Bipolar Boyfriend – Help!

Posted by JR, July 14, 2009

Hi I am hoping someone can give me some advice. I have been researching bipolar because I think my boyfriend has it. We lived together for over a year and had a very healthy and loving relationship. Suddenly about a month ago he decided to move out. He moved everything out very quickly with very little explanation except that he felt messed up in the head and needed to figure out what was going on in his head. I was completely shocked.

Both he and his family have told me that this has happened before. He said that the last time this happened it was about 3 or 4 years ago and that he was living with an ex then and did the exact same thing. They ended up getting back together but later the relationship ended. I just wonder if it really ended for the reason he told me it did. He said that when he gets this feeling he needs get away (almost change his life completely except for his job). His family also told me that this type of thing has been happening ever since he was in college.

It is very apparent to me that he is in a deep state of depression. A few weeks before the depression set in he was spending a lot of money. Just 2 examples are that he insisted on spending $200 on me in a matter of minutes at a dept store. Then a few days later we went to a casino, someplace he kept wanting me to go to with him. He ended up taking out $800 on his debit and credit cards, saying that he wanted me to have a good time since it was my 1st time there. I told him it was way too much and his response was “it’s just money…I’ll make more.” That was literally 9 days before he moved out.

The research tells me that he may have Bipolar 2. It also seems that he knows there is a problem because when he talked to me about it he said that he was going to see a doctor, but commented that he would fight any doctor that tries to put him on medication. He agreed to going to see a therapist, but I believe that he has not yet done that. I have not spoken with him in over 2 weeks at this point. When I have spoken to him his voice sounds strange, almost slurred-like speech. I also know that he has not communicated with any of his friends during this time either.

Can anyone give me any advice? My whole life has been turned upside down and it’s just devastating.


  1. My now ex-boyfriend was actually diagnosed with Bipolar. When he took the medication prescribed to him – he was the BEST BOYFRIEND EVER!!! We were so great together, and actually, that was the only time I felt truly loved by him. When he ran out of meds, he didn’t go back to his dr. because he said he “never noticed a difference”. After and before that we were on and off; he liked me, he didn’t; he loved me, he hated me; he wanted to get married and have a child, then that was just an absurd idea. Although he didn’t notice a difference, obviously, I did. He refused to believe how I felt when I described how different he was on the meds. He continued to say that he WAS NOT CRAZY & didn’t need to be on “drugs”, but he was constantly either drinking every day, smoking pot and popping pills more than occassionally. His life has always been this way, so the only thing I can think of is that it has just become totally normal for him not to have solid decisions, thoughts, etc. I don’t know if I have any advice to give you but all I know is that if my ex did not love me enough to believe how different things were when he was on his meds, then he doesn’t even love himself. Constantly being on substances is true evidence that he doesn’t love himself. And if someone doesn’t love themselves, then they surely can’t love anyone else. I finally had to leave FOR GOOD. I realized that he needs to realize for himself that the diagnosis is real…not because he loves me or not. It’s just like an addict, they need to become clean for themselves, not for anyone else. All I can do is pray that he opens his eyes to his illness, or he will never have a stable life. I will pray for you and your ex.

  2. My name is Robert I am 53 and I am bipolar. I have lived a life of drugs and alcohol to self medicate my self to relieve the pain and suffering. I now see a psychiatrist and therapist and have been for several years. I also have been married for 28 years to the same woman, have two daughters. Life living with someone that is bipolar is not an easy life for anyone. You feel pain being with him and it must hurt to see him going through his manic of spending money and wanting to move out. If he won’t get help then he will drink and drug until things get better (for him) then he will slow down some. I can say that the doctors meds help but not all the time and then they have to be changed and then there is the time you have to go through until they are right again. Bipolar does not end with meds but it helps a whole lot, so tell him not to give up. He then needs to get couceling, find God and find a support group. He needs to know that he is not alone and that others suffer from it. I was in my forties before I listened to my wife to seek help. If you truly love him, help him, you maybe the only one that will ever care enough for him or that he trusts enough to listen to. Good luck and God bless.

