My husband's mental illness is ruining our marriage


My husband’s mental illness is ruining our marriage

Man sitting on a couch with his hand on his headMental illness refers to a variety of mental health disorders, which are often manifested through significant changes in a person’s emotional behavior and overall attitude, frequently displaying issues with difficulty in social life, work and family activities. Oftentimes people think these behaviors could be signs of a midlife crisis.

There is a significant mental and emotional toll of being a caretaker for your spouse. When your partner is suffering from mental health issues, their mental health and outlook on life can have a serious impact on you as well as the marriage as a whole. Not only does mental illness impact the person, but it has an effect on all of the relationships that the person maintains including their children, friends and other family members. People suffering from mental illness often also have difficulty functioning in their careers and in work.

If you are concerned that your husband‘s mental illness is ruining your marriage, consider seeking professional help. Counselors and therapists can work with you as well as your spouse to explore issues concerning divorce and mental health.

Legal Implications of Divorcing a Spouse with Mental Illness 

There are certain complications of mental illness that can impact divorce proceedings. Can a spouse with mental illness prevent you from getting a divorce? The short answer is no, because while divorce and mental illness are serious issues that often go hand-in-hand, your spouse’s mental illness ultimately will not prevent you from getting divorce. However, if your spouse is not able to participate in the proceedings, there are other avenues that will need to be explored so that your spouse’s rights and interest are also protected and advocated for during the process.

Prioritizing Children’s Well-Being in Divorce and Mental Illness Cases 

If you have concerns that your husband‘s mental illness is ruining your marriage and have questions concerning divorce and mental illness, and mental health and custody as it relates to your children and child custody situation, it is important to consult with experienced legal counsel.  A parent’s mental health is a significant factor when the court is being asked to make a determination about custody. The best interests of the children will always be the court’s priority.  While maintaining a relationship between a parent and a child is very important to the court, it is necessary that the parties are well enough to do so. If you have issues concerning divorce and mental illness that you believe will impact the welfare of your children, make sure that you advocate for your children and focus on their needs and prioritize what is best for them. 

Tips for Navigating a Relationship with a Mentally Ill Partner 

Living with a mentally ill person can be extraordinarily difficult. Some tips for navigating a relationship with a mentally ill partner include:

  1. Trying to understand each person’s needs and exploring how you could be a support system to each other.
  2. Meet with a mental health professional to create an effective treatment plan, but also to identify a support system that you can use together as a couple during treatment. 
  3. Work to enjoy your relationship and focus on issues other than mental illness.
  4. Be sure to maintain strong communication.
  5. Take care of yourself during this process and be careful not to let the situation consume you.
  6. Avoid blaming each other.
  7. Attend couples counseling.
  8. Know when you’ve gone too far and need to explore the possibility of divorce and mental illness.

When Divorce Due To Mental Illness Becomes Necessary: Consulting Legal Counsel 

If your spouse’s mental illness is going to result in a divorce, consult with legal counsel. It is essential that you have experienced legal support that can help you navigate these issues. Here, at DeTorres and DeGeorge, divorce lawyers in New Jersey, we work zealously to represent our clients. If you have questions concerning divorce and mental illness contact us today to schedule a consultation. We are here to help.

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