get it the worse with him yelling and swearing and he freaks out if I cry and tells me to shut up. My teenage daughter had to go on antidepressants because of all the stress. I am the problem and he wants me out but he can’t pay for me to live anywhere so we have to live in the same house as the 2 friends I have can’t help and neither can my sister. I am getting seizures again when I was stable for years. He won’t get help for his depression and I just sit here in our old bedroom daily watching tv and on the net knowing he hates me here, I don’t want to celebrate holidays here with my kids and him I feel like I don’t belong.

  16. Thanks for the article. The “non-critical” things helped me to understand how it is from other person’s point of view. If brushing teeth is difficult, how difficult it must be to have a normal relationship.
    Yet, I unfortunately cannot understand the beginning of depression. I cannot overcome my thought that a person with depression is actually just weak-willed and lazy.

    • Just leave. I’ve been in a relationship with a man for two yrs. it doesn’t get better it gets worse. He suffers from bi polar and depression. He is so bad that he doesn’t just physically abuse me it’s mental too. It’s taken a lot for me to leave, but I have. It is the best decision I have ever made, even though I have nothing again. I will never again allow someone to ever control me and make me feel like I’m the crazy one. Take heed and for all you ppl that are dealing with this, run fast!!

      • Bravo, Cat. What resilience you have. As you now realize you are better off with nobody (for a while) than get stuck with a loser. Good luck to you.

  17. I can relate to everyone here. I have been with my girlfriend for a year now, she is fabulous but her bi-polar is causing a problem. We bought a campervan for fun but the other day she said I will need to live in it because she wants to be alone, it’s the only way she can deal with her depression. I am now in the van!

    I know she loves me but this vile illness drags us apart and I also feel that she can discard me when she feels like it and I am not important. She will turn to her bi-polar friends for support though, because they “understand” and I can’t ever understand. So does she really want to be alone, or just not with me? I never know what mood she will wake up in and I have to creep around the house so as not to disturb her because she needs 12 hours sleep a day.

    I will keep trying to help because she is great and has really helped me, I truly love her, hate the illness.

    • Hi Chris, I can relate a bit too much..my husband is throwing me away after 20 years of marriage (I have been with him since I was18).
      He just decided I don’t love you anymore and he went to a lawyer and put down 1500.00 dollars to retain him, he that day moved me to the rec room in another bedroom and said this is yours now and just went to the gym. I was hysterical with crying and sadness as I have epilepsy and a bone disease in my spine that got worse over time and he said I am not taking care of no one disabled. I can do a lot of things I just have problems with mobility and when really stressed I get nasty seizures and drop seizures which I fall out of no where but only happens when huge stress happens.
      Why are people with this illness so damn selfish huh? It is all about him and and no one else matters. Now my house I love so much has to be sold and I have to live poor and so does he as rentals are expensive out here. If he was thinking right and saw his doctor finally and told her how he put me through hell with putting me in the basement and I couldn’t go up and down the stairs without falling it will come up in court and the judge will fine him big time for abuse. He finally is going to his phych doc but won’t talk about what he is doing to me so I am warning him he better or it will come up in court.
      Listen if your g/f is like this now get out and don’t look back I am serious!!!!!

      • Hi Loree,

        I am so sorry for you, terrible story. What my lady tells me is she can’t help it , she is ill, I understand that. She does not want to hurt me. She sleeps 12 hours a day so we can’t plan a day, only afternoons, terrible. I love her so much I really want to help. Maybe your advice to cut and run is good, but I can’t. Good luck to you, you have the law with you, so don’t let him walk on you.

        Warmest,

        Chris.

  18. I am with someone that fits this description completely, but has not been diagnosed. He has actually openly talked about how he thinks he might have bipolar, but has never seen anyone. We have been together for over a year and this used to happen on a much smaller scale, usually triggered by alcohol or jealousy, but sometimes just in some mood out of no where. He would go through stages; breaking up with me – saying he just doesn’t love me – then terrible guilt, days of feeling horrible and feeling like he doesn’t deserve me and finally he would come back around and be himself again. It’s like he is a different person when it happens. I can see the change instantly.

    Recently he got in one of his moods and it turned into the “breakup argument”. Now he says he doesn’t love me and doesn’t know why. He still communicates sometimes and others not at all. He has also had episodes in other areas of his life like work and socially, but doesn’t seem to have a lot of the depression mentioned above, e.g. not being able to brush his teeth, etc. Do you think he could still be suffering from this? And, if so, do you have any suggestions for how I can help him? I really do love him and he is so amazing the other 99% of our relationship.

  19. First of all i want to thank kristina for the post she made on how Dr Adams helped her in bringing back her lover before christmas. At first when i saw the posting i was so happy and in the other hand so scared,That this might not be real, Then i decided to give it a try in which i contacted Dr Adams and told him how my lover left me for another lady for the past 3years and i have been lonely and depressed without him,So i told him if he has helped anyone called kristina and he said yes, that was the lady he helped in bringing back her lover before christmas. I said good and i told him that if he can help me in bringing back my own lover,He laughed and said once i have contacted him that my problem will be solved. He said that my lover will be back to me within 24hours and do an unexpected thing for me. i said really, Truly when the 24hours was completed i got a text from someone saying am sorry then i decided to call the number i saw it was my lover smith voice. I was so happy he was begging me on phone, That he is ready to do anything that will make me happy in life,So i told him to come over which he did,As he was coming he came with a brand new Car as gift i was so happy and made me had access to his account to prove to me that he is not going to leave me for another lady,Am so happy today and am also thanking kristina for posting this early. Dr Adams you are truly a man of your word. He can also solve any kind of problems in this world. Friends you can contact Dr Adams on his private Email dradamsjohnsoncentre12@gmail . com

  20. i just saw meds that are used for bi polar patients on my bf’s bedroom he takes every morning and have read signs and symptoms that made me realized its what he was dealing was. i love my bf that is why im searching for answers how properly can i deal with this. im in a limbo whether to push thru or to let it go because im on my child bearing age and i think about my future too. thank you for this well written piece its worth thinking.

  21. Thanks for this blog. I split up with a girl I very much loved a year ago, and the first few paragraphs sum up everything. We got together, we thought it was perfect, she said she was so in love, then suddenly out of blue she developed depression and asked for space. Despite trying to do what I thought was write, I drove her away, we split up, and have not spoken since. I still see her walk to work and she blanks me.

    When we were together I noticed different traits around confidence, paranoia and this impulsive need to feel loved. She even mentioned she felt like was bipolar. She was diagnosed with depression, and as we have never spoke since I don’t know if it was bipolar or just am episode of her life she was struggling with. From your blog, our relationship was textbook.

    I’ve struggled for a year to deal with it and understand what happened because I never got an explanation. I got the standard things like “your better off without me” and “it’s not you” and it was a 180 turn on the conversations we were having just 2 weeks before. No matter how much I tried there was no explanation, and I just blamed her depression, whilst trying to accept it was over. I felt mistreated and struggled to understand her point of view. I hope that doesn’t sound selfish, but I just couldn’t understand how this girl who was very much in love with me and said she wanted to be with me forever suddenly changed and had depression. ( even her mum couldn’t explain it, she said she had never seen her so happy when she was with me).

    Knowing that what you said its common in a relationship with a bipolar person, is comforting. I’ve blamed myself. And I wish I had seen this a year ago and tried that approach to save our relationship. But I did a lot the things you said don’t do, became cold and unresponsive to her to protect myself and we split up. It broke my heart. I’ve never really recovered.

    But this helps a lot. She’s never coming back to me. I hope she’s got her life under control and that someone can support her how she needs. If by chance we ever met and talked about this and she felt regret, then I would give it ago and be supportive and try be the best I can. But if not, I can live my life knowing that what happened was part of her illness, and yes I could have does things differently, but it didn’t, and that happened for a reason.

    I hope other people with bipolar partners read this and save their relationships, and if they don’t I hope they find comfort like I have.

    • im going threw the same thing chris,im 55 and shes 58 ,i live in georgia and she lives in flordia,we meet on line and have been back and forth with each other for a year and half,she has been in the states for 15 years ,she from hungary,she has been married three times has two kids by the first and second husband he hit on her and ran around on her put a gun to her head and later they divorced and remarried a year later again now she has been divorced for two years,im really in love with her but were 400 miles away. she owns her own home and i have mine up for sale to be with her ,ive been on my job for 22 years and ready to move on after i sell the house,we have broke up a couple of time but got back month or two later ,the first time she sent me a text saying she did not want me to sell my house keep my job and she was going to just stay in fla and me in ga,that was jan 4 ,i sent her a card valentines day and she called and was happy wanted to know if i was seeing anyone said no and we talked and was back together,we got engaged which we were in dec before this,was going to sell my house pay cash rent it out and she wanted me to move in with her,so things have been good up to now last week i went and stayed 10 days with her have lots of my things there came home last thur thought all was ok,she text me on my way home and said she missed me ,i called when i got home and we both told each other we loved one another,friday i text her i was at work told her i loved he sat i didnt her from her i didnt call or text so sunday i text and said im on break and was just worried about her,got home sunday and she text me about 900pm and this is what she says.tony im sorry but i decided i dont want this relationship anymore.hard to tell but i need to tell.i just want to live my life alone.everythingis was nice but i thought this is the better choice because i dont want you to hurt me and i dont want to hurt you.and i dont want you to waist your time,i let you go you are a good man,thank you for everything you take care and i wish you good luck,i think its better for both of us dont call me and i don’t call you anymore ,again i want to live my life alone,so im lost can anyone tell me what to do.

  22. Thanks for sharing this information.
    I’m not sure if I had of found it earlier that It would have made a difference.
    I’ve gone through exactly what you are describing with my boyfriend.
    He has ask me to leave because he needed his space. Its went down hill from there. I’ve fought with all my might to let him know how much I care and love him. He’s now totally cut me off with absolutely no contact what so ever! I love him. This is so hard and difficult to deal with. I do not want to give up on HOPE for us to get back together but it seems like he’s has already made the choice to give up on US.
    I’m so confused and if he does decided he wants to come back and work on a relationship I’m not sure I could trust him…
    I’ve given him the very best of me for over a year and a half. He just walked away from Me and OUR relationship. If he made this choice to walk away now, dont you think he would do it again? He’s really shook the foundation of what a relationship is suppose have.
    I love him so much but how can you build stability with someone who thinks that its just ok to walk out on you when they feel depressed?
    How can you reason with someone who refuses to communicate?

    • Mary,

      I feel so sorry for you, it;s very tough. I mentioned that my girlfriend is bi polar and goes through highs and lows. When she is low I have to be gone, she can’t have me around. I live in a motor home when that happens, it seems to work out. The episode passes and then we are back on track.

      You just have to walk away sometimes when you have done all you can, and you have done everything. Worry about you now.

      Take care.

      Warmest

      Chris

      • Chris,
        Thank you for sharing your experience with us.
        I’ve got so much to learn about this subject. The more I read about it the more confused I sometimes get.
        I’m starting to wonder if there is a realistic way to have a relationship, having to leave then come back, leave then come back, each and every time he needs his space seems unrealistic.
        I’m not trying to be mean or place judgements on how anyone handles a relationship with someone with bipolar but It makes me very sad and depressed myself to see someone I love so unstable. I want to help but I feel helpless.
        I honestly feel like I’m going insane.
        absolutely no jokes intended with that statement.
        I need to find a group that can support and understand this kind of relationship, I do love my boyfriend and I never ever want to hurt him or make him feel any worse than he already does about himself and relationships, but I’m at a loss at what I can really do to improve our relationship.
        Thanks Chris for sharing your thoughts.
        Take care
        Mary

    • I been through same , met mine in a manic state and after just over a year decieded we would move in together , it was a flight of idea on his part a bipolar thing , was never going to happen it lasted 3 days because turned out his so called landlady was infact his partner of over 3 years. I felt terrible when i found out i had infact been the other woman and gave him up to give him back to her . He was clearly in the hypersexuality side in his manic state and a compulsive liar , and i now belive i was not the only one . She had him back and i was broken as bipolar people are very easy to love , i felt terrible guilt for what i had done to her even though i never knew , and have never forgiven myself . That relationship finally ended and we gave it another shot, then after 7 months he dumped me by text saying he never wanted to see me again , and i never contacted him again , but six months later he wrote to me and said he wanted to met for coffee to explain his actions . We did and then he told me he had moved in with another woman , and that she was everything i was not. Evil to the end , i will never get over him as i loved him , and i keep telling myself it was the illness but enough is enough i am mentally scared not him , thats the sad thing .

  23. I need help..I’m very confused.

    I have been with my boyfriend for 3yrs and I’ve known pretty much from the start that he is suffering from bipolar disorder. It has been a rollercoaster to say the least, but I’ve always stuck by him. I’ve always been loving and supportive through the highs and lows, and everything in between.

    He has a very dominating personality,and for someone like myself who is the opposite, it has been hard to deal with.He can be condescending,verbally abusive and just plain cruel. On the other hand, he can be extremely loving, sensitive and caring…but..my feelings have always remained the same for him. I love him more than anything in this world, and do not want to leave him.

    What I’m here seeking advice for is what has happened in the past month. Many times in the past, he’d be having a hard time dealing with things and take it out on me, but it never really lasted that long. But in the past month, he has been constantly angry with me, calling me stupid and useless, and yelling at me for no reason.

    Every single day for a month this has been going on..I never fought with him or gave him any reason to be mad at me. Thing is, I was the SOLE target of his anger. With everyone else, he was happy, joking around and laughing about whatever. I have spoken with other people who have loved ones suffering from BP, and tried to research, and what I’ve learned is for the most part, the loved ones with BP lash out at everyone when going through an episode..not just at one person.

    At one point, I told him that if he’s no longer happy in the relationship, that it’s best for both us to end it. He quickly apologized, and said it had nothing to do with me..yet, the verbal abuse continued, but ONLY to me.

    The calls have stopped, we only message on skype. But the thing is, he doesn’t seem depressed at all. For the past 3 weeks, when he talks to me, he is in good spirits, talking about this and that. Even our mutual friend who spoke to him last week, said he didn’t seemed down or upset or depressed at all.

    A week or so ago, he again apologized for “being rude” as he put it, but he was trying to get me to understand something he could word, for reasons he didn’t know. I figured he was going through a rough time,and told him that I love him and I’m always here for him. In a very callous and I-don’t-give-a-f***-about-you tone,he said ” Sooner or later you’ll get it :p”.

    Also, I just found out that he gone out until 6am last night to see some “friends”. He didn’t tell me who. Now, I’m glad he’s seeing his friends again, but this is just…a little extreme o.o. He was out to see “friends” until 3am, then went to look for his other friend ( he did name this friend and it is a guy, but the other “friends” he didn’t tell me who they are).

    I’m very confused about why this is happening and why he treated me like I was enemy #1, yet he still talks to me and seems happy and not depressed when he does. I’ve never done anything wrong,never treated him poorly, and he also knows this. I’m sorry if this sounds bad, but is this his cruel cowardly way of breaking up with me?

    If he wants out of this relationship, why go through all this,why not just tell me? I mean, if he really doesn’t care about me anymore to have to treat me like that, is it so hard to just say ” hey, i want to break up” sort of thing? My friends have said that he probably wants me to be the one to officially end, and possibly they’re right. But , then he will mostly likely say that I was the one who broke up with him, and I was the one who left him.

    I know this all sounds like some highschool drama, but he is the type of person to twist things and make himself look good in any situation. He once told me that being nice to his significant other is “sucking up”, but he goes out of his way to make sure people he hardly knows thinks he’s so amazing. I know I shouldn’t care if he’s clearly showing that he doesn’t have one bit of respect for the past 3yrs we’ve been together, but I am not the bad guy here <.<.

    What do I do? Do I just lay it on the table and be the ":bad guy" to officially end it? I am very confused..his actions show me that he's done, yet he still keeps me around. I love him and I don't want it to end. I've always been good to him, and I'm so upset and confused as to why he would do this kind of thing.

    I don't know if he's going through some kind of manic episode, or if it is over and this is his way of telling me. I just can't keeping living in the dark like this though..not knowing if we are or we are aren't. I feel like I'm in limbo. I need to now for my own sanity, but talking to him about anything like this, is like jumping off a cliff to the water below..you either drown or hit sharp rocks. He will call me stupid or emo and get defensive…I can't win.

    • He sounds exactly like the man I’ve been trying to live with for 20 yrs. He has destroyed my life completely, including breaking up my marriage of 22 yrs and like a fool I fell for his charming ways. I want out as he treats me like a worthless person, but have lost my family and have nowhere to go. Get out while you still can.

      • That good and the best advice u could get . My life has been ripped apart after 3 years od love and devotion and frankly will.never be the same again. The rollercoaster never stopped but i chose to hurt myself by letting him go for my own sanity and it was the hardest but right thing to do . It will never change whayever u may hope . Good luck.

  24. Wish I had known about this information before but it may not have made any difference. I was seeing my now bipolar ex-girlfriend last year for 5 months up until December when she broke up with on the phone just out of the blue. We had planned to do things over Xmas and even spoke about going on holiday together. The whole time we had been together she never spoke of her bipolar and didn’t have the courage to tell me about her illness (thinking I would judge her etc..). She was very loving, caring, affectionate and we had instant chemistry and attraction for each other. I spent a month after the break-up wondering what I had done wrong and how things could just suddenly end….it was only then that she told me about her bipolar and that she had to end things before hurting me. She told me about having to go back into hospital after taking a turn for the worse, the self-harm, visits to the psychiatrist , medication….it was a huge shock but I felt hurt that she couldn’t tell me. While in hospital she meets another guy with bipolar and they end up together with pics up on facebook barely a month after we split. She says they sort of understand each other but isn’t even sure its a good idea for two bipolar people to be together. It still hurts like hell even today. I loved her to bits and she just brought joy to my life with whatever we would do together. I know that same thing is happening with a different person now. I’ve tried dating other people since then but I’ve felt nothing for any of them….just feel empty and depressed comparing everyone I meet to her.

