Being a spouse with mental health issues

I started preparing to write this a while back and applied a few strategies I had come up with. I followed some of the basics of how to have a good marriage and considered what that would mean to a person struggling with mental health issues. Even by trying only a few ideas, I found the relationship with my husband improving. I want to learn a lot more of this, sharing with you as I do so. My prayer is that all of us – my husband and I, and you, my readers – will start reaping benefits.

Here is a partial list of items I’d like to cover as I write the next few post:

  • What does a healthy relationship require?
  • Focusing on what our spouse is going through.
  • How can we help to make our spouse happier?
  • Doing our part: What are we capable of, even during mental health struggles?
  • Spending time together.
  • Sharing reflections.
  • Getting healthy together.
  • How can we help our spouse with his/her needs?

Are you ready to join me to explore how we can make our marriage a happier one, despite the mental health challenges we face?


We’ll kick this off with a brief description of a healthy marriage from the Gottman Institute. John Gottman, Phd, is a psychologist widely known for his work on marital stability

Partners in a marriage are good friends. They have a satisfying sex life. They trust one another and are fully committed to one another. They can manage conflict constructively. That means they can arrive at mutual understanding and get to compromises that work. And they can repair effectively when they hurt one another.

They honor one another’s dreams, even if they’re different. They create a shared meaning system with shared values and ethics, beliefs, rituals, and goals. They agree about fundamental symbols like what a home is, what love is, and how to raise their children.

My husband and I don’t do too well on some of these things. How did you do?