What’s The Point of Being Friends With An Ex?

Name: Anne
Age: 36
State: WA
Question:
First to give you a little background we meet online last June. He is 46, divorced once (marriage lasted ten years), left by his fiancé a couple weeks before a second marriage would have taken place. Both his first wife and fiancé left him. I’m 38, never married, longest relationship has been three years.

He disclosed he suffers with bi-polar three months after we meet. He wasn’t exhibiting any symptoms of depression or mania and said he hadn’t had an episode in more than a year. Admittedly I didn’t know much about bi-polar at first but did a lot of reading and speaking to a family member who is a psychiatrist about the illness so I could learn what to expect, signs of mood cycling, drug options and side effects, and how to be supportive without being an intrusive harpy. We talked about his history with the illness and he answered questions when I asked about specifics. Mostly I tried to remain cognizant of his mood changes and be there for him emotionally when he needed reinforcements. He felt comfortable talking to me about his struggles and I’m a nurturer so it was easy for me to listen and lend support when he asked for it.

We always had a good time together, rarely had an argument, enjoyed a satisfying sex life, and had similar attitudes about what we wanted in our lives.

Mid-December he started exhibiting signs of depression. He admitted that he had stopped taking his meds and seeing his counselor but assured me could manage through the depression without intervention. He was feeling better between Christmas and New Years, he meet my parents for the first time on Xmas eve and remained upbeat and engaged the whole evening. I felt very close to him at that point. We talked daily and were spending more nights together than apart.

He dipped into severe depression in January and realized he screwed going off his meds so he got back on them and leveled back out within 2-3 weeks. During that leveling out from late January through mid-February our sex life dried up. At first I thought the meds were robbing him of his libido because from what I’d researched anti-depressants are real boner killers. I wasn’t concerned about it being an emotional disconnect since he was still affectionate with hugging, kissing, and holding hands like we always had done and we were still spending the same amount of time together.

I tried numerous times to initiate sex in March without success. I started to feel things were “off” and it was bigger than just a med problem but my heart over-ruled my brain and I began to ignore the red flags that were starting to wave.

First week in April he invites me to spend the weekend dog sitting with him for his kids at his ex-wife’s house while they were in Hawaii (she remarried and has full custody of their two teenage sons). The first night we ended up naked in the hot tub. Things were working huzzah!! Before we got too far along I asked him to go inside with me because it wasn’t warm enough (April in Seattle ain’t that warm at 1am even in a hot tub). He agreed and said he’d follow but wanted to power down the tub first. No problem, I went inside climbed into bed and was ready to go when he came in ten minutes later. We resume the sexy-times and just as I climb on top of him he starts loosing his erection. I didn’t make a fuss about his sinking ship and did everything I could to maintain the mood with eye contact and soft words (reminding him how sexy he was, telling him how good he felt and how much I enjoyed being with him). Eventually he asked me to get off him and with a shrug said we could try again in the morning. I kissed him sweetly on the lips, snuggled up next to him, and we held each other until we feel asleep. The next morning he was out of bed without so much as a word spoken. We spent the day with friends and didn’t talk about what didn’t happen in bed. The second night we feel asleep watching SNL without even kissing or touching one another. Sunday morning he was out of bed again before I even woke up. I tried bringing it up with sensitivity but he didn’t want to talk at all. I left the house and only cried when I was in my car alone. I cried over being denied that conversation, cut out emotionally, and the realization that he wasn’t going to hold onto me – the disconnect had begun.

We continued to see each other a couple times a week and he would ask me to stay over but he wouldn’t stay over at my place anymore. When I did stay over he would hold me until I feel asleep but he had zero interest in anything else. I woke up one morning with him spooning me from behind and I could feel his erection pressing between my thighs. When I started to roll over to face him he rolled in the opposite direction so he wouldn’t face me. I ended up getting out of bed, asked to talk about what was really going on, he didn’t want to talk so I left the house.

