What To Do If Your Ex Struggles With Mental Illness

Today, we’re going to talk about something that’s a little bit more serious.

More often than you would think, people write in to ask what to do if your ex has some sort of mental illness like depression, bipolar disorder, borderline personality disorder, narcissistic personality disorder or something like that.

First, I have to preface this by saying I’m not a Psychologist, I’m a coach.

Even if I was a Psychologist, this just an article, not me diagnosing anyone or giving actual medical advice. I don’t know you or your ex, and I most likely haven’t interacted with them. And even if I did, it probably was not enough or in a substantial way to actually able to diagnose them in a way where I could give any meaningful specific mental health advice.

Of course if you suspect this is the problem, see a Psychologist or get your ex to see a Psychologist. But, when it comes to getting your ex back who has a mental disorder, this is what you need to know.

You have to emotionally accept that your ex has this condition whatever it is.

You have to be emotionally OK with the fact that this is the way that this person is. Your ex is a person that has ________ disorder, _______ syndrome, or ________ illness. You have to be emotionally OK with that.

Depending on whatever the specific mental illness is, it might be temporary or permanent. And you have to accept that too.

You have to think to yourself, “Hey, if I get into a relationship with somebody who has borderline personality disorder, I will experience the consequences of being in a relationship with somebody who has borderline personality disorder.”

By acceptance, what I’m saying is that you should NOT expect them to change for you. How you found them is how they are likely to stay.

This means if your ex or anybody that you’re dating has borderline personality disorder, they will probably always have borderline personality disorder.

If they have depression, it will probably always have some sort of depression in their life.

If they have bipolar disorder, they’ll probably always have bipolar disorder in their life. Sure, there is medication and treatment. Again, I’m not a Psychiatrist or medical professional so this is not medical advice. But, you have to accept your partner as they are and assume that how you found them is how they are likely to stay.

Can people change? Yes.

Do people change? Yes.

But can expect that you will change them? No.

Can you expect that the power of your love will change them? No.

Can you expect to learn a secret text message technique that will cause them to finally stop being emotionally unavailable and learn to love you and only you for now and forever? Definitely no.

Again, the golden rule here is how you found them is how they are likely to stay.

So, from this point of view, you have a choice. You have to choose to either pursue a relationship with them and accept the consequences of being in a relationship with a person who has some sort disorder, disease, illness or whatever.

If you choose to accept that, you have to be emotionally OK with the fact that sooner or later you’ll deal with the consequences of that.

Again, I don’t– I don’t know what particular illness your ex, significant other, boyfriend, girlfriend, has but you have to be emotionally OK with the illness.

And, if you are not, it’s totally OK.

You don’t have to be in a relationship with somebody who has borderline personality disorder, bipolar disorder or depression.

You don’t have to be in a relationship with somebody who has any of these things.

If you choose not to, then you have to let go of that person and decide for yourself, “Mental illness is not something that I’m prepared to deal with. So, I’m going to go out and see if  I can find a relationship with somebody who doesn’t have this disorder, illness or whatever.”

So, that’s what I recommend if you are experiencing a relationship issue with somebody who has mental illness.

I hope this helps you out. If you want to learn more about how you can connect with, rekindle and get back into a relationship with your ex, make sure you visit my website here and fill out the quick quiz.

After you do that, I’ll send your free report, 5 Unconscious Signs Your Ex Still Wants You (Hint: C.A.P.E.T.). Then, watch your email inbox for more customized tips and strategies to help you get back together with your ex.

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2 thoughts on “What To Do If Your Ex Struggles With Mental Illness”

  1. Avatar

    Please help me. I was just out of an 8 year relationship (August), ended amicably and we are still friends. I then started a relationship with a guy 45 and I am 35 end of September, it started with us doing what we have in common, cycling and we talked a lot over FB and then texts and calls before I decided to date him. We started dating properly mid October and went to NYC in December. At the time he was out of work and using redundancy money, he had time and money so there were no issues.

    He did tell me he had 2 children to an ex wife of 15 years but split about 8 years ago and a few years later dated someone else and had another child, split with her about 4 years ago and a couple of 2/3 month relationships since (only 5 woman in total). All of this was ok but I was adjusting as I had never dated anyone with kids so when I was getting cancelled on albeit it for valid reasons I would get annoyed and upset and probably did nag him but things were getting better as I was more understanding.

    After a couple of months he told me he was seeing a social worker and a counselor as his daughter from his marriage had stopped talking to him (about a year now) and his ex wife wanted him dead because of something that happened between his son from their marriage and his daughter to the latest woman. None of this was his fault but she is in denial that anything happened and has turned his daughter against him and sees his son very little. His daughter to latest woman is also getting counselling. He was on tablets for depression and suffered from anxiety, it’s not hard to see why. He came off the tablets over Christmas to feel emotion with me but I told him he can’t do that and to go back on them. I saw his mood drop once he started the new job and his daughter crying herself to sleep each night he had her. (I never met any of the children and didn’t plan to for a while due to what was happening).

    During all of this he told me he loved me heart and soul and that I was the one and hadn’t had a connection like this with anyone else. He travelled 120 miles round trip (I couldn’t drive so he would pick me up, take me to his, drop me off and go back to his) just to see me twice a week at night so only for about a few hours and saw him alternative days at the weekend where we did fun things like visit castles and get on the motorbike. I was starting to learn to drive and suggested I take a train to him to relieve that pressure but he said he liked the driving. The love was backed up, not just words, I felt it in the way he touched me, looked at me.

    The night before we broke up everything seemed fine, we slept together, ate ice cream on the sofa till 2 in the morning despite work the next day, had a laugh and he still talked about me being his wife and getting a dog etc. He dropped me off at work and we spoke that night, a wee argument about something silly and then a text saying “I am really struggling at the moment, my life is a car crash and I’m not coping, I don’t have the strength for everything I have going on and this relationship, I’m so sorry, I hope you find it in your heart not to hate me”.

    I think he is really finding life hard and I sent a nice long text saying I was here for him and that he could speak with me anytime about anything but that was a week ago and response was “Thank you, please take care of yourself”. I haven’t heard or made contact since then as I feel I have done all I can but I miss him desperately. As we only dated 5 months is it likely he will get back to me.

    Everyone keeps saying I should be glad to be away from it all as a very stressful situation but I loved him and I am worried about him.

    1. Avatar

      Hi Lou,

      I’m so sorry you’re going through that.

      To answer your question— yes, you might hear from him in the future.

      Should you count on that or wait for it or do anything besides think about him fondly once in a while?


      I’m sorry, but right now there is not much you can really do. Depression breakups like you described are really difficult deal with from both sides.

      You have to trust that he made this decision and it’s up to him to reverse course if he decides that’s what he wants to do. I know when you’re hurting that’s really hard to hear and difficult to reconcile, especially when you were so connected right up until the breakup, but trust me, you cannot fix this and hanging around will break you.

      Here are a couple things I’ve written about similar situations (one of them personal):


      Here are some good depression resources, the second is a message board where people are really understanding and going through some of the same thing:


      I hope those help some.



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