5 Reasons I Don't Want My Son/Daughter Dating Someone With Bipolar

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. Here are 5 of the reasons I would discourage them from getting involved with someone that has a mental illness

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…
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. Here are 5 of the reasons I would discourage them from getting involved with someone that has a mental illness.

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

I would love to connect with you!
You can find me on PINTEREST, FACEBOOK, TWITTER, INSTAGRAM or Follow my blog with Bloglovin.
Watch my videos about bipolar on You Tube here.
Join my support group for bloggers here. Join my Pinterest group board here.

This post may contain affiliate links - which means if you click on them and buy something, I'll earn a small commission. For my full disclosure policy, click here.

You may also like


  1. As a wife and mother who is bipolar, this article is incredibly degrading and painful to read. All I kept thinking as I read this was, “Oh my god, is this how my husband feels about me and our marriage?” Thankfully, he does not feel that I am a weight or burden, but who I am is worth every extra step in our relationship to him. And your experience is not true to every bipolar person. I work a full time job and contribute financially just as well to our family. I am a full time mother who parents just as much as my husband. I am a full time contributor to the upkeep and care of our household. It’s not that I haven’t had my share of episodes, but if I had a broken leg and needed medical care that kept me down for several months (or the average length of an episode), it’s just part of doing life with another human being. You care for the other person when they cannot care well enough for themselves and they do the same for you.
    I truly am sorry that your marriage is suffering and your husband has had a very difficult time managing his illness, but to make a blanket statement insinuating that you hope your children never suffer the experience of a bipolar spouse and the assumption that because your life has been difficult, their marriages with a non-mentally ill person will somehow be less painful is asinine. I’m sorry you have not been able to find as much or more joy than your pain, but that is not everyone’s story. And I’m sorry you would assume your children’s story would be the same.

    1. People with bipolar really tend to minimize or not see the pain they can cause those around them; “see, we’re not so bad!” The reality is often very different. Okay, not their choice to have it, but the constant comparisons to “a spouse with cancer” are just inaccurate and unfair. Okay, say your spouse had cancer and that cancer caused them to be beyond irritable, verbally abusive, reckless. Your patience with their cancer might just run out. If confronted with this the sufferer then says, “but I don’t do that.” Okay, some do not, but to say most bipolar issues never cause any pain for others is just wrong. Or the sufferer says, “but what you experience is not as bad as what I have to live with.” As if greater suffering excused hurtful behavior. Sufferers often act as if patience from others is expected and their right. Why? As a society we should ensure more than adequate mental health treatment with compassion. That is not the same as saying everyone is entitled to a romantic partnership. Elena urging her children to avoid a relationship like this is akin to urging them to avoid a hurricane. You don’t have to blame the hurricane or make it feel bad, but you can choose to avoid it. If that is painful to hear so be it.

    2. “If I had a broken leg and needed medical care that kept me down for several months (or the average length of an episode), it’s just part of doing life with another human being.” But they keep breaking their legs, over and over and over. And often blame your for the break. Or deny it is broken to begin with. Or want you to feel the pain of the break instead of them. Perhaps bipolar does not cause pain for non sufferers in every case, but your post reply makes it sound like it’s a rare occurrence. Data are hard to come by, but a reasonable assumption would be bipolar behavior causes pain for others in the majority of cases. Not every one, but more than 50%. Why can’t bipolar folks own the pain they cause? To minimize and deny it just drives people away.

  2. Thank you for bravely sharing. My husband struggles with depression and I feel the same. I understand that it is an illness but the effects on the family is really hard.

  3. I can be so…well…intolerant of people with mania in particular. I am working hard to be less of an asshole, it’s just a very triggering for me to be around because of my background. I could never date someone with bi-polar because everyone in my immediate family is mentally ill and I need that home-support to deal with them. That being said, I realize that they don’t choose to be this way, and I will continue to work on myself.

