Schizophrenia, Schizoaffective Disorder, and Marriage

June 2, 2015 Elizabeth Caudy

It’s not easy being married to someone with schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder. Just ask my husband, though, he wouldn’t admit it to you and certainly not to me. But for almost seven years now, he’s gotten me through crisis after crisis caused by my schizoaffective disorder. And he’s been very patient. Schizophrenia and schizoaffective disorder and marriage can sure be challenging.

My Story of Schizophrenia, Schizoaffective Disorder, and Marriage

With schizophrenia and schizoaffective disorder, it's hard to find a spouse. Read about the successful marriage of one person with schizoaffective disorder.

My Great Aunt Elsie, who passed away about a year ago, used to use her German grandma vice grip to pull my husband, Tom, down to her eye level at family gatherings. She’d ask him, “Do you still love her?” And Tom would say, “Yes, of course I still love her.” And she would say, “Good. Because she takes a lot of patience!” When Tom and I got my anniversary band this year, we had the word “patience” engraved on the inside. Also, whenever we have a drink, we toast to Aunt Elsie -- and to patience.

I do take a lot of patience. There was my meltdown at our wedding (Schizophrenia, Schizoaffective Disorder, Overstimulation) that I’ve written about and about having had Tom take me to the emergency room because I was suffering from intense suicidal ideation. Also, at one point I was on a medication that sedated me so much I didn’t wake up when I had to pee, so I peed in bed. Tom had to get up in the middle of the night when he had work the next morning to help me clean up. This happened a few times before I started wearing adult diapers to bed. I switched meds, partially to avoid this disaster, and I don’t need to wear adult diapers to bed any more.

Tom does most of the housework. Because of my schizoaffective disorder, simple things like cooking and cleaning are very hard for me, and because of my general anxiety disorder, they stress me out a lot. (Anxiety and Schizophrenia, Schizoaffective Disorder) But, in a marriage, patience is always key, no matter whether someone has an illness like schizophrenia, schizoaffective disorder, or some other illness.

Feeling Lucky About My Marriage

I recently posted on Facebook, “I’m lucky to have a baby who not only brings me food when I’m at work, but sits with me until the end of my shift.”

Tom is able to do this because he works during the day and I work at night. And I am lucky. We’re both lucky to have our love. Tom wouldn’t do everything that he does for me if he didn’t love me very much. And I love him to the moon and back. He grew up in a family where love didn’t always show and I am making up for all those years. Tom makes me so happy and he lessens the burden of my illness. Most importantly, he gives me something to live for. He has told me that the fact that I make him feel needed means so much to him and gives him a sense of purpose.

In the movie Juno, 16-year-old Juno is asking her father about what it takes for people in love to stay together forever. Juno’s father tells her that the right person is going to love you for who you are, ugly, pretty, good mood, bad mood, the right person is still “gonna think the sun shines out of your ass.” That’s what Tom and I have. And after almost seven years of marriage, I know we are both very lucky.

More About Schizophrenia, Schizoaffective Disorder, and Marriage

Photo by Abigail Foerstner

Find Elizabeth on Twitter, Google+, Facebook, and her personal blog.

APA Reference
Caudy, E. (2015, June 2). Schizophrenia, Schizoaffective Disorder, and Marriage, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2024, July 13 from

Author: Elizabeth Caudy

Elizabeth Caudy was born in 1979 to a writer and a photographer. She has been writing since she was five years old. She has a BFA from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago and an MFA in photography from Columbia College Chicago. She lives outside Chicago with her husband, Tom. Find Elizabeth on Google+ and on her personal blog.

June, 3 2019 at 12:57 pm

Just one suggestion for people. NAMI family to family support groups.

August, 31 2018 at 12:32 am

I’m schizoaffective-depressed, going through a divorce after 27 years because he frequents prostitutes. Family likes him better than me and I feel alone. I feel suicidale cuz no one wants to be around me. I’m hurting.

January, 1 2023 at 5:01 pm

I'm sorry you're going through this. No one should have to deal with that.
I have the opposite problem. My wife is schizoaffective and every other month she threatens to divorce me because she has paranoid ideations that I'm cheating on her with the neighbors, coworkers, relatives and/or prostitutes. We've been together 26 years and I've never cheating on her once.

