Does it get easier?


#1

Hi Everyone,

I am married to the most wonderful woman in the world, I love her dearly and would do anything to please her.

However, at times when she decides to stop taking her SZ medication (as is the current situation), she becomes a completely “different” person and hates me for various supposed grievances that are not real - things like I’m having an affair (i’m not), treating her badly (I don’t believe I am) and failing to “communicate” which as I understand it is the opportunity for me to start conversations with her whilst she stares at me until I do.

I find these times really hard. I work all day and have a long commute. It’s hard but I do it so I can afford to support my wife who is currently not well enough to work. When I come home after a hard day/week/month and in the couple of hours before I collapse through tiredness I’m under intense pressure to try and amend my wrongful ways in her eyes. I can’t seem to convince her I love her and many of the accusations she is levelling against me are either simply not true or huge distortions of time and events.

I don’t drink to excess, smoke, gamble or partake in violence towards her and just don’t know what I am doing wrong. I would hate to see our relationship fail and I know we can be very happy when she is balanced but I’m starting to lose sight of the light at the end of the tunnel.

Does it get easier?

Thanks

StrugglingBear


#2

Don’t give up hope! Get her back on her meds! I think that is the problem here. If the meds aren’t right, she’s not right. (I know that sounds really, really rude, but I think it is true in this case. Please hear me out).
I am engaged to a wonderful man named C. I was medicated before he met me, but I moved back home and had a bad doctor who refused to change my meds when they stopped working. I never hallucinated or anything, but I wasn’t in touch with my feelings. One day I loved him. Next day I was crying and I wanted to leave him, and it was just an ugly mess. I acted like I had the world’s biggest commitment phobia x10.
The way I felt mirrored the way I acted. Did I want to be with him? Did I love him? Did I really want to be with a girl or did I want to be with him?
He is the one who courted me and I only really dated him because a mutual friend told me that I should because he had a lot of feelings for me. I am a sucker for feelings, I felt something for him (we had spent time together and it went pretty well) so I went for it.
He endured this noncommittal getting woken up at 3 am by a crying boarder line suicidal girl for over a year. Much like you, he felt such a love that he proposed anyways.
About a year later my parents and I found another doctor who changed my medicine and is very responsive to my needs.
I thought that I loved C when I said yes, but I felt the full brunt of my true feelings after my meds got switched.
Where as before I was a little new born feral cat- disordered, lashing out due to fear, barely able to walk, I am now a happy little kitten all eggy crated and full of milk and tuna. (Egg crates are my metaphor for a strong support network. Eggs are fragile, sensitive to temperature, time, and every slight bump. But egg crates keeps eggs safe and happy. Egg crates can’t stop time, major temperature fluctuations, or hard knocks, but they are the best think known to egg kind.)
The best thing I can say is try your darnedest to get her back on her medicine and take care of you. I think that you should make sure to keep yourself well. If you allow yourself to be run down to the point that you can’t even take care of yourself there is no way you can help her. You might even miss your opening to reconnect because you don’t take care of you for too long.
We all feel for you here. Your wife has something we all want as human beings, someone to love us totally and completely. For and despite ourselves.
Maybe ask @BarbieBF and @kidsister. Neither of them are married to the sz they love. Barbie is taking care of her son and kidsis is taking care of her brother. (Sorry to just throw you guys into this. I just think this is really, really important and wanted you to notice this guy’s post).
They can probably tell you better ways to get her med compliant again.
But I do believe it will get better. I have given C many ways out, but he’s still here.
Your wife is giving you ways out, but you are still there.
Even if you have to wait for her like Penelope waited for Odysseus to come back from his long journey (in the Odyssey) I think she will come back around, and she will love you even more for waiting.


#3

Hi onceapoet,

Thank you so much for replying, that someone else knows what this is like is a huge comfort and you kind thoughts are very much appreciated.

I’d love my wife to return to her meds, but she is adamant she will not do so. I can’t force her and when I called her primary care team here in the UK to tell them my concerns, all that happened is someone phoned her instead of me and she assured the she was fine. She is now convinced I am in need of a mental health assessment (if this goes on much longer, I will be!) because I am wrong about her being unwell, but my suggestion we both go to an assessment together was seen through in a second and she won’t come with me.

I can only hope to emulate the strength of C, but am struggling to summon it at the moment. I will keep trying though, to the bitter end. I made my vows and intend to keep them.

