On the other hand, where both parties are properly diagnosed and treated, the outlook for a better than average relationship exists because both people will have more understanding of the disorder. Also, I am a bipolar spouse with a failed marriage and a (currently) extremely successful marriage.This has led me to much study, research, and reflection on the topic.Likewise, we are not going to talk about the unsatisfactory boyfriend or girlfriend YOU have labelled as “bipolar”. Both parties in the relationship may have the disorder, or only one person may have the disorder.
The writer used the metaphor of a fire in the brain for bipolar, and described the way that spouses, family and friends may all get “burned up” as fuel. Our higher and better self – that idealized version of the self that is the best person we can be and that we all (hopefully) aspire to.
It can be very difficult to turn around and cross back over those burning bridges. A person with bipolar disorder must be very careful not to confuse number 2 with number 4.
Often there is nobody more aware of the hurt and damage they have caused than the person with bipolar disorder themselves. The self-infatuation that some of us experience in mania is not grounded in reality and we are unlikely to be as brilliant, sexy, and enlightened as we may feel during these periods of grandiose delusion.
Once an episode is over and we are “ourselves again”, coming to terms with our bipolar behavior is very difficult and produces huge shame and sometime a crippling cognitive dissonance when we try to reconcile what happened when manic with how we are when we are well. It is important to carefully examine this self-deception when well again in order to be more likely to recognize when a manic episode is starting.
Bipolar disorder is NOT multiple personality disorder. Also, it is important that when well we work towards becoming number 4, not the manic self we may enjoy because of the feelings of confidence and achievement.
But in a sense there are several bipolar selves, and understanding this can be a powerful tool in better managing bipolar relationships: 1. On the other hand, it is also important to let go of the manic and/or depressed self once well.
The main reasons given for divorce are adultery/infidelity, domestic violence, the onset of a “mid-lfe crisis”, substance abuse and other addictions such as gambling, and finally, workaholism. My first marriage broke-up because of my undiagnosed bipolar disorder.
My current marriage is the most stabilizing thing in my life and has helped me manage my bipolar so that I have not had a serious episode since 2005. Despite the above, there is no empirical research that shows a CAUSAL relationship between bipolar disorder and marital status.
Much of what is online is anecdotal and often badly misinformed.
A great article did appear in bp Hope, showing that these relationships can succeed: Marriage and Bipolar Disorder.
The relationships in our lives can be a struggle for anyone, but there are extra challenges for those of us living with bipolar disorder.