How would you handle having a spouse with mental illness or if you both had a mental illness? People might fear that such mental illness would cause chaos and havoc. The best approach in any mental health situation is to understand the problem the spouse is suffering from. Living with mental health issues leads to more responsibility. Juggling mental health in marriage may not be easy, but the Bible has some enlightenment that may help you as a couple. We must learn what the Bibles says dealing with marriage and mental health as a couple.
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving, let your requests be known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:6-7)
This says not to fret or get anxious being married to some with mental health issues. It tells the married couple not to fret or get anxious but pray with and for your partner and listen to God for the answer. He will protect you from heartaches and calamities. Encourage your spouse to access necessary mental health treatment, both secular and Christian. Supporting each other is crucial in the growth of someone with mental illness.
“When the righteous cry for help, the Lord hears and delivers them out of all their troubles. The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit. Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the Lord delivers him out of them all. He keeps all his bones; not one of them is broken.” Psalm 34:7-20 This means God does not neglect those who struggle with mental illness, but with the Bible encourages and challenges emotional health. As a couple, you will find ways to manage difficulties associated with mental illness and thrive toward emotional health.
God is always with us giving us strength and guidance. Sometimes the Christian church today does not want to address the issue of mental health. My wife and I both struggle with our marriage, but we discovered ways to work with others, knowing our limitations and shortcomings. The stigma of mental illness seems to be reinforced in the Christian church, but the un-going silence speaks volumes of despair amongst sufferers. The pattern is beginning to change and many Christian churches are leading the way in rejecting the stigma. This should be done in marriage as well as we grow together.
With mental health comes anger and anger is a natural thing. Anger is a God-given emotion, but they’re a normal and healthy way to express anger. My wife and I have learned this and are still learning. Anger itself is not the problem, but it is the rage that comes with it. Sometimes when I feel like raging, I walk away and go in another room to let it out. Then other times, I might explode in front of my spouse. Lately, I have been trying to pray through the anger for God’s help. I am learning it is not an overnight thing; it is a process and in time, my anger will get better.
One thing we have done is never going to be angry with each other. We have only gone to bed angry with each other 3 times in 14 years of marriage. Inappropriate expressions of anger can cause marital stress and unhappiness in marriage. Recognizing and managing such emotional outbursts can achieve security in both the husband and wife. Both the husband and the wife must be honest with each other willing to bear one another’s souls.