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Should I Tell My Fiancee I’m Getting Treatment For Mental Illness?

17 Feb 2017

We live in a world where mental illnesses are still seen as a “character flaw”. Many people go undiagnosed due to the stigma attached to going to mental health professionals. Those who are diagnosed often keep it secret out of a misplaced sense of shame. For young people who are looking for suitable partners, there is the fear that if people find out, they may not find good matches. But should one tell a fiancé about their mental illness or not?

The basis of any relationship is trust. By not telling your to-be spouse about your mental illness, you betray that trust right from the word go. That’s not all, hiding a mental illness from a partner can have far-reaching consequences.

 

 Take the case of Rahul and Ria. Their parents fixed their match. Ria’s parents concealed her anxiety disorder, believing that Rahul’s family may reject the match if they found out. Ria was undergoing treatment for it and they convinced her she’d be able to handle it without letting Rahul know. Within a month of the engagement, Rahul announced that he was being transferred to Canada. The news sent Ria into a downward spiral, fretting about the lack of support, not having access to her trusted doctor and the prospect of leaving everything familiar behind to live in an unknown country with a man who was virtually a stranger. Her behavior with Rahul changed and they started fighting more often over her irrational anxiety. It came to a point where Rahul couldn’t take it anymore and started questioning his decision to marry Ria. It was then that her parents disclosed her problem, saying they would complete her treatment before the marriage. Rahul finally understood why Ria had been behaving strangely. While he was upset with them for having concealed this fact, he assured them that he wouldn’t call off the marriage. Instead he spoke with her doctor to understand what anxiety disorder meant and how it was treated. He became more supportive of Ria, and together they were able to overcome the problem. If he’d never found out, they wouldn’t have been happily married with two kids today.

 

Not telling a fiancé about a mental illness can have many negative effects. Not only does it damage the bond of trust, it can also be harmful for the patient’s health. If a partner is unaware of a mental illness, he or she will be ill-equipped to handle it if matters become worse. If they know the reality, they can stay prepared for all eventualities and be more supportive. It also helps them to plan for things keeping the patient’s needs in mind—whether that means keeping a strong support network ready or making sure there are trusted mental health professionals to consult. When they understand the illness, they can work as a team to manage it and lead a fulfilling life together as a couple. Big life decisions can be taken with greater awareness to accommodate the patient’s needs and together they can build a more loving relationship.

Not all people are as understanding as Rahul or as lucky as Ria. However, if a partner is unwilling to stand by your side after finding out about a mental illness, you may be better off without them. People with mental illnesses can lead productive, fulfilling lives. They need support and love, just like everyone else and if your partner is not willing to provide that, it’s better to wait till you find someone who is.

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Tags: #Fiancee #TrueLove #Mentalillness