Finding Hope and Strength in Bipolar Disorder Relationship Patterns


Bipolar disorder may influence the pattern of thought, feelings, behavior, and even conduct arising from being in a relationship or when dating. Building long-term relationships can be made possible through management and education on treatment options. Bipolar disorder relationship patterns are marked by extreme fluctuations between intense highs, often during manic episodes, and profound lows, typically experienced during depressive episodes.

The right sort of treatment can enable most patients to develop healthy relationships with other people. So, bipolar and relationships affect how people feel and behave, which can make both tricky to manage. Continue reading to learn more about bipolar disorder relationship patterns and their effective treatment at MAVA Behavioral Health. We are here to assist!

Bipolar and Relationships

Bipolar disorder is a mental health condition characterized by pathologic distortions in mood. Patients with it alternate between mania and hypomania. It is a high state of emotion, either euphoric or irritable; at times, even delusional—to other times when they become profoundly depressed. Depressive episodes can result in withdrawal and isolation of bipolar disorder relationship patterns.
Thus, such a lifelong condition tends to run in families, although the cause of the bipolar disease is unknown. Yet, it can often be successfully managed through treatment. Contact us for effective treatment of bipolar disorder and discover simple ways to manage its symptoms.

Signs of Bipolar Disorder in Relationships

Below are some of the bipolar disorder warning signs:

  • Feeling that always in relation, you’re a caretaker
  • Sacrificing your life goals, values, and needs for the sake of staying with your partner
  • Feeling unsafe or scared of the relationship
  • Feeling constantly anxious or stressed about the relationship
  • Feeling selfish and afraid of ending the relationship

Why Do Bipolar Relationships Fail?

A person who has bipolar disorder can look forward to quite serious and leading changes in mood and behavior. These cycles create problems when dating someone with bipolar disorder. The fact is that bipolar and relationships deeply influence each other, as they bring about dramatic shifts in mood. Managing these mood swings can pose challenges for communication and trust between partners.

Empathy, understanding, and support play pivotal roles in navigating the intricacies of bipolar relationships. The swings can be helped by medication, but some people may go off their medications, leaving the other partner to try and become a caretaker for the other. Events can, just as arguments may, set off a person’s mood to destabilize and increase the bad symptoms of bipolar and relationship patterns.

The partner might feel they have to tiptoe around the person who has bipolar disorder because they are scared of burdening them and making them sail into another mood. The two may not develop healthy coping mechanisms for dealing with their symptoms in someone who has bipolar disorder.

How Do Bipolar People React to Breakups?

Any breakup is likely to be difficult, especially if you have a long-term commitment to your partner. According to Reiss, this situation may cause feelings of guilt. Communication can be erratic, ranging from pressure of speech to silence in bipolar disorder relationship patterns. Assume you start feeling guilty when the truth is that you have not done what the other person implicitly anticipated. In that case, your guilt will cause anger, depression, and other negative emotions in both you and the other individual, exacerbating the problem. However, some typical responses may include:


You are engaging in risky behaviors such as spending, substance abuse, impulsive travel, reckless driving, unprotected sex, sudden change of job, excessive gambling, or other major life decisions.

Irritability or Anger

Agitation, frustration, and acting-out behaviors that involve confrontation, bipolar and relationships, aggressive outbursts, verbal or physical fights, breaking objects, yelling, blaming others, or harsh and impulsive decisions.


They can give rise to a highly inflated esteem or even unrealistic optimism about bipolar woman relationships. It can further induce them to set unrealizable targets or expectations from themselves and others.

Mood Swings

Emotions may swing from feelings of relation to those of despair at an ever-increasing speed, making it difficult to sustain constant emotions. Fast cycling like this can result in strange behavior that invites relational tension and problems. It continues with daily demands when you are living with a bipolar spouse.

Increased Activity

Many projects or social activities may be taken up simultaneously to ward off the emotional ache. Not only that, but it may also lead to overcommitting and burnout since they work feverishly to avoid their feelings.

Emotional Abuse Bipolar Relationships

Someone with bipolar disorder may also be given emotional abuse about their mental health condition. bipolar disorder relationship patterns may be challenging to maintain. For example, an abusive partner might minimize self-expression as “just the disorder talking,” or they might try to convince a victim that they’re “crazy” to get feelings and power in the relationship.

Past emotional abuse could increase the following aspects of bipolar disorder:

  1. Rapid cycling
  2. Psychosis
  3. Mood episodes
  4. Comorbid conditions
  5. Perturbing problems in emotional regulation

Arguing With a Bipolar Person

Individuals with some mental health condition characterized by bipolar disorder may have low self-esteem, which in the end shows other people unhealthy, toxic, or abusive behavior. Bipolar disorder relationship patterns experience immense strain and require professional help. This relationship may be trying at times because the unmanaged symptoms that come with the condition normally lead to arguments.

