Marriage can be a roller coaster of good times as well as stressful ones for many couples, even when they are generally happy within their union. When you have a partner that is affected by something like a diagnosed mental illness, the marriage usually takes on an additional layer of stress if the other partner is not equipped to deal with this type of marital discord.
Whether there is an instance of temporary postpartum blues, or something more serious like bipolar disorder or PTSD, this can cause strain even in a seemingly healthy relationship. It’s not surprising that many relationships where one partner is affected by mental health issues have much higher divorce rates than those couples where there is no mental illness present.
Working Through Mental Health Issues Proves Challenging for Many Couples
Couples who have been together longer may have a better chance of success if they are able to work through these difficult issues together. The mental health condition may have presented itself earlier on in the relationship such that the unaffected spouse feels more prepared and has a familiarity with the condition and how to handle it. It’s important to be encouraging and to check in with your partner regularly if they are affected by a known mental health issue. Making sure the spouse is taking medications and staying up to date with counseling sessions will play an essential role in increasing the likelihood that the marriage will survive.
If the marriage is still new, it may prove to be more difficult to handle a spouse with serious issues like bipolar disorder or major depression. Both spouses may begin to feel alienated from each other, especially if there is a major depressive episode or suicidal behavior that presents itself early on. If the affected spouse stops taking their medication or refuses to seek help for their condition, this may be a sign that they aren’t in the right place to be able to handle a marriage. No one is at fault in these types of situations, and sometimes divorce may be the only viable option.
Consult with a Divorce Attorney in CA to Learn More
If you are involved in a marriage where you’re no longer able to care for a mentally ill partner and need legal counsel, contact our team at the Law Offices of James P. White for a consultation.