Depression: Depression & Related Conditions

Ask Dr. Schwartz
Ask Dr. Schwartz
Psychotherapy and Mental Health questions

Breaking up With Bipolar

I have recently broken up with my boyfriend of 1½ years. But due to his insistence, and my inability to be steadfast, I agreed to remain “friends” and in contact, via emails, phone calls etc. I knew then and know now that it was merely his attempt to keep a “foot in the door,” if you will, but ultimately I feel that it is more harmful than good for the both of us, as I do not feel we have a future, despite a relatively intimate, and passionate relationship. He says that he wants to wait for me until I “figure my stuff out”, but the simple fact is, this relationship is ultimately emotionally exhausting for me and erodes my self-confidence in subtle ways (which I have told him).

We are both un-married, single parents. I have my children full time and he has his children half of the time. I have had depression issues that come from a family affected by alcoholism, and I left a controlling marriage. Previous to our relationship, he had been diagnosed with bipolar type II, with concurrent addiction issues. We both maintain professional counselling independently, but I am currently on a waiting list to resume with my therapist.

So the issue at hand is that I am somehow unable to find the courage, willpower and best method to bring this situation to a close. He is very intelligent and maintains a successful career despite his issues, and he is extremely adept at manipulating a conversation. I feel unable to make the final move for fear it will lead me into a tail-chasing battle of wits over semantics and “misunderstandings” and we’ll end up repeating the cycle. We are in our 30’s and this entire scenario feels somewhat immature. Suggestions? In Limbo

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