I have schizo-affective disorder, my husband has diabetes, yet we are fortunate to have the same belief system and ability to work through most of our problems. Our relationship is built on trust, commitment, and communication. I’m not afraid to express myself around him. My emotional freedom is important, and I earned it from being hospitalized years ago. I’ve learned to speak my mind and to avoid being locked away because I lacked the tools to express myself and to deal with conflict. Sometimes when we quarrel, I tell him, “I’m not going to deal with this right now,” and may go to my room and paint, or pick things up, email my friends, or go for a walk. I regroup. If it is an intense conversation and certain issues need to be addressed, I use my words and give my point of view about them. I know I must get everything out of my system. He may see I’m frustrated and ignore my feelings, but I talk it out, and try to make a mature exchange. Neither one of us walks out on the other and if one of us wants to leave, we say where we are going.
Realizing that a change to a new lifestyle would do me good because living with a diabetic can be difficult and hair-pulling, I make the decision to stay and work things out. I release the attachment that I have to my stubborn ego (that comes with my disease), and take measures to care for my loved one and myself. I keep up with my volunteering and painting. I swim and mingle with friends and support groups. My doctors and counselor put my life into perspective.
I understand that living with a person who has schizo-affective disorder is difficult. The dark days, paranoia, and depressive moments can be absorbing. But my husband has stuck by me throughout my trials. His diabetes has been a test of endurance and strength; however, we make our relationship work because of the love and respect we have for each other.