Fast forward six years: we were madly in love and engaged, then married.One year after that, my husband came home after work, sat down at the kitchen table, and told me he wanted a divorce. A few months after that, he was diagnosed with Bipolar 2, and our marriage was in for a hell of a ride.Even if you already knew this, it's hard to remember when the person you love is struggling so much.You can't be calm, loving, patient or gentle with your partner or yourself if all your mental and emotional energy is going toward the other person.You don't want your relationship to start feeling like a caretaking role — and trust me, neither does your partner.So remember to include what nourishes you every day.Don't let your relationship become all about the illness.
Even if you understand mental illness (I was already struggling with anxiety and depression when my husband was diagnosed), you don't know what it's going to look like in a particular person.If I had my way, my husband would have been scarfing fish oil like it was beer, contacting his inner zen daily, eating a perfectly balanced diet and taking regular strolls in nature to reconnect. Letting go of the way things used to be before the disease take hold. Let go of thinking if your partner would just "try harder," then they wouldn't act ill when having a bipolar episode. Many people with bipolar have to try more than one or two medications, or combinations of medications, before they find something that works for them.