I think my husband is having a mental breakdown and I don't know what to do

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Hi everyone,

I've been together with my husband 8 years. He's a piano player and a music/theatre festival organizer. He's been diagnosed with sclerosis multiple 10 years ago.

One month ago while I was away to another country (10 days into a work related trip) he went to visit and old music teacher in the hospital, who suffers from another type of sclerosis (the rampant aggressive type) and found him paralyzed. He went into a total breakdown, wrote me an sms saying he wanted to leave me and when I called him he broke crying saying he wanted to spare me that situation, that he would 't get to that stage...and do on. I calmed him down and the crisis passed. After few days he wrote again saying he was depressed, couldn't sleep for days, very agitated, anxious...all because a big investor asked him to organize some gigs and he began to fear that he could fail. He's been waiting for years for a break line this in his work. We talked it through and he seemed calm again.

Less than 3 days after this second episode he wrote that he has deep feeling for another musician -a woman who just started playing with him- and that amidst the confusion and anxiety she is the only thing calming him and giving him positive emotions. He asked me for a break to decide between me and her.

After a week I took the first flight home. For a day we talked and he was unstable, crying a lot, coming in and out of dark places. This was a Sunday. On Monday he asked me to take away my possessions from his house and give him space. He left me to it but after 2 hours he phoned that he would come back and work things through because no fantasy is worth the risk of losing our beautiful reality. He cryed and asked forgiveness and kept saying that I'm his soulmate and his balance. Two days like this and I though we recuperated the peace. On Wednesday morning he told me he needed to pursue thus woman and see if it's fantasy or not and told me he doesn't feel attraction towards me..that he loves me but it's not enough cause he needs the high emotions this woman provides.

I told him he's talking about her like it's some drug and he aknowledged that it is a strong obsession controlling his mind. I lost my senses and fainted and woke up without him but with his mom holding my hands. He had gone to work (in a library).

That same Wednesday I had to go to the hospital to help a friend and finished around noon when I decided to go to his work and see how he is. I found him there with her -the other woman- she stepped out and he told me it's finished, that he is deeply sorry and that he would look me up in the future. I went out and saw her. She stopped me and asked to speak to me..she then told me she isn't interested in him, that it's all a fantasy in his head, that she felt pleased by his attentions but that she has a boyfriend and would not leave him. During this time he kept crawling near us. She asked me to go out and speak and he kept watching us from far the entire time. After 2 hours she said that she "lead him on" and she felt sorry but that its's nothing more than that. She asked me to accompany her to tell him this. We went to him, I left them to talk still hoping that once he listened to her he would get a shock and realize he almost lost me for a stupid fantasy.

She exited and left and I entered to talk to him. I have never seen him so enraged ..his eyes were as those of an animal in attack. He began shouting that he hates me, that he never hated someone do much...that I ruined his chance of happiness, that I had a devious plan in manipulating her into backing out. I tried to reason with him saying that I went there by chance not knowing they would be there together but he kept shouting that I had my revenge and that my pay is that he would never return to me ..that his first thought in the morning would be that he hates me and the last thought at night that he hates me. I kept saying that I love him and that he isn't ok but every time he kept becoming more aggressive.

Today is one week later and he blocked be from any means of contact, I had to take all my possessions from the house. His and our friends keep writing and calling me saying he is losing it, that he is not him, that he is offensive and gives strange answers, that he seems on the verge of a breakdown.

He pushed away his family also and some of the friends he knew I felt close to. Last night he told a mutual friend who asked about me that it was months that things Weren't going well -even though until that visit to the professor he kept saying he wanted to get married because I am his soulmate, that I abandoned him and that when I came back I did something terrible for which he had to throw me out of the house. This friend asked me if I was the one caught with a lover as he seemed to be the victim in this breakup.

What do I do?!?!? He doesn't even want to hear of counseling, he thinks he's ok and that I'm the root of his troubles. He is emotionless, he acts as if he completely removed me from his mind, his emotions, like I never existed and never mattered. I am trying to reach out to his friends, his mom, his brother since I am not allowed near him....

I fear that if he doesn't break down he will end up really bad...or that he will find a new equilibrium inside this unstable state and that he changed for good. What do I do?!?!? I love him or like he is now but he is unrecognizable...have I lost him for good???

