10 ways to support your partner in their fight against depression and anxiety

It can be difficult to be in a relationship with someone who suffers from anxiety.

We wish we could flip a switch to make her magically happy, but healing takes a lot of patience and compassion.

Here are 10 ways to improve your relationship by communicating openly and understanding that her depression isn’t what defines her:

1. Surround yourself with people who care about you and your partner.

Your partner should be surrounded by those who love him and offer him a space for support and healing. Someone isn’t part of your positive community if they don’t show compassion or show the respect they deserve for their courage.

2. Do activities that only the two of you share.

Go on hikes together. Take a weekend at the beach to build sandcastles. Both of you walk around and look at the houses that make you dream.

3. Give him space to grow and heal on his own.

Be excited when your partner tells you about the cooking class they want to take. Encourage him to try a yoga class or join a meditation group. Let your partner have their own hobbies and activities that give them peace of mind, confidence and self-awareness.

4. Only play the role of the partner.

You are not a doctor or a therapist. Your partner will often want to cry or run away, and the best thing you can do is comfort them by telling them that everything is going to be okay.

5. Support him in his healing.

Ask him how his treatment is going and let him share what he has discovered so far in his healing process. Remember that there are therapists, counselors, psychologists, and psychiatrists your partner can rely on who are trained to treat mental illness.

6. Be gentle but honest with your feelings.

Share your thoughts, fears, frustrations, ideas, solutions, dreams, and revelations. Discuss what makes you happy in the relationship, and imagine things that the two of you see together. Talk about what excites you about the relationship.

7. Create direct and clear boundaries between yourself and other people of the opposite gender.

What you may perceive as baseless jealousy is actually fear. It’s the fear that their depression will scare you or that you go for someone else who doesn’t have the same issues. Only welcome people who honor and respect your relationship and love your partner as much as you do.

8. Turn your conversation into something optimistic.

When your partner talks about what’s wrong, ask them what makes them feel good. When he talks about his pain, ask him what he can do to comfort himself. Give him hope.

9. Tell her how much you love her.

If your partner is overcoming depression and anxiety, they’re certainly trying to boost their self-awareness and self- esteem as well. You can help her feel reassured. Share with this person what you love about them, their humor, and their beauty. Tell her you love her as much as you can, you can never tell her too much.

10. Understand his triggers and avoid triggering them.

Your partner may be affected by things that don’t bother you, like your mom’s politics or where you put your shoes on when you come home at night. Pay attention to his body language to note what is bothering him.

Getting out of depression and anxiety is difficult, but it can also strengthen the bond in the relationship. We ask ourselves questions when we need clarity and we work to respond with compassion.

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