When your paranoid spouse tells others his delusions?

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MRound

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When your paranoid spouse tells others his delusions?
« on: May 17, 2018, 01:15:40 PM »
I have been thinking obsessively about something that happened at New Year's.  I have written about it before, but I had a flash of insight that I don't really know what to do with.

While our family (with my brother's family, my mom and dad and my SIL and her daughter (DN)) was gathered for a week for vacation,  SIL accused me of saying something to DN that made DN mad at SIL.  I had not.  DN and SIL have a difficult relationship, but DN loves SIL very much and would be distressed if I said bad things about her mom.   At any rate, SIL got really worked up, screaming and yelling (and I am GR like crazy).  UPPH did not do great, but not too bad either.  We thought we might have to call the police. The final thing SIL said to me as she stomped off to her own accomodations (and we locked the door behind her), was that my husband had told her that I cheated on him with certain men and she wanted to know if that was true.

At the time i was completely flummoxed by this. UPPDH harbours the delusion that I have affairs with men of a different racial group (I have no affairs what so ever, I don't even have that many male friends).  I know he told her he thought this, even though he had not expressed exactly that thought in exactly those words to me.  It took me a while to realize that the more I tried to talk him out of his delusions (and I think they are truely delusions, since he claims he watched me follow a man around a store when we were together, and of course I did no such thing), the more he believed in their truth.  So I just mostly pretend not to notice his suspicious remarks. 

So anyway, at first I chalked this up to her trying to hurt me, especially by screaming it at the top of her lungs in a house full of my family and her daughter presumably within earshot.  Then I decided that she was also trying to get my husband on her "side" by showing him that she would fight me on his behalf even if he wouldn't.  At any rate I have assumed that my relationship with this SIL was likely permanently ruptured because I could not trust her, which I grieve for.  Previously I was quite fond of her even if she was a little unstable, and liked to visit with her and share vacations, etc.   

H did not talk to SIL for some time, but since we are going to DN's graduation and party, and since it seems very important to my DN that I be there, H asked SIL if there was any "unfinished business" between her an me.  She blamed what she did on medication she was taking and said she cant do anything about the past, but there was no unfinished business.  I found it somewhat odd that she did not even seem to say she was sorry. 

Then it hit me: of course she believes my husband, and thinks (as I might) that I am a terrible, lying, fake hypocrite.  Of course she would be suspicious of my affection for DN.  It never occured to me before that she believed him (go figure)!

Now I am facing the prospect of spending a whole weekend with people who, I am sure, think I am a horrible person.  I can't defend myself, but I also think I can't tolerate trying to be pleasant and chatty with this group.  I am a little worried that DN hopes to "patch things up" while understanding only some of the context.  I think it will be very painful to be around them much, and I really want to avoid drama, so my plan is to put in an appearance and then sneak out when I can.  I am making sure I will have my own transportation, even though this seems offensive to H.

I know it would be wrong to try to "explain" the situation to these people--they are the only people my H has.  Also, I would never want to do that in the midst of what should be a happy time for my neice.  I want her to be happy, and that is mostly what I care about.  But I do feel quite sad that I now believe that my relationship with these people that I have known for more than 20 years seems ruined, and it seems like it is going to very painful to be at a "family" party knowing everyone there may think they have good reason to despise me.  It makes me feel really angry at my husband, since he has now ripped away what I felt was my extended family.   I don't now if anyone has any words of wisdom. 
« Last Edit: May 17, 2018, 01:26:33 PM by MRound »

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Tammy728

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Re: When your paranoid spouse tells others his delusions?
« Reply #1 on: May 17, 2018, 05:26:17 PM »
I don't know if it's just me, but I am confused about who is who.  Is this about your brother, SIL, DN, mother, and father? Or is this about your husband's family?  I thought this was about your family until I read the last paragraph.

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MRound

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Re: When your paranoid spouse tells others his delusions?
« Reply #2 on: May 17, 2018, 07:10:47 PM »
Ah, sorry.  SIL is my husband’s sister, and DN is her daughter.  My mother, father, brother and brother’s family had nothing to do with it (and happily, didn’t  hear).  My husband told his sister, my SIL, about his delusions.  She believes him because he is her brother, they have always been pretty close,  and I would not want to tell her he is not telling the truth about me.  Indeed, when she made this accusation, I told her it was a matter between my husband and me, so she may have taken that as confirmation.  This was crushing to me—as it is that my husband believes these things. 
« Last Edit: May 17, 2018, 07:15:36 PM by MRound »

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notrightinthehead

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Re: When your paranoid spouse tells others his delusions?
« Reply #3 on: May 18, 2018, 04:30:45 AM »
It sounds like your SIL has a few problems of her own. How important is this relationship to you and have you been able to influence what she thinks about you in the past?
I have found that the more I delved into the mindset of my H (and he was not paranoid) the more confused I got. I therefore decided to stick to my truth and consider that a reality and leave him in his own world. That helped me to be less confused.

