I have been with my girlfriend for 2.5 years and am noticing a cyclical pattern with her behavior. At first I thought it might be a bipolar disorder but she does not get as extreme as the symptoms listed. Then I stumbled across Cyclothymia and thought maybe. When we first started dating we had our own space and we would go back and forth between each others places or have alone time. Over time we eventually moved in together. That lasted about one year and eight months. Within the first three months of living together she spontaneously decided things weren't right packed her stuff and went back to her ex because she wasn't sure they were really over. She was informed that they were indeed over and she returned. About nine months after that she decided she felt tied down and made a cross country trip to visit her daughter. The past January she decided she had personal work to do and needed to move out and "find herself." I shared her need for space and self work but did not agree with the need to break up. She completely disagreed and carried on. Two weeks later she's standing at my door telling me I was right we could still date and maintain separate space.
So that's the history in broad strokes. The smaller day to day and personal history are as follows. She has held down several different types of jobs in the past twenty years. Newspaper reporter, video game tester, teacher, musician, director at an abuse shelter, writer and some I probably haven't heard of yet. She would be at each job 2-3 years and grow tired of it. When not working she collects unemployment and whether working or not she will make the occasional trip to the casino. Although that seems to have slowed down a bit. Her money management is pretty consistent, if she has it she spends it, if she doesn't have it she doesn't sped it. There is a level of planning ahead in that she knows the money needs to last until the next check comes in, but always gets upset with herself for not having money when she needs it. At 43 years old she has never lived on her own and supported herself. I'm not sure if that is in her upbringing or a side effect of her emotional state. Her sex drive ranges from I can't keep up with her to I don't even exist and definitely cycles with her overall well being.
One day she will be happy and giddy to see me and the next I won't hear from her all day. I notice when her sex drive starts dropping and she spends more time away from me and on the computer, doing crossword puzzles, reading etc. that we are about to have a "talk." This talk usually consists of her having conflicted feelings about what she is doing with her life, being with me in a relationship, not knowing what her purpose in life is etc. The severity of her confusion and mood at the time determines whether or not she takes some space for herself or leaves, only to return two days to two weeks later.
I'm not sure if this is enough information to to give you an idea of what is happening. If not please let me know. Also, if she does end up having Cyclothymia how does one go about telling a person kindly without making them feel worse than they already may feel?