      1. No, not intentionally, I just find myself leaving some situations. I’m a “GOTS TO GO!” type of asshole lol. I just flee, it’s kind of funny if I was watching it on video.

  4. First of all–that remark that YOU were humiliated by something your bipolar spouse said or did is what make us (sick bipolar types) never want to go in public. We would hate to embarrass YOU while we are tying to overcome our social deficiencies from having a severe mental disorder that you cannot even imagine. It is so much more than manners or using the right fork on the table at dinner. I feel very sorry for your spouse who is probably desperately trying to find some pleasure & control & have the luxury of your life–to be able to ridicule those who don’t meet your social expectations.
    My mental illness has a very strong family line. I am participating in a study to track DNA from families who are as lucky as I am–but not as lucky as you, apparently.
    My daughter is a tenured law prof with very high accolades, She & her husband have decided not to have children due to their all-encompassing careers & the mental illness component as she has had to struggle since her teens & can’t go for treatment for fear the bar assoc. will jerk her up to see if she is capable (mentally fit) to be a lawyer.
    Thank goodness I have a husband of 43 years who helps me forgive myself when I blunder in social occasions; encourages me to keep trying to make friends & not be a hermit due to fears like you describe of humiliating myself. He praises every positive move I make & encourages me to keep in contact with my therapist & bipolar meds provider to stay in the best shape possible.
    He knows if he ended up with ALS (or Spinocerebellar Ataxia Type 8–which my brother has), I would not be berating him for his inability to walk or his drooling, etc. I would want him to have my support as his loving spouse to let him have a life worth living to the best of our ability.
    I don’t blame you for your feelings about being burdened with a mentally ill spouse. I’ve seen some really awful things with my mother being very ill (& committing suicide when I was 15). She was scary & just too hard for my father to deal with so he moved onto his yacht & had his lady friends while throwing money at doctores to try to help my mother…
    They didn’t have the treatments they have today, but I think a huge help for her would have been to have a loving & supportive husband like I have..

  5. Hi, I am one of those guys who is bipolar. It is a life living in Hell! I don’t mean just the partner; it is everyone around; the whole social group. A bipolar person knows something is wrong, but that doesn’t mean that things don’t get out of control at times. Knowing you’re screwing up others lives…not just your own, is truly painful…it is Hell!
    I am truly fortunate. I had a doctor who cared enough to ride out years of trying one pill and dosage after another…trying and trying and trying until a miracle happened. We found a cocktail of drugs that helps me be stable. And we found a therapudic (sp) pattern that gave me insight. Over time I have learned more than you will ever know about myself and how to control the issues and emotions that come from my disorder.
    Thank you Dr. Beven where ever you are. I own my “normalcy” to your dedication.
    For those of you that have the disorder, It can be controlled. You can be happy and “normal.” You can be a loving, caring person. But it is hard work…and you have to have a caring doctor to help you.
    God bless those around you who try to understand your mood swings. Please know, there are miracles. May God bless you with one. I hope so. BJ

  6. I really get your thoughts on this…
    I married my boyfriend, thinking I knew all about him and his family. I did in essence, but it wasn’t until I was married that I found out his grandma was Bi-Polar, and also suffering dementia in her old age.
    There is a heightened risk of bi polar being shared down to children, and as I got to know my father in law, to me it became apparent that he definitely has traits, but you can’t discuss that with them.
    My brother in law appears to suffer on a mild level too, and my hubby is not so much bi polar, but he suffers depression, which my mother in law is prone to…
    It makes for what can be a fraught time most of the time, treading on egg shells… I wonder whether these traits can be seen in my own children then… Lil Man is somewhere on the spectrum, but not in any way that he can be labelled, but again is a fragile being mentally. Lil Princess is more like me, a strong minded character…!
    I just want to get them old enough to understand these conditions… and hopefully guide them in the best directions…
    It’s been hard since I got married…

Leave a Reply to Skinny And Single Cancel reply

%d bloggers like this: