Family and Caregiver Schizophrenia Discussion Forum

Husband freaking out - AGAIN

I try to remember that in many ways I am fortunate. While my son suffers from severe scz, is usually unmedicated, and most likely has a poor prognosis due to the insidious nature of his version of scz, he did get to experience some of life. Those experiences and skills at times add to the challenge of helping him, at other times they do have benefits.

We can, and frequently do, leave our home for weekends away and vacations. Personally, I had to get over the fear that something bad would happen if we weren’t here. I inform our neighbors and the few support friends we have when we are gone. Bad things could happen, but it is far too important that we have as much of a life for ourselves as we can manage.

I work the Amador LEAP program with no support from my husband. He can’t think outside of himself long enough to be helpful at all. After several years of working LEAP, and a really bad 6 week long psychotic episode in June, my son possibly started taking meds again. I would like to be able to say he is definitely taking meds but there is no way for me to confirm that outside of watching what little of his behavior I do see. He lives in an apartment over our unattached garage, I get glimpses.

Some of my son’s behaviors recently indicate he may actually be taking his meds. One behavior, the screaming of accusations that we are sexually abusing him are fewer, sound more robotic and much less emotional.

I’ve been studying the reality testing responses to use in a much more subtle method than a therapist would when I do have the chance. Its as nice break from constantly using LEAP which is too limiting for use with my son, he has maintained his cognition, his scz is paranoid based.

Here’s the scene. Last night I am outside, he emerges from his place doing the robotic accusation thing - it is not scary, I was listening and evaluating. He spotted me so I tried some calm talk to see if I could change the subject. He had just gone to actually stay at his brother’s home over the weekend, something that has not happened in many years. (Another possible sign he is taking meds)

My husband hears me talking and hears my son responding (same robotic accusation stuff) and basically “jumps on the crazy train” and tries to come outside to confront my son. I immediately go to block him from coming outside. Of course he is now fully on the train and spun up so he spends the next hour staring at the video cameras, sure, I guess, that our son is about to storm the house.

So stupidly ridiculous. Then he objects that he doesn’t get to take part in the decision making processes regarding our son.

Its exhausting.

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How old are each of you? (I see from your profile son is 34)

Your son is from you and your husband (natural parents to your son)? I found it:

“Since becoming aware of Jeb’s illness and having scz confirmed in husband’s family”

How long has your son been ill?

It seams your husband is in denial, feels responsible down deep, a bit paranoid himself and simply does not understand or refuses to understand the illness.

How long has this been going on?

My only advise, is when your husband and son go at it, leave… drive away, leave for the night or two… keep a bag packed at all times and enjoy yourself at a nice hotel and a good meal… This method will at first infuriate your husband but he will get over it as you continue to follow this method of control… Taking the lead like this might teach your husband not to be counterproductive.


We are in our late 50’s, son is now 35, yes, natural son and I think husband has some paranoia.

Jeb started noticeable changes in his second year of college. His symptoms came on very slowly, he did manage to graduate with a 3.2 with a major and several minors, he is quite brilliant. He has been ill with scz since age 20, finally became disabled from scz at age 30. Jeb believes everyone is out to hurt him or kill him. He attributes the ugly voices to anyone who is around. He has focused a good deal of his paranoia on his dad since we moved him home. He has added me to the focus as his illness has worsened.

He is usually unmedicated.

I love your advice and will give it thought. While I don’t fear leaving Jeb here alone, I highly fear my husband scaring Jeb and escalating a situation. While people who suffer from the highly paranoid version of scz usually are just frightened, they will attack if backed into a corner. If my husband pushes Jeb to a certain point, I know that Jeb will lose control. In the middle of a Jeb episode, my husband becomes just as out of his mind as Jeb. My husband is terrified of Jeb and Jeb is terrified of my husband.

My husband would be really happy to see Jeb dragged off to jail. He has actually said it to me several times.

Jeb should not end up in prison because his dad instigated an attack by escalating him during an episode.

I think you are right, taking the lead has to continue.

Yes, that WILL happen, off to jail for them both maybe, just do NOT turn on your cell phone while enjoying yourself, believe me it WORKS!!! on edit: They will not be in jail long, enjoy that time alone… :slight_smile:

I am actually LOL - thanks, I needed that!

get that bag packed, have a plan, pic a nice hotel with a high end restaurant, have the bag ready at all times and next time they go for it, YOU GO FOR IT lol…


@hope - my husband is a lot like yours, and I absolutely never leave them alone anymore.

I mentioned my husband is only home one or two nights a week, but I still don’t leave them. If I have to go somewhere, one comes with me. If I have to work, I work from home.

I think there’s a small chance they could amp each other up, things could get violent, and one could end up dead instead of both of them in jail.

Maybe I should take a different approach & just leave them to it, but I wouldn’t get much satisfaction out of either of them getting hurt or in trouble. If someone ends up seriously hurt or dead, it won’t be a short time in jail - it could be forever.

