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Long Distance Bipolar Relationship


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I've never asked for advice or anything online so I'm not really sure how to go about it but I'll just tell my story in the hope that it can make me feel better in anyway.


Basically, I started seeing a guy from my college where I was studying a foundation degree away from home. I had only recently ended things from a 2 and a half year relationship and so definitely wasn't looking to start seeing someone so quickly! Nevertheless, it all happened so quickly and i was enjoying the spontaneous fun aspect that I'd been lacking in my previous relationship. We're a complete juxtaposition of each other though, I am more of a country girl, who's intelligent and loves a party but more with a glass of wine whereas he wears tracksuits and enjoys smoking with his friends. He's also 2 years younger than me and I never imagined dating someone my age let alone younger, but when we're together we have a lot of fun and get along really well.


Whilst we were just seeing each other we always had the intention to end things when I left the place I was studying (where he lived). However, things developed and we met each other's families and here we are living 170 miles away trying to make a long distance relationship work.


The main issue is that he struggles with his mental health, and has spoken to a gp about his bipolar disorder. (This is why I can't speak to anyone I know about this as I have promised to keep this to myself). Anyway, this means that his ups and downs are more evident whilst living away as well, as his downs mean that he can be really blunt and not talk to me for a couple of days. Our relationship before never relied on communication as we used to see each other every day but now the communication aspect is so important to keep our relationship strong. I am generally a happy, chilled person and I think I'm very forgiving about his mood swings but I'd be lying if I said it didn't make me feel like crap. I really try and feel okay with being ignored or being the one that is putting all the effort in talking, but it puts such a strain on me. I am a massive over thinker and it really puts my anxiety to the test as I try and not stress over what I might have done to trigger it.


This is obviously only the bad things in our relationship, like when we're together, and we do try and see each other as much as we can, we have such a good time and never argue. I'd still be lying if he treats me really well, but I am happy when with him and to me that is what's important. Im just stressing as to how to make this relationship work when we're not together, especially in September when I start my full time degree and we'll have less time to see each other.


Does anyone have any advice on how I can improve the communication in our relationship especially when he's on a down? This will really help to reassure me that I'm not being a fool in thinking this relationship is going to work.


Thank you all so much for hearing me out, sorry if it's all a bit messy and all over the place xxxx

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The thing is he is trying to manage his bi polar by not communicating and that is paramount . We ( sufferers of mental illness ) have to learn how to walk away , switch off , be none confrontational and manage ourselves .


So in that respect he is actually doing the right thing and you need to decide if you can cope with it or not ...


Now imagine having a heart to heart and you insisting that he responds no matter what mood he is in , because you understand ..well you mean well and it is lovely to be so supportive ...but he treats you like a piece of crap and verbally attacks you because he knows he needs his down time , that is going it be wrong as well isn't it . What you need to do when he is on a down is get on with your own life until it passes and stop trying to figure out ways to make him communicate .


Example : A couple of years ago I became very active in a gardening site on f/b ..I hosted a charity tea party at my house and that led to a lot of people thinking I am this happy go lucky, bouncing pippy, who welcomes everyone ...and people kept popping in with no warning ... I tried to gently tell people that I am happy and bouncy or whatever else they thought , but only sometimes , the rest of the time I need leaving alone ..did they listen ..did they hell ... so they all got told to kiss my ass and never bother me again .... when people with mental health try and warn you they need leaving alone ..you have to pay heed .


Your decision now is , can you live like this ? Think on it wisely .

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I echo what pippy posted.


I was diagnosed with Bipolar 2 a few years ago (not as severe as as Biplolar 1 but still has its challenges), and like your BF (and pippy) I sometimes need to "detach" for a couple of days to manage high emotions, and gain perspective.


It has nothing to do with how I feel about my partner, I still like/love him, it's just something I need for myself, again to manage emotions.


I do other things to manage too though, eating right and yoga mostly.


No meds for me although I realize they do help many people. I just don't need them for myself.


Anyway, my boyfriends came to understand this, and in fact, needed their own space too, so it worked out.


I've had a couple of guys I dated bail too though, accusing me of playing games, being too elusive or too confusing. In retrospect I realize those guys just weren't right for me (and vice versa).


Try to not take it personally. When he needs his time, YOU take your time too, meet with friends, go shopping, see a movie, stay busy, so you're not overthinking and freak yourself out.


If this is absolutely something you can't live with and accept as part of who he is, and feel happy and secure, then perhaps it would be best to walk away and look for a man without these issues.


Of course it would be painful at first but best for the long term, because he won't change.


The only thing you can change is your own reaction thereto.


Since there are strong feelings involved, tough call.


Best of luck whatever you decide.

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