Advice needed...dating a girl who has bipolar disorder
Posted Wed Jul 20, 2016 03:50 AM
Really struggling with relationship issues and thought I would get some objective opinions. I will try to keep the explanation as short as possible.
I've met my girlfriend two and a half months ago. From the very first date there was mutual interest, and we had a lot of dates, many of them initiated by her. We probably saw each other 4-5 times a week, many of the dates often went on until early hours of the morning. After knowing her for about three weeks she told me that she has bipolar disorder. She also told me that she has been on different kinds of medication throughout her life, and none of it was ever really successful, until 7 months ago - new doctor, new medicine - apparently it is working well - the best it has ever worked in her life, according to her.
A month after meeting her, I was a little unsure of where I stood with her so I told her one evening that I have romantic feelings and that I was hoping that we could start a relationship in the future. She told me she felt the same. Two weeks after that, we had a wonderful weekend, she asked me to be her boyfriend and admitted that she started to fall in love with me. The next week she was very affectionate, very "lovey dovey"...the week after that she was a little bit cold again.
The last few weeks have been stressful on her - she is a photographer, so she is responsible for her own income. She stayed with her sister the last few months - the sister is also a photographer and had a lot of clients, so my girlfriend was helping her out with many shoots. The sister and her family emigrated to another country last week, and now my girlfriend has to stand on her own two feet, so to speak, and she hasn't been able to book and secure many clients yet. Last week they had to move all of the sister's belongings (furniture, etc) to their parents' house (I know how draining and stressful it is to move house), and she had to find a new home for her and the parents (getting a place was also stressful on her but at least they got a new place). So in effect she will be moving house a second time at the end of the month, so she is really very busy.
Also, in an effort to generate income, she is helping out an ex-boyfriend of hers with some photo shoots at schools. I became a little bit jealous because I did not understand the situation at first, but instead of asking her about it, I kept it to myself and did not handle the situation well. She could not handle the jealousy and together with all the stress, a week ago she said we must perhaps rather be just friends again. Two days later we talked things out, and I asked her if we can resume the relationship. She agreed to it, and she says she still feels the same, but she is concerned that her feelings are not growing - I said that it has barely been a few weeks so we could perhaps just take things slowly and not put pressure on ourselves.
Last night we celebrated our one month anniversary and for the first time in weeks she was a little bit relaxed again. She told me that despite the medicine working very well, she is scared though to be happy and that she feels that she doesn't know who she really is. She has had a lot of shit in her life, she was raped many years ago, she had an abortion many years ago...only 4 or 5 serious relationships but all of them abusive...I'm her first boyfriend in almost 3 years.
Now I've been reading up a lot on bipolar disorder and I do realize that someone who has it will be on a high the one week and on a low the next week. I really have sympathy for her. I care for her and still feel the same about her. The only thing is, I feel like I don't know where I stand with her. And as if our love flame has died a bit. My other problem is, I perceive love through affection and physical touch...which she is not fond of. As mentioned, she was very affectionate during our first week of being a couple, but not again since - and now I wonder if that is related to her bipolar cycles combined with all the stress in her life, or is it because her feelings for me changed.
I really want to give it a shot and see if it could work between us, because I believe there is potential for it, but how do I go about it? I want to re-ignite the spark that there was between us, but it feels like I am clueless and don't know how.
Sorry for the lengthy post, but I felt like all the detail was required. As I say, I don't know if the lack of affection is because of the stress in her life, or related to her bipolar disorder, and if I should worry about it because it was present for one week but never again, should I give things time and be patient?
Thank you for reading.
Posted Wed Jul 20, 2016 06:09 AM
Do NOT contemplate marrying her. She will make a dirty cheating wife, constantly seeking the sexual approval of other men. just go onto any of the "marriage boards" and look up threads on "bipolar wife cheating". There are a shit ton.
and, unfortunately, some of the drugs they give to bipolars to treat them actually lower their inhibition to cheating.
some ideas from another website:
"1. I'm honestly not very well read on the specifics of Bipolar Hypersexuality but most compulsive sexual disorders tend to drive people to extremes of sex. The compulsion isn't satisfied by sex that is normal or safe. Also it's not unusual for people who cheat to cut off intimacy with their partner out of the shame they feel for their behavior.
2. No, you should expect this will happen again. She has a disorder, she's getting treatment but it's not like a sprained ankle. Her disorder could be incorrectly medicated, it could resurface without warning. She didn't want to cheat on you the first time, not wanting hasn't stopped her. You may have to accept that doing her best to fight her disorder is all that she can do.
3. Hypersexuality is a Bipolar side effect. Not all Bipolar sufferers have it but it's not very uncommon. It is usually part of a course of disruptive and disconcerting behaviors but certainly it could be the most dynamic part of her disorder."
so go into this with your eyes wide open
Posted Wed Jul 20, 2016 12:10 PM
Know that sometimes the mental disorder will be between the two of you, and that she will likely hate that fact more than you will. She needs really good counseling, and probably for a long time. And always keep in mind that the coldness, the abruptness, is the illness, and not her.