      • I also feel the same way, still so in love with the man I can’t have, but who I used to enjoy every moment of my life with..not able to look for or date another, because all I do is look in other men for the one I still truly love..

  25. Thank You for a great blog. I am at the stage with my boyfriend where he wants to see others. I hope we will be able to work things out. We are really good friends. Your blog showed me some of the things we have gone through, that we are not alone. I am not able to see him right now. I do text here and there.

  26. Thank you so much for this. A close friend has depression which is getting steadily worse (she now has an appointment for counselling, but it has taken months to come through). She is increasingly blocking me out and ignoring me, which hurts like hell but I understand that it’s the depression talking and I shouldn’t take it personally. However, although I make the effort to stay in contact with texts and visits, it’s a constant fear that I’m making the situation worse by not giving her space. Often I can tell she just wishes I’d go away, even though on other days she’ll open up to me or at least make an effort to respond, and she has been open with me about the severity of the depression and the fact that it makes her, in her words, “selfish”. She has also specifically asked for support and understanding, even though I can’t do anything practical to help. But it’s reassuring to see a person with experience of depression explaining that what I’m doing is the right thing, that I shouldn’t give her too much space and should continue to gently remind her that I’m still here and not giving up on her. Thanks.

  27. Wow, I wish I had of found this along time ago. Very well written and so much information. All these people giving us the symptoms and claiming to know what this illness is all about Are Actually people who have no clue. We need help to understand so we can feel there admire people whom suffer from this illness and share with us dumb, blind, misguided and misinformed ‘normal’ idiots.

    • 3 months ago….My 6 year fantastic relationship with my GF…started to unravel….soon she was yelling….smoking..drinking….(never did in 6 years)…..talking fast….up all night….wanting to move out….and she did…then she called me late at night to save her…..as she was wandering the city….then she was Baker Acted….twice…once for 3 days…the next for 21 days….I visited her many times..saying I love you ….we will fix this …I will make your life stress free…..prolly 20 times…I picked her up at mental place …she stayed one night with me…and moved in a trailer park with some guy who offered her a place…they are now in love…they say….what the hell happen???…..She was told she was Bi Polar in mental Hospital…….

      • UPDATE SEPT …..She is still living in a beat up trailer with loser man…….they are both unemployed…..shes trying to SSI….she has my 5000 $ ring….I still got 300$ of her stuff…..No contact continues…I miss her….can’t deny that….I’m trying to date….not ready though….everyone looks gross to me…BI POLAR sucks….makes no sense….

  28. This was an eye-opening read. It helps explain what happened in my relationship. My boyfriend dumped me out of nowhere, claiming his feelings were not the same for me. This after passionately expressing his love for me 2 days before. We are in different cities, so this explains the out of sight/out of mind, or how my lack of being there physically did not help matters. I had plans to visit him and he broke up with me via email just days before I was to get on the plane. I feel discarded and brokenhearted, I love him so much. I thought it was my fault, that I was not interesting /beautiful /smart enough to hold his attention. I am starting to understand it had more to do with his illness. I think he’s just fickle and makes impulsive decisions because of his bipolar. How could someone have a change of heart so suddenly? How can you love someone one day and not the next? It makes no sense. He said he regrets his decision and made so many conflicting statements that just confuse me. I ended up consoling him because he felt so bad about how he ended things. But he stuck to his decision. I know he has feelings of unworthiness and thinks I’d be better off without him. I’ve tried to be there for him, to show him I love him, but he pushed me away. I don’t know if I should contact him again, or accept his decision and try to move on. There is only so much I can do from long distance but I can’t fathom moving on right now after such shock and heartbreak.

    It is nice to know I’m not alone in this, and also to realize this is not my fault. Sending love and peace to all those suffering in a similar situation.

    • This is exactly almost to the tee what I’m going through. Glad I found this page and educating myself on being with someone who has this disorder. Thank you for sharing your story Lindsey. Even if it’s two years later. Out off the stories I’m reading yours hit home the most.

      • I loved a man completly , in denial over his bipolar but i saw it straight away having been there before. He dumped me right out the blue by text accusing me of being unfaithful but was not . He was cheating on me but was not man enough to say facts just blame someone else . I begged him to go docs he would not. He moved in with another he still there but for a while continued to text saying how good we were together , in the end i told her he contacting me and to keep tight rein on him , he in hypersexuality stage , it has broken me she safe bet and secure so i stepped out but will never get over or understand it ever . Its pain like i never felt .

      • Hi Ricki I found this post two years later as well. It’s my exact story right down to not getting on the plane because he just kept changing his mind about his feelings for me!!! I’m freaking out I love him still but just can’t deal with this bipolar behavior . I’m grieving terribly now torn between wanting to call him and getting on the plane going to see him and knowing that it’s best that I just leave it alone and walk away. It’s just so hard, these people grab us by the heart for some reason we just can’t let go. I hope you’re doing better I see your post was written in March. Mine is so fresh I hope months down the road I will feel better but right now he feels like some kind of horrible addiction and as much as I know he’s crazy I can’t stop thinking about him I’ve been with in two years and he is now long-distance glad I found this forum.

  29. This page has been very helpful in getting grasp on my partner’s perspective, and is certainly a wonderful resource for those dealing with these types of relationships. However I strongly agree with some other comments here in regards to the narcissistic tone in which this was written, and I couldn’t help feeling a tad patronized while reading it. It seems that the author believes that the depressed partner is completely entitled to having their partner put all of the effort into maintaining the relationship. And after all this dependence on the supportive partner, it apparently excusable for the dependent partner to end the relationship/cheat on an impulse? I am aware of how awful clinical depression can be, I (along with many others) have experienced it first-hand, but that does not completely excuse one’s treatment of others. I certainly can relate to the described difficulty to perform simple tasks as I found my motivation evaporate during the darkest days of my depression bout. Apathy for the most part ruled. Obviously everyone’s experience with depression is different, but I found that this did not prevent me from being able to make an effort in telling people my feelings, even if I had to exaggerate them for their benefit. Reciprocating “I love you”s was a chore, but a chore I felt obligated to perform. Now I am not trying to sound holier-than-thou, but I really feel it is a cop-out to say depression alone prevents you from realizing and caring about the effects of your behavior on others. The fact that you regard those closest to you as being as being essentially disposable is more of a consequence of a general lack of empathy, be it exacerbated by depression or not. As someone who’s partner is displaying depressed behavior (a lack of interest in spending time together, truncated conversations, emotional withdrawal, etc.) I can say it has been incredibly hard on the “non-depressed” partner as well, much more so than was alluded to above. To have someone you care so much about suddenly lose all interest in you is one of the most awful feelings I have ever experienced, and to have that experience trivialized by this piece is frustrating. I apologize for the drawn-out rant. This website and this page for the most part do a noble service, but the way this piece legitimizes such an unhealthy relationship model needed to be addressed.

  30. I have been dating my boyfriend for 1 year and regretted not reading this earlier. He ran out of his home one fatal night as his dad attacked him. So I found out that his dad has been abusive towards him as a child. He then moved in with me & we were both starting to date. Things were well & we had lots of fun doing things together. Fast forward 5 months he started saying things like he angers me & he is not the one for me & he wants space & to move out. He kept insisting that he should not date as is not ready & needs to be alone. He is an alcoholic & started drinking even more. He would normally return angered & cranky & goes in bouts of rants, screaming & shouting. On his birthday eve, his car broke down. He was supposed to tow it but had towing problems. Loaned a car from his dad of which he contacted after 3 months of silence & his dad’s car broke down too. He got drenched so badly in the rain & at 1130pm after work I got home messaging him on where he is sharing we need to talk . He then asked if I knew what day it was & I said of course I do as its his birthday. I had gifts prepared. He only returned at 230am screaming & crying. Then at 3am he started shouting and was verbally abusive. He threw beer bottles at me & took a knife out. The security guards came running from his screaming & the police came as I had to call them. I dropped the charges. I moved out for a week to calm things down. All in all I caught him bad mouthing me to his drinking buddies. Either in person or through phone messages. I moved back after and all in all he was still blaming me for the cop episode. I had to throw his things out after as he was getting more volatile with his actions. 1 month has passed & i really missed him. Messaged him and he wasn’t very keen to meet up nor be in contact except wanting his things back. He has since moved a block away. I do not push him for a meet up as he is still blaming me & some others for his condition. What do I do? Is our relationship doomed

  31. My girlfriend has all the signs. I call it my banishment period which usually lasts two to three weeks, she throws me out but not my belongings. I go overboard on the flowers and it usually helps. But why does she keep my stuff, not finalizing the break up? What could be the reasoning behind this. I just left an “I love you” letter as stated above it made things much worse, Ouch. So here I sit waiting for the ax to fall or not. I wish I would have found this site a couple of days ago it might have helped me figure it out.. The initial positive posts are very helpful . Thank you. Hoping the ax doesn’t fall!!

  32. This is very useful, I wish I saw this weeks ago, but i had done everything you said not to, i.e give him space, or ignore him..only for a few days, this is the second time he stop seeing me in two years, but this time he is not even ready to speak to me on the phone. He said all the things you mentioned, which inclded – all we do is arguing, I had been depressed and miserable in this relationship, I am not in love with you properly, I dont love you anymore, I am very confused, I love you but not in love with you and most recently is I still care about you, then I told him I dont know what to say, then he said dont say anything to make things easier. I know he is not happy, he had stop med for four months, Its partly my fault, but…its too late, we were going through too much stress, up to the point I hated his mother for never looked after him properly and being a completely mess, I love him, I werent scare of bipolar when he first told me he had bipolar on our first proper date. I am still not, I am willing to go through all of those with him, I read a lot of married people‘s comment, they do sound scary, but I know who he truly is and all I want to do is just help him.
    I know he is very confused about the relationship still, He still cares about me, He is also very confused about life, We had agreed that he is probs going through mania.
    So main question – should i really go and turn up at his with his favour food and dvd, or its a bad idea.
    btw, yeah …one thing im 100% sure, and you literally took my confusion, me being stupid act away…I had only just notice every time i tell him i miss him, blah blah blah, he will read it, and reply another thing, or if he saw i miss you, he wont even open it..until I asked him sth else, today when I said I was to care less, he did send me sad emjio, I suppose its good, but when I went deeper of the conv. and asked for answer he ignored me even thought i asked him sth else…-_-
    I need advice pleaseeee

  33. Pingback: Relationships Falling Apart Poems | Cuties Live

  34. I would like an opinion, advice on what he may be trying to tell me…My boyfriend broke up with me with signs of depression roughly 3 weeks ago. It all happened so fast, everything was great then I felt there was something off. I was the last person he pushed away. He asked to be alone, that he was going through stuff but didn’t know what it was, I pushed to much asking questions and he said he wanted to be alone and I should move on. I told him I would give him the time he needed and that I would be there waiting, hoping he comes back to me. During this conversation he was still calling me honey, babe and telling me he loves me. I asked him why he was saying this things if he was doing this to me, he stopped. I asked if I could bring him his things, it seems he avoids this when I asked a few times. I even said I would leave it at the door, it is like he is afraid to see me. I asked him this and I get no reply. I ask if it is his decision not to want to be with me anymore and I get no response. I stated that I was assuming there is no hope for us in getting back together, he stated he isn’t thinking of the future that he has things to take care of right now. He is retiring in February and the plan he had isn’t working out well. I believe this life changing situation has him overwhelmed. He mentioned he has gotten like this before, like his divorce 20 yrs ago, he doesn’t want to hurt me, he knows how he can get. A week later on a Monday I apologized for how I handled things, that I should have given him what he wanted, that I shouldn’t of added to what he was already struggling with. I asked again if I could bring by his things, he avoided it, told me to text him tomorrow. I did but expressed that I wasn’t going to ask again and that when it is convenient for him to let me know. If he is working 2nd shift I can drop the stuff off around 10/11 and be gone before he gets home. He thanked me. In these texts over these two days the calling me honey started also. And his texts ended in … I didn’t contact him at all since that Tuesday, Friday morning he texted me saying “If you would like to drop off the stuff tonight you can, I’m working till midnight again…” I replied with “Tonight may not work for me, I have pending plans…” He replied back with “ok honey” We are still Facebook friends and neither of us had liked or commented on each others pages until recently. Since that text Friday I decided to be MIA on FB, I didn’t post or like anything to show up in the newsfeeds. I had changed my profile pic twice before but when I changed it that Sunday night after telling him I had plans Friday and being MIA all weekend on FB, he liked my new profile pic first thing Monday morning. The next day I posted a status that I received a A in my politics class and it bumped up my GPA, He liked it. Then Wednesday I didn’t post anything but he liked the transformation Tuesday pic I posted the day before. Is he reaching out to me? Second thoughts? Misses me? I haven’t reciprocated, should I? I feel we shouldn’t have broken up, that he didn’t want this, I know I didn’t. I don’t understand his actions. He said it was ok that I check up on him. I don’t know if he brought up dropping the stuff on Friday to see if I was moving on? Why say he was working till midnight again, that leads me to believe he worked Thursday night so why not tell me then. And I know he worked Saturday till 4, he knows I have it off so why not ask if I can bring it then? I am so confused!!! I don’t know how I should be handling this. I do want him back. The day after he broke thing s off with me he added 5 FB albums and there are pics of me in 3 of them. I also forget to mention that Tuesday he edited and posted the FB year in review thing and I’m in 2 pics and our sunset from our weekend in Bar Harbor is in it. Why? I know its depression I seen the signs after the fact, wanting to be alone, tired, sleeping, eating, avoiding people, losing interest in things he enjoys and loves, antisocial, love sexual drive. I just don’t know exactly what brought this on, I can only speculate it surrounds him retiring. Can someone help direct me on what he may be trying to get across to me if anything and how I should handle this? Thanks

    • Oh my….this is exactly how my bf reacted. He said the same thing. “I just want to be alone,please move on” like I’m suppose to just say ok and get going …he would not say much when I asked a question. I think they can’t process information well when they get like this. I just kept getting yelled at to MOVE ON and I am just a loner and realized I want to be aloNE …it’s too painful for me. I am pretendING I am ok because I think my friends will start to think I am pathetic now that it has been 3 months and I can’t stop thinking about him. There is always something that I see or hear a song that reminds me of the best times and it’s awful that this happened.

  35. Thank you for writing this! I see things a bit differently now and I really appreciate you taking them time and sharing your experience. I’m very happy I found it. Best of luck to you all on here!!!

  36. I just finished reading this (excluding the reply posts, only because I am already late for work and will be coming back to it). It was an incredible experience reading this because once started, I literally couldn’t stop! Never before, have I identified to anything else, regarding this subject, as I have with this. When I happened upon this, I don’t know exactly what I was looking for other than to be completely honest and say I was searching for even a glimpse of a path toward not feeling the way I was feeling and at the same time do what is “right” for the man I love. I learned a long time ago, the hard way, when I am able to identify with someone, it is to say that I can focus on similarities. When I am comparing myself to someone, it is to say that I am focusing on the differences. I needed help in dealing with my thoughts and emotions. When I began to read, I realized how much I could identified with. Some circumstances were exactly the same, some not, but when being completely honest with myself, I could absolutely declare without a doubt, the thoughts and feelings being expressed were a mirror of my own. I realize that not all people and their situations are exactly alike. There are many variations on, degrees of and levels in which our own personal truths are determined. But I have to say that I feel like I have been restored to a realistic perspective of which I haven’t seen for a long time. It was a terrible existence for me (probably most), to be in such a hopeless state of mind. I completely lost sight of the fact that no matter what the future holds, the only thing I have the power to change is my own actions and attitudes. By making the effort and putting forth the action to do my best on my part, the rest is up to God! The hope I have today is not only about restoring the committed relationship with the man I love. Which of course is honestly my hope. But, I think even more importantly, no matter what the future holds, I can stop beating myself up and/or blaming him for what has already been written in the history books. And perhaps most importantly, I can learn from my mistakes and make the effort not to repeat them, I can be accountable for my own actions and not try to own his and no matter what happens I will have gained some experience that my help someone else that felt and thought like I did! I really do have to get back to work now, truth is, I didn’t intend to write this much now. I almost feel like I can breathe again, only I didn’t know I had stopped. Thank you!

  37. This has been a terrible few months of me wonderING what I did or did not do and it has been really difficult to not give space wh r n all the want is to break off all ties with the outside and just stay in their cave. I was abrubtly broken up with over text and to follow up with a phone call was worse because this individual was delusional at this point and started telling me I lie and all sorts of accusations that are not true….they were making things up to justify cutting me off which makes me feel like I have lost limbs and I’m bleeding all over the streets. I still care and I hope someday when he I’d better he we I’ll connect but it’s almost impossible to move on so abruptly when I love and care so much. I love myself and have continued to live and do things I enjoy but he’s always on my mind. I hope it fades because it’s too painful to live with and it is muting my creativity.

