It’s hard being in a relationship and having bipolar disorder. My disorder played a key factor into why I had a few relationships fail. Sure, we weren’t meant to be, but what I put them through didn’t help. I will say that I honestly didn’t know about my mental illness until after I married my husband, Sean.
I got diagnosed six months after we got married. It was rough getting the proper treatment and medication, but Sean always stood by me. He says one of the things that helped so much was the fact that I wanted help. That’s something that people with bipolar disorder need to know, if you want to make a relationship work, you’re going to need to accept help.
Recovery is not easy and your partner should be sensitive to that. It may take a few tries to get the right medication and you might even have a stint in the hospital. It’s OK, a lot of us have been there, too. If your partner isn’t willing to hold your hand through this, then you need to be the brave one and cut ties with them, because it’s not fair to either one of you to stay in a relationship where both are unhappy. Also, the most important thing of all is you getting better.
That may not always be the case though. Your partner may be very supportive, but may also be just clueless as to what to do. Try going to therapy together, let them know anything that could possibly be a trigger for you, and don’t be afraid to let them know somewhere down the road that you take medication.
Speaking of medication, that leads me to another thought, if your partner has a stigma against medication, then that’s a giant red flag. Don’t let anyone make you feel bad for treating your illness. Medication gets a bad rep and there are sadly going to be some people that will be judgemental. If your partner is one of them, then either have a few calm heart-to-hearts with them, and/or consider finding someone with a more open mind. Remember, your partner is not your doctor!
Sometimes couples don’t need to break up, but just need to take a little time out. That’s OK. You may need to decide with a therapist how long you may need and how to go about it. Whatever you decide to do, make sure that you both are 100% on board and one isn’t doing it just to be nice to the other one while it’s making them secretly miserable.
Sometimes you might be in a relationship where your partner knows your condition but doesn’t quite understand what they’re getting into until they’re already in a relationship with you. If you feel like your illness is something that your partner will not be able to ever understand, then once again, you might need to rethink the relationship. You deserve someone who is going to love you for you and not love you in spite of your disease.
Oh, don’t worry about finding someone. As long as you do your very best to take care of you, then chances are, you will find the right match. Anyone who is willing to take care of themselves that much is definitely worth loving.