Marriage Missions International

When Mental Illness is Affecting Your Spouse

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It’s a subject that isn’t often discussed in Christian circles, but what do you do if you find out that mental illness is affecting your spouse in some way?

It’s a scary thought but as author Jim Killam says:

“Look around you. At work, at church. Chances are very good you’ll see someone who’s battling mental illness. Maybe you only need to look as far as the other side of the bed. … or the mirror.

“Many Christians don’t figure that mental illness could affect their marriages. But it does-in about the same proportions as with the general population. Each year, more than one in five Americans suffers from a clearly diagnosable mental disorder. And, Christian therapists add, more couples need to confront the whole issue rather than assume it’s solely a spiritual problem.”

To read more of what Jim writes on this subject, we have provided a link so you can read an article on the helpful Kyria.com web site. To do so, please click onto the link below:

• What’s Wrong With Him?

— ALSO —

Additional articles that you might find helpful can be read by clicking onto the following web site links (the first one isn’t a “Christian” web site, but the article is helpful):

WHEN YOUR SPOUSE HAS A MENTAL ILLNESS

MENTAL ILLNESS AND YOUR MARRIAGE

WHEN GRACE AND REALITY COLLIDE: Dealing with Mental Illness (Part 1)

WHEN GRACE AND REALITY COLLIDE: Dealing with Mental Illness (Part 2)

— ALSO —

To choose a booklet to read and print out (if you care to) on various psychological disorders, please click onto the following nfcliving.org web site link:

NARRAMORE CHRISTIAN FOUNDATION BOOKLETS

If you have additional tips you can share to help others in this area of marriage, or you want to share requests for prayer and/or ask others for advice, please “Join the Discussion” by adding your comments below.

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Comments

34 Responses to “When Mental Illness is Affecting Your Spouse”
  1. Julie says:

    (USA)  I believe my husband has a mental illness and he has wrecked havoc on our family (4 kids) and is now in prison for the next 12 years. It’s been difficult, if not impossible to find resources that are helpful from a Christian perspective! And most Christians do not understand either one of those issues.

    This is especially sad to me because I did everything right -as far as waiting for God’s best – and it is worse than any other Christian’s marriage in my circle. At least with a normal functioning husband, there might be some hope of freeing me of this prison in a variety of ways. but with this, he has regressed to the point that any type of positive ‘partner’ relationship is not realistic, even in a pen-pal role. Thankfully the Lord has provided a wonderful chruch network and I have a great job – must have’s for getting 2 kids thru college and raising the other 2 thru those teen years. I don’t even discuss this with most Christians because they don’t understand the issues with a mental illness and how it destroys lives – ours and his.

    Easier answer for a non-Christian – divorce and move on. But I took a vow for ‘until death do us part’ so where does that leave me? His mental illness has completely destroyed our relationship and any expectations I had about marriage. Is there anybody out there that has been thru this? The Lord has been very faithful so far, but it is often an overwhelming situation.

    • P says:

      (SOUTH AFRICA)  I do not want to startle you, but ‘to death do you part’, is not even a biblical vow to begin with. I really believe that sometimes we want to stay committed to the constitution of the marriage, instead of choosing to be healthy people that can be all God has called us to be spiritually, mentally, emotionally and physically. I have a hard time believing that God would want you to remain in a relationship that is obviously damaging your entire family.

      The realistic expectation of the marriage union is something that you are not experiencing, so the biblical marriage as per God’s instruction is not taking place here. We so easily say God hates divorce, which He does, but one needs to realise that each situation is different and calls for different approaches. Technically your spouse has broke the marriage covenant, and if he does not seek help and the distruction continues and your family is suffering, you need to ask yourself some serious questions. Are you wanting to prove to the world what a great christian you are to stick it out in an unhealthy situation? Are you afraid of failure or admitting defeat to a situation that is beyond your control to begin with? Are you able to function the way God intended you to? Are your children suffering because of this? Are you being authentic?

