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Old 09-26-2018, 11:35 AM #1
KallieW KallieW is offline
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Default Boundaries and bipolar question

My boyfriend told me very early in our relationship that he was diagnosed bipolar but said that he had it under control. He's had a good job for more than a decade, raised his own kids because their mom gave him custody, no high debt, etc so I fully believed him. And things were great for awhile. Truly the best relationship I've ever had. Then about two months ago he made statements about feeling like an episode was coming. I asked him what he needed from me or if there was anything I could or should do. He said, "No, I've got it handled. I have a system for dealing with it." Then, barely at first, he started to distance himself. When asked, he said he was tired from not sleeping well. Then it was stress from work. Then finally he said he was "dealing with something" but wouldn't tell me what. Just said he was handling it and I needed to be patient. But then things started getting much worse. From texting/calling throughout the day, it dropped to only a few times a day. And one of the excuses for that was that he was sleeping. If that is true then he was sleeping 10-12 hours a day at least. Then he started being forgetful. He'd make plans but then when he didn't show/call he'd blow up claiming I imagined that he'd made those plans. At that point he pretty much stopped communicating with me. I gave him a couple of days then texted him that I'd give him some space but still loved him. He responded several hours later to thank me for "finally understanding" and that he still loved me. But he also put the blame back on me again saying he pulled away because I was being so emotional. I truly was not. I was questioning his behavior the way anyone in my situation would have done and I was actually very delicate about it because I suspected he was being overwhelmed by a bipolar depression. So I REALLY backed off then. But he texted me the next day and talked about coming to see me. Said "I'll let you know one way or the other." Yeah, guess what? Nothing. Texted me the next day but no mention of getting together. Like the conversation the previous day didn't happen at all. Monday night he texts late at night that he is sorry he didn't text earlier that day but he was asleep. He then said he'd text me the next morning and call me before I left for work. It's now Wednesday midday and I've heard not a peep. This is supposed to be an exclusive, committed relationship. I don't understand how it makes sense to him to go for days without talking to me and weeks now without seeing me.
I truly think he's in a depressed mood but he won't admit that to me. I know I need to set some boundaries here but will it do any good to try to set & enforce them now while he's still depressed and obviously not thinking clearly? Or should I just keep my distance like I have until he comes out of this?
Before I could post this he did text. The latest claim/excuse is that he's working 12 hour days. There are more details to the entire story that I've left out but I truly believe he's fighting a bipolar depression. Had he just admitted to me before it got bad that that's what was happening, I'd be looking at and handling this very differently. But his insistence that he had it under control and even blaming me at times leaves me hurting and confused. Whatever is going on, this is not how it should be handled with someone you claim to love and want a relationship with.
Oh, wow! He just texted and asked how I'm doing. It's been at least a month since he's shown interest or care in that way. I know that sounds weird but I've truly just tried to keep things as "light" and simple as possible - trying to make it easy for him.
Anyway, so I know we need to have a very honest and real conversation at some point but should I wait until he seems better? Should I still just keep my distance for now? I'm so confused.
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Old 09-26-2018, 01:38 PM #2
luvyrself luvyrself is offline
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Default Re: Boundaries and bipolar question

I know you are instinctively feeling that something is wrong with this picture. The blaming u for the episode sounds really off. Also there are things we bipolars have to do to fight our way out of an episode and working 12 hour days is not one of them. That sounds more like the hypomanic end of the spectrum. People arenít as social when they r depressed, we do withdraw, but yes, if u r planning a life together this isnít going to work. Fewer demands on us when we r having an episode helps, but who wants a workoholic anyway? My brother is one, a top ranked litigator and past board char of cancer soc worldwide. He trashed all his relationships.
Of course we have all seen all the movies where someoneís signif other makes all these excuses for not seeing them and is having an affair. Is that too trite to be actually happening. No.
Does he have a best friend? Ask him what to do.
Hope this helps.
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Old 09-26-2018, 02:06 PM #3
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Default Re: Boundaries and bipolar question

Yeah, no matter what's going on, he's not handling it the way a healthy adult who wants to preserve the relationship would. And I'm waiting till I get off work later to text him as much. It's killing me but I don't feel I have a choice any longer.
Btw, there is at least one other mental illness he was diagnosed with so that may be coming into play. Still... His current choices and behavior are not healthy. 😞
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Old 09-26-2018, 07:26 PM #4
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Default Re: Boundaries and bipolar question

What is the other diagnosis? If someone else here knows about it, they may have some ideas.
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Old 09-26-2018, 07:35 PM #5
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Default Re: Boundaries and bipolar question

He was also diagnosed with PTSD
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Old 09-26-2018, 07:40 PM #6
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Default Re: Boundaries and bipolar question

Oh, and he and I knew each other many years ago. We actually hung out in the same circle of friends and still have many mutual friends. They all swear he's a great guy. The only thing one of them said to me is that he heard previous girlfriends say he would get distant - almost like having an affair but they knew he wasn't. They said it was like he had a secret he'd never tell them. That's exactly how this is making me feel right now.
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