Marja Bergen

author, mental health activist, follower of Christ

1. For better or worse

Being a spouse with mental health issues

Today I’m starting a series of blogposts that will look at the part we who live with mental health issues could play to keep marriage to our spouse working well, despite the difficulties our illnesses bring.

Everything I see on the internet about marriage to a mentally ill spouse shows how the healthy member of the partnership can keep the relationship on track. Once again – as in many other cases – the role of the person with mental health issues is ignored. It is as though we who deal with such issues are not considered capable of bringing good things to a marriage.

People with mental health issues have much to contribute – in the community and in relationships. But we must believe in ourselves. We must believe we are people like any others. It should not only be up to our spouse to make a good marriage happen. We can play a big part.

Would you like to explore with me how to keep our marriages happy, despite the challenges we face? Would you like to explore ways for the two of you to draw closer together, helping each other make a difficult life less difficult?

Who am I to be writing about this? Am I qualified?

  • I have lived with bipolar disorder for 53 years,
  • My husband and I have been married for 49 years,
  • Our marriage could use some shoring up, so – with the support of authors who have written about relationships – I will learn along with you while passing along ideas.

I will post often, though I won’t have a schedule, writing as I can.



1 Comment

  1. Have just started reading these Marja , and look forward to them..
    Unlike you, I have struggled with marriage… actually relationships in general.
    One of the things that seems consistent .. and you brought it up here, is “we must believe we are people like any others”
    I have no idea what that would be like… hence it explains a lot , I think. Self esteem is totally foreign to me,, so what do I do?
    It has been diagnosed just recently , that I likely suffer from borderline personality disorder. ( I had no idea what this was till I read a lot about it.. lots of misunderstanding about that condition.. kinda where bipolar was back in the 70s when I was first diagnosed with that)
    So this is what I have come to realize.. Before I can effectively participate in any relationship, I have to have mine with myself and God stabilized . This has been a huge challenge, when I swing to the place of feeling a fake about everything> enter depression. This is where I try to pull my identity out of my partner’s responses to me,,, well that is never going to work. So unfair to her. What a demand on a person whom you love…
    Looking forward to this series,,
    thanks as always Marja

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