    Thank you for writing this…it explains alot and makes me realize that it’s not me and they Not well. Anyway I as much glad I am not alone. The clincher that made me let go was when I tried to reach out again and was told to never call and I am a bother and he doesn’t want to hear from me. Saying “don’t contact me” with such a mean, slight hint of disgust was final. I don’t regret having a great summer….because it was a wonderful time with Him. It was sad and scary to see him swith from sweet and caring to withdrawn dark angry and I noticed facial changes and fear in his face….I guess I have to walk away.

    • Give them space if you have a solid history with them. These sites say not to give them space so I tried to “check in with gentle care” and after the first few times I got yelled at by him and told I was bothering him and to never contact him again and he then hung up on me.it was so sad for me to go from being valued and loved one day to being picked apart and fought with the next day And then they dump you. They don’t want to be bothered. They want us to go away. They are emotionally unavailable and want to be alone.

  38. This article sounds like my boyfriend. I’ve suspected that he’s been depressed a while, since our relationship began going awry. Just all the sudden he’s telling me he has doubts and is confused. When he’s with me he seems okay, sometimes truly happy, but it seems like the space apart is when he’s most confused and doubtful. We were together three months before it got weird, and he’s been getting more distant in the last two. He has told me that he’s had Depression in the past but hasn’t really addressed whether this is what’s going on, nor whether it was addressed clinically. He also has a selective eating thing that seems to be linked to a need for control in his life, and he’s had a lot of changes in his life recently(me included). One night we were watching YouTube on his computer and I noticed all of his pop ups were for Depression, so it kind of got my attention. He also had really low self esteem, which got a boost when we first started dating, but Maybe that boost has worn off, I can’t be his only source of self confidence. What you described about a great time followed by distance is something I’ve also been struggling with. We went to a trampoline gym and played video games and had pizza and it was amazing and made me feel hope and vindication that the connection and spark wasn’t gone, but this week we haven’t seen each other and he is distant by text and shy about calling, so ive just been so confused and hurt! I’m in love with him and at a loss! The advice I need is A.) Can I ask him if he thinks this is depression-related or will that stress him out? B.) I had planned to have a talk with him and apologize about a few things I had thought maybe had begun his sense of stress(these things I thought were minor, but now after reading this I’m thinking that this probably has little to do with me anyway). Do I still have the conversation or just ask for a chill hangout to watch YouTube or needle-felt while he does? C.) Do you think it would be okay to just ask him to read this article? Maybe it would help him to understand his feelings because he’s really confused, and also he could confirm a simple “yes” to me and I’d understand what’s going on and deal with it better. It would it really bother and stress him out that I’m looking for Internet advice, lol!??? PLEASE HELP- I loves him😕

  39. Hi there,

    First off I’d like to say that your post has been so incredibly useful. I do have questions but I wonder if it were possible to privately email you instead of leaving a comment.

    Thank you,

    Natalie

    • Sorry this happened to you too. let him go. I found out that it stressed my ex out when I tried to help. Now he is in some promiscuous stage and is on some pick up artist site looking for wingman to go out and meet women for one night stands. I know it’s a game for them. We are better off without him and need to find real men that have the ability to feel. My ex suddenly “lost feelings”. I’m devastated but moving on.

  40. Hello. Please help me. My boyfriend is bipolar. He comes from a family in which there was not a lot of love, no motherly love. He had to become independet werry fast. He went to college and grew apart. When he vas 16 he met a girl and were together 15 years (last 5 years married). They were a good team, working all the time, beeing in depresion offten together… not living or enyojing the life at all.
    He got divorced, because he was not happy with the sex life (allmost non). He was manic at the time of decision, but now after 2 years he still feels that it was the right decision.

    I met him one year after his diwors, after his figuring things aut if he is gay or not. He is NOT. Than he had a girlfriend witch is werry mentally ill, and had the sex of his life wit her. He was so in love with her, that he was blinde. They broke up because she was not fully his.

    Than after a couple of days we met in person (befor we met on internet and talkt for 2 days). We had the best talk, flirting, cudling…. he than invited me to his place (250km away from my home) We fell in love after 5 days and he asked me to marry him. I was happy. I found a man for life after 29 years of searching.
    I moved to his place, left my life behinde, I dint had nothing to loose.

    We were happy for 3 months. He startet to talk with his ex girlfriend, constantly, like there is no other thing in the world. He left me for her that year abaut 3 times.
    I helped him figure aut, that he doesnt love the girl. He doesnt anderstant what love is. And so I gave him books, some literature and than he understood, that real love are not butterflies and hot sex. That real love is carring, feeling good with the partner, haveing fun, cudling ….

    After 3 weeks of him figuring out the love issue, he came back for me. We started new. He than made changes for the better. We had fun, We bought a new bed and a sofa. Made his bank acaunt accessible to me, took me to his grandmother, which previously he couldnt do.

    And now after 4 months he said again, that he is scared, that he is leading me on, that he is waiting to feel more for me, to feel something bigger, and that he doesnt see the bright future anymore.

    I was listing and traying to understand him, the problem… I was thinking that he is incapable of true love. He newer got true love like a child, nobady appreciated him or made him feel spacial… His idol (grandfather) was a man with no emotion, newer showing anny affection. He died 12 days ago. He said he does not want to be like him in this matter.
    He does not have a good relationship with his parent, brother noir friends. He is pretty much alone. Showing now feelings, noir haveing them because of them.

    He has filings for me, shows me some, sometimes a lot of love, but now he is pussing me away again, saying he/we are better of apart. That he doesnt feel the great love, and therefore does not have peace within himselve. But he says that I am perfect for him, perfect match, and we are so much compatibile, but that he is with me just because of this and his rationality. And so he wants something more, and we are unfortunately not, he says.

    He is not on madication annymore, for 8 months. But he can work good, has his own buisnes is a graphic Designer. I am not working and so my job was to care for him, get him aut of bed, make him healty food, make him feel good abaut him self, praise and encourage him. He is grateful for all of this and is aware of this. But it makes him feel bad often, couse he cant give me the same, couse he doesnt feel the big love, not seeing the bright future after 10-15 years, he says.

    He cudled me in bed today, after waking up, comforting me, because I cry . Yes mabe it is bether for real, that we go apart.
    Its yust so hard, when you love some one that much, to let the love go, to let the person go. 

    • Let it go…these people can’t really FEEL love. I’m telling you from experience. Their emotions are not consistent and they hurt you over and over again. Walk away. I walked away 8 months ago. It’s still hard but I did it because I want to find a real relationship and not something that I am not secure with.

      • I agree Blue, mine pushed me out of the house for a woman he adored but she told him she only likes him as a friend so he does everything for my 18 year old daughter after work, drives her back and forth to her work, hang out sometimes and goes out sometimes and mostly goes to bed early.
        The grass is not greener on the other side a lady told me and it wasn’t my fault i tried…

      • I know but we are better off. These men are inconsistent and constantly evaluating us. Who wants to be treated great one minute and then critical the next…

        I am still dreaming about him though. I guess I miss the person that was “nice” ….hopefully things will clear my mind with time

        Good luck. Take care of you.

    • Hi, you sound so sad like i was just wanting to be loved and not understanding why he wouldn’t show love to you daily..I had the same thing and i started to feel so ugly i couldn’t even look in the mirror i felt if he couldn’t even put his arm around me give me a kiss hold hands i must look like a troll. When we slept in the same bed he would sleep as far away from me as possible and i silently cried my self to sleep with tears rolling down my face. Things never got better andd a few times he begged me to show him how to show love i tried but it went back to the same thing, nothing..
      And everything was my fault. That is another problem most people who have bipolar think only of not all but in my situation it was that way and i could barely take the pain in my lonely heart as he went out to places and i sat home. I can’t tell you to be apart but do you want this the rest of your life? I have to say i am better friends with my ex now then i ever was…i don’t know if it is phoney on his end but he seems friendly but i never know with him as he seems to have two personality’s?
      Yes life may seem lonely to other people when they hear how i live but it is no different then before.
      I am not in love with him anymore but i do care about what happens to him, make sure you think about yourself and your well being ok,,take good care.

  41. Wow… been dating a man for 6 months who ive thought was a great fit for me. We are both 70. It was an immediate connection and has remained that way.. so far. He is bipolar and has been on a high for all the time i,ve known him, but i have yet to see his dark side. I,ve only seen the sweetness, generosity, the warm physical side, the long conversations. I,ll be absolutely floored to see rage or unkindness.. and yet that,s what everyone on here is saying I can expect somewhere down the line. I,m an attractive fun lady with no problem with having men in my life. But i want this one! Forewarned is good i guess. Any thoughts?

    • Don’t look for faults enjoy your relationship and enjoy each other, life is too short and not all people with Bipolar is the same, my husband was constantly depressed it was very hard…enjoy the summer:)

  42. I really dont know how to get this out of me. He hurt me again, my bipolar partner. He said he feels something for the ex grlfriend, he went to see her. He committed to me turlly in november, we made a pact, that when it gets ugly again, we stik together and are now more wiser than the last year and wi will make it through.
    Yesturday he startet again with : I am with you yust rationaly, you are the perfect woman I could wish for.
    Buth I feel kind of obliged to the ex girlfriend. I dont know whay. Mabe couse she is like me, a psychopath.
    And I think I wont grow with you, I will stuck in my dewelopment of being creative.

    this were his words. although he said that we have great sex, great time, are so compatible, have chemistry…. he doesnt feel the big thing, and he is scared that this is not for the long walk.

    So he went to talk to her (ex).

    I gues, I will have to open my hart and my minde, that its really ower wiht us.

    • Hi please think this over very carefully ok this relationship you have. It would have hurt me so bad is my almost ex went to see his ex except to see how she was doing. She did not want to see him and he couldn’t accept that. Don’t go down my lonely road of no affection and barely any to my kids some people with the illness don’t know how to show affection if they have deep depression.
      You have your whole life ahead of you maybe making a new choice would be better in your situation but this is something you must decide, The best of luck to you:)

  43. What a well thought out article that wonderfully explains a depressed partner and what to do. I’m in a long distance relationship with a man who is depressed. It is very hard, lately he has not been responding to my calls or texts. I still make my presence known with texts every morning and night. I get frustrated, but I don’t say anything. And sometimes I feel sad. I feel he is selfish and doesn’t care about others by doing this. He won’t get help either. He is ignoring everyone. Even his family.

  44. I can’t express how happy I am to have found this. I am facing this situation and I couldn’t understand anything because this is the first time my boyfriend is passing through it. Unfortunatelly I can’t visit him because he’s not out to his family, but I do love him and I want us to overcome this situation. Anyway, I just wanted to say thank you!

    • He should never be ashamed of who he is but i know it would be hard telling his family one day he will. Keep loving him and accept him as he is as bipolar can be very hard on someone that dosen’t have it…My separated husband who is bipolar didn’t want me anymore after 21 years because i got a spine disease and my mobility got really bad and he wanted me out of his life right away.
      It truly hurt as i was there for him when he needed someone badly when his medication wasn’t working well and did everything i could to let him know i was there for him. I never cared about myself just my kids and him..Then he got a mixture of the right medication that took some time to
      work and he just changed. I got warning signs that he was going to dump me and i got scared. I had
      no family nor friends i was busy with my kids and him. And so i went to the bank took out my own money gt my own account and locked it up. Then he out of the blue said i want a divorce i am not taking care of a cripple 😦 I can take care of myself..So we are legally separated for a year and a half
      he is in very bad debt after i moved out (i was scared out with his threats and screaming daily at me and moving me into the recroom while i had to walk the stairs up to get food was so painful while he ate out and there was barely any food in the fridge for 2 years,,,So he pays for my rent now and utilities and because it isn’t much he is supposed to bring food home from his work where food is sent back and workers can buy it dirt cheap, It is supposed to help with my food bill but it mostly goes bad in 2 days, he lives in the house we both own i live in a tiny Apt. with my 2 cats.
      No it is so unfair and the house has to be sold sooner or later…but what i am getting at is i am a throw away don’t ever give up on your partner. He will have days he can’t help his moods but you both can work it out. Never let him have time to himself and move out. Stay with him and love him just the way he is…have a great summer:)

  45. Here I am again! It’s been almost three months in this situation and our relationship doesn’t seem to improve. He ignores me in all ways possible, he avoids to hang out with me and now that I’m abroad for one month he does not answer a single message to me. What is most difficult to deal with is to see that he is hanging out with his friends seeming to be happy but he keeps ignoring my messages, as I was nothing. I really like him, but I don’t know until when I can deal with it. I’m really afraid that I am giving everything I can emotionally and then he will just walk away. I feel like I am nothing to him, as I am not important. In other opportunities he said I was important and he loved me, but it was one month ago. Now he just ignores me and he seems to be getting better. I really don’t know what to do. God help me!

  46. let him have his space,dont call him text are anything,if he loves you he will come back,the girl im with came back and i didnt call her,6 weeks later she comes knocking on my door and she lives over 400 miles away,she stayed a week and she told me things that bothered her,she wanted to get help cause she knew she had a problem,things are great now and we will marry soon,just give it time.

  47. What a fantastic article. Thank you so much. My situation is that, even though I have severe bipolar too, I don’t seem to be able to help my best friend who is falling apart. I have suffered many deep depressions myself, and been to hospital several times. But I am afraid to ‘turn her in’ so to speak. She says she feels
    dangerous and wants to be left alone to be by herself. After reading this article, I can see that this is not a wise decision, but as you point out she is unable to answer any phone calls, texts, emails just now so I have no way of reaching her. I can just ‘show up’ but I am sure she would be furious. Also, she has only let me into her house twice in the two years I have known her. The clinic we both attend is not handling this well in my opinion. I keep updating them on how she is not handling her life, and they sent the police round to her house. Now she is crying all the time, and assumes that everybody is afraid of her and don’t want to be alone with her. I am really at a loss because two things are really scaring me: she may break off our friendship altogether, and worse, commit suicide. I am glad to have just put this out there. Thank you.

  48. After three months struggling with my boyfriend’s depression, he left me. When we finally met, he was well and in the last two months he kept posting photos with his friends seeming to be very happy. He was just ignoring my messages, emails and even the gifts I sent him by mail. He said he was needy when he proposed to date me and that I knew he was depressed so I knew the risks. Of course I did and I did it for love. I just didn’t know that he didn’t want me any more two months ago. He could have told me earlier. It would have saved me a lot of suffering. Now I have to find my way now. I was suffering more when I didn’t know how he was. Now I know he is fine and better off without me. Although I feel like shit now, it was a great opportunity to know more about depression and about other people suffering with it! Thanks for those who put this blog together! It is essential! And I hope that everyone who are suffering with depressed partners that you can find love and happiness! Thank you for everything!

    • I feel for you. I was dating and possibly even emotionally seduced by a bpd pick up artist male who just picks up women to have “relationships” when he feels needy or lonely. As soon as the cycle is over he blames, gets into a rage, says I am clingy and disappears. Its emotional for me because I devoted my feelings and time and genuinely care snd love him when he just put A mask on. I’m still suffering from missing him. He does this over and over I’m sure. It feels awful the way they just dump us after treating us so well while in the relationship. Its been a year …I’m still messed up and suffering from a PTSD like feeling over it. The real me has been subdued from the horrible feeling. Feel like the soul was knocked out of me.. I’m hopi G some more time will heal

  49. Just found this article…. as most people who have ended up on this article, I fear we all are going through similar situations of the love of our lives suddenly going “I love you but I don’t want this relationship, I’m not good enough for you”

    He says he has flt it for a while, but I don’t know. We’ve always spoken about children, and marriage, and a house together. He got depressed in our first year and ended up on dating sites just trying to get compliments, or spending ages looking for his exes to see if they were doing badly without him, he said he loves me with all his heart and he felt ashamed when I was heartbroken about it. He actually took the internet off himself and got rid of his phone just to prove to me that he was serious. I’ve never loved anyone quite as much.

    But I went to University, and then I decided to beat my agoraphobia and go to a study abroad experience in South Korea…. he was supportive and proud, and we missed each other like mad.
    But something happened. I was raped, and sexually assaulted on two counts. I ended up being interrogagted by police for over 20 hours and I was alone on the other side of the world.

    I told him the next day, and he was all over the place. He got jealous of people who were there for me, frustrated that he couldn’t hug and kiss me and comfort me, annoyed that he felt he ‘Wasn’t the person I ask for help’, and upset that he felt like he let me down.
    The weight of everything seemed to get on top of him, and he sent me lovely long messages telling me how much he loves me, and he wants to be the man who is always there for me, and he doesn’t know if he can – and he asked me to tell him if he could be that man.

    I was so busy packing for returning home I never did reply to his message…… but he is. He will always be. The man I love, the man I want, the man I need. Regardless of anything that happens, John is my soul mate.

    Because of the rape, I got these really weird mood swings. I’d go from okay, to depressed, to furious…. and I couldn’t help it. I’m a bit better now, but now I’m just worried about losing him. I sent him a long and mood-swingy message saying how i needed him and he made it all about him …. I needed his support.
    When I got back home, the day after he said he loved me but didnt want the relationship, that we aren’t romantic with each other, and its all his fault. Everything is his fault, he said.

    Ontop of everything going on in my head, I could feel my entire world slipping away. I’ve never thought about taking pills, but I did think about it. John was my saviour. And we helped each other.

    I pushed. I didn’t mean to, and he asked for space. He never asks me for anything, and I was stupid enough to try to not give it him. I wanted to, but my stupid stupid head needed him there with me, I didn’t want to be left alone because the thoughts would come back. I needed him. He was the only person I wanted support from. And I didn’t listen to him …. I was selfish.

