Refuses help, broken family


I’m a mental health professional, I am well educated about mental illness. The truth is that no professional experiences prepare for personal situations. My children’s father and I were together for 9 years since he was 20 now he’s getting older and has been having symptoms. It has gotten progressively worse and last year he moved out of the home we shared but we have still been in a relationship and functioning as a family unit. Yesterday out of the blue he told me he didn’t want to be with me anymore and doesn’t care for me or anyone else. I can see he is experiencing emotional apathy but he is in denial. His mother is severely ill and low functioning with schizophrenia and he is terrified for a doctor to condemn him to her fate. I have tried numerous times to get him to seek help and he has refused, his family is not supportive of getting help, either. So now he broke up with me and I am scared for him and alone. My heart is truly broken and I don’t understand why he would just decide to leave me after all these years and us having our children. I suppose I am just looking for support in this forum because it breaks my heart that I don’t believe its really him that is doing this it’s his illness. But from the outside when I tell any of my friends and family they say he is just selfish and self centered and doesnt want to be in a relationship. I know in my heart and in the symptoms i see in him that that is not the whole truth and either way I have to react the same? I don’t want to live my life without him but he is refusing to a part of my life right now and I’m confused and lost. Thank you for any suggestions or support I can receive.


I am so sorry you have to go through this. The part that makes my so sad for you is YOU can see it’s the symptoms of the illness but your not getting support from his side of the family or your own.

I can understand not getting help from his family, if they are SZ and low functioning and not in remission they most likely don’t have the ability to be supportive. But your own friends… I hope they can become educated and understand what negative symptom is.

He’s not living with you and has decided to cut all ties? Has he been seeing the kids at all? Has he expressed any interest in keeping ties with the kids? I’m not saying use the kids or put them in the middle, but hopefully seeing the kids will help him remember why he might want to stick around as friends a bit more.

It sounds like he’s heading for hard time. Cutting all ties like this can be a huge warning sign. Does he have a job?


I would think that mental illness from a professional point of view and a personal point of view would look a lot different. You are not as emotionally tied to a patient.

Please look at these sites: - under resources are free videos on using LEAP
LEAP is a way of communicating to build trust. Listen-Empathize-Agree-Partner. - Dr. Xavier Amador is a clinical psychologist whose brother had schizophrenia. He is the founder of the LEAP Institute. Wrote the book: I’m Not Sick I Don’t Need Help! Can buy from his website.
Search Xavier Amador and LEAP on and you should find some long videos - under problems you will see anosognosia
Anosognosia looks like denial but is different. - helped my understand delusions - National Alliance on Mental Illness. - Schizophrenia Society of Canada

Can also find some very useful information here:

I know that a lot of this information will not be new to you but now that you are experiencing this on a personal note then it may help. Having anosognosia and not being able to have insight into the illness affects a lot of people with schizophrenia. Understanding that schizophrenia is controlling his actions may help you to understand that he may not be intentionally turning his back on you or your children. I have read a lot of posts in the last 6-10 months of family members experiencing what you are going through. Loved ones walking away from their partners and family. The disease itself is causing this disconnect from the ability to express and feel love. Negative symptoms are tough. I don’t think that anyone truly starts to understand until they are living it.

Welcome to the forum and I hope that you find the support that you are looking for.


Thank you for your responses he does have a job he works everyday. Up until yesterday he has come to stay with me and the kids 4 to 5 days a week then he started withdrawing he said its just me can’t be around he agreed to come spend time with the kids when i’m not home. He blames me for all that has gone wrong for him i.e. his dog died, his car broke down, everything bad is somehow my fault so he said he believes if he leaves me he will be ok. I know he is scared but hes not showing me that he showed me no emotion at all but anger and irritation. I pray for him just my heart is broken because he left me and that takes all my future hopes of our family staying together.


Well, when he doesn’t see you and things still go bad, he can’t blame you. You poor kids must be so confused. Maybe he’s really crumbing and doesn’t want you to see it so his head is trying for any feeble excuse it can make.