Thanks again,

StrugglingBear


#4

Welcome to the forum StrugglingBear.

As long as she keeps going off her meds then unfortunately I think this will keep happening as onceapoet is saying. Since my son is not my partner I haven’t had to deal with him thinking I’m having an affair but I have had to deal with the rest of it. That I was treating him bad, being mean, not listening and that I myself needed to be committed. He would swear at me, call me names and cut me off while talking, all things that he was accusing me of doing to him. I call this transference. He couldn’t see that the negative behavior was coming from himself so he put it on me. He would walk into a peaceful room swearing about how much negative energy I was putting off, then when I would point out that he had done that, he would say I didn’t say that… I have read that you can’t argue delusions so I don’t try to anymore. Since my son would refuse to listen to me or my explanations even though he wanted me to listen to all of his, I started walking away from these one-sided conversations. I started demanding that he talk to me and treat me with respect. I don’t know how functioning your wife is when she is off her meds but if she is out in public and even with experiencing positive symptoms can treat strangers on the street with a certain amount of restraint and respect then she is capable of doing so. Several occasions I left the home. I figured he could have fun arguing with himself. I refuse to participate in conversations that are just him unleashing negative energy on me. I’m his mother, not his doormat. Talk to me with respect or no talking. The relationship is different but he loses the internet for each offense of swearing at me or slamming doors. That’s when it became even more clear that it was unnecessary as he stopped swearing at me after losing the internet for over a week. Only you can decide how much of these conversations you are willing to deal with. I don’t think that anything that you say or do is going to fix these situations as the cause is coming from her paranoia or other positive symptoms and nothing that you are doing or saying. If you can go into another room, lock the door, put in headphones… I would say don’t participate in these conversations. My son would keep trying to push my buttons and I completely believe that he was trying to push them as he needed a release for his negative energy and emotions so if I took the bait then it justified his behavior. On these occasions I went out. My thinking is who is going to blame for all the negative energy when no one else is around to blame? I refuse to accept responsibility for his negative feelings. Sorry I’m writing a book…

As for being med compliance. It took my son 6 hospitalizations in 3 years. I can’t make him take them. It’s his choice right now. We don’t discuss his meds in terms of sz but in terms of anxiety relief. He had to learn for himself that he needs them, at least for right now. I have had someone explain to him exactly what the meds are trying to do. Regulating certain neurotransmitters in the brain. Not trying to fix his personality. Medications can’t change your belief system and he is entitled to his. I think my son produces too much dopamine.

I wish that I could give you more advice however in the end I think it depends on what boundaries you are willing to put into place. What behaviors you are willing to deal with. Personally I don’t believe that taking care of a loved one should come at the expense of your own self respect, unless of course you are in a crisis situation. It’s hard to tell the difference between anosognosia and denial however as I go along I figure when he refuses to listen to me then that’s denial, if he listens and can’t understand then that’s anosognosia.

Maybe some of these links will help you to cope in the meantime:

http://www.leapinstitute.org/ - under resources are free videos on using LEAP
LEAP is a way of communicating to build trust. Listen-Empathize-Agree-Partner.
http://dramador.com/ - Dr. Xavier Amador is a clinical psychologist whose brother had schizophrenia. He is the founder of the LEAP Institute. Wrote the book: I’m Not Sick I Don’t Need Help! Can buy from his website.
Search Xavier Amador and LEAP on youtube.com and you should find some long videos
http://www.treatmentadvocacycenter.org/index.php - under problems you will see anosognosia
Anosognosia looks like denial but is different.
http://lesswrong.com/lw/e25/bayes_for_schizophrenics_reasoning_in_delusional/ - helped my understand delusions

Hopefully she will get back on her meds soon.


#5

Does your wife have a caseworker and do you have permission to talk to her health care providers. If so, tell them what is going on. In the past I have done this with my daughter and folks who work in the mental health field are familiar with this and will talk with her about this. When your wife is on the proper medication and she is doing fine – bring up this subject and ask her what you can do when she starts behaving strangely way and what can you do to help her understand she needs her meds. Good luck to you.


