The Marriage Test: How do you stick around when your partner has schizophrenia?

A positive story that may be of interest to some family members:

Elizabeth and Wade Anderson remember their honeymoon of 20 years ago with an eerie level of detail. They remember the dress she wore that first night in the Barbados (strapless, cocktail-length), the name of their taxi driver (Bruce) and the kind of car he drove (a Hyundai Sonata), and that a gecko climbed on their table during dinner. The romantic two-week holiday stands out in their memory because, once it ended, the honeymoon was really over. Life started to unravel.

The edges started to fray when Elizabeth began to write thank-you cards for their wedding gifts, a task complicated by the fact that some of the gifts had been stolen, she was sure of it. Elizabeth suspected the landlady—the same woman she swore was continually peering in the windows of their basement apartment. The young bride convinced her new husband Wade, so eager to protect, to install a video camera. It captured only hours of Elizabeth’s socked feet padding nervously through their home.

So they moved. And then moved again. In that first year, they lived in four different places, and even the security bars and steel door that Elizabeth had installed while Wade was at work couldn’t keep out the spies and thieves.

Read the full story:

What a nice story. I’m glad he stuck around for her. I hope I can find somebody like that.

Wow, that made me tear up a little. It reminded me of my 4 year relationship that ended when my partner could no longer handle my schizophrenia. At that time, I completely gave up the notion of “happily ever after.”

But this story gave me hope! Hope that there is someone for me, who will love unconditionally despite my illness. I believe that’s possible.

Thanks, SzAdmin, for sharing that inspiring and hopeful story :slight_smile:

Many Blessings,


My husband and I were together for 5 years before getting married. We have been married for 9 years now. We have had all the problems of a normal young couple with children on minimum wage jobs. Then 3 yrs ago, my husband had heart surgery. He was diagnosed with schizophrenia years ago. He is now unable to work but fighting disability for 3 yrs now. I work and go to school & haven’t always been the best spouse because I don’t know how or what to do always. My husband moved out about 2 weeks ago & says he can’t take it anymore. He tells me that he loves me but isn’t in love with me.then tonite he tells me that he is so pissed at me for not understanding him all these yrs. he goes on and off his meds. He would like to find a good dr for his condition and some friends with similar feelings. I truly believe my marriage vows but am wondering what can help our marriage.

Like Most People with Schizophrenia, Elizabeth Anderson is Coping Well; Ask Her About Being Mentally Healthy

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I was with my wife for 11 years, and we would still be together if she hadn’t died, and her death was due mainly to external factors beyond our control
… I was diagnosed SZA-Bipolar, and she social anxiety and PTSD. However, had my wife told the doctors everything she would have been given the SZA or SZ label. She would not tell them about the delusions and hallucinations.

I may not be a psychologist by I can self diagnose. I was accurate when I DX’ed myself. And while I feel my wifes “hallucinations” were actually spiritual or technical in nature most of the time, I believe she did have delusions, grandiose delusions. I won’t go into detail but she literally believed for 2 years before she died that she was one of the top people assisting the aliens in the takeover of planet earth to transform humanity, and even carry some humans to other planets.

Yet, for the most part we had a good relationship. The ONLY time things got rocky is if I drank too much. This factor also messed up another relationship I had, a good relationship with someone diagnosed paranoid SZ. Only this factor. So I don’t drink at all now. I hadn’t drank regularly before that, but it only takes once to drink too much and spout off at the mouth and act stupid.
Alcohol in excess will intensify symptoms.

But, even though I have the SZA bipolar diagnoses I have had good relationships and able to handle situations “normal” people couldn’t or wouldn’t. Maybe it’s because I understand them. Maybe that’s why they could have good relationships with me.

The 2 major things I had to deal with in relationships was my partners social anxiety and paranoia. But these issues don’t bother me…maybe a few times I left Walmart without getting everything on my list because I felt it was too crowded, but other than that I can shop, interact with the public, and if I feel like someone is watching me, it doesn’t bother me. These are things that bother many people with SZ, and I can see how they would affect a relationship.

So, how do you stick around? Because you love someone and made a commitment, and part of that would be to understand what they are dealing with. Understand any symptoms or behaviors, and work with them. If you don’t know about them, learn about them.
Almost all marriage vows have that part “In sickness and in health, for better or worse.” SZ is considered an 'illness" So you would stick by your partner through it…like the husband says in the article "“I went back to my vows and they didn’t say ‘In sickness and in health unless it’s inconvenient.’”

I would say the only time you wouldn’t stick by them was if they were beating the crap out of you, trying to kill you, destroying your home, or abusing your children if you had any…

Like he says, he calls himself her primary caregiver. He knows her best, and he has stayed with her 20 years.

I hope I can be as strong as wade was…

My mother and father have been married 35+ years. She was diagnosed early in their marriage before I was born. We have had tough times but I think having the family unit has managed to keep them both going. What a good story!