I have been reading your posts and want to welcome you to Healing Well.
Recently, I too, joined this forum because my boyfriend is manic depressive and I knew very little about it so I thought this forum could help me understand what he goes through and what to expect/not expect in terms of a realistic relationship with him.
My boyfriend has been suffering from depression since he was 13. He didn't seek treatment until he was in his 20's. I have known him as a good friend for going on 8 years now, but about 8 months ago the platonic relationship turned romantic. Anyway, after bliss for 4 months, he sunk into a depressive episode. I had no idea how to deal with it, not until I started researching online, reading books, going to support groups, did I start to grasp a strong understanding of typical actions, symptoms, etc., a manic depressive displays when experiencing an episode.
My bf did the same thing yours did; he withdrawals socially from friends and family with work related persons being the exception. He doesn't return calls, texts messages, phone calls, etc. He tried to break it off with me a few months back when his episode started. It was typical action from someone in a state of depression. I talked him out of it.
Well, It's going on 2 months now and he's still depressed, still won't talk to me, but I'm patient and waiting till it lifts.
I text message him just about every day reminding him that I love him and I'm here for him and really, just what's going on with me (we live in different states), but I do not pressure him to talk to me. I learned in my support groups for BiPolar/Depression, pressure doesn't usually achive positive results.
So, I want to say that my heart goes out to you. I can imagine and relate to what you are going through. It is good to hear he called you and you two are talking and have come to some kind of , for lack of better words, understanding of how the realtionship will proceed, at last on a temporary basis. By what you have said, it sounds like he cares for you very much and is trying to figure out how to handle things without hurting either of you moving forward. When dealing with this illness, sometimes that is very hard to do.
I'm am really interested in how the discussion goes...over chinese This is a tough decison to move forward and take on this illness. It surely is no easy task. I love my bf very much and am confident someway, somehow, we'll get through it.
Please let me know how things go and please know we are all here anytime ya'll need us for anything; vent, questoins, etc.
Take care and good luck,
Boy he sure is keeping the relationship interesting!
As for moving away from his comforts and familiararities, it's definitely a big trigger for an episode. Everyone is different though and he may have a different reaction than what is considered the obvious.
Is he still experiencing an episode? His nonchalant mention of relocating for business purposes and its assumed non-effect on you sound as if he may still be experiencing one. However, I do not know how you two are; his extent of consideration and caring toward you and the respect of the relationship and its future, at least when things are normal.
As for our relaitonship and doing it long distance, I really don't think it would be lasting like it is if I did not already have a history with my bf; with our friendship of many years. Just knowing who he is and how he reacts to different situations that come up, that itself eliminates anxiety and paranoia on my part, about any infidelities committed.
I don't think I could do this long term with someone I started dating and didn't already have an established relationship with prior. Also, the plans to settle down with each other and possibly start a family keep me going. What I'm mean by that is that both of us acknowledge a future together, it's not just one-sided.
So I figure a few months is nothing compared to a lifetime commitment. I see him in 16 days and I can't wait. I don't know what he'll be like, but I have faith and very little expectations of him. I am going there and will be avilable as a friend before a lover. I know he can give nothing right now, so I will ask nothing....except maybe to pick me up from the airport and not kick me out of his house
Your situation is tough as you have a child to consider. I too, have a child, but she is now attending college and pretty much on her own so my relocating isn't such a huge concern for her.
To get back to your discussion on the phone tonight, it's really hard to pinpoint what is going through his mind. If youcan afford it, seeing a therapistr may work wonders for you. But please make sure they are familiar with mental illness. I don't think one could help if they are not familiar with the symptoms and actions of one that suffers from BP/BPD/depression.They need to have a solid grasp in order to help direct and counsel you on your interactions/reactions with your bf. I know it has helped me out a lot!
Well..off to bed now, I'm one tired momma!
Take care Ann and I look forward to hearing from you again
WWCI am having serious doubts about my relationship. What I don't understand about BF is work. I have read that depressed men focus on work and that is BF. He will put everything aside for work. Early in relationship he would not relocate because I was here now he looking at several states away and allowing me the compromise of one state. I just don't think that the connection is there anymore. I am pretty one on one and I don't see him being that way. I need a partner in my life not a roller coaster. I find the whole situation so depressing. What do you do to get through the loll? I did see a therapist but I really find at this point I would get more-why are with someone unstable....why don't you focus on your interests and friends??? I am pretty overwhelmed with the situation. I don't think the outcome looks good. I will probably tell him to commit to me and if there is doubt then I will quit seeing and pursue other interests (not romantic but rather with my son and friends). I hate to be so down, but I just want more stability than he can give. After a year, I want a committed partner to be around...love him but I don't give this one much of a chance. Ann
What you are doing in terms of really looking at this relationship as something you can deal with long term, is really the best thing you can do; both for you AND him. Many people go into a relationship acting as the caretaker knowing full well what is needed. However, they don't look at themself; at what they can truly handle without building resentment up and subconsciously sabatoging the relationship.
