Marriage counseling- Not yet diagnosed

We have our first marriage counseling session this coming week. To tell you the truth… I am terrified. My psych was the one who opened my eyes to the fact that my husband may have schizophrenia. Personally I scoffed it off for a while… but as things got worse I joined groups, read threads, and currently I have been reading the book I am Not Sick I Don’t Need Help! book by Xavier Amador and I feel seen. Since joining this group and reading around I no longer feel so alone as I have prior, and, agree with my psychs assessment. Last few months, since things have been triggered in him, my husband has accused me of sleeping with everyone (Even a random electrician that stopped coming years ago, which he suddenly blames on something having occurred between us). It is so sad. I am a faithful wife of over two decades. The only time my feelings strayed I immediately addressed them as I know it was something in me searching for something I felt I lacked… I never acted on them. I am open and honest, but since this has been triggered in my husband, anything he ask that I openly divulge he somehow turns into an infidelity. I am scared what this marriage counseling will do to us. I am an open book. When this major shift in him started, I had called the cops for a wellness check. I was terrified he was going to harm himself. He has since requested all the files (911 call to cops body cams) and I thought he would see that I was not trying to harm him but was genuinely concerned. Somehow it turned into “his wife flirting with the cops in his driveway”. It completely broke my heart. My psych tells me he is consistent with his “possible diagnoses” of schizophrenia and I should not be surprised. I understand I am suppose to not get upset but I am suppose to acknowledge his feeling and go from there. When I do he tells me I am a liar and disingenuous… I don’t know what to do. I cannot agree to his delusions, but he also gets livid if I try to reflect or acknowledge his feelings about the matter. I am so scared about this coming therapy session. It’s hard when I have given him access to everything, answers to all his questions and I get persecuted like I have actually done something wrong. I even told him about a dad of one of my kids friends proposing sex to get back at his wife and my husband accuses me of being the one in the wrong (I had recommended books to him which my husband says was my green light to act the way he did). Again I don’t know what to do… and on top of that I am afraid the MFT will not see his schizophrenia. My psych says not to bring it up and only bring up incidents and vignettes and they, in theory, should see it… but my husband worked intel in the military and is a lawyer. He knows how to “play the part” for his purpose. I’m so scared…Thank you for reading this if you did. It feels so lonely sometimes.


Weirdly enough, my daughter could almost always “play the part” to hide her delusions and hallucinations when others were evaluating her. I saw it each time the police came to our home (over 40 in total over the years), she could suddenly reduce the amount of drama she was causing almost every time. The 4 or 5 times she was Baker Acted were the few times she couldn’t hide her destructive speech or actions. Especially in the beginning of her illness, no one really suspected a mental problem, she just was acting oddly sometimes, which anyone has a right to do.

Being the target of delusions is pretty common for direct family members of the ill person. My daughter called the police on her step-father repeatedly, and there was actually an active investigation into him as she kept accusing him of sexual advances that never happened. You are reading the best book I think that there is for how to actually speak to a person with hallucinations or delusions. I had to read Dr. Amador’s book 3 times before I figured out how to use it to address behavior issues with my daughter, but LEAP is a great method.

Learning how to agree to disagree was a valuable tool to get my daughter to stop pushing ideas on me that I couldn’t agree with.

I’m sure you feel lonely sometimes. We all do when confronted with attacks from our loved ones. Just remember that the attacks are part of the illness, and aren’t really our loved one… But it is so hard to be attacked verbally.


It does sound like possible paranoid schizophrenia. I agree you shouldn’t say that yourself, but bring up the examples of behavior for a professional to decide. I think if you’re speaking in a non confrontational way, just saying objective information and “i” statements, you’ll have better luck in the therapy with him addressing it as things he does. Hopefully the therapist will catch on to a pattern if it’s there. Good luck. My past partner, who I’m still very close to, would constantly assume i was cheating when i wasn’t, and wasn’t even giving him reason to think i was (it could even be when I was with him the whole time.) Delusions can be very challenging to be on the other end of with people you really care for and love, but thats part of the illness. I will say no to delusions that im not doing, but i would try to take out a negative emotional reaction or argue. He would at times be “grounded” (his words) by an explaination of why whatever delusion wasnt the case (*id make sure to say from a loving place), but the more psychotic he was, the delusion could be unshakable. Then you just have to try not to let it bother you if they’re holding on to the belief. Again, it’s part of the disease. However, in acknowledging the illness and helping maintain a connection (as long as you’re safe!!), like in LEAP, “i can see you believing ‘such and such’ would be really upsetting/scary” is a good thing too. Showing empathy and showing up as a safe person.


