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Suzanne
Suzanne, Therapist, LCSW
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 919
Experience:  Experienced in treating trauma, relationship issues, co-dependency
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So my girlfriend completely blindsided me on Monday with a

Customer Question

So my girlfriend completely blindsided me on Monday with a breakup.

I've started smoking again and have been in a drunken stupor for the last 60 hours.

But, she did agree to meet me last night to talk about some things. Here's a quick background about her:

-- She has problems. Like, pretty severe mental health issues. Recently diagnosed as bi-polar.
-- In March her ex-boyfriend of over a year cheated on her and completely broke her heart. I know that she isn't over it, but I didn't care at the time we got together (July).
-- I met this girl three years ago and knew from the beginning that she was the girl I needed to be with. But used to be way too shy to ever make a move, hence the ex-bf that cheated on her.
-- I seriously love this girl.
-- Her parents recently got divorced and she is going to start going to a daily mental health treatment facility soon (all on her own accord).

I know that the first thing a lot of people think when they read that a girl has legit mental health issues to just say "forget it, not worth it, etc" but I think this chick is amazing and the heart wants what the heart wants.

So last night she explained that she jumped into our relationship too quickly, and that she needed to be single because she was getting too codependent on me.

I asked her if there's a shot for us to get back together in the future and she said she didn't know, but she really needed me as a friend right now, and we agreed that through the entirety of our relationship we had really morphed into each others best friends as well as lovers.

I promised her that I would take her issues more seriously if she'd let me, and that I would do anything she needs me to do in order to help her get "better", even if that means giving her tons of time and space.

I've dated a number of women, but this is easily the one I have felt the strongest about. I really don't want to give up on her yet, and asked her not to completely "quit" on us yet, but she said she needed to get over me.

But then she kissed me. A lot. And told me she wanted to sleep with me again. And told me how much she misses me and that she's still in love with me, and that she "needs" me. But she doesn't want to "need" me, or anyone else for that matter. She wants to stand on her own and be independent. She said that we needed to take a week away from even seeing each other, and we have made plans to go to a Christmas pageant-type thing together next Thursday, and have agreed to spend New Year's Eve together (just the two of us).

I called her later to apologize for what had happened, and again reassured her that I would do, or not do, anything for her. She asked me not to have sex with her even if she throws herself at me anytime in the near future.

It's obvious that she's very confused, and I am genuinely more concerned about her well-being more than I am us getting back together. But, I obviously really really really want us to get back together.

Any insights?
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Relationship
Expert:  Walt-mod replied 5 years ago.
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Expert:  Suzanne replied 5 years ago.

Sorry you had to wait for a response.

 

No, I would not say to give up on someone because she is diagnosed with bipolar. It is a very treatable disorder and she's doing the right thing by going to a day treatment center.

 

She will need your friendship, but I'm concerned that because she can't commit to a relationship right now (and really, that's a smart decision on her part given her situation) you dealt with the pain of hearing that with self-destructive behavior..(going back to smoking , a "60 hour drunken stupor")

 

If you in fact love this girl, you're going to have to be in good shape yourself to support her through the challenge of adjusting to having a new diagnosis, adjusting to her parent's divorce, and finishing the work of healing from the ex-boyfriend.

 

If she is in daily treatment and working on her personal growth you'll need to keep up with her growth in self-awareness.

 

Persons with bipolar disorder have impulse control issues--which would explain her kissing you even though she knew it was a bad idea. You're going to have to be very solid in your self-esteem and commitment to her to be able to handle the mood swings and impulsiveness that are somewhat inevitable.

 

I know this was a painful shock for her to break off the relationship for the time being. If this is the girl you want to be with for the long haul, you're going to have to exhibit patience, commitment, and self-restraint. She's going to need someone really solid to depend on. If you want to be the one she turns to when she's eventually ready, you need to be doing your own growth work. Study up on bipolar disorder so you know what she's having to deal with.

 

Do whatever is necessary to deal with the pain of the change in your relationship---in a healthy way. You might even want to see a counselor yourself to help support you through this time. It's one thing to say you'll do whatever she wants, but it may not be so easy to really do it, especially if what she wants is to be single for awhile. You're going to have frustrations and pain to deal with. If you're open to getting yourself some support through the rough time ahead, here's a link to help you find a therapist in your area.

 

And here are some links about bipolar disorder: http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/bipolar-disorder/DS00356/DSECTION=symptoms

 

http://www.emedicinehealth.com/bipolar_disorder/article_em.htm

 

http://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/publications/bipolar-disorder/what-are-the-symptoms-of-bipolar-disorder.shtml

 

And this last link is about having a relationship with a person with bipolar disorder: http://www.webmd.com/bipolar-disorder/guide/bipolar-romantic-relationships-dating-and-marriage

 

I admire your determination to stand by your girlfriend through this rough time!

Suzanne

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