Family and Caregiver Schizophrenia Discussion Forum

Ex boyfriend is scaring me

Hi everyone,

First I want to thank everyone on this forum who helped me with the problems around my (now ex) boyfriend who has schizophrenia. The advice I received was very helpful.

I’m looking for advice around my ex bf’s behaviour post split. I have stayed in contact with him. Both he and his mother have an expectation we will stay friends. His mother has interfered a lot. Contact has been via text and phone calls. He says he wants me to speak to his Outreach team worker. He claims he understands the reasons why we broke up and wants to put the work in on his illness. He says this but I don’t always believe him, his responses lack consistency. He presses me for hours to analyse him and his illness and the relationship. He says he is listening, not sure he is. I’ve learned since we broke that he has been dishonest with me on a regular basis about many things. He claims this is because of his illness.

Overall the contact has been moderately stressful (there has been too much of it and too often) - but nothing overly concerning/worrying in terms of his stability. But tonight he calls me in response to a question I asked him.

He basically completely lost it with me - ranting about how he has a migraine, how miserable he is and how I don’t understand him at all, strongly implying that how he feels is my responsibility. I state firmly that it is not. He reacts with obvious anger/irritation when I tell him his behaviour is inappropriate.

I worried when we broke up he would have a “delayed reaction” to the realities of living without me. I’m worried this is it.

My questions - does his illness justify dishonesty or burdening me with his emotions post a break up which was mainly his choice? Is he intentionally lying to me? In a healthy person it would be clearly deliberate, so does that still apply to him?

I really need some insight on this because I’m losing clarity of thought.

Is he having a breakdown?

He blames his illness for all of his wrong behaviour towards me. It’s so painful to me to think this is who he really is after so long with him.

Desperate for help - please respond,

Liz Ferris

My son is not a person who tells lies, he never was, he is a very honest person. I have learned that his schizophrenia does tell lies and is not honest.

Others with backgrounds in boyfriend/ husband relationships with people who have scz may be able to offer you a better perspective than me.

How do you usually handle breakups? Do you always maintain contact after you break up with someone? Personally, I always think its kinder to make a clean, gentle, break so the other person doesn’t have expectations that perhaps there is still a chance for the relationship to continue.

It might help both of you if the break up were final.

Not that I’m an example to live up to, or that my advice is worth anything, but…
You do have the option to just not contact him anymore.


I definitely think it’s better to have a clean break, the reason I haven’t in this instance is because he claimed the continued contact was helping him, and so did his mother.

I’m not convinced that’s the case - and it isn’t helping me, so I’ve said tonight no contact until Jan 10th. He has agreed to that so hopefully it will help.

I’m not sure how I’ll feel after this. Will be interesting to see if he benefits from it at all. Obviously my worry was that it would make things worse for him health wise.


Thanks for this. Interesting you say your son is honest but his illness isn’t, that’s basically what I feel about Joe.

What do you think makes the illness dishonest?

Interesting question. Since you have only known your ex with scz, its a little tricky for you. For me, I can understand why people in the “olden days” used to think people with scz had “split personalities”. I remember thinking clearly when my son would say or do some things “that is NOT my son” I even said “this is not my son” to one of my son’s medical doctors when the symptoms first started really making themselves known.

Some days my son would rant that his dad wanted to hurt him and was sexually abusing him “through his computer”. Other days my son would be sad and say “Dad never talks to me anymore”

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Oh god it’s so difficult isn’t it. Joe insists the illness is a “part of who he is” and whilst I get that on a certain level, I’m really resistant to it on another.

I very much struggle to accept that his choice to lie to me isn’t a conscious choice. He swings between saying it is and saying it isn’t.

I feel like the validation therapists have to give, it involves accepting the version of reality that exists for him. That’s how they have to work with him. But I sometimes feel the validation makes him think there is no need to change anything. In terms of working things through.

With Joe his secrecy about his delusions leads to other lies/not disclosing information. I think he gets confused between real things and delusions/hallucinations . So hiding symptoms means he also hides real things.

Does your son ever speak about any hallucinations he has relating to interacting with you? I’m only asking because Joe has told me what voices say about me etc. And it’s really disturbing.

I wish I had greater tolerance for it but no matter how hard I try I find it very creepy/scary. And I was in love with this man. But that’s how it feels.



My son is very sick, he has never told me he hears voices, he has the symptom anosognosia, which keeps him from understanding he has a brain disorder. The bad things that he hears he believes come from whatever person is closest to him - even if that person is quite far away.

I know he has friendly voices, I have seen him laugh and respond quite happily when he didn’t know I was in the room.

Nick, a young man who had schizophrenia and taught Peer to Peer, always used the expression “it’s tricky” for things about scz that he was unable to explain. It’s a pretty good answer for when things just don’t make sense.

I suspect you are beginning to understand that the reality that is scz is much more devastating than you first realized. We have all been where you are, struggling to understand how something so horrific could have happened and be happening to someone we love dearly.

I am so sorry, Hope