Your intimate relationship with your partner can have a big influence on your mental health. Having someone who you trust and love, who trusts and loves you in return, can lead to higher self-esteem, increased confidence, and resilience against life’s difficulties. Positive intimate relationships can also result in lower blood pressure, stress, and depression.

Some situations can put relationships under extra stress—challenges with money, work, or blended families that form when new partners bring their children together. Being able to rely on your partner for support when times are tough can make a positive difference in coping with mental health issues.

If you and your partner are not able to communicate well or resolve conflicts, it may have a negative influence on your mental health and wellbeing.

Support for partners

Sharing your life with someone who has a mental health condition or other health condition can be challenging and confusing. Your roles in the relationship might change and you may need to learn new skills, including deeper personal and emotional skills. There could even be grieving due to unexpected changes in the relationship.

For someone living with a mental health condition, it can be hard to do anything fun or rewarding. One of the most helpful things you can do for your partner is to encourage them to do things they enjoy, and where possible, join them. Going for a walk, spending times with friends or family, or doing something that makes them feel productive can give your partner hope and help them feel like they have control in their life.

There are things you can do to support your relationship even as it changes—counselling, support, and maintaining clear and caring communication.

At the same time, it is important to take care of your personal wellbeing. Take some space to breathe, and allow friends and loved ones to support you if things become too much. Simple steps, when taken together, make a big difference. For example, getting enough sleep and exercise, eating properly, and doing activities you enjoy can help preserve your own identity and keep your sense of self. There is lots of information on looking after your own wellbeing on our meaningful life pages.

There are services and programs specifically for people who support someone with a mental health condition. You may have to take the initiative sometimes, but the important thing is you're not alone. The aim is for you and your partner to be able do this as a team.

If you want to reach out for help but aren't sure where to start, we have resources below to help you get started. We also have pages on support for carers and how to support someone.

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Page last updated 20th October 2020