Husband Sectioned last week. Scizoaffective /Schizophrenia

8 weeks of husband relapsing; can only say, overwhelming /challenging, ended, following assault on me. Phoned the police, as psychiatrist advised, husband been sectioned. 28 days.

25 years we’ve been together, married 14. He’s been ill 20.

This is the second relapse where he’s been verbally aggressive, now physically so, pushing, grabbing. Very scary.

Absolutely awful situation now, not spoken properly to him since, have received text msg. Requests to take items to the ward, all been civil.

What an absolute dilemma, when he’s well he’s amazing, but now in my late 50’s I’m starting to question my physical ability to keep doing this for the rest of my life.

We took the decision to not have children due to his illness.

But what/ how do I now decide what I want. I do love him when well, but don’t recognise or like the ill person… I’m so confused…

Financially I’m ok now, but if leave wont be… That part of my dilemma too… Plus he’ll get more as I work and he doesn’t. Ive taken legal advice…

Any advice…

I would be very worried.
Start by asking your GP to recommend a good private counsellor, who you can confide in, who will support you and talk things through , so that you can come to the decision that is right for you.

Yes I was thinking about counselling to try and figure it out. Such a huge decision either way…

For a few years my husband and I were caring for all four parents and our son with severe learning disabilities. All five entitled to highest DLA, one too stubborn to apply! Then in quick succession, three died, I had cancer, found husband dead in bed, and then had a head on smash.

My life was saved because by chance I was driving my husband’s Range Rover, not my car. The Range Rover was written off.
My knees were ruined and I was in constant pain for 5 years, with one, sometimes two walking sticks, trying to run a business, care for mum and son, and a national club.

Everyone has their breaking point, I met mine. It felt like a tidal wave of endless problems.
Counselling was hugely helpful. At first it seemed as if I was just talking for the hour, but after a few weeks of thinking it was pointless and a waste of time, I realised that after every session, I felt a bit better. Whilst everyone else expected me to do things for them, the counsellor was purely concerned about me. It was OK to say what was difficult, what I wanted to change, and what would make me feel better.

I suspect that your husband has been focussing on himself for a long time, and you’ve been so worried about him, that you have “lost” a part of you? I thought the real “me” had gone forever, but the counsellor saw through my problems and reminded me of who I was.

Sometimes we have to put ourselves first, to keep well, so that we can, in turn, help someone else.
Sometimes we have to say “I just can’t do this any more”.

Most importantly, in the coming months, remind yourself that you CANNOT be forced to be a carer.

Helen, I’d hate to be in the position you’re in. And you have an impossible task.

Counselling might help, but as preparation for that - counselling can be difficult to access quickly - start making lists for different scenarios. Leaving is one. Staying as you are is another. Having carers in to help may be another. A care home may be another. List the pros and cons for each under different headings - social, economic, emotional, physical health, opportunities. Use this as a tool to balance your options.

Also, you might want to ask yourself why the texts are so polite. There’s a possibility that he’s gaslighting: if he’s so nice to you, you must have done something to upset him. Putting it back onto you. I may be wrong - he may have seen that he was in the wrong, but it doesn’t fit his pattern from what you’ve told us.

Whatever happens, use this time to build up your self-care. Pamper yourself a bit. Build up your resilience.

Hi Hellen,
A very difficult situation to be in. You must feel very shaken.

In addition to the advice given - you need to give thought to the immediate future and what happens when his section is over. Will be stay on in hospital as a voluntary patient or want to come straight home? If the latter and you are home too, then what’s your plan to stay safe if his behaviour starts to escalate again?


Maybe talk to the Police and ask what they can offer you, or a domestic violence organisation.
Your own wellbeing has to be top priority now.
Will you accept him home?
Are the hospital offering any advice?

Sorry to read of your current situation but there are always options. It’s having the support to take action. You know your husband better than anyone else. Do you really think in your heart of hearts given the time already passed. That he will be able to charge his behaviour/s as you say you are getting older. And we all hope our lives will become easier as we age. The truth is in some cases it doesn’t and it through no fault of our making.

I found this link which may be useful …

You are the person living your life and the choices are yours.

You can still love someone and live apart.

Hello I would like to offer my support to you. I am also in the position of being married to someone with schizophrenia. Over the last few years the breakdowns have been more frequent, although he is not physically violent - that must be really scary, I’m so sorry you are having to experience that.
In my situation I am also getting tired of the day to day reality of living with someone with this condition; the lack of motivation, lots of aimless sitting around the house. I am basically the one who shoulders things. We have a wonderful 7 year old son. I feel like I have two dependents; a 7 year old and a teenager (husband). As long as I am being a superwoman, it all works. But in my heart, part of me is feeling increasingly trampled and a bit miserable.
The question is, there is this whole thing of being a carer, but what if we actually don’t want to be one? I am 51 and I want to live a happy life, and help my son live a happy settled life. The future I see before me is one of toil and sacrifice, of putting myself aside. I don’t think my husband is going to change. He has a supportive family, so that’s a good thing. Financially, I have a property which was bought before I married him, and he hasn’ really contrbuted to mortgage, so I am hoping if we did split up, he wouldn’t have much claim over it. Need to check that out.

Pimble, good for you - it sounds like you have made up your mind. A new start for you and your little boy. Definitely seek advice first, forewarned is forearmed.

We are here to support you when you need us.

Thank you so much. It means a lot to know there is a community of others who understand these issues and are there to listen. Leaving the marriage, if that’s the decision I come to, is going to be a very complicated one, so many factors to weigh up. It won’t be taken lightly. I dread what the extrication process will/would be like. In the end I guess the decision is my own and has got to be based on how I feel inside. When you are used to thinking of and taking care of others, that’s the hardest thing to do and act on, you are just used to keeping going, keeping everything running - and you are good at doing that…

This is SO very true

“Making a new life for yourself” is difficult too! I found a book called “Starting Again” by Sarah Litvinoff reallly helpful. Written initially for divorcees, there is so much relevant to when a partner died, or a cared for parent. Married at 19, everything was “we” not “me”.