How to live with bipolar?

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I'm not sure how to start this or even what to say but I don't know what to do anymore....I'll try to keep it short.......

I have been in a relationship for 3 1/2 years and in November 2014 my boyfriend was diagnosed with bipolar.

The diagnosis was a bit of a relief because it gave an explanation to many things however I'm not sure how to continue forward.  We have many ups and downs as I'm sure most couples do and in the recent months I felt as if we were moving forward rather than being in constant arguments.

The past 3 days have been horrendous and I believe it's me that is the problem as I cannot help but take things personally, I cannot walk away from someone who blames me for every single thing that goes wrong in his life, or the other end of the scale I cannot go 2 days living with someone who literally ignoreds me, to the point where I wonder if I'm going insane. I can't even be upset myself (I suffer with Rheumatiod arthritis too so I do have down days) because he turns the situation around to be about him and I end up feeling guilty because he feels down.  I feel I have nothing more to give because every single discussion turns into an argument about how I ruin his life, how I use him and abuse him.  I admit that I argue and I am definitely far from being a saint but I am positive that I do not rule his life therefore I don't know how EVERYTHING is my fault?

Can anyone help or is anyone in the same kind of situation as me?


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11 Replies

  • Posted

    Hi, I don't know that I can be of any help but my daughter was in a relationship with a lad with bipolar and it's hard.You've been with him a good amount of time so you must feel he's worth the effort and he no doubt is worth it but you can't take everything personally although that's easier said than done. I would strongly suggest you read up on bipolar as much as you can so you can at least try to gain some understanding of what's happening and why. Try to avoid arguing as you'll probably just go around in circles and both of you will end up exhausted. My daughter read Loving someone with bipolar disorder by Julie Fast and John Preston and found it helpful.It's something you could work on together or if he doesn't want to you could try some of the strategies yourself and see how things go.Some of the things he says and does are really hurtful, my daughter found that, but try and remember he can't help it.Sorry I can't be more helpful . I wish you well.
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    • Posted

      Thank you for your reply Philippa, I'll definitely take a look at "Loving someone with bipolar disorder". As you said it's hard to not take it personally and it's hard to ignore it but I guess I'm the one who has to make the change. I really appreciate your reply.
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  • Posted

    hi ,wow this is like looking at the same relationship as iam in ,my partner in hospital at the moment ,i have lay on my bed crying so many times the last few months from the hurtful things my partner has said to me and knowing you have done nothing wrong yet still questioning yourself .sometimes i have even thought god iam a horrible person ,my self esteem is at a low at the moment ,sometimes i feel like its like being in a relationship where someone is hitting you one min then saying sorry the next only with words not violence.when my partner is feeling good he is the most loving caring man ive ever met i couldnt tell you how many times he says i love you in a day .

    none of this is your fault sweatheart ,we just have to learn to be tough x

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  • Posted

    Your question helped me in so many ways, as did the replies. I have a partner who can so nasty with his comments one day and the next he acts as if nothing has happened. I suffer from depression myself and this is all really getting to me. I wish I could walk away but I do love him and care for him. I don't understand why he lies and can be so vindictive, I obviously have to do some research and hopefully find a way of coping with this. At the moment the bad times are outweighing the good. If anyone has any good coping strategies, I'm all ears!

    Thank you, your letter and the replies, make me feel that I'm not alone.

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  • Posted

    with sever mania comes delusions and if it goes to the extreme hallucinations and full on psycosis,  coping with and living with bipolar requires nothing more than understanding and patience from a partner along with therapy and medication.(from my experience i am bipolar 2 rapid cycling)  

    blaming someone else for the problems in ones own life is passive aggression and nothing to do with the bipolar,   bipolar is a mood disorder and therefore would suggest that your partner is  highly manic at the moment and needs help before damaging you or himself mentally or physically

    as well as my bipolar i grew up with a bipolar mother (and probably schizophrenia but that diagnosis was posthumous and based on her cause of death) 

    so i was where you are now as a child  and then where he is now from 15 onwards

    it is hard for the both of you and trust me it isnt your fault but i wouldnt argue with someone in hypomania i can be an absolute "arsehole" with the people i love  and be quite scary but due to my nature, Profuse appologies tend to follow when i come round  i have a lot of time behind me so i am able to identify when im going that way and tend to forwarn the friends i have left (though it does catch me out sometimes) or isolate myself because i wouldnt put anyone through what i went through,   i would love it if more people understood my condition.  i isolate myself or go for a walk when i am negative manic and cant deal with people because they all make me angry.

    however when im hypo i do peoples heads in with my intense and crazy logic that they cant keep up with and tend to ramble on like an exited mad professor.

