Should I just leave him alone?

I am reaching out to those who might understand, might be able to give me answers that dont sound like he knows what he is doing, he doesn’t care about his kids, he is evil. No one understands but at times me neither.
I have been in a relationship with a man for 22 years from being 18. He always showed signs of paranoia saying they told me where you were, I know you were with him. He has never shown aggression or violence you could just tell the thoughts tormented him. We have 3 children 21, 17 and 14. We have brought the kids up well together 2 are studying law and I am a manager in the nhs. He smoked cannibals for many years so I put it down to this for many years and I suppose it was self medication for a long time. He has left me a few times saying I was with someone else would stay in shared accommodation and terrible living then come back after 2 weeks saying he did t want to feel like this. Then he stopped smoking around 4 years ago and that’s when it all started.
He asked me if I could hear the sounds that people make. I found some messages he sent to an online solicitor around 3 years ago asking for help for the people that follow him. He said someone was posting things on a website about him with many followers. Said this one man from work was against him and was getting people to cough or whistle when he was there because he used to smoke and lied. He said he couldn’t go to the same place more than once. Said they would wait outside with there noices. He says they track him by his car as this man posts pictures of him and his car. Said it’s the neighbours and everyone as soon as he leaves his door. He says its also racially motivated, he is black and moved to this area from a city area when we met.
For 3 years he hasn’t been to a supermarket a bar a restaurant in the area. He will have one place where he gets petrol or his hair cut and a certain corner shop that is it. I have managed to get him on a few holidays abroad in the last 3 years and if they cough from all over the world it’s for him. He says all of his workplace are followers. I tried to speak to him so many times and will be honest I have lost my temper many times. I have dealt with this by shouting so he didn’t trust me never used to tell me what he was thinking as he knew I would tell him it wasn’t possible. He says i have had a 15 year affair. He started thinking the kids were coughing for that reason or whistling. There boyfriends pinching his letters. I told him he needed to speak to someone and there was something wrong he used to just say there was nothing wrong with him it was me. For the last year he has changed doesn’t show feeling or emotion or empathy for anything. Our relationship changed I kept asking and asking and he would stare into space say he had nothing to say then a couple of hours later ask if I wanted to watch a film but no other discussions. I would ask him if he had feeling and nothing. He still works and has been in the same factory for 18 years so they are used to him he only speaks to a select few and is a hard worker. He is very sensible to talk to and you would never know what he wax thinking. We went on a Caribbean cruise 5 months ago and had a lovley time just stayed away from busy places sat on our own and when they cough or whistle I would keep him occupied and make conversation whilst he stared at these people thinking it was for him but we got through it. He left 4 month ago and is staying in a friends bedroom. He is still going to work but not contacting his kids. He says he doesn’t love me anymore not like that and his feelings have gone. He did scream that I wasn’t to play the sympathy card as I had been messing around for 15 years and that was the only time in years I have heard him shout. This was over the phone a few weeks after he left but he had been to the house about 5 times in 4 months mostly when asked to come and see his kids. he will just sit and talk to me sensibly say we were not getting along and his feelings have gone but likes to sit for 2 hours having a chat about the kids or things in general but not about his behaviour he says he is fine. I have stopped him coming to the house as this upsets me terribly I’m trying to see to the kids the dogs and my important full time job and he sees no error of his ways and doesn’t offer to help. He doesn’t think he needs help and just thinks we should be friends and then he can pop into see the kids when he can. He couldn’t relax when he was living here as they were bringing there boyfriends in because there getting older normally noone comes around just my mum. The thing that hurts the most is him saying he has no feeling. We were actually very close. He has lost weight he stays in the friends bedroom and gambles and goes to work tells everyone he is fine.
The kids resent him as he doesn’t ring them my family and friends hate him. He has no family up here and this friend knows nothing. I somedays think he is so evil for what he has done and told him this by text and some days think he is really Unwell and tell him this by text also but everything he ignores. I do think I haven’t helped this situation by screaming at him telling him he is wrong for what he has done. I shouted at him most days before he left as he just avoided me looked straight through me but it has been so hard for me too. Should I just leave him all alone?

I am along a similar path as you my other just started these things and is 25. He hasnt left yet i hope he doesnt because he wont be safe. But he has started doing these things and he too self midicates but doesnt know he has it. He will look right through me while our 4 kids 6, 4, 1, and 1 month are around and say i love u he ignores them. Recently he has made me feel like i am not wanted by him anymore. He just like dropped me says the world needs him more then i do. I too am having strong feelings of just leaving him sadly. Because im scared. I dont want to have whats happening to u happen to me.because my heart cant take it. He is my true love and is the nest father but he just wont medicate himself

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It’s so hard, I have hidden this for years. I knew he was getting worse. It’s the torment everyday of thinking is that how he feels is he actually getting better and doesn’t care about us or is he getting worse and doesn’t know where to turn. He hasn’t known this man long only met him a few times and is renting a room from him. He is hiding from reality. He feels like he can trust this man as he is black also which sounds mad I know. But he will not trust his intensions soon then what.
I feel for you as somedays you will have the best days with him and he is your friend also but somedays it’s draining and no one else around you really understands. If they don’t get help what does that mean for us?