It's hard. Don't think it won't be. She will tear herself down, retreat, push you away, but it isn't what she wants. It's hard to be that guy who pulls her back and builds her up, but if you truly love her, you will.
Posted Thu Jul 21, 2016 02:46 AM
I'm sure with counseling and medication she can level out her highs and lows so they are not in the extreme. Sounds like she needs a supporting partner which she hasn't been able to find. Sounds like you could be the man and be a loving and understanding partner. No one can tell you should or shouldn't you see this girl, only YOU can make that decision.
Oh as Spud said, yeah those people with bi polar can be very hyper in the bedroom and OMG the sex can be way awesome so you might want to keep that in your mind.
Posted Thu Jul 21, 2016 03:32 PM
You've already experienced the downs as well as the ups. So you have a more clear idea of what the future could hold if you continue the relationship. Are the ups worth the downs? Is this relationship a benefit for you or a burden? Think carefully and make a choice. It won't be easy, but nothing good ever is.
Posted Thu Jul 21, 2016 10:08 PM
You do know I'm what you "Normal" ppl call "Crazy" as I am as I've openly stated before a High Functioning Sociopath .
I'm the nutcase with a 138+ IQ & a 25 year happy marriage with two grown children & no complaints about the last quarter century .
Bipolar is an illness & like sociopaths , once you learn how to be around someone with that condition a successful relationship is possible , unless you were not compatible to begin with , but judge her on who she is , not what she was born with & has no control over , she's trying to better her condition .
To just label her "Crazy" & dump her accordingly makes you out to be the ............. Well I'm fairly sure you can figure out what my next choice of words might have been .
Posted Thu Jul 21, 2016 11:03 PM
This post has been edited by spud14: Thu Jul 21, 2016 11:04 PM
Posted Thu Jul 21, 2016 11:14 PM
This post has been edited by Q: Thu Jul 21, 2016 11:18 PM
Reason for edit:: Rewording what I'm really thinking .
Posted Fri Jul 22, 2016 01:27 AM
Even though nothing was actually mentioned about her being hypersexual, I will say that I'm bipolar and my hypersexuality is a symptom of that. I can relate to your girlfriend in many ways, but I won't get into all of them here. This is actually why I didn't start getting involved in serious relationships until my 20's, and part of why I've actually only had two serious long-term and monogamous relationships. One that I was in when I realized I needed help and got diagnosed, and the other one wasn't for another few years after the other one ended.
First, to get this little point out of the way because it's very important to mention- Even though I am bipolar, I never cheated in either relationship. Not even when the temptation was there. I was even engaged to both of them. I didn't cheat on the guy I was with at the time of my diagnosis, even though he thought the entire relationship revolved around him and that the only purpose of sex was for him to get off. Leaving me to suffer and fend for myself in the orgasm department for two years (he knew I had a hyperactive sex drive, btw). I didn't cheat on my most recent ex, even though I had the perfect opportunity with someone I liked more and was more attracted to prior to the reconciliation with my ex (however, he had no problem going off and fucking someone else behind my back at least once while we were together). If I do end up getting married someday, I sure as fuck will not become a "dirty cheating wife" because I do not fuck other people when I'm in any kind of relationship that has been established as monogamous no matter how badly I may want to at times. My case may not be an example of how everyone else's will be, but do not believe claims that everyone with bipolar disorder is a cheater just because it shows up on some message boards.
Now, moving beyond that part- In the time since I got diagnosed and started getting treatment, I've only experienced two manic episodes with a lot of promiscuity involved. And they only happened because I made the decision to stop taking medication despite strong disapproval from my therapist a couple of times, I was also single when they happened. That's the important part. Having support, finding the right treatment, and sticking with it. Which she may have found. She'll still feel episodes of mania and depression try to slip through at times no matter what, but it will be easier to fight them off. Over time, it's possible that she may not even need medication anymore.
I won't claim it's easy to be in a relationship with someone who suffers from it, no matter how hard we try to make it easy. It's not at all. Just remember that it's much harder for us to live with it every day. I wouldn't even wish it on my worst enemy if I had one. It's normal for her to be scared as she becomes more aware of her feelings, because that's when she'll realize that she has something to lose. I've been in that position before, and I've pushed people away because of it. So really just talk to her and prove to her that you're there for her, that you care, and that you're willing to stick around if it's a relationship you truly believe in. You will have to do it more than once for it to get through to her, but it will make a difference if she really feels the same way about you. If that doesn't end up being the case, at least you can say you tried and did the best you could.
Posted Tue Jul 26, 2016 02:22 PM
I few of my personal observation
1. She didn't want to do anything for weeks, and then become hyper sexual or do something extreme.
2. The bad times far outweighed the good time X 100.
3. She would follow and stalk me.
Posted Fri Jul 29, 2016 06:28 AM
Do your research about bipolar disorder before getting involved with someone like this. You have no idea what you're getting into and you may fall into the trap of trying to help her but it takes a very specific type of person to be able to do that, and if you are not, it will suck the life out of you. Being her friend has been extremely difficult and I'm still dealing with the fallout from this, including my own emotional and mental issues brought on by this. In the end was it worth it for me, as I was just a good friend... I have to say no. I don't regret being her friend, we had some good times but ultimately the whole experience was way too much for me and if I had been romantically involved with her, I am sure my life would have been ruined too.
