Please share your best tips and advice for preventing co-dependency & stress whilst supporting a partner who's in a bad place
I hope that you're doing ok today.
I'm hoping that we can share some things with each other that have really helped us avoid the too-easy trap of becoming co-dependent, or overly fixated on problem-solving and ruminating about our partners issues. It's not easy to unlearn those habits, especially if you had a history of being codependent or the 'fixer' in childhood dynamics or early relationships. That position can be erosive to our mental state, and only leads to resentment, burnout, and our own depression.
So, I hope you will please reflect and think about any 'a-ha' moments you've had regarding this, any phrases or sayings that have worked as mantras for you to keep your emotional + psychological boundaries in check, etc - this could be things you've learned yourself, from friends, family, or media, or also wisdoms you've learned from a therapist.
Looking forward to hearing what you all have to share, & I think that a thread like this could become a really solid liferaft for not only each of us on hard days, but also people that come here for the first time in future seeking support and help.
I hope you're okay!
Personally, I just try to be as supportive as I can be but not try to "fix" the problem. I know this can be hard when you love someone, but you have to remember you are not their parent. All you can do is be there for them and provide the means necessary for them to access support.
Hi Violet, welcome
I see Jaz has offered a direction in how to approach this dilemma which is a common one.
As a sufferer of bipolar my wife tends to add subtle comments of encouragement eg "your moods have stablised a lot lately" or "you didnt allow your anxiety to flare up over that Facebook comment". All this is helping because although we people with anxiety, depression and the like cant stop the symptoms coming and going, subtle praise has a benefit as it makes way for recovery quicker.
An example of this motivation is set out in the following thread-
Jaz mentioned "be there for them and provide the means necessary for them to access support.". Too right. Some of us have side issues like loss of short term memory, swinging away from officialdom, effects of medication, HSP highly sensitive person syndrome any of which can have an invisible side effect that is not apparent for the carer. It can appear as if we are passing on our responsibilities. Eg we built our own home last year and the paperwork involved overwhelmed me. My wife took over all that which detached me and allowed me to do more of the physical side of the project. A great team got the job done. I often wonder how life would be if she passed on. I'd have to engage my daughter to take over many of such tasks like banking or letters from council etc, I just dont have the capacity anymore. But life is still good.
what a helpful thread and a interesting topic.
Jazz and Tony have given very useful tips and practical suggestions.
I find I have been the person needing support and the person giving support.
what I find us if the person does not acknowledge they need help and is in denial it can be difficult. The person in denial may say that the other person has all the problems and they are fine. I find people who are controlling and angry are hard to support..
The other point is knowing your limitations and boundaries and be as encouraging and supportive but don’t appear patronising.