Caring for a Spouse with Mental Illness
Mental Illness is different than cancer, Alzheimer's, diabetes, or other conditions that society accepts as organic and 'real'. Have you chosen to stay with your spouse or care for someone who suffers from a mental illness? This groups is here to support you.
Help spread the support to more people in need -- Please tell a friend or two. Thanks!
What's New Today
23 days ago
My husband has had head injuries he has petition and grand male seizures which he totally denies and thinks everyone even doctors are having a group mentality against him. He has been extremely negative but wanting a spiritus bond with me. He is making no sense. Talks about how mo one understands him and never has. I don't know what to do next. He doesn't think he has a problem
about 1 month ago
My husband has bipolar. Two nights ago he took a bunch of Xanax for no apparent reason. He's been a zombie for two days. He blew out a tire this morning and tore up his car. I told him he needs to go to counseling or I'm moving out. We have been married for 6 months. His first wife left him. He has a 4yo son and we get him tomorrow for 5 days. Idk how I'm going to handle the stress of it all. He's good at taking his medicine but gets angry at me for illogical reasons. I love him but I've told him I hate him twice. It's hard. I need support. I'm starting to turn to alcohol.
about 1 month ago
My husband has bipolar and Skitzo-effective disorder along with add, add, ocd, odd, he has been dealing with stomach issues last year and half and we are in a financial bind, he is trying to quit smoking and is almost out of pot, we are trying to get his meds straight, he has been on edge this week and our 1yr anniversary is in 2 days, he's out of phone time, we took insurance off his car since he never drives it and we can't afford it, he is mad cuz he's out of phone time (I offer but he says no) he complains he's stuck at home, I offer to put insurance back on his car even though he can drive mine whenever he says no, I borrowed money to buy him pot, I offered to write a check to get him smokes, but he says no, but insists on complaining about all of these things I try to resolve them he says no and that he always get the shit end of thing (we go broke buying his weed and cigs) he's saying screw our anniversary and stuff like that, I don't know what to do anymore, nothing I say or do is good enough.
about 1 month ago
This sounds like a bad Lifetime movie, but here goes: I've been in a serious relationship for well over 2 years with a wonderful man whose wife has delusional disorder and divorced him 3 years ago. She was convinced he was molesting their son and trying to kill her. Police involved; traumatic for all. He has been in therapy since then and seemed to have a good grip on things when we met. We have discussed many future plans once our teenagers are in college. (I have been trying to divorce my bipolar husband for four years now).
After months of alarming behavior and increasing paranoia, she was recently committed, put on new meds, abruptly recovered, and now wants him back - and he said yes because he is afraid she will kill herself if he stays with me (she had a previous attempt 10 years ago, after her last release). He says he could not have foreseen his reaction to this and feels horrible about the decision, but says he has no choice but to agree to what he admits is a loveless charade with her in order to keep her safe (she has literally no family or friends) and help their only child (17) gets his mother back. He is openly resigned to the provability of decades of more episodes (she's been ill 18 of their 28-year history), complete isolation (they are foreign) and a relationship in which he is a caretaker rather than a partner. He says she will never hold a job, let alone be self-sufficient, so he must care for her. They have separate bedrooms. He sobbed over the difference between their "fake" relationship and our relationship, which we agree is strong, healthy and passionate. He has apologized profusely. I felt both our hearts breaking. His ex and their son are happy. He is overwhelmed by depression and anxiety.
My heart goes out to the family. I wish her no harm, and I have always respected his loyalty and generosity. But this development completely blindsided me. I offered to try to work with him and be patient while she temporarily stays with him, until she is stable again, but he says it will be a long and hideous process, and that if she thinks he's still In contact with me, she will have nothing to live for, as her family will have been destroyed.
I had no advance idea of this. She asked him, in front of their son, if she could move back in while she was still hospitalized, and he felt he had no choice but to say yes. When she said she still lives him, he could only manage to say he missed her, but that satisfied her and made their son happy. Now her recovery hinges on the lies he is telling her, which he freely admits. I'm in utter shock and desperately trying to process this with no success. I would greatly appreciate any insight from people who have been in a similar situation. I truly don't believe he was ever dishonest with me - he says he and the doctors thought she never be fully lucid again, and that it would take more like 10 years for her delusions to subside - so I'm struggling to absorb this. I'm in shock. And I feel guilty for even wishing him back with me.
about 1 month ago
I am so tired. It's going on 2am here and I'm up dealing with my bipolar husband. Currently he's angry at me over something I supposedly did in a nightmare he had. So I didn't actually DO anything but he's picking a fight with me as if I did. This is absolute madness. We have been married for almost nine years but I'm getting to a point where I don't think I can take another day of this. He doesn't stick to his med schedule and he isn't really leveling with his doctor about how frequent his episodes have been. There's just no peace. We'll have a few nice days but I can never fully enjoy them because I'm either recovering from his last episode or waiting for the next one to start. I just wish I could feel comfortable enough to relax, even if was only for a little while.