Some of the possible arguments and problems that can be raised in relations with people who suffer from the disorder include:

  • High emotions lead to impulsive actions, like throwing things, shouting, or physical aggression.
  • Catering to the expectation may lead to backlash or not catering to the needs of the partner.
  • Ethical boundaries around oneself, one’s needs, and space are very critical and precarious, especially when arguing.
  • They are not able to talk about living in peace together and understanding their partner’s emotions.
  • A difficult conversation may include the necessity for pursuing medical treatment for the condition or seeking treatment.

When To Break Up with A Bipolar Partner?

Choosing to leave a partner with bipolar disorder is a hard and personal choice. Think about many things and how the two of you get along.

  1. Any hitting, mean words, or emotional hurt is a sure sign that the bipolar disorder relationship patterns are not healthy and could be dangerous.
  2. If there are often acts of anger, threats, or harm, these are not okay, no matter the mental health issues.
  3. You are always being put down, called names, or made to feel small, which wears away at how you see yourself and your inner peace.
  4. When being with them makes you feel tired, worried, or sad all the time, it could be too much for your mental health.

How Does a Person with Bipolar Think?

Bipolar disorder may affect thinking or reasoning, mostly in times of a manic, hypomanic, or depressive episode. Manic episodes are those of an increase in energy, fast thoughts, and impulsiveness. If you are going through a depressive episode, your thoughts will be even slower. You might become less concentrated.
The type of bipolar disorder you have has an impact on the way that it will affect your thinking.

There are four types of bipolar disorder:

  • Bipolar I disorder
  • Bipolar II disorder
  • Cyclothymic disorder
  • Other bipolar-related disorders

Bipolar Relationship Breakup Cycle

Understanding why extreme mood changes and rapid-cycling bipolar disorder can lead to breakups and the type of disruptions they cause may help couples work in collaboration to maintain their relationship, avoid unhealthy breakups, and have clear expectations set around how to handle mood changes.

Here are five tips that will help a couple manage a relationship undergoing a bipolar relationship breakup cycle:

1-Improve Your Communication Skills

Talking to each other about problems matters, and it is this final factor, at the very end, that can ultimately make a difference in relationship satisfaction despite the issues. Being open and honest regarding your bipolar disorder and shifts in mood can allow your partner to understand changes that might be happening

2- Take a Role in Your Partner’s Treatment Plan

Getting the right treatment is critical in managing bipolar disorder. Promoting and backing your partner’s treatment plan will likely result in positive outcomes for both the relationship and their well-being. There are several treatments for bipolar disorder. As a partner, you can support most treatment approaches, build trust in a relationship, and occasionally include online therapeutic sessions to support changes in practice in the dynamics of relationships that need to be made.

3-Find an Outside Support Group

Support groups can be an excellent resource for people who are experiencing ongoing relationship difficulties. There are likely communities of support in your area or online that you may participate in as a partner for an individual with bipolar disorder to receive help. There are also numerous similar options available in support groups for people with bipolar disorder.

4- Set Realistic and Healthy Boundaries

It becomes very important to set boundaries within relationships, especially when one or both people have a behavioral health disorder. Be crystal clear regarding where lines are and what constitutes crossing those lines, or agree on what is and isn’t acceptable in your relationship and how to talk to and treat each other. Setting clear boundaries can help if someone wants to break up and how you both approach each other when someone feels any bipolar disorder relationship patterns.

5. Pause Over Breaking Up

Instead of ending a relationship altogether, you might have an agreement to press pause on the relationship as it stands. It does require good communication about expectations for the break: how long it will last, what sort of off-limits behaviors will be, whether or not you will be maintaining sexual fidelity, what’s still expected from the other partner, etc.

The Bottom Line

Bipolar disorder relationship patterns cause shifts in a wide-ranging degree of moods and variable energy levels. As such, it makes it quite hard for somebody who has bipolar disorder to relate to others in an ever-constant and predictable manner. Some of the symptoms associated with bipolar disorder can stress relationships and create problems like alienation, estrangement, and resentment. While these steps can help your relationship, bipolar disorder sometimes puts stress on the relationship all by itself — even when both of you do everything right. That’s just the nature of the illness.

Remember that having bipolar disorder, or dating someone with it, doesn’t mean you can’t have a healthy and happy relationship. Keys to success include keeping open lines of communication, sticking to treatment plans for the person with bipolar disorder, and seeking support for oneself as needed. Visit MAVA Behavioral Health for opting for the treatment of bipolar disorder by consulting our healthcare providers.



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