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My partner sees my mental health problems as a failing on my part

Community Member

I have been to my GP about my stress and anxiety which is mainly due to health issues I think I have things wrong with me that I don't. E.g. a headache is a brain tumour

I tried to explain to my partner that my GP referred me to a pycologist and he went mad saying it was all in my head, snap out of it, no one he knows is mentally ill. It doesn't help that the subject can't be discussed at home

Has anyone overcome this resentment I will go to appointments it will help to speak to someone. It will help me to discuss my issues

My partner and I are both in our 60s and grew up overseas when mental health was kept behind closed doors

Any advice appreciated

11 Replies 11

white knight
Community Champion
Community Champion
Hi, welcome

This is quite common perhaps not to the extent of his reaction however.

Please Google this-

Beyondblue topic they just wont understand why?

That thread has reasons why people don't understand mental illness. "Snap out of it" is as phrase I find amusing in that the world wouldn't need psychiatrist as we would all just recover at will.


Champion Alumni
Champion Alumni

Hello Contrarymary, I'm sorry that you have no compassion or understanding by your partner, this only builds up another brick wall that you need to climb over making the situation much harder because there maybe times when you want to talk with him at your lowest point but are unable to correspond any important issues to discuss.

I wonder if he plays golf and comes home complaining about how badly he played, is there any difference?

Best wishes.


Valued Contributor
Valued Contributor

Hi contrarymary

In my opinion, you should feel incredibly proud of yourself. You have an open mind. You are open to learning more about yourself and the way you work on a physical and mental level. From my experience, learning more about our self on a number of levels is exactly how we evolve. It's also one of the ways we show love for our self, giving our self the gift of knowledge and the gift of remembering our self on a soulful level. It's a shame your partner doesn't see things this way. Wondering if you have anyone in your life who does see it this way and can support you through this period of self exploration and greater understanding.

Seeing you come from conditions where mental health assistance is frowned upon or not spoken about, again, you should feel proud of your self. You have broken through such conditions and this takes a strong person, that's for sure. Sometimes, growing up, we can be conditioned in all the wrong ways.

Sounds like your partner's mind is closed to understanding, in this area. Regarding my own experience, my husband never acknowledged my challenge (depression) as 'a real thing' until I finally came out of it and he could see the difference in me. Then he agreed depression is 'real' and he apologised for not being more supportive during those years that were deeply challenging for me. Our partner may never come to recognise the truth of what we're going through when we need them to. If this is the case, it's important that we remain committed to searching for the truth our self. This takes courage, courage you obviously have.

Make the most of coming to know your self and don't let your partner sabotage your efforts when it comes to your personal growth.


Community Member


You are very strong, courageous and beautiful person for seeking assistance to make yourself the best you can. It wouldn't surprise me if your partner is the cause to how you feel and that his behaviour is impacting on your mental and physical wellness.

usually when someone projects that kind of mentality, they are bottling up their own issues inside and projecting onto others. Therefore when your partner tells you to "snap out of it", they are using this as a method of self-talk to over-come their own difficulties - therefore, know that you are strong, he may not be.

Community Member

Hi contrarymary.

Your partner doesn't sound very supportive, I'm sorry you're dealing with this. Nothing is in your head, we all believe you. If he doesn't then that's his problem, he obviously doesn't understand. I'm sorry. We're here for you, we all understand here and won't judge you.

Community Champion
Community Champion

welcome contrarymary,

It is difficult when you partner doesn't understand as he does not know anyone with a mental illness.

I had the opposite problem with my former husband as he was even in a group for mental helath and helped many people with their mental issues , well everyone except me.

He had no patience and told me not to be lazy when I was depressed as we had children and he felt I didnt want to do the chores.

It is good you are determined to see someone and get help.

I think as your partner has not had experience of knowing people and with a cultural background of not talking about it, it is hard.

I think once you get help and work out what you can do for yourself you will feel stronger.

Community Member


i have been to see a pyscologist 3 times since my original post but my husband is not interested in the outcomes and sees the visits as a waste of time. I had an anxiety attack earlier this week and was pacing up and down and his response was learn to live with it. I find that talking about it helps with pyscologist and try to put their suggestions into action but get no support at home. Has anyone any suggestions, I really need support from family.

My anxiety and stress stem from Health Anxiety I think a headache is a brain tumour, a sore stomach is cancer etc etc. I have done an online heathy anxiety course but still have bad days


Thanks for the update.

sometimes we don’t get the understanding or support from our partners. I am glad you are working with a psychologist.

You are on a journey to mental health and you will have ups and downs. You are learning skills thst will be useful.

There us support here so keep posting if you want to.

Hi contrarymary

With you consciously working to find the best in yourself, I believe your husband should be celebrating your efforts as opposed to dismissing them as a waste of time. Not everyone accepts the challenge of understanding themself better and finding the best in themself. In my opinion, you're thoroughly inspiring.

With your husband suggesting you 'learn to live with it' and that's it, he may as well be saying 'You need to learn to live with not understanding yourself better'. For me, coming to understand myself better can feel like a full time job. One of the many benefits of being so dedicated to this process involves all those 'Aha!' moments. I love those moments. I'm a 50yo gal and am still regularly having those liberating moments, gradually solving the puzzle known as 'me'.

I can't help but wonder whether you're a highly sensitive person. While being a HSP can feel like a curse at times, it actually comes with many benefits. Being sensitive to any shifts of activity in our body can give us certain advantages. Example: I can always tell when I'm becoming slightly dehydrated. Sounds weird but I'll start to feel a slight change of pressure in my head, coupled with what feels like slightly dry skin on my face. When I feel these things, I'll start drinking more water. I never used to be this sensitive and would always end up with a headache, wondering what was causing it. It's rare I'll get headaches now because I can feel them coming.

Someone once said to me 'Be conscious of your body language, what your body's trying to tell you'. This is a body language of a different kind. Learning to interpret what our body's saying is skillful. Our body 'speaks' for a reason. Personally, I don't want to dull down my sensitivity because it serves me well. My goal is to better understand what I'm feeling or sensing. Can you sense when mental tension/stress has become so great that it takes physical form, in your muscles? Can you sense when mental and physical activity within you is completely relaxed? What about when mental activity is so great that it manifests as physical hyper activity? Has your psychologist given you some breathing techniques in order to help you vent that level of activity in your mind and body, in helping to manage anxiety?

If you have an incredible natural ability to sense subtle changes in your body, you could consider your husband doesn't have this same ability, therefor he can't relate to the need to 'learn the language'.