This announcement was yesterday. His ideas might change next week. It’s going to be hard, but you might have to just stand by and say, Ok, fine. don’t talk to me then. I used to push people away. Then I noticed they were staying away and I got really freaked out. There was a lot of emotional swing in my life before stability. I’m sorry to say, but you might be in for some drastic back and fourth swing.


I just referenced transference on another post. My son used to put all of his negative feelings onto me. Everything was my fault. He couldn’t see that the negativity was originating from himself so he put it on me. I think your husband is going through a tough and confusing time. He probably has a lot of anger inside of him and he doesn’t understand it. May even be being overwhelmed by it. I know it’s hard but try not to take it too personally. I know that we can define ourselves by who we are to the people that we love. You are more then his wife. Maybe take this time to rediscover you. Things about yourself that are not dependent on him. As SurpisedJ said. When things are still falling apart for him when he is not with you then maybe he will be able to gain some insight.


Thank you so much for all of this feedback. I am so grateful that you are responding to me. It in part is my issue that I am used to the emotional highs and lows and I feel like it’s an unhealthy part of me that is willing to go through all this drama and not just accept him leaving. We did go through this before when he originally moved out last year he said he needed to be on his own and then after a couple months of that he came back around to saying he loved me and knew that we needed each other and should be back together. We talked about marriage (together this long but not legally married) and having another baby. So all this last year I thought we were doing ok then he started having these signs again. I’m afraid that I don’t want to let him go and that if he does come back to me I will accept him but that it will set me up to just keep being hurt over and over because I am fairly certain he’s not going to seek professional help. He does have healthy family that takes care of his mom and they don’t want to maybe accept that he could be in the same position as her so they don’t see what I see. I think that him blaming me for everything is part of his illness and his rationalization for detaching because in reality all these ‘bad’ things that happened occurred when I wasn’t around. I am going to do my best to be strong for myself and my kids and continue to pray for him. I do know I need to respect his wishes and leave him alone its just hard to go from sharing your life with someone to no contact suddenly. God bless all of you for hearing me out.


I just want to tell you about me. Maybe it will give you some hope or understanding.

Looking back I got ill in 2009, a lot of paranoia. It got worse in 2010. I thought my husband or son would kill me in my sleep. So I stopped sleeping. One day me and my 10 year old son had a fight, I almost beat him with a hockey stick. That reaction scared the hell out of me. I have no memory of demolishing the wardrobe instead. So I ran away from home. Left the kids and my husband. Then it took about 4 months before I was hospitalized for 6 months.

About one year after I ran away, I came back home. On meds. Always onmeds now. My husband never gave up on me even if I was mean and emotionally cold. It was the illness making me flat without emotions. He visited me regularly in the hospital. Even when I was like a vegetable on the bed.

I hope your husband will get help. Maybe realize himself or that he ends up in hospital and gets help.


Schizophrenia can cause the sufferer to appear selfish but this is because the person is self obsessed. Trust me, Im like that and I feel I am sometimes unbearable for my parents to have to live with me. But my point is give your partner some space, don’t nag/pressure him and be understanding. He will come round.

Schizophrenia is a an illness which comes in cycles. You can be good one day and bad the next. But you do get better and benefit from supportive people.


Thank you comatose and karl I really changed my perspective in hearing from ya’ll. I do have hope my main issue is he refuses to seek any kind of professional help or even to allow me to educate him on the illness. I’m afraid of how this is negatively impacting his and mine and our kids quality of life he is making reckless and immature decisions and he doesn’t allow any of us to help. I’m frustrated because I’m not his caregiver we are not legally married he lives with his dad so it’s harder from me just being his girlfriend and mother of his child. I have a child that also has suffered mental illness and I had no compunction in placing her in a hospital immediately when I feared for her safety. With my partner I have no power to do that and I’m afraid to do anything like an involuntary commitment because his family wouldn’t support it and he has made direct and indirect threats to me before about this. I won’t do that to him. Again, it has helped me immensely just that this site exists and everyone is so caring here to share their experiences.