Relationships are a beautiful part of the human experience. Sharing your life with the person you love can lead to some of the greatest moments of your life. However, relationships don’t come without their issues. And when you have a partner with mental illness, supporting mental health adds another layer of difficulty to the partnership.
At the same time, having a spouse with mental illness doesn’t mean your relationship is doomed. Mental health and relationships can be a challenge, but you and your spouse can still build a beautiful and fulfilling partnership. What are some great ways you can start supporting mental health for your spouse?
Learn more about their condition
Mental illness is never anyone’s fault. Neither you nor your spouse are to blame for their mental health condition. But it is their responsibility to manage it and your responsibility to support them as they learn to do so. Learning more about their condition is a great way to understand both mental health and relationships.
Be a good listener
Do you ever feel like you need someone to simply listen without interrupting or offering advice? Your partner likely feels the same way. Supporting mental health for your partner means being a good listener. They may need your undivided attention after a particularly long or difficult day, and your ability to listen will help them feel heard, loved, and supported.
Encourage them to seek and stick with treatment
Mental health treatment is a vital component of learning to manage mental illness. If your spouse isn’t already seeing a mental health professional, encourage them to find a therapist or counselor, or even consider a mental health treatment program. Once they find a good fit, encourage them to stick with their treatment plan and support them throughout the process.
Don’t neglect yourself
The worst thing you can do is place too much focus on your spouse and neglect yourself in the process. Sacrificing your well-being to meet your partner’s needs all the time will only make matters more difficult. It’s just like the flight attendant says when you’re on an airplane – affix your oxygen mask before helping others with theirs. Take time to care for and focus on yourself so you can show up fully for your spouse.
Focus on things outside of their mental health
One of the downfalls of mental health and relationships comes from spending too much time and energy focusing on their mental illness. Be sure to spend time building your relationship as if their mental illness was not a factor. That doesn’t mean you should pretend it doesn’t exist, but don’t allow it to consume every aspect of your relationship.
Consider couple’s counseling
Counseling is a useful tool for everyone, whether they struggle with their mental health or not. Couples counseling is a great idea if you’re learning to support your spouse with mental illness. Attending counseling together allows you both to discuss more challenging topics in a safe environment with the guidance of a neutral third party. It’s also a great way to support them in their treatment and to ensure your well-being, too.
There are plenty of fantastic mental health facilities that can help you and your spouse with mental illness. Clearview Treatment Programs is a treatment network that specializes in providing individualized treatment for adults living with mental health disorders. We can help you identify the program that best suits your spouse and can find a fit that works for you, too. Call us at 866-339-3544 or submit an online contact form to speak with an admissions specialist!