bipolars in love

I am a female 42 bi polar stage II, my girlfriend 42 is bipolar stage I. This has truly been the best relationship I have ever been in. Our trust and understanding and patience with each other has been remarkable. three months ago we were forced away from each other by distance of countries when her visa was denied to stay here in the US. I am tring to move me and my son to Australia to be with her but its been very difficult to do so. in the mean time she is living with her parents and working to astablish a place for us. The distance has been hard on us but we have managed. yesterday I found out that last month she went on the internet and was tring to hook up with a man for sex, I do not know for sure , but I believe her that it did not take place. But do know men are not what her experience has been with. I know that this is part of the bipolar disorder to be reckless with sex but its never been an issue for us before. I know that us both being bipolar is a huge journey together that requires alot of work. But I worry that we may end up being bad for each other instead of good. How can we help each other?

Ben's Answer:

There are pros and cons to having a Bipolar partner, when you yourself have BP. If your partner was not Bipolar, she would have a long journey to come to understand your needs, your moods, your triggers and vulnerabilities... and along the way you would encounter many pitfalls and obstacles.

If your partner is Bipolar, she already can understand a great deal of your own emotional and inner life and this can be a real advantage. But the cost of such a partnership is that you may trigger one another if either of you goes through hard times, or periods of loss of control.

It is common for those with Bipolar Disorder to periodically be very impulsive, reckless or addictive when it comes to sex. It is not uncommon for a woman who normally prefers women, to suddenly have intense impulses to sleep with men (while in a manic or hypomanic state). Of course this requires a great deal of understanding and forgiveness for you and a huge commitment for her and for you to always remain honest, as conscious as possible, and dedicated to staying well.

There is no right answer for me to give you about this relationship. When it comes to Love, the intellect is an inferior method of understanding.

It would be a good idea for both of you to complete a safety plan (there is one on this site), and to be intimately aware of one another's triggers and emotional needs. Engaging in healthy routines, like exercise, yoga and meditation together could be a great discipline for you both and would also strengthen the relationship.

Take Care,
Ben Schwarcz, MFT

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