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Relationship between two people w mental illness

Community Member

Hi, my first post!

im reaching out for advice, thoughts and opportunities opinions about my current relationship within the context of mental illness.

Me: diagnosed recurrent depressive disorder, eating disorder, adhd and addiction (alcohol, drugs particularly).

Partner: diagnosed bipolar, BPD and has a history of criminal incidents. Also has a history of lying, may be related to bipolar? Significantly has a history of child molestation abuse.

Both currently under independent and combined relationship treatment. Both reasonably.....stable.

I guess my question is, can we work through this? I love him. But I am concerned that given our needs and preconditions we will fail. Any tips or ideas are greatly appreciated!!!!

5 Replies 5

Community Champion
Community Champion

Hello Dear Pia1987..

A very warm and caring welcome to our forums..

It sounds like you are both doing the best you can in receiving help from professionals..jointly and independently...Well done...

To answer your question...

I think it doesn’t matter what illness anyone has whether physically or mentally.... that one, the other or both have...a partnership/marriage can work very well..as long as you both love each other unconditionally, are completely honest with each other and care for each other with compassion and empathy for each other with a lot patience and respect as well...With these feelings towards each other I can’t really see why anyone cannot make their relationship work....Those are just my thoughts lovely Pia..

Talk here anytime you feel up to it...

My kind and caring thoughts..


Blue Voices Member
Blue Voices Member

Hi Pia1987,

Welcome to the forums and thank you for joining us and asking your question! I think it's really proactive to be thinking about your relationship this way - and a strength to the both of you. I really like Grandy's response to you and I agree there.

I have a relationship where we both have mental illnesses (I have more though ha), and I imagine that we are like you both in having higher needs or different functions or feeling more fragile than other couples. But that does not mean it's a bad thing - I imagine with what you've both been through, you're probably a more resilient couple. Not only do you have to deal with normal couple things, but battles no other couples have. I hope that you can give yourself some credit for this and acknowledge that inside of you.

Feel free to ask any questions if you like, and browse along the forums because there's lots of couples here where both partners have a mental illness. It can always be hard, but I don't believe any relationship is destined to fail.

Hope this helps


Community Member

Hello Pia1987,

The bad news, when things get rough, it has the potential to get very rough. You are both coming to the table with, for want of a better term, baggage. There will be times when something one says triggers something unintentionally which pushes buttons and the back and forth can potentially escalate into an explosion.

The good news is both of you know about the baggage, the diagnosis and conditions, etc. and can hopefully use that awareness to support each other when things do get rough. You both will have support networks that you can integrate somewhat to help each of you separately and together that can provide a more stable base to build the relationship on.

Your post on here shows that you are thinking about the whole relationship, looking after yourself and your partner. This is good. Take the next opportunity to sit down with your partner and discuss your concerns openly, ask them what they think and feel about it and what ideas they may have for ways to communicate effectively when things are going wobbly, i.e. a 'safe word' or phrase that means Í'm not well, give me some space/hug/time to think etc.

I have some coloured cards I can pull out of my wallet because when I am unwell, my ability to communicate with words is diminished so I can pull out a yellow card to indicate I am stressed/anxious and need space/quiet. That way I get what I need without creating miscommunications about my abrupt leaving of a meeting or gathering because there are too many people.

Community Member

Hi Pia

To be brief, I share your concerns. A partner with diagnosed bi-polar and BPD will be a challenge, especially for you, given your own mental health problems.

His criminal history, and his history of child molestation are of concern.

As to your question, "can we work through this", I really don't know. I would suggest you see how the treatment goes, and then re-assess as time goes on. Hopefully, your phycologist can guide you to an answer.

I hope it all works out for you!


Community Member
Thank you all for your responses. Equally helpful and diverse. I am a huge believer in honesty and trust however this is presenting as one of our challenges. Because our relationship started with a huge set of lies from him, my distrust was ‘set off’. I now find myself not believing anything. Questioning everything. Which naturally he finds hard and frustrating. He says I need to re-learn to trust him through observing him over time and just ‘living’.
Part of me wants to believe this. Another part of me fears it’s another lie. My behaviour then stirs into insecure Nutterism. It may be that we are just jot right for eachother.
I just don’t feel ready to give up. When we are good, we are great. And he supports me and cares for me.
Thank you all for your wisdom.