Managing Close Relationships When Moods Pull Them Apart

We are very honest and open with one another, which is key in a friendship like this.

Steven D., also from Texas, says his wife of 43 years has come to terms with the fact that she wakes up each day not knowing how he is going to behave. His bipolar brings with it a lot of angst and anger.

“Twenty years ago she took great offense, thought that I didn’t love her anymore,” he says.

While their interactions still often bring tension, particularly when Steven’s racing thoughts require him to ask his wife to repeat herself multiple times, they continue to find their way.

“I tell her, ‘I’m not doing this to irritate you, I’m doing this because I can’t focus on what you’ve said,” he says. “I can’t necessarily keep up with her. The last thing I want is to be a burden on anyone, especially her.”

For the last 15 years he has, almost daily, recorded in a journal what happened the previous day. Was it a good day for him? Was it what he envisions as tolerable for his wife?

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