This is a fairly taboo subject, and its odd to write about. But it is a part of life my life with bipolar, and its quite a strange release to write about these things. This is about my fear. I have family who read this so I’m not going to go into any of my sexual experiences!
My sex drive is quite linked to my bipolar. When I am down I don’t want my husband to come near me, unless its for a cuddle – and even then that can be to painful. When I’m up, I can’t get enough. When I’m stable it to is more stable and fairly reliable! I feel bad for my husband that it varies to such extremes.
But this is about mania and hyper sexuality (I think that’s what they call it!) for me.There is absolutely nothing wrong in being sexually expressive, knowing what you like or want to try, or having multiple partners. Sadly and wrongly, women still get shamed for this a lot. Multiple partners however would be wrong for me and my family, plus in the past when manic I have never done it safely.
I’m absolutely terrified that I will one day cheat on my husband. I don’t want to cheat on him. It would devastate him if I did. We have discussed it, and he knows that if I did it when up, its not the normal stable me making that decision, it would be my fault, but I genuinely wouldn’t care – which is not like me. How he would react, neither of us know. I hope that we never find out. I would hate for my illness to have a hand in destroying my family. When I’m up, I crave the adventure, the riskier situations, the excitement, and when up having sex with someone new is all of those things, in my sane state it’s definitely not my idea of fun! My husband can’t keep up with the hypomanic sex drive, I don’t know who could! Plus he’s not new, we know each other well, and I love that, but in my up state its not what I really crave.
In my past relationships I have been cheated on, and done the cheating. But on my part it was mostly done in a hypomanic state. In that moment I don’t see anything truly wrong with my behaviour, it’s fun, it is instant gratification but it’s selfish and it is unsafe. When chatting about my diagnosis with one of my old room mates, she said that we had some good nights with hypomanic me, but they ultimately always involved men (and later on women)! When I met my husband, I hadn’t had the best experience of relationships. I genuinely thought an open relationship was the only way to go forwards, the only way to be honest, the only way anyone would stay with me, and the only way to ensure no one got hurt. He did not agree with this, and he slowly showed me the way to a trusting, loving and safe relationship. I am so grateful for this.
The fear of hurting him is so great, I try not to think about it often. It would hang over me if I let it. I could spend my life with him constantly worrying about something that might never happen. For the sake of my sanity I can’t worry about it all the time. But I do think about it every now and then, and it appals and scares me that I could be capable of hurting him so badly, leaving me a bit panic-stricken.