I have really been interested in reading all the posts recently from spouses and partners of people with BP. As we really established, loving someone with a mood disorder is no picnic, and in some severe cases, maintaining a healthy relationship with them is nearly impossible. It is good to see these people also finding some support on this forum for the lies, financial crisis, and instability that many suffer because of their partner's illnesses. And it's good for me to see the other side too -- to hear from people who have to deal with BP people like me!
All the same, I worry (given a couple of recent posts) that we could get a little heavy on the why-my-BP-boyfriend/girlfriend-is-a-shmuck posts. Afterall, many of us are here because we are BP and we don't need to feel any worse about ourselves than we already do. So just a reminder -- sometimes, people are just schmucks, and it has nothing to do with BP. Sometimes people are just bad boyfriends/girlfriends, regardless of their issues. And lots of BP's have long, loving relationships, families, children, retirement parties, RV's, condos in Florida, stamp collections, whatever.
And it's not all fun and games for the BP in a romantic relationship either. For example, my husband has a tendency to write off my emotions (any emotion) as exaggerated, simply because I am a girl who often has big emotions. So if he snaps at me and I cry, he says he didn't actually snap, it's just me overreacting -- even when 2 friends saw the exchange and comforted me afterward for his meanness. It's just one small example of how people in relationships with BP's write off the honest needs and emotions of BP's because we can be unpredictible, even when we are stable.
That is the other thing most people don't realize about BP's is that many of us can go YEARS between episodes. Once a treatment is found that works, we're usually in decent shape for a long time. We exercise, take our meds, see our docs, and we do our best. That's not any more than anyone with ANY disease can be asked to do.