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Have you ever had a partner succumb to mental health problems?

I have only had two long term relationships. Each lasted 12 years. I lost the first one to addiction, and the second to mental health issues. I could write a book about enabling. The first just kept spiraling after I was finally able to get free. The other is actually doing better because I made him leave. What experiences have you all had?

By Tecolote7
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My ex was OCD and manic depressive. She should have been on meds, but was too proud to seek help. On top of that, she spiritualized it all, blaming me as satan's tool to get at her. It was the worst, most torturous 9 years of my life... I needed deprogramming after we split up. That's almost 25 years ago, and to this day still feel its effects.

So, I warn people that are in any kind of toxic relationship: GET THE FUCK OUT.

Hominid Level 7 Jan 28, 2018

I have just had 2.5 years taken from my life by an OCD woman and she wasn't even in a relationship with me. I simply complained to her employer's that there was something wrong with her. The whole town of god botherers was aware of the fact but in denial and she and her husband were "good" Lutherans. I ended up being punished by the local court for longer than the local wife murderer who believed that satan was dwelling in his wife. So @Hominid I can understand your need for help after 9 years.

wow, you did well to survive, that can really stuff someones mind up.

@Rugglesby - Damn right. One of the biggest processes I had to go through was forgiving myself for letting myself be abused for 9 years.

@FrayedBear - wow, that's horrible. These wacko people can be very convincing and manipulative...

@Hominid Particularly when backed by perjuring psychopathic(? ) witness (police informant?), perjuring and gaslighting police and kafkaesque court.


Mmm.... wife is bipolar.... I take it easy with her. I'm not affraid... just aware. Shes a good wife and i love her.

That made me smile.


So, being in love, we got married.
Depression was her diagnosis, and we seemed to be dealing with that, for a while. She changed, angry, violent changes. One day as i sat in the waiting room at her therapist office, a person walked up to me, handed me a folded small note, and said, "don't ever let her see this."
it was an article entitled, 'borderline personality disorder'. that action and article freed me from the blame i was feeling for our problems. saved my life perhaps.
the prognosis for the relationship was terminal.
But, i learned a lot about me and as a result of the relationship my life took directions which led me to wonderful things.

hankster Level 9 Jan 28, 2018

@Dida I think you were courageous to share all of that. Thanks for trusting us with that part of you. I admire your honesty and your ability to know yourself. I am also sad for your outlook in the relationship department. I have to say that I hope that changes someday -- meaning I hope that treatments can be developed that make it possible for you to have healthy relationships.

@Dida - you're not not contradicting I don't believe. Its good to hear your managing it well. when i spoke with some "pros" about her illness, they explained that she could never be assured of anyone loving her. Thus there were lots of "situations" she devised, or dreamt up, ever increasing in the dramatically crucial category. She wanted me to fix or resolve or rescue her from. Eventually, as these scenarios escalated, i couldn't keep up and she would become resentful and violent because my proof of love was insufficient. I couldn't get anything right. Her upbringing was terribly troubling with parents who used her and her siblings in an never ending game of alliegences and schemes. she was the youngest by several years so they had only her to play with for her teen years. I was completely caught up in thinking i was supposed to fix it all and make the world beautiful, it was quite an experience realizing i was only making things worse by trying. I do understand its a complex condition that has many symptoms and behaviors. she was unaware she had bpd because the pros hadn't told her. the lack of treatment they thought would make her hopeless feelings be even worse. i understand now that she meant no harm, but couldn't help it. Thank you for your response.

@Dida ...there you go again.. and thank you. BPD leaves a mighty big wake, perhaps you can become our ambassador? That is some priceless insight..


Yes. My partner sustained a traumatic brain injury after a car/train accident. While at first, we thought he'd fully recover, the TBI eventually caused non-convulsive complex partial seizures (temporal lobe epilepsy) with symptoms of hyper-religiosity, then bi-polar and major depression. He committed suicide.

TBI completely changes the lives of everyone in the family. Sorry you went through so much sadness.

I am sorry for your lost. I had friends that took that route but they were vietnam vets under mental treatment.

My sympathies, I have seen the effects of temporal lobe epilepsy, mood swings, hallucinations, voices in the head etc.

