Hi cordyclear! First of all, I think it's so wonderful that you're interested in getting all the info you can in order to be supportive! If only more partners would educate themselves, because I think it's a relief just knowing that your partner has some insight into what you''re dealing with. This is just MY opinion but, I too, tend to down-play the way I feel. For the most part I consider myself very fortunate compared to some and keeping a positive attitude is the best thing ever! Your partner is probably doing just that. Keeping a positive attitude, not wanting to worry you or complain. I do the same, and my biggest comfort is knowing that when I REALLY need help physically, or just need to have a mental "melt-down" (In my case, maybe once every 3-4 months!) I know my husband is there for me. It can become difficult to strike a balance between not complaining too much, and acting like everything is completely fine. When you complain too much, people will begin to question if you're exaggerating and it starts to become ignored. When you act fine all the time, everyone assumes you ARE completely fine and sometimes take advantage. I've just learned to say what it is I need. Like "I really need to stop now, can you go downstairs and get the clothes out of the dryer for me?" I used to just push on to the point of exhaustion, anger and almost tears. My husband knows that when I actually ASK for help, I really need it because, for the most part I never ask for favors. I also ask when I just need to talk about it, my fears, my sadness, my concerns. Just letting her know that when she needs you, you are there for her - what a relief! Some partners become bitter and distant and that's just like the straw that breaks the camels back for someone who's dealing with the unknown and already feeling lonely and isolated. So, after my long ramble (sorry, by the way) my advice would simply be - let her know it's Ok to say what, if anything, she needs from you and when. I think she'd be more inclined to take you up on it when she needs to fall apart and let her guard down a little. Good luck, and I hope this helps at least a little.