Two days later I left for Europe. We talked the first seven days of my trip via text and FB then he stopped returning my texts. Five days later I came home. I called him from the Chicago airport while waiting on a connecting flight to Seattle – he said he was with his kids and he’d call me the next day. He didn’t call, just sent an apologetic text for not calling. He invited me to diner two days later but cancelled at the last minute. 11 days passed from the time I got home to the time we saw one another. Female intuition was screaming “he’s breaking up with me” at that point. When he arrived at my house that afternoon we had a nice diner and full evening of conversation and playful kisses. He told me after diner that he was cycling up into mania and from what I’d learned about bi-polar the flighty behavior of the past couple weeks made sense. Again I choose to remain supportive while his mood was shifting. We continued to talk daily but he kept canceling dates with plausible excuses. I tried one last time to ask him what was going on but was shot down with “I’m just too busy to do anything right now.”

Two weeks later I login to Facebook and see a post on his wall telling everyone he’s taking another woman (a name I’ve never heard before) away to the San Juan islands for the weekend. I immediately called him and asked him what his weekend plans were (not mentioning what I read on FB)and expressed how disconnected I thought we’d become since my Europe trip. He said he felt disconnected too that he had a full weekend of house sitting and that we should get together after the weekend to talk. That’s when I said I read the post on FB about the other women. He immediately got defensive and told me that he didn’t think we were in a serious relationship. Never mind the fact that we’d been exclusive for the past 11 months and he’s the one who asked for that exclusivity a month into dating. We had a very heated and hurtful conversation. I ended up telling him that we all make decisions, because he didn’t want commitment I didn’t want to hold on anymore. He emailed the next day to apologize and to say the situation was all on him. He asked if we could be friends. I accepted only because I was afraid to loose him totally from my life. With some distance now I think that his friendship is a second rate consolation prize offered only to absolve himself of whatever guilt or shame he felt for not handling the break up better. That Facebook post was his passive way of drawing me into an argument where it would be easier for him to break up with me.

A week later we had a civil email exchange where he told me he had love in his heart for me, just not romantic love. He was deeply appreciative of the support I gave him through the mood shifts and that I have all these great qualities he’s looking for in a partner. Looking back I think he had those gooey romantic feelings but when they wained he didn’t have the skills in his mental toolbox to tell me the truth.

Last weekend he called me from a cooking/chef shop he discovered. He said the place reminded him of me (we both loved to cook and spent a lot of time in the kitchen together while dating). Anyway he asked me to take some cooking classes with him at this place. I immediately said I thought that was a bad idea and he got all glum. I’m seriously trying to move on and have no false hope that we’ll get back together. He’s dating others so this wasn’t a win-me-back gesture.

I felt very deflated and angry at myself for holding on the past couple months when it was clear things would never get back to normal. After reading this blog for 2+ years I failed to use the advice I’ve read here simply because my heart didn’t want to accept the truth. I accept my faults and realize I need to get  real and open my eyes when warning signs begin to go off.

What do you think his motivation was in asking me to take classes with him? Do you think exes can be friends without agenda?

Mostly I’m just curious about your overall feedback. I don’t recall reading any past posts about dating people with mental illness or other manageable health issues.

 

He is 46, divorced once (marriage lasted ten years), left by his fiancé a couple weeks before a second marriage would have taken place. Both his first wife and fiancé left him.

 

Okay. I do not know enough about bi-polar disorder to be able to discern how that played in to the outcome of your situation. Maybe it did. Maybe it didn’t. The two could very well be mutually exclusive. What we know is that his last two relationships ended with the women leaving him. In one situation, the woman left him two weeks before they were to wed. To me, the fact that the women were the ones to end the relationship sets off all kinds of warning bells.