  3. I myself have dealt with years of drug/alcohol abuse hiding from my bipolar+ptsd+bpd. I made irrational choices causing me to be in the court system. I would leave my living situation with the clothes on my back. I was homeless 4x by the time I was 22. I always said I didn’t need meds yet I’ve been on and off them since I was 12yrs old. almost 10 yrs ago when I was 22 I tried to go sober. By the time I was 24 my bipolar started getting worse with suicidal thoughts. Finally at 26 I stayed on meds and will never get off them, point being no matter how much people that love you tell you you need help. It’s only gonna happen when they do it, remember people with mental disorders have their own way of thinking. I take a ton of meds and I just got taking out of work due to so much stress I started seeing/hearing things and last june I spent a week in the mental hospital. my wonderful wonderful husband has been by my side for 9yrs and we haven’t been married a yr yet. If your boyfriend comes back(hopefully cuz u care)and tells you about his thoughts and why he left. you probally have a good chance with the relationship. Remember NO ONE wants to admit they are MENTALLY ILL

  4. If I were you I would get out of the relationship. It gets worse as they get older. You become his mother talking care of him, you will worry constantly. It is stressful and if you have children … it becomes hard and they dont understand why he is the way he is and why should I accept him. They quit taking meds cause their mind tells them they are cured and thus it starts all over. take care of yourself. No one else is going to because he is dependant on you .. you cant be dependant on him for your needs. They become un affectionate and narisistic. I loved my husband but when he threatened to kill me and my children. I had no choice but to leave. Now I am independant, I date, I haver married children and grandchildren. I see the kids dad at functions and we get along. He has been married 4X now. He hasnt a clue to what he did and acted when we were togther. Like I said … take care of yourself. Have him as a boyfriend but don’t marry. Keep your assets in your name only. Just in case something was to happen. I wish you well.

  5. After reading every post on this page I feel so many feeling.I would like first say I am a behavioural coordinator and have come across people with this disorder and it is very heartbreaking not only for the spouses of these people but for the person who suffers with being bipolar.Know let me encourage all of you to pick up these books and this will help you a lot to understand there illness and also provide you with self help.the hardest thing is letting go because the truth is these people are certainly beautiful but what do you do??.. in able the mania, absolutely not but validation is important so the name of these books are
    When Someone you love is Bipolar by Cynthia G.Last,PhD and also the book Loving Someone with Borderline Personality Disorder.By Shari y.Manning,PhD..Great depth and great information get out your yellow sharpy and pen because there will be a lot of info ,help for them as well as self help in these books.
    Keep reading please…Now my storey will begin,yes I work in mental health and yes I have seen all different cases ,however the denial hit me hard when the man i was truly in love with was diagnosed with being Bipolar and the roller coaster of Love,Hate,hurt,ect came ,went and the circle continued.This man came into my life after my husband died and we spent hours talking on the phone ,laughing consoling,there was nothing we didn’t talk about however…4 yrs after the death of my husband we got together it was beautiful,the warmth and gentleness and love ,passion ect was there and then by times he would wake up very quiet and i thought oh he is tired from working nights,then he would space off,and come back i would ask what is wrong he would say nothing..all was going ok and it wasn’t a worry until we decided to move in together,that day of moving he dropped me off at church and took off,hmmm i though thats strange and the whole relationship went down hill,he was wonderful to quiet to disconnected and it only got worse,i thought oh he is sensitive and started making excuses for him.this man was totally in love with me and then he started locking himself up in the room in the dark and he would stay there for hours,then i found pornography and he would act cold distant and i was omg…i started to do my own things not without worry but the denial of oh this isn’t happening to me!!!..then he came home with roses all was well and loving and that lasted about three months and snap one night i said i love you baby,he didn’t respond so i said hello did you forget something,he said to me each time i talk to you i don’t have to say i love you and hung up the phone,he left and 3 days later i called asking him where are you he said i need to get away give me time,then 5 days after said i don’t love you,then two days after i do love you,then i don’t again and i was on the roller coaster till he came through the door called me names ,cruel hurtful and no respect what so ever.told me to get out of his face,went and locked himself up and cried.
    Now this is sad,hurtful and dysfunctional don’t you think??…well having bipolar is a serous and painful condition for the one that has it and I would certainly say it is very difficult for the spouse as i go do I stay!!!…No one can answer that question for anyone.its a roller coaster and does it stop??…maybe it will be controlled with antidepressants and stabilizers,and therapy and a supportive family.but the fear,hurt and guilt and shame that person with bipolar live with is so painful.your mind being torn all the time…did I stay because of the severity of this condition and the love i had we decided to live separate and with the ability to understand a more in-depth understanding of the illness it allows me to have space to focus,and love him with validation of his pain but ability to have security…there is also another book for you ladies who are the spouse of the bipolar partner is called Women who love to Much by Robin Norwood this will give you great strength though trouble times. Taking the time to understand what is truly happening is the first step to making your own decision of what will help you,its a tough place to be when you wonder if you step away is it the right choice or wrong.However alot of the times the person who is the one with being bipolar are the ones who make the decision for you!!!

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