Breaking Up With Bipolar


I have recently broken up with my boyfriend of 1½ years. But due to his insistence, and my inability to be steadfast, I agreed to remain “friends” and in contact, via emails, phone calls etc. I knew then and know now that it was merely his attempt to keep a “foot in the door,” if you will, but ultimately I feel that it is more harmful than good for the both of us, as I do not feel we have a future, despite a relatively intimate, and passionate relationship. He says that he wants to wait for me until I “figure my stuff out”, but the simple fact is, this relationship is ultimately emotionally exhausting for me and erodes my self-confidence in subtle ways (which I have told him).

We are both un-married, single parents. I have my children full time and he has his children half of the time. I have had depression issues that come from a family affected by alcoholism, and I left a controlling marriage. Previous to our relationship, he had been diagnosed with bipolar type II, with concurrent addiction issues. We both maintain professional counselling independently, but I am currently on a waiting list to resume with my therapist.


So the issue at hand is that I am somehow unable to find the courage, willpower and best method to bring this situation to a close. He is very intelligent and maintains a successful career despite his issues, and he is extremely adept at manipulating a conversation. I feel unable to make the final move for fear it will lead me into a tail-chasing battle of wits over semantics and “misunderstandings” and we’ll end up repeating the cycle. We are in our 30’s and this entire scenario feels somewhat immature. Suggestions? In Limbo

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Hi “In Limbo,”

If you really want to end this relationship what stops you from doing so? The problem is not that your ex boyfriend uses words to manipulate you but that you allow yourself to be manipulated. What I mean is that when someone wants to end a relationship, they end it without any discussion. Yet, you continue to discuss this with him.


I have to ask why you continue to talk things over with this man? As I read your E. Mail question I kept asking myself why you mention that he has a diagnosis of Bipolar Disorder? Do you fear that, if you breakup with him he will attempt suicide? I also read that you have a history of depression. Do you fear that if you breakup withhim, you will become depressed? I can’t help but think that something is keeping you connected to this man that has more to do with you than with him. Whatever that something is, it is keeping you in limbo.

No person can tell you what you should do because you are the best judge of your life. All I can say is that, if you want to put a stop to this relationship then do it and with no further contact. There is nothing more to talk about. If this sounds callous, I am sorry but, in your own best interests, you may need to become harder in your resolve to make decisions and opt for what you want rather than what the other person wants.

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I think that is the point. Evidently, in your marriage, you allowed your ex to manipulate you and you are repeating the situation. Allowing that is a defense against being firm or against the fear of reprisals. However, you are an adult and are supposed to make choices for yourself and your children.

You want to end the relationship? End it, and with no further discussion or contact. Be firm. Be strong.

By the way, you are not breaking up with “Bipolar.” You are breaking up with someone who is not right for you.

Best of Luck

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