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Butterfly,

I'm sorry that I misunderstood what you said earlier. I do think he's doing the right thing taking a break from all relationships until he can get his treatment back on track. It is very difficult to get that illness under control and he needs to focus all his energy on getting better before he can work on any relationship. From my experience with my ex-roommate's bipolar boyfriend, he had a long pattern of having a big breakdown/losing it, getting help and getting back on his medications, then feeling better, thinking that his meds "dulled" him, stopping the meds, then having a major episode and needing to be hospitalized all over again. So it seems the biggest problem is that your BF is not currently on the meds that he obviously needs to function "normally".

As far as reading the emails, I can understand why he wanted to break up after you confessed. When this happened to me I felt sick, almost like someone had groped me or otherwise violated me. Even if there had been any chance left for me and this guy, that would have ended it--I would want nothing to do with someone who didn't respect my right to privacy. However, it depends on the relationship. If me or my current SO read each others' emails, I don't think we'd be too upset because we know that we have a solid, trusting relationship and can work through anything. Nothing is worth throwing away our relationship except something really terrible, like cheating. It is possible that he freaked out about you reading his messages because he was getting off the meds and having trouble keeping things in perspective and reacting appropriately. Did the breakup happen before or after he stopped taking his meds? It sounds like after, which could explain why he wasn't able to handle your relationship issues and didn't have the emotional strength and stability needed to try to work through them.

I don't think its fair to say that he was "drugged all the time" previously: he was not taking these drugs to get high and to escape reality, but instead to make sure his brain chemistry was working properly so that he would not have to struggle through manic and depressive episodes. This is no different from someone needing blood pressure medicine to keep their BP under control, insulin to keep diabetes under control, anti-depressants to keep depression under control, or painkillers to keep pain under control. The way he acts on his meds is probably closest to his true personality that way because he is not plagued by extreme moods swings. These mood swings do not reflect his personality but rather a chemical imbalance that needs to be controlled so he can be more or less his normal self. Of course the drugs can be dulling, but in general they are preferable to uncontrolled bipolar disorder. Without the meds, his illness is dictating his behavior and personality--so don't think of his bipolar actions as his "true self."

So, all in all, I would suppose that his reaction to your snooping was partially related to his disorder, but many guys without mental issues would have reacted similarly. It would be hard to go on like nothing had happened after he realized you must not trust him and that he can't trust you to respect his privacy. Unless you had been together for a very long time and had an unusually solid, strong connection, I'd be surprised if a guy would want to continue a relationship after hearing this news. Either way, he would have needed time to himself to get his bipolar under control. But now that I know that you had already broken up for other reasons, I would not wait around for him to stabilize his treatment and hope that you can patch things up. It doesn't sound like he wants to be with you or anyone for awhile until he gets his life back in order. I hope this doesn't sound harsh, but I think the best thing for you to do is respect his wishes, give him space, and try to move on with your life. In my opinion, there's nothing wrong with being a little snoopy-I've done it myself. It's probably best for you to stop, but if you feel the urge to continue and it's harmless (meaning not because you're suspicious) and relatively minor, it's a good idea to keep it to yourself. If you feel too guilty to snoop and keep quiet, then just don't snoop as no guy will react well to hearing that you've done it. Each new BF deserves trust and respect for his privacy from you, at least until he does something to make you think otherwise. I wish you all the best and I'm sorry things haven't worked out so well with your current BF. Hopefully you'll have better luck with future guys--just try to give each one a clean slate!

Take care,
Stacy





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