Dumped by text. I knew it was coming; I was just waiting for the “you’re dumped,” and I just knew it would selfishly be delivered by text instead of in person or by a phone call. That’s the way she is.
Being in a relationship while having bipolar disorder is not easy at the best of times, but when both parties have bipolar disorder; well, the journey is set to be a rough one. To be successful, having a plan is vital. ‘Know what we are dealing with’ would be a good place to start. To understand each other’s needs is important, but it has to be two-sided; both parties must understand the other person’s needs, not just their own. If this doesn’t happen from the start, the journey is destined to arrive at failure, sooner, rather than later.
Having a daily routine is an important part of managing bipolar disorder. What happens when one person is trying to stick to their routine, but the other one doesn’t have one? There is a potential risk that the person with a daily routine is dragged off course and into the unplanned path of the one without a routine. When this happens, maintenance of mental health becomes increasingly difficult.
Communication is an essential element in the relationship, but general chit-chat is not communication. Real communication is the ability to talk about issues openly in a conversation (verbal, not text) without fear. When one person is fearful of speaking up about a problem, the relationship has no backbone.
Neediness brings challenges to the relationship, too. Sure, we all have needs; emotionally, mentally and physically, and if these are not met, the relationship will spiral downhill quickly. What happens when one person is high maintenance in the needs department, but the other only has two basic needs? The balance is uneven, and one person has a lot of hard work on their hands. Neediness in a relationship is healthy, but it can also be a deal-breaker if it becomes too much.
My needs were simple; in fact, I only had two needs. The first is ‘space.’ I needed space to stick to my documented daily routine (which is actually a treatment plan for a sleep disorder) My second need is ‘alone time’ so that I can have headspace to pursue my creative activities. I also need some downtime to do household chores and gardening! If I don’t get to stick to my routine, I very quickly become unwell and if I don’t get the headspace needed, I end up feeling crowded and miserable.
So what did I do wrong? In general, terms, nothing specific. Regarding routine, though; I gave my power away by letting her drag me off my essential daily routine to her ‘live life as it comes’ approach. Nearly every afternoon, she would text or phone and ask to ‘come for a cuppa.’ That’s ok, but she would then stay for the rest of the afternoon and evening. She had no consideration for what I may be doing at the time or things that I may need to do. My valuable time was not important to her. So, we would sit on the couch, (nearly always) eat take-away and watch TV. I got bored very quickly and yearned for my headspace. But, I was fearful of saying so, as I just knew it would be seen as a rejection, and she would sulk, or worse – throw a tantrum and dump me!
So what did I really do wrong? In my terms, I didn’t communicate as I should have and I didn’t stand up for my own needs. In her terms; despite trying to meet her needs by sacrificing my daily routine and allowing her to take the lead in every decision of what we should do with our time; it wasn’t enough. My afternoon nap is an essential part of my routine and the number of times it had to be sacrificed, because she phoned/texted during it, was too much for me.
In her terms, one of the things I did wrong, was I didn’t give her ‘enough attention.’ She soaked up so much of my time. We saw each other nearly every day. I listened to the things she had to tell me and I tried to be sympathetic where it was needed. But perhaps she didn’t feel she was getting enough because I was privately yearning for at least some headspace. I couldn’t cope with seeing her every day; it was too exhausting.
Another thing I did wrong, was not to be able to cope with her high need for intimacy; every day if she got her way. I did manage to speak up and tell her she was wearing me out, but this seemed to fall on deaf ears. The end result on my part was misery, which led to low libido – so she would be miserable because her physical needs were not being met. Total failure and relationship-killer.
The final thing I did wrong last night was to say no when she asked me to go to her house for dinner. I needed to cut the grass, as it was at the stage of overwhelming me and it had to be done in the evening when it was cooler. I should have sacrificed doing it ‘because’ she had suggested me going to her’s for dinner. Saying ‘no’ was sufficient enough for her to decide her needs were not being met and send me the ‘you’re dumped’ text this morning.
The sad thing is; this is the 4th time she has dumped me by text over 18 months. I was gullible enough to go back to her each time she decided the relationship should be back on again. It has taken me this many times of being dumped by text to learn a lesson that the biggest thing I was getting wrong, was staying in the unhealthy relationship.