Even though things are much calmer here than they’ve been in a long time and they’re getting along for the most part, this is going to be my approach going forward. My husband is like yours & he doesn’t choose his words wisely even though he means well. My son is prone to misinterpreting things and the worst part of his paranoia centers on his dad. It’s a bad combination.

I was there, where I never left them here alone together. I started having more faith in my husband so I could do volunteer work to give myself something else to think about. My work can only take place in the early evening.

I read somewhere recently that people spend a lot of time worrying about things that will never happen.

I think people in our situations spend a lot of time worrying about things that we know WILL happen.

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I’ve had lots of things in my life happen that people would say fall into the “it’ll never happen” category.

I no longer take chances and live my life with a better safe than sorry attitude.

That’s on me - I know I have a certain level of anxiety, I know I want to be in control, but I also don’t want to change those things. Before I ever knew exactly what people meant by anxiety, I had learned to channel it and I thrive on stress - as long as it’s not family stress.

Luckily, I’m kind of solitary and introverted by nature, so I’m honestly good with the choices that I’ve made.


I guess I will have another indicator of taking meds soon - if mine refills his prescriptions.

Hope - This is EXACTLY what happens in my house. My husband’s reaction (overreaction) when my son starts to amp up, is to yell, shout. The absolute worst thing to do. No matter how many times I try to explain that to him, it falls on deaf ears. He has said to my (our) son so many times “I can’t wait until I see you in an orange jumpsuit.” Typical prison attire of course. It is so annoying to me. You can THINK it, but does it need to be said? No! I just can’t make him understand. We are in our mid 50s (late bloomers, married late, had kids late), so our sons are teenagers. I understand and feel your frustration. I have suggested to my husband that HE should leave the house and let me deal with our son but it’s like once he starts up, he can’t stop (like the Energizer Bunny?!) Has your husband ever told Jeb he would be glad to see him dragged off to jail? If not, then at least he hasn’t done that. What started the violent episode that I wrote about is my husband was filming M with his cell phone. This of course was at the suggestion of one of the idiot sheriffs who have been to our house. They don’t understand what that does to a person who is paranoid and hearing voices, having delusions, and who knows what else. Ugh! So our husbands definitely make a bad situation worse.


It really helps to see others have the similar stuff going on too. My son’s natural father is deceased so my husband is his step father who basically raised him. My husband understands my son’s thinking is paranoid based, but almost always ends up as you so aptly put it escalating a situation.

It became apparent this past week they are not terrified (yet) of each other, but clearly afraid of what the other will do. I feel caught in the middle of a crazy, and yes I do mean crazy, tug of war game. I wish if I said just give it a rest guys it would stop…but maybe packing a “go” bag and leaving might be a good idea! :slight_smile:


My husband after causing a situation, yelled at Jeb “YOU HAVE SCHIZOPHRENIA, YOU ARE MENTALLY ILL!”

Later when Jeb was desperately quiet, my husband actually said, “Hey maybe that worked?”

How it worked is now Jeb has bigger issues with his dad than before because it was real what he did.Blocking him from leaving a room and yelling at him. That was real, it was what his paranoia fears and it makes the voices that he thinks are you, even more real.

When my husband first voiced to me that he was looking forward to the day Jeb was going to be driven off in the back of a police car in handcuffs. I was speechless and horrified. About the 5th time he voiced it, I angrily asked him “what do you think that will solve, because it will solve NOTHING”.

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When we finally understood Jeb had scz, I needed the word “crazy” to get my head around the idea that this was Jeb’s situation. “Insanity” was another word, I think we all come to understanding what is going on in our own ways. I can totally feel your crazy tug of war game - I am sure some others can understand my expression of “if there’s a crazy train going on, my husband will jump right on”

I mean no disrespect through the use of the word. When dealing with someone in full blown psychosis, for me, it is a lot like a wild train driving through your home with no one at the controls.


Oh, dear women, we have enough troubles, and then we have husbands like this to add to the turmoil. Just doesn’t seem right does it? My husband is in a period of resentment recently, saying he feels like I have chosen my son over him.

Turns out he has been brooding over a couple of events that happened, one that was a few years ago! My son was at our home for a few hours (he was living in a group home at that point), and was not well at all. My husband was working a lot of overtime, and was resting. My son tuned up, and suddenly my husband came roaring out of the bedroom, flung open the front door, and demanded my son leave - in the middle of a snowstorm. Mind you, we live out in the county, and I had driven my son out to the house, and he wouldn’t have had any place to go if he had just been put out of the house.

I stepped in and yelled at my husband. He later apologized, but it seems he never really got over the feeling that I was taking up for my son instead of him.

Honestly, I completely understand the feelings he was having and the act of just wanting it to stop - I have lost it myself with my son sometimes when the craziness was just overwhelming. But I have to remember that I am not the crazy person, and shouldn’t act like it. I forgive myself, apologize when appropriate and then go on.

