Help! Caught in a crossroads with mentally ill partner
ive spent a lot of time working on my mental health in my life and been through a lot in the process but feel as though I am in a good place - finally. I’m going to be starting some study soon and have re built relationships with family.
unfortunatley - my partner who I have been with off and on for 4 years is really mentally unwell. This is taking a toll on my mental and physical well being. I have seen this happen with him time and time again and he seems to not learn from his past patterns. He looses his job and then gets extremely self distructive and self harms threatens suicide if I leave him, manic episodes, hallucinations etc he has been diagnosed with schizophrenia and has been able to manage his mental health quite well for the past year without medication. I feel like I am on a roller coaster with him. I am scared all the time. We are engaged to be married and it’s like the reason why he lives is because of me and nothing else. It’s a lot of pressure. He refuses to get help even though I have begged him because he believes they won’t say anything he doesn’t already know. To make matters worse it’s his 30th birthday in a couple of weeks and I don’t know what to do.
I can’t go on like this for the rest of my life. He has been there for me many times when I’ve needed him and I too for him but this keeps happening and he isn’t learning.
I don’t know whether to end it or stick with it.
Any advice would be appreciated!
I'm concerned for you. You said, "I feel like I am on a roller coaster with him. I am scared all the time. We are engaged to be married and it’s like the reason why he lives is because of me and nothing else. It’s a lot of pressure." This is not how I'd want you to live your life - in fear of someone because his reactions are so unpredictable. He definitely needs more help and should see a doctor again.
I was once in a situation like that with a friend. He confided me me about his mental health struggles but refused to talk to anyone else. I convinced him to see a doctor, but he later started sending cryptic messages and disappearing for hours, leaving me to panic over whether he had harmed himself. His own psychologist finally advised me to distance myself from him because it was taking a toll on me. Like you, I was scared of him and his unpredictability. So I understand the feelings you're going through, even though my situation with a friend is different from yours with a fiance.
The decision of whether to end it or not depends on what you want. Do you think you would be better off mentally without your fiance? To marry him (with him refusing to see a professional) means your life will be spent this way and you've already said you can't do that. An alternative could be for you to honestly tell him that his recent behaviour is taking a toll on you and that you'd appreciate it if he sees a doctor again. If he tells you they'll say the same thing, tell him you'll feel more at ease if he goes regardless. Since he seems to live for you, I wonder if he'd see a doctor for you as well, rather than for himself.
Do take care of your own mental health first. You can't help anyone if you're not okay. And ultimately, you have a responsibility to yourself as well.
I can relate to your situation and I call it "waking on egg-shells." For you to be able to get to a point where you feel mentally healthy, is a fantastic effort and a great achievement, however, are you at a level (mentally) where you can physically and emotionally support your partner (or anyone else) with their difficulties? Apologies for being direct. The real question is; are you really in love with your SO? Are you in love that you are willing to support them as much as humanly possible and if so, will you be mentally stable enough to complete that Journey? I want to turn the table on you foe this because it's not about your partner's health, this is about your willingness to be able to become better, not only for yourself, but also for your partner and even family members. Food for thought.
Welcome to the forums. I hope you get some food for thought by sharing here.
I agree with the posts so far.
I think you already know the answer to your question about whether you should stay with your fiance but I'm so glad you came here to share and receive other's perspectives on this issue, I hope it all helps.
For me the ultimate realisation is that we cannot control another human being but we can certainly say what is NOT okay and then follow through with actions.
It's not ok that you are scared, walk on eggshells and your fiance refuses to seek help for his dangerous, threatening and reckless behaviours.
You've had 4y of knowing this now... but you say he has managed the past year well without meds? There must be more to this as you know he needs more MH support.
Going back to the "we can only control ourselves" understanding AND knowing that MH is a priority for you, this person has negatively affected you already.
There is no magic cure for him. But a responsible person would SEEK support and do whatever it takes to hopefully one day become stable.
Regardless of the fact that fiance suffers from MH diagnoses, he is being abusive.
