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John-Michaels, Counselor (LPC)
Category: Mental Health
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Experience:  25+ years helping people find solutions...
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My girlfriend broke up with me 3 days ago after discussing

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Hi, so my girlfriend broke up with me 3 days ago after discussing with her psychiatrist about the best treatment plan for her recovery. However, she gave me 3 options for her living situation as we currently live together, and have a dog together. The first option is that she moves out and completely removes herself from my life, and she will not contact me until I contact her. The second is that she moves out but we still remain friends, and we'll work out the dog situation. The third is that she moves to the spare bedroom downstairs and we become housemates, and remain good friends.
JA: How is your mood? Are you experiencing regular sleep disturbances (e.g. trouble falling asleep, waking up early)?
Customer: Well currently, we are still sleeping in the same bed as she doesnt have time to get a new bed - she has work and uni. So I am sleeping okay.
JA: Anything else in your medical history you think the Psychologist should know?
Customer: No. I think I am pretty normal. So my girlfriend has Bipolar Affective Disorder, Type I, Rapid Cycling.
Customer: replied 2 months ago.
Just a better explanation for above:So my girlfriend has just been diagnosed with Bipolar Affective Disorder, Type I, Rapid Cycling. After her psychotherapy session, she came home saying that it is best that we break up because she feels extreme guilt that she cannot be a good partner and she does not want me to have an unstable relationship. She says it is not fair on me. her psychiatrist also agrees that in her current state, she is not equipped to be in a relationship.Because we live together and have a dog, things are a bit tricky. She gave me 3 options for her living situation. 1. She moves out and entirely removes herself from my life. She will not contact me until I contact her. 2. She moves out and we remain friends. We will arrange the dog situation. 3. She stays in the room downstairs and we become housemates. I chose option 3. However, I am quite worried this is a terrible decision.I would say I am pretty normal mentally, and I have started educating myself about her mental illness. I would like to think I have read up on anything and everything I could find out there about the illness. I am willing to support her road to recovery, and I too feel that if she feels guilt for being a shit partner, it will affect her progress in treatment. I said that I will wait for her to stabilize and for her to be ready to be in a relationship again. I am trying my best to do so.However, the fear of her not wanting the same thing is playing on my mind. Is she just using me? Will she still be in love with me after? Is this just a risk I have to take?Furthermore, she seems to be dismissing the idea of getting her own bed to sleep downstairs at this stage. We still sleep on the same bed as she has yet to find time to get her own bed for her room. However, I will be devastated if she were to bring another person into the mix because she thinks now we are labelled as 'friends', but our actions are not just as friends. We still text each other a lot, and tell each other about our plan for the day etc.My hope is that she and I will get back together if she could see that I will never leave her, and that I will always be there for her to support her through recovery. But I am fearful that she doesn't feel the same way. We have yet to set boundaries about what being 'just housemates/friends' mean at this stage. I have yet to raise the topic up as she just started a new course of medication and I can identify that she is undergoing manic and depressive symptoms/mixed states at this point. I am worried that this might trigger another episode in her because I feel like she does not really want to break up even though she knows it is the best thing to do.What should I do?
Hello! My name is JOHN. Only you can decide what is best for you. I fear though that as long as you are sharing the same house, rather than supporting her, you are enabling her. It honestly sounds as if you care for her deeply. She evidently has a tendency to take advantage of those feelings though. I believe your best option is a modified option one; she move out, but you remain in contact.I fear as long as she is In the same house, her progress is going to be limited. She is going to rely on you to bail her out when she gets in trouble.You need to limit contact to maybe once or twice a week. When you see progress you can reconnect, but not until then. To me that or breaking all contact are your only options.Did that make sense. If you have any further related questions, please feel free to ask. If I answered your question though, please rate my response so I can receive credit for it.
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Customer: replied 2 months ago.
Hi John, thank you for your advice. But if I were in her shoes, and I found out that one of the worst fears that I have - being diagnosed with bipolar, came true, I wouldn't want to be alone in this. I would want my partner to be there with me. I would want their support even though I would say that they should leave me because it isn't good for them, and it isn't good for me.The change in medication has brought out worse symptoms and I can feel her pain and regrets doing certain things. One of her other fears is that I will just leave her one day. I fear that me doing so will cause her to spiral downwards.I am willing to support her fully, but I feel like it's my loss if she one day comes to me and says well she doesn't love me and doesn't want to be with me. But in my opinion, isn'that what love is? To give love to who you choose even though it may not be reciprocated? At least I'll know that I have tried?I am afraid of getting my heartbroken though, and I am worried that this uncertainty will cause me emotional turmoil. I feel like if she shows that she is trying to help herself get better, then I want to be there for her because I know that at this juncture, she actually needs someone. It's dangerous for her to be alone and for her to be around their unstable people too (most of her friends have some sort of mental illness as well).So I guess what I am asking is should I follow my gut instinct to stick around?
As I said, only you can decide. You actually make a valid point. I guess for me it would be all or nothing. There are actually only two options, either break it off completely or I'm fully in. If she agrees to the fully in option, she would have to agree to hold up her end of the deal as well. If I'm fully in, she's fully in. If she can't make that kind of commitment to you, she doesn't deserve it from you. Does that make more sense?
Customer: replied 2 months ago.
Hi John, that makes sense. I think I will give her space and time now even though it is incredibly hard, and let her medications kick in. Let her figure herself out while I just quietly help her with the housework, letting her sleep wherever she wants and monitoring her condition as close as I can without making her feel overwhelmed.Once I see her quite stabilized compared to her current condition, I will then ask her again. If she still cannot commit, then I will just have to move on.Does this sound logical?
Sounds totally logical. I would just have a good idea going in how long I will let this go before I cut the cord.
Customer: replied 2 months ago.
Hi John, that's where I struggle. I know it takes at least 2 weeks for the medication to kick in, and perhaps a bit longer if she needs to change medication.I was thinking if the medication works, then I'd raise it up before leaving for my trip to another country in about a months time (a week long). If she needs to change medication and all that, I think I'll give her till the end of the year?I'm not sure if that's too long or too short a time though? Do you have any advice other than go with what's best for me? Because I'm not sure what is.
I think until the end of the year is a long time. I was thinking more like 6-8 weeks max. As far as additional advice, really defining your boundaries is best for you and her.
Customer: replied 2 months ago.
Hi John, thank you for that. It has definitely helped hearing from another person.
Glad to help!