#6

Have you read around this site? I am an aspiring writer (though I am schizo affective) and I initially got on this forum (well read this forum I didn’t join for a long time) to learn about schizophrenics interactions with their husbands/wives. I am writing a love story, about a schizophrenic man and his wife. I have learned a lot from not only reading posts in the “family” section (like yours) but in the diagnosed section as well. I learned things about myself that I didn’t even know were symptoms, negative symptoms are a lot more subject to interpretation than positive symptoms. Anyone can see someone is hallucinating (except the person doing the actual hallucinating of course) but some negative symptoms are harder. Especially if you have never seen that person “well”. I don’t know what your situation is with her.
I have had depression my whole life. It was only dealt with when the schizophrenia showed up. It is only in these past few years that I have learned how to be social and be alone at the same time. Whether or not the residual symptoms are “inhibiting” me or not, I’ve found that I need to be alone roughly fifty percent of the time.
I have found things on here that have made me go “I’m not the only one! Wow!” or “So that’s why I do that!” or "That’s a great way of dealing with that!"
You will probably find some things where you go “So that is to be expected and nothing to worry about” and “So that’s why she does that…” and even some "S/He said they did ______ which meant ______ was going on which is something she did. This might mean she needs help when she ______."
I’m always sad when people in love post once and then just leave. I think that reading the diagnosed side can give caregivers good insight and diagnosed people reading the family side can help us realize “oh. That is REALLY stressing them out but they didn’t tell me because they didn’t want to hurt me. I’m going to stop doing that.”


#7

Hi Molly,

Thanks for replying. I don’t know but I probably should. My wife guards her medical details carefully so I don’t know anything. I will try and make contact with the local community mental health team tomorrow and start trying to get more involved.

Best wishes,

Struggling Bear


#8

Hi BarbieBF,

Everything you have said about the situation you are in mirrors what I am seeing. At least I can partially discount the theory that I’m the one causing all this.

Thanks also for the links, I’ll take a good look through them all.

On a positive note, coming onto this forum has given me a bit of courage and this afternoon I approached her father with my concerns. He is in full agreement with me and is going to try and rally the family troops for a more unified approach to tackling the current situation.

Just a small chink of light reappearing on the horizon, but a significant one I hope.

Thanks again.

StrugglingBear


#9

Hi onceapoet,

I have been browsing through the forums today. After a little digging, it is clear I am not alone in experiencing this situation! That in itself makes me feel a little better.

I definitely need to get more involved in the treatment, and less involved in trying to present logic as an answer to some of her concerns and grievances.

Best wishes

StrugglingBear


#10

I try to read all posts. Any help in understanding where my son may be coming from is a blessing. I take a lot of what I read here and try to use it to help others on other sites that I am on as well. I may not read all of your posts @onceapoet but I do enjoy reading them.


#11

It can be hard to get involved in a loved ones treatment when the are an adult. Privacy laws. I have been very lucky in this one. I attend my son’s psychiatrist meetings with him. He doesn’t want to go alone so that helps to seal this approach. I also know that even though his workers may not have permission to talk to me that they are legally allowed to listen to me. Phrases like “I know that you can’t tell me if __ is your patient but if you can listen to me for a minute this is what I have been seeing.” Which means I can call and let them know what I am seeing. I have to step in a lot to keep certain addicting meds from being prescribed or elaborating on what my son tells them. Yes he’s feeling anxiety but he’s also been drinking… We also approach getting the release forms signed from the view point that if anything happens to my son, like a physical accident, than I can’t communicate with this support workers which may be needed.

I’m glad you approached her father. You need support too.


#12

Hi StrugglingBear,

I have read this thread with great interest and am so glad for you that you have found this site and admire the love for your wife. As a wife I know that every relationship has its difficulties and I come to this forum as the mother of a son who has schizophrenia.

I agree totally with Barbie, and I can relate to what she calls transference…I too have noticed that my son will do this exact thing…and as a result he can get very abusive towards me. I too have stopped arguing with him and in no way do I resort to defending myself. I just shut down and let him rant alone. He has gotten used to my doing this; since he thinks I’m angry or hurt I often find myself slipping in an “I love you so much honey” in my usual tone. To my great surprise, and this happens every time, he switches tone immediately and says “I love you too Mom”. I usually let him alone, and this is easier for me since he doesn’t live with me, and often the next day he has totally forgotten about what had been upsetting him.

