From my own person experiences and what I have found through validated research, it takes at least six months or more to actually know somebody – but even then you still can never be completely sure about anybody. It takes time to know what makes to people click, to know the little quirks about your partner, to know the simplest things such as their favorite food, favorite color, or favorite animal. You wouldn’t just move in with somebody you just met, not knowing anything about them, right? You want to know if they have a stable foundation and if they are able to help support you and the foundation you two stand on, especially if children are involved. Relationships can be tough and scary at times, and having a mental disorder only complicates things more. It takes time to get to know somebody and in that time you start to get more comfortable with your real self and start to behave and act more comfortably around your partner. Over this time period you start to open up your depressive side and start to show the mental disorder to your partner once you become comfortable.
After this stage, and you are more comfortable and open with your partner, how they react to your illness can either be a breaking point, or a godsend. If you often times find yourself wondering if you are in a toxic relationship that is bad for your mental well being, there are a few questions you can ask yourself; 1.)Is your partner supportive of you and your mental disorder? Does he/she show care when on your “bad days”? 2.)Does your partner ever ignore of brush off the illness? Does he/she ever blame your “outbursts” on something else? Does he/she blame everything on you? Does everything somehow end up your fault? 3.)Does your partner ever get angry when you are having an “episode”? Does he/she ever raise their voice and yell, curse at you? Does he/she slam doors and stop around with a hefty attitude? Does he/she ever make you feel absolutely rotten for your actions that you cannot control?
If you answered “YES” to any of these questions, it may be time to look at your options and see what is best for your case; whether it is best to see what can be done to salvage the relationship, or toss it and move on with your life. As much as you may love your partner and want to stay, in some cases it may be in your best interest to cut ties with the relationship, especially if there is any physical abuse going on. Ending any relationship can be extremely hard and exhausting (or even thinking about ending one) and having a mental disorder that binds your long-term thinking and processing, can make things even harder. If you are finding yourself in a situation where you feel you can fix the relationship and get them to understand you, a good starting point may be therapy for yourself and then later on eventually consider couples therapy. Therapy can be extremely beneficial; you get one hour of undivided attention where you can just cry or talk about how much you hate everybody and you don’t have to worry about any judgment. A therapist may only need to work with you and with a little bit of help you can make the relationship work for the long term. Mental illness is not a joke, and its not easy to live with by any means. It is hard to get somebody to be open-minded and understand the illness and why a person may act and do the things that they do. A therapist is trained and skilled to know all of the ins and outs. Saving a broken relationship due to mental illness takes a lot of willpower, dedication, and hard work, It isn’t just going to happen overnight.
The first step one should take if in this situation, is to first analyze the relationship; is it worth saving, or is it time to say goodbye? The second step is just as important, realizing and accepting your mental illness and seeking the right therapist for you and properly medicating yourself to help combat your episodes.