    He got angry, and said things like “I dont want you!” and i ran away for about an hour and hid, and he got so scared and walked miles looking for me. The next day, he came back and said “Don’t think of us as over, I just need space to sort my head out. I love you”, and I’ve spent 48 horrid hours not speaking to him at all.

    what do i do? ….
    He’s coming round after work today and I’m scared of him getting in that angry place and just giving up.
    Anyone have any thoughts on his actions?

  50. I was with my boyfriend for about a year and most of the time he’s normal and all is well between us like honestly I thought we had a great relationship, but I can tell when he’s not himself. About a month ago his friends were over and he lashed out on one of them and that was immediately the end of the night, we went to bed and he just fell apart thinking his friends don’t care about him. A few days later after what I thought were good days, he blew up on me for something that I didn’t even think was a problem but it was the first time he ever lost it towards me and we didn’t talk about it for a couple days because I was so mind blown it even happened. Finally he sent me a long message apologizing and saying how he knows I don’t deserve that and all this stuff asking if we could talk later.
    When we finally talked I thought we’d just be talking about the situation and moving past it but out of nowhere he said he needed a break, he still loves me but he’s been feeling the stress of the relationship and it doesn’t feel right anymore. Me being completely blind sided I’m like no, what the fuck is a break? What stress of the relationship? He went on to say I don’t deserve that to which I said, all I want is to be there for you and whether or not you think I deserve it doesn’t change how I feel about you. So basically I took that as he’s over me and it’s over and I was a mess and refused to reach out to him because I didn’t want him to think I was weak. As someone who has never dealt with a bipolar person, especially not in such a close way, I obviously didn’t understand where he was coming from and took it completely personally and I was extremely hurt.
    About three weeks passed when I finally reached out to him. We talked briefly because and kept conversation light for another week but finally we talked about what happened and we had this long conversation about it and although he said he’s not up for a relationship right now he said he definitely does not want me out of his life and that he wants to keep hanging out and eventually maybe we could talk about it again.
    Hearing that made me feel hopeful, but at the same time it felt like he was just trying to let me down easy. After reading this I’m seeing the situation a lot differently and I’ve gained a lot of insight into how his mind might be working and honestly thank you for the advice on how to go about this situation because I was really just seriously confused about why he would end it and still want me around. This was exactly what I was looking for tonight, thanks again.

    • Hello “on a break”

      I can identify with you completely. I went through a stage of being blown up at and sneered at for little things that were no big deal. Actually, my relationship started out like a dream. This guy was so good at reading me and knew exactly how to get me hooked to him. He also had a dark side where he was unhappy, angry, silent and would brood over some little detail and later blow up at me. He had real issues regulating emotions. Our of the blue, he shut down and then said he was “done” and needed to be alone. This was all within a day or two. I’m thinking he has some serious undiagnosed condition like borderline personality disorder

      Super loving, generous and overly giving one day, angry and silent the next.

      I’m still kind of in shock. We broke up in November 2014 but I still think of him every day and want to know how he is doing. I backed off because I think having feelings was a trigger. He just abruptly broke up with me and said he can’t feel anymore. It was so weird. Now I’m just still in a void. Songs remind me of him and it’s impossible to forget him because I really care. I just know that they have a problem and it’s better for them if we leave them alone. He just started putting me down one day and pushed me away. So now here we are….I hate this feeling.

      • Sometimes we are blind to someone who has highs and lows, and we need to forgive ourselves for not seeing it in the beginning, and we need to deal with the consequences and learn some positive things. We met them in a high or a normal state, and they are so generous of spirit, realistic, aware… the best of themselves. Then the other side comes- the dark silent side, the trigger has been set off and you dont know why, and it really could be you participating in the trigger- but it is NOT your fault, you are not responsible for their actions or their depression. You can only be responsible for your part, learn from it and change if you hurt them somehow- that is how a normal healthy relationship works. The reality is that it is very difficult to know who the “real” person is. After a year of experiencing this myself, and watching someone I have grown to love deeply fall apart in small subtle ways, and also in a deep dark depression, distant, blank, glazed over eyes, or the critical behavior, or the “grandiose overpromising to everyone”… some people call it the Jesus syndrome, or the sudden strong political/social/cultural ideals, and what about a little OCD, and ADHD behavior thrown in there too? When he pushes me away, he eventually hates himself, then he is on a hamster wheel of self hate and pushes everyone away. It’s depression and he has to get himself off the wheel over time. I have been really patient and finally discovered that he is bipolar and has been on the lowest dose of medicine. But then the fallout happened….Then he doesnt feel good enough, or that I am not good for him because I cannot keep the house understimulating enough, or stimulating enough… I cannot help him or save him- no one can. I have spoken with his family and he does the same to them. Here is the deal everyone… it isnt your fault that one minute all is beautiful and vibrant and well… and the next moment it is dark/distant/lonely. Mental illness is mental illness. The mind is brilliant and then it shuts down. I would like to be a priority in a relationship, just as I make my partner a priority, I would like to receive the patience and compassion and empathy and generosity that I give, but I will never get the level I want in any relationship so I try to be realistic and not create a unrealistic romantic Disney movie in my head. He told me that women will never get as much as we give, we are just wired differently and it is unfair, but it is even more unfair with a self absorbed bipolar person. Sometimes I wish I had never gotten involved. Yet, I grew as a person, and he grew as a person. He started to see the trend in the episodes, he took lithium, and he has tried to find what settles him down: dietary needs, exercise, certain sleep pattern times etc… If I could talk to myself a year ago, I would tell ME to run like hell, and he would tell me the same thing, but its too late right now, and I feel that I need to weather the storm and wait to see what happens when he is on the proper dose of lithium. But I am pretty sure that once he is on it, he wont even know who he really is and will be on a self discovery. I dont mean he will be running around having sex with people, I am talking about what makes him happy and unhappy. Being with a person with Hypomania or whichever bipolar disorder it is, is like having a huge extra responsibility- like having a kid. But really the responsibility lies within yourself, your own thoughts- you are actually the extra kid, the bipolar person is just a mess that gets lost in a dark cave for a month- its what you do with yourself that matters. You have to be the parent of yourself suddenly… strong enough to be rational when they are being dismissive and dark. You have to look at your personality, your way of being, and really look at who you are as a person and evaluate whether you are being annoying, or needy, or whatever. Then you have to decide to be very honest with yourself about what your needs are and if your needs are being met (wow, because your needs do matter!!!), and if any human being can meet those needs. Self reflection is a huge thing, and being with someone who is bipolar can force you into self reflection, so take this as one of the good points. I am a stronger person today, with a much clearer vision of myself, of the people around me, of mental health issues… I have more patience than I ever have had, and my compassion and empathy level is very clear to me, and my ability to take a step back and assess is better. So not all is lost, time hasnt been sucked away from me, but I do not want my youth sucked into oblivion, and I am lonely without a partner. IF I I were codependent, this relationship would be the absolute worst relationship of my life because it would fuel the feelings of lack of unworthiness, isolation, and feeling “not good enough”. Im old enough at 40 to know that these are damaging feelings and that I can work on me, but I cannot work on him- he must work on himself. But to live a life with someone that needs stability who is and may always be so unstable, one who cannot travel much with, one you cannot take to restaurants in case it gets loud for their auditory processing is mishandled and they are overstimulated, someone very restricted with dietary needs, and then to be further isolated by not even being able to discuss his mental illness with friends for fear of him being fired from his job… are just a few of the major real life daily stressers.Is it worth it? What about my children that he spends time with who wonder why he gets dark, and is it their fault??? What if we wanted a baby together- and I am left with a child to raise because he cant manage it. He surely cannot wake in the night if the baby is ill… Bipolar people need to sleep at least 9 hours quiet and straight through!!!! So I will let you all know in 3 months. Lithium takes 30 days to make a chemical change and I want to see if there is a consistent change. Tonight I sent him the simple text that the author was correct about because its about giving neutral support to someone who is unwillingly self-involved in their depressive state.. I wrote— “I went on a great hike today, you would love it, you are a wonderful man, sleep well!!” and he was so responsive. However… Can I live my life like this, playing this game? I can do it in business, yes I play the game. But is my personal life going to be “the game” or like managing a 2 year old who has temper tantrums randomly? Sometimes love is not enough especially when the person who is bipolar doesnt want to 100% face the disease, and do everything to balance it out. I can only go back the fact that I am more mindful of my words and how they can effect someone, and that I can work harder on that for myself, him, and anyone in my life, but if it becomes that I cant speak my mind at all, then its just not fair to me, its incredibly stressful if that is how I have to live in love with a bipolar person, and to be in constant fear of setting them off. Yes, I have noticed that he is present for who he has to be present for when he is depressed and he can fool them, and I feel rejected and ignored because I am the safe person that he can be real with… I agree with so many comments people made about what it is like being ignored, and devalued– but none of it is real, and we have to ignore it. But who wants to live in an state of mind where its okay to be ignored/devalued randomly for no good reason!??? It would be so helpful to hear from someone bipolar who has been succeeding 85% of the time with bipolar, who works hard for their mental health, and is not continually fluxing from high to medium to low and then back again, someone who is not often lashing out, and when they are called out on the slight verbal abuse or isolation abuse will own it and be mindful to work on it, and make changes. Id like to see that person show up on this post. Depression sucks, and everyone on both sides of it is isolated when it takes hold. It is just so catch-22. It is such a crying shame, it really is. I would never ever get involved in this type of relationship again willingly. Its unfair to me, my children and my future children. Incredibly sad to love someone so much, to have incredible physical connection and mental connection when he is well, and to probably have to walk away. I hear the “I still want to be with you, and have a committed relationship”… committed to what though? Committed to being ignored and shut out randomly for no reason? Is that fair? There is no FAIR in mental illness people… it will never be fair. Sad, sad, sad. Beautiful mind, broken mind. I feel so very sad.

  51. PS
    the “still want me around” lasted a month. He would not return my things for a month. Its almost like he knew he was cycling into depressed, incredible hulk mode, and held on to cycle out but I eventally called him to bring my stuff over. He dropped it off and said he was sorry he treated me like that just to break up with me. I don’t get it. I hope I can return to my regular happy self.

  52. thanks for the interesting and helpful article.

    I have been in a relationship with an amazing man (with 2 kids, i have a daughter from my ex marriage) for almost 2 years.
    He lost his wife in a very tragic accident and he witnessed it all. He started taking anti-depressants and was diagnosed with bipolar. Everything was fine for the first 18 months of our relationship, then he thought he would be okay without the meds, and as soon as the box was finished, he would not get a new prescription.
    He had about 3 terrible outbursts and i am reading up on it like crazy.
    We have been living together for about 8 months now, but he still has his own house.
    The last manic episode was 2 weeks ago and he just snapped and lost it. It was about 3 weeks without meds and i understood – kind of …
    He has been taking his meds now for about 2 weeks and i can see he is getting better.
    He told me that he wants to move back to his house to sort out his head – kind of like a pilgramage.
    He still tells me he loves me and kisses me, holds me – but there is just an unpleasant athmosphere in the house because of his illness. im sure things will be better once his meds start working properly again.
    I love him so much and the kids, and i dont want to loose him/them.
    Is it okay for him to go and have some alone time?
    He says we are okay – but he is not.
    It is not easy to go through this stage, but i am willing to support him and give him the time he needs.

  53. You have no idea how glad that I am that I found your article. It has made me feel so much better. I do not understand bipolar at all but have been dating a young guy for almost a year. Last night he gave me the talk that he was over whelmed, starting school, full time job and not time for anything. He said he was concerned how he would keep the relationship going and to be fair to me. I pretty much decided he was breaking up and made it easy on him. Should I just act like nothing happened and we are still in the relationship. It was not an ugly breakup at all. I’m heartbroken but am realizing that this is all too much for him to take on right now. Any thoughts would be appreciated

    • Lisa,

      Your note might sound straightforward, but there’s quite a lot going on. I almost don’t know where to start. But really, the place to start is with you.

      You need to ask yourself if you do want to get back together. You’ve kind of said that you’ve, well, let go, and I’m kind of assuming that the last conversation(s) weren’t exactly the best. You get to decide if you want to jump back into that.

      Note that you have no obligations to get back into the relationship if the guy is bipolar and his life has problems at the moment. Part of courting is seeing if a match will work, and you may decide in this case it didn’t and it’s easier to move on. That’s an okay decision.

      What if you choose to try to get back together? What are you getting yourself into?

      If the guy is bipolar and hasn’t told you, then it’s kind of problematic. Either it means he’s not yet diagnosed, or it means that he hasn’t told you after one year. Neither of these are good things. It means that he still has to go through the discovery and acceptance of being bipolar, and that’s a few years worth of work. During that time his moods may be swinging and he’s likely to blow hot and cold in a relationship. In this instance, in your place, I’d walk away.

      If you and the guy HAVE spoken about mood swings, then yes, maybe you could try something. Let me know if this is the case, and I’ll chat further.

      Note that the guy may not have mood swings at all and that he is actually overwhelmed with school and work etc. If this is the case, then the problem isn’t really a bipolar one. In which case, you’ll need to get advice from someone other than me.

  54. This is truly the best insight on how to be with someone who is Bipolar. I am truly thankful for finding your article; as I feel I am further educated, on a personal level (not medical level), on what my partner truly needs from me. Thank you for sharing your personal journey.

  55. Fantastic article, this fits my bipolar girlfriend to a T. For 10 months we’ve been living together and everything is super. We have sex 2 or 3 times a week and then all of a sudden she says she wants no more sex at all and needs her space so she moves out and is now living with her Mom down the street and has been for 3 weeks now. I still run into her at the park where I walk our dog and she walks for exercise. I’m hoping she will emerge from this depression and try to make a go of it again but I’m just not sure. She tells me I’d be better off with someone else and that she’s sure she’ll never want to have sex again, that it makes her feel ashamed and slutty. She doesn’t even like wearing sexy clothes any more. This all happened over the course of a few weeks. I’m still stunned and in disbelief but after reading this article I completely understand what is going on now. She has no empathy whatsoever for what I’m going through, just says I need to give her some space and some time. So that’s what I’m doing but I’m also letting her know I’m not going away either. I may regret this later but I feel I have to at least give us another chance. When she’s normal she’s very outgoing and loves to dress to bring out her sexiness and beauty. Now she lives like a Nun happy to just stay with her Mom and play card games online and watch TV. She has blocked my phone and even unfriended me from Facebook. It’s all so crazy, literally! I’m convinced she’s not seeing anyone else. She may be a lot of things but she’s never been unfaithful and for the most part is always honest about her feelings.

    • Mike this is not about you, my story is almost identical to yours. We dont know what to do and it makes it so much harder. stay strong, i hope your situation has changed since you posted.

      • Not much has changed. Each day I send her a short text to let her know I’m still thinking about her. Most of her replies include the line “Can’t Text”. Is this normal? This has been going on for weeks. Some times she won’t reply at all.

  56. Thank you all so much. Man do I have the same situation. We had a fantasy year and a half relationship. I was her savior, the love of her life, the one she wanted forever. Up to Oct are relationship was perfect. Then one day her dog died. It was a child to her and it was the only thing in her family that loved her. It caused her to spiral into a deep depression and she struggled to keep herself sane unbeknowst to me. I thought she was going through normal grieving, but on Oct 30 she told me out of nowhere that she needed time and space despite talking about marriage for the 100th a week before and telling me she loved me the night before! It caught me so off guard. I gave the time and space figuring Ill drop a love note or a gift every few days to let her i know i care. Up comes the Monday after Thanksgiving and she asked to see me. I felt so positive about the meeting because she was still liking my facebook posts and even said she loved me within the previous few days and she was just starting therapy. So we meet at a Dunkin Donuts and she told me she blacked out on Wed Eve of Thanksgiving and had a one night stand and that her therapist said she is likely manic depressive. She said that she cant forgive herself for what she did to me ,but still tries to justify it by saying we were seperated at the time despite never having an official breakup. She told me we need to move on and meet new people and she needs to find herself and love herself before she can love anyone else(which is contradictory..why see new people?) Anyway after the Dunkin revelation I said some mean things in the moment that I apologized for and now she is using that as a scapegoat to move on. I would and have done everything to win her back..maybe too much. I just love her more than anything and right now she cant feel it or reciprocate it..just says I deserve better than her..talks about how worthless she is..drinking to forget..and spiraling out of control…its so tough to watch and not be able to help

  57. Reading all these replies has truly helped… My boyfriend is exactly the same. The article is interesting and spot on, but I’m 56 years old and I would love to save him from his bipolar, but I’m choosing to value my life and chalk it up to experience. It’s only been 5 months and 3 breakups. He claims that he is not bipoolar (like his mother was), but instead suffers from a Fear of Success, i.e. doesn’t deserve good job, good friend, loving girlfriend/wife, etc.. Perhaps medication might help, but you have to admit to a problem first. Some just don’t want to admit their illness. He is one of them. I choose to invest in myself instead of lose another 5 months on this roller coaster. I wish everyone out there the best in their venture, my venture is to heal myself.

    • I am in the same place i lost my love to bipolar and now he has another. I am broken too but have to find the strenght to carry on without . His hypersexuality became impossible. Good luck to those that make it through , not sure i will ?