      I have trouble believing that one is authentic to stick it out in a situation that is making you miserable because of your loyalty to the vows you made, but what about your loyalty towards your family and yourself? What about being truthful about what you can and cannot handle? Surely God hates lies too. Understand where I am going? I do not condone divorce, but my heart aches for people like you suffering like this and holding on to a ‘vow’ , not knowing that you would be dealing with mental illness in future. I believe God is merciful and gracious and will love you just as much now as what He would if you had to decide to make a descision to leave this situation and persue peace.

      I am also married to someone with a personality disorder, so I can relate to people that suffer because of this. The Bible also says we should love the Lord our God with all our hearts, souls and minds and our neighbours as we love ourselves… but if we cannot even love ourselves and be true to ourselves, how can we love anyone else? Sometimes we stick it out, out of moral obligation more than being true to ourselves… and sometimes it is guilt and fear that prevents us from doing something that is a healthy decision. I wish you well. God bless you.

      • Helma says:

        (HOLLAND)  Till death do us part is biblical. You can’t send your spouse away for a reason other than fornication otherwise you will make that adultery happens to your spouse. I did have mental problems but the Lord healed me. My pastor spouse didn’t have the faith for it. I had a post-natal depression and he thought I was crazy. The psychiatrist said I’m not but I had a lot of symptoms that looked like it.

        Because of the bad marriage and abandonment he chatted with a ‘normal Christian’ woman. He send me away and told me he would get our children. I got the wrong medication, tried to commit suicide and went to a non-Christian mental institution where he dumped me.

        I stayed a virgin until 24 for this ‘man who God had for me.’ I was so disillusioned and asked him to just live separate for a year or so. He didn’t want to.

        I was so unstable and angry that I jumped into the arms of an unbeliever who said the conversion prayer and got trapped in a life of immorality and drugs. But a few weeks ago I converted and stopped living together with him but find it hard to dump him because he threatened me with suicide. He has got a mental illness.

        I will only date him again if God says yes and when he is converted really. Anyway, my ex-husband regretted his decision to divorce me and asked me to come back after a few weeks, but I couldn’t get out of the relationship. We had already ‘married ourselves’ under the influence of drugs. How misled can you be? My children and small baby haven’t seen their mother for a year. My family and ministry is forever destroyed but I can understand and forgive my ex now. It’s very hard to live with someone who threatens with suicide.

        MY MESSAGE IS, DON’T DUMP SOMEONE WITH A MENTAL ILLNESS. PRAY FOR HIM. I’m not suicidal and don’t have borderline anymore. God can heal your spouse. If you need a time out that’s okay, but don’t get divorced.

        • Dewey says:

          (US) My wife & I are now separated. Everyone knows she has some kind of mental problem. She has even admitted it numerous times. But now since the courts are involved, she won’t admit it. She has my two girls (3 & 14 months) & I fear for them. What can I do legally? I want her to be evaluated by a professional, but I’m scared she could manipulate, even that? I really want to help her but she truly thinks she does NOTHING wrong. What can I do?

          • Daniella from United States says:

            I’m sorry I have a husband that believes he does nothing wrong. He has hit my children he is abusive to me. I got a lawyer and I’m going to demand a mental evaluation on him. I know after sitting with him he will not be able to keep it up and he will brake to who he is. Hopefully, the person that you have doing the study is a male so he can be open minded. Best of luck

      • Charles says:

        (ENGLAND) I agree with you, I am a Christian man but can not go on living with my wife’s mental problems, causing my children’s health and minds to suffer and not helping herself. It has now made me want a divorce after spending the last 9 months in separate rooms and struggling with her mental problems; it drags you down. My 5 year old is finding things very hard. Life is never kind at times.

    • Alaira says:

      (USA) Hi. I am Alaira. You may be living with a spouse who suffers with mental illness. Exhaustion from always trying to act and say the right thing to produce an atmosphere of peace for him and never succeeding. His anger and depression may rise from not understanding the social gestures and facial communications of others. He may be faking it through out the work day, then coming home to a family environment and too exhausted to read your loving or frustrated facial and body languages. He may be experiencing hearing, visual, smelling and tasting sensitivities at hyper levels and maybe can hear in a room of 100 people, every conversation as if it is the one at his table.

      Understanding him and his world will help you see him as he is and help you grieve the loss of the marriage vision you hope for. Both take time. Love. Self denial. And a plan for caring for you and your children and your Mental and normal love and social needs. “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.”

