Managing Close Relationships When Moods Pull Them Apart

But her daughters have been “so forgiving and resilient” since her diagnosis, now that the family members talk openly about bipolar. They remind Julie when she’s obsessing over a certain project, for example, or when a trip to the grocery store is long overdue. Her youngest recently wrote a post on Instagram that applauded her mom’s strength and creativity, and encouraged parents to talk to their children about their symptoms. “If children have feelings they want to get out, they’ll know they aren’t alone,” she wrote.

“I’m still playing catch-up and trying to turn around something that has been so painful for my family,” says Julie, who is on medication and attends a bi-weekly mental health support group. “This isn’t only my story, it’s their story.”

Chris K. focuses on what he loves about his wife—her wit, her infectious joy and energy when she is happy, her natural talent for writing and drawing.

To other spouses, he advises: “Never keep score. You need to understand that you will be in a place where you will be giving more than you will be receiving potentially for your entire marriage. It is better to face that early and develop a system to weather the storms. Traditional 50/50 mentality towards a relationship will guarantee failure.”

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