Family and Caregiver Schizophrenia Discussion Forum

Spouse Does Not Love Me?

So about a week ago, my spouse and I were talking. Things had seemed to be going well-- he was back at work, his meds seemed good, and he was evening making some progress on his professional goals. However, something seemed off for about a week-- he just seemed distant or disinterested. I noticed things like he was keeping his headphones in when we went to bed, he didn’t call me one of his pet names for me, etc. Little things, but I get that moods happen.
But then he admitted that he had gotten a message from someone on Instagram and that it made him feel “romantic feelings” in a way he “hadn’t in a long time.” He described it as feeling like there were “hooks and fire in his skin” even though the message was completely innocuous. He said he started to feel like a 'selkie without it’s skin" – like I was trapping him and he wanted to be more free, to be independent like he hadn’t been able to before. He later said he might be manic (which fits with some other signs/symptoms that have been happening)
I felt horrible in multiple ways. I never want him to feel trapped with me. I have taken steps to try and make sure he doesn’t – he has his own money, the car is in his name, etc. I don’t want him to stay with me because he feels like he “needs to.”
I also just feel like my heart was completely shredded. I don’t know what to do with this. I never thought to doubt that we loved each other. I feel completely off kilter now. I feel insecure and cry at the drop of a pin. What do I do? How do I make this better?

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I think all this has to be taken within the overall context of your relationship. How your relationship has been going in the last few years. Or possibly this is part of his illness. It seems that he has not gone any further with his Instagram friend. You have to talk calmly and sort things out and make sure he is stable.

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Oh gosh, that is so heartbreaking… Chances are that this is another manifestation of his illness, but that doesn’t make it any easier to take. On the other hand plenty of perfectly sane men (and women) have a crisis of this sort in their marriage where one party or the other suddenly feels the need for that rush of a red hot romance. Please just try to understand that it has nothing to do with love and nothing to do with you.

Honestly, I think if it were I in this situation I would tell him he is not trapped in any way and invite him to leave, maybe even insist on it and help him find another place to stay for a while until he works this out of his system or you decide you are better off without him. In my experience, nothing brings a man to his senses faster than a woman who freely and cheerfully gives him his walking papers.

I’m so sorry, dear. I hope you have some good female friends right now and that you are being kind to yourself.

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yes you are right, and this is a type of Schizophrenia called Erotomania\Erotomanic. My husband suffers from this and it’s horrible. It’s usually the patient thinking this object of focus is liking him back. It feels just like he’s cheating. I have been to hell and back and repeat. Even tho I know its delusion, it still hurts and all my defenses go up. He slips in and out of the delusion depending on situation. We don’t go out unless it’s absolutely needed. Our marriage is on the brink because of this. It’s one thing if your husband hears voices or thinks you are the FBI, it’s another thing when he tells you he feels feelings for perfect strangers on the street. Look up EROTOMANIA SCHIZOPHRENIA. They believe this other person is in love with them. Delusional. My husband went on vacation and he thought he got a fellow tourist to “like him” and for almost 2 years he can’t get over “the feeling”. And of course he knows she likes him because she, (55 yr old women) sent him secret signs that she likes him. And yes, it’s all about the dopamine. IT’s absolutely ludicrous to me, but real to him. It’s not going well for us, because it’s emotionally draining fighting my own feelings to be able to help him. I must have basically called it quits like every week. Threatening divorce to leaving him to kicking him out. It’s all useless. It’s mental illness and unbreakable delusion. He’s 50 years old by the way, his first major psychotic break. I feel embarrassed, disgusted, hurt, scared- all at once. I can’t just leave him because this is all in his head. Because my husband is having an imaginary affair?
And yes, this would be funny too if it wasn’t happening to me…As I’m writing this, I cannot believe how ridiculously horrifying my life has become.

He’s likely manic. Doesn’t mean he’s not feeling what he’s feeling, but it’s a symptom, not “reality”. Don’t blame yourself or try to apply reason. Listen to him, try hard not to take it personally, tell him that these feelings are destructive to your relationship and that you love him, but you want a monogamous and loving relationship and you believe he might need to talk to therapist, if it’s with you there too that’s great. But most importantly, he should go. If he won’t, don’t compromise your love and your values, as it is likely his brain is feeding him bad information. Don’t argue. If he decides to go, it will hurt, but not as much as if he gets increasingly manic and loud and ugly to you. It’s the most brutal reality of this illness, but once an episode starts to ramp up, there not much you can do but listen, empathize, and get help (if he’ll agree) or let go. I guarantee the person who created these feelings in him will be shocked/dismayed when he arrives on her doorstep—so be patient and use this time to care for yourself. You might realize you deserve better.

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Look coming from someone who has psychosis and schizophrenia it’s hard man… it’s not easy maybe it’s not the fact that he do not love you; but, he may hate the world… when I was in my psychotic state and I just got diagnosed… I hated every single thing. I hated that these drugs caused me to gain weight. Felt like my life was a joke a game… so you just get upset about everything. Talk to him or ask if it’s something that you did but you deserve to be loved regardless because you stuck by him.

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