      Tell God exactly what you are feeling. He knows already. Praise him where you are and ask him what his plans are for you. Abigail too had an angry husband. God brought her David. I have found God is my David. Talk to him. He gave me Isaiah 54:5 and much more on my birthday 2 years ago, in the midst of grieving for my marriage vision. This partner in marriage is so missed. It is not just the two of you… but the three of you.

      My husband cycles by the hour. When I have a season of him at his best, I try to rearrange my time so he and I and our children can spend as much time together. Maybe we don’t talk all that another family would. Usually being home. being together. God lead us to a property with 3 chalets. My husband lives in the small bright chalet, our 9 children and I live in the large chalet and I have a healthy bakery in the third one. There is a large lake surrounding the chalet so we live on an island. He is not usually one to spend time with us any more. Yet he can swim, canoe, fish, enjoy gods creation with out planning over load. He comes to our chalet for brief periods and then finds comfort in a small bright place of his own.

      This was Gods plan. He did this. It is a beautiful story with much pain and sacrifice. We still have difficult times. Our seasons change quickly, but I am learning to love the good times (and how few and short they seem) and prepare for the bad times ahead. Meeting them, knowing they will pass, knowing when I must be firm. Having a few close friends who purpose to be my punching bag and a pastor who is very much compassionate to our family’s struggles.

      I pray for us all. May God be your strength. Run your race to which you have been called. Love God more than your spouse. Momentous! Alaira

    • Lena says:

      (ENGLAND) You need to be a bit more specific/descriptive about what his behaviour has been like. Describe an incident in more detail so can tell the type of psych he is a bit better. Sometimes you need to step away from religion and vows and know what’s best for you and wonder if you can recover after the hurt you’ve suffered while still with this man, for this person to do this to you, did they respect you? We have to weigh the pros and cons of behavior. Some people don’t do this they just do whatever they want and make excuses afterwards to try and get themselves out of harsh behaviour. It should be easy to respect those we say we love but sometimes people do not know how to show genuine love that thinks about the feelings of others.

      I think you should not be committed to this guy if you think your life and your kid’s life could be better without him (well you have no choice there as he is inside for 12 yrs -did you say?). I would be open, if i were you, to being friends if possible with your partner behind bars. Has he done so much to you that he’s made you numb-drained? Do you feel neglected? If so and if you have crazy arguments then I’d just be alone if I were you.

  2. Chi says:

    (MALAYSIA)  I only just found this post this morning. I was wondering why are there no comments but now I just went on again and saw this one.

    I also have the problem that my husband has a mental illness I think. Where to go for help? Not many Christians in church seem to understand. My husband will not go for counseling. He doesn’t want to talk about his past. But I think it would be helpful because he is very immature and cannot control his emotions. If he doesn’t get help, he will never know what is causing all the problems.

    We cannot divorce, but we cannot solve the problem. The children have to grow up in a very difficult situation. Sometimes he shouts and hits them out of control. They hate him. Even though I know they can be naughty but still he should be calm and teach them the right thing. He says I am blaming him if I tell him to stop. But sometimes he can be very calm and he is very good at his job so I am confused.

    Maybe he should see a psychologist. But I want him to see a Christian counselor. Any advice?

    • Trish says:

      (ENGLAND) I am seriously concerned that he lashes out at the children, they hate him too. That situation is beyond help, no one should be living that way, especially children. It is totally toxic and the dangers are there for all to see. It is too far gone, for your sake and your children’s, get away and stay away. There is too much talk of mending things, some just want to mend things for their own sake, it is more like point scoring. God did not call us to referee marriages to keep them together, it is far more than that. For the sake of your children, get somewhere safe and far away. They are hating him, that is never good. The talk of divorce not being an option does not apply here, it is the toxic situation which needs to be stopped. The abuse is the problem, do not listen to those who want to try and change the situation, they are coming from the wrong angle. I wish you well and I wish you the best.

  3. Chi says:

    (MALAYSIA)  Can anybody please give advice about mental illness. I think my husband has a mental illness because he can be extremely moody and cannot control his emotions. It is very hard on me and the children.

