How can I maintain a romantic relationship throughout all my bipolar ups and downs?
Yes, I believe it is possible to keep romance alive in a relationship. And of course, you know that relationships of all kinds have ups and downs. The marriage/long-term relationship does work I believe if both partners are the ones contributing. It will not work if there’s only one person working at it.
I can only speak from my own personal experiences on this particular subject. I, personally, have only had two romantic relationships. The first one was when I was twenty-one years old and the other started when I was twenty-three and I am married to that man still fourteen and a half years later. The relationship hasn’t been without bumps and rocks. However, our relationship is the best it’s ever been right now. We seldom spat, argue or have to show the “stink eye” to one another.
I think that the relationship needs to be open and transparent. I believe if a person has Bipolar Disorder in the relationship they need to be honest and open with their partner. They need to allow the partner to process the disease itself and to let it all sink in. However, I went into our long-term relationship having told him right away about my illness.
So, how do you keep the romance alive in the Bipolar relationship? I believe you can keep it alive by treating the relationship just like a normal relationship. Yes, the person with the illness is going to be up and down and have troubles. That’s when the other partner needs to be available to help the one with the illness. Treat him/her like a normal person. Don’t point out that their mood swings all the time. Especially, if they are rapid cycling. Do little things for one another. Tell one another that you love each other. Be patient. Kind. Treat each other like you want to be treated.
I believe the romance will follow when the relationship is at a point where it can handle it. Of course, we know during hypomania or mania that the sexual appetite can be quite high. I say take advantage of it in my opinion. Let it happen. Let romance happen during those times. Do things for one another that are romantic to the other person.
Keep the romance high when the mate with the Bipolar Disorder is doing well. Treat one another well during these times. And during the lows, treat your mate who is ill with respect. Do things for him/her that will make her feel good. Soon, the low will lift and you can resume your romance again.
I know this doesn’t exactly tell you how to keep the romance alive. I have been blessed to have had great relationships. My first one wasn’t perfect but OK. However, the man I am married to now is the romanticist and keeps it going. Honestly, I forget about it sometimes. I believe that the person with Bipolar Disorder can have a great, romantic relationship.
It takes work. Lots of work! But you will be so happy in the end that you made it a priority!