Family and Caregiver Schizophrenia Discussion Forum

Help! Idk what to do anymore!

*So my husband has schizophrenia caused by genetics. I personally don’t but have researched it like crazy so I can understand him as much as possible. But no matter what I do or say he gets these thoughts of me setting him up or cheating on him. It’s gotten worse over the last couple of months. And I want to be with him through this. Genuinely want to be. But I can’t get him to see it! It breaks my heart thinking of not being with him but honestly would it be better for me and him if we were to end it? Idk what to do and idk where else to go to ask other than people who have and know it. Any suggestions on what I should do??? Please!!!

Hi Trying,

Welcome to the forum. My suggestion would be to not take his words personally and don’t spend a lot of time trying to convince him that he is wrong; it is a delusion and when he is controlled by the delusion, he will not be able to see the truth. If you need help strengthening yourself against his thoughts bringing you down, you will need to find the best way to keep yourself calm and keep your own thoughts in order. Friends or family you can confide in, church, therapists, NAMI, AlAnon are other options. My husband says mean-spirited and rude things to me when he is not feeling well and when he is feeling insecure. It took me about nine years to get to the point where I am not crying all the time over what he says. He eventually apologizes and I came to realize his delusions and thoughts are stronger than common sense. Basically, you need to make yourself strong to put up with this behavior. If you don’t think you can, that is OK, too. You know your situation best and how much you can handle. Take care of yourself first. And keep asking us questions. This is a great group.

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Hey Trying, welcome!
I’m so sorry you’re dealing with this. My husband has similar delusions when he gets symptomatic. He fixates on things like I “secretly hate him” or am “trying to trick him,” etc. It’s always hurtful when he accuses me of these things. The things we have to remember is that it is a delusion. Don’t engage with him on the “facts” as he sees them. If he’s in a place where he’s TRYING to talk to you and listen to you, but cant’t get away from his thoughts (my husband is like this a lot), try to offer comfort for his FEELINGS but stand firm that his accusations are not true. You don’t have to insist to him that he’s lying or that he’s deluded. Just do not acknowledge the falsehood, and offer something concrete instead. For example: (this is an approximate conversation that happened between me and my husband recently)

He says “You’re cheating on me! You never liked me! You hate me and want me to die!”

I say/You say: “I love you very much. I don’t want you to die, and the thought of losing you is very scary. Is there something I can do right now/today/soon that would help you feel loved?”

You know these are delusions. None of this is true-- and there are absolutely limits to what you can do. No amount of loving behavior is going to really change his mind if his delusion is that you’re cheating/don’t love him.

BUT his pain is real. He’s not in a place where he can differentiate that right now, but you might be. Do not argue with his delusions, but if you are safe and your own emotional bank is full enough, you can try to support him through his pain. If he is anything like my husband, when his symptoms subside, he can reflect on his thoughts, words, and actions, and synthesize my response with his reality. I can’t promise that your husband will offer an apology, or even acknowledge that he acted badly, but it puts him in a better place to be able to handle his delusions the next time they happen.

I want to add, when he gets his symptoms under control, you both should have multiple long conversations, preferably with a therapist, about how his symptoms hurt you. He can’t control his symptoms, but mental illness is never an excuse for abuse. Dealing with his illness is going to have to include caring for yourself in the midst of his illness, and you both have to work together to make sure that your ways dealing with his illness create a healthy home for both of you.

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Hello Trying,
First of all, Welcome to the forum. Glad you joined the group. You will find others in similar situations as you, I am not one of them. But we all are here due to this disease. I like to think of mental illness as a disease of the brain.
Because you are a first timer here, it’s hard to make suggestions for you. Consider these things:
If your husband is on medication, you can talk directly to his doctor in private, maybe there is a medication that can be adjusted.
Do you have a family? It becomes very hard when children are involved.
Is your husband open to speaking to a professional?
Are you or your family in danger or a danger to himself? If so, safety should always come first.
Just some thoughts. AnnieNorCal