@Tecolote @GipsyOfNewSpain @Rugglesby

Thank you for thoughtful comments. This happened many years ago, but since then I've been an advocate for TBI awareness and seizure disorders. Not until very recently, because of NFL players, were people remotely aware of this silent epidemic.

@Rugglesby I had a friend dead at 24. He never had key of his house and was living with his parents when he died, a productive worker in society. We found the reason why never the key... he died of an epilepsy attack, banging his head against walls and floor. Parents wanted to know always when he was in the house. Haven't thought about it until you bringing epilepsy. I saw someone in an attack in the street when I was like 8. I remember like it happened yesterday.

@GipsyOfNewSpain What you will rarely hear/read in the media because epilepsy is still stigmatized, is that it is as common as breast cancer and takes as many lives. I'm sorry for the loss of your friend.

@VictoriaNotes The 20 years I spent in the navy I made sure they checked me for that, he looked a young normal individual, there was no signs and I saw the attack on someone with foam and everything as a child in a street. Short circuit in your brain is not a joke.

Oh my gawd, I did not see that coming. smile003.gif


One of my exes committed suicide almost a year ago. She struggled with depression and addiction since she was 16. I left her when she started using again.

Wow, that's a heart breaker. So sorry. It is so hard to watch someone you care about self destruct.

Thank you for your condolences. I'm more concerned for her son than myself. He lacks a formal education and is stuck with his literally insane grandparents. They blame me for her overdose, I don't blame myself. She didn't deserve death, but she chose it, there's nothing I can do to change that. There's nothing I did to cause it either.


My last ex thought I was working with the Feds to spy on him. Among many other things. It started off small, but progressed. He eventually took out all the smoke alarms because he thought they were bugged. One night I got up and he had piled all the kitchen furniture against the back door. He thought my camera equipment was uploading a live feed to the local news channel. He had a box full of notes and documents he thought I was trying to steal. Other times he seemed fine, unless I tried to talk about some of his behaviors, and then he'd get activated again. Several traumatic losses happened to him over this time, and each one took him a little deeper into his psychosis. He became more and more hostile towards me. I was scared of him at the end. He wouldn't get medical attention. He wouldn't go anywhere. He finally got to where he rarely came out of the bedroom. He didn't have to. He knew I'd take care of everything. This progression went on for about 3 years, with the last 3 months just a living hell. There were a few times I grabbed a bag and the dogs and stayed with a friend for a few days. I let it go on for so long because I kept asking myself how I would want someone to treat me if I was the one going through that. He had family he could stay with. I finally had to tell him I would give him $500 if he was out by the end of the month, and if he wasn't I was coming back with the law. I don't know if the law would have helped me or not, but that got him out. He is doing better now, and has started taking some responsibility for himself. We're cordial and I have pretty much worked my way out of his world, except for his grandchildren who still call and visit, but that relationship is over for good.

Tecolote Level 7 Jan 28, 2018

Wow, that had to have been hard.

@HippieChick58 It was. We had been together several years when it started. He'd always had anxiety and PTSD, but was doing really well. He was working with Voc Rehab and back in college. His son went to prison, and his two closest siblings both died suddenly, and each time he just broke further away from reality. We're better apart too.

@Fanburger Sad for what could have been, but not guilty. I was supportive and understanding, and forgiving to a fault, but the choice to seek help was still his. I knew he did better when he was the "go to guy", he did better in life when others depended on him, and he is doing better now. He lives with his mother, and he takes care of her. He cooks, goes to the store, cleans, visits with family. He's doing better because I quit helping him. smile009.gif

Wow......that makes me sad. I'm glad he is doing better.

@Dida I'm doing great. I love every minute of every day usually, but life is just a balance. About 3 months ago I had sudden severe hearing loss. I now have hearing aids, and they do help some, but I am going deaf. I was just too happy. I knew something would be coming. It could have been worse. I'm still loving life though. How about you?

@BlueWave He is. I really had to do tough love, but he's improved so it had to be.

