As the spouse of a man with bipolar disorder, I am well aware of the life and relationship my children would have if they dated someone with bipolar disorder. And though I love my husband and the life we have together, I don’t want my son or daughter to get involved with someone who has a mental illness. You may think that my stance is discriminating but I know far too well what it is like and what the future would hold. A relationship with someone who has bipolar is not easy and can cause yourself as well as your partner to be become more ill if you don’t have the strength and proper tools to handle the relationship.
Does that mean that I wouldn’t support or help my kids if they did start a relationship with someone who has bipolar? Absolutely not. The knowledge and experience I have would more than likely, improve their chances to live in a fulfilling relationship. And my kids are really smart and learned a lot through my personal experiences so I have no doubt that they could handle it but…
5 Reasons I Don’t Want My Son Or Daughter Dating Someone With Bipolar
1. They will have to work more and harder.
All relationships are hard work but when you are involved with someone who has a mental illness, you WILL end up working harder than the one that is sick. That means in the relationship as well as your income job, child rearing and around your home. Relationships are not 50/50. Everyone should give 100% but when one partner is sick, the other one has to give more to keep everything afloat. That is just the way it is. You can’t keep score and you can’t expect more from your partner than they are capable of giving.
2. They will feel like their partner’s parent a lot of the time.
When is your doctor’s appointment? Did you take your meds? Are you eating right? Did you exercise? How are you feeling? Do you want to talk about it? Do you need a hug or some space?
When you are in a relationship with someone who has bipolar, especially when they are struggling, you will have to take on a more parental role to help them. Ultimately, you need to let your partner take responsibility for themselves and their illness but sometimes it is up to you to teach them how when they can’t do it.
This can be really taxing on the relationship especially if you also have children. And taking on the parental role really kills the romance too if you know what I mean.
3. You will constantly have to put their needs first.
Everything you do and everywhere you go once you are a couple is dictated by the disease and what stage your partner is at. You must always think about triggers and what is best for your partner’s stability. That could mean anything from quitting drinking to travel plans. What is best for your ill partner is good for the relationship. However, you do have to set boundaries for the health of yourself.
4. You will have to explain to family, friends and sometimes strangers, their behaviour.
Your partner will do and say embarrassing things. You don’t owe anyone an explanation but there will be times that you will feel humiliated or like people blame you for your partner’s behaviour. You are not responsible for your partner’s behaviour but you will feel like it sometimes. You will have to make a plan and choose who deserves to be in your inner circle and who gets a premeditated “None of your business.” answer.
5. You will have to learn how to forgive and forget. A lot.
There will be times that the bipolar will completely take over your partner and the relationship. It may leave in its wake, financial messes, incarceration or infidelity. You have to learn how to separate the disease from your partner. If you can’t do that, you will never be able to forgive and move on together. The relationship will not survive.
We all want our children to have an easy, happy and uncomplicated life. It doesn’t mean it will end up that way for them but I hope they choose a relationship that is not more than they can handle. If that includes someone with a mental illness, then so be it but I sure hope it doesn’t.
Recommended Reading: (affiliate links)
Loving Someone with Bipolar Disorder: Understanding and Helping Your Partner
Take Charge of Bipolar Disorder: A 4-Step Plan for You and Your Loved Ones to Manage the Illness and Create Lasting Stability
Bipolar Disorder: A Guide for Patients and Families
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