Are you Getting Married to Someone With Mental Illness?

By Sarah Fader

Marriage is a huge commitment. Before you get married there are a lot of things to consider. When you are marrying someone with mental illness, you have to be aware of what you’re going to get into. If you both have a mental illness, then it’s a matter of being empathetic to one another’s issues. If one partner has mental health issues, it’s about the other person managing their expectations about what to expect. And one of the things to remember is that mental illness can be unpredictable. That’s the nature of the beast and it’s important to take that into account.

These issues need to be discussed by the couple either with one another in a candid dialogue or in a therapy session with a couples counselor.

 

Therapy can be a way to prevent future problems from occurring.

 

Some people assume that you only see a therapist when things are going wrong. Therapy can be a way to prevent future problems from occurring. That’s the point of going to counseling before you get married. You are being open and honest about the things you are concerned about. When you do that, you can prevent future larger issues from happening. Or, if things arise, you can have a game plan about how to deal with them. It’s like anything in life, planning makes matters so much easier to cope with.

 

One of the worst things that can happen in a relationship is when one partner has secrets from the other.

 

It can be helpful to get it out on the table so that there isn’t miscommunication later. One of the worst things that can happen in a relationship is when one partner has secrets from the other. I’m not talking about small things like you pretend you’re taking the garbage out but you go have a cigarette instead. I’m referring to things like a sex addiction or an alcohol problem. Addiction is under the heading of mental health issues. Or maybe you’re having psychosis and you’re afraid to admit that to your partner. These are things that absolutely need to be discussed. You’re not faking your illness, you are having real symptoms that need attention by your partner and a mental health professional. Don’t pretend to be okay when you’re not.

 

Communication and honesty are the foundation of relationships.

 

Communication in any relationship is the key to its success. Communication and honesty are the foundation of relationships. If you’re lying to your partner that is a sign that you don’t trust them. It is important to trust the person you are with otherwise why be with them? If you don’t trust your partner, then you are lying to yourself and the other person. That’s not a healthy relationship and either something needs to change or you need to break up. Unless you are okay living in denial, but I don’t like to do that.

So, what about you? Do you have a mental illness? Are you considering getting married to someone who doesn’t? What issues would you discuss before tying the knot?

Sarah FaderCEO of StigmaFighters.com
Sarah Fader is the CEO and Founder of Stigma Fighters, a non-profit organization that encourages individuals with mental illness to share their personal stories. She has been featured in The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Atlantic, Quartz, Psychology Today, The Huffington Post, HuffPost Live, and Good Day New York.

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2017-12-08T19:08:25+00:00 December 8th, 2017|blog, Sarah Fader, writing|