  58. This blog post has saved my sanity after being dumped very recently, After over a year and a bit of ups and downs. Luckily I was already in CBT so I think this has been my saving grace, plus the support of my lovely and numerous friends. I won’t go into the details as it has all be said above with much more eloquence but I will say that during the break up I kept completely neutral, did not show any negative emotion, place any blame or beg for him to not dump me. I have cut all contact and I will NEVER go back. I have lost nothing apart from his presence and that really is a good thing. The amount of time I spent with his negativity would become damaging to me in later life and really not worth it. I will miss the nice times and how much we got on. Also when physical, we were good together but I do realise this can happen again but only better. I am going to concentrate on being single and being positive. I have already after just a couple of days got a lot of positive plans in place, such as a holiday, happy fun things planned with my child (luckily not with this ex) and am going to remain a happy person. He has not broken me and I will not be held responsible for what happened in our relationship. I hope you all heal well x

    • I really applaud your positive attitude Happygolucky. (Good name). Just to wrap it up, the girlfriend I talked about in my post above began abusing me publicly over and over again, shouting and screaming at me, spitting and shaking all over. I finally realized that this abuse had to stop, so I put her in touch with my wonderful therapist. We no longer speak, but I know she is getting along fine with his help. There is only so much you can do.

      • That’s real sad. luckily me ex was not so outwardly abusive but the odd mean comments, very very manipulative negativity that somehow managed to turn into me being negative (god figure) and control (very sly, were enough to make me never go back. It’s gonna take a lot of getting over but I respect myself to much to do it all again, hoping it will change, because it won’t. I am the most positive person I know and even I can honestly say that it will NOT work. We will heal and life will go on x

  59. Hello, Everyone! I wish all of you well!
    I’ve read so many of the postings here, and I have to say that your experiences almost mirror my own to some degree. I’ve known my boyfriend, John, for almost a year now, but only recently have we decided to become a couple, the beginning of this year. I knew he suffered from major depression since first meeting him, but when we were just friends, not speaking to him for a week or two was pretty common place, so I was not repetitively exposed to his depression lIke I am now…I feel like I’m on one helluva roller-coaster ride with all the ups and downs! At times, it is the most beautiful, passionate and loving relationship that I’ve ever experienced and a few days later, he becomes so cold and calloused, so condescending, so void of emotion or feeling for me…it’s enough to make anyone question their sanity!! Our relationship moves two steps forward and 4 steps back at the drop of a hat. We’re both in our forties, and I’d like to think that I’d be involved with someone with whom I can build a steady foundation with towards a future together, but I don’t think that that will ever happen. We attended a party over the weekend and i noticed that he started distancing himself from me before we arrived. My boyfriend also self-medicates with alcohol, so as soon as he had drank enough, he became the life of the party! He ignored me most of the evening, yes, it bothered me, but I’m the type of person that can have a great time anywhere and I’m almost always in a good mood, so I met a lot of interesting people at least. He was quite inebriated when we left; I don’t even know why I tried discussing my discontent with him the entire evening on the ride home. He wanted me to stay over, but I wasn’t really feeling well, buy I gave in because I love spending time with him! I wanted him to feel secure and fall asleep with me there, so I stayed over till about
    5 a.m. ,then returned home because i wasn’t feeling well. I only fell asleep a few hours only to discover he’d left me 2 text messages because he was angry that I’d left. So i drove back to his place. He wouldn’t hold my hand, let me kiss him, and pushed me away, literally, and declared he wanted to be alone and that he was uncomfortable with me being at his apartment and wanted me to leave! All because I didn’t stay over at his place the entire night?!! I’ve never had anyone make me feel so small before! I knew he’d reach out to me yesterday, after he’d had some time to think, and yes, he apologized, but I had to let him know that his actions were inexcusable this weekend. I’ve never raised my voice to him until yesterday, but I just couldn’t hold back!! I’m soo angry!!! The weekend prior, I rented a beautiful cabin by the lake, the last day we were there, he had a meltdown and wanted to be with his cat and asked me if I was jealous??!!!! He reverts back to acting like a little boy at times!!! And I’m at wits end!!!! He’s so selfish; he only cares about drinking, acknowledging his depression, and talking about how he feels numb all the time. Up until this point, I have tried so hard to listen and understand what he is going through, but what about my feelings? Why do I continuously have to take a backseat to his depression??!!! I’m a divorced, full-time nursing student, just trying to do the best that I can, and school is stressful enough!! I made the Dean’s list and I couldn’t even share that with him because we’re always focused on his depression!! I finally told him yesterday because I was so angry for how he has been treating me and I wanted him to realize that I need someone to share those special moments/accomplishments with; someone to be there for me as well. But HE is always our main focus! And now, hes soo depressed because I expressed how disappointed I am in him, that he wants to sleep all the time and wallow in self-pity! Maybe he’ll muster up enough strength to call me tomorrow, who knows!! He also has a gambling problem, so I paid his rent this month because I didn’t want him to stress about something else going wrong in his life! !m trying soo very hard, ya’ll, to be a good partner, but I’m not going to be anyone’s doormat! Why can’t I just walk away?!!! He can be soo incredibly beautiful, inside and out, when his depression doesn’t rear its’ ugly head! We have the most amazing moments together..that’s why I’m finding it difficult to walk away, because of the beautiful person that I’ve fallen in love with! It’s like he’s two entirely different people!! I don’t think he’ll break up with me; he really does adore me, but he needs to at least give me a head’s up when he’s going to go on “hiatus” as I call it, so I know to give him his space, so I can be ready for the next tantrum or the next emotionally unavailable episode!! Is that too much to ask???!!!
    My heart feels like it’s breaking a little bit more as each week passes by and I hate feeling this way!! It’s not normal for me, I’m too upbeat everyday; I’m the polar opposite of someone suffering from MDD!!!
    I just wish he’d get a therapist, go to AA, and get on medication! He professes to want to get help and change his life, but he never does anything about it! I’m frustrated, I’m hurt, I’m sad, I feel neglected and rejected…why do I love him so mych???

    • I am gonna post this that I found on a another forum. It helps me on those days when I feel like I miss my ex but I was lucky that he dumped me, even though it does not feel like it some days.. You need to leave this relationship for you own sanity or at least figure out if you can do this for the rest of your life. In my opinion, it is not worth the pain:

      This is the post I found helpful:

      I am not sure of many things, but I am sure of this …

      If you have posted to this forum (or if you are reading and identify with any of these posts), you are being mistreated. My therapist called it abuse. At first, I did not agree and defended my ex. Now, I agree completely.

      Whether your boyfriend/girlfriend is bipolar, borderline, or just plain commitmentphobic … he or she will wreak havoc on your life causing you to doubt your own sanity. Most likely, you will suffer from periods of depression and you will start to wonder if you are not bipolar yourself … or at the very least, you will question if there is something wrong with you. There is nothing wrong with you … you are trying to react sanely to an insane situation … this is absolutely not possible … you cannot reason with someone who is unreasonable (the confusing part is that sometimes they are reasonable, but it is never consistent because they will always cycle … call it crazy-making behavior).

      As you stated, you know what you should or have to do, you just can’t do it. You are holding out hoping the old person will return and everything will go back to “normal.” Guess what? This will happen and things will be great … for a while … but sure enough, the other person will return … the relationship will end … and you will be left hurt and confused once again. You cannot forget or try to ignore that the person you love is really all the different parts … you cannot pick and choose … it is a package deal. You whole life will begin to revolve around whether or not he is “in” or “out” of the relationship. You will convince yourself that these actions should not be held against your loved one because it is not his fault … it is the bipolar to blame. This is ridiculous … he may not be intentionally doing something, but it is still happening … it still hurts … it still leaves you alone … and unless you can or want to live like this forever … GET OUT NOW! Even medicated and in therapy (my ex was), the smallest thing can send your life into a tailspin. He can forget to take the meds, he can take some other meds (like Tylenol PM) that causes a bad reaction, he can have one drink with dinner, he can lose a night’s sleep, he can change jobs, he can have a problem with anything, his brain chemistry can change (mid-life crisis), he can interpret a situation incorrectly, the list is endless … but the result will always be the same … he will not be able to cope effectively so he will panic and run. You cannot convince him otherwise. You cannot teach him how to cope. You cannot give him self-esteem. You cannot change him. You will be left to deal with the fallout … alone, hurt, and confused. When everything is calm, he might appear again … he might not … you will always be wondering … left in limbo … never knowing whether to hold on or let go. The final breakup will be like no other you ever experienced. There will not be a slow disintegration of the relationship where you can see it coming and prepare for it. It will happen out of the blue … when you least expect it … when you heart is most vulnerable (trust me on this on!). He will be there one minute, gone the next. You will be lucky if you get a text or email with his version of an explanation (more like an excuse). You will NEVER get the closure you need because he doesn’t even understand what he is doing or why he is doing it. You will want and need the closure to move on, but you will have to accept that you will never get a solid reasonable explanation for what happened and why. The one thing I can promise you is that you will be left grieving the loss while he will move on like nothing even happened. He might say he feels sad about hurting you or about the break-up, but watch his actions … they will not match his words. In fact, if you think about it, his actions rarely matched his words throughout the entire relationship.

      My friend said something to me that made a lot of sense so I will share it with you. She told me that I need to get my brain and my heart on the same page before falling in love. If my heart says yes, but my brain says no … or vice versa … then my instincts are telling me something is wrong. This is what I hear you saying in your words …. your heart says you love him, but your brain says no more pain. No matter what I share or write, you will most likely do what I did … focus on the good times …. hold onto the dream of what could be … pray for the person you fell in love with to return … and stay with him until the bitter end. If you are lucky, he will dump you and give you your freedom. If not, you will look back on your life and realize you have taken a hard path with little, if any, appreciation for your sacrifices (moreover, you will be the one making most of the sacrifices). You might even regret the years you wasted. I am not denying the pain you will feel by letting go, but the pain of holding on is worse (trust me).

      My therapist told me that this behavior of coming and going in relationships without any logical reasons or with reasons disguised as excuses can NOT be blamed on bipolar. I found a few books that helped me …. Men Who Can’t Love and Emotional Unavailability. I have come to the realization that it doesn’t make a difference what is causing the behavior … what is important is how the behavior is affecting you. If it is a pattern and it is bringing you down a little more each time, RUN … don’t look back (although I know you will). In a few months, you will be able to look at the relationship more objectively. You will still feel pain, but it will be a different kind of pain … one where you know you hurt (because you have been mistreated), but you now have regained control of your life (instead of allowing someone else’s actions to bring you down). This is manageable pain and you will eventually heal.

      I wish you strength …

      • Thank you, happygolucky. You were writing this post to the future me, as I waffle back and forth about how to handle the sudden demise of a (comparatively) short relationship with a man that either has BP or serious general depression.

        This very page, all of the comments, yours included, have helped me realize last night that this will ALWAYS keep happening if I fight for him and try to stay. It will not end. And NO amount of effort on my part will EVER change his mind. Nothing but he himself and maybe meds can save him. You cannot convince someone you love them if they so deeply don’t see their own worth, or don’t see anything but black and grey. I struggle with my own worth sometimes, just not in the context of BP, so I know this.

        As much as I want to show him that I care, that I’m “different”, and that I’m not throwing him away just because he has a problem … I can’t. He threw everything away first by just letting me go like I was an afterthought. Depression or not, he made a CHOICE, the wrong one, and there’s no takebacks. This is not a romance novel, he isn’t just scared to love, he is ILL – me (all of you), we’re fighting a totally different monster.

        Callous as it may sound – this is just not worth it. I want more, something healthier, something more stable, more loving and I do not and should not feel guilty about that. And neither should any of you who aren’t sure what to do.

        And I’ll probably look back often, every time I hear a song we both loved or do something we used to do together, and the old feeling of loss and the sting of rejection will probably throb, but that won’t mean I have to regret anything or not look for real, healthy happiness elsewhere.

        I hope to god all of you picking up the pieces and trying to figure out what to do next are able to free yourself from all this like happygolucky did and I’m starting to.

  60. Thank you so much for writing this Happy-go-lucky. I just experienced the third horrendous break up in 4 years with my bi-polar boyfriend. It is exactly how you described it. One day he tells me I am the love of his life, a few weeks later I start to see the patterns of his bipolar behaviors returning, first manic then falling into a deep depression and then bam the break up. It pulls the rug out right from under me, like a stab in the heart. During the break up he is so uncommunicative stares straight ahead and can’t seem to process anything I am saying to him. I know it becomes ineffective to keep trying to communicate with him. He wont acknowledge his issues at all. He has 3 family members that are bi-polar as well.

    It’s been 6 weeks, it is awful because 70% of the time he is the most loyal amazing loving man but then his illness resurfaces. He does not take medication as far as I know, just self-medicates with whiskey. He has come back before after several months, and like you I blamed his illness, I know now it is a 100% guarantee this pattern will repeat again and again. If he comes back to me again as he did in the past I now have the strength to tell him NO MORE!! Every word you wrote resonated with me. It is an abuse, to trust someone with your heart that is unable to protect it, and it is just awful, it the back of my mind always waiting for the break up to come. I know he will NEVER succeed in having a long term relationship with anyone without serious self reflection and help he will probably never seek.

  61. This is me all over , i met a guy and i still love him but can not let myself be with him as i just keep hurting him i have made him homeless twice in less than 6 months …. he keeps contact on facebook i answer him wen i feel like it ..i know he loves so much he treat me like a queen but i just couldnt cope with it ..i have been married 4 times . 1st one was an abusive marriage …..2nd one i married twice …3rd one i just ended it fell out of love .. we have stayed friends ( i feel he is the only one that understands me fully ) .if i really loved any of them …im on meds and see a phychiatrist .+ mind …but im frightend i will always be like this …also i dont get lonely wen im on my own im happy alone is this normal …also i go hyper for instance in the last 2 weeks since we split i have decorated my house right through i throw myself into things and get obbsesed with things ..hope someone can make sense of this

  62. I can relate to these posts on some sort of level. Not only does the person with bipolar disorder suffer, but we do as the partners as well. It seems that majority of us here have HUGE hearts and want to help, but we can only do so much….. As many of your stories have helped me, here’s mine- maybe it can help someone else. This will be the second break up I am going through…

    When my ex and I met 2 years ago, it was instant sparks and we talked everyday. I was on cloud 9 🙂 I cannot remember the exact day he told me he had bipolar disorder, but I didn’t really know anything about it so I thought he had everything under control. Just before summer of 2015, he went through a manic episode and broke up with me- claiming I am not good enough for him, I’m not what he’s looking for in a relationship, you get the picture. I was lost, it was out of the blue. A few months later I found out he was in the hospital and shortly after he came out we re-connected and started dating again. I began educating myself about bipolar disorder and was beginning to recognize the signs and symptoms of depression, mania, etc. We were good, despite him being in a major depression. I tried to make him happy, not stress and helped him when I could. We did have our bad days but we got through them and everything was amazing!!!!!!!!!! We talked about moving in together, sharing a bank account, even marriage. I also started convincing him to take his medication consistently, I had him making doctors appointments and follow ups… I really felt like we made a good team! About a week ago, we broke up. He told me he didn’t feel the same way about me, he only sees me as a friend, we have nothing in common, we are not meant to be in a relationship, I do nothing for him, I don’t want him to succeed, I have done nothing to help him get out of his depression- the list goes on. I couldn’t believe it. I thought every thing was going fine!!! There was no convincing him otherwise, he had made his choice.

    Now I am left here thinking, what did I do wrong? After all the time and effort I put into our relationship, how could he just throw it away? It has been about a week now and he says he is trying to get back on track, doing things that I suggested so many times before, but he never listened. He also says that he has started talking to other girls and can’t wait to see what’s out there- at this point I knew I had to let go. Nothing I could say or do- he is gone. It hurts me to no end, that he does recognize the things I did for him, how I somewhat guided him out of his depression and was willing to be by his side 100% through it all. Leaving me to think that I am truly not good enough.

    As the partner, I have learned that it is out of our control. I applaud and feel sorrow for everyone who has gone through this several times, as it definitely is not easy. I keep thinking that I never want to feel this way again but if the opportunity presents itself, and he comes back to me- I would not hesitate. After all, I cannot blame him.

    Good luck to you all ❤

    • You write my story for sure , but please listen do not go back , i have done it three times with the same man . He dumped me with no reason and three months later moved in with another woman , i belive in a manic episode. One month after thst he wrote u me and wanted to meet , only to tell me how wonderful she was . He texted me 6o texted a day for 6 months even though i told him not to , he said we could make a fresh start , that was never going to happen as i had been in that place twice before . I know u love abd will always love him but his biolar will never stop hurting you , and painful as it seems when if like me u cry yourself to sleep u have no choice for your own sanity to let go . Good luck with moving on , mine been gone 2 years and the pain unbearable .

