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Unread 10-06-2017, 08:05 AM   #1
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Default BP2 Girlfriend in Denial

My girlfriend of over four years was very sad after her divorce. Her former husband remarried, and his wife accused my girlfriend of being mean and evil. I never saw that in her. About every 7-8 months, she would grow distant, and then break up with me, only to come back anywhere from a few days to a few months later. This happened in February, and I started looking for reasons.


Low and behold, BP2 came up in my research. I was 99% certain she had it, and that was why she was so mean (at times) to her ex-husband. Sure enough, she came back and I was able to convince her to see a pDoc. My theory was confirmed, and she got the diagnosis I expected. I tried to make things easy for her by always going to her house (a 45 minute drive) instead of mine, and just taking all the negative comments about me.
A month ago, she was really getting under my skin being critical of me, insinuating I was fat, and saying she would never get married (in front of her family and my friends). She pushed me a little too far, and I yelled at her telling her to grow up, and stop behaving like a little b**ch. The next day, I apologized, but she broke up with me again. I again apologized, but no dice. This was the fifth breakup.


Now, she is asking me to come see her, but the conversations (text only) quickly devolve into her being quite nasty and mean. She is on 40 mg Latuda, and 100 mg Zoloft. Yesterday, I suggested she read Julie Fastís book Take charge of Bipolar Disorder, and she started in with the criticism again. It seems I canít even discuss the condition, and she denies she even has it. When she is not in an episode, she is wonderful, caring, loving and a joy to be around. When hypomanic, she is mean to me and me only, so her family has no clue. Her brother committed suicide when she was 13 (bipolar), and several more distant family members have been in psych hospitals.


I would like to try and work with her to help her be well (we do not live together), but it seems like she wants to just stay in denial. I know she can get better if she tries.


Does anyone have any advice for me?
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Unread 10-06-2017, 11:34 AM   #2
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Default Re: BP2 Girlfriend in Denial

Well first of all welcome to psych central

I'm glad you were able to help her get into treatment. You can be supportive but it's really up to her to persevere and and continue treatment.

One thing that I strongly advise is to not interact with her when she's being abusive. If you are on the phone tell her that you won't listen to abusive talk and hang up. If she starts with abusive text messages do not respond. Don't go to her house when she's in one of her mean moods.

If she goes at you in front of friends leave if you can. She may be doing this from the bilolar or she may have other issues, and behaves in an abusive manner because of this

You can't help her unless you take care of yourself first.
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Unread 10-09-2017, 11:49 AM   #3
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Default Re: BP2 Girlfriend in Denial

Thank you Shazerac for the kind words. I got severely depressed over the weekend, and she came out to see me. We talked, and there appears to be a ray of hope. It will be important for her to understand proper boundaries, and I will have to make sure to monitor my own well-being. Be well!
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Unread 10-11-2017, 08:27 AM   #4
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Default Re: BP2 Girlfriend in Denial

I think you have to ask yourself why you are so committed to helping her. Do you need to be needed in that way? Does being needed by her give you self worth, or value, that being with a healthy person who didn't need you in this way would not?

I say that as a classic enabler, former savior complex dude, who has been rescuing women since I came of age, and has been rescuing the same woman for 19 years. It's exhausting, and the brief periods of elation as the pedestaled man who is the Rock of Gibraltar for your damaged lover, just don't pay for the toll of living in such an asymmetrical relationship. There's a price to infantilizing your SO, and cleaning up their messes, to taking on more than your share of the domestic labor, and earnings of the relationship. Both members of the partnership can resent each other over the asymmetry. You for doing so much and finding it to be thankless, and her for you "always being to good guy" , for reminding her of her incapacity.

Admittedly, I'm a little sour right now as I deal with my currently hypomanic spouse who is all covered up in mid-life crisis and bipolar 2, among other things, but unless you're prepared for a roller coaster life, it is probably not worth the investment.

If you were to ask me if I'd do it again, I'd probably have to say yes, I have three sons and I've lead a full life these last two decades that has included quite a bit of love and great memories with my SO, but to say that any of it was easy, or routine, I'd say no. I definitely have had to compromise on a lot of things in my life I would rather have not had to compromise about. Finances, career, my children's mental health, relationships outside the home, even the frequency and nature of vacations have all been impacted by having a largely untreated mentally ill person as my partner. We have a strong bond, a lot of history, and so much entanglement that defies the same advice I'm giving you, but if you're not that deep, I would seriously evaluate your motivations for staying involved with her, and consider moving on.