By knowing yourself and making sure this is the right relationship for YOU long term, is the smartest move.
As I'm sure you know, many people suffering from the illness tend to do things that may seem selfish on the surface, but if looking deeper, you can see they are doing things to sabotage the relationship on purpose. It is a form of unworthines on their part. I'm not sure if this may play a part on his intention to relocate for business reasons without considerig you being part of the decision making on such a substantial life event.
In any case, setting aside the fact that he suffers from BP/Depression, you need to take action/make a decision based on what's best for you and your child. If you need someone that is hands-on; someone that is there for you to lean on emotionally on a consistant basis, then choosing a person with this illness as a life partner should be re-considered.
As you have already experienced, he will have periods where he will withdraw from social activities and relationships and will not have the capacity to be emotionally or physically available to you..no matter how much it's needed. This time , you will seem alone even though you are with him. He did not ask for this illness, but is doing what he can to deal with the cards dealt him. You, however, have the choice as to whether you want to continue or consider taking a different route in life all together. By choosing to take another path without him by your side in no way makes you a bad person or selfish in any way. It may be the best decision for you and your son. But only you will know this for sure.
Whatever your decision Ann, don't ever stop listening to your intinct. When too much of your head or too much of your heart gets in the way of your instinct, the choice resembles more of a crap shoot rather than a smart move.
I am not sure about what to say in terms of the ultimatum you want to him. This may be something he agrees to but may possibly not be able to successfully fullfill/provide you. This is where you need to consider what he is realistically able to accommodate in the relationship given his limitations with the illness. Does that make sense?
My decision to move forward with my own relationship is fully realized on my end, as is his. I know full well there will be periods that I will be on my own even though we will be living together and maybe even married. I also know there is a definite chance the illness could be passed down to our children should we have any. I will need to be self-sufficient at times when it comes to my emotional needs as well.
I am fortunate though, in that, my bf does not have outrages and is not beligerent with me. He does not suffer from extreme manias either so we are safe in terms of any finanical explosions. When suffering, he tends to take on more of a stoic personality; absent of emotion/passion, and detached.
You are correct about work. Men, more than women, tend to focus their attention on work when they are experiencing an episode. It is a form of relief I think. They can focus their energy on something that is not personal. Does that make sense? But the desicion to relocate is an entirely different story all together.
Please let meknow how things are going or s you have any more thoughts you want to pass by. I am here and enjoy the talk; so to speak ;)-
You ask some hard questions. My instinct tells me that I do not see relationship long term. After thinking about the job promotion he has gone from euphoria to dismay at leaving me. In the course of tonight's phone calls, he has once again pulled the plug on the relationship. When he is cycling he drinks in his apt alone and several times he has become confrontational...verbally only. You are right in the questions you asked many of my friends have asked me. I am not out to save anyone yet as a person sympathic to people suffering from a mood disorder, I did not want to end the relationship because it got tough. I try not to be a long suffering gf either. I understand what you are saying. BF senses my pulling back and he is getting angry. I will not tell him whether or not to move...I told him it was his decision but we both agreed relationship will not work because I can not relocate. My ex-husband alone stands in that way because the courts will not allow me to move my son out of state, and he would fight this one hard. And on many levels it is right because I do want my son to see his father as much as he can. Every time we break up it is because he is cycling. I have suggested counseling, he says "maybe, but probably not..." I have asked him to let me come with him to psych to discuss his cycling he told me the last time he had an appt. he did not want me to come because I would tell the dr. the wrong things he is doing-adjusting his own meds, drinking, etc. I have already began to pull back via not involving my son in any of our social situations, limiting phone calls that become abusive (verbally), slowly diminishing contact, etc. Letting go of someone I care about and worry about is a process for me because I tend to try and be as supportive as I can be. The end of the relationship is the realization that the dreams I had to grow old with this man are over. Forgive me but that takes time for me. I am a loyal friend and lover and I don't give up easily on anyone I care about. Yet, I feel it is time now. I did not stay because I had to I stayed because I thought it was the right thing to do. Now, I realize I can no longer do that. Thank you for your feedback. I think you have a lot of wisdom. Ann