Hi, how’s it going for you today? I hope you’re having a great day.
You know, I get so many emails and comments from supporters complaining about the way their loved one treats them. That’s why this email was such a surprise to me:
Dave, I know that it’s more normal to complain about your loved one’s behavior if they have bipolar disorder, but I just wanted to give you the other side of the story. My husband has bipolar disorder. But because he does this one thing all the time (between episodes), things aren’t so bad when he is in one, because he’s used to being a certain way. It’s such a small thing, now that I’m writing about it, but I think if more couples practiced this, things would be better for them. What I’m talking about is simply being polite to each other. I don’t know how hard it would be to start doing it from scratch, because my husband and me have been doing it naturally for so many years, even before he was diagnosed with bipolar disorder. But that’s it – we are polite to each other.
It’s easy once you’ve practiced it as much as we have. It’s things like “Please” and “Thank you” and “Would you mind…” you know, things like that. For me, it’s a sign of respect, and I’m polite to my husband in spite of his bipolar disorder out of respect for him. For him, his politeness carries him a long way when his emotions tell him otherwise – like when his bipolar is acting up and he gets moody or irritable.
I know this is a really simple suggestion for your readers, but maybe they could try it. I know that it works for us, and makes a big difference in our relationship, despite his bipolar disorder.
Anyway, maybe you could pass on this suggestion.
Wow, this was sure a different email, don’t you think? That something as small as being polite to each other could make such a difference.
But MaryBeth has a point. Being polite to each other is a sign of respect, and everyone likes to be respected.
Some people lose respect for a person who has bipolar disorder. So if your loved one is being affected by stigma, or not being shown respect from other people, it can make a big difference to get it from you. And what a simple way this woman suggests, too! Just be polite to each other. Like you would be to a stranger or any other person. Your loved one deserves at least that, as do you.
Common courtesy is what I’m talking about. You know, like the old Golden Rule: “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”
I know it can get kind of frustrating at times dealing with a person with bipolar disorder… But maybe you can try this woman’s suggestion of just being polite to each other, and see if it makes a difference.
Well, catch you later.