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When is it ok to put yourself first

Community Member

I am part of a blended family, I have a young child and my partner has an older teenager. My partner works fifo and his daughter is with us (me) 100% of the time and my son sees his father alternate weekends.

I do more than the lions share of everything as far as the children and household go, whilst still working a full time job (albeit with flexible work arrangements).

When my partner is home, he prefers not to be interrupted in anyway, and really only contributes to the household workload by doing his daughters school drops whilst he is home, everything else remains the same for me.

My partner does suffer anxiety and depression, and has finally started seeing someone in relation to this which is great.

Whilst I understand the importance of getting out and about and getting a social life again as far as treatment goes, my partner is now making lots of plans with friends which means whilst his home, the little he contributed previously now falls back to me to manage constantly with no breaks or any alone time. Note no plans are made for us to spend time together as a couple or a family, just plans for him.

I finally snapped tonight and he turned around and said he had too much to deal with personally than be worried with my s@#t.

One can only do so much before their own mental health takes a toll, but as I have no one to fall back on for support how am I meant to keep going if his mental health takes the priority?

5 Replies 5

white knight
Community Champion
Community Champion

Hi, welcome

I've had 4 relationships over 7 years each in length. 2 of those were when I did the lions share. Eventually you snap and often it is turned against you.

I have some threads you can read. Just read the first post if each if you like


Beyondblue Topic your attitude is not a mental illness

Beyondblue Topic who cares for the carer?

Beyondblue Topic happy marriage, hobbies and spirit

Beyondblue Topic relationship strife? The peace pipe

I hope they help. Please repost your thoughts and any further developments. We are here 24/7. I'm here most days on and off


Champion Alumni
Champion Alumni

Hello Concerned, a warm welcome.

Your priority is also a must, if he has mental problems then he also needs to have this addressed, but if he has his own way of coping and doesn't appreciate what you do, then a problem may happen.

You can't address his needs if you're disconnected from your own, in other words, you need to write down some of your main goals, but just start with small steps, to begin, but find your own necessary support groups, however, before this can happen you need to sort out what you want in life.

It's good he is seeing someone but this thread is about you, you have a full time job and don't get any help.

Any low times you have are terrible, we understand this ourselves, but these times are what we really benefit from once we are able to overcome them, this maybe difficult to believe, but they are times we avoid in the future, making us a stronger person.

Please look after yourself and visit your doctor who will get the ball rolling and hope you can get back to us.

Best wishes.


Blue Voices Member
Blue Voices Member

Hi Concerned

Yes your own health is priority, lets face it you cannot look after anyone else without looking after yourself. So I have to agree with Geoff on seeing the doctor and getting the ball rolling, I would also check with your local community centre and/or council website on what services are available to you.

Try not to get too worried if the housework gets a bit behind. Just do what you are able to do as long as you can do a little bit each day. Are you able to get the kids to assist with the duties via a reward system, as suggested on the Healthy Homes section above? An old saying slow but sure wins the race - remember the lesson from the turtle and the hare!

This would then be of assistance to both of you. If you have to care for him I would check carer's australia also for services and information.

I hope this helps. We are all here for you!


Blue Voices Member
Blue Voices Member

Hi concerned

a very warm welcome to you. Thank you for sharing your story. Tony, Geoff & Irene have all shared wonderful tips and some guidance. I agree with all of them completely.

Over my time, during my highs & lows the thing that I have to remember is this: I can’t pour from an empty cup. You are working, you’re a Mum & wife & also taking care of a household- all full time jobs in my opinion. You sound like you’re managing everything with very little support. This is why & to answer your question it is always ok to put you first. This is not a selfish thing to do. It is self care - making sure that Mum, wife, chief operating officer of the family is ok & that your health & well being is also a priority. I am a female & I have been a wife (no longer due to marriage breakdown) and it’s a common theme that we want to be there for everyone else, before thinking of ourselves. I have learned the hard way - that you must put yourself and your needs equally of that if your family.

You sound selfless & caring & dare I say frustrated - this is all normal. Please think about seeing a health care professional to learn how to make your needs a priority too. This is so important.

I hope to hear from you soon and take care

- happygoluckymiss

Valued Contributor
Valued Contributor

Hi concerned123 and welcome!

When things are out of balance we feel it on so many levels. It's amazing how balance relies on a number of triads working in sync:

  • Mind/body/spirit - mental, physical and spiritual well-being (spiritual representing our over all sense of connection to life). All 3 aspects of self are highly interactive. For example, when we're mentally stressed, we can feel this on a physical and spiritual level. When we're physically unwell, we can feel mentally drained and low in spirit
  • Work/rest/play - Work including both inside and outside the home. Rest relating to rejuvenating sleep. Play relating to time with other people as well as time on our own. By the way, recreation = re-creation (an opportunity for reinvention/personal evolution). It is said that 8 hours of each is what makes for a balanced day. Too much work can leave us feeling run down and forever longing for some sense of adventure
  • Commander/carer/child - Commander being the disciplinarian, the organiser and so on. Carer being the caring, loving supportive soul, there for others in time of need and nurturing. The child being the one who gets to play and be creative, be loved, be cared for etc. Being commander and carer all the time can leave the child in us feeling sad and neglected

I believe the discomfort or dis-ease we feel in life typically points to things being out of balance. So, the question becomes 'How do we find a sense of balance when it seems almost impossible?' Perhaps its about finding the most effective combos, so as to live holistically (wholly and not fractured)

  • The carer in us may insist we work on improving well-being for our mind (mental health professional, life coach, self help education tools and so on). By the way, the work, rest and play involved in meditation serves mind, body, spirit, commander, carer and child
  • The child in us may insist on play/relaxation, strengthening spiritual ties to life/people. Freeing up time for this might involve employing someone to come in to take care of some of the housework or it may involve the kids developing skills in house work and self-responsibility

Getting the kids to balance their triad combos may have you all working as a team.

As for your partner, I believe he has a responsibility in maintaining the relationship; to what degree is negotiable. It's unfair to just cut you off. Perhaps you need to flat out ask him how he wishes to maintain or improve the relationship.

Take care of yourself Concerned123