    When he is very angry, he takes it out on us. I know the children can be naughty, but I think he should be calm and teach them the right thing. Now they hate him.

    We cannot divorce but we also have little hope. He will not go for counseling. But if he doesn’t, then he won’t be able to find out what the problem is. Does he need a psychologist or a Christian counselor?

  4. Fran says:

    (AUSTRALIA)  Dear all, Wow, what a lot of issues people are raising! I can only say my testimony. I am a Christian who did not believe in divorce. I stayed in a marriage for over 25 years when the husband was a closet alcoholic, smoked dope, did not work, was abusive (mainly verbally) to me and the kids, and constantly criticised me (the breadwinner i.e. female). In the end I believe he had a personality disorder and a mental illness. I won’t go into the terrible events that occurred in our family. I felt that I had to stay with him because he had not committed adultery. I never studied the teaching on this but just accepted it.

    I was wrong. The damage he did and was doing to me and the children was not of God. Apparently when Jesus talked about divorce “except on grounds of adultery” the word is “immorality”. I do not believe God wants us to be bound to a person who is continually and without repentance abusive, or lives an immoral life (imagine living with a mafia boss/drug dealer who professes to believe in God – is that our marriage covenant? Impossible).

    I was starting to have a breakdown and I begged God to save and deliver us. I fasted for a week. I could see no way out. My kids were a mess. I then decided that my house was God’s house and it was a house of peace. I decided that God’s priority was to rule the house and my children. Anyone, including my husband, who broke those rules (e.g. by hurting or frightening us) was not welcome in the house. I took spiritual responsibility for my house under God.

    I also decided that he had to take responsibility for his actions and could not use excuses anymore to justify his behaviour or manipulate me into accepting it. He left after instigating a fight with my son and hitting him – I was interstate at the time. He then wanted to come back, of course. I said no. God delivered me and my kids and the healing began.

    Now I am divorced. I believe this was God’s will. I don’t believe it was God’s will that he lived the way he did. But that was his choice. It is no longer mine.

    Now I believe that we pray in the Lord’s prayer for God’s kingdom to come on earth. And that in many times in the Bible deliverance occurred through physical change in circumstances (e.g. leaving a place). I also believe that the church supports great evil sometimes by propping up families where abuse is perpetuated. That is not freedom in Christ. That is unnecessary suffering. Also we have to take responsibility for the welfare of our children, not perpetuate abuse upon them by standing by.

    May the Lord bless and guide you in your decisions. In Jesus name.

    • Trish says:

      (ENGLAND) I totally understand why you did that. I did exactly the same thing, there are strict rules about what goes on under my roof and no one is excused. There is no abuse under my roof, it is live in peace here or leave and stay well away. No abuse should be tolerated under any roof, the tolerance of all sorts in homes is the cause of many damaged adults and children. The tolerance in the churches is incredible, they seem to justify everything and condone all sorts of wrongs. It is back to front, and I admire you greatly for taking that action and for sticking to it. I wish your children all the best.

  5. Stu says:

    (AUST)  Dear Chi, I highly recommend a Psychologist who is also a Christian. For year my wife and I went to a counsellor but after no improvement I then would only see a Christian psychologist. The first one we saw identified a disorder in my wife that she was diagnosed as a teenager. I was not aware of the disorder before we were married and she was in denial that she had a disorder.

    I would strongly encourage you that you have a role to protect your children. Abuse from your spouse to your children will likely damage their own relationship with God and with their future relationship with their own spouse. It is totally unacceptable for the father to abuse his children. Making him accountable for his actions may require a time of separation till he gets help. A psychologist can advise on this, any physical abuse should not be tolerated. Emotional abuse can also have a serious impact on young minds and their view of the world and make them very insecure. Ask the Lord to lead you to Psychologist who can advise you on your situation. Don’t just accept the first persons advice.

    I was not told about my wife’s disorder till a year after having a heart attack and nearly died in my early 50’s with no family history and very normal cholesterol. Stress in a marriage can takes it toll on other things in so many ways. My wife is very obsessive about simple things that normal people don’t question.

