Not sure what to do?

iVillage Member
Registered: 10-22-2013
Not sure what to do?
Tue, 10-22-2013 - 12:42pm

My boyfriend and I have an amazing relationship. We fell madly in love and see each other as "the one". We plan to get married soon, our 2nd marriage for both of us. We are in our 30's, and I have children from my previous marriage. BF is an amazing person. He is loyal, funny, sweet, romantic, cuddly and would do anything for me and my kids. Picture perfect storybook romance. I have never felt so happy in my entire life, and he says he hasn't either. We fit pretty amazingly together.

On to my issue. He is bi-polar and took himself off his medication. I have not seen any major differences in him as far as day to day. I don't think he's super bad in that area. He may get sad some days, but it takes just a little being silly from me to cheer him up. He doesn't go into depressions or anything of that nature.

We had a huge issue yesterday regarding his dog that lives with us. I am very allergic and have dealth with being sick over it for months now. I finally sat down and talked to him and told him the dog needs to be outside, or re-homed. His personality automatically changed. He started screaming at me and getting very angry. (No, the kids were not here). He starts blaming me for all sorts of things that are completely unrelated and saying I am a dog hater. This went on for hours, and at times his anger scared me. I am not use to fighting with someone that way. I prefer to sit down and calmly discuss an issue. He has told me in the past that in his previous marriage the only way they argued was by screaming and throwing things. That completely shocks me coming from him, such a sweet person. This "new" personality just put me into utter shock. Once I started crying, he calmed down and apologized and said what he said he didn't mean, and that when he felt attacked he felt that he had to scream to make his point, and say mean things to hurt the person who is hurting him. 

Now I love this man with all my heart. We have only fought like this 2 times in our entire relationship, both over the dog allergies. I am so confused if I should just let him and the dog move out, and be done with this relationship...because I do not want this anger thing to be an issue for the rest of our married lives. Our relationship is still pretty fresh (8 months), so getting out now would be better than to wait years until I've had enough. The thing is, when our relationship is good (98% of the time), it is amazing. Everything I've ever dreamt of, and I do not want to lose that because I may never find that with anyone again. 


Avatar for mahopac
iVillage Member
Registered: 07-24-1997
Tue, 10-22-2013 - 2:00pm

I see red flags all over the place here.  First one is that despite being together for only 8 months, you are planning to marry.  I have seen sooooo many people post on these boards about relationships that got serious very fast before they have a chance to really know someone.  I hate to say this, but you do not know someone after 8 months.  8 months is honeymoon stage.  Especially when you have children to consider, you should not bring a new father-figure into their lives when you have not had enough time together to go through all the ups and downs that life brings, so that you know he will always be there for them.

Second, taking himself off medication.  People with mental illness will take themselves off medication because, guess what - medication WORKS, so they think, hey I'm fine, I don't need it anymore.  A truly healthy person knows he needs medication and he takes it because it's what is best for him and his loved ones.

Third, your "being silly" when he is "sad" will NOT cure the low swings of BPD.  It might work temporarily at this point because his desire to please you wins out over the depression - for now, while you're in the honeymoon phase.  Two years from now, I doubt it will help.  I have PMDD, and no amount of anyone being "silly," even the people I love the most, will help.  We all just have to wait for that cycle to end.  It's due to body chemistry, not a "bad mood."

Fourth, those blow-out, screaming, over the top arguments are normal for someone with BPD.  You may "prefer" to talk about things rationally, but your BF doesn't have that "preference."  What he has is a disorder that is going to make him go bats--t crazy when you disagree on something that has some hot-button significance to him, like his dog.  You *will* be dealing with this for the rest of his life if you stay with him.

I do not think you have any idea of what it's like to live with BPD.  Did you know, for example, that it has a genetic component?  If you have children with this man, you are very likely to have children with depression, BPD, or schizophrenia. I'm married to a man who suffers from depression, and our oldest, who is 21, has either mild BPD or at the very least serious anxiety disorders - in any case, he takes medication and knows he needs it. 

I hope Musiclover chimes in here.  She had a bipolar H who is no longer her H.

To get back to your subject line question, and your last sentence question - I would end the relationship.  Don't think, "I've invested 8 months."  8 months is nothing.  Ask yourself if you want to live for the rest of your life with someone who has uncontrolled BPD.