    (i have visited all three states within a 24hr peiod when things in my life were difficult and they can be triggered abruptly by stressors)

    so in short     a bit of space does good. understanding (but not sympathy unless he is that way inclined) 

    dont raise your voice or patronize you cant put out a fire with fire

    so arguing with a manic episode not a good idea.

    i go insane when i "know" im right ;-) mid episode, and someone tries to say otherwise. 

    and DONT take it personally. remember,  when he comes round he will be very upset with what he said..    

    or he might just be an arsehole using a disorder as an excuse to abuse you in which case i would get out as soon as possible

    that is advise for you all 

    from someone who has lived with and lives with bipolar disorder 

    keep strong 

    be well, my thoughts and heart are with you all

    you do learn to cope and eventually manage, all it requires is time patience and a bit of understanding 

    thats both ways


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    • Posted

      Your letter makes a lot of sense. Unfortunately my partner will not talk about anything to do with his illness and is drinking quite a lot. When he is abusive, the next day he will swear blind that he wasn't. He says he has phoned me but when I offer proof that he hasn't he gets on the defensive.

      I think he needs to go back and see someone but I know that if I suggest it, I will suffer more abuse. He scoffed at me when I told him there was a local support group that I may attend. I cannot seem to win at the moment. My patience is being so severely tested and I am getting nothing back from him. Is it worth carrying on?

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    • Posted

      If you feel a support group would help you I would go  , regardless of whether your partner scoffs at you or not. You have to take care of yourself as well as your partner. You won't be any help to him if you are totally beaten yourself.Yes bipolar is  a terrible illness and he can't walk away from it like you can but that doesn't mean you aren't suffering too. Being on the recieving end can easly destroy you unless you have a good support network for yourself.The feelings of failure at letting your loved one down and the guilt that goes with it can be overwhelming which isn't always acknowledged. Your partners illness is compounded by the fact he won't talk about it and is drinking alot.If he really won't talk to you about it I don't know where that leaves you but only you can make the decision whether to carry on or not. I only wanted to say please be kind to yourself. So many people end up emotionally scarred by trying to do the right thing for their loved one but ignoring themselves in the process. Whatever you do , make sure it's the best thing for BOTH of you. I hope things work out for you.
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    • Posted

      Thank you Mrfixitman smile.

      I'm late in saying thank you but I do appreciate your reply.

      It's good to hear from someone who is going through the same thing but obviously from the other side.

      The situation currently stands at us living in the same house but in separate bedrooms.

      It went from bad to worse after I sought advice on here and I unfortunately couldn't take the pressure of trying to make us work anymore. If I walked away he chased me, if I stayed put but didn't respond he threatened me so I felt like I was in a no win situation.  He started threatening me to the point where I had to phone the police and making up such lies that I couldn't even begin to work out why.

      I obviously do not understand what he is going through and I have lost all patience which is definitely not good for him.  So I am now trying to be there as a friend because what kind of person would I be if I walk away from someone who I love and who clearly needs help?

      Your statement of “I go insane when “I know” I’m right” sums it up perfectly and that’s the part I struggle to deal with.  He thinks he’s right all of the time and to him I’m supposed to say nothing, even when he’s dictating things about me!  I take it from your smile J that you know you aren’t right but at that moment, you’re 100% right and nothing will change your mind.

      Unfortunately he’s not always that upset by what he has said, a lot of the time he justifies what he has said to me by using something I’ve said (but twists it so much that I don’t even know what was said anymore).

      So I really do thank you for taking the time out to reply to me, I do have a great feeling of guilt reading this for the first time because I know I’ve probably made many situations worse and things may have not resulted in what they are today…….however, I’m a young woman who is human so there are going to be times when I do not understand certain situations.

      Understanding and patience is the key and I’m at a loss as to how I get to that point.

      I don't want to say he is an arsehole as I'd like to think that he's not this way inclined but to be honest I think all of the lies, the stories the 


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  • Posted

    Hi Victoria

    My step Daughter is 49 she was diagnosed with Bipolar in 2009, she was previously border line personality order. The problem is that once an individual is diagnosed no one feels the need to look beyound it, some proffesional made that descision and therefore must be right.

    In most Bipolar episodes there is a trigger,some thing that sets it off and in her case its rejection in a relationship. Shes currently in her third episode and was sectioned last Saturday.

    Having gone through hell and back we came to the concusion that the lying, thieving the manipulation are all part of the illness.In her worst moments whens shes God and every ones an idiot because they dont understand her. doesnt need medication because this is the real her. violent and agressive and has literaly walked hundreds of miles in bare feet. picken up fag ends in the park and you wonder what the hell shes going to do next. The reality is that she cant help her self and her last stay in the secure unit was for 9 months.

    She wont listen to logical discussions and we stopped trying when shes in this state of mind. It goes to show we know nothing about how the brain works or why it does what it does other than they have no choices.

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