Why did he ask you to take cooking classes? I have no clue. Why does it matter? You’re trying to unravel an unsolvable mystery. This guy obviously stopped having feelings for you. Whether it was due to the fact that he is bi-polar doesn’t make a difference to me. He wasn’t interested. He stopped having sex with you. He behaved like an asshat. That’s all you need to know. Trying to figure out what motivated this behavior is a waste of energy. This guy clearly has trouble with relationships. End of story.

 

Do you think exes can be friends without agenda?

Again, I have to ask why this is your question. Why would you want to be friends with this particular ex? I can certainly understand being friends with someone that you dated. Just because things didn’t work out romantically doesn’t mean that you and that person can’t be great platonic friends. But when the ex shows the clear cut signs that this guy has displayed, I have to wonder what you’re actually trying to hold on to.

Looking back I think he had those gooey romantic feelings but when they wained he didn’t have the skills in his mental toolbox to tell me the truth.

Or….he’s just an asshole who happens to be bi-polar versus someone with bi-polar who, on occasion,  happens to  act like an asshole. Like when he decides to take you for a naked whirl in his ex wife’s hot tub. Maybe I’m over reacting to that, I don’t know. But it doesn’t sound terribly respectful.

He admitted that he had stopped taking his meds and seeing his counselor but assured me could manage through the depression without intervention.

And how did that work out for him? This guy is reckless with his own well-being. Why would he care about yours?

You need to stop trying to figure him out. I highly doubt even he knows why he does what he does. (Again, that might have nothing to do with the fact that he is bi-polar.) You’re trying to figure out if there is still hope that you and he might have something. Even if you could, why would you want that? There are plenty of other men out there. You don’t have to cling to this one.

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24 Responses to “What’s The Point of Being Friends With An Ex?”

  1. nathan Says:

    I am friends with a few exes who have their lives together. We can have a good time together, and have great conversations without drama, or wondering about intentions.

    This guy is a mess. He’s in no place to be a decent friend for you. And you don’t sound like you’ve unhooked completely yet either.

    Move on. Just say no to any more invitations to talk right now. And maybe somewhere down the line months or years later, it will make more sense to be friends. But sure as hell not now.

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  2. mari Says:

    Agreed..it is over – no friends, bad idea. Time to move on and take cooking classes with someone who is interested in you romantically. Impossible to analyze what he was thinking, and not worth it (as hard as that may be). The no sex thing is a huge red flag.

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  3. Selena Says:

    You were exclusive (so you believed) for almost a year. He started withdrawing several months ago, and apparently seeing at least one other woman ( the one he took to the San Juan islands) – being open about it on FB, but lying to you. Bi-polar or not, he knew what he was doing and it’s really low. Don’t you think so? So why would you want to be “friends” with a guy who would treat you badly when you were his girlfriend?

    You need to get over this guy Anne. Let someone else try to “fix” him. Your nuturing nature will be appreciated by a healthy and HONEST man. Institute the No Contact Rule with this one. You might also consider browsing a bookstore/library for books on co-dependence – sometimes people with nuturing natures are drawn to unhealthy/difficult others and find it hard to let go of such individuals.

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    • Angeline Says:

      I started to post a comment on the codependent aspect this morning, and ran out of time. I think that word is way over-used, so it doesn’t have much impact in the situations where it should, like this one. I think it’s odd to ask friends in the psych biz, and read up on everything about bipolar 3 months in, and having absorbed some of that, dive in instead instead of stepping back to assess. Being eager to nurture and tend to someone’s mental illness isn’t exactly a healthy approach for either of you – he needs professionals for that. It seems like his illness was an “in” for you to become necessary in his life, which might be why he withdrew.

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    • fuzzilla Says:

      >You might also consider browsing a bookstore/library for books on co-dependence – sometimes people with nuturing natures are drawn to unhealthy/difficult others and find it hard to let go of such individuals.<

      Agreed. I think the classic is "Women Who Love Too Much."

