Find answers to some of the more frequently asked questions on the Forums.

Forums guidelines

Our guidelines keep the Forums a safe place for people to share and learn information.

They just wont understand, why?

white knight
Community Champion
Community Champion
We hear those words often. The trouble is, there is a word in that sentence that doesn’t
fit, it shouldn’t be there. It’s the word “wont”

“Wont” means they have a choice to understand your emotional struggles. It should, in many
cases, be replaced with “don’t” or "cant"

For these people are the people we love and they love us. Would they, make the choice of not understanding? Understanding…what does that entail? Do we expect our partners, children, friends and parents to understand what its like to have our minds as if it’s in a cloud? Or throbbing like a migraine? Or whysome of us sleep for what seems endless hours?  What about when our carer partner has been so long without
love making and their frustration explodes and we chant “you just don’t understand”!!!

I put it to you, that it is us also that doesn’t understand what its like to be a partner of a mentally ill person. In respect to this an article I wrote a long time ago now can be googled- “Topic: who cares for the carer- beyondblue” In that thread I mentioned that if you can walk to the toilet, answer the phone and get yourself something to eat during the day while your partner is at work….you can also greet him/her as they walk in the door, have a cuppa and a chat asking how their day went before you slip back into bed if you must.

Some cant, understandably. But some wont! A choice (note the word “wont”) is made. In
these cases they are hurting the ones they love.

I’m lucky, my wife has depression, it comes and goes. We never say “you wont understand”. We both do understand. However my last partner and before her, my first wife, never understood my struggles. Those days I believed that they chose to not understand. I was wrong. They had little hope of understanding. Why?

Simply  because the other person doesn’t “feel” the effects of the illness. And there might also be the blaming effect to, to blame others through our own expectations of what we are pleading for.

Whatever sooths you and comforts you from your partner – tell them what that is. Think about your needs whether is a daily hug, a hand on the shoulder or an ear with the occasional comment or question. For your partner or loved one likely has no concept of what they can do to help. And that in itself can be agonising.

We should never get the feeling or not being loved mixed up with a lack of ability to help us. It’s not
that they wont understand-its more likely they cant understand so they don’t.

Tony WK

153 Replies 153

Hi Sleepy,

Wow I've had a lot of catching up to do! Been away for a few days, always good to get home to my own bed and own routine.

Leonard Cohen, Nick Cave and the King of melancholy - Tom Waits.- oh yes! I haven't listened to Tom Waits for an age! Legend ! And only Nick Cave could get Kylie to be cool- sorry anyone who's a Kylie fan! And Still love Leonard Cohen!

Been listening to a lot of blues and roots/bluegrass, in recent times. My 2020 soundtrack courtesy of spotify is an eclectic mix- my d's faves such as Meghan Trainer and Taylor Swift, alongside Teskey Bros, Claude Debussey and Vance Joy... I like to change it up pretty regularly. Always looking for a new sound I enjoy!

I'm kinda with you on the narc issue- it does seem like every second person is a narcissist, and I had been ignoring the whole discussion until recently. Funny cos was listening to some Greek legend stories on an audio book on our drive- my kids right into ancient Greece/Rome- and the story of Narcissus struck me anew. The lack of regard for anyone else, measuring potential partners against some perfect ideal- the story of Narcissus and Echo- always finding them lacking until his legendary falling-in-love with his own reflection. The coldness of his personality struck me, Narcissus was definitely not empathetic!

Someone told me once that narcissism could be considered on a trajectory- as in, many ppl have those qualities, or can exhibit them at some point in time or in some relationships. I guess it's about looking at a persons relationships and evaluating how capable someone is of love and empathy. Maybe there's limited ability to love, and that can fool us for awhile? Maybe sometimes ppl in a narc r/ship will reflect back enough 'glow' for awhile to keep the other person happy...? But I guess the true test of any person is how much they are willing to empathise and support when there is nothing in it for them. Narc or not, that's what I will be watching in my r/ships from now on!

Of course there is also the other relationships in life, the parents of my kids friend, the elderly neighbours who use their guilt trip tactics to get stuff done, my aging parents, the sports mums and dads. But I don't have to let them in I guess. My lesson of the new year!


Hey sleepy. l'd never even met a counselor in my life until after my divorce. But l always knew what the drill would be with many and you are spot on. lt is funny when they bring one of their own stories into it isn't it but yeah there's often a reason. One told me about his divorce yrs ago and his new life and family now , tell ya , that lifted out of a very ugly place and l still remember it and take from it now.

ps , l really hate listening to dating history from anyone l shut it down , but that would've been funny coming from a councilor .

ps i never thought of it but ur right dating histories are boring lol

i can't tell them myself there's so little to tell... obviously if you are not with the person anymore it didn't work out.... so that's kind of where it ends? And all the drama in between fades over time.

I saw lots of therapits in my 20s to try and get on the righ direction - only one I truly liked, she was a social worker by profession but worked as a counsellor. i didn't know she was a social worker til years later ust assumed she was a psychologist as she did all they do and more. She incorporated some cool stuff like art therapy and was a creative soul.

Did the therapy help with ur divorce? No worries if you dont want to answer.

It is hard to form a bond with a therapist for me, after traumatic events. I was so relieved I had that one I loved.

She lives in another country lol and I"m navigating between so many average therapists. So much average in that field.(not to discourage help-seeking - it is just hard to find the right one)

@VoxAmino, family can find it challenging when someone close to them has a condition they don’t understand. Often it forces them to examine or reflect on themselves.