Do Bipolar Relationships Always Fail?

January 8, 2019 Hannah Blum

Do Bipolar Relationships Always Fail?

Do bipolar relationships always fail? There's a common belief that the majority of relationships in which one partner lives with bipolar disorder do fail. However, there are many bipolar relationships where that is not the case. Today, I'm sharing some of the reasons why bipolar relationships have failed and also why many have succeeded.

The Reasons Bipolar Relationships Fail

Like any relationship, bipolar relationships fail for various reasons. Two primary reasons are

  1. the person who lives with bipolar disorder is untreated or under-treated
  2. the stigma of bipolar in relationships

When a person who lives with bipolar disorder is not seeking or getting the proper treatment, it increases the chances of a relationship failing. The highs and lows are more extreme, and it is a constant mental health battle for both people involved. This is why seeking treatment for bipolar disorder before getting romantically involved is so important.

Additionally, the stigma of bipolar disorder also contributes to many relationships failing. When people get romantically involved with someone who knows little about bipolar disorder, a high level of shame may exist. This comes from the partner making the person feel bad about their bipolar symptoms, behaviors, and just having a mental illness in general. Eventually, resentment starts to build. In a previous relationship, my diagnosis of bipolar 2 disorder was used as a platform for emotional abuse. It started out in a subtle way, but then escalated and became extreme. If a person is unwilling to accept your diagnosis of bipolar disorder, then it will eventually lead to the relationship failing.

Do Bipolar Relationships Always Fail?

The quick answer is no. Many people who live with bipolar disorder are in good relationships. Although there is a high rate of relationships that do fail due to bipolar disorder, it should not steer people away from getting romantically involved with someone else. Living with bipolar disorder does not mean we are unlovable. All relationships, regardless of whether mental illness exists, face obstacles and challenges. It is about balance and if the person you are dating is willing to accept your diagnosis of bipolar disorder. If there is a lack of acceptance and understanding, most likely a relationship is heading on the road towards failure.

As a mental health advocate, I have personally spoken to many people living with bipolar disorder who are in healthy marriages and romantic relationships. When I ask them what the main reason for the success of their relationship is, the answer usually involves the idea that both partners work together. They do not judge one another for their imperfections. Also, the person living with bipolar disorder is very comfortable with their partner. They feel safe and are not in constant fear of judgment. It takes time and patience, but according to the majority of the people I have met, it is worth it. What about your experience with bipolar relationships?

APA Reference
Blum, H. (2019, January 8). Do Bipolar Relationships Always Fail?, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2021, September 19 from https://www.healthyplace.com/living-with-bipolar-blog/2019/1/do-bipolar-relationships-always-fail



Author: Hannah Blum

Hannah Blum is the HealthyPlace YouTube bipolar disorder vlogger. Check out her I'm Hannah. I Have Bipolar 2 playlist and subscribe to the HealthyPlace YouTube channel. You can also find Hannah on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.

Phyllis
March, 15 2021 at 10:18 pm

Need a good psychologist in Raleigh,n.c 954 6085200 help me pls.

Anon
March, 1 2021 at 1:22 pm

Well, yeah, bipolar relationships will always fail when you're switching personalities every few hours for months on end like I was.
Honestly, even with Seroquel Lithium and Gabapentin I'm still dealing with severe symptoms of rapid-cycling BPII disorder, BPD and severe panic disorder.
Medicine seems to be useless for helping me control my behavior and just breathe (unless it's nicotine, which is arguably my most helpful mood regulator).
My ex picked up and left me without a word one day after a particularly bad manic episode where I got into using fentanyl and she found out. I deserved it though. She deserves better than me.
Was with her for a year. Thought I was marrying her. Tried to kill myself 20 times in a row with the fent after that and needed to be psychiatrically hospitalized.
I'm 18. Where did my life go? I'm going to die with this disorder and it's going to control me for as long as I live in one way or another because it's a chronic chemical issue in my head.
Bipolar II disorder destroyed everything around me and I was responsible for picking up all the pieces. My hypomania is exactly like Mini-Me pushing all the bad buttons in my brain until I cave and give into a dangerous impulse. I'm not done picking those pieces up yet.
But after many months I got over her leaving me and recognized that I need to stay mentally stable, occupy my time with sober people and smoke until my lungs fall out of my chest instead of trying to find romantic love and compassion that I'm never going to receive from a normal person. It just can't happen. I can't afford to risk things going wrong.
I'm also happy to be sober today, with the exception of smoking 2 packs a day.
Normal people will never understand the emotional dysregulation we suffer with, and it destroys everything around us even though we're not the ones in charge at that point.
I've made mistakes and have committed unspeakable acts during manic episodes that I will have to take to my grave with me because I am truly a horrible human being when my disorder kicks in.
Step 4 is not for me, because if I took a written personal inventory and confessed every wrong I did to another human being, I'd be rotting in a jail cell for decades. Bipolar disorder is an unmanageable disease sometimes, and it makes people do things they're not proud of to say the least.
I'm cool with having all my friends and family in NA, I don't need a psychonormative woman to break my heart or cheat on me and send me careening off the nearest bridge/get me put in jail because I killed the person she had an affair with/send me back out into the world of active addiction because I just flipped my shit and decided to try overdosing again.
I'll stay away from romance for my own sake.

Tim
March, 10 2020 at 10:50 am

I am one of the lucky ones. I have rapid cycling bipolar. Diagnosed at a very young age. I met my wife when we where only 14. Now almost 29 years later we are still together and happily married. I have tried suicide twice and cycle rapidly. But one key I have is understanding how to deal with your cycling and not effecting your loved one as much as possible when cycling. Routines help. Any help I can give feel free to msg

Whitney
March, 23 2020 at 9:31 am

I could use your help. My boyfriend experiences the same rapid cycling and he is unmedicated and has broken up with me for like the 10th time in 8 years.

john dimas
November, 19 2019 at 6:52 am

Finally at the age of 51 I am taking the necessary steps to get help with my bipolar. I had recently started an amazing relationship with a God fearing woman!!! My first time, cus generally they are not very God fearing. Didn't take long to show my signs and shes gone. She quite possibly could have been the one that understood me, but I wouldn't open up about things. I owe it to me to get help, so if this ever happens again I will be ready to meet the challenges!!!

Will Harvey
September, 3 2019 at 4:31 pm

I have never been in a relationship with someone with the Bipolar illness and it gets frustrating at times. Maybe I’m
The cause of some of it because I don’t know all about the illness. Trust issues are not a problem but lack of communication is the main problem and again maybe that has something to do with me. I need help. I love her and truly want a life with her.

Connie Dennis
August, 11 2019 at 4:20 pm

I need some help and advice I think IV fallen in love with someone that is bipolar and they have cut off all communication with me I'm not sure what to do they said they felt overwhelmed and thought about me all the time and had quit sleeping and felt they weren't giving me what I needed out of the relationship I need some advice pls help this person means so much to me.

Andrea
July, 16 2020 at 7:31 pm

Connie hey im going thru that right now. My gf just broke up with me saturday that has bipolar we had a great saturday together and told me while i made dinner and all she didnt want me anymore and fell out of love with me last few days. I feel extremely crushed as i love stacie so much its heartbreaking. I wanted to eventually marry this woman. She had a cop call me yesterday and tell me she doesnt want me to call her anymore. No real explanation of anything :( andrea in michigan

Jim Buchanan
January, 11 2019 at 5:45 pm

My wife and I both have bipolar. That's considered to be impossible by some people. We've been married for 12 years now with no signs of trouble. I think that we understand each other better than someone without bipolar could.

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