Mon | Sep 24, 2018

He is mentally ill and I love him

Published:Wednesday | June 17, 2015 | 12:00 AM

Q: My husband suffers from mental illness and sometimes it is too much for me. When he takes his tablets, it is a very good marriage. However, when he does not, it can be hell. He had a mental breakdown shortly after he finished university. He was a brilliant student and was top of his class. However, his heart was broken by a wealthy woman. I knew him from then, but just as an acquaintance and fellow student. He can be very caring and a good talker who knows a lot about every subject. However, he changes jobs frequently. He claims that his supervisors do not like him because he is brighter than them.

His father is very supportive of him. His father blames himself for encouraging my husband into that previous relationship. His father is always finding excuses for his behaviour. When he walks off a job and is not working for a while, his father supports him lavishly. I get along well with my father-in-law.

About six years ago, he hit me once, but he apologised quickly and stated that he would not do it again. He has never done it again. The only thing he has done since was once we were on a vacation on the north coast, he got angry and drove away and left me at the hotel. I had to call a girlfriend to come and get me. When I reached home, he claimed that I provoked him that is why he left me. Another problem is when he claims he is alright and stops taking his medication, he is not nice to live with. I still love him, but I cannot deal with him when he is off his medication. What can I do in this situation?

A: You obviously love him because you got married to him knowing that he has a mental illness. In addition, you continue to proclaim your love for him in spite of the problems. Furthermore, it paid off when you gave him another chance after he hit you. However, it is sad that he has not apologised for leaving you at the hotel. Additionally, he is not taking responsibility for his actions and is blaming you instead. If he was that angry, he could have left you and left the car so that you could have driven home.

Your husband obviously feels he is better than you and his co-workers. He has an ego problem. You need to have talks with him about his behaviour. You need to exercise tough love. He needs to get sessions with his therapist who prescribes his medication. You could also put his medication in his morning drink as a means of ensuring he takes it. Furthermore, you need to have a heart to heart talk with his dad and tell him to be firm with his son some of the times.

You are to be commended for taking your marriage vows seriously, for better for worse. However, you need to be tough on him when he falls out of line.