about 1 month ago
I've been married for two years and I'm young. My husband suffurs from severe depression and was before we got engaged. I knew about everything before we got married. I have been really struggling lately to deal with the depression. I do all the house work, make all the plans, and show the only motivation to improve our life. It's draining and I have been very unhappy myself. I think the worst part about it is that he realizes all of this and feels horrible about it, but as depression goes this does not matter when it comes to the lack of motivation he has. I feel I cannot talk to many about it because he does not want many to know and I want to respect his wishes. It is hard because my family thinks hes not trying hard enough and I can tell they are starting to resent him. It's leading to so many money problems because he has to miss work a lot due to his episodes, which leads to asking for money, which leads to my biggest anxiety of paying bills and feeling ashamed to ask for money help. When I go out with friends it does not take long for him to text me, begging me to come home, since he is having a rough time. Again, he knows this is all hard on me but cannot stop. I am jus looking for a safe place to vent as well as advice as to how to keep myself happy. I love him and want to work on our marriage. We both want to have kids but I am terrified of it because I know that I will be often like a single parent. I need to find a way to focus on me so that I can stay sane enough to care for him.
An anonymous caregiver said...
2 months ago
My husband was diagnosed with bipolar disorder after about six or seven months of increasingly erratic behavior. It started with him staying awake for days at a time and saying he had to because of a project at work. Well that project ended but he continued this pattern of him staying up for days and sleeping almost entire weekends until about May. Around this time, I discovered that he was frequenting a lot of adult sites and had spent a shocking amount of money on them in a very short period of time. When confronted about this he was embarrassed and promised to stop. Well he never truly stopped. His alcohol consumption increased dramatically over the first half of 2016. I think there was a certain degree of self-medicating going on, but he has often had a tendency to overdo it with alcohol. In this case, he started hiding alcohol all over the place. His car, suitcases in our closet...you name it, I have probably found bottles of liquor or beer cans there. He's not disciplined about taking his meds. Even when he's just sitting on the couch not doing anything and 9pm rolls around, he'll find every excuse not to get up and take his bipolar meds. That's when the really angry moods kick in and he's just mad about everything. It's either nothing specific or something completely irrelevant - like a small argument we had three or four years ago. Other times he'll just pick fights and invent reasons to fight and almost always, I'm his target. Today he's been telling to get out of our home and that he wants a divorce. What this is based on, I have no idea. But he's been off the rails all day and along with the incredibly hurtful things he's been saying to me, he's also telling me he's going to stay in a hotel so I can pack and be out of "his" house by morning. I really have no plans of leaving and I'm not going to be thrown out of my own home. I've tried reaching out to his mother for help in dealing with this, but she has only made things worse. She really doesn't understand the situation and thinks everything will be solved by her flying out here and essentially babysitting him indefinitely. I desperately want him to start getting back on the right track. I know there will always be ups and downs but I wish he would just get on board with taking his meds like he's supposed to and commit to seeing a therapist. That's the other thing. His psychiatrist is strongly recommending he find a therapist to see regularly but he hasn't even attempted to look for one. He just takes this attitude of "no one has any idea what I'm dealing with and no one can help me." I'm basically at the point where if he continues to refuse to get the help he needs, I can't continue to endure the turmoil and verbal abuse in this marriage. It breaks my heart because I still him very much.
wearing thin said...
3 months ago
my husband has been mentally ill for over 2 years. He wont bathe, leave the house or visit our children. I don't know whether to stay or leave. He has been admitted twice to mental health facilities but got discharged after 2 weeks, his therapist has even 'fired' him
Supportive spouse said...
3 months ago
I have been with my spouse for 25 yrs and been thru a lot because of his manic bipolar episodes which was finally diagnosed alittle over a year ago. I try and stay true to my vows for better for worse in sickness and in health but sometimes I wonder how long I can keep going. I love him very much but these meds he is on has taken the life out of him. He went from highly sexual and cheating on me to no interest at all and going from fits of rage to no emotion happy sad mad.... I am glad he doesn't have the fits of rage but he enjoys doing nothing and would just rather stay in bed. And since the starting of meds he has gripping aniexty everyday ...doctor has changed his meds but nothing is helping him. He wants to die but fears he isn't truly saved and would go to hell... I pray God would heal him of this so that we can have a marriage but I now just live with a child like husband. I am so weary mentally emotionally and physically . My son leaves for college in August and I dread living alone in this home with someone that doesn't think of anyone but himself and wants to do nothing . I feel like the life is being sucked out of me and I try encouraging him and praying with him And being positive but he always comes back with negativity . Very draining . Why me? Why can't I had a normal marriage a happy marriage?
3 months ago
It's been 12 years and I'm so worn out. I've distanced myself from my family because my spouse feels uncomfortable around them, and I feel so alone. I feel like he's my child most of the time. I'm 29 a mother and a caregiver of a mentally ill partner. I feel awful for saying this but why me? Why do I have to be a caregiver of my significant other rather than be in a partnership. I try so hard to make things comfortable for him, and constantly walking on eggshells, making sure people/the children don't say anything to upset him, even the children mentioning a name of someone who he doesn't particularly like causes uncomfortableness and distance between us. Everything I do in my day to day, revolves around how he is going to be. I feel so alone.
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