    In 2010 I was journaling daily any issues. I summarized about 5 months of activity and was alarmed that it did not only align with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. Her behaviour included, anger, blame, name calling, paranoia, not rational, insecure, obsessive non communicative etc. I recently went to see the psychologist with the journal as both my wife and I had seen her numerous times. The psychologist told me she believed my wife had borderline personality disorder, and recommended some reading and handling methods. The coping skills don’t change her behaviour but it does prompt my wife to be accountable in calling the behaviour for what it is.

    The real difficulty is that we have no real relationship. I take one day at a time and wait on the Lord to direct me. Allowing a spouse to continue abuse does not make them accountable or get them to seek help to overcome the cause of the problems. My wife has been seeing a psychologist continually for 2 years. Things are improving but very slowly.

    Bless you as you seek to have a harmonious and stable family.

  6. Debbie says:

    (USA)  I needhelp in my life to overcome symptoms of anger/jealousy/adultery/over-medicating myself due to my wrong & wrost mistake I ever made in my life. Restore my marriage to the best husband in the world! I have put him through so much pain and hurt that caused from me overtaken medications that I have an affair w/somebody I don’t even like, that hurt my husband because his first wife did the same thing to him.

    Especially pray for my husband to be blessed abudantly in everything in his life. My husband is my world-he’s adorable, kind-hearted, loving, spoiles me-I love that; gives me presents & buys me things continually. I want to restore my relationships with my family and relocate to a different beautiful home where we all can restart, rekindle, restore, have peace beyond understanding, fancially relieved of any debt; but to owe no man nothing but to love him.

    Unable to write just at this time due to I need as many prayers as possible to get myself, my husband(which is willing to forgive me; what a beautiful husband I never want to lose over anything! Please pray for our family. Thank you, desperperatly speaking wife.

  7. Hein says:

    (SOUTH AFRICA)  Wow this is hectic. I am married for 8 years and most of the time I was on anti depressants. We had a rocky marriage even with this medication and two years my condition worsened and escalated again see doctor and tried new medication. 6 months ago I was diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder 2 and at this time we had separated.

    Having educate myself and through my counseling with my psychiatrist it came to the light that anti depressants worsens your condition. BP 2 affects your whole life negatively. My wife wants to divorce and me not. With this separation my relationship with the Lord has bloomed and helped me coping better with my illness. I cried before Him many times about my marriage and today in church I had a word that God will restore my marriage.

    I thank Him for that and told my wife. She was without words. The message was that God can do for His people what he has done for them in the past also today and tomorrow, maybe some of you might not understand this.

    My bottom line is that if your spouse has a mental illness and is having medication for it and works to help himself then there is no reason to break up that marriage. God also does not want that. Unfortunately this kind of message/preaching you do not hear from the pulpit which makes it difficult for couples in this situation. Hope this helps.

  8. Gail says:

    (USA)  Article on Bible..putting away…and divorce
    http://nuggets4u.wordpress.com/2012/02/07/putting-away-a-untaught-truth-in-the-church/
    Very helpful and informative

  9. JONATHAN says:

    (AMERICA)  My wife married me in 1984 even though she knew I had mental illness. After 7 yrs in the military I was honorably discharged with a diagnosis of bipolar illness. I told the doctors, who wanted to put me on lithium, “I need love, not lithium.” They didn’t listen, and since I didn’t like the lithium, I stopped taking it. My condition got worse and I eventually cut my hand off because the verse that says–“if your hand offends you,… Matt 5:30.

    I was diagnosed schizophrenic (1990) and stayed that way until June 2010, when I finally got the assurance of my salvation. This happened by much reading of God’s Word and praying, and seeking God.

    We were separated and divorced before I cut off my hand. But God!!! He had his own plans for my life. I never stopped loving my wife and was thankful she didn’t poison our 2 kids against me. Now I have a diagnosis of only schizo-affective disorder and that is healing each day. I read and pray and even fast some days. God is readying me to be reunited soon!

  10. Dave says:

    (USA) Looking for help.

  11. Renewed says:

    (US) My husband has borderline personality disorder and struggles with a lot of poor decision making that hurts our relationship. Times can be so hard, but I’m with Alaira. She made a lot of great points. I will pray for us.

