"I've seen dozens of couples come through the door with their marriage in tatters." Bipolar disorder "puts a huge additional strain on a relationship, particularly when you don't have a diagnosis." Having a relationship when you live with bipolar disorder is difficult. It takes work on the part of both partners to make sure the marriage survives.The first step is to get diagnosed and treated for your condition.Haltzman is clinical assistant professor in the Brown University department of psychiatry and human behavior.He's also medical director of NRI Community Services in Woonsocket, R. and author of The Secrets of Happily Married Men and The Secrets of Happily Married Women.
Any number of things, from work stress to money issues, can lead to arguments and put strain on a marriage.
At some point, though, you will need to let your partner know that you are bipolar.
"I don't think it's necessary to introduce your psychiatric problems on the first date," Haltzman says.
When Jim Mc Nulty, 58, of Burrillville, Rhode Island, got married in the 1970s, everything seemed fine at first.
"It was an absolutely normal courtship," he recalls. During his "up" or hypomanic states, he would spend huge sums of money he didn't have.That means spending money recklessly, becoming promiscuous, engaging in risky behaviors like drug and alcohol abuse, and even getting into trouble with the law.