Since you’re reading im not sick i dont need help, that book really helped me with the difficult situations of partnership with someone with sz, but another book that helped within my partnership immensely (and can help in general) was Nonviolent Communication. How you word things and approach conversations can have a huge impact on their reaction, and ability to care about and understand what you’re trying to communicate.


We completed our first session. No diseases were brought up. When she said she can’t keep secrets I was willing to bring up that I think there is more going on deeper down that just these accusations… she quickly stopped me and said “for sure, there is a long history here”. I don’t know if she was trying to keep me from saying further, but thinking about what my psych said, I stopped myself. It is so challenging. Inside I feel like screaming out the top of my lungs, “For the love of God, help me! Can’t you see he needs help? Can’t you see how he is killing me each day this goes on?” of course I don’t. I stay quiet and am trying to trust the process and those helping me, but I find it so hard when I feel the system is failing us. I feel like I have reached out for help in multiple ways and nothing. He even told our marriage therapist that he has his therapy sessions… he doesn’t really. He even complained to me days prior that he has no one to talk to (of course this was after he asked me who I am leaning on, and when I said, I go to my therapist once a week, he of course accused me of " no I mean who else are you going to, are you talking to **** about this?" one of the people he accuses me of cheating with). My husband told me he met up a few times with a social worker that is going to set him up with an anger management group… but nothing yet and he does not do individual counseling which is what he would benefit from and who could truly diagnose him. His mom (who lived with bipolar) passed away in 2018 from complications to her meds so I don’t know if that’s why he is afraid to seek help. I feel like I am slowly drowning, and it is so painful. I appreciate all your responses. I am sorry for those of you hurting as well. Sending you all a virtual hug. I have read nonviolent communication and it truly is a gem of a book that I recommend to everyone. I wish it had a different title as I feel it turns people away (aka “I don’t speak violently”). Again, thank you all, you help me manage this difficult time.


Usually a schizophrenia is diagnosed in young adults-sounds like if you’ve been married for 20 years it may be something else-I worked with a man who had sudden personality changes-and he had a brain tumor-might see if he will see a medical doctor and psychiatrist as well.
My son had schizophrenia and stopped taking his medication-he’s 46 and diagnosed at 17- he has delusions and phychois-it’s extremely difficult-he doesn’t make sense/ he lost his housing due to violent with neighbors- he’s in jail due to get out but still refusing medication-hoping they will send him to psychiatric hospital next.
Wishing you the best/ I attend Alanon-it helps a lot- there are electronic meetings -go to Alanon we’ve. We have to take care of ourselves first.

Thank you, that is definitely something to consider that I had not prior. His mother lived with bipolar and based off things he did and ways he acted, I treated his behaviors as such. He also has PTSD, so when things like paranoia took affect, I attributed it to that. Things with his behavior would get bad but would last a week, two weeks tops. The delusions/psychosis seem new, but based off things we had gone through prior, I wonder if they too were psychosis (a term I had no knowledge of prior. Only learned of them when things got this bad as they are now). I see the Marriage LCSW tomorrow for my one-on one. I am still scared she is overlooking his actions/behaviors (or blowing it off as just PTSD) but I am crossing my fingers she sees behind the curtain.

Remember to take care of yourself. If he says he is going to hurt you or himself call 911 and keep safe. Delusional thoughts can also be seen in bipolar and other mental health disorders. National helpline 800-662-4357 for more information on mental health. Look up the positive and negative symptoms of schizophrenia: this may clarify for you the presentations of schizophrenia. Take care

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