Q: Besides attending couples’ counseling and individual therapy, are there any other specific strategies you use to keep your relationship balanced?
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Q: How do you support your partner when, in the midst of a hypomanic episode, they tell you that they want to end the relationship and move out on their own? How can you tell if that’s what they’re truly feeling, or if it’s a result of their episode?
Q. Do arguments about issues in your relationship with your husband ever trigger manic or depressive episodes? How do you deal with any issues you may have if you feel that discussing problems will trigger an episode?
Have you ever been out shopping and witnessed a child have one of those nuclear meltdown kind of tantrums? The parent is obviously embarrassed and frustrated and they must take action. They can reprimand the child, they can snatch them up by the arm and hurry away or in some cases they can even just ignore it. There are probably a hundred different ways to deal with it and it doesn’t seem to matter which one they choose. That’s because a good percentage of the shoppers that witnessed it have already made a judgement about their “bad parenting” skills.
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Sometimes the hardest part about being married to someone with bipolar disorder is trying to reconcile the actions of the illness from the actions of the person.
My name is Ron Owens. I am 43 years old and I have been living with my wife Beka and her Bipolar Disorder for 13 years. We have an 8 year old son.
In 2010, I was diagnosed with Generalized Anxiety Disorder after experiencing a few months of uncontrollable panic attacks. Since then I’ve been working on being more mindful and accepting that there are things I can’t control.
When I first met my wife she was invisible. Sometime after her bipolar diagnosis she was led to believe that her illness was not something to be discussed, it was something to be ashamed of. Most people that knew her diagnosis tried to be supportive of her “moodiness” offering her advice like: “If you find a good man, you won’t be unhappy anymore” or “If you went to church more and prayed more, you wouldn’t be depressed.” There were others who couldn’t see past the word bipolar disorder and disappeared from her life.
I read somewhere recently that the divorce rate when one marriage partner has bipolar disorder is 90%. While it seems kind of high to me, I suppose I understand it. In the 12 years I have been married to my wife, there have been many times when one or both of us was ready to quit.