Family and Caregiver Schizophrenia Discussion Forum

Seperated, but can't let go

I haven’t been on a in awhile as a lot of things have changed. I moved out of my house, away from my mother inlaw who has dementia, who, by the way, ended up in a nursiing home. My husband and I have been living apart since January as he was kicked out of my mother inlaw’s house by my sister inlaw for being arrested for vandalism. My original intent was to get a place for the 3 of us to live, him, me and my son. But as the months went on, I started to realize that living with him would not be the best environment for my son. In the three years since his diagnoses, he has been on the revolving door to hospitals every six months and with each committment, his issues were getting worse to the point he was bringing the police to our house. And at one point, I have child services to my house to make sure my son was living in a safe environment.
I told my husband about a month and a half ago that I wanted to be seperated, that I didn’t feel he was safe to live with anymore. And that his lack of getting help with a program, lack of insight was making things worse for our family. He wasn’t happy and neither am I. This isn’t what I signed up for 14 years ago when I said “I do”. I never dreamed in a million years that we would be seperated and I am planning to contact an attorney to get a divorce. I can’t go on living in fear that he will do something so bad that I could lose my son over it. He has never harmed my son, but he has harmed him indirectly by bringing on the trouble he has brought on to himself.
He didn’t show up for court and now has a warrant out for his arrest. He swears up and down that he has a lawyer but I know he doesn’t because he cannot afford one. He told me he has a new doctor and i don’t believe that either. And I know he is out of meds so it is just a matter of time before he ends up in the hospital again.
I am typing tonight because I feel heartbroken for him. I feel sad that a man like him has had his life taken away from him due to this illness. I feel bad that he believes the things that he tells me. And I feel bad that he is facing his life by himself without his family. I have done everything I can for him over the last 3 years and there isn’t much more I can do. I have constantly been the enemy, the person he isolates from, the person he screams at when I beg him to get help, the person who has to face the neighbors after he has vandalized their property, the person who isn’t suppose to leave when things get bad.
I picked him up today and took him to cash his disablilty checks so he has money for motel rent, food, laundy, etc. He said so many things to me today that I know is untrue, but he believes all of it and I don’t have it in me anymore to disagree or try to explain things to him as it all falls on deaf ears and creates nothing but an argument.
I feel guilty for giving up! I feel guilty that my son doesn’t live with his Dad anymore! thanks for listening!

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My initial response: please don’t feel guilty. Guilt only adds to the difficulty.

I’m glad to hear you have separated, for your sake and your son’s.

You did your level best; you did everything you could and still are. Letting your husband go (and I would follow through with the divorce because if he vandalizes anyone else, you will have to pay restitution for it too) is, ironically, a way he might get help. Without you taking care of him, there is a chance the state will step in and do the job they always should have been doing: treating him.

I can tell you are hurting. I hope you go through this process and feel everything you need to feel as you get back on your feet and start your life with your son. Once your husband begins to recover (whenever and however this happens), he and your son will be able to have a much better relationship than the one that involves so much chaos brought on by illness.

Best to you


I’d feel bad too, but I agree - maybe this way he’ll get the help he needs.
Either he’ll have a flash of insight or someone else will step in.

I’ve had a lot of luck getting my son help, but if my husband got as sick as yours (I think he’s mildly bipolar but functional), it would work out the same way with me.

In fact, my husband is the kind of person that the more you tell him to do one thing, the more determined he is to do the opposite. It took me decades to figure out I just have to let him do things his own way & in his own time - and figure it out for himself.

My husband, as I mentioned is very functional, but the volatile nature of our household definitely damaged our son. If I had it to do over again knowing what I know now, I’d probably have left him - maybe even before I our son was born.


I’m so sorry this has happened to you. I can’t even imagine the pain you must feel. My thoughts are with you. I hope you can find peace.

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Aw, Ginger, I empathize with you. I separated and am now divorcing my my husband w paranoid sz after 15 years. I am still heartbroken about it. Leaving was the hardest thing, and filing for divorce was devastating to me. But I am ok now; and he is doing well, too. We are still close and talk on the phone at least once a week.

We never had kids, so it was easier in that regard. I think you are doing the right thing for yourself and your son. It’s ok to grieve the loss of your marriage, etc. Give yourself time to heal.

Like the other poster said, he may improve or get help on his own. Then you two can have a good relationship ( even if divorced) and he can be a part of your son’s life.

Stay strong. You will get through this.:purple_heart:


I’m so sorry but I think you are making a wise decision. It will hurt and I know you must feel torn. I pray you will have a peace over this decision in time. God bless

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I think you’ve made the right decision for your son’s safety and stability. Try not to feel guilty. I had to force my own daughter out of my house so I could take care of her children properly. Having my daughter in the house was causing so much instability and anxiety for the children and me. Today my daughter is still in the hospital and I’m advocating for her from afar to make sure she keeps her mental health services and a roof over her head.

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My heart goes out to you. The only thing I can say is that after the initial years after diagnosis and all the craziness and separation. (I also ended a long term relationship during that time and finally had given up on what to do with my son. He took off and was living on the street and every kid I passed on the road I would look to see if it was him. A horrible time) Anyway my son eventually came back and was more manageable. He has been pretty good and has only had a few spiraling down episodes in the last 10 years. He is still delusional and has crazy ideas but we have found a semblance of existance that we manage under. I thank God it is as good as it is when I read others stories. Yes it is heartbreaking to know what a waste of what could have been if it weren’t for this horrible disease. I hope you and your son come threw this. My son blamed me. thought I was against him etc in the beginning. But getting beat up on the street gave him I think some insight that home was safe and that I was on his side.


I know it’s hard. You do what you have to. I do hope that someone will stay some place in your husbands life that cares about him. I’ve seen first hand how lonely and lost so many are with this illness. Some go hungry, without medication, showered a safe place to sleep. There so lonely and lost. I pray for a cure or more help. I use to work with Police Chaplains division in my area. My son is also sick. One of the things talked about is a strong family support system. You have to be safe as well as your husband and son. Good luck.


I am willing to stay in my husbands life if he would let me. I told him I was not abandoning him, that I would take him to the store, drive him to the doctor, get his meds, etc. He is the father of my child and I won’t abandon him, but I cannot live with him. I gave him money last week because he ran out and needed food. I not only gave him money, I brought food from my house and he wouldn’t accept it. He took the money, but not the food as he told me he “shops for himself”. He is now in jail because of a warrant that was issued for refusing to appear in court a month ago. I went to his motel that morning to pick him up for court and he refused to answer the door. Now, I have to find some way to tell my son, once again, that his Dad is in jail as he has been wondering why his father has not called him.

Make no mistake: I love my husband, but I can’t keep putting my son through this. I can’t keep worrying when child services is going to show up because he keeps doing things that land him on the wrong side of the law. His lack of insight is seriously ruining his life and I tried for 3.5 years to help him see this and he won’t listen. My husband only has me and his son, no one else in his family is willing to help him or understand what is going on.
I am doing the best I can, so don’t think I do not care about him, because I do.