On behalf of Stange Law Firm, PC posted in divorce on Thursday, June 18, 2020.

When you said your marriage vows, you meant them. It was “for better or worse, in sickness and in health and until death do you part” all the way. But you never dreamed that your spouse’s mental health would become such an issue.

Should you seek a divorce?

It’s a tough question. Mental illness is such a broad term that it can encompass everything from a relatively minor spell of situational depression to a serious break with reality and uncontrolled psychosis. Approximately 5% of the adults in this country are suffering from some form of mental illness in any given year.

Mental illness doesn’t automatically spell the end of a relationship, however. Before you end your marriage with a mentally-ill spouse, there are the things you should consider:

  • Is your spouse actively seeking treatment? If your spouse hasn’t sought treatment for their condition, you may want to have a frank discussion about their needs. If your spouse has refused to get treatment and no amount of begging or pleading seems to make a difference, then you may have no choice but to split.
  • Is your spouse a danger to you or your children? Some mental conditions cause people to behave irrationally, lash out unpredictably or be otherwise unstable. If your spouse’s behavior is scaring you, it’s probably scaring the kids. Your first priority has to be your safety and the safety of your children — not your marriage.
  • Is guilt the only thing keeping you there? Guilt shouldn’t be the glue holding your marriage together. If it is, you may need counseling to cope with your feelings so that you can move forward.

If you’re ready to seek a divorce or simply want to learn more about your options, find out what concerns need to be addressed as you move forward.