@Dida I have Meniere's. I have great doctors, but it's one of those autoimmune things that has no cure. I treat the symptoms, and when I lose almost all my hearing I can get a cochlear implant. My bone hearing and auditory nerve are fine. Menieres just affects the inner ear. I lost the hearing in my right ear a couple years ago. Overnight. The vertigo is worse than the hearing loss, but I only have it bad a few times a year. Then I lost the hearing in my left ear in Sept. I can hear low pitch sounds. I lost the high pitch, which is typically the softer consonant sounds. Everyone sounds like Charlies Brown's teacher on volume 3 with crazy tinnitus.. I realized that you don't hear with your ears, you hear with your brain, and I can tell my senses are changing. Hearing aids don't really make it louder, but I can understand better what people say. It will never be the same, but I can still communicate. This is my good hearing now, and someday I'll wish I had it. so I actually really appreciate it now. I have two jobs and both are really understanding. I just have to keep my insurance and it will all be good. Thank you for your concern.


I was the one who gave up and tried to end it. My partner at the time stuck by me like a champ; it's no stretch to say I owe him my life. We're still close.

My last bf (different guy) proclaimed himself to be the very picture of mental health and stability, despite having had a rough childhood, raised in a thoroughly dysfunctional family by a delusional psychopath and an alcoholic. He's well on his way to alcoholism himself.

Some red flags (that I noted and sailed right past):

  • "I'm always happy. I don't get sad."
  • "There are some feelings I don't like to feel--and I don't let myself feel them."
  • "I don't trust women."
  • "When you say 'boundaries', it sounds to me like you're trying to be in control and I can't stand that."
  • "[Yelling] is how I learned to communicate. There's nothing wrong with it."

Yeah. You need therapy worse than I do, buddy.


My wife has had two brain tumours removed,one in 1984 and the other in 2009 which has effected her communication skills but we are still together after 42 years and will remain together for life.

PeterJohn Level 6 Jan 28, 2018

You are the man! I like that...


No..But I have..there are some frightening people out there..dated a control freak..was always demandimg receipts for things I bought with My just escalated from there..sick fuck!

Charlene Level 9 Jan 28, 2018

I dated a guy like that. He was in college and wanted the receipts to show his father he wasn't spending his money on drugs. That's all well and good but I was the one buying the things. Needless to say that relationship didn't last long.

mine happened last year, he wound up choking me in a pub due to winning a discussion about the Revolutioary War..


When I was young I was a magnet for psychotic people. I quit being an amateur and went into the mental health profession

btroje Level 9 Jan 28, 2018

It's good to know your strengths

@Tecolote I was a fixer too I decided to get paid for it. An example of my magnetism- Xmas break at college in the basement of the gym inside a sauna with the door shut. Pretty deserted campus. THe door opens and a woman in the usual multilayer psychotic garb snow covered and dripping comes in, sits down and tells me how her doctor just started her on haldol today.

@btroje I get a lot of that too. I've wondered if it's a pheromone thing? Not too long ago, a woman was wandering around my work building, looking for someone who could speak Spanish to assist her with filling out a temporary restraining order. She wasn't even in the right building. Not even the right road. My office is a little off the beaten path in my building, and she just literally wandered right into my office. I worked at a DV shelter for 10 years, so I could write a temp order in my sleep. My Spanglish kind of sucks, but we got it done. I wondered what led her to me. Alcoholics love me too. I think it's because I wear BorrachoAroma. Now that's a Spanglish joke.

@Tecolote Have you ever considered that you may be telepathically broadcasting like a siren?

@FrayedBear not if she has the foil on her head

@btroje LOL!


My wife was bipolar. She killed herself after we were married only a year.

I am sorry for your lost.

Wow, I'm so sorry for your loss.

oh man, so sorry.


Thanks. I got therapy and spent a few years in a survivor's support group.

So sorry. There have been several people on this thread who have lost a loved one to suicide. My heart goes out to everyone.

I'm so sorry brother...

I worry about her 17 year old daughter. I know she's been getting counseling but bipolar has a genetic component. Her family has shut me out so I don't know how she is.

I am so sorry for your loss and her daughter's loss. It's hard to lose a mom, and the MH problems don't help.


The first (only) long term (roughly eight years) relationship I had was with a bipolar and sex addicted woman who, as a later single digit young girl was repeatedly raped by a grey haired married man (next door neighbour) until she was powerful enough (teenager) to defend herself and tell him to go to hell. As a result she had profound (abandonment? and other) mental issues and was greatly into self-medicating. She suffered greatly. I used to dread her manic highs because they were always followed by an extended period of disabling lows. On those all to common periods I remember standing and holding her for hours at nights as her endless tears literally made the back of my shirt wet. I could also write a book about what she did. Haven't seen her in many years but I am rather sure she is now dead (lots of emotional problems that manifested in self destructive behaviour). At the beginning of our relationship I had a choice; she introduced me to her friend that was my age and we hit it off perfectly. I had several weeks to choose one or the other and we often spent (non-sexual) time together as a group. However, I selected the ten-year-my-senior woman as she seemed to need my emotional support and I thought I could help her - - that she just needing someone who truly cared to make her life complete. - - - I usually don't travel down that road of "what if" as my life would be profoundly different if I had chosen differently.

