Dealing with a Lack of Intimacy

Posted October 1, 2011

I have always been “up” and “down”… and my first suicide attempt happened when I was 17, and no one put me in counseling or on meds. Wasn’t diagnosed until I was in my mid 20s. I am physically attractive and intelligent, and have never had a problem attracting the opposite sex. In fact, I used to get TOO much attention.

After two years of marriage I decided my husband was the reason I was depressed and I kicked him out and ended up having a (very) brief affair with a coworker. My husband and I got back together after I was diagnosed with manic depression and hospitalized/medicated. My husband never really understood my illness; he said I used it as an excuse for my lack of memory, inability to function or get out of bed, reckless spending, etc. I wasn’t always bad, but it was enough.

He told our friends that I was like his second child and pulled away emotionally over the years. I was, and have always been, hypersexual at times (mania!) and started telling him that if he wouldn’t have sex with me, I wanted an open marriage. He wasn’t ok with that, or even interested in counseling. So, when a friend of a friend started sending me messages on MySpace and meeting me in the park (he knew I took my dog regularly to the same place), I was ECSTATIC that someone was flattering me, giving me attention, GIFTS (ipod, cds, framed pictures he got off MySpace). I believed him when he said my husband doesn’t deserve me. I told my husband and he broke down crying saying over and over “I can’t believe I pushed you to another man.”

I was EXTREMELY manic, drinking during the day heavily, not taking meds, etc. I left my husband and our two daughters (pains me to write that) for three months before the mania wore off and depression set in. Attempted suicide twice and tried to go back to husband, who by that point had changed the locks and hired the most expensive (read: best) lawyer in town.

For all of you who say that those of us with manic depression should be held accountable for our actions, I agree, to a point. I can tell you that I am NOT in my right mind when manic and can’t adequately describe how that makes you function. I think the key is to have a supportive spouse/partner that doesn’t IGNORE your needs. For me, manic depression + hypersexuality + lack of attention from spouse + a lot of attention from a stranger = crisis. What kills me is that he is seen by people who know us as an angel, and I am basically a devil woman. No one understands that he wasn’t there for me and that manic depression causes you to do things that you would never normally do.


  1. The title is a bit misleading, not much subject matter on the lack of intimacy. The title should be “A Craving for Variety”. Being bipolar, my partners always complained that I didn’t love them. That I would go for weeks without showing much affection at all, manic or depressed. It usually came as a surprise to me as I never realized I had been doing that. I didn’t want somebody else to be intimate with. It looks as if your husband had some intimacy issues, but he isn’t bipolar. I guess this article clearly states: be intimate with me or I’m gonna cheat.

  2. Hi I have been reading your blog I have suffered with bipolar for over 20 years your blogging is very interesting thanks a lot

  3. I feel so sorry for you I can relate in part (never married, was always faithful) as this year I lost my boyfriend who I loved because I take on too much and collapse he never really understood what it meant to have a mentally ill girlfriend (that I could relapse at any time, that i don’t know my limits+always wanted/needed sex), he still thinks he walked away from me not my disease, he still thinks he loved me not my disease what he doesn’t know is even I have not yet discovered where the disease ends and I begin. Losing him makes me want to die.


  1. New Bipolar Stories | Bipolar Beat - [...] have an intimate relationship with someone who has bipolar disorder, I suggest that you read “Dealing with a Lack…

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