new -- loving someone with bipolarity..

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New Member

Date Joined Oct 2009
Total Posts : 4
   Posted 10/24/2009 5:56 PM (GMT -7)   
New here.
Hello all.
I've tried writing this twice now, and both times its come out some long huge giant story, which im trying to steer clear of. i've just always been a writer and could go on forever.
in a nutshell, i've been with my boyfriend for almost 2 years now.
He always thought he was bipolar, mother had it, always saw the signs. He refused to see anyone about it orget help because of a friend and his bad reaction to medications and it ruined his life. His friend finally found something that worked, and he decided he was tired of living with the disease and he needed to get help.
It was a huge step. We would bicker about stupid things like couples do, and he would escalate it into something huge. It upset me more and I would go at it with him. It's how we dealt.
He got on medication about 6 months ago. You could see the difference almost immediately. He's doing a lot better.
But medication doesnt cure it, it only helps it, makes it less severe.
While I'm used to yelling at him during a disagreement, because he could listen, (hes now on adhd medicine as well) and repeating myself, we didnt need that anymore. He can talk and have a conversation now.
i'm having a hard time getting that through my head. And this time it was bad. I pushed him too far, because i was upset and i get stubborn and defensive when im that upset. So he went off the edge and said the most hurtful stuff he's ever said.
First off, how do you handle that? How can you remind yourself that its the disease, and he doesnt mean it.. No matter how many times he tells me, and how terrible he feels he made me feel like that and hes sorry and its got him depressed he hurt me that bad, I still am hurting. Its still going through my head.
How can I see the signs early? before i get upset and have a harder time controlling myself?
How can I train myself to realize hes better now, and i need to just agree, or apologize, or just stop talking to him?
i'm not quite sure how to handle him. I'm not used to this, and I dont want to push him ever again. We're both hurting a lot because of it.
i'm trying to understand this disease better and learn with him, so we can both handle it and face it head on. It caused a lot of problems before he got help, I want to get past those.
I want to know how to make it in a relationship with a bipolar person. We love eachother very much and i dont want this disease to get in the way of that.

Veteran Member

Date Joined May 2007
Total Posts : 3715
   Posted 10/25/2009 6:43 PM (GMT -7)   

I'm sorry things are so hard. You are not alone, and there are many spouses/partners in the same boat as you.

You don't need to put up with abuse -- let me just get that out there. Just because someone has bipolar doesn't mean they're not responsible for their actions, and if you are suffering unduly at his hands, then you need to find support for that.

But in terms of just seeing the signs, one thing to look out for is stress. Bipolar disorder is always worsened by stress. So if you know he's going through something very stressful, you want to shift into support mode. The other thing is poor sleep. Episodes are always exacerbated by poor sleeping patterns, and if he's tired, he's much more likely to be irrational.

I also think you should be honest with him and let him know how he hurt you, and ask him to help you come up with a plan to keep it from happening again. Hopefully he'll be open enough to tackle that with you.

Good luck,
Co-Moderator, Bipolar Forum
Bipolar II

"Bipolar disorder can be a great teacher. It's a challenge, but it can set you up to be able to do almost anything else in your life." - CARRIE FISHER

Regular Member

Date Joined Mar 2009
Total Posts : 139
   Posted 10/26/2009 11:26 AM (GMT -7)   
My husband is BP and has also been taking his meds and seeing a pdoc regularly for six months. It is hard to be in a relationship and when you throw in BP, it's even harder. There are times I wonder "how long is this going to last? Is he going to stick with this? Is today going to be the day he escalates? Does he know remember what he said or how hurt he made me feel?" I just keep trying to remind myself to live in the present and hope we all learned from the past. Sure we have our fights like anyone else, but as Serafena said, you shouldn't have to suffer any form of abuse from anyone - BP or not.

However, my suggestion would be to learn more about BP. It's SUCH a complex condition that almost four years after finding out my husband suffers from BP and diving into all the information I could find, I'm still learning more. There are some great books and resources on the web about how to cope with a loved one who suffers from BP. I can't at this moment remember the name of a book that many people have suggested but check at the top of this board's topics called "Bipolar Disorder Resources" which is a great place to start for information.

Educate yourself and you'll see that you should be able to handle it better.

Good luck.