I worked at a domestic violence/sexual assault shelter for years, and the victims of child sexual abuse often need very long term, if not lifelong counseling just to stay functional.


A long-term marriage with an eventually diagnosed wife having ‘adult onset anxiety.’ A caregiver, the r/s had taken all I had. When children came along, wanted, after having achieved a number of goals, my ‘care’ was split … and it seemed I was ‘punished’ for that.. In the end, the children were a better investment.

Damaged, friends led me to a 3 year off-again-on-again affair with an ‘invisible’ borderline PD’d mate. Invisible meaning, able to hide her deficiencies a point… As I ‘recovered’ from associated life traumas, her condition was permanent.. I’ve since swarn off caregiving ~

Varn Level 8 Jan 28, 2018

I hear you there. I'm a fixer, so I really have to watch myself.

@Tecolote A problem I may be having is determining what are simply normal quirks, and which are indicators of far deeper problems.. I’m likely jumping back too far too fast, or simply removing myself from temptation… Dang

@Tecolote A wise self-realization. After my eight year relationship with the before mentioned Physician’s Assistant, It took me months of reflection to realize why was a "fixer" and to reconcile my behaviour.


My ex blames the end of our marriage on my mental health issues. Truth is we both had or have mental health challenges, mine were being address and treated. Neither of us was a danger to self or others. but his method of dealing with his issues did not make for a good relationship or home life. Everyone is happier since we split, and the kids have told me they wish I'd done it sooner.


I was seeing someone casually for a couple of years, not really a relationship other than that we saw each other about once a month and I was fine with that (as it was the nature of our relationship from the start). Anyway, he talked about depression sometimes and getting himself out of it, things always seems to be going well when we were together. One way we communicated was through the chat feature during our ongoing Words with Friends battle, and then one day he was just gone... I tried to reconnect, tried to text him, I didn’t hear anything back. My thoughts were that maybe he found someone for a serious relationship, and I was OK with that but sad to not say goodbye... About two weeks later I randomly Googled his name, and found out he had committed suicide. It’s been four years, I haven’t been in a relationship since and I think my guilt over being the catalyst for some of his problems that led to his suicide (longer story there) still holds me back. smile003.gif

Jenelle Level 6 Jan 28, 2018

Oh, so sad. There have been many on this thread who have lost someone they cared for to suicide. Heartbreaking.

@Tecolote I work with youth and have lost a few to suicide. The most disturbing instance was a lovely (inside and out) young girl who had the year before lost (death) her father. According to her friends that found her (hanging) body and suicide note, the note read, "I have killed myself so I can live forever with my dead father and Jesus in heaven." I still wonder if sending her to a Catholic mental hospital to help her depression was the best possible outcome for her. The school later had a speaker who reinforced an ugly version of Catholic faith based asserted (humans are worthless (can not make their own choices)) with his "She did not have a choice as god decided to take back. I could write a book on this topic.

Usually when someone commits suicide there is more than one reason. Theoretically there are signs you can watch for but it's a myth that the signs are always there in time to stop it. Some people prefer to hide or minimize their emotional pain and some people get very good at that, including suicidal people.


A few times in my life I have had situational depression or situational anxiety but I always get treatment and never make it someone else's problem. The only time someone else's issues ruined the relationship was when I was young and broke it off with a boyfriend who was too angry (no physical abuse but some verbal) and he threatened suicide when I did. I handled it by having my mom call his mom.


Borderline Personality Disorder, they don’t even seem to know what they are doing. They are convinced though there is nothing wrong and make crazy decisions. She always seemed to bounce back, but I have been told it gets worse with age. I do wish they would consider conventional medication as well as the holistic counseling approach she has been angaged in. Life is truely on eggshells. It has caused waves in the far reaches of our lives.