    This has been a verse that has been renewing my strength: “We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; Persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed.” 2 Corinthians 4:18

  12. Craig says:

    (USA) Does anyone know of a website that focuses specifically on Christian perspectives for coping with a spouse who has borderline personality disorder?

  13. Linda says:

    (CANADA) I have a mental illness and the church disowns me now they will not make visits, or give me a ride to church. This makes me feel unwanted and unloved as my parents died 18 years ago and I am separated from my spouse due to him being abusive physically, verbally, financally, and threatened to kill me. I went through clinical depression and now a depresion over the seperation due to finances in my home. I have no food in my house and I was turned away from one food bank and the other food bank gave me all dairy products and I have severe allergies to milk products and milk. There is no help for me out there and I am so depressed I feel like ending my life tonight!

  14. Cindy says:

    (AUSTRALIA) I have been married to a Christian husband for 13 years and we have two boys aged 10 and 15. 4 years ago my heart broke when I discovered that my husband had a different life at work -he was in love with a woman. I forgave him by God’s grace. When my heart just healed, 2 years later I learned of another case where he tried a fling with another woman who told me about this. I was able to confirm that it was true.

    I then forgave him again since it was something that happened many years ago. But I realised that I needed to work on some career in order to be prepared to look after our boys. He always had a bad temper and I caught him out with pornography many times during the 15 years of being married and each time he would first deny it and then I had to show him his links and then instead of feeling sorrow he would even get more angry at me. He would sometimes during anger outbursts hit my eldest son in an abusive way. 1 year ago I reported him to the police.

    I sit in a very difficult situation -I still love him but I can see the damage done to our boys. He brings confusion to them and they start to rebel since their Christian Dad swears at them and shouts at them at times. But when he is nice to them they thrive on that. I realise now that the only thing that may wake him up is to separate, but the reality is that I don’t have any income to support our 2 boys. He would say that if he was in his friends shoes whose wife separated from him and who is asking for child support, that he would just leave his job and not pay any money to her or the kids. I know he is like this –he hates his work and can never keep one job for long.

    I spoke to a few pastors and they all know how me and my boys suffer but each one of them say that they will pray for me. None are willing to say, here is a place for you or we will help you to look after your boys until you are better. It reminds me so much of the Samaritan. All the well literates walked past the wounded man but only one man was willing to do something practical –help him with accommodation and paid for someone to help look after his wounds. I forgive those pastors since I think we are in the last days and maybe they themselves struggle to make ends meet or they struggle with their own family issues. Please pray for me for some supernatural provision and His will in our lives. Please pray for my boys who are hurting badly…

  15. TH says:

    (USA) I have been so blessed to find this website and be able to read everyone’s posts (both on this topic and others that have relevance). I am struggling so hard right now as my spouse, who has been diagnosed in the past for clinical depression (and medicates for it), has threatened to leave me and the kids. We’ve gone through this before, usually a very long valley followed by a very brief “mountaintop” experience in our marriage.

    I know (more so, should say hope) that things should get better and to hang in there, but I am so drained from putting up with everything from my spouse, protecting/sheltering the kids who are younger, that I’m at my breaking point. We’re both Christians, and I do hold my marital vows seriously. I am by no means without fault, and I can certainly improve my actions/behaviors to be a better spouse, but it seems pointless at times to even bother trying cause nothing will suit short of perfection, sometimes it even makes things worse. Our physical/emotional intimacy is virtually non-existant, and my partner could care less (seemingly) even when things are going better.

    I’m going to fight for my marriage to the bitter end, but I could really use some prayer. My support network is very far away as we recently moved for work, and locally I have no one I can trust to completely confide in. We do attend a church where the pastor provides counseling, but I’m not sure if that’s the best answer as my spouse is very concerned with the outward image/persona to the public. I have asked a friend who is in the ministry to recommend a good Christian counselor, if even just for me to go to.

    If you read this, please pray for our marriage, and my spouse and I. Just being able to write this has been helpful. It’s just so hard to hear that our marriage was a mistake, and that the kids were a mistake, etc etc. My hope is in the love and strength of Jesus Christ, from HIS power I can endure.

