Should I just leave?

Hello, new to the forum.
Looking for a bit of advice as I'm at a point where I don't know what to do.
I have been with my husband 20 years and married for 15. We don't have any children. I am 38, he is 40.
10 years ago his mental health declined rapidly after getting involved with a religious organisation which led to him overthinking and overanalysing everything he did. He developed a delusional disorder all based in religious terminology to do with God and the devil and was sectioned three times over two years.
He was then released on a community treatment order meaning he had to attend for an injection of antipsychotics every 3 weeks which kept things somewhat stable although he was retired from work due to ill health grounds and is now on benefits. He has never had any insight into his condition and 100% will not accept it's a mental illness, so all the way through I've had to tread a difficult line to get anywhere and get him seen etc.
18 months ago he was hospitalised after collapsing with what turned out to be pneumonia. This developed into sepsis and at points he was not expected to survive.
Fortunately he did recover although has been left with slight physical weaknesses.
Whilst all this was going on, his antipsychotic treatment order ended as they were unable to enforce it due to him being in intensive care and so unwell at the time.
He was visited by the mental health team whilst in the ward recovering and because he presented to them as happy and compos mentis they signed him off from their records.
Last Christmas I contacted the mental health team as he was expressing a lot of delusions again. They contacted him to check how he was doing and I then received furious messages from him whilst at work (I work full time) and was eventually effectively bullied into sending an email to the mental health team telling them I'd overreacted and no action from them was needed. He told me if I contact them again he wants a divorce.
Here we are almost a year later and whilst his mental state hasn't reached crisis point, his delusions are still there in which he rants and raves about the world being an illusion and me being a imposter/clone of his real wife. He's never been physically violent which would have me straight out the door and the ranting and raving isn't all the time - in a stupid way, I almost need things to be 100% bad 100% of the time to give me the kick up the bum to go.
I work full time so would be able to support myself financially and in fact would probably be better off as he wastes loads of money on drink and video games and then asks for money off me when he can't pay his bills. My money goes on little else other than bills and food and i have little if any for myself.
Only his name is on the mortgage as he bought the house 2 years before we met. I pay for the utilities, council tax and food shopping. Some months I have to pay the full mortgage amount as he has spent up, other months I pay two thirds of it.
He's recently received a PPI payout so has a little more money but now is just buying more although he has paid back what he owed me. Fortunately we have seperate bank accounts.
I would also feel guilty if I left as he does has some slight physical difficulties but says he doesn't trust doctors so won't get anything looked into. For instance he has fallen a few times and needed my help so what would he do if this happened when I've left? It's like I'm the one keeping everything going. What if he tries to harm himself if i leave?
I can't stop looking at flats online and imagining being out of this situation though.
It's so difficult when we still do have moments of getting along and laughing at things but I feel our outlooks and attitudes to money and things are very different.




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  • Jude57
    Jude57 Posts: 522
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    Hello, new to the forum.
    Looking for a bit of advice as I'm at a point where I don't know what to do.
    I have been with my husband 20 years and married for 15. We don't have any children. I am 38, he is 40.
    10 years ago his mental health declined rapidly after getting involved with a religious organisation which led to him overthinking and overanalysing everything he did. He developed a delusional disorder all based in religious terminology to do with God and the devil and was sectioned three times over two years.
    He was then released on a community treatment order meaning he had to attend for an injection of antipsychotics every 3 weeks which kept things somewhat stable although he was retired from work due to ill health grounds and is now on benefits. He has never had any insight into his condition and 100% will not accept it's a mental illness, so all the way through I've had to tread a difficult line to get anywhere and get him seen etc.
    18 months ago he was hospitalised after collapsing with what turned out to be pneumonia. This developed into sepsis and at points he was not expected to survive.
    Fortunately he did recover although has been left with slight physical weaknesses.
    Whilst all this was going on, his antipsychotic treatment order ended as they were unable to enforce it due to him being in intensive care and so unwell at the time.
    He was visited by the mental health team whilst in the ward recovering and because he presented to them as happy and compos mentis they signed him off from their records.
    Last Christmas I contacted the mental health team as he was expressing a lot of delusions again. They contacted him to check how he was doing and I then received furious messages from him whilst at work (I work full time) and was eventually effectively bullied into sending an email to the mental health team telling them I'd overreacted and no action from them was needed. He told me if I contact them again he wants a divorce.
    Here we are almost a year later and whilst his mental state hasn't reached crisis point, his delusions are still there in which he rants and raves about the world being an illusion and me being a imposter/clone of his real wife. He's never been physically violent which would have me straight out the door and the ranting and raving isn't all the time - in a stupid way, I almost need things to be 100% bad 100% of the time to give me the kick up the bum to go.
    I work full time so would be able to support myself financially and in fact would probably be better off as he wastes loads of money on drink and video games and then asks for money off me when he can't pay his bills. My money goes on little else other than bills and food and i have little if any for myself.
    Only his name is on the mortgage as he bought the house 2 years before we met. I pay for the utilities, council tax and food shopping. Some months I have to pay the full mortgage amount as he has spent up, other months I pay two thirds of it.
    He's recently received a PPI payout so has a little more money but now is just buying more although he has paid back what he owed me. Fortunately we have seperate bank accounts.
    I would also feel guilty if I left as he does has some slight physical difficulties but says he doesn't trust doctors so won't get anything looked into. For instance he has fallen a few times and needed my help so what would he do if this happened when I've left? It's like I'm the one keeping everything going. What if he tries to harm himself if i leave?
    I can't stop looking at flats online and imagining being out of this situation though.
    It's so difficult when we still do have moments of getting along and laughing at things but I feel our outlooks and attitudes to money and things are very different.




