Managing Close Relationships When Moods Pull Them Apart

 

Know your limits. Once Julie K. from Vancouver stopped accepting most invitations that came her way, even small ones, life became so much easier. “My schedule looks empty to anyone else,” she says, “but I’m self-aware enough to know that one coffee date a week is my max.”

Rebuild connection. Finding an activity to do together, like going to the gym or taking a language class, can help two people rediscover each other without pressure, notes Boston psychiatrist Helen M. Farrell, MD.

Encourage partners to seek support. “They can’t do everything on their own,” says Texas psychiatrist Ghadeer Okayli, MD. Enlist help from others. If needed during an episode, try to arrange for a relative or friend to drive the kids to school. Hire an occasional housecleaner. Help loved ones take breaks to decompress with friends or on their own.

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