Q: My partner does not always seem open about sharing their experience with bipolar disorder. How do I speak openly with them about their condition and my concerns? I also frequently worry that I might unintentionally do something that might trigger an episode for them – how do I avoid doing something that might accidentally trigger them?
Beka: For my husband and me, our relationship has been best when we are open and honest with one another. If it concerns you so much, then you should certainly ask him questions to get to know him better and learn more about his bipolar disorder. Each person is different, so you will need to talk to him about what his is like. Once you know him better, you will know better what triggers him. The best thing you can do is be open and honest and ask questions. That is the best way to know. You may want to consider psychotherapy for yourself. My husband also has problems with anxiety and worry, and therapy has helped him tremendously, which has helped our relationship. In your sessions with your psychotherapist, work on your own issues, not his. The stronger you are, the more likely your relationship will be strong.
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Want to hear more from the Owens? Check out Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3 of this series, as well as their Love, Marriage, and Bipolar Disorder webinar. You can also read more blog posts from both Beka and Ron.