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When to stay?

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We've been together for over six years and many of them have been good.  When things are good we have a fantastic time together.  No one can make me laugh like he does and no one understands me as much as he does.  No other person knows as many of my dark secrets and still loves me and looks me in the eye.  We can sit in companionable silence and not feel the need to talk.  We can look at each other accross a room and know that the ridiculous event or comment that we just witnessed is cracking the other person up inside.

We have lively intellectual debates over everything and we both enjoy a quiet night at home reading.  We love our animals and our little nest that we have built together.  When we have sex, which has been infrequent of late (thanks topamax, remeron, etc), it's very good.  We talk honestly and openly about our problems, but never during an actual disagreement.

Now, the problems because of course there are problems.  I have been a crazy psycho bitch for the past year or so.  In retrospect I think I was an undiagnosed BPII rapid cycling with my hypomania being prone to fits of extreme irritability and sometimes rage.  I'm never violent but I know that I have been mean and emotionally volatile.  I'm far more demanding than I should be.  I have extremely rigid expectations about housework, cleanliness, and order within the house.  I absolutely require that he do the things he says he will do, big or small, there is no room for error or I would fly into a rage.

He's not blameless either, he's the king of passive-aggressive.  He avoids conflict whenever possible, but expresses his displeasure by "forgetting" to do things that he has promised to do.  He has admitted that this is something that he does, not consciously (all the time) but nonetheless a behaviour that he engages in. If there is any sort of conflict he shuts down and won't talk to me. 

We talked the other day about our problems and the negative pattern that we've gotten into.  We spent the first two years of our relationship being happy more often than not, then I got depressed and we dealt with that for about six months.  I responded to therapy and things seemed good for another year.  Then he got depressed and wouldn't seek treatment, then had difficult finding treatment that worked.  After about two and half years things started to look up and I crashed (some overlap in our craziness did occur ;) ).  So really, we've spent two happy years and whole lot of dealing with craziness interspersed with periods of happy.  It's not like we've never been happy during times of crisis, it's just that looking back on those times everything is overshadowed by our MI.

I'm starting to become more stable now, I have more control over my moods and I'm less prone to angry outbursts.  I know that I've hurt him in the past because I haven't been in control when we've argued and I've said hurtful things and so has he.  We communicate well most of the time, but when we're in the midst of craziness sometimes the gloves come off.

When we talked a few days ago we talked about all of this history, our past negative behaviours and how we would like to continue in the future.  The problem is this, I want to spend the rest of my life with this person because I know that the good things we have are worth fighting for and I think that we can make this work.  We have built a pretty good life and it could get so much better with some effort.  I need to be more stable and aware of what I am saying and the impact that can have on someone with fragile self-esteem.  He needs to be aware of how much I need him to be dependable and reliable (suffice it to say that I have daddy issues related to reliability).

However, when we were talking he said that he doesn't know if we should be together long term.  He doesn't know if he could marry me, or if we have what it takes to make it.  He even indicated that he is considering leaving me.  I don't know what to do about this, or do with this.  Obviously, this is something that only he can decide and that only he can know.

Now comes the venting, as irrational as it may be.  I have no friends that are not our friends, and I can't talk to family about this.  I can't talk to him about this, so I'm going to vent to anonymous strangers over the internet.  I can't fucking believe that he would put this on my right now.  I was just tentatively diagnosed as BPII about a month ago, I'm trying to get my meds straightened around and am going though hell right now.  I'm trying each and ever day to not SI and to not purge.  My moods are still cycling pretty frequently (every few days) and I'm barely holding things togehter.  I have a bunch of family shit going on on top of it all.

For 2.5 years he was depressed as all hell and I carried the relationship.  I did all of the housework, I looked after everything.  I battled with my own MI and I dealt with the lack of sex because I knew that he didn't feel up to it.  I made excuses to our friends during the phase when he felt too raw and exposed to talk to them about what was going on.  I got him to a doctor and I listened endlessly when he needed to talk.

Now, I've been going through hell for the past year and I'm still dealing with everything.  I still pay all the bills and do the vast majority of the housework, and I have asked for help with these things because I feel overwhelmed.  I feel used and overwhelmed and just generally shitty.  I feel like I gave and gave and now I'm going to be tossed aside because I'm too much work.  Is this a fair assessment?  No.    It's just the way I feel, hence the venting to strangers on the internet.  This is probably irrational and overly long, but rather cathartic.  Thank you.

Edited for typos because they make me crazier.

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I am so sorry this is happening now.  I agree with wifezilla, if he doesn't want to

marry you why waste more of your time? Maybe couples therapy would be useful

to both of you to help you decide if you want to continue the relationship.

I wish you well.

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I'm sorry you're going through such a rough time. Relationships are hard work and emotionally draining at times even when you're not MI.

I think if ya'll are so great together during the good times it's worth it to stay and fight for it. Although you can't have the commitment you want all by yourself. It comes down to Is he willing to stay and fight for it? Only he can answer that. But I wouldn't wait around forever for him to decide. Stand up for yourself! Let him know what you want, but that if he doesn't shit or get off the pot (as wifezilla so eloquently put it,lol) that you will be making the decision to move on. Because you are worth the commitment and if he doesn't appreciate what he has in you, someone else will.

Just my two cents,


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This is such a tough one. I will be sending you both kind thoughts and loving vibes. Relationships are such special things, what you wrote in the first part about the ways that you're in harmony, well it made me a bit weepy. I'm a singleton : (

I think that for your mental health you need to prepare for the possibility that he may leave, and set him a deadline to decide. This not selfish, it just prevents him changing his mind all the time (which since he obviously cares for you he is probably doing) and it protects you from waiting forever. This is the wisdom part, the laying down the law and making a smart choice.

You sound angry, and I can see how this is caused. You wrote a lot about carrying the relationship. Has he carried it when you were ill? Does he carry it in anyway? Maybe you need to remember those times. Maybe you need to remember times when he has been at his illest. Not when he has been at his most inconvenient, but when he has been at his rawest and in the most pain. This will generate compassion for him and stop you getting bitter. This is the loving part, after all, what is love if it is not understanding and selflessness?

You need to strike a careful balance between loving him and loving you too. You will need some space, to be angry, to be confused, to be mentally ill, especially if you're cycling. If staying with a friend or a parent wouldn't be suitable, long drives where you scream and shout with the windows up, going for a long pounding run, going for a coffee and being anonymous for a few few hours, seeing a movie alone, any time alone spent on you will be therapeutic. It will also prepare you for the possibility of being single again.

Best of luck, keep us updated, and contact me if you want me to pray and make offerings to the Buddha for you both and your relationship. I am happy to do this only if you specifically ask me to, as I don't want to intrude, some people aren't comfy with this for their valid reaons.

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We had a good talk yesterday.  We've both been fairly closed off with each other and distant because we've each felt hurt and alone.  It came out that we've both felt that the other was avoiding physical contact and intimacy.  We're both too damn sensitive and mentally interesting sometimes!

I do feel angry sometimes, and I have to remember the times that he has put  his all into the relationship.  The times that he has done realy sweet and caring things that have made all the difference.

We're taking some positive steps, like instituting more serious talks about how we feel and where the relationship is going.  We're each trying not to read things into the others's behaviour, but rather to ask what is meant by their actions.  We're going to go on actual, planned-out dates again to try to get back some of that sense of romance.

We have a lot of work to do, but I really feel that this relationship is worth it.  When things are good they are so very good, it just feels like we've lost our way.  He is truly my best friend and first love and I would hate to lose that without a fight.

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