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-28-1999
Tue, 10-22-2013 - 11:01pm

Mahopac is right about this one.  The fact that he started yelling and throwing in unrelated issues when you were just trying to have a calm discussion is a sign that his BPD is out of control.  There is no way that a person who is bipolar should stop medication unless his psychiatrist told him to do so and he is being monitored.  My exH & I were together 8 yrs (married for 5 of them) and he was never never totally off his meds.  What was unfortunate for him was that he was resistant to a lot of meds or had bad side effects and his docs never really seemed to find a combination that worked really well.  He seems to be doing better now that he is living alone--but I do not have much contact with him.  I only see what he posts on FB and we talk occasionally.  But it was hell living with him.  And I am very sorry that I had my kids in that situation. It's one thing if it was their own father, they would have to deal with him whether we got divorced or not, but considering he was not my kids' father, why should they have to put up with him?  His own DD, who is now 23, hardly has any relationship with him at all.

I want to add that when my ex's condition was being controlled well by whatever meds he was taking at the time (oh and he also went to counseling--all the time throughout the time I knew him) he really could be a great and thoughtful guy.  When we were dating, he'd cook nice dinners for me, send me flowers, buy me cards for no reason.  I think the "real" him was the nice guy.  I know he didn't really want to be the person who would yell & pick fights over stupid things, but he had no control sometimes.  As my own therapist put it, for most people, we control our emotions, where his emotions controlled him.  Also when I first knew him, he pretty much acted normal for months so I got used to the good guy and it was pretty shocking as you said to have these arguments.  Our whole marriage was a roller coaster and it was very difficult.  

You have no idea after 8 months what life would be like with him.  If you don't want to break up with him right away (which I would if I were you), I would make it a condition that he must go back to the psychiatrist, go on medication and go for counseling, which should also involve you so you know what you are getting into.  Bipolar is a life long condition--it can be controlled but it isn't ever going to go away.  You should read up on it.

iVillage Member
Registered: 02-13-2006
Wed, 10-23-2013 - 4:51pm

Have you ever been around someone who is bi-polar?Is he your first one?I'm going to be very honest with you.What he showed you recently with the's going to keep being that way on and off..and will probably get worse.You say that he's now OFF his medications? BIG MISTAKE! I can say this because I had been married to someone who is bi-polar.In the beginning of our relationship..I had no idea that he had this disorder..his parents knew BUT of course they never said anything...I found out through being with him.I was with him for 6yrs.I did love him VERY much BUT he was always wanting to get off his meds.He would stay on for about 6 months and then make excuses that he was fine and it was poisioning him...crap like that. I had major ups and downs with him and YET I still married him and then divorced him 1yr a nd a few months later.I just couldn't take it anymore.He was pulling me down with him.I tell's not easy at all loving someone who is bi-polar...ESPECIALLY when they don't want to take their meds.It's something they have to take for the rest of their lifes.He was in/out of mental wards off and on through our relationship...even before I even was in the relationship he had been in one of those places.Of course when I met him..I had no idea.You are only 8 months need to get out now because you don't want to spend your years with someone whom you are always begging them to take their meds because the sad thing is is that they don't see the  hurt that they put you through...they don't.8 need to get out now...

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-24-2003
Thu, 10-24-2013 - 8:38am


Totally agree with the other posters.

1 - at 8 months, you have no idea what this man's really like. You haven't even started to really get to know hiim. I'd say at least a couple of years of being together and a couple of years of living together - sharing space,  every day life, bills, bathroom leaks, ups and downs, problems, issues etc etc - is an absolute minimum to 'get' the real person inside the stranger you're so madly in love with.

2 - at absolutely no point should someone with any kind of mental condition just stop their medication. NO way, NO how. BPD is a very serious condition and, as others said, should be medicated and monitored throughout the affected person's life.   Again like others said, what you've experienced-  your horrible argument -  is what this man is like when he's in the 'not so happy' phase of his illness. You don't seem to know much about it at all.

I can't tell you what to do..........Sorry.

iVillage Member
Registered: 09-29-2010
Thu, 10-24-2013 - 1:47pm

His illness and how he chooses to manage it is something that you will never be able to control, and you cannot predict if or when he will have an episode (manic or depressive). You don't want to spend your life walking on eggshells around him and your kids definitely should not have to do that.

What would I do? Probably break it off. If it was just you it might be different. You could give it more time to see if he's willing to resume meds and therapy, and to see what else sets him off. But you have kids and its not fair to put them through this.

If you decide to continue the relationship then you must learn everything you can about BPD. There's more to it than mood swings or the occasional outburst, it can affect decision making and other aspects of living. It really can impact your entire life.

