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Question
Posted by: Trish | 2007/12/20

Inlaws bipolar-creating marriage strain

Both my partner's sibling and his mother has severe bipolar disorder. They are being treated - it does not seem to help though. It has been like this for many years. My partner and I have the agreement that we give them support, but that we also need to let them do things for themselves. The stress is seriously straining our marriage. His sibling and mother expects phone calls everyday, visits at least once a week - these are so draining, you just want to sleep afterwards. It has become such that my health and happiness are in jeopardy. I cannot go on like this. Please give some practical advice as to how to manage the situation. Soon we will want to have children of our own, and I do not know how we will cope then.

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Our expert says:
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Why should they rely on the pair of you to provide the support they need ? They must care for themselves, and what of his father ? Bip[olar Disorder can be very difficult for the individual to cope with, but they should be able to do just about everything for themselves. Why should they need daily calls and weekly visits ? Speak to the psych treating them, about what an unreasonable load this is putting upon you and your marriage

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Posted by: Trish | 2007/12/20

His father died in the eighties. While I have sympathy for this, I hope I am not wrong when I say we cannot fill that void (?)
Am I being insensitive? I guess I was brought up to be strong? I do not want to create emotional difficulties for these two, because I do care, but I also do not believe that one should help to detriment of one's own happiness and health.

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