Schizoaffective Disorder and Marriage: Tips to Stay Together
Schizoaffective disorder and marriage can go together, successfully. My husband Tom and I will celebrate our 10th anniversary in September. That's no small feat, especially when you add schizoaffective disorder into the equation. I think our best secret is patience. Here's how patience helps our marriage stay happy, even though I have schizoaffective disorder.
Patience Is Key with Schizoaffective Disorder and Marriage
Being married with schizoaffective disorder can be a lot like being married without a disorder. For example, while Tom and I were at a restaurant recently, we overheard another couple talking about celebrating their 40th wedding anniversary. We were walking by their table when we overheard this, so Tom stopped and said to them, "Excuse me, but I couldn't help overhearing that you're celebrating your 40th wedding anniversary. My wife and I," he gestured toward me, "are going to be celebrating our 10th wedding anniversary soon. Would you mind telling us what your secret is?"
Without hesitating, they both said, in unison, "Patience."
Tom and I grinned at each other and then turned back to the couple and Tom said, "That's our secret, too."
Tom has been so patient with me and my schizoaffective disorder in our marriage over the years. In recent years, he's been really patient with me at times when my schizoaffective anxiety has gotten really bad and I've asked him inane questions. "Is it okay if I spilled soda on the floor as long as I wiped it up with a napkin?"
I've asked him similar questions several times in one day.
Of course, the key thing is that we really love each other. That's what gets us through the times when we are impatient with each other. No couple is perfect, and so there are going to be times when a marriage isn't perfect. But we love each other, and we try our best to be patient with each other.
A Sense of Humor Is Also Important with Marriage and Schizoaffective Disorder
I think another thing that's really important in our marriage with schizoaffective disorder is that we make each other laugh. Having a sense of humor goes a long way. It's also really important to me that we can be silly around each other. For example, we have a stuffed cat named George. He's named after my parents' real cat. We bring our George out with us to lunch and dinner, especially if we're having sushi and/or ice cream because our George loves "fishies" and ice cream.
Another funny thing we do with George--if we are watching a TV show that says it has mature content, we bring George to the couch with us to provide "adult supervision." You see, George is much more mature than we are, as, perhaps, is evident by the fact that we carry him around in the first place.
So, a happy marriage is possible with schizoaffective disorder or schizophrenia. What works for my marriage is patience and a sense of humor. I'd love to see your comments about what works for you.