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Understanding your partner and taking the right steps to deal with their particular personality and condition is key to having a healthy relationship with anyone struggling with mental illness.Perhaps the best advice you can give someone about having a relationship with a married man is telling her not to even start. As my friend Jenna* told me, "You can't help who you fall in love with.“There can be a lot of shame and embarrassment one experiences if they suffer from these disorders.In a panic disorder, for example, people can actually develop a fear of having panic attacks in public situations, partially for fear of how they will be evaluated.” Expressions of compassion and validation—and keeping a calm and gentle tone—are often the best way to help someone feel understood and less alone in their experience.She is alone most of the time and spends it waiting: waiting for her married lover to call, to come meet her, to share some precious time together.She is not his wife, she is not mother to his children, she is not his parents' daughter-in-law.Even Katharine Hepburn knew, and accepted, this fact during her long affair with Spencer Tracy.And don't ever kid yourself on this important point: He is still having sex with his wife, no matter what you may want to believe. Legally, financially and emotionally, you have no claim.
Her close circle of friends might know about her affair, but she really cannot let anyone else, such as colleagues or her family, know.
When discussing your partner’s condition, come up with ways to handle any symptoms that might suddenly arise, like a panic attack or extreme bout of depression.
“That might mean coming up with a soothing word for your loved one or leaving the room together, or maybe it’s understood that your partner does not want you to touch them when they’re anxious, but rather just sit in silence with them,” says Grant.
That’s why we talked to experts who know from experience what kinds of things can help (or hurt) your relationship when you’re with someone facing a mental illness. “Open up a conversation about trying to understand what they’re experiencing, what happens in their body, and what goes through their mind.” Do some research of your own to educate yourself better about their disorder.
Here’s their top advice: When your partner is feeling relatively good and not overly anxious or depressed is the best time to talk to them about their condition, says Clinical Psychologist Dr. Grant advises that while having this discussing, ask about things that might set them off. “Is it certain places, certain situations, when you’re around certain people, or when particular life circumstances are happening?
The love of your life just might be a married man." Being part of any couple can be challenging and unpredictable, as we all know.