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Tammy728

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Re: When your paranoid spouse tells others his delusions?
« Reply #4 on: May 18, 2018, 09:03:22 AM »
I am going to share a story. I was once very close to my husband's sister. I thought we would be friends forever. My in-laws were a "unique" group. Like you, I saw that my SIL has quirks, but I overlooked them. Without going into all the ridiculous details, let me say that my husband's oldest sister was convicted twice for embezzlement and spend some time in jail. His next sister, had a daughter. This is the sister I was quite close with. We talked almost daily. When the daughter was old enough to date, she met a boy who was possessive. She eventually broke up with the boy. The boy broke into my SIL's home. He held the daughter (my neice) at gunpoint for 8 hours while the cops were outside. At one point, this boy had the gun in my niece's mouth threatening her.

It never occurred to me that a person with extreme mental health issues sometimes comes from a family who has extreme issues and very unhealthy coping mechanisms. In my husband's case, this is what lead to the dysfunctional lifestyle he and I had together. His "normal" was so far in left field from my "normal" it was crazy. And it drove me nuts that my H always defended his family's behavior. He had an "us verses them" mentality. I was part of the "them" group.  It never occurred to me that other families could lead such dysfunctional lives but look completely normal on the outside. It never occurred to me that his entire family had some deep wounds they were covering up.

The boy who held my niece at gunpoint eventually went to trial. My SIL convinced my neice that the boy was troubled. She forced my niece to lie and tell the courts the boy never put the gun in her mouth. As a result, the boy was tried as a juvenile and was out 11 months later when he turned 18. I desperately tried to get SIL to stop defending this boy and reconcile with her daughter. When he was released from the juvenile detention center when he turned 18, SIL took off with that boy, left her husband, disowned her own daughter and never talked to anyone in the family again.  Yes, it did hurt and I went through a grieving process so I can relate to you.

I shared this because I eventually realized that H's family didn't set out to destroy everyone else on purpose. They were just so dysfunctional and came from such a dysfunctional background.  They took what they wanted by force or by deceit if they couldn't get it any other way. I don't know what your SIL's true motive is for telling lies about you. She could be jealous of you.  She could be jealous because she realizes you are more emotionally healthy than she will ever be. She could be in the middle of a mid life crisis and hates everyone and everything. Who knows. You probably wouldn't really want to know anyway. I have learned over the years not to ask questions about things I really am not prepared to hear the answer to.

Trying to explain the situation to your H's family could blow up in your face. I tried logic with my H's family, and it wasn't pretty.  Oh, and most of this occurred 15-20 years into our marriage too.

You know you are not a terrible lying hypocrite. Your in-laws should know this too after all these years.  I understand that it hurts to think that other's view you in a bad way for something that isn't true. But you are right when you say that this is an event for your niece. I understand that you are angry at your husband for ripping your extended family away. He didn't have the right to do this. However, it's possible he could be inadvertently doing you a favor if these people are so quick to believe something about you that isn't true.

From my perspective, and based strictly on my own situation, I can't help but wonder if you are dealing with an entire family who lacks healthy boundaries and proper coping skills . It's possible SIL is fueling your husband's paranoia about your relationships. That's just a wild guess on my part.  My point is that you might want to really think about his entire family's dynamic. My husband was taught growing up that they couldn't have any secrets among each other. He was also taught that the world is out to get you and the only ones you can depend on is family. He spend six years in therapy unlearning that stuff.

Your plan to make and appearance and have your own transportation to leave when you want sounds like an excellent plan to me.  While you are there, though, try using it as an opportunity to really watch his family in action. You might see a side of them and a way of relating to each other never you never saw before. Then when you are done, get in your car, leave, and go get some retail therapy.

« Last Edit: May 18, 2018, 09:05:04 AM by Tammy728 »

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MRound

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Re: When your paranoid spouse tells others his delusions?
« Reply #5 on: May 18, 2018, 01:09:27 PM »
Thank you for your story—it is a doozie.
Yes, UPPDH’s whole family is a terrible mess.  Dad was—well I am not exactly sure what, but he was diagnosed as schizophrenic in his 60s.  Wife and all 7 children were probably abused in ways I can’t understand.