Posted Fri Jul 29, 2016 07:09 AM
Posted Sat Jul 30, 2016 10:52 AM
I'm not saying to not get involved with someone who is bipolar, but I do recommend doing some research to know about the condition so you can understand this person's situation better and be more compassionate. Had I known my friend was bipolar earlier, I am sure I may have approached it differently because now I understand. She didn't
choose to be like this. But I have to admit, I can't help but think just maybe if I did something different maybe all the horrible things she's endured may not have happened. Perhaps that's just wishful thinking on my part but it's been extremely difficult for me seeing someone I loved struggle like this and refuse my help. I've had a lot of sleepless nights where I couldn't stop thinking about her.
I can only hope that things continue to get better for her, but unfortunately she is no longer part of my life. I know she is not alone, she has other support and for that I am grateful. I miss her a lot and she'll always have a place in my heart.
I should also mention that both my sister and sister-in-law are also bipolar, and they've had their share of issues, but they also lead productive lives. Being bipolar isn't a death sentence. It cannot be cured, but it can be treated and it helps to have people in your life that care.
Posted Thu Oct 06, 2016 08:58 AM
Posted Mon Nov 28, 2016 11:43 PM
Posted Tue Nov 29, 2016 01:08 AM
It's difficult for us in general. Sometimes just getting through the day is a challenge. But if she's on medication then she's on the right track and doing the best she can. Even if she isn't in therapy. Not all of us need therapy as we may have other ways and tools to cope. For me it was meditation and dhamma (no further explanation, just google it, hehe.) But she is so much better with meds than without. That's a huge plus.
We often get a bad reputation due to the many sufferers out there who are un-medicated and either don't know they are working with bipolar or have yet to accept it. Add on top of that, our societal stigma around mental illness only makes it worse. Just like any organ in our bodies, our brains can get sick as well. The majority of people see it as a problem that we have control over. Or see us as bad people because of it. When in reality, we are some of the most intelligent people out there. Bipolar is a imbalance of chemicals in the brain, and every single person is at risk. It doesn't matter who you are or what you do, or even how much money you make. Anyone can suffer with it. Just like cancer. Worst case scenario, we commit suicide because we don't know how to cope with it and just want to suffering to end. Best case scenario, we accept it, tell people about it, take our meds and find ways to be aware and mindful of when episodes begin to trigger. If we know ourselves we know where those triggers come from and have ways to lessen them or stop them altogether. But it takes acceptance of what we have and awareness of how they manifest.
I can't tell you what you should or should not do. That's your decision and I can't make that choice for you. But what I can tell you is that it takes a strong, non-judgemental, open and accepting person to love us. But those that understand what we are going through will see that we are no different than anyone else, and they will know they are getting an incredible, loving and horny partner, LOL, that deserves acceptance regardless of a disease we did not ask for. If we are untreated, then maybe it's best to walk away. But if we are taking care of ourselves and doing what we need to do to treat the symptom, then we are great people to be with.
People call us crazy. Guess what, everybody is a little crazy every now and then. But I must say that it takes an intelligent, open-minded and curious person to love people like us. They do the research. They understand that we are doing our best. They accept our faults and give open ears to listen to us when we need it. Cause most often, we get name-called, laughed at and told we aren't worthy of affection or the time of day. We are human and we deserve to be treated as such. Many of us have been through very difficult and traumatic relationships. Most probably before we knew we had this disease. We might push back or be very hesitant to get into a new one because of that. Perhaps afraid of getting close to anyone because we are uncertain of their reaction once they found out.
So if you really value and care for her as a person, then there's no question to be asked. You accept her illness and love her unconditionally. And when episodes arise, and they will, you are there to support her; not taking her actions personally. But if that isn't something you can be with and can't accept. Or if you want to only see us through the lens of the stigma and not see us as real people. Then please, leave us alone. We don't need people patronizing and talking down to us due to their ignorance. And I say this out of kindness. We've been through enough, we don't need it from someone we love and care about.
Posted Fri Dec 02, 2016 02:48 AM
Posted Wed Dec 07, 2016 11:27 AM
Posted Sun Dec 11, 2016 11:49 AM
I had limited contact with her exactly three months ago and she is now living with her boyfriend and supposedly she was going into a treatment center but I know he's been buying her drugs and she had also been escorting again since I've last seen her. I wish I could be optimistic but I see that it's been four months and neither the warrants nor the court fines have been dealt with and I am sure they won't. I wouldn't be surprised to see her get arrested again. She is facing two felony counts and one misdemeanor and after jumping bail I can't see how she's not going to be going to jail for an extended amount of time.
I tried my best to help her and it seems it was all for nothing, and it breaks my heart. I hope she can overcome this but I can't have her in my life anymore. I felt I had no choice but to cut my losses with her and run. I couldn't deal with it anymore. I've gone out of my way to make sure she can no longer contact me and I am sure it's for the best. I'll always care for her, but my relationship with her is toxic and I've lost all hope she's going to get better.