My son was off meds last year and we hadn’t been on good terms for 6 months…I kept in touch, however, knowing that soon he would have a “break” and I was able to get the phone call that he was unraveling and was calling the police himself. I was able to meet him at the ER and support him while he committed himself. In essence I let him fall far enough that he really was asking for help…but I was able to be there when he asked for it. You might say this was luck, but really, I pay for his cell phone minutes, for example, just for this reason…he is bad with money and I knew I needed him to be able to reach me in case of emergency. I have straight talk take it right out of my credit card account.

So you might have to tough this one out, go day be day until she unravels enough to want help. It is excellent that you contacted her father and that he is supportive. Please let us know how things are going for you and just know that you are definitely not alone.


#13

I smiled reading your post. A lot of the times I will say to my son I love you but no you can make your own tea, things like that. I have learned to not hold grudges as shortly after us butting heads he will talk to me like it didn’t happen. I try to go with it.


#14

Hello :smiley: :wave:

I am not in any way in your shoes as far as being married, so I hope you don’t mind my post. It is my brother who I live with. He was diagnosed when I was 6. He was 17. There were some odd years and some hard ones.

The meds made a huge difference. I did a post here in the family section called "My Mom always said…"
It is about how much the meds and therapy made a huge difference and brought my brother back to me out of the deeps of negative symptoms and psychotic episodes.

Another thing that helped me a great deal, was my SZ support group. I look up to and admire my big brother, and I am constantly amazed by the strength and effort he puts into fighting this illness. He is relentless in his quest for healing. I am proud of how much my family has made that possible and I’m glad I had a chance help him a bit when I could.

But as a caregiver, I needed some help too. I needed other people, as my brother would say; for ideas and things to ponder.

My Sz support group gave me resources, ideas, and knowledge that I feel I wouldn’t have coped well without. The resources were the golden key that I needed.

My Sz support group wasn’t just where I went to cry, rant, laugh, and listen. I learned so much from them.

There were people who have cared for a loved one far longer then I had and the visiting nurses, the wellness checks, the counseling groups were all out there just waiting for my family. We didn’t know how much help was just a phone call away until my family and I got a support group and the doors opened. Then we had professional help with more knowledge and more resources then I ever thought available. My brother still has some rough patches or as he calls them glitch days. But he strives to make every day better then the day before. Again, he needed the meds to kick start the process.

You can’t take care of your wife if you don’t take care of yourself. It made me sad to read that you were loosing sight of the light at the end of the tunnel.

The light is there as you know. But there are some rocks ahead. I hope you find some out side resource to navigate.

I wish you all the best in this difficult time. I hope things get better for your and your wife quickly. I do answer a lot of private messages and I don’t openly post often, due to the fact that my brother rocks this site hard.

I will hoping all the best for your family.
Thank you for letting me post.


#15

Thank you. That means a lot to me. Sometimes I feel bad about presenting myself as an example. I have never talked to anyone like me in real life though, so I can’t use them. The little likes and replies people give me mean so much.
I often fear that I sound pushy or arrogant when I am trying to be helpful. That hasn’t seemed to be a problem here, everyone seems open to the idea that I really do mean well.
I also come off better over written than I do spoken.


#16

Just like me. I know I write 100 times better then I speak. It’s frustrating at time, but at least we found some outlet of communication. Though I have a feeling you express yourself on the spot better then I do.


#17

Ill take the honest route, it doesn’t get easier.

I get why your wife accuses you of being unfaithful, during my psychosis they said alot of nasty things to me, and with the way it works you just can’t tell anymore if it’s true or not.

For instance, they began telling me if i didn’t do anything about it they were going to maim my family, when i did nothing not knowing what to do they threw their hands up and said “thats it! you have messed things up now! your family is screwed and it’s all on you!”

I didn’t know what they would do to them, i can still remember asking my family “did i hurt you guys?” They couldn’t see though what was happening within and all that they heard was my frightened words.

If your wife is like me then they have her in their grips and are getting into her head about you cheating, why not try asking her if perhaps “someone” told her that you were cheating on her.?

I would have given anything for others to know that someone was talking to me at the time, and in very foul ways, i even thought to try and tell someone, anyone. But every time i even considered it they attacked with horrible threats to keep my quiet, they terrified me into shutting up about them.

Yep, if she is like me then perhaps you should begin asking her some questions.


#18

Hi StrugglingBear.

Wonderful news about your and your entire family will be united in helping your wife. You absolutely need additional support. Don’t feel you have to do everything by yourself.