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Loving Someone Who Struggles With Mental Illness

pablo (83)
Suffering from a mental illness is difficult on its own, it can become more complex when in a relationship. Anything and everything that affects one partner will undoubtedly affect they other. Why? In a relationship there is a collectivist dynamic which simple means: the “us” factor. If your partner has lived thorough  trauma and they are triggered, understandably, you will worry. Additionally, your partner may need space, support, and a care, etc, These needs will also impact you as a partner. You can not simply ignore your partner when they are in distress.  You have to be mindful in supporting  your lover. I want you to be aware of the following:

 

1. Your partner is not faking it. Mental illness requires daily care and maintenance.

2. Do not dismiss their feelings because you do not understand them. Simply, ask them: “what can I do to support you right now?” Validate their struggle and what they are experiencing at this time.

3. Do not push and over-encourage medication. The truth is meds do not always help or take away the pain.

4. Encourage dialogue when you notice a change in their behavior. Lovingly let them now that you are paying attention and that you care for them.

I encourage you to seek couples counseling. In couples counseling, you can gain skills to support each other and strengthen your relationship. Through therapy you can also get the support you need when loving someone who is struggling with a mental illness.

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