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Could you persuade him to see his GP?
You can share your views/ nformation with the GP in advance - they cannot share anything with you but at least it would be on the record if he did go to see them.
I think it would be good to go to see your GP on your own behalf too. Failing that perhaps Occupational Health

The other thing is it sounds as if you have been his informal carer for years - having to be on alert and cope with the impact of his thoughts,feelings and behaviours. That’s exhausting. have a lot of resources and a Helpline. You need to look after your own mental health and understand your own feelings.

Perhaps reminding your wider family that he’s unwell will help them to stop piling on how they feel on to you. You have done everything you can and he’s unwell.

Mind and Sane also have stuff for family/carers - it’s good to talk and there may be local or virtual support groups for you

It sounds as if you have been doing all you can to keep your family together for years. He lacks insight and for him the delusions about you will remain real until he gets proper treatment . The importance of keeping yourself and your family safe cannot be stressed strongly enough, he may get worse and become a real and present danger to you.
It may be a real.positive that he no longer lives with you.

No easy answers. Take care and don’t forget to be kind to yourself


If he does have paranoid schizophrenia, then he needs to be seeing a psychiatrist and taking medications. If he won’t do this willingly, perhaps because he has anosognosia, then you have to help him get treatment. The best book to learn how to do this is I Am Not Sick, I Don’t Need Help! How to Help Someone Accept Treatment


Thank you for reading and giving your advice it is really helpful I will check the links provided.

Welcome to the site @Lyn40. I’m glad you found it and you posted your question.

Oh gosh, I read your post and can understand your pain and your position. Honestly, I think unfortunately that if he is doing “OK” on his own in the rental room, that should leave him alone. You sort of answered your own question in your post, as you said " I have stopped him coming to the house as this upsets me terribly" and “The kids resent him as he doesn’t ring them my family and friends hate him”. Your first duty is to yourself, and your children. IF he WANTS help, he will ask you.

Please do read the book by Dr. Amador “I’m Not Sick, I Don’t Need Help”. I had to read it 3 times to figure out how to apply it in my home when my adult daughter developed schizophrenia and could not see that she was ill at all. She was “psychic” and “had friends who could leave their bodies to communicate with her” ruining all of our lives (hers, mine, my husband’s). Thankfully a police arrest led to forced medication and the return of her sanity.

If he is out, taking care of himself, and will not see a doctor or try medication, perhaps that is the best solution for you and your family.

Do try NOT to yell at him when you do see him, is my only advice. Screaming matches never seem to help, and weirdly my daughter, now adjusted to her new life with a monthly anti-psychotic injection, does remember my getting mad at her “for no reason” as she couldn’t see what I was upset about back then.

Welcome to the site also @Cedesdillon23 . Oh gosh, your kids are so young and for him to be making you afraid is very sad. I can understand your feelings of wanting to leave. Schizophrenia is so very hard to navigate through, and when unstable, the loved ones can act very scary. Usually there is just weirdness in behavior, not threat of danger, but having the person around small children can be very unsettling for sure. I wish you the best sorting this out and hope you come back to this site for support.


Lin40 welcome to this forum. I hope you find it helpful and supportive. For what you described there’s symptoms of paranoid schizophrenia and surprisingly your husband has navigated all these years without treatment, many do. In my own journey my son has shown practically all of the symptoms you described, that description of flat affection is also part of the illness; your best approach would be to be sympathetic since the main trait of the illness is ANOSOGNOSIA, which is the inability to recognize a disorder or illness that is clinically evident; the term comes from the Greek meaning “to not know a disease”. Many providers refer to it as a “lack of insight” or “lack of awareness”.
It’s not denial or stubbornness; it’s a neurocognitive symptom and since the person doesn’t believe they have an illness they refuse help. It helps to stay calm and try to maintain a good relationship with your loved one and regain his trust, it would be the best way to persuade him to accept help, it doesn’t come easy to learn to communicate with them but it’s very important.

I wish you the best. NAMI offers the F2F class to educate families and friends. It’s empowering to learn all you can about the illness.

Hugs to you.


Your reply is so comforting as I know we were very close and I know he means no harm. He just likes to talk about things that are not in anyway related to what has happened or nothing that involves showing his feelings. But he still wants the contact. It has been 4 months so I have had time to reflect and I am trying to be understanding. I have also had time for me. It would be good to talk to people to understand things a bit better as if he lacks insight to this being an illness then how does he think abandoning his family almost is normal. If he thinks we can’t be trusted then why does he want the contact. I suppose everyone is different and no one can truly answer these questions but it has been very hard for us to understand as he got worse over the last year and we seemed to loose the person we once knew.

My heart breaks every time I hear a new story like yours. You are certainly not alone but there IS help and hope. I cannot recommend enough these two things: 1) NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness) Family Support Group (and also their Family to Family class)…locate by internet search for NAMI in your state. AND 2) Read and put-into-practice the book “I Am Not Sick: I Don’t Need Help”. It is available on Amazon (including Audible if you prefer) and I see it also listed at online used book stores such as Here is one of many TedTalks you can find that will give you a preview of what is in the book. It’s not easy, but when you love someone, it is worth it, as long as you are safe or protecting yourself or other family members if needed.