Family and Caregiver Schizophrenia Discussion Forum

Husband has schizophrenia but in denial; wants me to leave him; divorce


My husband had a work injury 3 yrs ago; TBI causing schizophrenia the medical doctor told me on the side. He didn’t tell my husband that. I told dr symptoms and he told me what it was. My husband lied to dr about his symptoms. So he is in denial he has anything. So of many symptoms, he also accuses me of cheating and trying to kill him. He said I cannot be trusted and he wants me out of his house. Well me and of course I am not leaving my 4 yr old son so son coming with me. So I still love him. I am exhausted by willing to help him, get off work and take him to dr, whatever it takes. But he will not listen to me. He gets mad and agitated if I mention any symptoms injury caused. If i leave as he requests I do, I will still worry about him. He has no job, that means no water, power, food if I leave. And I feel I shouldn’t leave. He is scared too and don’t understand whats going on. What do you think? He says nothing is wrong with him to leave him alone. And he tells me to leave? What should I do? I have done nothing wrong as he accuses me of.


Well you’ve certainly not done anything wrong, in fact, you’ve been very willing to help. My suspicion is that you may be handling him wrong. Mentioning symptoms may be the wrong approach as he likely sees it as being in a lower position of power than you or you taking power away from him. And if you feel you shouldn’t leave, then let it be so.

To help you better understand him, learn to listen actively to him by recounting what he tells you to show him you are listening. Then, every so often as you see fit ask an open ended question (such as “who am I cheating on you with”), and you may just get him to figure out who he is now. And if he brings up something that sounds delusional, you can help validate his feelings by saying something along the lines of “That makes perfect sense, but I don’t think it’s true.” If you can express the facts of the situation when necessary, state the unstated, and show him the good in the situation when he says or does those crazy things, the relationship can slowly get better. Many people don’t know how to handle schizophrenics but I have given you the power to do so. And you can help bring this man back to reality with the help of meds and a real therapist. You should see one too, and perhaps the two of you together, to help work through your new life.


You’re asking the wrong person here. :bird: I’ve been through hell and don’t see this as a very difficult option - just leave. He could live for free in a group home setting. Maybe you care more about him than that, though, (of course) so I’d say try to find someone suitable to contact him - perhaps even police authorities.


Apathy: This is great advice. And I have read the same thing as to what to do. But it is so hard. And I have asked open ended questions…well it was more like “how do i have time to cheat”…and he told me once he saw me on youtube “cheating” “intercourse” and I then asked “show me”. And both times he could not prove it. Its been months since I have delt with his questions because I am soooo tired. Now its more like he says “at least I am not the one trying to kill people” and I ignore it because I don’t want to get deeper in that subject. He asks why did I stay with him because I never loved him. I say " i have always loved you and still do, Your not loving me is it". I apparently do handle this wrong. But I am so deep into it now he don’t share how he feels. He just wants me to leave because I am not trustworthy…plotting to kill him. I hope this don’t lead to violence or him plotting to kill me?? Is that possible?


Well he will have a place to live: our house. I am the one leaving as he says this is his house because he bought it with his settlement money from his accident. However, he has had no job for 3 yrs since accident and very little since I have known him. So I am the one paying for EVERYTHING. I know he is in there someplace deep inside. I feel bad to leave him because he will probably go into more evil thoughts and depression. But yet again, he WANTS me to leave. Thanks for your thoughts!!!


Hi, Good luck!

His delusions sound too strong to be argued with.

Prior to divorce, I’d try a legal separation and see how that goes.


How do i tell him he should see psychiatrist without using the word pcychiatrist. Ive told him nicely he had an accident that caused him to forget and caused other issues. He gets agitated and tells me to leave when i mention illness. He says im just trying to make him look crazy. 6 months ago he trusted me some days and opened up to me. Even said he forgot where he was _he was in house downstairs thou…
.now ive handled things wrong and cant do anything with him.


It’s not that possible. Those with mental challenges are least likely to be violent than other people. Especially if he has a cognitive issue that makes it hard for him to act a certain way. And to help you improve on the open ended question, try to make the question less about what has already been said, and more about the deeper issue at hand to help you understand him on a different level. Such as when he says “You’re cheating on me.” say “then what needs to change?”

Well you will have to wait for him to make that decision for himself. Unless he gets unable to care for himself, then you can stick him in a home for the mentally ill. Or it may already now be time to call a mental health ward at a hospital for him to be picked up and brought there so you can tell them his signs of psychosis and they can bring him to the light.


I thought you could not call mental ward unless he tries to kill me or kill himself. Nevertheless, it would be hard for me to call the mental ward on him. I love him and it hurts to do so. Basically my divorce would be over if i don’t and over if I do huh? lol


[quote=“Apathy, post:8, topic:35225”]
he says “You’re cheating on me.” say “then what needs to change?”

saying this makes it seem that I am guilty and he is right. I can’t see myself telling him I did something I didn’t. I tell him all the time while crying, he is blaming for something I didn’t do and can’t prove I didn’t.


