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When should you prioritise yourself over your relationship?

AifeAife Community Manager Posts: 2,920 Boards Guru

Hey everyone!

Sometimes supporting your partner can be overwhelming and become too much at times. At what point should you prioritise yourself over your relationship if supporting them is becoming overwhelming?

Look forward to hearing your thoughts!

- Aife
Maybe somethings don't get better, but we do. We get stronger. We learn to live with our situations as messy and ugly as they are. We fix what we can and we adapt to what we can't. Maybe some of us will never fully be okay, but at least we're here. We're still trying. We're doing the best we can. That's worth celebrating too ❤


  • MirabelleMirabelle Posts: 1,020 Wise Owl
    At some time I have to prioritise getting down to my history degree course, so on this basis I've got someone looking after Mandy. It's not because she overwhelms me, nothing like that and I've never felt pressurised looking after her. Maybe this is an unusual relationship, I don't know, but we love being together. Therefore the thought of being overwhelmed has never existed. Mandy's said the same thing.

    Other times we share interests, ie. making jewellery which is relaxing; and learning furniture upholstery which we've not only bought super textbooks on, but have a visiting upholsterer teach us privately. This hobby has become most absorbing. Afterwards I feel relaxed and pleased to be learning an old craft.

    There are times when I like being alone which makes study such a privilege. Presently I'm halfway though a 4,000 word essay and loving it. Later, I'll go fishing and take Mandy with me.

    Anyone else's thoughts on this?
  • PositiveAuraPositiveAura Posts: 150 Helping Hand
    Hi everyone! :wave:

    ​In my opinion, I think we should always prioritise ourselves and our own mental health anyway but this doesn't mean that we can't help others at the same time. This is doable if we feel that we have good mental wellbeing but can be harder if not.

    ​I think as supporting someone else starts to make our mental health suffer then this is when we should assess the situation and look at our options. If we start to suffer then we won't be in the best position to help them anyway and in the long run, this won't help them either. So this would be the best time to talk to them and let them know if you are becoming overwhelmed. Hopefully, they'd understand as they are in a similar situation and don't want you being badly effected. Then you can both look at different ways to get support from other people or services. Such as getting help from another family member, a GP or another healthcare professional. Then your partner will be getting the best help available and you can practice some self-care too. This might even just mean a little break from one another for a little while during each day.

    ​Remember that you can support your partner in many different ways, and is still possible even if you take a step back or suggest other ways of getting help. If you're getting overwhelmed but you bottle your thoughts and feelings up, eventually this will effect you even more and in the long run can destroy a relationship. Be honest and open as soon as things get too much and then you can both work on it from there. Because ultimately, you want one another to be healthy and happy, right? You are both important and we aren't all superheroes. Let others help too! :)

  • Lucy307Lucy307 Posts: 1,171 Wise Owl
    Completely agree with PositiveAura here, super reply. One of my favourite quotes is 'your relationship with yourself sets the tone for every other relationship you have' which is why I agree that I would usually put my mental health first. Luckily most of the time I feel grateful to be supporting others and therefore it's quite fulfilling. Sometimes though, as Aife says, supporting others can be overwhelming - I think the point that it feels overwhelming, you are no longer capable of giving them the best support so self care should be deployed! :birthday:
    Treat yourself as you would treat a good friend
  • peachysoopeachysoo Posts: 151 Helping Hand
    I fully agree with PositiveAura and Lucy's replies here! It's very important that you're able to help yourself before you can help others. Of course, it's not impossible by any means, but it might not be sustainable.You, yourself, are just as important as anyone else, so don't forget to treat and help yourself as much as you would with anyone else!
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