Falling in love with your partner was nothing short of magical. You met for the first time and instantly clicked. And after some time of getting to know each other, you decided that it was time to say yes to a committed relationship. But then reality hit. Your partner has episodes of anxiety and depression, and you are caught in the middle of trying to manage it before it destroys your relationship. Here are four tips to give you a head start:
1. Work together not against each other.
This may sound cliché, but the only way you can succeed in managing mental illness in your relationship is if you work together. Don’t look at the problem as only affecting one individual. Instead, tackle it as if it is happening to you both. This will help you distinguish your relationship from the mental illness and make it easier for you to treat the problem as something external and not part of your life as a couple.
2. Educate yourself.
You can’t love what you don’t know, so they say. To be more effective in dealing with mental illness in your relationship, you need to know what you’re up against. Read about anxiety and depression, its triggers, its causes and its management. This will help you understand your partner better and give you the ability to determine if he or she is being anxious or depressed and not just being grumpy with you.
3. Find your love language.
There are times when your partner might be extra dependent, hotheaded or avoidant towards you, and this could be hurtful even if you know that this is all part of his or her mental condition. Instead of focusing on your own emotions, make an agreement to always talk about what you or your partner is feeling so the other can understand that nothing is wrong with your relationship. When you see your partner getting into those low days, find your love language and use it to cheer them up. It could be some words of encouragement, some freshly baked cookies or a surprise dinner date. Acts of kindness done in love may help boost anyone’s energy, even those suffering from mental illness.
4. Don’t put too much pressure on your relationship.
It’s too common for couples these days to feel the pressure to be perfect, especially with what they see on social media. But the truth is, no relationship is smooth and problem-free. You need to nurture it every day for it to last, and you can make it work as long as you’re both committed. Putting too much pressure on your relationship can only lead to more anxiety and depression, and it could hurt your partnership further. In the end, it’s all about discovering what works for you. It is a matter of trial and error, and you will be tested at many points. But if you’re willing to tackle mental illness together, it’s always possible to enjoy a long, healthy relationship with your partner.