When A Spouse Has Mental Illness

Mental illness is in almost every family. Statistics say 1 in 5 people suffer from mental illness. When A Spouse Has Mental Illness it can be draining and at times pretty confusing. You may not know how to react sometimes or how to help. It could make you feel helpless, like you want to give up. In order to have a successful marriage you may want to know of some tips on how you can be supportive toward your spouse but at the same time you do have to be sure you are caring for yourself.

When someone has mental illness things can feel intense at times. You may feel like you are walking on eggshells depending on the severity of the mental illness. Things may feel great one minute then the next minute everything feels like an argument. It’s important to learn about mental illness and to also let your spouse know that you are you there for them and love them

When A Spouse Has Mental Illness

Ways To Support Your Spouse With Mental Illness

  • Try to avoid nagging
  • Don’t be judgmental, try your best to be understanding even if you don’t fully understand
  • Empathize with your spouse but do not order them around
  • Pay attention if substances are involved because if they are they will definitely make things worse.
  • Educate yourself on whatever it is your partner is struggling with
  • Continue taking care of yourself
  • Get support
  • Don’t take it personally
  • Help around your home and maybe do a couple things your spouse normally does to give them a little break

There are other things you may think of that can help your spouse which is fine of course but remember as you do these things don’t get resentful. Only do the things you feel up to doing, the last thing you want is to become angry for doing so much.

How To Cope When A Spouse Is Feeling Down

Self care is important at all times even when you are caring for your spouse. Here are some tips on keeping up with your self care. 

  • Make sure you are getting enough sleep
  • Don’t skip meals, eat as you normally would
  • Limit drug and alcohol use
  • Go for walks or exercise daily
  • Journal
  • Try meditating
  • Take deep breaths
  • Watch comedies

Try to understand the way your spouse is acting is not intentional and isn’t about you. It is not your fault. Your spouse can possibly be in denial which can make it hard to talk to them about things at this time; it’s good for you to be as open as you can with them but at the same time be sensitive to what they may be experiencing.

It is extremely important to professional help if things are not getting better for your partner. Couples therapy is never a bad idea either. Below are some resources that may be helpful for you:


Stepping Stones Counseling Center


When Your Spouse Has Mental Illness