I still hope he wakes up one day seeing clearly and remembering he loves me. But as he is now isolating me away and auto-convincing himself that he hates me ..he is impossible to reach. I believe that only a real breakdown could make him return to himself...but what if this doesn't happen????

I'm desperate...please...what can I do????

1 like, 11 replies

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11 Replies

  • Posted


    Andrea I am truly sorry that your having a difficult time.  You know your husband better than anyone and if you know there is something wrong then there is..

    The fact that your husband's head seems to be all over the place and he is crying suggests to me he is depressed. Have you suggested going to see a doctor? Please don't be offended but does he drink a lot of alcohol or use drugs?? Its important to rule certain things out..

    I feel its very important that your husband goes and see's a doctor. It is possible he is having some sort of break down and he cannot see what is happening to him as this is usually the case.. If you cannot get him to go to a doctor go to one yourself and asked advice.

    It also may be a case of waiting until he does start to crash.  Sounds awful I know but unless he is a danger to himself I don't think there is anything really you can do if he does not want the help..

    If this behaviour has happened all of a sudden and you know deep in your heart that he loves you and has just lost his way then hopefully in time things will turn around again.  I can only imagine how distressed and hurt you are.. As for his anger it could be more about the fact this women made a fool out of him and he is taking it out on you.  He could also be angry with himself for falling for her lies and is angry and you are on the receiving end..

    If he is pushing a lot of people he was once very close to away he could also have depression.  Which would be understandable due to his illness and seeinga friend suffering..

    Try and get his and your family all  together to support him, talk to him and try to get him help.. If he isn't listening and will not take the help it might be case of waiting until it comes to a head..

    Keep talking on here for support Andrea


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    • Posted

      Thank you so much for the reply.

      He doesn't drink and has never used drugs.

      I believe that talking to a psychologist would be wonderful for him but he can't hear it..when I suggested it he took it as an offense saying he doesn't need it because he can handle it (but clearly he cannot).

      I was indeed thinking of going to a psychologist and ask for counseling..advice that I would then pass to his mom and brother because I am off limits. He doesn't want to see me or hear them talk about me because he knows I am the one who knows him best and knows his weaknesses. He keeps saying he doesn't need anyone because he's strong enough by himself.

      I feel he needs to crash in order to accept help but I fear so much the fact that he won't crash soon enough and that he might just find a sort of balance in this crazy state of mind...he keeps auto-convincing himself that I'm the devil when only one week ago (in his 2 days of peace) he thanked me for being patient and told me to keep talking to him because I'm the only one who can keep hi on track. Then she talked to him and all hell broke loose...

      It's ugly to say but I think I should provoke a clash to make him accept the help he needs....but if he doesn't want it?!?! Or want me near?!?!?

      Sit and wait while he sinks even deeper? It's heartbreaking and I fear I'm losing him for good...and I know that he loves me and he feels wonderful with me.

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  • Posted

    And on Facebook the other woman - who told me is not interested in him or in ruining my relationship though she did exactly that - keeps liking his posts this sending him signals...

    And he just put a "heart" on one of her posts....

    I'm going mad because I don't even know what would be better...if she disappeared or if he tried to be with her in order to realize she's not what he wants sad

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  • Posted

    Andrea my heart goes out to you and the situation you are in.. If things are as bad as you say they are it might be a psychiatrist  he needs.  I would seek out support for yourself..

    I don't understand why he is still in contact with this lady if he knows she is being fake towards him.. Plus it shows he is not thinking straight.

    If he has removed himself from you at the minute could him family talk to him about seeking help or do they not see anything wrong?


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    • Posted

      The family has always been rather distant. At first they told me "well.. he just makes his choices, what can we do?" which makes me so mad. Since I was the one touched by the situation they acted as if I acted as a desperate abandoned woman. But now he argued with them too and also with his brother (the only person he confides with).

      I contacted his brother and he is willing to meet me and talk..knowing the family it's like admitting they too think he's not ok.

      He constructed this fantasy about this woman that is mainly in his head; ok, she played upon it, but it's all in him. She's become his "way out" of the crisis...the only thought that doesn't cause him anxiety but pleasant emotions. So he is holding on to this fantasy as if to an anchor keeping him above the sea level.

      But I fear so so much that if he doesn't crash now he will go on in this auto-destructive spiral until we've lost him for good.

