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How to help a spouse with Paranoid Personality Disorder
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How to help a spouse with Paranoid Personality Disorder

My husband has more than 80% of PPD symptoms which gets worse whenever he is frustrated. We are newly married. Due to his constant odd behaviours such as mistrust and inability to be emotionally involved with others, his harsh treatments (mostly verbal), his extraordinary stubborness, his constant refusal of my request of seeking impartial, professional, marital counseling together so that we can save this marriage, and finally his unbased fear that I merely married him for convinience and his refusal to sponsor me as his spouse into the country due to his perceived fear that I merely desire to manipulate him, and his avoidance of me, has left me no option than to leave the country, fly back to my own country and leave him.

Due to this constant viscious cycle our marriage has not been consummated. I left him 4 months after we got married because he was behaving very oddly and it made me scared. I was new to the country and to my surroundings, no one was able to help me. His parents live 2.5 hours away by car from where we were.

When all this happened I had no clue that he's suffering from PPD. I merely tought all these were normal issues faced by newly married couples who are from different backgrounds, different cultures and different countries. However as this continues and got worse and worse, I became heartbroken. I myself have been on medication for numerous of years due to hypothryoidism and hormonal imbalance so dealing with this new dynamic was a new challange in itself which was not easy. My husband's parents have many times suggested that I leave my husband and just divorce him because they told me that their son has always been difficult to be with--which of course has given me more heartache.

I do love my husband and I did not understand as to why he was behaving that way when in fact he is most of the time (when not stressed our or frustrated) a highly conscientious, moral, extremely hardworking. He however always choses a job which is far below his skill level, which is also a symptom in itself. He has been working nightshif as a cleaner at a construction site for more than 7 years when he has a Master's degree from a reputable seminary in counseling and psychology!), and he is very good looking--everyone says this but he does not seem to believe that he is good looking. Whenever I tried suggesting something, he perceives it as harsh criticism onto him and gets hostile and sulks. He doesn't have any friends apart from a dear friend who was his roomate many years ago in college. This friend encouraged us to seek professional help but my husband was not keen.

Several weeks after I left my husband, out of despair I have asked him to kindly just divorce me or annulate our marriage because I thought that he may have gotten overly frustrated and may just want to cancel our difficult marriage. I humbly admitted to him that I will understand and I will cooperate my best to do whatever needs to be done in order to cancel this marriage. Also because he refused seeing a counselor of any kind and denied that we were having relational problems. I thought that our situation was completely hopeless and therefore I'd like to just cancel (annulate) this marriage together with him. This has actually made things MUCH worse. He saw my sincere request as a tremendous rejection and became more paranoid and defensive than ever. Since he is highly conscientious and moral, he has mentioned that he'd never want to divorce or annulate. He blames me for every single difficulties we have and are encountering. Whenever we tried to communicate he would either hang up on me or leave me abruptly (on the phone or over the internet). Then he would blame me for that as well.

Now I can clearly see that my husband IS NOT a mean person and merely acts this way due to having Paranoid Personality Disorder. He does not realize that he is not normal or ill in any way. He genuinly sees me as untrustworthy, sending mixed messages to him and sees me and also my family as a possible threat.

1). Where can I learn about how to communicate with a spouse who has PPD but does not realize it? Are there any books on this subject?

2). How can I inform his family that their son is not merely stubborn or difficult but is suffering from PPD without offending them--since I read that one of the possible causes of PPD is due to hostile domestic athmosphere during childhood/upbringing?

3). How can I help my husband to realize that I am not a threat to anybody (I generally am an outgoing and loving person with many family and friends who love and support me) and that I do sincerely desire to help him when I am more than half-around the globe away from him due to his perceived fear of rejection from me?

I have gone past all my heartache and pain. I now can clearly see that my husband has PPD and therefore I cannot take his beahvaiour towards me personally. Instead I need to see him as a needy person/patient and I should regain his trust so that I can gradually lead him to seeking professional help--psychotherapy and whatever necessary.

Thanks so much for reading this.

