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Discussion:
Relationship Advice
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Ok, to tell or not to tell. We've had this discussion before. Is it our responsiblity to tell a new girlfield or even a long time girlfriend that we are bipolar? Is it our business and our right to withold information like this? This is our business, isn't it? Our skeleton so to say. Our right to break it out whenever we want, our right maybe to never break it out.

Ok, so I have a new girlfriend and it is going fairly well. It's been about a month an a half and I have not told her and after yesterday I don't think I plan to. Isn't this my right? The last two girlfriends I've had something has happened that has really hurt me personally. Mid conversation last night she made a comment about bipoar in the derogatory. It was an ignorant comment that grinded by gears but I swallowed it and let it pass. The girlfriend I had before was in nursing school and made a comment while in mid conversation. She had a part-time gig as a tech in a mental health facility. That comment was "I could never be with somebody that is bipolar." LOL HA! Well, hate to break it to you babe (silently saying this in my head), you are dating one right about now. Anyways that relationship ended quickly. I knew it was destined to end after that comment.

Anyways, with this new girl it happened again but not in such a funny type way like the one before. Why do I have to hide this thing? Well, I find it embarressing. The public (the very ignorant public) has no grasp on what this condition is. They base their understanding of it on the behavior of the people that are not being treated successfully or who are choosing not to accept treatment. What about the people such as myself? The people who made it through the storm and have finally found medication that works and allows me to function. The people who are doing so well that they blend in and look like one of these normies who make ignorant bipolar comments?

What should I do? Does this girl have a right to know my condition? Isn't it my right not to tell her? If i tell her I think she will look at me differently. Differently in a negative way. How can love be spawned when she doesn't know everything about me? Isn't real love loving a person for who they are. Loving not only the good things but also things that they will probably never understand ("cough"...Bipolar).

What should I do? Relationship advice please. Be direct if you need to. What worked for you advice that is based on experience, not judgement.
Posted on 05/30/12, 01:39 pm
10 Replies Add Your Reply
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Reply #1 - 05/30/12  2:02pm
" OK - if she is not the one - that loves you good and bad, warts and all. If she is not the woman you want to share things with ----- than to continue it, with your current thoughts, is creating drama and resentments.

People can be opposites - but core values need to be the same, that is how good relationship continue - their core values.

For me, I'd tell it - just to get it over with, and if she was nicer than her bad comments, well she would listen, research and not be crude again. If she was shocked, dismayed and uncomfortable - well, I believe again, for me - cut and run, no drama or extra pain...

Marilyn Monroe said"

I'm selfish, impatient and a little insecure. I make mistakes, sometimes out of control, and at times hard to handle. But if you can't handle me at my worst - then you sure as hell, don't deserve me at my best...

I like that : ) "
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Reply #2 - 05/30/12  2:18pm
" I agree that it's up to you when you tell someone, but I don't think it's possible to hide it forever. JUST my opinion. If someone is gonna love you for you, I think they need to know everything that makes YOU you. And to me, bipolar is part of what makes me ME, good or bad or indifferent.

I love that quote Gina! "
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Reply #3 - 05/30/12  2:46pm
" IDK, I guess it all depends on how serious the relationship is and how serious you want it to become.

First off, If I'm looking to have a serious relationship with someone, I want to know if they can handle my illness. If they can't I want to get out before my emotions get to involved.

Secondly, How would you feel if this person was with holding information about an illness as potently harmful to the relationship as this from you. ex. hepatitis, herpes, cancer or any other life altering illness.

Ultimately the choose is yours, but don't be surprised if you do hold back the information That when( and she will find out, the truth always finds it's way to the surface) she does discover the truth she says "See you later, I wonder what else you've been lying to me about"

I know that's the way I'd handle it, but that's just me, I hate being lied too. "
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Reply #4 - 05/30/12  2:56pm
" Oh, it depends on so many things!!!!

There IS no 'right' time that will fit every relationship!!!

But I think if and when they make a derogatory remark about Bipolar Disordered people, the time has definitely come!!!!

If they don't like Bipolars, that's the time to let them know you ARE one!!!
That is not the girl for you.

It's possible that you can present it in such a way as to educate them about the illness and what it means and how it affects you.

I wonder if you could get away with casually mentioning that you have to take medicine. And then when she asks why, just toss off like it's nothing at all. 'Oh, I have a chemical imbalance, so the meds correct it.'

LOL!!!! Maybe she won't realize that it's Bipolar Disorder!!!

If she sticks around and gets to really know you, then you can refer to it as a 'mood disorder.'

Kind of like going into cold water bit by bit, rather than plunging right in!!!

If THAT works, then by the time you get around to calling it Bipolar Disorder, she'll have had a good track record with you and not be afraid or put off.

Hahaha!! I bet that WOULD work, once in a million times, anyway!!!

If you keep it a secret and the girl says she loves you, you are never going to be able to feel or give love fully.
Carrying a secret like that forever puts a wall up between you two.
You will most likely have a sense of 'She can't really love me, because she doesn't know me.

