Bipolar boyfriend - any advice?

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New Member

Date Joined Feb 2007
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 2/10/2007 6:04 AM (GMT -7)   
Bipolar boyfriend - any advice???

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Almost 5 months ago, I met the man I had been dreaming about for a long time. I have been fine on my own, but he made me happier than I ever had believed I could be. I am 32, so I have been waiting a while for this, and wouldn't go into a relationship unless it felt really worth it. We really have a strong relationship, even though it's quite new, we share our innermost thoughts and feelings, and he has been open with me about his illness since we started the committed relationship. He is taking his meds, and is very aware of the precautions he has to take when it comes to stress, sleep and so on. He also has a great family who has always been there for him, and they have also received me with open arms.

From the very beginning, he was open about having bipolar disorder. We discussed it, and I said I wanted to know everything, and that I would always love him - no matter what. I just want to support him in the best ways possible, and learn as much as I can about the illness, and of course, specifically about his "triggers" and reactions.

I lead an active life, and he was kind of "sucked into" my life, many friends, many activities - we decided to tell my closest friends and, of course, my family about the illness. He has been on sick leave from work the last months, and has been used to leading a tranquil life. I guess with everything happening with us this just got too much for him, the sleeping pattern was not as regular as it should have been, meeting new people, being in love, telling people about the illness, Christmas coming up with many parties and gatherings and even later nights.... To cut a long story short - he broke up with me on New Years Day after being alone the whole New Years Weekend, being exhausted. He seemed coherent and well when he broke up with me, but a few days later I realized that he was not his normal self. I warned his family, his brother went to talk to him, and he was hospitalized 4 days later - voluntarily. , and a week after that he called me and said that he still loved me. Of course I took him back immideately, only to experience the same thing a week later - he broke up again. This time I didn't take him too seriously, I just deceided to wait and see what happened. A week later he called again and apologized, and said that he loved me, and wanted me to visit him at the hospital. It was so good to see him, even though he was confused. He is getting better now, still in hospital, but progressing every day, and it's great to see him when I go for visits. He is so happy that I've stuck by him through this - of course I did - that's what love is all about, if you ask me...

Still - I have learned a LOT from this, and I feel the Lord has given me patience and understanding. I truly believe that we are meant to be together, I have never met anyone like him - and he has said the same about me. I just want to be there for him in any way I can, and I have come to realize that sometimes the best way of being there for him is to withdraw and let him be alone to gain energy. I am also very much aware of not becoming his caregiver/nurse, he needs a partner, and so do I. He gives me a lot, and in many aspects he is the strong one in our relationship. But, I know that my mental health is good, and I'm more "together" than most people, and we both think this is an advantage.
He has never in his life been physically violent or suicidal, but he has been manic, psycothic (3-4 brief periods), and severely depressed (not since 2004). He has been ill around once a year the last years, always after a period of taking on too much. He has learnt a lot form this, though, and he says he has nothing to prove anymore - he just wants to spend time finding a job that can work for him in the long run, but moving slowly rather than too fast, like before...

I will appreciate any advice you may have for me on how I can support my bf, and any experiences with relationships involving bipolar disease. I really want this to work, and I know that our love is so strong. I also feel that I have learnt a lot, but I would still like to learn more.

Thank you for reading my story.

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Regular Member

Date Joined Jun 2006
Total Posts : 186
   Posted 2/10/2007 6:49 AM (GMT -7)   
    You sound like a very nice person!  Your bf, he sounds like me.  Also I have extreme anxiety.  I noticed that you mentioned learning about "triggers".  I think you are wonderful.  I have a friend.  He is victim of FSP (alot like MS)  I have given him information to read, about Bi-Polar etc.  He says he does.  I sure don't see it.  He is very insensitive to trigger's for me.  It is VERY hard.  I feel cheated because, I know all about his "issues", you think I would get the same respect.  It will probably end the friendship that we have shared for 20+ years.
    So I have a question?  Does he stop taking med's at the point where he breaks up with you etc?  If that is the case, they you two need to discuss some kind of contractual/agreement that the meds is ALWAYS a must and he must NOT ever stop or the relationship is over.  I know that I get better and think I don't need them any longer...that always sets me on a roller-coaster of emotions....also Therapy is a big help with me.  Does he go?  Maybe you two should go together to make darn sure you two are always in sync.  Just a thought.  Good luck, he is lucky to have you.....If you do truely love each other, then don't let go.  But be prepared along the way!
    Coincidence:  when God chooses to remain

New Member

Date Joined Feb 2007
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 2/10/2007 7:23 AM (GMT -7)   

Thanks Becky!

I appreciate the kind words, and I believe this really IS love. We both do, and I know he never doubts our relationship when he is feeling well. He says he's lucky to have me, and I know I'm lucky to have him :).

I am sorry about your friend not treating you well when it comes to understanding your illness. Have you told him flat out what you think about this?

To your question: I do not believe he went off his medications at all this time, he was just very stressed out during the New Years Weekend, and a lot of his stress had to do with things concerning our relationship. It came on gradually, but neither he nor I took it seriously enough this time. Next time it will be better - I know! I am sure that he took his meds only two days before the new Years weekend. Of course, being in a new relationship is always stressful, I have seen comparisons between being in love and mental illness.... Even though it's positive stress, it's still stress, and can trigger an episode, at least together with all the other factors I mentioned in my first posting.

The second time he broke up with me was while in hospital, they had cut down on his meds too soon, and he was having a relapse. I have told him that if he ever wants to break up with me again, he has to sleep well ten nights in a row and look me in the eyes telling me he doesn't love me. Then and only then will I believe him :)

He knows it's a dealbreaker not to take meds, he has even said it's fine if I remind him of taking them at the regular time, if he is preoccupied. I have known form the start that he will keep taking them. His parents wants him to try something new from Canada that should work well for bipolars, some kind of herbal medicine or something. He is in therapy, and I've offered to go with him, but I'm going to let him decide about that.

I guess sleep is the biggest issue with us, we have had some late nights in our relationship, and I have assured him that from now on, things will be different. No more staying up until 2 or 3 am in the mornings, we can always be together the next day. I don't need that much sleep to function well, but of course it is vital to him.

Still happy about any tips from you Becky or anyone else who have experience with this.
Love C

New Member

Date Joined Jul 2007
Total Posts : 14
   Posted 7/13/2007 8:20 AM (GMT -7)   
This sounds incredibly familiar...i'm new to the site and i'm not sure how to private message, but I feel like we can compare notes :)

Regular Member

Date Joined Jul 2007
Total Posts : 22
   Posted 7/14/2007 11:02 PM (GMT -7)   
I empathise with your boyfriend...
I'm sure you have your limits... I only pray that the Lord grant you strength, vision and wisdom...

I found that therapy with my gf was the last option and not necessarily the best one... because the therapist pointed out that we were invading each others space and preventing each other from growing... in the last session, it was decided tat I should give my gf a break and we be seperated. This still devastates me to this day. She was my only friend who stuck with me despite the illness... but we took the doctors advice... and I fear we would never get back together again becos she was hurt too much.

if you can see beyond the illness and have the patience, I wish you both the very best for love conquers all. Its when i look for happiness for myself that seems to get me down. I wanted a break... for her and for me... and it ended up in tears and a breakup...

just sharing... I still hope in fairy tales
Bipolar Type 1
Social anxiety/agoraphobia
100mg Lamictal 3 times daily
500-600 seroquel at night
2.5mg diazepam 3 times daily, 10mg at night

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