“My husband is very supportive and he's there when I need him. He understands when I have days where I can't do anything and he encourages me just to go in the garden or paint. ” – Leila
Sharing a life with someone who has a mental health condition can be challenging. There might be some confusion about what is happening to the person you love. You may find your roles in the relationship changing. You may need to learn new skills, including deeper personal and emotional skills. Or, there could be grieving due to experiencing unexpected changes in the relationship.
But there are things you can do to support your relationship, even as it changes. A healthy partnership is doable, with counselling, support, and clear and caring communication. At the same time, your personal wellbeing is important.
The aim is for you and your partner to be able do this as a team. You may have to take the initiative sometimes, but the important thing is you’re not alone. There are services and programs specifically for people, like yourself, who support someone with a mental health condition.
Even as you support your partner, there are things you can do to help preserve your own identity and keep your sense of self. There is lots of information on looking after your wellbeing on our meaningful life pages. You can also get information about supporting someone on our carers page.
A closer look
Encourage your partner to live their life
Self-care is important
A loss of physical and emotional intimacy can affect mental health
It's quite common to become depressed after having a baby
- Kamal (formerly Tim)