My mother was bi -polar /mainly manic; my father clinically depressed after his war experiences, both were abusive verbally physically and sexually - I have a diagnosis of D.I.D. I have been taken into mental hospital many times.
My partner of many years has chronic O.C.D. We seem to manage quite well in the circumstances and are living in sheltered accommodation. The things I can do well are cooking cleaning etc and creative thinking and craftwork , He is great with money numbers and logic . We live in separate flats and it s nice having someone else who is real about expectations. I don't think it would work so well if we were unbalanced in our inter-independecy

jacpod Level 8 Jan 28, 2018

My 2nd husband and last boyfriend were malignant narcissists. Will NEVER go through that again.

Usually I'm the one with mental health issues (Borderline Personality and possibly PTSD)

kiramea Level 7 Jan 28, 2018

Ha, too many really.
Ex wife was always very self centred, it got out of control and we ended up in court, she was jealous of my kids (they are hers as well), took out a violence order against me and had kids taken away. The court ordered an evaluation of her state of mind after finding her claims were unfounded (her only claim was that I looked at her in a way that caused fear).
She was diagnosed with an acute anti social personality disorder, things got worse, kids and I left and I got a divorce. Next lady hit drugs and booze after leaving me for someone else, and the most resent partner of 14 year ago had major break downs, ok, she was ill and some was from medication, some from blood poisoning, some was just her, cost me a house and a car though. Then there were 2 ladies I vegan seeing when I moved back to this region. Only met with each of them twice, and both informed me after long denials, they were on medication, banned from work, and at risk of being locked up.. I can really pick them.

Rugglesby Level 8 Jan 28, 2018

Good job Dad. I feel your pain. Whenever someone starts flirting with me, I know it's really just a cry for help.


I have a friend whose partner is slowly going Completely OCD. Went over last night for a birthday party for their grandson. Every little thing has to be controlled and in her order. The seating at the table, was an event. With everyone having to sit exactly where she wanted. The order that people place food on their plate. My friend can't drive to the corner with out her having to tell everyone how and when to buckle seat belts. We are not as close now, just because of her OCD which she won't get treatment for. When asked for advice, I tell him GTFO and maybe she will seek help. Every one has Mental health problems of varing degrees of severity, at least viewed through the eyes of some one else.

Maybe the smoke alarm thing isn't so crazy after all!

Stevil Level 8 Jan 28, 2018

That is such a hard decision. They often won't get help on their own, but if you put them out they can't usually survive on their own either.

@Tecolote Their is family nearby, and her mother suffered from the same malady. They have been together for many years. He has a right to live his life too. The longer this goes on the harder it will be to convince her to seek help. she is also starting to hoard everything. This may solve the problem because soon their won't be room for him in the house.

@Stevil I needed to have my life back too. My ex actually improved after I made him leave, because nobody was there to take care of him. It sounds like the longer it goes on, the more likely she'll just bury herself in the house with "stuff".


I sympathise.


I lost my wife after 12 years also. She never really told me why she left, but I'm sure the reason was she finally realized I wasn't bullshitting her about how absurd I thought the idea of god was that we discussed before marriage. If that is the case, I would consider it that she succumbed to the intentional mental health problems caused by accepting lies as truth.

mt49er Level 7 Jan 28, 2018

Senior year of high school, my first boyfriend committed suicide.
That sucked. Hard.

KKGator Level 9 Jan 28, 2018

I really can't imagine what that would have been like, but the closest I could guess would be crushing. I've never had anyone close to me commit suicide, but there would be so many layers of sad to dig out of.

@Tecolote It was just another piece of shit in what was already a pretty shitty adolescence. Luckily, I never wanted to check out bad enough to do it myself. I was pretty self-destructive though. For a LONG time. Lots of poor choices. Fortunately, I've had the benefit of 56 trips around the sun to get it all sorted out.

Oh my gosh......what the hell? Not you, particularly. It's just that so many people here have been affected by suicide here. I'm so sorry. Even if it was a thousand years ago, I know the pain will always linger. smile003.gif


I think I could classify all 4 of my kids as mentally ill. Their mom isn't far behind. Most have kids by accident, I know I sure did. All of us have had some excellent therapy, we talk and it helps. It's not personal and no one is doing anything to you is what I finally took away from the mental health experience. It really makes me "feel" for people, more inclined to buy em' something to eat, gift em' a nice.

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