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Avatar_f_tn
You must be heartbroken, and I'm truly sorry you've gone through such pain. I'm going to be blunt though, he refuses help and with such a mental illness, he needs to see a professional. I think you've already made the decision  after you realized he was to ill to even  "consumated" the marriage, you can get an annultment. You can't save a sinking ship with a bucket. You can still file for divorce even if he refuses, due to mental illness or spousal neglect as a couple of reasons.  You've left while you are safe, it's the smartest thing you could have done. Did you meet him online?  I've had the misfortune of meeting someone online and the person seemed to be really emotionally  together and kind on the first couple of visits, then my "partner", did a full 360degree turn, not the person I knew. I would never do a long distance relationship again. I was stuck in a city for 2 days before I could get a flight out, part of it, I ended up sleeping at the airport because I had no other options.
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Avatar_f_tn
I can only speak from having a husband with similar symptoms...It is heartbreaking, but I learned that he cannot be helped if he won't even try. Do your research and give it to him with the explanation that his behavior is driving you away from him and is making you afraid and you feel you both need counseling to sort this out if your marriage is going to succeed. If you can, tell his parents in person. Hopefully, it will come as a relief to them to know there is an explanation for his behavior, and that it is not their doing...this sort of thing always makes loved ones question what they could have done better, where did they go wrong, etc.
My husband tried to control everything I did, who talked to me, and if he didn't approve or he decided they threatened him in any way, he forbade me to talk to them. My mother was included in this. When he got into his paranoid angry modes, he was without reason and was unable to hear anything I said. He got pretty scary at times. Our first year of marriage was the worst. We did go through counseling, he got anger management, and some coping tools (me too). We have been married almost 19 years now, and it hasn't been easy. Please think about this. If he refuses to even consider counseling, and face fears (he'll probably never admit to) you will have an unhappy, and possibly dangerous life if you remain married to him. Consider if, one day, he thinks you are cheating on him...How do you prove that you are not? (I went through this.) Or, even worse, if you become pregnant and he thinks it is someone else's child? He can become an abusive parent, and the misery in your family will spread...MM
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792280_tn?1236936087
DEAR MADAM
I READ YOUR STORY WHICH IS FULL OF GRIEVANCES , I M UNABLE TO ,UNDERSTAND THAT H0W WERE U ENGAGE IN A MARRIAGE.THESE PROBLEMS WERE NOT ERECTED IN A DAY.WHILE U MET HIM FIRST HIS BEHAVIOUR WOULD HAVE BEEN THE SAME. IF SO MAMA WHY U DECIDE TO MARRY HIM.AND IF YOURS ANSWER IS IN NO, IT WAS CONFIRMED FROM HIS PARENTS THAT HE HAS SUCH HABITS FROM HIS CHILDHOOD.DESPITE SO MANY DEFECTS IN HIM STILL U SAY THAT U LOVE HIM....WHAT THIS LOVE IS? AND IF U STILL LOVE HIM SO BEAR THESE PROBLEMS AS ONE HAS TO MAKE DISESION AFTER LOOKING IN ALL ASPECTS, YOUR MARRIAGE WAS NOT A FORCED MARRIAGE.U MUST HAVE PASSED SOME TIME SO WHY U DID NOT UNDERSTAND HIM WHILE U PASSED SOME TIME WITH HIM.NOW IF U LOVE HIM , U HAVE TO BECOME A DOCTOR AS HE IS A PATEINT,U HAVE TO BEAR ANY THING IF U LOVE HIM BECAUSE U HAVE TO REHABILITATE A PATIENT AND REHABILITATION AND TREATMENT MAY TAKE SEVERAL YEARS....CAN U DO IT....IF YES GOAHEAD AND LIVE HIM WHERE HE IS IF YOUR ANSWER IS IN NO...
YOUR LOVE AND CARE CAN CHANGE HIM FOREVER BUT IT NEED A LOT OF PATIENCE AND DEVOTION.RESULT MAY BY AFERMATIVE OR NEGETIVE..IT DEPENDS UPON THE CIRCUMINSTATNCES.BUT WHAT I BLEAVE THAT EFFORTS NEVER GO WASTED.....
BEST REGARDS
ABU FOUAD.
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Avatar_f_tn
Abu gives some wise counsel. Love can conquer all, but it may take a lifetime of patience to do so...You have some hard questions to ask yourself...Choose with your heart, and consider your head. If you do not think you are strong enough for both of you, you will not be doing him or yourself any favors remaining married to him...I wish you the best for your future...~MM
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1506319_tn?1289727226
I can fully understand what you went through because I'm going through the very same thing with my wife. We have three children and are married for 15 years. Mr Abu up here has no damn idea what he's talking about. Psychotherapy is the treatment of choice which your husband will not get because he will start suspecting the therapists and refuse to go for help. These people do not like to be told that they're wrong. In all probability, his family will also support him eventually. My best advise to you is forget him and just leave. Most people with PPD take the untreated condition to the grave. You have not consumated your marriage so it's best you let it stay that way and find someone else whom is more deserving of your love.