He's living with you and your kids, when you've been together only 8 months? Like others said, that's not very long in the scheme of getting to know someone. You've just learned something very significant about him, when you thought you knew him well already.

iVillage Member
Registered: 02-25-2013
Fri, 10-25-2013 - 9:41am

You probably have another 50 or 60 years left on this planet. Don't spend it on someone who doesn't do what's best for himself and others by not taking meds and receiving psychiatric help for his condition. The good does not outweigh the bad. His screaming and saying mean things to you about the issue you mention should be a dealbreaker to you, even if he brings you flowers and rubs your feet everyday. I speak from experience. My ex husband suffered from depression. He had major anger issue and would blow up over things the average person wouldn't even bat an eye at. I stayed a lot longer than I should have because of the children and financial issue. When I finally divored him after 23 years, I felt a great weight lift off of my chest. I'm now married to someone who doesn't have anger issues, treats me as a priority, and I'm 100% happier in life. Just because you haven't felt such joy (when things are good with him) before, doesn't mean you never will again with someone else. Break it off with this guy, and continue to search for a man without uncontrolled depression and anger issues--a guy who meets all of your main needs. I was 46 when I divorced and was able to find a lifetime partner who treats me the way I should be treated. You're only in your 30's, so you have plenty of time to be careful and choosy and smart about who you invite into your life. Even if you were 70 or 80, it's never too late. Good luck.

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-20-2009
Sun, 10-27-2013 - 2:05pm

On one hand, you actually want a bi-polar man in your life.  On the other hand, you fear that you'll never find anyone with that 98%  again.  You're in your 30's......not quite at deaths door yet!  You have plenty of time to find a good man.  You have children?  And you're willing to expose them to that 2%??? 

As others have stated, it's completely "normal" for a bi-polar person to take themselves off their meds......why?  Because the medication mellows them out, and they have no high or low emotions, and they don't like THAT feeling.......they feel they're OK now, so they don't need the meds.  I worked with a woman that was bi-polar.  On her meds she was a sweet nice lady.......OFF her meds, she walked around proposing sexual acts to men AND to women......the classic one was writing all over the bathroom walls with her own feces!  You have to feel sorry for a person like that, because they have no control over themselves........BUT you do not willingly subject yourself and your children to the awful outbursts that happen more than 2% of the time.  If not for yourself, end it for your children.  There are much WORSE things than being alone!

iVillage Member
Registered: 12-18-2007
Tue, 11-26-2013 - 5:15pm
Speaking as a person with BPD, I do sympathize with your BF to a certain extent because I understand the torment a mind goes through when in that "triggered" state. I also understand how, after months of medication and reaching "stability" the BP mind tells you "you're all better...don't need these meds anymore." Please remember, this is a sick mind telling him this. DH and I have been married 7 years and the first 5 were a horrible rollercoaster. I would go days walking on sunshine when something (could be anything) would trigger me and I would turn on a dime into a totally different person - screaming, yelling, hitting, throwing things, accusing, blaming. You see, it is all quite a common pattern in BPD. Once the initial explosion was over, then came the meltdown that would last for days...deep dark depression and uncontrolled crying. Then I would wake up happy again until the next episode. My "happy" days became fewer and farther between. It is a vicious cycle. In an unmedicated BP brain, these outbursts, the rages and verbal, sometimes physical attacks on others, provide a "hit" of chemicals to the brain, and while unpleasant, they are energizing. They give the feeling of being in control, while the mind is really spinning dangerously out of control. Sound reason is out the window, as we feel we are the ones misunderstood - the whole world is in conspiracy. My DH has stuck it out, and we have no children at home. But it has NOT been easy...for either of us. PLEASE think long and hard about your future and your children. I would have NEVER wanted to expose children to MYSELF when my BPD was uncontrolled, and if he had had children, I would not have blamed him if he had run and run fast! If your BF is not going to stay on top of his BPD PLEASE
iVillage Member
Registered: 04-04-2009
Fri, 12-20-2013 - 4:34pm

So, I definitely have a comment, but first can u tell us why your previous relationship ended, what were the dynamics of your relationship, &  what he was like?(personality, temperament etc)

Losing Faith in Humanity...

One person at a time

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-04-2009
Fri, 12-20-2013 - 4:40pm

So, I definitely have a comment, but first can u tell us why your previous relationship ended, what were the dynamics of your relationship, &  what he was like?(personality, temperament etc)

Losing Faith in Humanity...

One person at a time