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Pixelish

Tips for two Bipolar folk in a relationship?

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Second post on this forum (woohoo!), but, I was wondering if anyone has any advice for smoothing out a relationship between two bipolar people. My fiance and I have been together for nearly three years now, engaged for almost two of those years, we're both under the age of 25 (but over 18), we live together, and we're both bipolar. She has Type I and I'm just recently diagnosed Type II. Both our diagnosis(es?) have been in the past year, and we've both been trying medicines (her first, then me as my dx came months after); she is presently unmedicated. We both see the same psychologist but different prescribing doctors/GPs. We do not presently do any sort of couples therapy, our therapy sessions are separate and confidential. Our relationship in all it's years has always had very rough spots that we stick out because we genuinely love each other and care for one another, and want to see each other grow/be apart of each other's lives. However, our MIs (bipolar, ptsd, possible schizo-spect disorder on our end) have nearly ripped us apart for good many times. We took an almost month long break after our most recent big falling out, out of desperation to try and amend ourselves and our relationship. Being apart for a bit seemed to help, but we seem to have fallen right back into the "cycle" of our relationship. The extreme highs and lows that are no doubt also attributed to our bipolar. Does any have any words of wisdom or advice to think about/keep in mind when trying to keep the relationship afloat? We genuinely do love and care for one another and want to make what we have at our best work. It just seems to get more and more difficult. Hopefully meds will help even us out, we know we need to work on ourselves to help the relationship.

Anything is much appreciated!

-P

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Posted (edited)
On 9/12/2018 at 4:09 PM, Pixelish said:

Second post on this forum (woohoo!), but, I was wondering if anyone has any advice for smoothing out a relationship between two bipolar people. My fiance and I have been together for nearly three years now, engaged for almost two of those years, we're both under the age of 25 (but over 18), we live together, and we're both bipolar. She has Type I and I'm just recently diagnosed Type II. Both our diagnosis(es?) have been in the past year, and we've both been trying medicines (her first, then me as my dx came months after); she is presently unmedicated. We both see the same psychologist but different prescribing doctors/GPs. We do not presently do any sort of couples therapy, our therapy sessions are separate and confidential. Our relationship in all it's years has always had very rough spots that we stick out because we genuinely love each other and care for one another, and want to see each other grow/be apart of each other's lives. However, our MIs (bipolar, ptsd, possible schizo-spect disorder on our end) have nearly ripped us apart for good many times. We took an almost month long break after our most recent big falling out, out of desperation to try and amend ourselves and our relationship. Being apart for a bit seemed to help, but we seem to have fallen right back into the "cycle" of our relationship. The extreme highs and lows that are no doubt also attributed to our bipolar. Does any have any words of wisdom or advice to think about/keep in mind when trying to keep the relationship afloat? We genuinely do love and care for one another and want to make what we have at our best work. It just seems to get more and more difficult. Hopefully meds will help even us out, we know we need to work on ourselves to help the relationship.

Anything is much appreciated!

-P

Well...id day the fact that you both acknowledge what’s going on is a start. I feel like lots of relationship involving MI end up with people trying to avoid the issue, hope it just gets better, or become super codependent to the point that it causes serious issues. So it sounds like you both respect each other’s space- which is really important. My first relationship as I was getting Dx’d was fairly awful cuz I’d feel shitty, person would try to help but then be upset when I didn’t just magically feel better or decided I didn’t want to talk, then I would see her upset and get more upset and round and round and round. Seems like your trying to avoid that too, which is probably well advised. However, if these fights and hostilities are getting in the way of your lives- it might warrant a serious conversation about if this is really healthy going foreword...or if you think there is going to be a pattern of tension. I’m not saying you can’t date someone with MI- but that first while of new meds/new Dx is especially hard, and if you move foreword your going to have to accept that this relationship might be a hell of a lot of work on top of the stresses of dating/possibly getting married/etc. my advice would be maybe try couples therapy- maybe even once just for a feel...cuz when there’s MI involved an objective perspective usually doesn’t hurt- and maybe try to establish a “protocol” ...an agreed upon way to approach things as far as signaling when you really need to be alone or when you really need to talk. But: if things seem like it’s getting unhealthy or causing consistent problems you need to evaluate whether this is what’s best for you...because forcing something too much may not be good for you or your SO. Also, meds are a wildcard in this department- yes they can really help with irritability/mood liability but it’s often a “gets worse before it gets better” thing. I’m not saying this cuz I think you should end the relationship or that it can’t work...more that in the new d’x new meds figuring it out stage...you really do need to put your health above all else. I wish you the best! 

Edited by Iceberg

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