Best always.
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Avatar_f_tn
Thanks for sharing your experience. Today I have learnt that my partner's father is PDD. My partner and I have diagnosed it together and now we have a very long road ahead to dealing with it because his youngest son is to marry in September and he refuses to attend, if his wife's brother attends. This is absolutely devastating as it is taking it's toll on every one in the family. Now I realise this has been getting worse over the 11 years I have known him. And now the more I type, the more everything is falling into place.

If you speak to your GP you might be able to get contacts with Support Groups. I tried to google it but haven't been able to find a resourceful sight, most sights I have found include support for people with PPD.

In my opinion I think that if you decide to help and stick by your husband it will be a lifetime commitment. I don't think anyone can tell you what you should or shouldn't do, time will reveal. We don't get to choose our destination but we do get to make choices. All the best monchi78 and your heart is in the right place.

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Avatar_n_tn


I’ve read your letter and have sympathy for you.  I have a couple of questions however.  Who diagnosed that your husband is suffering from PPD?  Did you diagnose the problem or did a professional make the diagnosis?  Clearly there is a problem.  May I ask your ages?  To some degree can you tell me briefly what each of your marital relationships was like before you met each other?

I take note of your 4th paragraph.  As you state your husband is educated in a profession that should give him the ability to have insight to any problems that he may have.  Has your husband ever worked as a counselor or psychologist?  Is there a reason your husband was not working in the in the profession he was trained in at the time you wrote this letter or was he working two jobs?

What were you and your husband's financial situation at the time that you wrote this letter?  I'm not interested in how much money the two of you had or have.  I am just interested in knowing if it was positive or negative or neutral.

My interest in your letter is more personal for myself.  I am having problems with my wife.  She has diagnosed me as being Bipolar suffering with PPD.  My wife, just as your husband is also trained in counseling and psychology.  I disagree with her diagnosis but unlike in your situation I am willing to seek counseling.  The problem is she will not go with me.

I have spoke to a psychologist and the only diagnosis I received from him was to save my money and not to come back until I could get my wife to come with me.

My situation seems to be a little different from yours and others that I have read on various forums.  I'm being told that I have a problem and I may very well have one.  I'm not being in denial I am more than happy to seek and get help if I have a problem.  I believe that it is my wife that has a problem.  When I try to talk to my wife about the problem she gets angry.  When she describes my symptoms I listen to her and I can relate to the symptoms fitting her.

Here is a brief description of a recent and ongoing problem that I have with her.  "I have a GPS that I was having trouble with.  I was trying to decide whether to upgrade the maps, buy a new GPS or get some information on trouble shooting the problems I was having with mine.  On my search engine I typed in Garmin GPS.  I was sent to a web page that listed dozens on top of dozens of GPS websites.  I clicked on the first one, it said GPS Trackers.  Right away I saw it was for GPS tracking devices - surveillance tracking - not what I was looking for.  I exited the site and went back and started over.  A couple of weeks later I get a call from my wife accusing me of spying on her.  I had no clue what she was talking about.  When I got home from work I finally figured out what the problem was.  My wife had gone on my computer and was reviewing my history log.  When she saw the GPS searches she automatically accused me of spying on her.  There was no talking to her she had made up her mind that I was spying on her, which I was not.  There was no showing her or explaining to her that there was only one visit to a GPS Tracking site for less than a minute but about a half dozen visits to the correct GPS sites for over 30 minutes.  When I stepped back and looked at the situation I realized that it was her spying on me that created the problem.  My wife was accusing me of spying on her when it was her spying on me. She would have no acceptance that she was spying on me.  Her anger intensified and the accusations of me being paranoid grew to the point that it was better to walk away from her.  It was like having a picture of a kid with their hand in the cookie jar and kid denying that it is them.

By the way the GPS died and had to be replaced.

So Monchi78, here we are.  Looking at the date of your letter I am curious as to your final outcome.  I would also like to and will deeply appreciate comments from anyone else that can give me insight as to what my options may be to fix this major problem.

I will be posting a more detailed history of my ongoing problem independent of this comment.
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