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My mental illness and my relationship of 5 years.
So a bit of a background for it all to make sense. (sorry it will be boring)
I had always struggled with my place in world ever since I was 6, I never felt like I belonged or really understood people or why I'm on this planet.
I continued this way with a less than ideal childhood, more things happened and I finally fell apart very hard in my early 20's.
My mental health was terrible, I was so messed up. For years I struggled to do simple tasks like; hygiene, going outside, staying alive.
I got help.
I dug myself out of my own dark pool it took a lot of work and In my 30s I continue to do so, with professional help. But as much as it shames me to say I can't seem to hold down a job, I live with huge guilt because I want to just do like everyone else but it always falls part my anxiety, trauma and depression/ melancholy take over after a few months and then I quit 😞
My partner of 5 years doesn't really understand mental illness and has seen me with jobs on and off. When I truly think I have the right tools and finally have it together it just falls apart
In my 5 years with my partner I obviously thought it was time to start thinking of commitment because he has said previously "i want to be with you forever" but when I pushed to talk about commitment on a level (i know i shouldn't pressure but he has said he would marry me ?) BUT... I finally got "You were doing so well but it just seems like you have just gone flat, you haven't progressed in anything, (career) I don't like what its doing to me"
My heart broke. I finally thought I was accepted by someone. it turns out he feels pressure financially with wanting to do things to the house and things he wants etc ( I don't earn much but i do contribute $$, do everything for him in terms of cleaning his home and washing to do my share.)
I understand his point of view a partners a partner in all ways. I'm completely lost. I can't make promises or inflict myself on him or him to inflict his expectations on me.
I feel super hurt, because I can't really control mental illness no one can! I can't help to feel rejected and not accepted.
We have discussed this many times for days, he doesn't want me to leave, he says he loves me, he says he wants to be with me forever (rolls eyes) ...but I can't understand this. Wants me to stay but it sounds like he also can't stand me.
He has said he would agree to counselling, but i dont know if that would change anything. Anyone been in a similar situation? what happened
Hello 90Unicorn, and a warm welcome to the site, if I can ask you a question after what you have told us, I hope that's OK, and please only answer if you want to.
I am sorry for how you are feeling and the situation you're in must make you wonder what is really going to happen, because he says he wants to marry you but can't seem to or able to rationalise how you are actually feeling which is concerning for later on in the relationship.
Before you have been able to get yourself help and then try and move on, I wonder whether this can happen once again while you stay with your partner.
Thank you for your understanding Geoff and taking the time. 🙂
Yes, and that's the part I get pretty hurt by I try my hardest to explain what its like and how far i've come and how long its taken me to get there.
Well, I do have drive to continue to better myself and always own up to when i've wronged someone.
I have just got hold of a psychotherapist who specialises in trauma i've had her twice now (he knows this), but as much as i'd like to be "cured"; I've always been battling with myself it's somethings that has always been there. I want normalcy but I can't make promises to him as it would give false hope and that's not in either of our best interest.
I'm kinda in the headspace to chug along as this point, because I am so lost. He seems like he wants to repair things but I am also looking at the bigger picture that I can't expect people to get it or accept me.
so I guess time and counselling will tell.
No you can't make promises on things you don't have full control of, as you say that would not be good. However your mental health is not the only thing you have to offer a relationship, love, care, understanding, being there , even wisdom.
Life is learning as we go along, and that is as true for your partner as for you. He may well initially had visions of this project or that, but is finding things may not be as straightforward as he anticipated. He may be discovering how to deal with that
In 5 years he has seen you at best and at worst and is still with you, again maybe a process of finding himself in a different life than he might have thought was going to happen. And yes for someone who has been lucky enough not to have mental health issues it can be very hard not to be judgmental -purely though lack of understanding.
If he has agreed to counseling with you then why not? Basically everyone has to learn to deal with what life has served them. You are doing so, and if you are like me will reach the stage where there is more stability, confidence and a lessening of symptoms. I'd expect you will hold down a job, particularly if there is someone to support you.
My wife never fully understood what was in my head or why I behaved the way I did, but had sufficient insight and determination to give me the support I needed. It worked out fine, and I'm a different person now.
Do you think that is a reasonable approach or am I misunderstanding something - do sing out if I am?
Hello 90Unicorn, what Croix has said means a great deal and ' for someone who has been lucky enough not to have mental health issues it can be very hard not to be judgmental' is exactly right, people without any mental disorder expect that those with it will be able to overcome this illness straight away, especially if they are visiting a psych and wonder why in six months time, for example, why you haven't improved, because you're getting counselling and now you should have got better.
It doesn't work as quickly as this, there could be many different issues associated with how you are feeling and each particular problem has to be spoken about and its relation to the situation you are in, and those people who have not experienced any mental illness, can't comprehend this, they believe once you have one session you should come out feeling better.
To tell them that you and your psych are working through these issues and it takes time isn't fast enough and they can become annoyed with us, so it's up to us whether or not we want to tell our partner/spouse.
Thank you Croix, I do.
I feel comforted that you have been in a similar situation and you've been able to overcome it.
I have huge fears of many concepts of working and but mostly progressing backwards because I do get depressed/loose motivation/anxiety for what seems like no reason when I work, Its hugely frustrating.
I know we're not all the same and have many different roadmaps and we all work on our own timelines but how long did it take you to find stability to get the courage to work again?
Geoff, this is so so true and that thought process is concerning because nothing is a "quick fix" when it comes to life.
My partner thinks if we/he see's counsellor once we will be okay, which I was gritting my teeth because I know these things take time and effort!
I have to explain to him it isn't like a band aid you get out the draw and the blood stops leaking, underneath there's still a sore there.
You asked "but how long did it take you to find stability to get the courage to work again?"
Well I guess I was lucky, I was invalided out of my job and ended up at that stage with a stint in hospital. After which I sat at home. This was not good for me or for my wife. I simply started to find all the downsides of having nothing, no identity, no purpose, no idea I could do anything and poor memory and concentration. Useless in a word. I was nearly in hospital again.
Thanks to my wife pushing I was persuaded to try tertiary study, which for me ended up a sort of half way house. At the start I did it becuse it pleased my wife though I thought it a waste of time. However as I became used to it I started to regain purpose, identity and socialization.
Although wiht my memory and concentration it tool longer than the minimum number of years I passed, and was invited to do a little part tme work at the uni. Very little and very part time
It grew, with setbacks of course, more hospitalization, until I was able to do meaningful work, and be a reliable loving partner. I'm still on meds and therapy, but that has simply become part of my life -no big deal.
I suppose it is the idea that a partnership does not have to have both people doing the same thing, it can be each gives a different contribution. I've already mentioned some of the things you undoubtedly have to offer, perhaps for your partner patience and valuing what is important might be the biggest things.
Geoff is right, lack of understanding can lead to annoyance and anger. I would think it as much education as counseling. My wife was completely at sea, even blamed herself, until she had the facts explained to her by my psychiatrist, including the idea of progressively reaching recovery points, not quick fixes.
I'm most grateful she stayed
Hello 90Unicorn and Croix, both of what you both have said is so true or we do have an alternative where our partner/spouse does come along to a session and talk about all the problems that are being caused by us, rather than how can I help them or how can this be avoided, so the session is concentrated on them and not us.
What this can do is make us close up or pretend to agree with something we haven't been able to discuss, because we're afraid, just to please our partner/spouse, that's why at times it's best for them to have their own counselling session so the psych can gain important information so as to help us and not be picked on.