What It's Like Being Married to Someone With Schizophrenia
What’s it like being married to someone with schizophrenia?
Well, I guess you could say it’s like any other marriage. It has its ups and downs, good days and bad days. Mostly, it has (and needs) lots of love and compassion.
Like any marriage, it’s not an easy road, but man is it ever rewarding. My wife is still my wife, as she always will be. Between the hospital stays and psychotic episodes, which are getting fewer and farther between, there are moments with just as much power and love and devotion as any other marriage. Some couples have to deal with financial issues. For us, it’s mental illness, and I’m alright with that.
My wife’s diagnosis allows me to be helpful and stand by her in a way that’s unique to our marriage and situation. I talk her through psychosis. I help her keep track of medications, appointments and everything in between. I also take her to the movies because I like to (even if its romance). I like to drive around with her and spend time together with our families. Our marriage is just as unique as any other marriage.
Sure, it can be stressful, but stress can accompany just about anything and everything I do in life. We love doing things like going to the zoo, or going out for dinner. Honestly, the only real difference is that sometimes, we have to take extra precautions. For example, we have walked out of restaurants or movies because sometimes its just too loud for my wife due to her schizophrenia. Other times, we have to be prepared for the possibility of something that may trigger an episode. But for the most part, it’s just as unique as any other relationship. We live, laugh and love together on this journey known as life.
Is marriage involving a “disability” (I quote the word disability because I personally find it misleading, but that’s a story for another day) for everybody? No, everybody handles these sorts of things differently. But for us, it works. If you are really in love with somebody and are willing to go to hell and back for happiness together, then go for it.
Editor’s note: This story has been published with permission from the author’s wife.
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Getty Images photo via Tom Merton