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Ask TherapistMaryAnn Your Own Question

TherapistMaryAnn, Counselor
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 5762
Experience:  Over 20 years experience specializing in anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol, and relationship issues
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I was in a relationship entering month 11 until Easter Sunday.

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I was in a relationship entering month 11 until Easter Sunday. We are both divorced, exactly the same age (early 40s), each with a daughter. Everything was slow and steady and just moving forward and we were sort of an unprecedentedly amazing match (we are both well educated, well traveled, finding ourselves geographically in "the boonies" and a good personality match) ... I had met all of his friends, colleagues, networks, traveled to meet his family, we had just arranged for him to fly to meet my family, we had just traveled to meet our best friends. (In about January, his 7 year old daughter was visiting and had confided in my daughter that "I'm not supposed to say anything but we are going to be sisters" and likewise the daughter told me "my father is going to marry you").

For what it's worth, he has a family history of extreme bi-polar and himself has a diagnosis of a lower form. And he was under just unprecedented stress, two real estate transactions going on, financial stress, job stress. And there is no question that I was his best friend - he would call me without fail every day and talk through his day for an hour as he commuted home.

But just to set the stage, in mid-March we had talked about flying him out to meet my family, and he became so excited I had to finally say "we really need to get to sleep or you will hate me in the morning" and two days before all of this, we had mapped out our next 5 months ... his daughter's visit, all of our travel plans for the summer, etc.

So two days before this sudden breakup (March 31st), we had this odd stressful day, he seemed quite frankly (a term he has used about himself) hypo-manic ... we had a minor argument (one of our first ever). Then he asked if he could come talk to me in person and said that his feelings had "plateaued" and it was over, he just didn't see a future with me. Personally, I ended up spending the month of April in a deep depression. (I nicely asked him not to contact me so that I could get through this). But my "shrink" side just thinks it makes no sense, that if I were not his ex-girlfriend but his friend, I would tell him that he was casting aside his girlfriend and best friend at a time when his life was in disarray, that something seemed wrong with his decision-making.

I am doing all of the right things, and I also see the benefit of weaning myself from having become maybe too co-dependent. But I just feel like the story isn't over, that something was amiss with the breakup (isn't there a bi-polar breakup?), that how can he judge his feelings when he is some combination of depressed and/or manic? (And I know that ... all of this makes him dangerous, I get that). But I am wondering if this rings any bells, if sudden breakups usually end broken, or if ... hypothetically if this was a manic breakup ... if I might hear from him again. His daughter arrives in a little over a month, and basically the last visits wouldn't leave the house without me and my daughter along, so everyone thinks that something will happen ...
Hello, I'd like to help you with your question.

It sounds like he certainly could have been responding to his Bipolar and decided this break up due to the stress he was under. It is not unusual for someone with Bipolar to experience extremes in behavior and thought patterns. It also could be that he became fearful of making a mistake and decided to back out. Having the pressure of work and his daughter plus his past divorce might have triggered fear that he was making a wrong decision, even if that decision was a good one.

You are doing all the right things, just as everyone is telling you. There is no way to control his behavior or influence him at this point. It is too early to tell if he might change his mind because the reasons he had for breaking it off are probably still there. Giving him time to settle helps. If he was influenced by his Bipolar symptoms and was under a lot of stress during that time it would help a lot to step back and let him recover. It would not be unusual for someone to see they made a mistake after some time thinking things through.

I hope this has helped you,
TherapistMaryAnn and other Relationship Specialists are ready to help you
Thank you very much for the positive rating and bonus! I appreciate it.

My best to you,
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

(Hi Kate, I sent another message, but didn't even really get to my question .... if I could get a chance to type it out that would be really helpful)

I got it and responded just now. Thanks for letting me know!


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