My Husband is a Schizophrenic! What Do I Do?
I have been reading your IPOD [In “Ask Roger” in “preachitteachit.com.”] on the 4 types of people that pastors cannot change….the personality types…..
My husband is not open as far as Jesus and God is concerned. He has been diagnosed with Schizoid…..
I have listened to the IPOD and my question to you today is….if these people cannot be open to the teachings of God, where does this leave me in this marriage?
I do not believe in divorce as the first option, but I cannot help but feel this is the only way out for me because I love God and feel this relationship is not going to bring about the best that God has in store for me.
Please help me or refer me to someone that I can speak to about this. Or any advice about if divorce would be an option God will understand…
I think that I can give you some Biblical and spiritual insight into your situation.
First is ascertaining an accurate diagnosis regarding your husband’s mental state. As I understand it, as complex as the brain chemistry and neurotransmitters involved may be, two primary things can bring about his schizophrenic manifestations. One seems to be highly treatable; the other is not. If his brain is hardwired in a schizoid way then very little can be done. On the other hand, an over abundance of the neurotransmitter dopamine can possibly bring about the same “psychotic” manifestations. If his problem is dopamine, medicines can alleviate most, if not all, of his symptoms. If his problem is hard wiring, symptoms can be treated but this varying affect—most of which are not very effective.
Understand that I speak not as a medical doctor, but as a pastor who has had some experience helping church people in this area as well as out of a number of mental issues in my own family.
Let’s assume that your husband’s brain is “hard wired” for schizophrenia. My heart hurt’s for you because I know that your marriage is brokenhearted in many dimensions. You life is not at all what you expected the day before God and others that you pledged your undying love and commitment to each other. I grieve more for you and your husband than you can ever imagine.
As I consider your situation, I am reminded of all the parents who live with mental and/or physically challenged children. You have seen them at the mall as they push along a complex, high-tech wheelchair which is home to a child who has not at all turned out as mom and dreamed he or she would be. I see the anguished pain in their faces—and so do you—as they see other children running and laughing and playing while their child sits trapped within a mind or body that doesn’t work properly.
I admire these parents who have sacrificed so much. I never pass by the opportunity to take a longing and loving glance as they push those wheelchairs. Sometimes, I feel like I am looking at Jesus.
Then the King will say to those on his right, “Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.
Then the righteous will answer him, “Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?”
The King will reply, “I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me” (Matthew25:34-40).
We look most like Jesus when we are sacrificing our lives for “the least of these my brothers.”
Now, Hello, let me speak carefully and lovingly to you. I’m glad that you “do not believe in divorce as the first option.” Your heart is certainly in the right place. Maybe I can provide some perspective on your statement that “…I cannot help but feel this [divorce] is the only way out for me because I love God and feel this relationship is not going to bring about the best that God has in store for me.” Consider that this relationship is exactly what God has designed in order to “bring out the best that God has in store for me.” Your very sacrifices are making you more and more like Jesus.
I know that you are familiar with Paul’s teaching that God’s primary purpose is to mold us to look like Jesus: “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the likeness of his Son …” (Romans 8:28-30). Notice what Paul did not say. He did not say that all things would be good for those who love Jesus. He said that all things would work for the good purpose of conforming us to look like Jesus.
Your life has not turned out the way you wanted. I am deeply sorry. However, I rejoice that these troubles may very well be the circumstances through which God can best mold you to look like Jesus.
Can you handle it? Without a doubt! Let me encourage you with the following three Biblical passages.
The Greek word translated “temptation” in the following verse also means “trial” which I believe is what it means in your situation: “No temptation [trial] has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted [tried] beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted [tried], he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it” (1 Corinthians 10:13). This is Jesus’ promise to you.
Undergoing great trial, Paul turned to God’s grace for the strength and power he needed. Because the Holy Spirit is living in you, you can access that same life and power: “But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong” (2 Corinthians 12:9-10).
Finally, while enduring multiple trials and sufferings Paul realized that he was actually learning contentment—which is certainly one of life’s the greatest blessings: “…for I have learned content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do everything through him who gives me strength” (Philippians 4:11-13).
My heart is grieving for both you and your husband. While it pains me to sense the sufferings you are enduring, my heart does rejoice because I know that God is molding you to look more and more like Jesus.
Well, Hello, I hope I have shared some thoughts that will be a help and blessing to you.
God bless for eternity.