Relationships can be complicated as it is, but adding mental health makes them harder to navigate. Prioritizing your mental health is crucial to creating a relationship that is more accessible and more long-lasting. Typically, we see a lack of attention toward mental health in men & women, which affects many romantic and platonic relationships. Being open with your partner about your struggles opens a gate of communication and trust in the relationship. Along with that, going to therapy will benefit from their connections with friends, family, and partners and their relationship with themselves.
A Guide to Constructing an Open Conversation with a Partner
Mental health can be a touchy subject, especially when it comes to communicating struggles with a partner. There are many ‘what ifs’ that can arise in thoughts before having a difficult conversation. Each relationship is different, which causes each discussion to go differently than others, but here are some general guidelines to keep in mind so the conversation will flow more seamlessly.
As a first step, it's crucial to start the conversation. If you notice your partner acting differently, do not be afraid to bring up the subject delicately, healthy relationships rely on open communication. On the reverse end of it, if you are the one struggling, sit with your partner and let them know you haven’t been feeling like yourself recently. Both of these options of initial conversation must start in a non-attacking or concerning way.
Secondly, seeking professional help could be therapy individually or together. Depending on the situation, sometimes couples therapy is the best option, but other times the two individuals need to work and talk through things on their own. Other times, it may only be one of the two who needs professional help. In this kind of situation, it is important for the other person in the relationship to be encouraging and supportive.
The third step is to listen; this mostly applies to the partner who is not expressing their mental health struggles but can also apply to the other person. Listening is just as important as talking in this conversation; truly listening to your partner will better help you understand their situation. The next step goes hand in hand with the previous one, asking questions during the discussions. Questions can be a little tricky because, with the slightly wrong tone or wording, they can be taken out of context. For example, if your partner says, “I don’t feel like I’m good enough for you,” instead of saying, “Of course you are, why would you think that?” try, “What makes you feel this way?” instead. This question acknowledges their feelings without saying the contrary and making them feel invalidated. It also shows you are willing to change if you’re doing something to make them feel this way.
The Importance of ‘Loving Yourself’ in Mental Health & Relationships
Everyone knows the saying, “You can’t love someone until you love yourself,” which I believe is absolutely true. The saying gets confused often because people may think ‘loving yourself’ means you have to be the most confident, self-assured, perfect human being. This is not the case at all; ' loving yourself’ can be very simple, but the media has made it more complex.
Of course, confidence is a big part of loving yourself, but this isn’t going to come overnight. The most uncomplicated way to gain more confidence and eventually ‘love yourself’ is to take care of your mind and body simply. For example, working out, eating more balanced, drinking more water, creating a morning routine, going to therapy, reading more books, spending time outside and off your phone, and so much more. The most basic actions can cause a world of difference in someone’s mental health. Once you create a routine, form habits you enjoy, and start taking care of yourself, relationships with other people become much easier.
What are the benefits of going to therapy?
There are an overwhelming amount of benefits of therapy. Some of the benefits included finding answers and solutions, increased awareness, work stress, coping tools, someone to confide in, life roles, masculinity, and many more. Finding answers and solutions is a big reason most people go to therapy because it’s hard to navigate mental health alone or through the internet. Having a trained, licensed therapist give you the answers you’ve been looking for and solutions to ease those answers makes a world of difference. The benefits listed here are just a few broad reasons for men to take part in therapy, but through time they will discover more personal meanings behind it.
If you are facing difficulties in maintaining a balance between your relationship & It is creating mental health issues for you or your loved ones, talk to your mental health professionals or therapist. You can consult counselors from Project C Foundation.