Mental health in marriage is a topic that affects many of us but is often kept in the shadows. It’s a crucial issue that can’t be ignored, as research shows that 1 out of every 2 people will be diagnosed with a mental health illness in their lifetime.
Today’s post shares me and my husband’s personal journey of working through mental health issues within our marriage and how we transitioned from enabling each other’s struggles to taking responsibility for our well-being.
The Common Culprits: Anxiety, Depression, PTSD, and Eating Disorders
Before we get into our story, let’s acknowledge that mental health issues can take many forms, including anxiety, depression, PTSD, and eating disorders. These conditions affect millions of people worldwide, and they can have a significant impact on relationships, especially marriages.
Our Baggage: The Past That Haunted Us
When my husband and I said our vows, we carried more than just rings and promises; we brought our own baggage too. Like many, we had suffered traumas and pains from our pasts. It was easy to pretend that these experiences were firmly behind us, but the truth was that they continued to affect our lives.
We had to confront the reality that the pain from our pasts was still there. We had a choice: either do nothing and the pain would continue to be transmitted through us onto each other or take responsibility and let the pain transform us.
Enabling Each Other’s Mental Health Issues
For a long time, we were guilty of enabling each other’s mental health issues. We did this through sympathy, making excuses, believing these issues were just part of who we were, blaming our parents, tolerating destructive behaviors, and even coddling each other when times were tough. This approach took a severe toll on our marriage, pushing us further into the darkness.
Taking Responsibility: A Turning Point
Fortunately, we reached a turning point where we decided to take responsibility for our mental health and the future we desired.
Here’s how we began this transformative journey:
- Choosing Empathy: Instead of enabling each other, we chose empathy. We tried to truly understand what the other person was going through, without judgment.
- Stopping Excuses: We had honest conversations and stopped making excuses for our behavior. It wasn’t who we were; it was the pain of our past we needed to face.
- Recognizing the Root Cause: We realized that our mental health issues stemmed from unresolved pain, and we decided to address it head-on.
- Taking Responsibility: We took responsibility for our beliefs and actions, acknowledging that we had the power to change our mindset and behaviors.
- Working Through it Together: Healing takes time and effort. We committed to working through our issues, one moment at a time, and seeking professional help when necessary.
There is Hope, and You Can Heal
If you’re grappling with mental illness in your marriage, please know that there is hope, and you can heal. It starts with taking full responsibility for your desired future and seeking the support you need.
If you want to hear me share more on our journey with mental illness and health, I invite you to join me on my latest YouTube episode.
Feel free to DM me on Instagram if you want additional support or simply to share your own experiences.
You are not alone, and together, we can break the stigma surrounding mental health in marriage. We can pave the way for healing and growth.
Share in the comments below if mental illness has impacted your marriage; let’s create a safe space for open dialogue and support. 🌼💪
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