Relationships are complex even in the best of circumstances. When one or more of the involved parties are struggling with their mental health, it is easy for the relationship to become strained. Therefore, if your partner has made the decision to seek help through therapy, then they are making a conscientious decision to improve themselves and, by extension, your relationship with one another. Let’s look at tips for supporting your partner having therapy.
Supporting Your Partner Having Therapy
During this process, you can help them by showing support and offering empathy as needed. Therapy isn’t an easy process. There will almost definitely be many speed bumps on your path, but it’s worth it if the end result is a happier version of your partner. In the meantime, here are a few ways that you can help support your partner through their journey.
Be Receptive to Their Needs
If your partner is undergoing depression therapy, they may or may not want to discuss the process with you. You can certainly ask them how it went, but try not to be upset if they just don’t feel like talking about it. Therapy is emotionally draining, and they may be better served by doing something relaxing afterward. On the opposite end, if they do want to discuss it, make a pot of tea and get comfortable. You’ll likely be there for a while, but this is a great opportunity to strengthen your bond.
Be Patient with the Process
Therapy is hard for a lot of people. Your partner’s therapist will be working with them to process their bad experiences, fears, and anxieties while encouraging them to create healthy patterns of behavior. Unfortunately, that means your partner may be upset or frustrated after certain sessions. If this occurs, keep communication channels open and give them space if they need it.
Be Emotionally Available
Committed romantic relationships have a strong emotional undercurrent, and it’s important to maintain that throughout your partner’s process. Depending on the issues they’re grappling with, they may not always want physical or emotional intimacy. In this situation, the best thing you can do is to make sure that they know you respect their boundaries, but you’re still there for them once they’re ready.
Clear communication and comprehension are vital to a healthy relationship. If you’re feeling that your needs are not being met during this process, you should discuss it as a couple. It’s important to avoid sounding accusatory. Instead frame it as something you can work on together, especially if you feel there are things that you too could improve on. By communicating throughout the process, you can ultimately avoid either of you feeling alone in the relationship and becoming resentful of the other.
Consider Therapy Yourself
Making the decision to begin therapy is a difficult decision. However, if your relationship is ever suffering as a result of your partner’s therapy journey, then you should seriously consider enlisting the help of a couple’s therapist. As an intermediary, your couple’s therapist can help you to tackle the issues that are driving a wedge without undermining your partner’s progress.
Ultimately, the best thing you can do is to stay positive throughout the process. Tell them how proud you are that they’re doing this for themselves. Point out areas of growth when you know they’re working on something specific. Finally, don’t let them forget that you love them no matter what. Therapy can bring out a person’s ugliest memories and feelings so that unconditional love is the most precious gift you could possibly offer them during their most challenging days.