Is It Healthy Being With Someone Who's Unwilling to Help Themselves?
Wanting to help someone you love is generally a natural instinct, especially if they are going through something difficult. However, when they aren't open to receiving help—preferring to stay aboard a sinking ship—this can end up being emotionally and mentally straining on you.
I get that some people believe that by asking or getting help shows a sign of weakness. While there are others who are too prideful to admit that they need help, therefore shutting down any advice or help that is given to them. And then there are those few people who will not take advice or help because deep down inside they enjoy people feeling sorry for them. Really?!
There are moments in all our lives that we need help. No one should ever feel as though they don't have anyone to count on or that they are weak for needing help. Frankly, that's sad and a great way to create emotional distance from your significant other.
Issues that are not fully dealt with openly, honestly, and timely can be wearing on any relationship...
I was once in a relationship with a guy who had bipolar tendencies—which was unbeknownst to me until several months into our relationship.
This guy was not only romantic and chivalrous he was also attentive and caring. He and I were also compatible in many ways. We both loved to travel, had the same interests, hobbies, life goals and spiritual views. We liked the same music, TV programs, and had the same taste in restaurants and overall style.
At first, being with him was a breath of fresh air—finally I was with someone who truly cared enough to take time to not only know me—my likes, dislikes, allergies, etc.—and worked just as hard as I did to keep the relationship strong, healthy and moving forward. Or so I thought...
Unfortunately, mental issues can end up destroying a relationship if not properly dealt with...
Being in a relationship with my ex felt like I was dating Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. Eighty percent of our relationship was absolutely wonderful, however, the other twenty percent was a nightmare. One minute we would be laughing and happy together and the next minute he would turn angry—yelling at me for no apparent reason. This became a mental roller-coaster ride that made me emotionally sick to my stomach.
I sincerely loved my ex and wanted to give him as much support, love and help that could. I knew that his mental issues were not his fault, so being there for him was important to me to.
At first, he seemed open to the idea of getting help, but this type of help came with stipulations...
He did not want to be on medication and he did not want to see a mental health specialist. Also, he wanted to try less invasive measures and wanted me to be there with him. I advised him that some things he might want to do alone, he was not open to that. It was his body (and mind) so as long as he was open to getting help of any sorts, I was willing to stay and support him.
We tried therapy, going to church and meditation. We even had counseling sessions with our church therapist. We even tried meditation. All of these methods actually seemed to be working. Yay! But then, as he began to think that he felt better, he no longer opted for help. His "progress" majorly shifted backwards.
His spouts of anger became too out of control and too much for me to handle on my own. He made promises of going back to therapy and church—but never went. He even promised to see a specialist to get on medication, but never did. Instead, he blamed me. Screaming at me that it was my "job" as his girlfriend to "fix him." Seriously?!
Let's be clear, I am not here to "fix" anyone, let alone a man who doesn't even want to "fix" himself. He wasn't a watch that stopped working. He was a man who needed mental help— beyond me—who was unwilling to take control of his own life by fully seeking the help he needed.
Instead of being involved with a loving man I thought I would one day marry (Hyde), I was actually involved with a guy who became emotionally abusive (Jekyll). Since he chose not to get the mental help he needed, I was left with no choice but to end things—before the emotional damage he was causing would end up permanently scarring me.
Not helping himself was becoming unhealthy for me....
The hardest thing about ending the relationship was that I did not want to give up on him or on us. Although his mental issues were not his fault, not doing anything about it was. I am not and never will be an emotional punching bag for anyone. Knowing and truly believing that I deserved to be treated better took a lot of strength. I realized if I stayed in the relationship, he could have become physically abusive—since his outbursts towards the end had him punching holes in walls and throwing things. Yikes!
There comes a time (or many) in life when you are challenged with the decision of having to choose what is best for you versus what is best for someone else. Emotionally supporting and helping someone is wonderful and shows great character. However, when someone does not seek the proper help that they need, and they are letting you know very loud and clear that they just don't care about the outcome...why should you?
We all have our own issues, our own stuff and our own story. If someone feels that it is your job to fix them, it is not. Your role is to be supportive, compassionate, loving, and kind—these things should never be one-sided.
Disregarding help due to stubbornness and pride can drive a wedge in any relationship....
When someone is unwilling to help themselves (in any capacity) this can become exhausting in any relationship. This is not about someone having just a mental or physical illness or even a drug or drinking issue who is unwilling to help themselves—although all of these are important—however, often times, the less sever issues end up breaking relationships up.
If your partner makes more excuses as to why he or she can not do something to better themselves and your relationship, disregarding any suggestions or help you keep giving, this is a red flag as well. Watching your partner consistently go down a rabbit hole because they have to do things "their" way, the hard way or the opposite way—because they refuse your help (or anyone's help)—shows loud and clear that they do not care.
They do not care enough about themselves or you to improve issues or problems, therefor continuing to create more. I get that some people don't like change or are afraid of change, however if their situation is bringing them an abundance of stress, anxiety, worry and financial strain, then not changing shows a sign of weakness and frankly, selfishness. Why be in a relationship if you are unwilling to work together to make you and your relationship stronger?
Don't get me wrong, there will be times when you need to be stronger for your significant other when they are going through something, however this doesn't mean that you should ever become their personal (mental, emotional or physical) punching bag. Also, you should never start to feel emotionally dragged down by their emotional stresses.
Bottom line, even when your partner is dealing with difficult situations, mutual love, support, compassion and understanding should still prevail...not fill your life with their darkness. Ultimately, it's up to you to determine if you are healthier without someone else's issues.