Living with a disease is tough; opening up to your new love interest about it doesn't have to be.
8. Accept support
Tiffany Sanchez Conover, 28, a store manager from northern Indiana, settled into a deep depression after her grandmother died. She slept all day, stopped eating, and became socially withdrawn—even with her husband. Still, she kept her depression hidden, because she wanted to "figure it out on my own."
"[Eventually] I felt like I had to tell him because I could feel the strain it was placing on our relationship," she says. "A person can only take so much of their spouse not wanting anything to do with them before they start assuming the worst, an affair."
Tiffany's husband was hurt that she hadn't told him earlier, but he was glad she finally confessed. "After I told him, he was as supportive as could be," she says. "He would stay up late to talk with me just so I wouldn't feel lonely late at night, even though I'm sure he really wanted to go to bed."
It's especially important for married couples to be open to avoid hiccups in the relationship, Sussman says. "In healthy marriages, people lean on each other and are honest with each other," she explains. "You can never lose by being honest."
Tiffany knows that now: She and her husband recently went through a series of failed fertility treatments after finding out she likely cannot have children on her own. "I probably share too much now," she says, laughing. "But it works for us. If I didn't tell my husband how I felt about it all every day, I probably would end up depressed again."
A counselor also helped Tiffany to get through the initial rough patch. Therapy and support groups—whether online or in person—are excellent options, according to Sussman. "Name the illness and there's a support group," she says. "If you go to your supportive community, you'll hear stories of how people have handled these things in the past."
*Some names have been changed for privacy.
Written by Marti Trgovich for Health.com.