Then one day sometime last year he couldn’t find his the keys to his car. I really only vaguely remember the incident. He called me from work, asking if I could come give him a ride - I THINK my son had an appointment with his PDOC. I am 100% certain that if it wasn’t something that had to be done, I would have gladly picked him up. He ended up getting a ride from a coworker. But I guess again he felt I was putting my son before him.

Ever since the incident at the house, I have not once brought my son to the house. Which makes me sad. But now I find out my husband resents that I spend time at the house my son lives at. Grrrrrr. Shoot, when I stay home, most of the time all he is doing is watching TV anyway! I always make certain to plan around anything that my husband wants to do, making extra preparations to make sure my son has food, etc. I do food prep at home in the morning and do errands on the way to work and over my lunch hour so that I can drop by my son’s after work briefly before heading home. Or I go at noon to fix something for him if I can’t make it after work. I don’t even consider going to NAMI meetings any more because I feel ‘guilty’ about taking time away from my husband.


And my husband’s objection that he is not in the “decision process”?

When we attended Family to Family, I had to insist that he attend. He complained about every single session. Said “it was all too sad and stressful” and he skipped several sessions to watch ballgames. I was determined that Jeb’s illness wasn’t going to be another thing that got pushed off on me.

I would never have guessed that he would have so little compassion for Jeb. I guess my husband’s compassion only goes as far as he isn’t inconvenienced.

Personally I am seeing my husband’s inability to control himself in a new light these days. Anyone who would deliberately escalate Jeb - and I can’t rule it out - possibly hoping for police to haul him off - doesn’t get a seat at the decision table.

We have enough on our plates as we deal with our relatives with mental illness. We don’t need the relatively sane making the situation worse.

I think those who get easily offended most likely are not care givers who have seen bizarre behavior of a loved one escalate out of control. The word means deranged, and that behavior is what we helplessly get to watch. When given the choice to waste my time being offended over words to describe my life or use my time try to bring about some peace to our home and child, well, I isn’t the choice obvious?. That said, I too mean no disrespect. And my husband jumps on the train too. :):grinning:

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I know, right!?! My son frequently has delusions about being filmed, to the point he has spent hours looking for hidden cameras…and then to film him, well sorta makes it hard to get them to the point to question the validity of his delusion when we have just given them evidence the very thing they worry about was done…by a family member.

I got divorced from my severely sz son s dad when my son was 14 and he moved out of state so he convienently missed all the horribleness of the onset of my son s illness, hospitiilazations, and al the other hopeless sz stuff that is going on. I do have a significant other for last 10 years, but he has been very little help emotionally for me. He doesn’t understand the illness and refuses to educate himself about it. He has made many things with my son worse by saying my son was faking and I was ruining him and many other cruel and ugly things. My son is now 22 and he isn’t doing great, he does take his meds, but he still hears voices and does nothing but stay in house all day. My significant other has gotten more quiet about his opinions and I try not to discuss much about my son with him. My son is very uncomfortable with sig. other and I don t have them spend any time together. Of course I am worn thin trying to spend time with both of them.Time with my son always comes before sig. other, but it is hard work taking care of sz son and maintaining relationship. I don’t want to give up sig other and spend all my time devoted to son, as I think this would be unhealthy for me or my son, and I do get some enjoyment from my relationship. Right now MOST of my time is spent taking care of my son and I know this is my be my life right now. By the way, his natural father rarely calls or sees our son and sometimes I get jealous that he has such a carefree life. I also maintain a part time job, but that lately has felt like a get away from all this. By the way I have 3 other adult children, 2 boys and a girl, and I don’t get to see the older boys that much as they are busy with work, but my daughter and I are very close,she has a busy life, but she is a sweet emotional support.No one except you guys understands how draining all this can be on the mom of an sz child,

My NAMI support group was full of divorced spouses, men and women. The lead instructor for our Family to Family class encouraged me to NOT have my husband attend the class. She and her husband had divorced not long after their son was diagnosed with scz - she was holding a grudge against all men. Several in our Family to Family class were also divorced or in the middle of unhappy marriages. One of the resources said that parents and family members are often on different levels of “acceptance” and this causes a good deal of the stress in the relationships.

Seems like a lot of parents just walk away. Mental illness isn’t alone in this, in the medical world the same issues often occur with severe physical illnesses.

The number of divorced parents dealing with mentally ill adult children made me think NAMI should have singles events for those parents in addition to the support group. They could use a fun activity once a month with other adults that wasn’t about their kids.

One of my lifelong friends has a son that grew up with severe ADHD that has worsened as an adult. Her husband walked away to start a new family years ago. She has a lot of anger towards him as he won’t even listen when she tries to explain the issues going on with their son. He doesn’t help at all. Some leave and just don’t look back.