      Also agree with Amy's comment that she used the mental illness as an "in." She wanted to feel important and needed. I don't know if the term "codependent" is overused, but yes, it definitely applies here. The in-a-nutshell definition is "doing something for someone else that they should be able to do for themselves." Not so much cooking dinner to be nice, more doing the emotional "work" that they can't/won't do. Like calling your husband's/wife's job and telling them your boo is sick when really they're just too hung over/wasted to go in (or even handle the damn phone call to communicate this themselves). A good question to ask is if the partner needs it or if the co-dependent partner just wants to feel needed.

      Not sure if he is, but she sure is using his issues as an excuse for why he's acting like an asshole.

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  4. Amy Says:

    To answer the question in the title, the point of being friends with an ex is if both of you gain something positive from the relationship. In this case, you definitely will not. The ONLY thing you are doing is delaying the painful experience of letting him go entirely. But once you do that, you can begin to heal. Postponing is only dragging it out and making it worse. Rip off the bandaid, say ouch, move one.

    From reading your post carefully, I can see (and you partially admitted) that you underestimated/ignored/denied/tried to fix the extent of his mental illness for much of the time you were together. That dangerous behavior allowed you to bond with a person who is not safe. He may be fun, nice, smart, interesting. But his disability (or whatever you want to call it) limits his ability to be fully present/care for both himself and others. Your nurturing tendency can be a wonderful gift but you have to protect yourself from climbing out on a limb when the guy holds the saw.

    I’m sorry you are hurting. But there is nothing for you with this guy. Only more roller coaster, uncertainty, second guessing, mixed messages, etc etc etc. Rip off the bandaid. And then give yourself a few weeks. After that you will say “What was I thinking?”

    This isn’t easy. I wish you the best.

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    • Andthatswhyyouresingle Says:

      To me, it seemed like the guy used his bi-polar disorder as a crutch/excuse for why he’s such an asshole.

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      • dimplz Says:

        I owe you a Coke.

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      • Amy Says:

        Well whatever the root cause of his behaviors were, she ignored the danger signals and bonded with him anyway. It was turning the blind eye toward his behaviors that led her into this situation. None of us (unless someone is a mental health professional on this thread) really can ascertain how much of this is due to a mental illness, or straight-up asshattery. And what difference does it make really? He showed his colors, she ignored them, it got worse, and here we are.

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  5. dimplz Says:

    I’ve never dated anyone with a mental disorder, but to be honest. the bipolar disorder is a red herring. He’s made it clear he doesn’t want to be with you, so if you accept friendship, make sure you’re OK with friendship. Personally, I think your friendship will have as many ups and downs as your relationship, and if you’re ok with that, then go forward. Don’t forget how he slowly inched out of your life. He can do that again if he gets serious with the new woman. I think you’re building on very shaky ground and if you’re seeking a long-term relationship where you live together or marriage, this is not an ideal relationship. There are a lot of people who are in relationships with people with mental disorders, and I think it’s great if they can handle them. You seem to have handled it well, too, but he just didn’t want that relationship with you.

    I’m going to say this, and if I’m wrong, then someone correct me, but does anyone feel that he was kind of using his illness to excuse shit he knew was wrong to do? I know that sometimes I blame my laziness/lack of strength on lupus when I just don’t want to do something (I know, I’m terrible!) and I just can’t help but feel like he’s mentally ill, but he’s not in a fog. He seems to be quite lucid about what he’s doing and he apologized so it doesn’t seem like he’s in a bad cycle, it just seems like he felt like not being confronted with hurt feelings and took the path of least resistance. Nothing wrong with that; just don’t blame it on your illness. Weak.

    OP, I have never stayed friends with an ex. I’ve tried. They have never gone for it. Probably because they knew that I wouldn’t be ok with it. I wasn’t ok with it; I just didn’t want to let go. Think about why you want to stay friends with someone who will probably be gone once he finds someone, which will hurt you more.