  63. Thank you, Happygolucky, for your kind words and understanding, and ‘hello’ to all. John broke up with me 2 days prior to Valentine’s day..he accused me of doing sorted things with other men prior to our relationship last summer; totally not true and he said some truly horrible things to hurt me even further about myself. He was still drinking during our breakup, and called me three weeks later because he felt he made a mistake and wanted me in his life. I spoke with him for a few days, we had dinner at his place, i stayed over and again when morning came, I was urged to leave! Imagine waking up to someone, whose words cut you like a knife “Go, leave, I’m trying to be nice…Go, leave”, over and over! I was disoriented once again, tried to grab my things, but in the chaos that he created, left some of my belongings there. He apologized again layer that day, and as far as i knew, we were still in a relationship. I’ve barely spoken to him in weeks. At the beginning of this week, he said he’s sorry for being so distant, it’s mostly the depression and maybe we’ll get together by weeks end. He is sober now, and I’m proud of him..I couldn’t wait to see him at tgr end of this week. And then a couple days later, he hit me up for a loan. I didn’t want to give it to him, but I assured him I’d have it for him on Friday. He wrote up a promissory note and we signed it. And even before he arrived, I felt like I was reduced to nothing more than just being a bank, no longer his girlfriend, just someone to dig him out of the whole he has gotten himself into. I don’t really care if he pays me back or not; I don’t need the money, that’s not the point. It’s how he made me feel. I am a very attractive woman and I have a heart oc gold..I’ve NEVER been treated this way by any man!
    I lost it when I walked him to the door..I told him that it wasn’t fair, waiting, wondering what in the he** is going on??!! He said he promised that we will have a talk. Oh really???!!
    No doubt at his convenience! My mother had a stroke 2 weeks ago..I couldn’t even tell him because I knew that he couldn’t emotionally be there for me!!! I’m best friends with his sister, and she feels horrible for even introducing me to him..she keeps apologizing and it’s not her fault..I love her dearly..I love her whole family; they’re a wonderful family, but he shuts them out too!! She knew I was upset when she called me late this evening. I told her that John and I had a fight, but I didn’t tell her about the money; he’d never forgive me if I did. I’m at my breaking point with him.
    I’m tired of him feeling “numb”, as he put it again this evening. He doesn’t understand that I’m so close to becoming “numb” myself. I’m absolutely disgusted in his behavior and he has no concept of what he has done, and probably won’t even think about it after this evening; probably didn’t even think about once he left me. I don’t worry about him constantly anymore; the not knowing of whether or not he was going to kill himself used to disturb me greatly, but I try to limit the time I devote to thinking about him now. Oh, you know I still love him, but I’m not sure what that really means anymore? I’m just concentrating on my school work and graduating at the end of the summer. That’s all I can do right now, concentrate on the positives in my life. I don’t date at this point, even though I’ve been asked out quite a few times. I don’t care to see anyone new..no telling what problems they may have. I’m just going to focus on me.
    Yes, I’m hurt, but I’m strong; I’ll get over this, and his absence will help me reach the point of indifference. I won’t care anymore as time goes on, and I will forgive, but I won’t forget. It’s sad really, isn’t it? You put so much of yourself into something and no matter how perfect you are in the relationship, no matter how much this person we love feels were perfect for them, they ruin it, they push us away. They discard us as though we never mattered, leaving us to wonder if what we had together was really real. And we will probably never know and he didn’t want to close the book, didn’t want to say goodbye, he left me hanging, as he always does. It’ll be alright, I’ll be alright, we’ll all be alright.

  64. Thanks Happygoluck and hi to all. Robin and I broke up two and half months ago and I nearly lost my own mind and the hurt has been brutal. We were dating for 8 months and he is one of the most giving, loving people I have met. I noticed odd behaviour’s through out the relationship but ignored it (fast paced, high sex drive, displays of fear, does not drive a car at the age of 38, in the morning I would leave his place to go back to my place he was say I don’t want you go (which I though was cute but the strangest of all was with a pair of shoes he would not let me take home. I packed my suit one morning and he took my shoes and turned his back with them and put my shoes under his bed. I said I need those shoes as they go with this suit but he ignored me and I realised he wants to keep them so I left them and though that was so odd. Three days he took the shoes out of his ward rope and said babe you left your shoes here. I thought no I didn’t you took them from me but I said to him that’s right I did). He told me at the age of 16 he was in bed for six months suffering exhaustion, his mother has bipolar, he is a poor sleeper and at times has dilated pupils. When Robin met my aunt for the first time I noticed the look in her face of concern and I wondered what had happened. My aunt was married to her husband for 40 years who had bipolar. She saw it in Robin straight away but did not say anything to me until I went to her in so much pain, in tears and shock after he ended our relationship. He said to me there is a blocker that is fundamental to the relationship that can’t be fixed. What do you mean I said. We have spent just about every night together and it’s you that calls me when you are getting home from work to know when I will be coming over. I had met his family and closet friends only a weeks before and I thought all was well. There were no signs that we were going to break up. We spent a week together on a holiday together and I felt close to him that ever before. All appears to be going really well and then out of no where he ended it. I thought he would come back by now. He hand delivered (he lived around the corner from my aunt) a letter to my aunt that he was sorry to say that Richard and I are not longer together) and how special, beautiful and how lucky he was to meet me. Reading this letter I thought why are you doing this? No contact from me or him occurred after this letter until early March, He sent me an email at 11.25pm wishing me a happy birthday and wishing me well, he noted it was 6 weeks since we’ve spoken and that he was sorry for not making contact during this time but thought the best thing was to give us space and time. The next morning he texted 8.14am letting me know he sent the email and wishing me a happy birthday. I replied with a thank you and take care to his email. There was no mention of my belongings (bike, work clothes, hair products, after shave items etc). It’s odd behaviour he has not mentioned or returned my belongings to me or my aunt who lives around the corner…….

  65. I and my husband was been married for 10 years, he has bipolar, he left me and the kids for 2 years, To God be the glory, i was lucky o come across a spiritualist (Robinson buckler) when i was surfing in the internet, i told him my issues and he said he will solve my problem and i did all he asked me to do and after some days, my husband contacted me not only that, my husband is back now and he has been cured from this bipolar disorder by Robinson buckler, he is perfectly alright now, i don’t know Robinson buckler did what he did but i will always remain grateful as long as live and i won’t stop sharing this comment. if you have Bipolar or you need your lover back contact email;robinson.buckler@yahoo. com ,

  66. This is a really great article!! I stumbled across it as my boyfriend has depression and we are currently in the middle of a depressive episode and all he wants me to do is go away and leave him alone. On Monday he was all loveable and cuddly but come Friday (today) it’s the complete opposite. Of course going away is the last thing I want to do when I know he is struggling. His family live 3 hours away and he doesn’t have a large social network at university so I try to see him once or twice a week (sure I’d love more but I don’t want to be too pushy) and all I really do is sit in his room with him while he plays computer games with a couple of friends over Internet, and to be honest I’m perfectly okay with that! This article has given me confidence that he and I can pull through this, I’m definitely bookmarking it so I can re-read when I need advice/confidence boosting! Thanks so much!

  67. My best friend is bipolar, and I think he is trying to break up our friendship.I have very strong feelings for him, my feelings for him may be stronger than his feelings for me, but I know how much he likes me too, as he has shown this many times. Today I received a message from him, in the form of a song, the song’s lyrics indicating that he does not love me anymore. He has communicated through songs before, and I am fine with that. He has also sent love songs before, but this one hit very hard, as we have just had very nice video alls and chat sessions together, just a couple of days ago. I read your article, and I would definitely do this, however he lives in Europe and I live in the US. We have known each other for almost 16 months, and chatted and video called each other a lot, and shared so much, sometimes for many hours, but not yet met physically. I cannot be physically present as you described in your article. Is there any chance of anything I can do with means of chat or video calls, anything so I don’t lose him??? I love him very much.

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  70. I am the bipolar one in my relationship. Interestingly enough, my partner is the one who exhibits all of those symptoms and has applied rules that i must abide by thus giving him carte blanche to do whatever he wants. Right now, I am supposed to be giving him space while the one thing I need is his support. I tend to apologize for everything and adopt his rules because I feel I have caused so many problems. Now what?

    • Relationships are about both sides giving (and taking too). Compromise and all that. Being bipolar doesn’t get you out of the basics of what a relationship is, it only adds in more things about which both partners have to discuss, understand, and come up with a working solution for.

      If one partner in a relationship is bipolar, that confers no special rights or privileges or leeway to EITHER partner. All it means is that a different working solution needs to be found that both partners are happy with. And the working solutions change with time, because relationships change with time, and because the symptoms of bipolar disorder change with time.

      If one person is making rules alone, without giving in return, then some things the relationship may be one way instead of two way. This is a relationship issue, and it doesn’t matter if anyone is bipolar or not, it’s not healthy.

      Here’s the simple rule of thumb. If you think there is a problem, then there is a problem.

      In your case, where the bipolar issues come into play is how you are handling the situation. Have you caused so many problems because of your mood swings? Was that in the past? Why do you need the feel to apologise for that now? Were rules made in the past to help with your behaviour then no longer working now for you? Are the rules just made up by your partner because he wanted them? Have you spoken to your partner about this? Has he listened / paid attention to what you are saying?

      I’m not criticising you – hopefully I’m showing you that things don’t have to be in a way that makes you less happy / less comfortable than you’d like – (if you didn’t get that, well, I know I’m a terrible counselor, sorry).

      What do you do next? I’d say that you should trust yourself first. You aren’t required to accept things you don’t like when it’s not part of a loving / sharing relationship and all the compromises therein. After that? Harder to say – depends on how your partner responds. But starting with “I’m not happy about…., and I like to talk with you about how we could change it” isn’t a bad place to start.

      Getting support also doesn’t hurt either. Perhaps even before you talk with your partner. It could be a close friend or friends, or you could check out your therapist if you have one, or someone who deals in relationships, or your priest / rabbi / etc.

      But perhaps you should do something, for yourself.

      • Actually that helped a lot. It’s good to hear a perspective that is both understanding and constructively critical. The rules are made up as we go along. I apologize for everything but I always have my whole life. Working on that. But also he hasn’t done his own homework. For the record I have found in meeting other bipolar people (I’m actually now participating in a great outpatient program that is so incredible that I wish I had found it sooner) that direct statements work best. Ambiguous drawn out things don’t work. So your advice was perfect for me.

  71. Thanks for this post. I’ve been talking to/seeing a man who is very depressed and found this site while doing research about how to support. Unfortunately, I am specifically looking for how to support someone long distance but it just doesn’t sound doable from what I read here. I am not bipolar (neither is he) but the post resonates with me. When I was depressed, I didn’t have the energy to do anything, I wouldn’t even shower for days. I was not responding to texts or calls and didn’t think about how people would feel about me ignoring them. My ex-boyfriend passed away and it weighing so heavily on me, all I cared about was sleep the days away hoping that the feeling disappears when I wake up because it was very difficult to go to work. I simply didn’t have the energy.. which is why I’m able to empathize with the man I’m talking to (although his is for a different reason). This does not mean that the depressed person is acting like this intentionally. However, it is still the other person’s decision whether he can handle this situation or not.

  72. Please help….I don’t know what happened in my relationship..but SO MUCH of this resonates with me.

    My ex (we broke up yesterday), was my BEST FRIEND for 9 years through the years and distance. After what seemed like fate, we reconnected recently a few months ago and sparks flew immediately. We admitted we had feelings for each other over the years and that he had always loved me and compared his interests to me and my character. Over the years, we had always confided in each other with the deepest of things and genuinely encouraged and supported the other. Looking back on the messages a few months ago..i realized we really cared for each other profoundly.
    We fell in love quickly and deeply and he was the one pursuing and leading the relationship. Due to some regulations in our jobs..he’s military..he was willing to get out ASAP just to be with me. He had been doing this the last few months..doing everything in his power to get out by December 30th because it was not only his dream…but he knew this was the only way for us to be together openly and asap. I am currently abroad for work for the last 1.5 months(and we were long distance anyways in the relationship), but i noticed a change in him. I noticed in the last 1.5 week, he distant and preoccupied. He was not the thoughtful, invested person he was just recently-not even my best friend anymore. He had told me JUST a few days prior how in love he was with me and i was the reason he was making these changes for (of course for his future, but i was the catalyst…otherwise he woud’ve waited another year or so and not pushed to get out of the military).
    I brought up the fact that i felt his distance and that he was pushing me away. He admitted that he was depressed and then I said that maybe i needed space too so it didnt affect me..one thing led to another and we were skyping.
    He’s been trying to separate since he’s military so we could be together and also since his dream was to finish college. It’s been hard since they haven’t give him orders and he’s been super stressed since if they do it last minute he’ll have to get an apartment,find a job,etc within like 2 weeks.anyways..he’s been very distant the last 2 weeks and pushed me away but wanted to be in a relationship..it hurt me so we got into more and more fights.he admitted that he’s had depression..hasn’t been working out,going out, been very negative and eating junk food-he’s a health freak.anyways,for the last 2 months and up to last Saturday he told me how in love he was with me,that he would drop his dream job for me, etc. and yesterday although I brought up maybe getting space and starting to feel indifferent because he’s been so distant ..he started saying “you’re right” I’m not right for you,you deserve better.” and mentioned that he wasn’t happy.etc..I stopped him and said no..if this is what you want you do it since you’ve been distant.anyways..he said maybe his feelings changed and he didn’t want it and he’s been very distracted and down and that I didn’t help. He told me if I were the right person I would’ve helped him change how he feels and brought the best out of him. So since I didn’t change how he feels I maybe am not right for him.he completely changed from what he had told methat he wasn’t in love anymore, just about 3 days after he told me he was falling head over heels for me –and we’ve known each other for so long..I’m so confused.i know it was stressful but what do you think happened?
    He started crying at the end and said he’s never loved or felt this way about anyone and that’s why it’s hardest and he’s never hurt this much. I’ve never been this confused or heartbroken. He also said he never wanted to put his job before me but that without even getting there that even the pursuit of his job he put before me but that he did. He said i deserve better…I just don’t get it. Is this indicative that he truly fell out of love with me in a matter of a few days…or maybe never really loved me? it seemed so final for a man who called me the love of his life, told me our lovestory was something out of fairytales and one who I have KNOWN so deeply as a friend–an intimate friend before dating.

    I just don’t know what he has told me what is BS may be an excuse…like the “you deserev better..” line. I’m heartbroken and don’t know what to do and although I know he has struggled with depression in the past…I just feel hurt and like he is blaming me. I don’t know if we can be friends right away although he hinted at seeing me soon in December when he would be near my town. Any thoughts would be very appreciated. I lost my best friend and although I know I came of as needy (especially not understanding until it was too late that he was so depressed), I”m wondering if it was over in his heart and he happened to be depressed or it takes over and makes other’s judgement clouded. Basically, from what I have said…does it seem like there is any hope? He made it seem final immediately, like deleting a couples’s app that we had just for us and changing his FB profile the second we hung up while breaking up since I am currently out of the country.
    I NEED ADVICE.

    Thank you

    • U need to remember, Bipolar is a mood disorder and that the smallest thing can switch your partner from head over heels in love with you to feeling low and wanting to be alone there is an insecurity that unwittingly pushes the partner away for fear of losing them , rather then being the one to be pushed away.The switch in their minds at the time can be instant , leaving the partner wondering what is happening. I speak from experience. after 4 years being pulled from pillar to post and being picked up and put down by him so many times. Its the illness that has control of him and i dont know wether your partner had had a positive diagnosis as Bipolar people only go to docs when down and not in the manic excitable time when everything great and dandy.Mine was undiagnosed and in the end i had to let him go as he nearly cost me my life. Your relationshjp will never change with this man as the illness takes hold. And u wont want to hear this as i did not as i loved my from the bottom of my heart and still do. But u better if out as u will end up in bits unable to cope. i became very depressed as lots of the time he said it all.my fault, i nearly lost my job as a i had a breakdown. There is a book called When someone u love is Bipolar by Cynthia Last it helped me understand about Bipolar and the way the petson thinks and acts.Truly if you want to stay sane and have a stable life stay clear of Bipolar it will not change , i know u love him and it hurts but it is the only way.The man underneath.it all i am sure is the man u.feel.in.love with , in a stable mood , i was the same, but the ollness encapsulates them and its like walking on eggshells all the time. Julie.

      • I know he has depression not sure if its bipolar or not…this is the first time in 10 years after he had depression last time that i have seen him so low. Would that mean none of it was real then? the relationship i mean.

      • r u sure it was just depresson bcos what u describe is ringing true in my ears. Read up abit on the Biopolar website and if it all sounds familiar it will come clear. Thst is how reality kicked in for me. People can simetimes seen fine for years then the mood disorder kicks in and things rapidly change. Check it out and i think things will bevome aparent.

      • The relationship may well be real but his ability to cope with close relationshop and his mental illness may well have become just to.much and part of the illness is the major ups and downs exagerated twice what u or i may feel as if u can call it less mentally troubled.

