Ruining one life to save the family

History: Married to wife for 12 years, 2 kids 6 and 11 years old. She has been diagnosed with schizo affective bipolar and has been hospitalized 4 times in the last 4 years. She has also been to jail for Domestic Violence and DUI.

I’ve been trying for the last 4 years to get her help. I’ve had to call the police on her multiple times to have her committed so that she would start a treatment plan. Short of that she always refused to get help, and insisted everything was my fault and that I was the one that was really in need of anti-psychotics.

She has cheated on me, most likely many many times, but the 2 I know of was when she came home and told me she had Chlamydia, and the second time was when she went to get drunk at a bar and decided to go home with a random guy that night (I had to work the next day, and kids had school, but she didn’t care about any of that.)

She has accused me of doing everything from ruining her life, to sleeping with her cousin, to wanting to have incestual relationships with my own family, being gay, etc etc… I’ve always ignored it and tried to keep her even tempered, but that rarely worked.

So, Monday night things crossed the line (yeah, the line was probably crossed a long time ago, but I think I’ve been in denial, or suffering some form of Stockholm syndrome.) She got drunk, as usual, and she threatened to kill my son and replace him with another kid because he would grow up to bring ruin to his father and mother.

I called the police and they took her to the hospital, the following day I got a protective order against her. She is now no longer able to see or speak to me or the kids for about 3 weeks, and then a hearing for a more permanent order will take place, if that works she will not be able to see myself or the kids for 2 years.

After all of this, I feel terrible. I know I’m doing the right thing for myself and the kids, but I can’t stop empathizing with my wife’s condition and predicament. It feels more like I’m losing a part of myself than guilt. But I can’t let her back, putting our lives and emotional health at risk.

Anybody have experience with this kind of situation? I should get some therapy for myself and kids, I imagine…

I am so sorry you have to be put through this…

I applaud you for your courage man…

When kids are involved… you have to do what’s best for them… after she threatened their life… well… time for drastic measures.

I am the one with the Sz Dx… so I can’t offer much in the way of advice…

But I do salute you for the quick action… It’s sad that it has to come to this but hopefully this will be the turning point for her.

I wish you and the kids good luck.

Yes… therapy would probably help the kids… someone to talk to… maybe see if they would like to talk to someone… don’t force the therapy… but let them know the door is open for that option.

I’d also so… for you… it would help to have a therapist help you navigate the murky waters and it will also help you advocate for the kids.

I have schizoaffective disorder. I am also married with two kids. You did the right thing. If your wife was in a good mental state, she would agree. You are not ruining her life, you are saving it!

Props to you for doing right by your children first and foremost. I can appreciate how heart-wrenching this must be. Here’s hoping this will spur your wife to seek treatment. Speaking as someone with Sz, I would expect my wife to do the same with me should I ever become so unstable and detrimental to our family life.

You have nothing to feel bad about or to apologize for, sir. Well done.


I guess my biggest concern is that I don’t think she can take care of herself. I have this nagging feeling that if her family doesn’t step up to help her (which they haven’t done for the 4 years I’ve been asking them for help) then she will end up homeless and never actually get treatment. Just become another one of those faceless homeless people with severe mental illness that you see on the street.

Make sure you bring it up in court. Make her seeking help a stipulation of her seeing her children.

You are doing the right thing.
The court may have her committed to a state hospital for treatment-that would be a good thing.
I would make sure that you are there to let the court know what has been going on, and to advocate for her being put into a state hospital.
Some kind of therapy or a support group would be a great help for you and your children.
This is also a great site for info and support. i have a diagnosed son and this forum has been a lifesaver for me since I work nights.
My prayers are with you…

Yes. I would get with an attorney who specializes in family law and get a referral from him or her to another attorney who has been waaaaaaay down the road into medical power of attorney for an incompetent spouse as well as outright conservatorship over a non-compliant / treatment-resistent spouse.

An occupational hazard for those enmeshed with sz-spectrum pts. Don’t beat yourself up.

Do keep this in mind. If you don’t take care of you, the kids are up for grabs.

Forgive me, I will elaborate. It seems as if the marital problems stem from aggressive harsh critiques during moments rage during heated arguments. This in turn may lead to resentful feelings that lead to depression.

And the untreated chronic mental illness has nothing to do with it at all? Really?


I’m not sure I understand what you are saying. Are you saying that marital problems are caused by people being angry at criticism from their spouse? What is the criticism in saying ‘I have chlamydia and you should probably get an STD test?’

Either I do not understand what you are saying, or you are not wording your thoughts very well.

Actually the last part of your post was a huge concern for me.

I recently went to the doctor to retest for high blood pressure. During the visit I mentioned that my wife might be causing some of the high readings due to an outburst that morning. He asked if I had kids in the house and if they experienced the same thing. I told him that, yes, yes they have.

He replied that it was his duty to call DCHS(I think that is my states CPS) and to report the house hold. I’m hoping that the steps I have made will prove that I can take care of my kids without state intervention (I’ve gone through this before and have emergency plans for daycare).

I have paranoid schizophrenia and I have never been married. This may sound trite or corny but I used to watch Judge Judy for years. I heard her say a million times in a million cases that the kids in a marriage always come first. So you are doing the right thing by protecting your kids from their mom.

BUT… if you feel guilty or you feel somehow feel some kind of loyalty towards your wife then you can try to help her somehow even if it’s behind the scenes or just even phone calls to various institutions, clinics, or other mental illness resources. You might be able to do this without actually talking to her. If your last contact with her is to arrange for someone or something to take care of her long-term than you can rest with a clear conscience that you did your best in the relationship. Good luck.

This post is amazingly insightful into my emotions. I do feel profound guilt in getting the protective order, like an axe to the 12 years of marriage we had. 8 of those were awesome, untill her MI was triggered by our move to another state.

Loyalty, even after the protective order, even knowing that tonight was the last time, I still care about where she is. And it is tearing me apart not knowing…

Yeah, I hear the anguish. Just do the best you can.

Can you ban this troll? 2 threads that I have been in this guy is trolling and I expected a support forum (everyone who is not ilovethaifood I thank you humbly for the messages)

I have sent the user an official warning to stop harassing other users in the Family forum. Failure to comply will result in sanctions against his/her account. Apologies for the stress this has brought to bear on you – one of the downsides of this site is that it does attract many less functional users with, ahem, ‘boundary issues’ (and being honest, I’m one of them).


Volunteer moderator.

cc: @SzAdmin

I have lived with lesser degrees of erratic behavior from partners than you’re describing. I developed all kinds of psychosomatic problems including EBP and IBS, as well as paranoid reactivity. Good to hear you’re on top of this.

I think you did the right thing, living with a person like that can be highly stressful for kids. I remember living with my stepmother for a few years when I was 16, she was relatively sane compared to your wife, but she and my father used to fight a lot, she was a bit irrationally protective of her kids and suspicious of me, and it left its marks. I think it took me twenty years to fully process that stuff internally.

@splifferton And permanently (or at least for a very long time) induce a resting imbalance of the autonomic (“fight or flight”) nervous systems in the kiddies who are more epigentically susceptible to that than older folks. I was myself autonomically imbalanced in childhood by all the screwy stunts Ma pulled… and didn’t know it for decades. I “caught” PTSD at age three. (Maybe younger; can’t remember any further back.)

AND… if the kiddies have Ma’s genes for sz, this is the sort of thing that can modify the dormant genetics enough to drive them into sz expression.

See Epigenetics - Wikipedia.