You may find some happiness in the relationship, but it will never be the optimum situation.

And secrets like that become harder and harder to ignore, as time goes on.

At the very least, you really should fess up before marrying the person. The chances are good that it WILL come out sooner or later and if it's after you've gotten married, your spouse will feel tricked and betrayed and if she stays, will probably never fully trust you again.

You seem most comfortable with not bringing it up for as long as possible, and that has it's advantage. Hopefully she will be perfectly satisfied with your behavior and when she IS told, she will think, 'Well, this seems okay.' If she likes you a lot, it probably won't matter too much.

But you also run the risk of the girl getting pissed/upset right then and there. Not only because of the Bipolar Disorder, but because you kept it a secret from her. I wouldn't care too much for that myself.

I don't know what people REALLY think of me when I tell them I'm Bipolar, but I just present it like it's something I have but nothing to get excited about and so far, everyone has been perfectly okay about it.

Two or three times, the other person will then confess to me that they, too, have Bipolar Disorder.

But that's when I'm doing okay!!!
When I'm hypomanic, I get a bit out of breath, because I'm talking so fast and have a harder time shutting up.
And I can tell I have my eyes wide open and my affect is a little bit off.
I suppose some of them feel like edging away from me because they realize I'm 'not quite right' in the head.
Maybe they even DO edge away from me and I don't even notice.

My own personal choice is to get it out in the open right from the beginning.
It doesn't have to be like, 'How do you do? By the way, I have a severe, chronic, mental illness!!'
But as you go through the usual crap -- what do you do, how many brothers and sisters do you have, where do you live, what are your hobbies, I definitely work it in with that stuff. It's 'important' enough mention.

Good luck!!! You just have to feel it out and do whatever way is best for you.

But if you decide that it's not going to last because they made an ignorant remark, at least try to educate them a little bit before you part company.

We should all try to lessen bigotry and ignorance and raise awareness whenever we get the chance.

Except maybe when it involves getting or keeping a job, LOLOL!!!!

(((((Hugs))))) "
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Reply #5 - 05/30/12  2:58pm
" I usually tell right off, like wiccan said, I want to know if they can handle my issues. Also, I want them to go away NOW if they're going to go away anyway. Ok, so I have problems. "
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Reply #6 - 05/30/12  3:00pm
" I do not tell - my rule of thumb is if I don't know or trust you enough to tell you I have Hemorrhoids (which I don't LOL) then I don't need to tell you anything : )

My journey and business - but I agree with Carla, put a toe in! "
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Reply #7 - 05/30/12  6:09pm
" Thank God for the incredible wisdom and experience of the people on this board. I can agree with some of what everyone says. I've turned this question over-and-over and have a very recent experience.

I had been dating this woman for about 4-6 weeks and really I had no impetus to tell her -- didn't feel compelled to conceal it either, it simply did not come into my mind to talk about. Well, that's not true: it did once but I resisted because it felt not quite right and I later journalled about the reasons I wanted to tell her at that point and they were not great motives.

Anyhow, I ended up telling her in a clumsy way, at the end of a night -- pretty much a door knob confession. I could not have dreamed of a worse way. I hated myself for the rest of the night and was certain it was a huge mistake. But we went out the next night and she asked me dozens of questions (clearly she'd googled it), and told me that her roommate outed herself as BP after hearing about my admission. I know she's still a bit afraid of the knowledge but she seems open-minded. I could have plotted and planned for weeks for the right time, but it seems it took an accident and a lot I did not know to bring the moment to pass.

My perspective is that the only thing that matters is how you feel telling it. Ideally, you would share it when you felt comfortable. But maybe she'll see pill bottles in your apartment or the dozen books on BP disorder on your bookshelf. The most important thing I communicated to her is: yes, I have manic depression and I understand its nature; and yes, I take medication and I do so responsibly because it's my issue and I care for myself. Ownership is key to communicate. "
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Reply #8 - 05/31/12  8:13am
" I think if I were in a relationship and had NO desire to EVER tell the person I was with that I have bipolar, I would see that as a problem. I value honesty over almost anything else in any relationship...

Bipolar does not define me if that's how I sounded earlier. It is simply a part of me that I am not going to be ashamed of anymore. Again, just sharing my OWN opinion... "
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Reply #9 - 05/31/12  9:24am
" so you wish for her to invest her emotions & time, so that when you tell her she will more than likely won't move on. but yet ago, maybe she has issue's ( needed to be a people pleaser/care worker) where she will take what ever to hang on to a relationship.dunno
hopefully she won't tell you that she has hepi. if she does. even if you ask her.it's her moral,personal/maybe deciteful right not to do so.
It wouldn't matter to me if I had 2yrs or more invested in a person. if I find out that they had lied while we were getting to know ea other. I would cut them out of my life. ya, I will cry & mise times w/in ea day that person had filled,but I'll move on.
Best wishies. "
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Reply #10 - 05/31/12  9:30am
" thank u to all! "

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