This SIL has always had some issues, but she really went off the deep end in the last couple of years.  She has been emotionally abusing DN, and maybe physically too, but DN has gone to extremes to protect her.  SIL used to call and tell H that DN is doing all these terrible things, and H would say “isn’t that awful” and I’d say “do you really think it’s true?” And he’d say “Why would SIL lie about such things?” And I would think, well, I don’t know why you think all the outrageous thing you believe about me for no reason, but that doesn’t make them true.  Obviously he could not see this and I did not spell it out for him.  He was completely flabbergasted when he realized his sister was so abusive and had told him so many things that were not true about DN.

Anyway, your take is correct.  I suspect part of this is that at the same time that I have really come to see H for what he is, I also see that SIL is similar and I cannot trust her.  So I am grieving for both the marriage I imagined I could have (silly me, after 20 years I always thought “it will be better next year”) and for the large extended family that I thought I had but now see that as these people age it will all crumble to dust.

The one positive thing that has come from this is I cherish my own FOO so much more.  I only have a brother, but I have decided to make bigger investments in our relationship, like spending more time together.   

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MRound

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Re: When your paranoid spouse tells others his delusions?
« Reply #6 on: May 18, 2018, 01:17:56 PM »
Just to be clear, when I said “Dad” was diagnosed and wife was abused, that is my H’s father (who I never met) and my H’s mother.  There is, as you say, a very odd dynamic in the whole family, but my family is so small, I just chalked it up to natural differences.  My brother’s wife’s family also has an unhealthy dynamic, but in a very different way.  We each probably would have been better off under the old ways, where your family picked a spouse for you based on the intended’s family (kidding here, but it does make more sense the older I get).

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Tammy728

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Re: When your paranoid spouse tells others his delusions?
« Reply #7 on: May 18, 2018, 05:10:15 PM »
My H's entire family with the exception of his niece is now deceased. As terrible as this sounds, he became more calm and easier to live when when they died. I don't know why this was the case. It wasn't like he had a great relationship with them later in life. At times I think he just felt stuck to them like glue and couldn't be loyal to anyone but them because he was taught to think that way.

It really sounds to me that your husband was raised in a home where he was not nurtured or given healthy boundaries.  One time, many years back, there was a discussion on this board about whether many mental health issues are a product of the environment or caused by nature. I come down on the side where I believe both play an equal roll. My husband may have been chemically primed for Bipolar and Borderline, but his family dysfunction made things incredibly more difficult for him. A child who doesn't have a sense of self leans on other family members to define it for him/her

It's amazing how we think people grow up and grow out of child-like behaviors. It's been my experience, though, that until those child-like behaviors are addressed and until any possible wounds are healed, the child-like behavior never goes away. In fact, I mentioned to our psychologist years ago that it's hard to view my H, who is four years older than I, as a full grown man when he acted like a child. His response was, "Tammy, you met him when you were 14 and he was 18.  Yes, there was a big age difference.  But you continued to grow and mature. H, on the other hand, stopped maturing possibly even before he met you. You must stop viewing him as the "older, more mature person in the relationship.  He may be 40 years old but emotionally he is more like 13."  This was a HUGE eye opener for me.

I know this doesn't help you at all, but I do remember a time when I felt like you. I invested so much time in my marriage. I spent so much time focused on his needs. When I finally realized just how screwed up it all was, I felt terribly lonely and quite depressed. I didn't think it could ever be repaired or healed. My mother died maybe one year before I had this revelation. I just wanted to give up and crawl in a hole somewhere and be left alone to be honest with you. But as crappy as that feeling was, I needed that time to grieve the things I believed to be true. I needed that time to grieve the things I erroneously believed the future held  for me/us. I needed time to realize that the path I had taken led me to where I didn't want to be. BUT, had I not landed there, I know for sure I wouldn't be doing the things I am doing today.  Going through a grief, while painful, seems to be one of the necessary evils to living with someone with a PD. Hang in there, you are probably doing much better than you think. It just might be hard to see what's on the other side because of all the fog. 

