Family and Caregiver Schizophrenia Discussion Forum

I am a distant parent in need of advice for my daughter

My daughter with a 3-year diagnosis of schizophrenia is under her young husband’s thumb and has slowly excluded me from being in the loop of her care, which is concerning because he has mental health issues himself and is not taking his meds according to her. I have only tried to encourage her to do healthy activities and take care of herself. Work is an issue and she wants to but is only “allowed” to work full time. He will not work and is currently living off her disability (full) after a year out of the service. He has tried to go to school and also a job, but it lasted less than a week. Her last dr. told her to go off her heavy dose of Abilify with weight gaining side effects. He continues to thwart her efforts to eat healthy by not allowing her to buy healthier food. Any advice or tips on what to do. I barely get a chance to talk to her alone because he is listening and does most the talking. Not sure if I can help her. They are also not paying for adequate healthcare. She is not getting any services , therapy.

Hi juliea,

I am sorry that you aren’t getting many chances to talk with your daughter without her husband listening.

Personally, I believe that there are times when we have to let our adult children determine the amount of influence we have in their adult lives. Husband/wife relationships can be sensitive to parents who have something to say. As parents, we can be a bit unforgiving towards the spouse if our adult child tells us something negative about the spouse.

Just suggesting that it may be a good idea to let your daughter determine your role in her life. She is on meds, which is great. Getting the rest of her life going in the direction she wants may take time. Be supportive and listen. If you can, don’t offer advice unless she asks for it. Again, just a suggestion.

It can take a long time - years- to get the details of their lives worked out. Dealing with a relationship at the same time is not easy.

She is lucky to have you in her corner. Personally, I think some of the hardest parenting we do is when we don’t do anything at all. Take care of yourself.

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It is awful to watch when someone you love makes choices you don’t agree with, but any parent, in my opinion, has to stand back and let their adult children make their own decisions and plans. In my case, my ill daughter chooses to work with me in her care, but she lives with me. My adult sons, who are on their own, barely talk to me: they are busy with their own lives and don’t want my advice. It isn’t that they are mad at me, they just haven’t included me much in their circle anymore. There is so much I would like to teach those boys (men) but my opinions aren’t wanted. I don’t force it on them either.

Your daughter is married and is living that life now. I think if she wanted and needed your help, she would ask for it. When she does ask, be ready to give advice that doesn’t cut down her husband. She may never forgive you for being negative that way until she sees him as a problem herself.

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