New Member

Date Joined Oct 2009
Total Posts : 4
   Posted 10/26/2009 4:57 PM (GMT -7)   
thank you.
I am very fortunate that he has become very open with me. He has expressed how bad he feels for hurting me and we have gone over ways to avoid that. He is still feeling a little depressed and a lot of remorse for the things he said to me. Its hard to see him like that. He didnt choose to be like that. But we've put down rules for things that upset either of us, and i hope we're on the right track here.
i'm starting to see some signs. And i didn't know that lack of sleep could make it worse, he has a hard time getting tired a lot of the times. i've also realized, hes a very visual person. He is affected by colors, smells, touch, and he has very keen senses. Fall Is his worst time of year, and now the leaves are starting to turn to colors that make him unhappy, and the rain, smell of rain, and the cold, add into it.
Theres so much to take into consideration and its really hard sometimes to watch for it all and make sure that im always communicating things correctly so nothing is taken the wrong way.
i also need to learn how to be stronger, not let him get to me over stupid things. After talking to his therapist this last week, she told him he may also be somewhat a sadist. Getting joy out of peoples hurt because he was put through so much growing up. Usually its just little stupid comments he makes to try to get me to just be like omg shut up or just offended or something (although im usually just joking around, I need to not do that either because it feeds it.) that has put him pretty down in the dumps. He really doesnt want to be this horrible person that he can be at times.

I will definitely look into that BPWife, and see if i can find some good books on it. Its been a lot of information to read up on. But he's helping me, and he's learning too. He makes sure to talk to me after his therapy lessons what his therapist is telling him, things he's learning from her about himself. But I will definitely be researching a lot more and learning all I can about this.
We've both got a lot of learning to do. He needs to realize these things cant be controlled by him and he didnt choose them. This is going to be a long journey...

thank you again. It helps to have advice from people who actually understand, have experience, and not just friends or family who may or may not change their opinion of him because they dont understand the severity of this disease.

New Member

Date Joined Nov 2009
Total Posts : 8
   Posted 11/8/2009 2:56 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi, I'm a bipolar wife, a pregnant one.

Something i have noticed y that i overeact to everything, if i get scared in the morning by a scream y need like 3 hours to get back to normal. If i dont get that time, my husband annoys me inevery way. Of course its me not him. SO i ask him to step back a little until I get peace and control, again.

There are some things that i can't control, like getting irritated easily, and get stressed by the slightest thing. What i can control is taking my meds, asking a time out, or explaining that i dont need a lecture, that i need love. I haven' hurt my husband saying nasty things, but I know i hurt him when i get desperate and cry, because he feels que can't do anything for me. But i think Im really responsible of the things I say. And if I loose control it's my responsibility to call my Dr. I'm bipolar 1, and I know that some people dont realize they are maniac, o have mix episodes. Every bipolar diagnose is different. I get to notice when im not ok, but some people, dont.

Hope this comes for some use.


New Member

Date Joined Oct 2009
Total Posts : 4
   Posted 11/14/2009 5:50 PM (GMT -7)   
Thank you taba. I am slowly learning to deal with it better.
Its getting hard now because he's wanted to stop his medications a couple times.. They were giving him vertigo, migraines, double vision, he didnt feel okay. And when thats not there, he feels like a crazy person because he has to take medications and he doesnt like that, doesn't want to live like that, and that he's just been pretending every day that hes doing good, even though it kills him inside that hes having to do this just to be normal.. because that isnt normal in his eyes.
But I talked to him. I got a little upset with him when I talked to him, but turns out his therapist said I did exactly what I should of done. But of course she also understands why he feels like he cant live like that. But they lowered his depression meds, since they figured that was actually what it was, and his bipolar meds as well, and the side effects have gotten better.
I'm scared right now because they had him stop his bipolar meds, cold turkey, for a week. He has psoriasis and it turns out the meds hes on can cause that to worsen, and its started growing alll over his body again like when he was a kid, and so its painful, bleeds everywhere.. and its kind of gross... lol. so she wanted to see if that helped it. Im not sure how itll be trying something else when this worked so well. Who knows if something else will work, or what side effects it could have.
Its just been a rough couple weeks. A lot of stress.
I'm trying not to burden him with a lot right now because hes having a hard time, dwelling over his gpas recent death, and his horrible things from his past. Him and his therapist went over some of the worst things hes never told anyone from his life, so I think hes having a hard time with that.
But our lease is also up in february, and I need him to help me look for a house and loan programs, but getting him to do anything of importance is just impossible. He's just always been the one thats understood that  stuff, hes extremely intelligent, and can pick apart the wording of contracts and goverment programs, while I have a harder time. But I can't expect him to do those kinds of things right now.. So theres more stress trying to figure that out.
Theres a lot going on. But everyday i'm just hoping that he'll see how much he's improved, and want to keep doing better, and stay on his meds, and everything will be just fine.. I'm usually a realist and dont get my hopes up on things so I dont get hurt if something bad happens, But I'm trying to be an optomist right now. I know he needs me to be..
I really needed to vent. Its hard to stop it, I suppose a therapist for myself would be a good investment..

Regular Member

Date Joined Mar 2009
Total Posts : 139
   Posted 11/16/2009 10:36 AM (GMT -7)   
I'm happy that you want to be supportive. It's really important. But I also want to reiterate what you said "I suppose a therapist for myself would be a good investment.." YES! It is a great investment. I also see a therapist on my own to help me cope and handle situations. It has helped me and our relationship.

I know there's a lot of material out there, but keep educating yourself - even if it's just a little snippet here and there.

Good luck!
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