Good Lord, if my parents picked out my husband for me, they would have chosen someone kind but as needy and codependent as my family was. I don't think I would have been too satisfied with that either.  :bigwink: My years of therapy changed me as much as my husband's therapy changed him.   :blush:


« Last Edit: May 18, 2018, 05:21:44 PM by Tammy728 »

Re: When your paranoid spouse tells others his delusions?
« Reply #8 on: May 18, 2018, 07:56:19 PM »
IME my in-laws don't want to hear it.  They're in compete denial and they wear blinders.  My advise is don't bother informing his family because (1) they won't believe you, or (2) they will view you as a horrible person who makes up stories, or (3) they will think you have gone batty, or (4) a million other twisted things.

My PDh regularly shares his delusions with his family.  Only his niece (brother's daughter) gives me a WTF look.  The rest of the family just acts like my H is not even speaking.  One time my SIL commented "That sounds scary."  and that has been the only comment she has ever made in 30 years.  He mostly talks about demons, demonic attacks on himself, Satan, and his imaginary skin disease.  He is a professional who does well at his work and is well liked.  He is good at what he does.

I have tried and tried to get his family to help me with an intervention over the years but they don't believe me.  When he was convinced that drug dealers were using the garden beds of our front lawn to hide millions of dollars worth of drugs they didn't believe me.  I told them that he went out at midnight and dug up the entire garden and insisted that I hold the flashlight.  He didn't find anything and said "They must have come & got the drugs already."  His family told me I was the crazy one.  They didn't want to listen to me.

At one point he said his arms and shoulders were oozing puss and that he could smell something rancid when he turned his head to either side.  He said he had lifted up the skin on his arm, peeled the skin back and saw sacks of puss and that he almost vomited because the smell was so bad.  The kids and I did not see puss oozing from his arm and did not smell anything rancid on his arm and shoulders.  Once again I asked his family to help me get him to a hospital and they didn't believe me.

I could go on and on with the delusions, paranoid episodes, and hallucinations that his family chooses to ignore year after year.  They have labeled him (behind his back of course) a drama queen and me as crazy and unstable.  We are the outcasts and get treated very poorly by his family. Our children are not treated well either.  Yet, he insists on going to their gatherings and I have also realized that they are the only people he has.  Our children have sworn him off and have as little to do with him as possible. 

It is hard being alone.  It's hard being the only one who is willing to put up with this sh*t, let along acknowledge it.  I have learned that my Hs family does not care to be bothered and so I don't bother them.  My H is ill and can not and will not change.  His family will always take his side even when his behavior is damaging to his own self.  That kind of tells me that they too are dysfunctional.

Bottom line: they probably know he is "not right" but don't want the hassle.  It's easier to pretend nothing's wrong than to get involved with the King of Drama.

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Liftedfog

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Re: When your paranoid spouse tells others his delusions?
« Reply #9 on: May 18, 2018, 10:05:56 PM »
I can relate with you big time.  I lived with a ppd spouse.   This lasted 6 months from when he started showing signs of psychosis.  The he snapped, choked me , was arrested, and that was the end of my family unit and marriage.  He refused meds so I had to file for separation.  His accusations got more and more crazy as his paranoia and delusions escalated.    The accusations of infidelity hurt me the most.  Apparently to him I had thousands of affairs.   He would tell everyone we knew that I was a whore.  He used horrible words to describe me.  Most people didnt believe him.  When he told family that freaked me out the most.  But the best was that he then started accusing his own family nembers office is not the case having affairs with me. Well that took care of everything.  They KNEW I didn't have affairs with them so the then didn't believe his delusions about anything.   I can't believe how well you are coping.  I barely lasted 6 months. I became nonfunctioning  shell of a person. He would wear me out completely with his ridiculous accusations.  It was non stop.  I !ost 50 lbs and was down to a 100 lbs.   It was horrible.   Stay strong.  You don't need to convince anyone anything. 

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1footouttadefog

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Re: When your paranoid spouse tells others his delusions?
« Reply #10 on: Yesterday at 07:56:40 AM »
If you must go for DNs sake then do but stay low profile.

Don't JADE.

If it comes up, simply state that is not true that you cheat or have cheated.   If they ask then why would your husband say such a thing, simply state that you don't know why your husband would say such things but it makes you sad and worried about him.

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MRound

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Re: When your paranoid spouse tells others his delusions?
« Reply #11 on: Yesterday at 11:33:28 AM »
I seriously doubt anyone is going to bring it up.  I have no idea how widely shared it has been.  I personally think the best thing to say is simply that it is a matter between me and my husband.  I could only see that happening if there is too much alcohol, but that is a real possibility.  I would only discuss the truth of the matter with my children, who I think already understand that their father has these ideas and they are not true.