  73. Hi everyone,

    Let me just say that I have NEVER posted on an online forum before, but after reading this post and the replies, I feel like I need to get this out. I have been in a 10 year relationship with the love of my life. We lived in the honeymoon phase for over 7 years. When we moved in together it was when he had lost his house and his mother became homeless. This has made us feel so guilty and helpless. He has been showing signs of depression for quite some time now. It’s so difficult to retrain your brain to be able to count on someone to being basically alone and having to “stay strong.” I will never feel with anyone the way I do for him. I’ve never had a love like this. He’s so used to losing, family, memories, etc, that I will not be added to the list. I get blamed a lot. Nothing I do is right. It’s like all of the reasons he fell for me are what he resents now. I can’t forget all of the things he’s said to me. All of the hurt. I want him despite everything. He has developed OCD (a means of control since he feels like he can’t control anything else, in my opinion). I walk on eggshells most of the time and if I don’t do something the way he likes it, he gets very upset. My self-esteem wasn’t the best before we met, but I find myself blaming myself before he can get around to it. Beating him to the punch. This has given him even more reasons to be angry with me. He says he’s “ruined” me. Makes me feel shitty. The person who once called me his everything, has reduced me to nothing. I battle with this being who he IS and him just being lazy and giving into the supposed “inevitable.” It would kill me to walk away only to realize that I just needed to try harder. I won’t let that happen. It’s SO difficult trying to figure out how to act, how to feel. When I am there for him unconditionally, I fear he starts to see me as a doormat and not a “woman.” I don’t want him to fall out of love with me. I don’t want to lose myself in all of this. He doesn’t have anywhere to go if we broke up, he doesn’t drive either. I feel responsible for his well-being. I’ve tried everything. I’ve detached, I’ve clung closer, acted nonchalant, given him ways out, offered to help get him on his feet so he can live his own life. I have fears that he stays only because he has no other options and can’t do it alone. He calls it “survival.” Really makes me feel like shit since I went from the best thing that ever happened to him to someone he endures because he has no other easy options. Intimacy is non-existent unless it’s for his benefit and I feel so undesirable. I have confidence. I know what I have to offer. It just really throws you for a loop when the man that was once so affectionate and loving, can flip completely and barely touch me (OCD). Despite all of this, he is what I want. I know deep down I am what he wants, but I feel like it’s easier for him to detach and just live without abandon. I feel like I am wasting away to nothing, and this is because I can admit that I am a co-dependent person. I’ve always had one special person in my life that I’ve clung to. Whether it be a best friend, or person, and now him. I know my issues and I hate that I feel so pathetic. I am a very passionate and affectionate person and it literally pains me to not touch/be touched, in any way. I want him to feel better, and I know he wants it too, I just don’t know how to stay strong and hang in there. I’m lost. We live in a small, one bedroom apartment and I can’t detach my feelings. I just wish he would make up his mind about what he wants and make the moves to get it. If I’m not it, I’d like to be told that. When I ask him about how he feels like he can’t do it on his own so he stays with me, and he says that he’s “comfortable” with me. I get being comfortable with someone, but I want to be wanted. I don’t want to be someone that another person settles for. Time is ticking away and everything we built seems non-existent now. Marriage, kids, a home…all of it.

  74. The hardest part is separating the depression from the person. When to know when they are speaking from who they really are and when it is coming from a depressed state. It’s so confusing. He is worth it all. Everything I have to give. I have faith that things will get better, but it’s so hard to not feel like you’re in it alone.

  75. To begin with, I really enjoyed the article. Well-written. My situation played out exactly as you wrote this article. I am new to bipolar disorder. My ex-fiance has that, depression, anxiety (takes one med for this only) and PTSD. I wish I could say that parting ways was all that was needed in my case. I’m 54, and my ex-fiance is 52 and has been dealing with his mental health issues for the last 20-30 years per him. He was on meds for 10 yrs but suddenly quit all of them., which was before I ever entered the picture. I do realize you can’t make an adult see the doctor or take meds normally speaking. I was in nursing in the past. Just that mental health was not my specialty. He didn’t like the side effects of the meds like lethargy, weight gain, etc. He made that decision without consulting his psychiatrist, who was very upset at what he. He has been seeing the same psychiatrist during the same 20-30 years as well, but not as regularly as others do…once every couple of months for a few years he told me. He told me he can feel depression and mania coming on and is able to control it by himself, no meds or counseling needed as a rule.

    As for my situation presently, we have been friends some time. In Sept 2016, he approached me and wanted to begin a romantic relationship which soon became an engagement. He even called me his “wife”. All was fine as the article so accurately described. About one and a half months into the relationship, he began telling me how “toxic” he was, how no good he was, all that he touches is destroyed, he doesn’t need to be loved or needed, he doesn’t need anyone to love, etc. All very negative and sometimes mean words would come out of his mouth. He kept trying to sabotage us by constantly telling me this and ‘warning” me to find another cause. He would show me he was right…give it time. When I asked him to explain what he meant by “warning” and what the problem is that I need to be careful of was, he got angry and went around the questions. Also, he stated that around the first week of November 2016, he felt a depressive episode coming, and if telling the truth, he is still in it as I write. For the next two months going into December that just finished, he went from bad to worse. He claims he is going in the “hole”…it’s safer. Stated it keeps others from being hurt by him since he is “toxic” and “destruction” and other self-bashing words. Stated that he is going to show the world who he is. He is DONE…had enough.

    The next part blew me away. He began in mid November to present accusing me of having a “hidden agenda” and was “using him as a tool…a means to an end”. I asked what it was, he could not or would not tell me, but God showed him just in time. I was so stunned. His last “tirade”, if u will, was on this December 27th. On Christmas Eve, he was “normal”…talking in his regular, loving way with me, telling me that he will never let me go, is afraid I will let him go, stating how much he love me, and so on. December 27th, HE let me go. The real shocking part is this: Originally, when I moved from Southern California to Utah, it was to be for a short time until he got better per him. He decided to fly me from Utah to temporarily stay with a friend of mine in Indiana. I asked him when he might come get me because I need to be out of her apartment by this January 15 (now 2 weeks away). The plan was for him to drive from North Carolina to Indiana, get me, drive to Utah to get some of my things I had to temporarily leave behind, and then swing down to Southern California to get my dogs (who were being watched by a family member, who later stated she could not watch them past December 8th and he knew that…I told him). Well, folks, December 27th, as I said, HE let me go. I NEVER left him. He has accused me of leaving him already (how unknown and he never said) as well as having a “hidden agenda”. He promised he would never let me go because he loved me and because he had a boundary that he kept. He said his psychiatrist agreed with him about why he wouldn’t cross that boundary. Well, I lost my dogs of 10+ years because he broke his word to me. He didn’t come and get me as planned and promised, which was originally around Thanksgiving but his depression took hold. He doesn’t even care to this day what happens to me. Worse yet, he has now left me stranded in Indiana. He has no intention of coming now to get me. I am in a state where I only know one person and have no place to stay. No money. He has left me in a serious bind. I made plans according to what we talked about and he promised to me. He had promised marriage and that he didn’t want me getting an apartment in Indiana because my next move was to be to him in North Carolina. I am not sure how much of this is truly related to bipolar disorder and how much, if any, is just him being the asshole that he claims he is. He brags about how he is an “asshole” in general and to me.

    This is a side I have never seen until it smacked me upside the head just a few days ago. I have given a condensed version. I didn’t include a lot of mean, almost evil, things he said to me. He seems to hate women due to abuse from childhood and bad adult relationships. Says we women are poison, vengeful, have no limits especially when we are angry, like to use men, and many other disparaging words about women. I feel that he has projected all of this hatred for his abusers onto me suddenly. Furthermore, he claims to be a Christian. Said that God told him to leave me and focus on his walk with God. No sale here. I’m a Christian and that is frankly not Biblical. He originally stated that he believed God brought us together. Now, he is using God as his authority and reason for leaving me. He claims he is destined to “walk alone”, in spite of the fact that I was in the picture and loved him. But, he told me many time he just wanted to be loved and not be alone. Yet, he treated me here in the end as though I was invisible and made unilateral decisions that effect me now quite adversely. He also went back to smoking cigarettes and pot, both of which he quit before me, and claims it’s due to stress. I am aware that pot can worsen his bipolar symptoms, especially since he is off meds.

    As for daily living, he goes to work daily and doesn’t miss a beat, goes on business trips by plane, and seems to make “nice” with others insofar as work goes (keeps it work-related per him). Beyond work, I am not sure. According to him, all he can manage are these four things while currently depressed: church, home (doing chores inside/outside), work, and the gym. No mention of me. He has told me that coworkers have asked him, “What the f-ck is your problem?” on more than one occasion. At times, he has told me how he tells his boss to “get the f-ck out of my office.”As for anger, he has a hair trigger on that, along with major road rage. We used to talk on the phone while he drove into work, which took about 30 mins one-way. I was able to glean some things from our talks in the morning. He sleeps very little and wakes up during the night after about four hours of sleep at time. Plus, he doesn’t eat much. Claims not much of an appetite.

    Regarding what’s causing this, I am not sure how much of this is truly related to bipolar disorder and how much, if any, is just him. He also brags about how he is an “asshole” in general and to me. This is a side I have never seen from him until it smacked me upside the head just a few days ago. He told me on the 27th that he was going back in the “hole” and staying there and that God wants him to isolate and protect others from being hurt by him. He doesn’t either see that this behavior and his words are hurting me or he doesn’t care. He stated he is also “comfortably numb” to people and life. Additionally, he stated that he is preparing to “disappear” and cut off all communication with people while he tries to get straightened out. I am now left out in the cold with two weeks to find a living situation, a job, and money, or I am on the street thanks to his behavior and choices.

    Lastly, since he has been acting differently, I have been doing a lot of bipolar reading. Plus, I have talked with three people who deal currently with a bipolar family member. I get mixed reactions. One thinks he calculated this, he is playing his “bipolar card”, and ultimately is being an “asshole”. The other two think it’s really his bipolar disorder coming out since he is unmedicated and refusing to see his psychiatrist now. If true, I don’t know what the triggers would be. I really did love him and did not leave him. He left me after telling me he never would do that. He also told me to not believe his words when he is in a “bipolar mind”. Reality trumps his “bipolar mind” right now, however. Reality is I’m stranded and soon to be homeless, bipolar or not. I would like some feedback. I don’t know if he will contact me again. Past behavior from 2-3 wks ago suggests he will. But, this time he told me to delete all contact info for him and toss all pictures of him. I am befuddled. I sent a “Happy New Year” message to him. That’s it; nothing more. He didn’t even answer back to that. Any thoughts on this? Any suggestions for me regarding him? Any suggestions regarding the situation am I now placed in because of him? Do I believe the words he spoke to me about our relationship? Should I take it that we are done or will he forget this soon and come back without even remembering this? Thanks for reading and listening.

    • I been in this place , heard it all. Its all so familiar neverp going to get better. His Bipolar controlling him. And will destroy u mentally as mine did. i am sorry to be harsh but for your sanity put your feelings aside finish the relationship unless u are happy to live in the roth of the rollercoster.It will never improve u live in hope it will bcos of your feelings but reality not going to happen. Mine desyroyed me mentally and my live will never be the same. Sorry but its the truth. Julie

    • lisals

      I agree with Julie. Like you, once I found out about the bipolar I read up on it as much as I could. I still do. I found this site and read the articles and many comments left by people just like me. Different in someways but all the same as to are looking for answers to find that “hope” that things will somehow be better if I knew and understood the illness.

      Well, for me I’m still trying to understand it. Although when others say.. leave, run, you are better off..it’s true. I didn’t want to do that. So I gave it my all. I got burned. He did the “i will never leave you”. “I’m scared to lose you” He wasn’t taking his meds like he should and I never saw him see a psychiatrist. You can’t make someone get help if they think they don’t need it or that they have it under control. He turned his back on me when I needed him the most. He said he’s be there. I got the, you don’t even love me, you’re cheating on me. In the end we had an argument and I was asked to leave. Never talked fully about it. I’ve learned that he now is in love with a new woman. Weeks after our abrupt ending. Will he ever come back in my life. I don’t know. My soul was crushed.. is crushed. If anything, yes guard your heart. See the warning signs, the red flags. People with bipolar and any mental illness deserve to be loved.. that was the hope and concept I held on to. However If they aren’t taking care of their own mental health it’s not our job to force them to. Take care of yourself lisals. You have a lot going on and you’ve sacrificed a lot. As I did. I wish the best for you. Stay strong.

      Ricki

  76. Hello! Going through a similar situation and just read this and it’s almost flawless! Thank you so much!
    If you can email me your answer? My question is that everything about going to see her and be non confrontational and neutral and nice… but what do I have to do when I’m not physically present with her?? Just not text her or call her because she won’t reply? Or text her and call her about neutral stuff? How do I know I’m overdoing it? Like how do I know how frequent to see her and text her?

  77. Very insightful. My story is similar. I never truly been in love. I met my ex biploar 1 he was medicated and had therapy. I didn’t know what bipolar was when he told me. Anyway we ha so much fun together. I got so scared a few times of my own feelings for him. He broke up with me out of blue on New Year’s Day. He missed his meds the night before and we were heading to his house and he told me
    He didn’t love me and he wanted to break up as we were walking down the stairs. I was in shock. I loved him with all my heart and we were close. Long story short I can relate to eveyone on here. It’s been month and two weeks. We spoken very little mostly on my end becuse at the time
    I don’t understand so I was emotional wreck. I have tone extensive research on this and I guess I am just wondering if he will every contact me again. He said he’s more then happy to talk in a few months but he just wants to focus on himself and he said he thinks I’ll study more for my interviews if he’s not around. He told me there no one else but he also didn’t promise me we get back together. He just said we talk about us being friends or see if there anything there. He was stable but week leading up too it he wasn’t sleeping well and he just changed medication. nye he was so excited to see me and really wanted get intimate. I noticed when we were he was having sex but it wasn’t with me. It was like a weird look in his eye. I just remember him being so sexually charged. We went to the party and had fun and he wanted to go home early but I didn’t want too I realized after all my research having good diet, proper bedtime routine, vitmins, and zen environment helps. I wasn’t helping with my partying ways. He started a new job and me being deprelessed form losing my job I think was the trigger.

    My ex he is wonderful. I wa so hurt when we broke up bc I didn’t understand and I was confused how one min he loved me and the next he didn’t. Even when he was breaking up with me he still was nice about it. He was still polite he didn’t want to touch me or anything but he hasn’t been mean to me at all. I love him with all my heart and I miss him. I just hope he is okay. I never felt heartbreak until now. After the research I have done and we’re coming up on two months of us not talking I wondering what I want. I love him I care about him but maybe friendship is what I can offer and be there for him in that. When we were together I helped him with a lot of stuff I looked up his meds and got him on good vitamins, and I started making dinners at home and he ate what I ate I eat very healthy paleo and he lost 15 pounds with me. He quit smoking cigarettes. He was so in love with me and truly happy. His whole family told me that I made him
    Happy and they haven’t seen him this happy in years. He made me happy too, I don’t date much not becuse I’m not attractive, I can get a boyfriend if I wanted but I just always focused on my career and my friends. My ex he taught me there more to life then work. He taught me about love what it really means to love someone. I never knew what it was. I’m 31 and he’s 24 but he knew more about it then I did. He was like the old man in the relationship and I was kid. I’d always be partying and he be sleeping in my bed in my apartment while I was out. Often times I wouldn’t even get home until 3 am but he there. He never tell me I couldn’t go out, he never tell I needed to be home at time.
    He let me be me I have ADHD and I need that freedom. When someone gives me my freedom I would never do anything to jerpdize that. I trusted him and he trusted me. I was just very social person and I have a lot of friends and I wanted to go out but he never held against me. He come out with me but usually head home early.
    He always tell me he loved me and I was beautiful. it made me uncomfortable for while I didn’t like this feeling building up inside of me.
    I would be afraid sometimes of my feelings and I would leave his house in the middle of the night becuse it was too real I was afraid to like him and what if we didn’t work out, I wouldn’t know what to do with myself. Anyway we didn’t work and I’m still standing. Humans we have so much strength and I know there are days I am crying and can’t get out bed but I also know we are resliant and this too shall pass.

    I want him back I do I truly do, I love him but I also care about him, maybe only way I can help him is if I am a friend instead. I don’t want my life ruined and what this break up out of the blue mentally fucked me up and emotionally fucked me up. I know everyday I am getting better but there moments when the emtions come back and pain in your chest actually hurts and tears come rolling down. I mostly just feel sad about illness how unfair it is for both parties and how cruel the world can be that this illness takes away really amazing beautiful people. I love Sam and part of me always will. As for what I am going to do or decide I think I might need another month before we can talk. I need to be emotionally strong in all aspects of my life and I am def making progress with therapy snd ctb therapy. This break up made me take a look at myself and realize there are things I need to work on. I don’t want to be with him if I am not as strong as I can be and right now I am not.

    After everything I have read if he and I decide we should talk and decide to be friend or back together I would do a lot of thing differently.
    Things I read if your partner is willing I know he is I would do the following.
    — I would def go to therapy with my partner
    –I would also seek out meet up Group or support group,
    –I would also get my partner to find another biploar person so they have someone to talk about thing with mental illness is hard and being stuck in your own head can be scary and you can lose yourself.
    I have another friend who is and I think it would be good have support in fining another person who is sometimes it helps with coping.
    –I would make sure we had regular bedtimes
    –cut out sugar is big trigger and man did he love his sugar.
    –cut back on drinking and smoking pot (mostly for me also trigger for bp)
    –I would make house more zen like minimalist like becuse it helps me with my ADHD. If there too much stuff or clutter it gets overwhelming for bp and ADHD
    –he needs to see ctb therapist
    — partner and you need to come with with things. i.e. I feel I am not in the state today or I think we should head home I’m not feeling ideal or whatever it could be a keyword i.e. Ice cream only you two know what it means but then you know you need to leave. This would require you two talking about it and them Opening up about symptoms.
    –both of you should keep emotions journal. Talk about feelings of the day and also triggers or things this way your partner has one and you have one on your own to keep yourself sane and also check in with yourself and also keep track of partner as well.

    This seems like a lot butike
    Many said it’s a life long illness but treatable and possible to have healthy relationship if bp person is willing to do the work and get treatment. My ex he medicated and has therapist. I just didn’t know the extent of his
    Illbess not until after we broke up.

    I want to be with him I do but part of me is thinking I love his man and I care about him so much maybe to really love him I should just be his friend and that way I can help him with other obesticles or support if he should ever need it.

    Anyway this had been hardest 6 weeks. I stopped smoking and I have officially have drinken in a month. I’m sure I’ll have glass of wine here and there but I done with smoking. I read all of these are triggers.

    Anyway sorry I’m rambling I come and look up stuff when I am missing him becuse it conforts me knowing I’m not alone in this feeling.

