Managing your changing relationship

If you suddenly become the carer for your partner, this may change your roles and responsibilities and put a strain on your relationship. There are also many cases where caring can actually bring you closer together.

These changing roles can be very difficult to manage. Perhaps your partner was previously a strong, supportive character who you depended on and suddenly your roles have reversed with your partner depending on you to look after them.   

Getting help

If you’re finding it hard to cope with the changes of your relationship dynamic, try talking it through with your partner or your friends and family. Sometimes people believe that by keeping their distance they’re helping you – but it may help to let them to know you need their help and support.


If you find that communicating with your partner becomes too difficult, and you’re unable to manage the differences between yourselves, there are a few other things which may help:


Mediators act as independent negotiators between both parties, to help each side understand the others’ point of view.  They do not make any decisions themselves, but serve purely to help those involved to understand each other, and come to some resolution.


If your situation has become emotionally very difficult, and feel that it is affecting your mental health, it may be worth considering counselling. Speaking to a professional counsellor may help you to cope with the emotional stress and learn how to deal with the difficult feelings. You can have individual counselling, or shared sessions with your partner or other members of your family.  

Relate can provide counselling, support and information for relationships:

Phone: 0300 100 1234

If you would prefer to find your own counsellor, the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy can help you find the right therapist. 


Useful contacts:

Richmond Carers Hub Service
Address: 5 Briar Road, Twickenham, TW2 6RB
Phone: 020 8867 2380