My boyfriend is in complete denial about his disorder. I’ve tried telling him he needs to talk to a professional but he always say he’s fine and doesn’t need help. I’m planning to write a letter to him saying goodbye since I’m moving away to another city. What are some things I should write in the letter? Are there things that a Bipolar person wants to hear (or not hear)? And how can I tell him that I want him to get help? (for the last time) (From New Zealand).
A: The only thing that would have any relevance for your soon to be ex boyfriend is an honest appraisal of your own experience with him. Explain the good parts and the difficulties, frustrations, and disappointments. Talk only about your reactions — not about what he should of shouldn’t do. Explain how his behaviors and temperament affected you. This will keep your comments on very solid ground. You are the world’s expert on your thoughts and feelings. Whether or not he is able to hear them and make changes in his life is unknown, but you can be compassionate and honest about your experience of your relationship. You have already told him he should get professional help — so I wouldn’t reiterate it in your goodbye letter. Just let him know you hope this information will be helpful to him in his relationships downstream.