I want to qualify my advice with the fact that one can have a good relationship with people who experience mental illness. However, I'm firmly of the opinion that if the person in question is in denial at all, is inconsistent with treatment, and is belligerent with the person who is trying to help them, then it's time to move on. The sick person needs to be on board or you're going to struggle indefinitely.

What has allowed my situation to work has been 1) my wife is rarely manic/hypomanic,(depressed people can't f up things so much) 2) is generally "a good person" 3) usually can show me love and appreciation, and has been a good, if inconsistent in some ways, mother. Had these things not been true, we would have been finished within 5 years of marriage.

I hope that's helpful.
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Unread 10-11-2017, 09:49 AM   #5
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Default Re: BP2 Girlfriend in Denial

Thanks for the reply bodhisagan. I fully understand what you wrote, and have grappled with the thoughts of being codependent or an enabler. I am fully committed to her, and as long as she is making progress (she is med compliant), I think it may be possible. When asymptomatic, she is the most wonderful, empathetic, caring woman I have ever known. I know it's going to be rough, and I will have to work very hard, but she is worth it (as long as she doesn't cross the boundaries). Those are actively working with her pDoc, and not running away every seven or so months. I intend to encourage her to seek DBT as a way of coping better. She already told me is sick of me referring to the disorder, so that is something I need to do better. You alluded to that in your message. I had a previous girlfriend with borderline, and I gave up on her. This condition is treatable.

Again, thanks for your well written reply!
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Unread 10-12-2017, 11:12 AM   #6
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Default Re: BP2 Girlfriend in Denial

The meds are critical, and I'm glad to hear there's compliance there. I don't mean to sound negative, and I really don't mean to sound like I regret having spent the last two decades as I have, but it's not a life for the weak-hearted. There are a lot of things along the way that would have been much simpler had my wife been healthy throughout, and as a person who likes things somewhat predictable, calm and placid, I've had to endure a lot of chaos, uncertainty and tumult.

Anyway, good luck. I hope you make it work for the two of you.
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Unread 10-16-2017, 10:38 AM   #7
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Default Re: BP2 Girlfriend in Denial

We spent some time together this weekend. She was busy helping a needy friend, but made time to spend time with me. It wasn't all roses, and she went from calling me "sweetie", to saying she might just want to be alone for the rest of her life.

This morning, she invited me to stay at her place next weekend, go to one of her relative's birthday party, and drive two hours away to visit her daughter in college.

I don't know if the Latuda and Zoloft are enough to keep her from hypomania. I think she is ultra-rapid cycling into mild hypomania. Although, I haven't noticed any depression. And when she goes there, it's eyeball waterworks and fetal position....
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Unread 10-19-2017, 07:56 AM   #8
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Default Re: BP2 Girlfriend in Denial

Last night I mention to her that I was "tempted" to get a puppy I saw online. She said "if you got a dog, it would be a deal-breaker". So, the controlling behavior is still there. I'm guessing the hypomania is making her irritable. She also told me that she is never going to file her annulment paperwork. When she said that, I hung up on her. She texted asking if I hung up on her, and I texted back that I won't put up with that kind of behavior. We have plans for this weekend, and I don't know if I can hang out with her while she is in this state.

I'm at an all time low for hope in the relationship....

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Unread 10-22-2017, 03:33 AM   #9
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Default Re: BP2 Girlfriend in Denial

If you getting a dog is a deal breaker and all the other issues that seem to arise from the illness she has then is this something that you really want to live with long term? Life is hard enough without all that other drama.

She needs to take care of herself and if she is to have any real long term progress she needs to want it and set boundaries herself. Maybe if you both had some time apart you would see how how committed she is to maintaining her own wellness.
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Unread Yesterday, 08:38 AM   #10
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Default Re: BP2 Girlfriend in Denial

I think the "deal-breaker" comment was a result of dysphoric hypomania, since I only mentioned that I was "tempted". That being written, I have been able to convince her to go to therapy. The therapist is practiced in CBT, and DBT. Hopefully, she can start to accept her illness, which is a prerequisite for success.
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