    I love him with all my heart and I know deep down even if he is stuck in his mind he is he loves me too. It’s just a feeling I have and I use to tell myself it was fake but it doesn’t shake. My heart tightens when I think of him or say his name it physically sometimes just really aches.
    I miss Sam and I miss how we use to sing our good morning song. song from singing in the rain “good morning good morning, we talked the whole night through, good morning to you”
    I miss the little things, I miss his presence, I blue eyes. I miss riding the ferry with him and taking ceramics class together on Thursday’s. I miss making him dinners. I miss washing his clothes and folding them. everyday was a good day becuse he was next to me. I am just sad but also thankful I got to learn what love was and experience it and it helped me realize what I want.
    One thing about bp people why people get so hooked is that they mirror or show us and give us the love that we have been really wanting what most humans want and that is very powerful even if they have mental illness. eveyone is hurting on here becuse they felt it. I never felt so loved then I did with him.
    They say love can make you crazy maybe all of have a little bit of the craziness.

    This is so out of order I’m rambling now ha ha ADHD brain anyway good night all and I hope all of you found some peace for achy hearts.

    I love you sam!

    Always squash

  78. “do not water the plants” ?!?!??? I’m sorry, but no. Plants are LIVING CREATURES. Just like abusing/neglecting a pet or child, if you are too depressed to take care of your house plants, you are torturing a living creature and impairing its ability to live.
    Yeah it might seem rude to start doing your partner’s laundry, but DO keep an eye on their obligations that involve ACTUAL LIVES AND RESPONSIBILITIES THAT ARE LIFE AND DEATH SERIOUS. Just because plants don’t move around and make noise like animals doesn’t mean they’re not alive and actively functioning organisms that need water and other forms of care. Please read a biology textbook before giving such horrific advice.

    Also: “The cleaning up feels like criticism to us – that we are not doing a good job. Your partner will not appreciate your being “helpful” otherwise.”
    So not true. My partner and I both live with depression and bipolar, and this is not good advice at all. Yeah it might hurt your feelings to see someone else straighten up your messes when you’re too sick to even move, but a depressed person needs a habitable space over their pride staying intact. Living in a sty is NOT going to help us feel better, and if we’re unable to take the garbage out, but also too sick to ask for help, then by all means help us take care of ourselves and our space if you are able to. It’s better to not allow people to wallow in their own filth. Feeling shame that your house is messy is a common human experience; being depressed and/or bipolar is not.

  79. Pingback: How To Know When Your Marriage Is Falling Apart | Information

  80. Hello,

    I jut recently came upon this site because I wanted answers as to why my husband has these episodes and thoughts. This article was spot on. Although I keep reading other articles that make me question if this is even bipolar depression that he has…
    We got met each other when we were 18. He is my first love and only. I’ve always knew that he had a hard time communicating every time we would fight, but that’s really like any relationship. One wants to discuss the situation and one doesn’t. It can get frustrating but we would get through it it never addressing the problem at hand again and it would always come back. I am a very emotional person and cry a lot (which doesn’t help). He later joined the army and was overseas in 2010. He has seen things that I don’t dare to ask. He was diagnosed with PTSD but we never thought much of it, which was bad. He would get angry easily and it would fall on me. He started working on that and it did get a little better but it would still happen.

    We got married when we were 23. We got our own place and we also got a dog. After a while everything seemed fine. He has always been the type to want change in his life. He would hop from job to job or want to switch cars now and again. I would realize that he just never would be happy with what he had and seemed to always want more. He is also a very impulsive buyer. If he sees or thinks of something he likes, he would go online and search it right alway and spend all day thinking about it. Again we would still get those fights where I cry and he shuts down, he doesn’t communicate with me and we would ignore each other for days but I would always be the one to approach him and we would end up working it out again. The very first time I noticed that something had to be wrong was when we had a fight over the dishes and it ended up with him telling me the next day that he was going to move to another State. A very random state too. He said he had already checked our homes online and applied for jobs there. I couldn’t believe that our fight would have ever lead to that. I gave him time to think but I remained in the house and we would avoid each other and would sleep I. Seperste rooms. We had no contact for a week and then one day I decided I was going to cook him his favorite food and text him to let him know (while in the same house) that I love him and that if moving away is really what he wants then I had to let him do it. I asked him to not give up on us and give us one more chance. He then came downstairs and acted like nothing happened. He spoke to me and asked if I ate yet and we just statutes having conversation again. We never discussed it again and everything was going good. Until our hugest fight which was in October of last year. I was just having a very stressful day and was nagging a lot about cleaning the house and one day he got fed up and snapped. I gave him his space, hoping that would help but it didn’t. I came to talk to him and apologize but he snapped at me and said “I’m done, I’m done” and told me to go away and leave him alone. I wouldn’t and asked him what’s wrong. He started getting his keys and walked towards the door. I grabbed him and tried to tell him to stay and he pulled back and eventually left. I felt like a fool for begging and pulling him like a maniac. I was ashamed of myself for going that far. So I texted him later on that day and apologized for the way I was acting and said I love him. He replied with something that took me off guard. He said truthfully he had been unhappy with our marriage for years and I would keep saying things to drag him back in. I asked him why did he stay for so long if he felt that way. He said he would feel sorry for me and stay, knowing that he was going to be unhappy. When he said that, really had to push myself to move on cause my relationship was based on a lie. I hated him. He was just this evil person to me. Why would he stay in a relationship he was unhappyy with? I then moved out and took our dog and stayed with my parents. After a week from me moving out, he would text me and ask what I was doing this weekend and asked if we could have dinner. I said yes but I had so much hate for him I didn’t want to but I needed closure and I wanted to know what he wanted. In my mind it could go either way. He wants to give me divorce papers or he wanted to get back together.

    When I met up with him at our house, it was a complete mess. He looked miserable and was drinking. He told me how fucked up he felt about the situation and he said he didn’t know why he said all that and that they weren’t true. We both cried and hugged each other and he said he loved me. I moved back in and we were so in love. We could not take our hands off each other and he was a being the best. We had a moment where we hugged each other and was talking about the situation. He told me he loved me so much and to promise to never leave him again. I told him to never put me through that again and that was the most heart breaking thing he had ever put me through. I still don’t know why he even said he was unhappy with our marriage but then tells me he truly doesn’t know why all that came out of him. He said he was happy a lone the first week and then he stared coming home to an empty house and had suicidal thoughts. He realized that he needs me in his life and he can’t live without me. I told him it’s going to take me time to forget what he said and that it will be in the back of my mind that he could be unhappy again and do this again to me. He promised he wouldn’t do it again.

    It has been 4months now and we are back at it again. We got in a fight about not spending enough time together. But it lead to me questioning if he’s unhappy again. He told me no and then he felt that if this was going to always be in the back of my mind then this relationship wasn’t going to work. Or course I was crying and demanding answers and I wanted to know why he even said those words to me and how come he could not understand why or where it came from. He got frustrated and shut down again. Didn’t want to talk to me anymore and walked out. He came back inside the house and drank cans and cans of beer in about 30min. I come down to check on him and he tells me he’s passed out on the couch and tells me he’s drunk. The next day I texted him in the evening and said “hey”.he replied with a “hi”. I asked him if he was ok and he said he didn’t know. He then texted me back and said “sorry, for dragging you on like this” I didn’t know what to reply cause I didn’t know what that meant. He then says “I’m going back to the military and I’m sorry for dragging you on like this” my heart just broke. I was at work trying to hold back tears and somehow seem sane. I knew that he wanted to join the military again so that he can’t come back.

    After that situation I tried to look something up to explain why he does this. He runs away rom his problems and makes these impulsive decisions. We were so happy these past few months. One fight triggers this thought of going away again and shutting me out. It’s all so sudden again. I can’t wrap my brain around it. Even my family and friends think it’s so strange. Until I came upon this page. It started to make sense. It was spot on with everything. I see things that I should of done and shouldn’t have done.

    I know there are things we should of done to prevent this. We could of sought treatment and medication for him but we didn’t. I blame myself for that. I should of done something, but when we were ok it never crossed our minds again. It was reckless and stupid to ignore it.

    Now I can’t hate him, cause I feel this is something he can’t control and I pushed him to this state. We were doing fine, I should have just let it go and realize that he was doing the best he could.

    Now I feel it’s too late. I don’t think he’s signed the papers yet but he has gathered the paper work and he has told me his mind is set. I even told him that I would still support him if he joins the military. But he said he doesn’t know if he wants to put me through that. He feels sorry for putting me through this shit again. But he thinks this is it for us.

    I can’t help but this this is an episode and he will come down from it like the last. But I really don’t know anymore. I am mentally preparing myself and trying to accept that this is it, but some days I wake up and im dad and keep hoping and praying that he will come back to me again.

    This might not even be depression at lol and it all could be that we are just not meant to be together as much s we love one another.

    I feel that he’s all worth it. He’s the most loving and caring person at times. I had fallen more and more in love with him the last few months we got back together. To think that I could of just not stared a fight with him and not let is escalate to this again…hurts me and I blame myself every night.

    I am still liking in our house and it has been a week since we have spoke and seen ech other. Our house isn’t even that big and he hasn’t managed to avoid me completely. It’s Saturday and he went out of town to stay at a friends for the weekend. Of course he didn’t tell me but that’s what I was told by his friend. I have texted him here and there reminding him that I love him and miss him and is still here. I’m trying to be there but also give him his space. I can’t talk to him in person cause he hates that and he does better with text. Lately he has choose to not reply at all. I’m choosing to stick around until he tells me to leave. I’m just afraid of leaving him a lone. Although I also think this is probably irritating him.

    I also don’t know how to approach him with the idea of him having a depression episode and seeking help. I don’t want to piss him off. I have told his siblings about it and told them to keep an eye on him.

    I know I should just leave and move on with my life but he is all I know and I love him so much. It’s hard for me to let go. As stupid as this may be, I still have hope and don’t want to give up until he tells me face to face that it’s over me he wants a divorce.

  81. Hi everyone.

    I started seeing a girl with bipolar about two months ago.

    we were so right for each other. We shared so many interests and thought the same way. She was so grounded, so down to earth… I actually admired the way her mind works. We had so many “in” jokes. When people asked me what I did, she tried to answer it in her own words…. she would get it wrong every time, it was just so cute.

    Two weeks ago, the final decision on whether or not her apartment block was going to be demolished was finally announced. She is a flat owner, and they were going to destroy her home. The home she saved for years to buy, build and love. She was heart broken, and there was nothing I could do.

    On Tuesday the following week she ended it with me. It took 5 messages to do so. She wasn’t ready to be someone’s girlfriend. She wasn’t girlfriend material and she thought I wanted more than she could give. I asked if she wanted to end it completely and she said she didn’t know. I spotted the depression straight away… but it took this post to really clear things up for me.

    From an amazing relationship to a breakup in 5 simple messages. I told here I would give her space. Her last message was “thank you”. From amazing to cold in 5 simple steps.

    I see now how her mind was working. I can link this article – exactly – to what she said.

    Life is not fair (Steve Peters – Chimp management). I guess he was right. It’s not fair that someone so perfect has this illness. An illness that can completely change the way someone thinks and feels towards people, even people really close to them. I KNOW we had a great relationship, my friends saw it too. I KNOW I met here between moods… and I KNOW she will do this to me again and again.

    Now all I have to do is switch my love off. So if anyone has a blog post to help me do this…. I’d be very grateful.

  82. my bf is a busy type of person he is teacher I fight to him several times on his busy life I feel very alone n I jus get angry to him everyday …but a week before we had a terrible fight n my bf said that this I enough I try my best to give you time but you are always about to fight to create distance you make me to hate you now he is not accepting apology

  83. Hi all,

    Great article, certainly makes me feel less insane. I fear I have made terrible mistakes in my 3 year relationship with my ex GF (manic depressive bi-polar)

    Met online – she was stunning incredible vibrant personality all encompassing type aura just wow she blew me away in every sense, smart articulate beautiful hilarious feisty caring sweet compassionate with a zest and fire for life I had never seen in anyone before. I was just turning 30 she was turning 26.

    I had just returned to London after rebuilding my self after having left a 5 year on/off relationship a healthy one actually just wanted different things in the end.

    I liked this lady a lot she had triggered something inside me, but I had sensed all not as it seemed, I thought perhaps she was married! wrong, she had a son she originally told me she had 4! as a joke lol it had not phased me (her first test i now realise) anyways no issues happy to continue seeing her.

    She didn’t want anything serious neither did I really just wanted fun if it developed then great but no real expectations.

    Few weeks pass I like her but strange things would happen arrange to meet and would just leave me waiting no text no call nothing id let her know hope your ok came to meet you no show call me, turns out she has an ex of 5yrs literally just coming out of relationship. She was with a narcissist psychopath excellent! great just what i was hoping for NOT.

    Wont go into detail about that other than a lot of dramas brought my way, phone calls from ex saying she cheating etc but my gf was very honest about stuff with me so I was able to handle it and eventually after 14 months or so the ex let go of her grip.

    By this point I had been exposed to the wrath of BPD and Manic Depression but was kind of told oh you just cant handle me. I was eventually worn down I went above and beyond for this lady worked 12 hour days 6 days a week to get money for things she wanted, she lived with me rent free for almost a year, spending crazy on clothes, trips, jewellery her own lifestyle etc and my finances were out of control money was spent before id even earn it horrible cycle (her previous gf was a wealthy sales person with gambling issues) I wasn’t giving her the time or lifestyle she felt like I had dragged her down, abuse started verbally and the apologies and tears please don’t leave me, then the big blow she was unfaithful on the night of my bday may I add. I forgave that along with many other lies and deceits she thought I never new about or just said I was paranoid. Things went bad to worse we had good days but the bad ones would go up a level every time.

    Then we bought a car and moved in together 2 bed flat £2000 a month (well above a sensible move) financial pressures everything fell apart

    I was bad wolf by now couldn’t love her why was I so mean my ex would never do this your nothing your lucky you got me when I was down, the roller coaster is just intense and awful for us both.

    i sensed she had something going with a guy at work, glued to phone getting all giddy new friend working late literally hating me despised me randomly told one day go sleep on sofa I need space I don’t want this never really loved you you know that i was honest I care for you but love I don’t know you don’t give me butterflies.

    Basically living in hell was banished every weekend told i need my space considering I WORK 16 HOUR shifts on friday and saturday and evening shifts in week so rarely saw each other it was hard to swallow, ultimately she shut down in every sense emotionally physically i became the hired help babysitter chauffeur, dog walker, household chores she was a tornado creating havoc, i slept 4 hours a night doing everything working hard, sleeping on a floor, still taking her to work and son to school, meanwhile she had feelings for the amazing wonderful guy at work, i was eventually told this even tho i had already directly asked and told dont be silly but so what if Ii was we are over anyway, sorry news to me love! i tried to leave xmas just gone had 2 weeks work away seemed like the best option as she had asked me to leave continuously tho knowing I simply couldnt afford to. Tried to leave at this time woooooow the scene of dramatics how could you leave me and my son how dare you I knew this was the type of shitty person you were leaving me (life has been living hell and you asked me to leave) i hate you never loved you yh im fucking that guy im going to have his babies etc. I stayed. Lol

    Really tried so hard for months did the space thing, wasn’t enough moved out 8 weeks ago, she has kept me guessing oh its just a break not a break up dont let me catch you with anyone! leave me alone I hate you i need people who will just be chill and understand me shes referring to the guy at work shes obsessed with him photos writings wont shut up about him.

    I said to her last night, I cant do this anymore im exhausted and I feel insane you dont want me but dont want to let me go, the vicious response and abuse poured thick and fast so painful so wounding and a threat to call police and ruin my job dont ever contact her again I dont want you never have so stop bullying me?! leave me alone block block block everywhere (standard thing for her im always blocked on everything)

    I know she is unwell but she is on meds takes them randomly not consistently has therapy every couple of weeks often misses sessions tho plus smokes weed heavily.

    I am no longer caught in her cycle it drove me to the brink of a breakdown myself

    However I do Love her and wish it could be different.

    I have to do the no contact thing now even though it drives me insane, she will hate me forever and a day with a passion now, I stay she abuses and hates me I leave she abuses and hates me.

    I think I have to accept she is incredibly un-well and she does not love me and as much as I really do care and love her and her son I have to walk away it pains me so much and I feel so guilty and traumatised by it all.

    Yet I am the target of all her anger and negative emotion yet she functions day to day normally and no one has a bloody clue about her issues! that the bit that gets me, anything with my feelings is stress and high anxiety for her but everything else and rest of world she functions fine on the surface anyway.

    So where does the illness really begin and end?

    apologies I have waffled on, just needed a release as I share nothing with anyone and this article made me think.

    KC

  84. Great article and better comments. I have been in this boat for seven years. I would say she has broke with me 13 times. Always the same way…right after having days of fun loving intimacy. Out of the blue. I always thought it was PMDD, as it always happened around her menstrual cycles. She is turning 50 and her dark episodes are more frequent and unpredictable. I looked up bipolar disorder and found it fits her to a T! She doesn’t feel there is help for it. She is on the lazy side and drinks alcohol daily and gets drunk at least once a week.
    I have done what she has wanted, such as giving space with no questions. I thought I learned how to handle it. Actually, I did. That is where the article steers non-bp wrong. It is too painful to be ignored and talked to like you’re nothing. Sex only when they feel like it. You can’t make plans. Most friends and family can’t stand her. Me? I love her madly like the rest of you on how you feel about your ill loved one or ex. What with that? Why are WE so crazy in love with them? I can admit codependency but is everyone here codependent? I doubt it.

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