Family and Caregiver Schizophrenia Discussion Forum

Help with dealing with my husband mental issue


#1

I have been married 10 years, known my husband 12 years. Situation:

I recently came across some “journal” documents on our computer.
Opening them and reading i realized that it was a “letter” to another woman and their child.
When confronting my husband, his response:
That is my ex-wife (over 20 years ago) and their son.
He had a mental breakdown and left them - he thinks when the son was 3ish.
He had no memory of them until recently - which is why he never told me.
Within this “letter” is his expressing his desire to be back with her and start a new life with them.

My knee-jerk reaction was absolute betrayal.
I asked him to leave & he did.
Going through the computer, i found additional “journal type” documents talking about his “former” work with an “entity” in which he served his country. It read exactly like the Jason Bourne movies.

This is when i realized i was dealing with more than an ex-wife & child.
He was seeing a doctor/therapist when i first met him. I found his number and called him. My husband has seen him, at least i THINK he has.

This is all very recent, 2 weeks ago. He is staying with a co-worker. He asked to speak with me about “what i read”. When we started talking, he started to explain what he used to do - again, the Jason Bourne series. He then proceeded to tell me he had and interlude 2 years ago. The reason i bring this up is this: He mentions the previous co-worker “Amber” in one of the “journals” - he said that he HAD this interlude with her in order to get hired. That it was a ONE TIME thing, but he did it just so he could get the job (which he lost a year later), because we needed this income.
Once again - knee jerk reaction - i called him out on it - “are you really going to tell me that this woman put you a position that you had to #!&* her to get the job? and you are expecting me to believe this?” I then proceeded to tell him that next week i will be calling this business and telling them this situation and notifying the press. I will also be calling this woman directly to tell her exactly what i think about this. The look on his face was the proverbial “deer-in-the-headlights”. He told me - “you can do that if you want, but it’s not going to go well for you”. I asked what he meant by this and he said “i just mean it’s not going to go the way you think”.

All of this is so surreal, that i absolutely have no idea how to handle it. I have made an appointment with a psychiatrist for MYSELF in order to help me keep it together.

I am reaching out here to just see if anyone else has gone through this situation or something similar and can offer any advise.

I love my husband to my very soul and don’t want to make rash decisions based on a mental health crisis. I cannot just “sit around” and at the whim of a storm that is throwing me around like a rag doll - I hope there is someone out there that could offer some affirmation that there may be hope that my marriage may be salvageable.


#2

During this entire time he has been sane? Age?


#3

I am so sorry! I do not have a lot of experience being brand new in this world myself but I can tell you in the last six months, I have learned to slow down about everything. Do not allow anger to get the better of you and cause you to react. I will give you a long winded example of what I mean.

My daughter Libby is 10. She came home one day and said she was jumped by three girls in the bathroom at school who had punched her in the face and eyes repeatedly. Instantly I was triggered with anger and concern. I brought her into the bedroom where there is better light and looked at her face. My first clue was there were no marks on her face. I took pictures of her to be sure. I asked who the girls were, their names what they looked like, in full Mama Bear mode ready to confront these girls and the school. But then the details didn’t make sense. She didn’t know what they looked like. Had never seen them before. They didn’t make a sound or speak to her through the whole event. My next reaction was she was lying, making it up for attention. That triggered a huge fight with her screaming at me that I didn’t believe her or love her.

The fight was a hallucination, a powerful mental event so real to her she believes it really happened and refuses to believe it wasn’t REAL (known as a delusion). Your description of your husband’s journal sounds a lot like that - as well as the woman. The unrealistic features of it are what make it seem like a hallucination or delusion. And the only way to know is to investigate it. Ask for details and information that will give you clues you can track down. It is never a good idea to out and out confront someone in a psychotic state in an effort to make them see reality. They are incapable of doing so.

I would get educated very fast regarding schizophrenia and its symptoms if you aren’t already. Seek medical help through the ER if he is in crisis. My blog at http://myparanoidschizophrenicchild.wordpress.com has a breakdown of my daughter’s symptoms with matching behaviors. It’s based on the DSM and may help you do something similar with your husband. If you make a list of his recent behaviors and anything else that seems odd, that may help. He may desperately need your help in getting him help if he is having symptoms. Only a medical doctor can treat and diagnose him so please do not take this as medical advice or legal advice. Just try to take a step back and look at the situation unemotionally as possible.

Good luck and I am here if you have more questions.


#4

Thank you so much for taking the time to read and respond. It is very much appreciated.

My husband is 46 years old. This is the first time that I know for this type of behavior.


#5

There’s a lot involved with a schizophrenic diagnosis. Your best bet is to seek medical help if you suspect or need to rule out mental illness. Tell the providers what you have discovered and see if you can verify any of the story. If it is true, then you will know more than you did. If it’s not true then it’s possibly a symptom. If he talks about hurting himself or others seek help asap.


#6

I have experience with my Son illness for the past 2 and 1/2 years. Son is not the same as a husband but I did a lot for my son and felt hurt and betrayed during the first episode of his illness. i have been helping since then and never gave up.
I would say, keep seeking to help him because he needs you. you have lived together for 10 years and he was sane during that time and now he is sick, you need to help him in any way you can.
Best of luck!


#7

My exhusband exhibited such bizzare delusions early in his illness. He’d say things like, “you know that movie was about me,” after seeing an action film. He could not be persuaded otherwise. Then, I’d drop it.

I didn’t realize that was an early symptom of sz. It was so far out of left field from his normal behavior. I didn’t know what to make of it.


#8

Have there been any recent serious stressors in his life? Loss of a long-term job? Loss of a close relative he cared for deeply? As I understand it, sometimes there’s a strong trigger around the time that symptoms start. It would be something very big and life-altering usually but not always. Sometimes there’s no discernible rhyme or reason but that can be a good place to start.

It sounds like there’s a history there that he’s not disclosed enough detail about. I’d dig deeper on that as well. By his own admission, it sounds like there’s a history of mental illness of some sort and he knows it.


#9

I know someone with bi-polar illness who wrote a book about her own journey. The book is published. She states in the book that she honestly does not know about some of the things in her life story whether they are real or imagined.