I need help!! I am 21 years old and have been in an extremely rocky, unhealthy relationship with my bipolar boyfriend for the past year and a half. He is 23 now and has only recently started to take anti-depressants. He has been so busy lastly that he has run out of his meds and has still not gone to get another prescription. Over night i saw a change in him!
He broke up with me a couple of months ago and it was very sudden and out of the blue. he said he “just couldn’t do it anymore.” This has been a common issue in our relationship, he loves me to pieces one moment and then the next day he wants nothing to do with me. I have read blogs and articles and i see this is common thing. He came back to me apologising and saying that he loved me and wanted to go counselling with me. He says im the only person he can imagine spending the rest of his life with and having children with. I came back to him and after a week of heaven he became very stressed with university work as end of year hand ins are coming up. I have barely heard from him in 2 weeks and he now says he doesnt know what he wants and that he wants to be alone. We had a big argument yesterday and i feel they are caused by me pressuring him to give me answers and to see me. I love him with all my heart so i just sent him a text saying that i will give him the space and time that he needs and that i will be here for him when he needs me and when he’s less stressed. Was this the right thing to do??
Another issue is the cheating 🙁 he has never slept with another girl whilst we have been on good terms together, but when he pushes me away he has admitted to thinking about other girls and has slept with 3 other girls so far. He has always been honest with me and says he never cared about them. But i’m terrified that if i give him the space he needs he’ll go sleep with somebody else 🙁 i feel this is why sometimes i cant give him the space he needs. what do i do??!
He says horribly mean things to me but I’m trying not to take them personally this time. I am starting to wonder how he really feels for me and i don’t know what side of him to believe anymore. He says he is too selfish for me and wants me to be more “self-sufficient” (even though i am!) He no longer wants to go counseling and wont even answer my texts or calls.
I need advice! I genuinely feel that he is my soul mate, but am i the right person for him?? Are we too young for this?
I just need to understand what goes on in his mind when he is feeling like this.
Please forgive me for my short, “I’m a mom now and I’ve been there, done this before” speech. I promise it’s short and the advice to follow will be MUCH less rant like. Heck, feel free to skip this section … I will not feel offended in the slightest!
It may not seem like it now (trust me on this, I know I never believed it myself at the time, but it’s true), but you are still SO young. Any advice I give comes from my heart and from having had an awfully rough 20’s experience.
So I first want to say, love is changing at 21. YOU are changing at 21. Between 19 and 25, we evolve into such different people. The transformation in these years is unimaginable.
Having been in a few rocky, unhealthy relationships myself, I highly advise that you step back and look at this situation with your head, not your heart. I was given this advice many times while I was younger, and instead of taking it, I trenched through a swamp of broken hearts. Hearts not broken by multiple men, but a very limited few. Over and over and over. Had I followed my gut instincts, *cough* and listened to my sisters *cough*, I’d have spent less time in the lonely hearts club and more time living life!
Okay, with that said, being in a relationship with someone who suffers from bipolar is one of the most difficult and challenging things you will ever do. Even just being friends with someone who has a mental illness is trying, especially when you do not have one yourself. It’s hard to understand one’s ups and downs when you have never been there.
I say this often, but with a bipolar relationship comes the, “I hate you, wait no don’t go, I love you, please leave.” phenomenon. We ALL do it. I’ve done it more times than I’d like to admit.
It doesn’t make it right, and though it is the culprit, having bipolar should never be used as an excuse. But it is, and we do. As time goes on it becomes less frequent and definitely less drastic, but I will not lie and promise you that it will never happen again. It is your choice to decide whether or not it is a life you want to live.
Common Triggers which cause us to run the other way …
- STRESS!!! The more stress we have in our lives, the less stress we are capable of dealing with. And when it comes to stress in a relationship, somehow that always seems like the easiest to discard. It’s something we are in control of. We control who we stay with. We control who we leave. We do not, however, control when our school work is due, how difficult that work is, whether or not we get fired from a job, pressure at work, pressure at school, pressure within our immediate families … and we can’t help it, we NEED control.
- Depression. And not for the reasons you may think. We fear if you see us at our worst, you’ll leave us. Who wants to be with someone who gets stuck in a hole for weeks, sometimes months, on end. It’s easier just to leave and come back when we are back to happy.
- Mania. Mania = Irrational behavior. Which = Ridiculous Decisions. Which = stomping on the hearts of those we love because all we care about is “me, me, me”. We don’t have time for relationships … our mind is moving too quickly and we are way to busy to focus on just one person. That takes way too much focus. And who needs focus when you have so many good ideas you could be putting into motion. Did I mention “me, me, me.”???
And then the inevitable happens … “OMG, I just lost the best thing that ever to happened to me! SHIT!!!”
Now, these things can be lessened and sometimes eliminated. It’s called treatment. Whether it be medication, therapy, diet, etc. Without treatment, we are a mess 83% of the time. (statistics may vary) And it is my personal opinion that when a person is treating you poorly, saying mean things to you, sleeping with other people, ignoring you, AND refusing to get that treatment, they are only going to bring you further and further down until you too become a mess.
I think you were right to offer him space. However, I believe you should add in the caveat that you will be there for him IF and WHEN he is ready to get help. Because I can assure you, with treatment, the majority of these situations will not occur or they will be minimalized to a point of which you can handle and work through.
It IS possible that he is your soul mate, however, if this is the case … he will get help, and he will start treating you like you deserve. Even though we have bipolar, we still know the difference between right and wrong. We still know that we need to treat people with respect. And we shouldn’t expect anyone to accept anything less of us.
Now, as I stated before, I can’t promise you that treatment will cure everything. I’ve been properly treated for 4 years now and I still get down, and I still go sky high, and I still treat my husband poorly at times. The key is to deciding whether or not to stay in a relationship with someone who has bipolar is to know WHAT is inevitable and what is unacceptable.
- Depression – Feeling the need to recoil for fear of you leaving us for our feelings of despair over absolutely nothing. This is something you can work through and support him and let him know you still love him.’
- Hypomania – Business, rushed thoughts, inability to stay still. Something you can work through. It will be difficult, you may need to step back and let them go go go, but it should not get to a point where it hurts you. It’s also irritability. If he’s irritable, give him space. He’ll calm down in time.
- The Crash – It comes after the hypomania, turns into depression and is awful. That’s when he’ll need you. He’ll crave your love, it will be difficult to love him during these times, but it will be worth it.
- Not getting treatment, refusing any help.
- Rage which involves abusive behavior. If he is hurting you either physically OR emotionally, it is 100% unacceptable.
- Illegal activities. If he is involved in illegal activities you need to get away. Staying will most likely only end up in you getting involved, even if only inadvertently.
- Self-Medicating. AKA Drugs, Alcohol, Sex, etc. Having the occasional glass of wine or two, not a problem. Drinking all the time and binge drinking, BIG problem and regardless of mental status needs to be treated.
Hopefully this helps a little bit.
Just remember, mental illness is not an excuse to treat people like crap. There is help out there and there are treatment options. You deserve to be treated like a princess, and he should always be doing his best to make sure you are. Relationships are bound to involve arguments, hurt feelings, and hard work, but they should never amount to physical or extreme emotional pain.