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    • Selena Says:

      I’m interested in hearing from those who have experience with BP disorder. My impression is that it is a condition of extremes: the low’s are very low, and in the manic phase, the person is thinking/doing numerous things at once with minimal sleep. Essentially, there is no calculation involved in these phases, no plan. Which is why I find it odd the OP’s boyfriend stopped contacting her the last week she was in Europe, but turned up with a new romantic interest shortly thereafter. If he was in the depressive phase, (withdrawing into himself) isn’t it unlikely he would be wooing another woman? If he was in a manic phase, wouldn’t he have more contact with Anne, (increased phone calls, emails, etc.) rather than none?

      I’m with you Moxie, & Dimplz that it seems he might be playing his diagnosis as a kind of “diminished capacity card” if it benefits him to do so. Open to learning more about this condition from others too.

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      • chillybeans Says:

        I dated a man who was Bipolar 2 for two years. Big mistake, and one I would never repeat again.
        There are two main types of bipolar disorder, bipolar 1 is for those who cycle between mania and depression, and bipolar 2 is mainly depression. It’s considered sometimes the “lesser” bipolar yet has a higher suicide rate than bipolar 1. It’s very common for either bipolar condition for people to go off their meds and stop seeing their counselor, and it never ends well (and sometimes in the hospital). The side effects of the drugs are not fun (ie boner killer, zombie ness) and since bipolar symptoms include delusion it’s not hard to see how often this happens. Being with someone who is either bipolar condition requires constant, exhausting vigilance and support. They are extremely needy. And our sex life greatly waned too. And he would make fun of me for wanting sex.

        I know the asshat I dated used his bipolar as an excuse and a crutch. He had also been left by his wife and by his last girlfriend. He would use his depression as a reason why I should not break up with him after he had done something that most normal people would have broken up over -ie “you can’t leave me now that I am so depressed, I might do something…”..however, when he was sick of me he dumped me. Two days after he begged me “please don’t break up with me”. WAY too much drama.
        He has spent over two years trying to get in touch with me and “be friends” but I am done and refuse to be his friend after how badly he treated me, who needs a friend like that.
        I very much suggest OP be done with him as well. He wants to get back with you for another round,
        but he doesn’t want to seem like he is the one pursuing you, hence the friend/cooking class angle.
        Again too much drama.

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        • BostonRobin Says:

          THIS! I dated someone with bipolar (at least–I suspect there were even more issues) who definitely used it as an excuse. When I read the letter to Moxie, the first bells went off for me when that guy stopped taking his meds and not going to therapy. He wasn’t taking care of himself.

          I believe that it’s reasonable for people with mental illness to have parity in their health insurance plans. That goes both ways though, especially if they expect to have an adult relationship. They have to take care of themselves in the same way you would expect a diabetic to. Tell me who is going to put up with a diabetic who kept ending up in the ER after refusing to take insulin or follow a proper diet? Wouldn’t most people say that this person had a serious problem with responsibility and was using this illness to create drama? There’s your “parity.”

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  6. LostSailor Says:

    Again, I agree with nearly all of the commentary. IMO, this guy is an asshat who at one point had feelings for Anne, but then didn’t and relied on her sympathy for his medical condition as an excuse; the whole “other woman” FB thing is a slap in the face.

    I’ve never dated someone with bi-polar disorder (that I know of). And maybe it makes me a douche for saying this, but I don’t think I could ever date someone with this condition. I’m generally a pretty patient and supportive guy, but from what I’ve read and heard from friends, the gyrational mood swings, even when controlled by medication, would probably exhaust my reserves of patience, support, and caring pretty quickly. Anne got farther than I would have.

    But to the main question, what’s the point of being friends with an ex? Depends. I’ve done it with women I’ve dated, mostly from before my marriage, and the commonality in those instances has been that the relationship developed more as a friendship with sex rather than a romantic relationship. I’m still friends with some women that I was knocking boots with, 20 years later. I’m also still good friends with my ex-wife, as I’ve mentioned elsewhere. So it can be done and can lead to satisfying friendships. The key, to me, is you have to be extremely honest with all involved and know what you’re doing.

