This is often said in relationship counselling at Safe Place Therapy: There is always three people in your relationship, the two partners and mental health. Mental health or mental illness in relationship are a big part of how people communicate, the worry or the anxiety and the taking care of each other in difficult periods. This is often missed by many professionals as they skim passed words like ‘depression’ or ‘anxiety’ or Borderline Personality Disorder and don’t unpack what that means for each person.
Mental Health issues impacts a relationship
usually a dynamic is created between the two partners, one feeling like the ‘well one’ need to support or protect the other partner who feels at times weak one or the ’emotional one’. We may not even use the words of depression but there is this underlying system created to prevent a dip into distress. The person who is emotional or struggling feels that they need to be cautious in what they say to their partner so they don’t worry them or in extreme cases they feel controlled or parented. This dynamic may have worked at times but overtime this breaks down as sense of equality that unfair on both people.
What would it be like if you actually said what you thoughts or aired your emotions? This question usually gets a reaction in the room as both partners often ‘sweep things under the rug’ or lessen things in order to save the other person from distress. How fair is this? To go on and live your life half expressed of half shared as your worried about the reaction? This is not blaming one partner over the other, this is about noting the inequality for both people in the relationship.
Every relationship has stress within it
A lack of emotional connection can become toxic for the life of the relationship. Its like the couples becomes bored and tired of the mundane and then they stop talking about issues and connecting with the partner. This has big implications for self esteem and confidence for each individuals. More needs to be done to connect and engage both people to sit, unpack and be ok with emotions.
How is mental health affecting your relationship? We would like to hear from you and work with you and your partner towards better engagement and working on mental health. Take the time to reach out today.