Dear Carolyn • My wife and I split up for a couple of reasons including that she's likely bipolar but refuses treatment. Slowly over the years of working together to raise our children, we seem to have developed a friendly relationship. I love being with her when she is on the up side; when she is down, I stay clear. Now my older, college-age child is seeing how her mother really is, and I see them getting into the same strange arguments my wife and I used to get into. It's starting to affect how she feels about her mother. I've tried to talk to my ex about this. How do you get someone to get help who does not believe she needs it? I love my daughter and hate to see her not want to visit home, and I would like to see my ex not quite so crazy. Any ideas?
Dear N. • Did you make peace with your ex-wife by getting her to get help despite her not believing she needed it? No. So it makes absolutely no sense to tackle your daughter's "same strange arguments" from the make-Mom-not-quite-so-crazy angle. Explain to her that her mom is not only volatile, but also unwilling to take any steps to be otherwise. Then say you've created a warm and working relationship with her mom by recognizing her mom's limits and your own and that path is there for her, too, if she wants it.