You are reacting the same as DV victims do.
I don't see you putting up with 'merely' this behaviour alone after marriage and perhaps raising a family, statistics show that indeed the behaviours escalate.
Don't be a statistic.
Thank you so much for your reply.
yes, in the last few weeks I was involved in a very traumatic experience with him. There was violent behaviour and threats. Towards me and then he of course was threatening himself.
I am trying to process what had happened because he was in a alcohol induced psychosis and has no recelection of what happened that night.
I am the only one who remembers and has to deal with those memories.
since then, I have had to inform his parents of what occurred not just for their safety but his safety. This was extremely hard to do. I couldn’t imagine being told this because it just doesn’t seem like something he would ever do.
the ‘good’ thing about this situation is that he lives with them at the moment so I am not trapped.
I have since told my family about what has happened and they have been very supportive but I was careful in not telling them until I had made a decision about our future because I didn’t want to be clouded by others opinions who love me and as all parents think there is never anyone good enough for their daughter.
i am seeing my psychologist today to come up with a plan of how to end our relationship. I am thinking that firstly I will need to talk to his parents about what I am doing so that they can be on stand by for him and then potentially face time him to do it as I do not feel safe or strong enough to be there in person which has been a really hard decision to make! As I have always been a firm believer in showing others respect and doing it in person - no excuses. But if I feel unsafe around him than I feel like this is the only alternative.
his birthday is in one week and it is his 30th. So the guilt for me is flying high. I took off my engagement ring and put it in a box with our wedding bands that he bought to give back to him. This was extremely hard to do.
I am not really sleeping and having to force myself to eat. It’s strange because when I’ve been depressed in the past it has been opposite- sleeping loads and eating loads.
im feeling every type of emotion you can imagine. I’m trying to focus on self care right now and doing my best. I’m lucky to have such a huge support from my family that checkin with me.
I know everything is temporary.
i think one of the biggest deal breakers from this is that the option to have children with him in the future is now completely off the table due to his unpredictable behaviour. And I want to have that option. I am 30 next yr I have time still.
Wow you are showing so much strength, care and empathy towards everyone and I was so glad to read towards yourself also!
I hope your psych is very helpful in firming up your plan. And I think it's VERY wise indeed to do the break up via face time. I know what others say about breaking up etc... they may not have to deal with violent reactions. You're doing the right thing.
I also used to overeat and sleep like a bear when I was sad... now it's the opposite for me also.
I think it's hyper vigilance from the violent episodes that play over and over in our minds making us feel unsafe... that's how it's been for me anyway.
I'm relieved to hear you don't live together, this is a major hurdle for so many leaving this type of relationship. This makes it easiER but not easy.
We are here for you now, during and afterwards.
Please let us know how you get on!
I completely support your plan to face time him and to tell him parents in advance. Do remember that whatever anyone (him or his parents) may say, you have to end the relationship because you want it and because it's best for you. Please don't feel pressured to act in any way contrary to what you want, and that includes being guilted into staying in the relationship, being guilted into looking after him even after you end the relationship, or being guilted into feeling responsible for how he is taking the relationship's end. You are your first priority.
I'm glad you have a psychologist to help you through this as well as your parents to support you. I hope it goes well. Do check in with us if you feel comfortable and let us know how you're doing.
Congratulations for taking this step forwards, towards caring for yourself and your future. I'm proud of you.
Grieving is a tough process and you may feel yourself okay one day, and not okay another day. If you need to get your thoughts out, this thread is all yours. Do check in and let us know how you go.
im trying to approach this process with a curious mind.
im finding myself realising just how much I was manipulated during our relationship.
as I reconnect with my girlfriends and tell them things. They validate what I feel and say that those things are not okay for example I just was naturally asking him if I could use the bathroom etc.
since I’ve distanced myself I feel so free. I don’t need to explain myself to anyone or feel as though I need permission to do the tinest things! Or be questioned or resented.
manipulation is a very interesting thing.