(Closed) It’s the future mother in law I’m worried about…

posted 7 years ago in Family
Post # 4
Member
426 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: March 2011

That’s a toughie. The good(?) news is you’re familiar with bipolar personality traits due to being your mom’s daughter. Imagine if you had no idea! You also know that regardless of what you do/do not do, say/do not say, he’s likely to have episodes of behavior well outside the norm. I think the best thing to do is treat him like a normal person and not stress yourself out too much wondering if you’re going to send him over the edge. Assuming he’s treating his disorder with meds and a therapist, he may be fairly stable, and I’m sure if he’s a part of his son’s life he’d like to be a part of yours as well. If he’s not in treatment I would imagine the whole family is aware of his swings, and would never ever hold you responsible to them. It’s just something they deal with and try to cope as much as possible. Unfortunately that will now include you, and although it’s painful I’m sure it’s a great comfort to your SO and youself that you both have experience managing expectations of your parents.

Post # 6
Member
426 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: March 2011

I hear what you’re saying, but remember you have no control over this, unfortunately. Just like your mom decided to not like J for awhile, his dad may do the same. And like you, J should realize it’s not because of you at all. It’s because of his dad’s disorder. You can only live your life – you can’t live your parent’s or his parent’s. Being the child of a parent with bipolar disorder is extremely hard, because from a really young age you try to behave a certain way in order to please your parent, and avoid the blame for their swings. As an adult you have to realize that you are not in control or to blame for their behavior and you have to let go of that feeling of “if I just behave, things will be better” for your own mental health. There’s a fine line between being a caring daughter, DIL and being in a codependency and you want to be clear which side of that line you’re on by setting boundaries for yourself and for your FFIL, and your mother.

There’s a poem I like, a mantra actually, – I don’t remember it fully but it goes something like, I am here to live my life and you are here to live yours. I am not here to please you and you are not here to please me, but if we meet in the middle it is beautiful. Or something to that effect.

I think with you and your SO both having parents that are bipolar it may be helpful to get into counseling as a couple and discuss things like your responsibilites to each other and to your parents, and when you have them, to your children. It can help you both discuss how important acceptance is to you, and healthy ways to manage when you may not feel it.

Post # 7
Member
442 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: August 2015

My brother is bi-polar so I definitely understand your fears. I always try to be mindful as to what I say around him because I never know what is going to set him off. He never takes his medication.

My brother and I have a significant age difference and for long time we rarely saw or spoke to one another. Over the past 2/3 years we have built a stronger relationship because of an increase in communication. With time things should improve between you and FFIL. I have also learned to ignore my brother when things get heated. I hope my advice helps. Good Luck

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