Although engaging in a long-term romantic relationship has the potential to be a blissful and nurturing experience, it also gets tough. Navigating through the years with your significant other is hard work even when the waters are clear and calm. If the road gets bumpy, it can become quite complicated to find a middle ground between the two of you.
One problem that many couples face at least once during their run is lying. The difficult thing about coping with this particular issue is that it can occur in many forms. But perhaps the most sensitive situation is handling the fact that your partner hasn’t been honest with you about their mental health.
Should you forgive them for hiding or minimizing the severity of their disorder in front of you? There is no simple one-word answer here. Here are the factors that you need to consider before taking a decision.
How Advanced Is Their Disorder?
To determine how to proceed, you need to find out how advanced their disorder is. This is important because it provides you with a better picture of what your partner is going through. If their condition wasn’t that advanced in the past, it means that there is a high chance they could manage it on their own and didn’t want to burden you with it.
But as a mental illness progresses in severity, it gets harder to hide. For example, it might be harder for someone to hide their schizophrenia in its the acute stage than in other moments, because that’s when its symptoms are most active. If your significant other is struggling with this particular disorder, they might have chosen to reveal it now because it became impossible to manage.
How Long Have You Been Together?
The first important thing that you need to weigh in after discovering your partner’s covert mental health issue is the length of your relationship. If the two of you haven’t been together for long enough, then perhaps he or she had been waiting for the right time to tell you. After all, if you’d do the same if you’d suffer from a serious disorder.
Confronting someone with mental illness from the onset of a romantic relationship is disarming, thus you need to understand that most people that struggle with this prefer to wait it out.
If you’ve been together for a long time, your partner might have been afraid to open up to you about their mental disorder because you have reacted poorly to the truth in the past. Furthermore, it’s possible that they were healthy when they met you, but then their condition got triggered by to stress and other factors.
Consider the fact that they didn’t want to burden you with their issue. There are many reasons for which your partner would hide this from you. Instead of acting harshly, hear them out and make room for an honest and civil discussion.
Why Did They Hide It?
One final question that you need to ask yourself and your partner is this: why did they hide their condition from you? The reasons behind such a choice are many. As previously mentioned, it’s highly likely that they didn’t want to burden you with this information.
However, some people aren’t aware that they are ill and refuse to get help. This can lead them to act aggressively towards their partners and even resort to mental and physical abuse in to mirror their misery in the other person. Doing this to someone, regardless of your inner turmoil, is not acceptable. You are not obligated to put up with your partner if they hurt you.
However, if the intention behind their secrecy isn’t nefarious, keep in mind that forgiving your partner is healthy in a long-term relationship. On top of that, now that the truth is finally out, you have the opportunity to be the moral and emotional support that they need in order to get better.
While it’s by no means your job to save them, you can assist them in saving themselves. Prompt your partner to seek medical help if they haven’t already, and ensure that they stick to said professional’s suggestions and treatment plan. Don’t babysit them, but don’t ignore their turmoil either.
According to Psychology Today, forgiving your partner too soon can leave them thinking that there are no negative consequences to their actions. However, if the person you love most is struggling with mental health issues, you need to keep in mind that it’s not the right time to teach them a lesson in this way.
Find the power inside you to forgive your partner for hiding their illness and support them in getting the help they need. Unless their disorder has hurt you emotionally or physically, there is no reason to hold a grudge. Be glad that you now know the truth and stand by your loved one during this trying time for them.