      Just a month ago he asked me to marry him (we've been living together for 8 years now but no marriage) and told me what I mean to him...last week he asked me to be patient with him because he doesn't want to lose me ...and after a day he had that outburst with me after talking to her...

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    • Posted

      Hopefully his brother will get on board with you in getting him help. 

      You know him very well Andrea and you can see this women is just a distraction and you are probably to close and she doesn't know or see where he is at the minute.. So this cannot and will not work as she doesn't want him and he deep down doesnt want it either or he wouldn't be asking you to marry him.

      Has he ever suffered anxiety or depression before?

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    • Posted

      You are so right...it's exactly what I think even though I have very dark pessimistic moments when I fear that this is a new him here to stay. But all his friends tell me he's about to lose his mind.

      He's had moments of depression before but never so dramatic; moment of pessimism about his work and about his career in the music business but we got through them together. Now he's as close as ever to his dreams and this is actually an element of anxiety for him because he is terrified of failing and disappointing a big sponsor for whom he works. So he is so close to his biggest work related satisfactions but at the same time he is terrified of failing and get excluded from this environment.

      I get all of this and I've helped him before get over these moments. The fact of the visit to that professor and my absence made him this time search comfort in this crazy fantasy. But I'm terrified because he blocked me so even though I am certain I can help him ..I cannot because he won't allow me to do it.

      I cannot even breathe when I think how good we were a month ago...I cannot accept the fact that I lost him and I lost a life I thought was as close to perfect as it could be. And I know he thinks it too..he told it to me many times. Somewhere deep down his mind and heart I am still present but I don't know how to make him stop, wake up and start realizing what is real and what is only madness, fantasy, anxiety in his head.

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    • Posted

      Its sounds like he is under an awful lot of stress Andrea due to how he seen his friend paralysed and as you say this new opportunity in his work.

      It sounds like he is that frightened he going into destruct mode and at some point this has to come to a head.  If his behaviour is abnormal and his friends are even seeing it then this cannot last and has to come to a head. He 

      It sounds like you are his rock when he goes through difficult periods and would rely on you to be there. I think you might have to stand back at some point and let him come to you.  You cannot push someone into wanting to be helped it has to come from them.. Hard I know but the more you push the more he will push you out.. Maybe a bit of space and him knowing his rock is not around might wake him up..Just a suggestion..You could still be seeking advice behind the scenes..

      Take a deep breath Andrea and one day at a time.. You know he is not well and this is out of character for him.. So try not to catastrophize that your realtionship is over, that he has changed forever and you have been pushed out forever.. You cannot afford to get into all that negativity and need to stay strong and look after yourself. 

      Try and keep yourself occupied and eat healthy, and do positive things throughout your day.. If he did crash you need to be strong in yourself to be able to help him..

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    • Posted

      Thank you so much for your input. I needed to hear it because my family and close friends tell me to give up and think of myself because he is lost. But I feel this urge to take action because I fear that the more time passes the more difficult it will be to get him back.

      I respect his wishes and I am not contacting him. I am trying to think about my wellbeing also although right now I couldn't care less about myself.

      I was thinking of talking next week to a psychiatrist and ask for counseling, then try to approach his mom again and then I will meet his brother best Saturday. I think his brother ('cause he pushed away his mom) is his/my best chance to help him. Then I will distance myself again.

      I don't know what else I could do... This sense of impotence and the thought that he is convincing himself that he hates me is excruciating. It's so difficult to imagine him snapping out of it although I hope and dream about it every second of the day

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  • Posted

    It would be very hard to give up on someone you know is not well and you have had eight years with.

    But it is very important that you look after yourself as well.. Keep coming here when you need support.  Let us know how you are getting on..

    Try not to get into a load of negative thinking as its important you look after your own wellbeing..

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  • Posted

    You titled it husband but noted you were not married you lived with him? Maybe he has committment issues in too of whatever else he is dealing with and maybe Gods trying to save your life here so you can find and be with someone who is geniune and sincere and healthy for you. This sounds toxic to me. I realize it was eight years and it hurts but im thinking you are better off without this guy. And his family is rude and nasty to you as well. Red flags all around here. Where is the happiness you are finding in this? I hope you go to a counselor and they can help you see this for what it really is and then you can open up your heart to find the the right person and a better fit for you.
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