It could be that your husband doesn’t want to take responsibility for managing his disease. He’d rather have you leave him than admit that he has sz and have to take responsibility for treating it. Your husband could end up like one of those crazed homeless lunatics we see on the street sometimes. Ask him if this is what he wants. Also, you might gently remind him that it hurts to be treated the way he is treating you.


When I start having delusional thoughts about someone, it is usually because the person betrayed my trust in some way. My psychotic mind takes “you stole money from my purse” and turns it into “you are trying to kill me.” I’m guessing he feels betrayed that you spoke to the doctor about his symptoms behind his back. Of course, you had to tell the doctor, but that doesn’t make the hurt go away. If you find him at a point where he is willing to talk, maybe try apologizing for talking to the doctor, and explain that you just weren’t sure what to do. For me, addressing the root cause of the delusions usually helps make the delusions go away.

That said, I don’t think all the talking in the world would have helped me when I was unmedicated. Is there some way your doctor can tell him the medicine is for something else, like blood pressure? My doctor had to tell me my medicine was for migraines, because I refused to believe there was anything wrong with my mind. Of course, this also brings the risk of betraying his trust again. It’s just what worked for me.

It is always possible he could become aggressive, but I don’t think it is likely. Schizophrenia doesn’t make us do things that are totally against our personalities. It activates the fight or flight response, and it sounds like your husband is heavily predisposed to flight. I have never gotten aggressive at anyone while psychotic, and the same holds true for most of us.


Well Crimby, I sure hope it don’t end up like you say…crazed lunitic on the street. In the back of my head I see him living in darkness with now utilities on and skinny, frail…etc. but i can’t do anything about that if he wants me gone. u know.


cj9556. thanks for your response. I am desperate for help. Actaully, he still dont know i told the dr his symptoms. Basically I told doctor his symptoms, dr said it was schizophrenia. I asked dr to see steven but tell him it was as a update from his injury to assure all is well. Dr asked my husband was he delusional, hear voices etc. steven said no. I spoke up and said he has forgotten where he was. My husband thinks it was a update from his injury appt. But was mad I told dr that and didn’t talk to me …he said i tried to make dr think i am crazy and he gonna tell my dr im crazy too. I keep asking him why he says he cant trust me that I told him everything. He feels im lying about something and I can’t tell u what that is. We broke up after 3 yrs together and i was seeing someone. I have a son from that someone. My husband even saw a pic of that someone i showd him cause he asked in which I have no clue where that someone is. I tell my husband everything. you think he thinks there is more to that story??? but really he concentrates more on he "he thinks im trying to kill him"more than the cheating. He goes back and forth on which one he concentrates on. he will not tell me why he don’t trust me. says i should no.


Each case is unique, in that they may not take a person or they will. Although, schizophrenia is not taken lightly. And they will more then likely take him, even if against his will. And of course it’s hard to send a loved one to the hospital, I understand that.

I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to pick an open wound. The questions are to help you understand him on a deeper level without just asking for more details on the subject. So when you asked “how do I have time to cheat” he was likely bothered by that and just wants you to understand and allows further ruminating on a sore feeling. The questions you should be asking are more like a way to bring yourself a better understanding of his experience. Just don’t ask too many. So what questions do you want to ask him?


You didn’t bother me AT ALL. I am grateful for the feedback. I am desperate. He is expecting me to move out of the house sunday. So I might be tooooo late.


Oh, and the dr gave him meds saying its for mood swings. He had mood swings a lot after accident. But meds was geotine for sz. he never took them. maybe one pill. bottle is still in med cabinet.


Oh, and he acts like me asking “how do you feel” is aggravating. He says stop bothering me. And I say “gosh, its the only question of the day. i haven’t been home all day. so how am i aggravating u”


Perhaps he expects you to understand what he’s expressed before and sees “how do you feel” as a way to fish details out of it. You’d be better off trying to change the subject. Perhaps one way to deal with it is “I am not trying to aggravate you and it’s clear to see you don’t that question so what would be a better one?” You are trying really hard and you can make the best of this. I know it’s hard to deal with people like this.


Well, mood swings is still a hard thing to accept, because most people have a stigma against any mental illness. There is also a common attitude that if we have enough willpower, we don’t actually need our medicine. That’s why I suggested blood pressure or something physical. There is no stigma against taking meds for something physical. Geodon is a good one, too. That is what I take. He has to take it with at least 500 calories of food though, or else it will just knock him out and leave his system.

I don’t think his delusions will be anything close to what he is actually upset about. Once, I was upset that my mom stole money from me, and my delusion was that she was hiding letters I had written in the walls of the house. After that I had a totally separate delusion that she was trying to get me to set the house on fire for insurance money. And a few more. When one delusion faded, another would take its place. The one had nothing in common with the other, but once I was able to forgive her for stealing, my delusions about her faded.