The Perfect Support Person

The perfect support person doesn’t blame everything that is wrong with the relationship on their bipolar SO’s illness. They take responsibility for their words and their actions.

The perfect support person doesn’t make excuses for their bipolar SO or clean up their messes. This “enabling” behavior helps bring out the negative side of the illness – it makes them sicker. Even bipolars must take responsibility for their words and their actions.

The perfect support person doesn’t try to control their bipolar SO – that is psychological abuse, and it can make even non-bipolars depressed and anxious.

The perfect support person doesn’t let their bipolar SO use the illness as an excuse to control them, either.

The perfect support person doesn’t blame every single one of their bipolar SO’s dissatisfactions in life on the illness, because everyone has these. It’s unfair to deny anyone their right to improve their life and themself just because the bipolar SO’s moods swing wider than theirs do.

The perfect support person acknowledges their bipolar SO’s strengths and talents, and encourages them to take advantage of these gifts.

The perfect support person doesn’t attribute their bipolar SO’s normal day-to-day moods to the disorder, because even normal people have moods.

The perfect support person learns to walk away from the discussion if they are starting to get angry, because discussions resolve issues, but arguments don’t.

The perfect support person learns to accept that their bipolar SO must occasionally walk away from a discussion that is overstimulating or triggering them.

The perfect support person would take the 12 week NAMI Family-to-Family course which you can find here:
http://www.nami.org/template.cfm?section=Family-to-Family.

I must rewrite this to make the items all positive. Not “shouldn’t”s, but “shoulds.”

The point of all of this is that you and your bipolar spouse must take responsibility for being caring and responsible. No relationship will work unless both partners cooperate.

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