I... Try
November, 30 2017 at 5:10 pm

Please help... Need advice.. My husband is schitzoaffective and bipolar. He is happy one second and then snapping on me the next. What should I do? He doesn't want help and he doesn't think anything is wrong with him.

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

Elizabeth Caudy
December, 1 2017 at 3:19 am

First of all, I think you need to assess your needs. Is this relationship serving you well? Just because he has a mental illness doesn't give him a free pass to treat you badly. So maybe you could tell him that he's treating you badly and unfairly and that you feel you need couples therapy. Also, here are some resources that may help:… I hope that helps!

August, 28 2017 at 4:17 pm

Please. Help. My daughters father and I have been together almost five years we just moved back into a shelter program together after living separately cause of our finances and best interest kg our daughter being in my parents house who hate him, so it is alot of pressure and RE learning one another along with all the issues of being in shelter. Anyway he's been exhibiting a whole new personality . He will be nice and level headed for a week and then all of a sudden he curses me out makes me feel pathetic and I get depressed and wish I would just not wake up . I suffer from depression and cutting myself and we both are heroin addicts in recovery. It is really trying and I don't know what to do anymore. I believe he is schizo affective and he does too he has appointments n he is on meds for lithium but they need to be increased. Am I ruining my daughter and I life for nothing? Is there any hope of relief in site?

July, 26 2017 at 11:59 am

Hello my name is holly recently me and my boyfriend got engaged he has schizophrenia and I deal with this everyday the mornings are the worst part of my day he calls me names he tells me im going to be the death of him im the cause of his panic attacks I cry all the time as the day goes by he has taken his meds and he calms constantly accusing him that he is cheating on me because of the way he talks to me we have took our rings off several times when we argue and always put them back on later everything I say or do he over analysis my ever move...I say things the wrong way he can't be in social environment s he thinks everyone is out to get him he tells me he loves me with all his heart but at the same time he says the cruelest things that hurt me to the core but I know he doesn't mean it...I need help in trying to be more understanding any advice???????

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

Mykele Mcclure
March, 2 2019 at 4:15 am

Holly please message me I need your support. My spouse has schizoaffective disorder and my life is written in your words. I feel like nobody understands my pain.

March, 2 2019 at 12:11 pm

Thank you for your comment. There are people who understand your pain. You are not alone. Have you tried going to a support group? I think you would find there that there are other people who understand what you're going through. I hope that helps!

Shelly Smith
March, 17 2020 at 1:40 pm

I'll gladly talk with you about it. I go through the same thing as Holly and you. I love my man to death but sometimes I feel as though he may be the death of me....

March, 17 2020 at 2:07 pm

Dear Shelly,
Thanks for your comment. I think all people, regardless of whether or not they have a mental illness, feel this way about their spouses.

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

May, 23 2023 at 9:11 pm

I am in a similar situation. My husband has schizoaffective disorder and moved out for the fourth time over one year ago. Due to my religious beliefs, I can't divorce him without scriptural grounds. I have been through so much with him and I feel stuck.

May, 24 2023 at 2:00 pm

Hello, Chan. Thank you for your comment. Marriage sure is challenging, especially when you throw mental illness into the mix! I am sorry to hear you are having so much trouble in your marriage. Is there someone in your faith system you could talk to? And/or would you and your husband be open to couples therapy? Just some thoughts. Take care, Elizabeth

Elinda beal
September, 25 2016 at 10:01 am

My name is elindabeal and I'm married to a man that is skizoeffective we been married for 17years and it can be so hard to deal with my husband recently he moved out and got his own apartment and he ended up sleeping with other women and it hurts so bad a couple of days ago he started hearing voices and crashed his car and he ended up in the mental hospital and he was doing and saying a lot of things that wasn't him so now I don't no what to do and I honor my vows and I also love my husband I just don't no how to deal with him.

April, 2 2016 at 11:30 pm

your post really touched a raw nerve with me. My psychiatrist says i have schizoaffective disorder with bipolar features. My life feels like a nightmare. And suicidal ideation? yes, well i have had that for years. I don't want to trigger anyone, but suffice it to say it has been absolutely awful. Just having this illness is so difficult to the point that i have given up thinking that i will ever find any man that would love me and love me that much the way your husband loves you. Your story is very touching.

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

Elizabeth Caudy
April, 3 2016 at 3:30 am

Thank you

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