    It's difficult because it seems that some of your husband's behaviours are due to his illness but if he won't take ownership of his physical health even when mentally well, you can't force him. His mental illness will never be cured, it can only be managed but it needs him to engage with the support available (I do realise that availability is an issue for many).

    Ultimately, though, you can't hold yourself responsible for what your husband chooses to do, even to the point of endangering himself. Nothing you do or don't do can 'make' him decide to harm himself. You don't have to decide immediately but consider two things; first, do you want to look back in another 10 years a wish you had left now? Second, as someone once asked me at my lowest point, 'do you not WANT to be happy?' You can't be responsible for anyone else's happiness (or contentment if you prefer) but you ARE responsible for your own in the sense that you can leave a situation that makes you unhappy.

    In practical terms, get some legal advice on your position if you did decide to divorce. Whether your name is on the mortgage doesn't matter because you're married so the house is an asset of the marriage. So are your cars, savings and pensions and any other assets of value. The normal starting point when there are no children is 50/50 split, the value of everything being lumped together, less any marital debts like the mortgage, car loans (but not gambling debts) and the remainder shared equitably.

    In your situation, the fact of your husband's illness complicates matters, because he's unlikely to be able to financially support himself and can demonstrate that he's been financially dependent on you for some time. Unfortunately, this may mean he could claim spousal support from you, although that would have to be offset by any benefits he could claim as a single person. To get an idea of what he could claim, check on turn2us.org.uk.  Whether he'd be able to afford mortgage repayments from benefits is doubtful but not impossible. A Judge would consider your housing needs, too, so that you can also afford a suitable home (with a mortgage is necessary) and your retirement needs, so that you can still save towards your future pension.

    All of the above is very general and your specific circumstances should be discussed with a solicitor. Just seeking legal advice doesn't commit you to anything. It just gives you additional information to help you decide what, if any, next steps you want to take.


  • frugalmacdugal
    frugalmacdugal Posts: 10,077
    Name Dropper First Post Photogenic First Anniversary
    Forumite
    Hello, new to the forum.
    10 years ago his mental health declined rapidly after getting involved with a religious organisation which led to him overthinking and overanalysing everything he did. He developed a delusional disorder all based in religious terminology to do with God and the devil

    Hi,
    so sorry for your predicament, you're a young caring woman carrying a burden just now, though you must think of your own future.
    Just curious, was it one of the American cult clans?
    Good luck in the future.



  • diystarter7
    diystarter7 Posts: 5,202
    First Anniversary First Post Name Dropper
    Forumite
    Your choice, your decision, and every second you delay it is a second wasted.
    You may feel guilty once you left but as others have said it appears you have decided already.
    But be aware of who you may end up with next time as most people, 99% will be nice to you when they are looking for fun and more and the majority will be good/ok/etc but there are a few in there that may be very unpleasant
    and not have a penny to their name but pretend they have but in reality seeking what they have wealth-wise.

    Only you can decide and I wish you a great future whatever you decide to do

    ps - those that know you, some may see you as abanding your spouse who is not well but I guess you already know that and others will support you. Your choice.

  • T.T.D
    T.T.D Posts: 219
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    edited 3 November 2022 at 7:02PM
    Not got time to read replies but I couldn’t read and run. 

    Sorry if this repeated advise in advance.

    In my opinion….(try to structure my thoughts):

     I think if your seeking an answer to the question should you leave? You’ve already come to this decision but looking for permission from others so that you don’t feel your actions are unreasonable, I don’t mean this in a horrible way either I’m not taking a dig at you I’m just making an observation from the tone of your post, but yes it is ok to leave, yes it is reasonable, no it’s not horrid or abandonment to answer the question fully as I see it. 

    Mental illhealth in this severity is very taxing on a person, it challenges the very core of a persons ability to have the patience of a saint with a person who should have reason and rhyme to their thoughts and behaviours as an adult but do not, what concerns me here is his perception of you he sees you as a clone rather for who you are, this perception can be dangerous in certain settings and couple that with a deep religious somewhat misbeliefs and emotional instability it could potentially make for a frightening set of circumstances in which someone can be hurt not saying it will but the potential is there.

    If you were to leave, I would plan it (without his knowledge until you have it all in place),
    put the money, clothing, your housing, and letters sent to friends or a colleague or to work for stuff you don’t want him to see or know about, everything for your basic needs essentially and have the divorce process started and tell him the day before he’s served with the paperwork, all there first,  then I would contact his mental health team and speak with them, tell them what you’ve told us, tell them your now intending to leave him but not without first knowing there’s going to be a safety net for him when you do so he has the help he needs. Giving them numbers for his parents, sister etc or to who ever would be giving him direct support when you leave. 

    If your appointee on his benefits claims call them tell them dates your leaving and end your appointment as appointee.

    At this point his demeanour is a kin to Domestic Violence through uncontrolled mental health he’s displaying bullying and coercive behaviour and control and fear.

    I wouldn’t be alone in telling him your leaving and want to divorce, I know someone who didn’t tell their spouse at all and just left and never returned after getting everything sorted out had her solicitors as a forwarding address and everything with police was sorted as she’d called them that day she had told 101 that she had intended to go silent and not return and that she was safe and gave them a forwarding address for their records if they needed to do a physical check but told the police never to pass on any information other than she’d been located safe and well and her spouse would hear in due course from solicitors. She instructed a solicitor from 20 miles outside of her physical location just incase he turned up at a local town at the same time as her going to the solicitors office. 

    I would NOT tell him in a isolated alone circumstances like at home or at work car park. 




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