    Should Anne try to stay friends with this ex? My opinion is no way in hell. Down that road lies continued emotional pain. Why is he wanting to remain friends? My take is that he likes the emotional support she offered in the past, but has no interest in continuing a romantic relationship. Sorry, Anne, you’ve been friend-zoned. Sucks. But I can understand why she’s questioning this. I think she clearly knows that this is a bad deal and she should cut of all contact with this guy. Get over it and get on with it. But, she’s 38, has never had a long long-term relationship, and fell in love with this guy, warts and all, and invested a lot into the relationship. That’s very difficult to disengage from. But at 38, I don’t think she really wants to waste her time and energy on an emotional sinkhole.

    Moxie’s right. There are plenty of other men out there. Take the hard road: cut him off, cauterize the wound, and seek happiness.

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    • fuzzilla Says:

      >And maybe it makes me a douche for saying this, but I don’t think I could ever date someone with this condition.I think she clearly knows that this is a bad deal and she should cut of all contact with this guy. Get over it and get on with it. But, she’s 38, has never had a long long-term relationship, and fell in love with this guy, warts and all, and invested a lot into the relationship. That’s very difficult to disengage from.<

      Yeah, exactly. It's kind of like getting fired from a job you hated. You don't want to be there, but you feel angry and cheated that all your hard work went unrecognized and was for naught.

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    • fuzzilla Says:

      >And maybe it makes me a douche for saying this, but I don’t think I could ever date someone with this condition. <

      That doesn't make you a douche, it makes you healthy.

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      • fuzzilla Says:

        OK, maybe that was harsh. I am just so beyond done shoving my own needs aside in deference to someone else’s deficiencies and calling that a relationship.

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  7. Trouble Says:

    I have stayed friends with ex-boyfriends, in fact, my best friend from college is a guy I dated briefly our freshman year.

    But…even in a friend relationship, there needs to be reciprocity. You should not always be giving more than you get. It seems to me that in your relationship to this guy, all of your needs were overshadowed by his needs, and you were perfectly happy to settle for something that really wasn’t meeting your needs, as long as you could be sweet and supportive.

    That’s never a good plan for longterm happiness. There’s nothing you’ve written in your post above that suggests that this guy would make a reliable, dependable friend who could be counted on for–really anything–aside meeting his own needs (emotional/sexual/etc.) at your expense.

    I think you need to ask yourself what you, Ann, would get out of this friendship. i can see what you’d give, but if you get nothing out of it, what’s the point? In fact, all I see you doing is giving…and that looks like a problem to me (it’s why people are tossing around the term co-dependent).

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  8. AJ Says:

    I think being friends with an ex only works when both of you no longer have romantic feelings for each other. Otherwise think about it…would you want to see an ex that you still cared about having fun with another? I sorta think not. Plus, it’s not healthy. Time to move on.

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  9. SJ Says:

    I married a man with bi polor disorder. It was the biggest mistake of my life. Just like the OP, I nurtured and listened. (OP – this is a red flag for you to work on. Other posters are on target, read codependency now.) At the lowest of times – it was the worse. At the best of times, life felt stable. But it doesn’t take much to push a bi polar person into swings. Last year my husband was going into a deep depression I could feel myself not willing to nurture him again. I just couldn’t do it. It’s exhausting and I had learned much more appreciation for my own well being. OP – they don’t like firm boundaries – you would be bound to fail sooner or later because at some point you would say “no”.

    My husband refused help and didn’t want medications (yes, OP they need medications and to stay on them. It’s a red flag when they go off of medications. Expect the worse mood issues without meds.) Over a period of time, our lives become out of balance – me too controlling, him too passive. To make a long story short – living with a bipolor husband was very difficult, lonely and frustrating. One day I came home from work and got the mid-life crisis speech…”I don’t love you, I’m moving out and divorcing you.”