  16. Ann says:

    (USA) Ok, I have a boyfriend I love who has scizh paranoid delusions. I have been on a roller coaster ride for 3 years. I have tried to commit suicide to get out but my believes in Christianity stopped me. I asked my Pastor and he said I can do better if I got out what I’m struggling with. God didn’t give up, why should I? There is some good. I also believe there is some narcissism also. I just want to be ok and conscience free. Help.

    • Cindy Wright says:

      Ann, No one is worth trying to commit suicide over. Please find another way to “get out,” which doesn’t include killing yourself. I’m thinking this guy is not for you if you want to get out so bad that you’re willing to end your life over it. I pray wisdom, discernment and help for you to make the right decision here. You were born for a purpose –killing yourself is not that purpose. I hope you will prayerfully consider this.

  17. Queen says:

    (USA) I thought my marriage was just bad until my husband sent me an article about control, on the flip side they the person being controlled could be “Passive Aggressive”. Upon further investigation, I believe this is what my husband is being attacked by. I have suffered for years with his behavior and now his suspicious delusions or telling him I am cheating. He has abandoned me and his children because of this. He refuses to admit he has problems and blames me for everything. I love my husband and want to reconcile. I pray for his deliverance.

  18. John says:

    (USA) I have found myself in a situation that I did not see coming! I married at a young age. Of course that didn’t last but a few months. I remarried at 23 and that marriage lasted 35 years. My wife passed away due to Hep C and heavy drinking. I remarried my first wife a few months later. Before the rice hit the floor I knew it was a mistake. The controlling nature and “HER WAY” started as soon as we left the altar.

    Then I found out she had Hep C also. She takes heavy medication for what she calls a failed cervical fusion. (I believe she is just addicted.) We have been married for 2 years and I lost my job and any money I do get she spends it on her grandchildren. I love children, but we have to eat also!

    In the last 8 months she has gained 70 lbs. She just sleeps and eats and won’t even try to exercise. She has started talking to herself and saying things that don’t make any sense. I know she is very ill but the doctors are slow to help her. She won’t let me talk to them and I am lost as to what to do for her. She thinks she knows everything and won’t let me help her. Her own children thinks she crazy and refuse to help her.

    For my own health and sanity I feel I must leave and get on with my life. But I do care for her and I don’t know if that would be right. Any words of wisdom/encouragement would be a blessing.

    • Joseph from United States says:

      John, let me commend you by letting you know how much I respect and admire you for remarrying your first wife. I do not know the history of her past relationship(s), but it reads like she cares for her children and grandchildren. It is a beautiful story to read that the Lord has reunited an original married couple from so long ago.

      It seems like your wife may have a genuine mental illness that causes her to feel as though she needs to have things “HER WAY”. This may also stem from experiences she had in past relationships, including the brief marriage you two had way back when. Perhaps some counseling would help in this situation, preferably a Christian counselor or your pastor (if you have one or if you’re even Christian).

      From what I read, I get the sense that you actually love this woman and care deeply for her and her well being. You know she has Hep C, which you can relate to from your wife who passed on, this failed cervical fusion, and what evidently is a mental illness. Maybe she has depression or major depression? (weight gain, just sleeps & eats, no exercise, refuses to receive help from Doctors). Maybe even Bipolar?

      Her children should be desiring to help her because she is their Mother after all. If a person cannot rely on family, who can they rely on? Plus she spends money on their children, her grandchildren. Have you ever considered having a family meeting or an intervention of some sort? You could meet with her children, a counselor, a doctor, and whoever else you thing should participate in trying to help your wife beforehand. Put everything out on the table, explain all the problems you have noticed, express your love & compassion for her and your desire to see her get healthy, and then collectively develop and action plan.

      Above all else, pray. Pray, pray, pray to the Creator of us all, our Heavenly Father, through the Lord Jesus Christ. He is the Great Physician and has the power to heal and guide you through anything.

