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Postnatal Depression Effects on Relationships

Steve and I celebrated our 8 year anniversary this week and I thought I would take the time to reflect on postnatal depression effects on relationships.  It is tough!  But it does not have to destroy your relationship.

We often hear women/men saying why doesn’t my partner understand?  It is virtually impossible for a partner to truly understand what you are going through if they have never had a bout of depression.  You can not imagine how hard the black cloud is to get out of.  The suffocation it feels.

You and your partner also had dreams of being a parent and no one dreams that they would have PND.  No one expects this illness as part of their transition into parenthood.  But it does happen and PND can happen to anyone. No one chooses it to happen.

Nevertheless, it is very hard on relationships and once you really get on the road to recovery from your illness, you can start strengthening your relationship.  For me, I was extremely lucky that I had an extremely supportive husband and family.  He did not understand it but he supported me all the way.  I said some horrible things to him along the way and he just couldn’t understand how I could feel little love for both of the girls.

So, how did we get through it?

  • Although he may not have wanted to hear my feelings, I was honest with him.
  • I held his hand a lot to keep me grounded.
  • We told each other that we loved each other.
  • I kept getting help and I did whatever I had to do for the love of my family.
  • I worked really hard to put strategies in place to keep me well.
  • We worked on our friendship which is the base of all relationships.
  • I kept trying and trying.
  • I started to get better and became more affectionate.
  • He listened and didn’t always try to fix things.  You need someone to listen.

Steve and I have always had a strong sense of friendship which one of the most important aspects of relationships.  When Steve was diagnosed with depression as a result of everything we have been through, it was easier because at least I knew what he was going through.

A visualisation that helps me through the tough times of his depression is that I picture an invisible bubble around me that no matter what it can not be penetrated.

If you are looking for help to get your relationship back on track, look at my coaching program Reinvigorate Your Relationship and sign up for a free Reinvigorate Your Relationship Coaching Session.

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