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Dr. Keane
Dr. Keane, Counselor
Category: Relationship
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Experience:  PHD LPC
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I have been in a serious dating relationship with a man that

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I have been in a serious dating relationship with a man that has bi-polar disease for over 2 years now. After immense stress and begging, he is on medication that helps his moods swings and is seeing a therapist twice a month. Despite these efforts he has one MAJOR problem that I don't know how to deal with anymore and it has caused so much stress in our relationship that I've had to see a therapist. I don't know if I have the energy to continue. He makes the same promises & breaks them. Problem: He has 3 ADULT sons from his previous marriage that refuse to stay in contact with him because he divorced their mother. He made a lot of money when he was married & they were very used to a cushy lifestyle. Now he lives out of state from them, has a "blue-collar" job and is happy with his choices, yet they will not contact him. I can not get him to let go of it and focus on himself & creating a healthy present situation NO MATTER WHAT I DO. It makes me want to leave him. What can I do?
Hi, As you know the sons are now adults and they can choose whether to see him or not and obviously they made their choice a long time ago and are still angry with their Dad. If he has just begun treatment recently then the kids have memories of life with a bi-polar father and that may have been a terrible situation and the boys only remember that man. This issue is something he should be working on in therapy. It took many years to get to this place in his life and now that he is getting help it will take time to resolve and accept. One thing he can do is write them all a letter and tell them what he has discovered about himself, apologize for his behavior and ask them to forgive him. He, in part due to his illness, changed upset and changed his entire family dynamics and the issues resulting from the divorce may be too painful and angry for his kids. That is all he can do. He can't let go YET, therapy will allow him when he is ready to let it go, it's a long process. You can't do anything. He will begin living in the present when he can reconcile his past. If you love him and can wait that's great, you sound like you have really helped turn him in the right direction. However, you feel this is too much for you then you may have to leave. Depends on how you feel about him and your future.
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Edited by Dr. Keane on 3/11/2010 at 1:13 PM EST
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