Relationship problems and planning for the future

I have been dating my undiagnosed schizophrenic boyfriend for 3 years. He refuses to seek help or get involved in any group therapy or solo therapy. He is a “negative way” Buddhist. I am an atheist. We have a lot of trouble communicating because he talks about things that don’t exist in reality. They are somewhere in another realm. I don’t disbelieve that what he believes isn’t real, but his voices team up against him and bring him pain, shame, and depression. I have made many helpful suggestions and offered to be there to support him. But he believes he is getting better on his own, with his own practice. Which includes a lot of staring at walls and doing nothing. His mind is what he is trying to conquer. To find himself. But I have seen no improvement in our 3 years together.

I am turning 38 years old and have little time left if I want to have a baby. I feel like he is not ready to have a baby, even though he wants one too. I don’t think a baby will make him better and I’m tired of waiting for his improvement. He hasn’t harmed anyone nor has he harmed himself much more than a punch in the wall. I will not be the kind of woman who gives her man an ultimatum, but I’m ready to move forward in my life and don’t know if I should be with him and if having a baby with someone suffering with schizophrenia would be a smart discussion. Any advice?

I think you’ve pretty much answered your own question about having a baby with someone who has SZ and is not making improvement.

Antipsychotic meds have their own set of problems, but in my son’s case have helped a good deal. That means seeing a psychiatrist who is experienced in the treatment of SZ and can make an official diagnosis of SZ, if that is what your boyfriend in fact has, and recommend treatment options.


I’m childless by choice with a SZA diagnosis. Children are among the most stressful and distracting things I can think of. And people with SZ generally don’t handle stress and distraction well (treated or not). It can cause them to spiral and relapse. Their lack of emotional stability and availability are also less than ideal for parenting. They tend to earn less and have shorter longevity than non diagnosed parents.

Schizophrenia is also highly heritable which may make offspring doubly disadvantaged, potentially having a poor genetic makeup and family environment. While age of the father at conception is more of a factor for genetic issues, your age also is a factor. Genetic counseling may be able to quantify potential risks.

My advice is to think of yourself and child first and consider the very likely reality that you would be raising a child with him on your own irrespective of his physical presence. And if you do stay with him to raise a child, you may be in effect be raising two “children” without help.

From your description, I’m struggling to see what he brings to the table in your relationship, so perhaps you’re seeking validation of a choice to leave him to pursue other goals. I don’t see leaving him or not having a child with him as an ultimatum, but a choice. Whether or not he seeks treatment influences that choice, but even if he seeks treatment it’s not a given he will improve measurably or soon enough to foster parenting a child with you.


I agree with all the comments I have read. My advice DON’T EVEN THINK ABOUT STAYING
Your life will be hell. Get out now…

TLDR: Get out. They do not respect you and they are in no condition to care or judge your own feelings and mental state if they can’t determine their own.

Get out. It’s one thing to be a family member that has other children involved. (i.e if you already had children and for whatever reason they, with SZ, were awarded custody) you would owe it to them, to get out.

It is an unkind fate to foist someone with severe mental illness, especially when it’s untreated, with a child. He is not in a good place and neither will you. The risks of an Andrea Yates type case happening to you, knowing what you do, is extremely negligent. He isn’t seeking treatment. He won’t go to a therapist. He cannot and does not have awareness of his own illness. Punching a wall is the definition of property destruction. This is a crime even if you did not press charges. Consider what happens to a child who cries too much while you’re sleep deprived. Do you really trust them to take care of you or them in the post partum period?

He cannot and does not respect your opinions and thoughts on his actions or illness. This is a poor basis on which to have kids and to care for them. A man who is willing to string you along when you are already in an advanced age group for childbirth is NOT looking at the world rationally or kindly.