    He was done with our marriage. His behavior was weird – it made no sense. In the end, I called it quits. I’m filing for divorce. I deserve a guy who could communicate and ask for what he needed. Yes, my husband felt I should read his mind and if I couldn’t then I didn’t really love him. Like I said weird.

    I have come to terms with never really understanding the decisions my husband made. It’s unfortunately a man with unstable metal capacities and without treatments to help him.

    Referring to my husband and OP boyfriend – these men can’t love another because they can’t love themselves. It’s an empty world for them, looking for the next woman to “care for them”. That’s my bit of mental sanity at the end of a very hard journey.

    My husband wanted to be friends. I told him no. Why? Because I realized he hadn’t changed in the 12 years we were together. The craziness would still go on in the friendship.

    OP – he did you the best favor. You only lost 11 months to this guy. Take it from me run…and stay away.

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  10. LostSailor Says:

    Okay, off topic.

    One of the reasons, perhaps the primary one, that I very glad I found this site, and site like it, is the honesty here. Yeah, there are moments of drama, but mainly clear thinking and honesty. Avoiding the pretty lies has made a huge difference in my life.

    Damn. Back to snarkiness, batman!

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    • BK Says:

      I work in the mental health field and am a graduate student in psychology. There are different subtypes of bipolar disorder, and depending on the form this woman’s ex-boyfriend has, the symptoms of the disorder would affect him differently. For example, not everyone has frequent episodes with extreme highs and lows, some people’s cycles will look more like an individual with depression. That said..in the individuals I’ve worked with bi-polar disorder it was extremely obvious when they were going into a manic episode.(Their speech got faster, they engaged in risk taking behaviors, they had episodes of rage over minor incidents..). A lot of people with bi-polar stop taking their medications because the side effects are undesirable. In my experience, the way people with this diagnosis behaved off medication was so different that it was noticeable, and attributable to not managing their symptoms properly. Could some of the behaviors this women’s ex-boyfriend engaged in be related to his diagnosis? Possibly.., but I more get the sense that he was using his diagnosis as an excuse to act like an ass-hole. Is that really someone you want as a friend? I also get the sense that this woman wants a reason to excuse his ass-hole behavior. She described that things felt off in her relationship, but she didn’t really describe behavior changes in her ex that were drawing her concern on their own, which I think she would be if his behaviors were related to his disorder.

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  11. Susan Says:

    I dealt with what I call a “wishy washy” man as well. He was on meds for bi-polarity and it seemed that every other week or so we were on and then we were off. Anything that had to do with a high pressure situation (i.e.: A Holiday or intimate situation) caused him to fluctuate his decision. This ambiguity caused more frustration than it was worth and left self-doubt at my feet. Finally had enough when he chose to go back out with his ex after flip flopping with both of us. I ripped him an asshole and told him I was worth more than being number two. He tried to win back my affection several times over the past 5 years. I refused to accept the “I have changed and am on better meds” talk. That bridge was burned and cannot be repaired. We have mutual friends so I see him every now and again. The best thing I ever did was wake up and walk away. I wish him the best but this selfish man was not for me.

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  12. Kristen Says:

    Interestingly, I dated someone who was bipolar and we were friends for a while. I will probably never date someone who is diagnosed bipolar again, because it was too much for me to deal with. At the same time, i was only 25, so I was naive, but possibly more forgiving, too.

    I broke up with him when he went into a depressive state. We didn’t talk but for a few random emails every few months after that. After about two years, we hung out a few times and chatted over email. I had no attraction to him romantically, and I’m pretty sure it was the same for him. It was nice to have that friendship with him, but it eventually waned.

    I think the OP needs to run away from this guy, because of what Moxie has already said about him. He doesn’t have any redeeming qualities that would be good for friendship. And a lot of it has nothing to do with his mental disorder.

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