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maggie mags

my partner has severe dysphoria/bad mental health and I have mental health issues too

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maggie mags

Warning: long


Background: My girlfriend (trans woman) and I (cis F) are in an international long distance relationship and I'm staying with her at her place for almost two weeks (exactly one more week until I head home). We met in November 2016 when I was a study abroad student in her country, 3 weeks before I went home. So we only had a few days together in person, but we connected on a really deep level and trusted each other immediately. So we've been essentially online dating since then and this is our first visit since we met. 


I knew that she has very severe dysphoria and mental health issues and that she isolates herself from people when she goes through a dysphoric episode (which can be anywhere from a day, a week, or months), but I didn't consider how that would play out when we saw each other in person. She knows that I have generalized anxiety disorder (and we both have depression) and she did research in order to prepare for how that might play out when we saw each other--she was mentally prepared for the possibility that I might spend the entire time having severe anxiety attacks and not being able to do anything. Yesterday we had a major conversation about stuff and I said that I felt like I was meeting her halfway but she wasn't doing the same. She said that the sheer fact that she hadn't completely left her apartment to go to her trailer where she wouldn't be disturbed means she was meeting me halfway. After talking to her, I also learned that she had made additional sacrifices that I did not previously know about in order to be available to me (missing out on a trip to see her dying uncle, for instance).

Bottom line, she thinks that I was woefully unprepared for the day-to-day of being a partner of a trans person. She said that in the coming months, we will have to say if I am in the mental state to handle it while I have my own significant mental health issues to deal with. Does anyone have any advice?

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Carolyn Marie

Hello, Maggie, and welcome to  Trans Pulse.  I'm glad you chose us as a place to get advice.


My first question is this; does your friend have a therapist or psychologist to see, and is this person a gender therapist?  It sounds like she can certainly use some therapy, not only for her dysphoria but also her other issues. 


But in the short term, I think that the more you talk with her, openly and honestly, and share your thoughts and feelings, the better off you both will be.  If you misunderstood or misinterpreted her actions, or came to incorrect conclusions, then admit it, and apologize if necessary, and get that issue out of the way.  She should do the same.  That will perhaps clear the air and allow you two to move forward with your relationship.


Carrying on a long distance relationship is difficult under any circumstances.  This will take even more effort and understanding and patience.  I wish you both all the best.




Carolyn Marie

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