For the first time in my marriage and for the first time during one of my husbands episode, the whole thing was openly hurtful to me and our marriage. So this time, in addition to being worried about my husband I am also incredibly hurt and feel like I have been cheated on.
My husband worked as a cab driver briefly 5 years ago and that was also when he attempted to kill himself after which he was diagnosed with schizoaffective disorder. He once gave a ride to three women one of whom he remembers because she said something to him that he remember after a long time.
As a mixture of all his delusions till date, this time he came to a conclusion that woman is his true love and wife. I found out on his phone that he was texting an imaginary number (which he had believed was her) and constantly texting things like can’t wait to be with you, my daughter will be our flower girl etc etc. also notes about how she is his true love and I’m his fake wife for a show. Whatever that means.
Now he is delusional I know and I also know that it’s his disease but I am having a VERY HARD TIME, forgetting and forgiving him. This feels like cheating but not actual cheating because it’s all in his mind. What bothers me most is he remembers the physical appearance of this woman and that is EXACTLY OPPOSITE to how I look like. Idk what to make of this. I am so scared that maybe this delusion is a permanent one. Please tell me I am wrong to think that. I hope he gets better he has been at the hospital now and is admitted and I just hope he gets better. I have decided I will not go and meet him at the hospital for this whole stay this time. Is it a wise decision?
Thank you for your advice/words of comfort in advance.
Oh gosh, how hurt you must feel! I can understand, but have not had an exactly similar experience. My daughter got very strong delusions about my husband (her step father) and even called the police on him repeatedly several times claiming he was abusing her. Yet I know, as I live with both of them, that the incidents were impossible solely observing the times/dates she claimed they occurred. It hurt our family badly, but we knew that she was speaking only from delusion, and we got through it, as it stopped when on the correct medicine.
I must say that I never withdrew my communication from my daughter once I learned how damaging it was (she left the house and disappeared for 3 weeks) after I yelled at her to “get out!” in anger several times. Even years later, out of her psychosis, she remembers and is still upset about my outbursts telling her to leave. They hurt her badly despite her not showing it at the time. She does not remember her prior accusations towards me and her step-father. She has been successfully on Haldol for years now and has quite a memory of those 3 psychotic years, but not all.
The kindness of the man you love is still there, under the delusions, which he cannot control or break. Remember that always, and try to be kind to him, but never at your own expense. Honestly, I think you should visit him in the hospital, your visits versus invisible communication and texts from his “other” wife may turn out to help him back into reality.
Sorry if my suggestion is not helpful or if it just makes things worse, that is not my intention at all. But I’m wondering if you know who the woman is? Is it possible that she could explain to your husband that they are not in fact married and that she doesn’t love him? So that he could realize that he is being delusional?
I understand that it must be very painful for you to go through all this. And I’m very sorry.
Ah sorry I can see now that it was a random woman. So I guess it is not an option to have her explain to your husband that they are not together. The reason why I suggested that, is because I once had a boyfriend with schizophrenia, and he got a delusion about me being secretely involved with his brother in law. And then the brother in law explained to my boyfriend that we were not together and that seemed to help. He had to explain it plenty of times but in the end my boyfriend accepted that it was just a delusion.
Thank you for your response @AnnaMoon. In previous visits to the hospital, my husband has contacted us first and asking us to visit him. If that is the case, I will go visit him however if he doesn’t ask, I don’t want to just show up. With my husband, he has had memories of him telling me hurtful things after he is out of psychosis usually however he just tries to explain to me his state of mind. This time, I just can’t find it in me to forgive him because his delusions this time weren’t a random organization or anything it was specifically very strongly about a woman. He even told about “her” to his mother and his sister.
As for your suggestion of having this woman tell him, unfortunately this was a random lady who just told him where she’s from. There is no way of contacting her.
i have had a similar experience with my wife. She told me she has had many husbands and made up stories. It was really hurtful. Gave me PTSD like symptoms. I still get flashbacks and get triggered by anything related to that. She was hurtful in a lot of other ways too. I am sorry that you’re going through this. It’s so hard to not believe it yourself especially when you’re sleep deprived and not had food because you’re firefighting the whole day and night. Take care of yourself. Get people to help out, you can’t do this alone. He needs involuntary commitment.
Im so sorry this is happening to you. My personal view on hospital visits, whether for medical illness or mental illness, is that the staff knows you’re keeping an eye on the patient’s care. Also, seeing a patient in the context of family and friends humanizes them further. If you can bring yourself to do it, keep the visit short. I hope you can find ways to find comfort for yourself.
I hope your husband gets the care he needs to improve his condition. One thing that stoke me reading your post is the quote below. I am wondering if the encounter really happened or it is part of the delusion. There only two options, if you think about it: either it was a delusion started with a real event or everything (including the woman in question) is imaginary.
The event actually happened. However that person was just a passenger. Everything else is a conclusion my husband derived years later. He has also had delusions about other passengers while driving cab. One thing I’d like to mention is that when he was driving a cab he was having a period of paranoid and delusional thoughts. After which he was hospitalized for 3 months(his longest hospitalization till date). In short, his interaction with strangers as a cab driver fed into his delusions and paranoid a lot.
I have a son with schizophrenia and I hope you will not give up visiting him. He might glean from that action that you don’t care and, if there’s anything these people need, it’s to know that someone cares about them. Try not to take this personally as it may never have happened anyway. Hope things improve.
I am sorry to hear you are feeling so hurt. Although our loved ones operate under delusions, their words can still be hurtful.
In your case, it is clear that your husband is operating in the world of delusion, the fake number, the story itself and that his story is not reality based. I tell myself all the time that my loved one has a serious mental illness. That does not excuse them nor mean they will not say or do things that are painful to us. When this happens, I remind myself of gratitude even as it pertains to my loved one. I immediately feel a bit quieter inside.