- 6 years ago
- Wedding: May 2014
Hey Bees…looking for advice/support/whatever you can give me for those of you whom have had experiences with Bi-Polar Disorder.
My SO/best friend/the man of my dreams is, what I believe, mentally ill. He has a family history of this disease – i.e. his father and his aunt. My SO has acknowledged this to me in conversation…that he believes he may have it, but is also scared to hear this diagnosis at the same time. 95% of our relationship has been amazing…healthy, etc. It is in that 95% of the time, I have a loving boyfriend – whom sees a future with me; supports me, does and is everything I could have dreamed of, etc. Then, the 5% hits – what I believe would be his ‘manic’ phases.
In that 5% he is dark, uncommunicative, and tells me that he does not know if this is what he wants any longer. Usually, I would believe ANYONE who tells me that to be true/honest, pack my stuff, and go. However, he has established this pattern of behavior, and when he is ‘back’, he is wonderful, apologetic, etc. The pattern has hit us 3 different times, to the almost exact date, in 6 months increments. He becomes this ‘unlikeable’/nasty person for 6 weeks, sometimes ending the relationship completely, and then is once again knocking on my door. He does and says the same things to me each time, and I have been able to spot the ‘triggers’ seemingly. I.e., I predicted 3 weeks ago he would hit his peak in the mania right now. It was 3 weeks ago he started detaching from me bit by bit, and although I was open with him, he assured me he was ‘fine’. It takes him until about ½ way thru where he gets really ‘mean’ and asks me for space and time. 3-5 days later he usually ends it, and then 3-5 weeks after that he is ‘back’.
The last incident (6 months ago), I started seeing a counselor on my own, to help me understand/get strength/get thru the hard weeks. After I described our relationship, she asked me if there is a history of this disorder in his family, shocked, I said yes. She told me about the illness, expressed that although she is not the person who could help me (not a psychiatrist) would be happy to give him recommendations, and told me that this will most likely be a pattern the rest of my life, if he does not get help. That IF he came back, could I handle this?!
Ladies, I am a strong woman, and I know with every bone in my being that the love we share is real, and that illness is illness, and that this man is worth it. NOW, when he came back to me the last time, I told him my stipulations – counseling, individually and together, and he accepted, and we did those things. His counselor, however, never diagnosed him, and honestly, never pushed for meds, but he was doing well – happier than ever, and so I (stupidly) never overly pushed the issue.
Now, 6 months later, here I am. My dark SO is now present, and honestly, with the help of my counselor, I have been better able to handle him right now. I am not pushy; I do not force long convos about feelings, because he is not present to respond. He honestly forgets what he says in these periods, and so getting ‘thru’ to him does not happen either. I am still present in his life, but remove myself as well. I.e., where we have never spent a night apart, I went home to my condo last night. I made dinner, we sat in silence, I told him I loved him and I left. Tonight, I will do the same, etc. My counselor said finding ways to go about my daily life with him, without him being present in his brain is a huge help, albeit very hard – to say the least.
To date he has not officially ended things, which would be my final straw – truthfully, and that makes this time slightly different. Although I fully anticipate it happening at the same time (a matter of days, in fact). He also agreed to see our couple’s counselor – whom has been with us for 6 months me (she is also my individual counselor when I go to my appt’s alone, so she shared a lot insight all together). I am putting all my hopes in that she will see this ‘dark’ man, and tell him what he needs to do from there, so that perhaps he has more control of this situation. And then, I have to hope he listens. I am willing to get thru this manic period, if that is indeed what is happening, as long as he controls the urge to push the one person so far away that loves him the most. Which, per my counselor, is very ‘normal’ for him to do.
This man is capable of loving, and being loved. I see now, after 3 times all I need to see to understand what I believe is happening. I think I am looking for support from bees whom have experience with this illness, and can share insight on things I should or should not be doing to get him, and myself thru this. And please, ending it with him is not on my radar, unless this continues on for a longer timeframe than the 6-7 weeks I am used too. I know that may sound odd, but I believe in him, and I believe with meds and with me, he can learn to control this better. I know my limit, and he has not hit it yet. I mean, 3 times is ABSOLUTELY enough for a lot of people, but IF we can get thru this dark phase, there is no question I will only stay if he, at the very least, gets tested for this – AND if he is diagnosed, gets on medication.
Thank you in advance!!