      It genuinely appears that you do love your wife and not only care for her, but you’re concerned for her well being overall. I think you should should stay with her and try to work through her mental illness together along with her family (and yours). If you leave her now, you may always wonder what happened to her, feel guilty, harbor remorse, and undoubtedly she’d be on your mind for some time to come. Don’t give up on her because she has a mental illness. I’m sure she doesn’t like the condition she is in nor desires to stay in it but she may not feel there is any help for her. You could be the one to implement the change that she has so desperately needed for years. I hope things work out for you and her. May the Lord bless you both in this difficult time.

  19. Eileen from United States says:

    I’m married 6 years to a man I believe has BPD. It’s a very crazy situation to be in and I don’t know what to do. The church is clueless, counselors have not been any help as they normally fall into his trap of manipulation and deceiving them and then it all gets turned on me. I feel like I’m losing my mind most days the burden and stress is unbearable.

    I’ve got 2 kids and an elderly mom I take care of in my home. My husband is now again threatening divorce. This has been going on the entire time weve been married, but this time I believe he will follow through. I have no finances, and no career. He’s already started to withhold the money and I’m desperate to know what to do. It’s damaging my faith in God as I cried out to him for what to do and I don’t know anymore. I’m doubting I can even hear him anymore, as well as battling feelings of does God really see and get this and why isn’t he doing something.

    Anyone who understands BPD will know what Im living through – utter hell. He just emailed a parenting plan and that’s putting me through another roller coaster as my youngest is only 2. Please pray for me and my family. Any insights would be appreciated. And pls don’t tell me to go to another counselor I can’t afford and who doesn’t get this at all. The last one had a PhD and turned on me because I can’t bring myself to say the words “I love you” anymore to my husband. There’s just too much damage. And then she told me in her opinion he doesn’t have a mental illness.

  20. Corne from South Africa says:

    (South Africa) I need urgent advice please. My Brother-in-law’s wife has real serious mental problems and we as a family are very very much concerned for his and his children’s lives. We need her to be evaluated urgently, forcefully if necessary, as she most definitely will refuse treatment. Please, its very urgent. Any information that will point us in the direction of help in Gauteng, or their hometown of Sasolburg, will be greatly appreciated. Kind Regards.

    • Cindy Wright from United States says:

      Corne, I’m not sure if this will help, but the only place I can think to recommend you talk to is someone who works for the ministry of Focus on the Family – South Africa. They’re located in Kwazulu Natal, which is far in one aspect, and yet they might know of someone in your brother-in-law’s area. They seem to be fairly well connected, from what I can tell. You can go to their web site at http://www.safamily.co.za. They have a “Contact” link where you will see their phone information listed, as well as email info listed. I hope this helps in some way.

  21. Jill from United States says:

    Wow, it is heartbreaking to know that so many Christian families are struggling and living in fear. I am one who has endured some very brutal emotional, verbal, and mental abuse without even knowing it is mental illness. I just go to the point where I realized something is not right with him. We have separated many times over the past 14 years of marriage but always got back together because when he is right in his head he is a great person.

    I just forget that this mania can come on and destroy us in just one blow up …and over nothing. He is delusional, the whole world revolves around him, he is negative, paranoid, and thinks we are saying things when we are not (we as in me, and my 13 year old son, 12 year old daughter, and 9 year old daughter).

    He takes most of his anger out on me and my son but it seems to have gotten worse recently. He is so scary that I feel like I cannot talk or do anything right in his presence same with my son. I wanted to leave a week ago but my daughter was having her birthday. My son told me not to defend him that it just makes him worse. We are all walking on eggshells.

    I know I need to get him out of the house. He makes me feel guilty and like it is my entire fault when all I do (I am the provider) is work and come home and cook for the family. He tells me all the time that I don’t know how to communicate and calls me all kinds of names and then ignores me for days. I call that neglect and abuse. I am so scared to leave but I cannot talk to him about it. I am afraid he will flip out and then who knows what could happen?

    I have to sneak around and make plans to leave him and I feel so guilty for doing this because I know he will have to go live at the mission in our city. I am so frustrated. I don’t want to be the one to end this I have worked hard at trying to make this marriage work and it won’t matter in the end he will blame me.

    He is very vulgar and says things that no Christian man should say. I just want it to be over but I am even scared of that. And I will be left with the mess he has made of my son and the girls. I know God can heal them but I’m just hoping and praying I can handle it all.

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