Mid-life crisis or mental illness?

Hi Noel:


I don't know if my husband is in a mid-life crisis or mentally ill (paranoia) but I am tire of his odd behavior. I want to help but he's in denial. I am 6 months pregnant and I feel I cannot leave him. If I do, that will just confirm his suspicions.

This is his second and my first marriage. He has 2 grown kids in their early 20's. We got married 2 years ago after 13 years of dating. Within a year, we bought a house, his nephew died of hit and run, his dead-beat dad came home for hospice care and we have a baby on the way (which we both wanted).

For the past 6 months, He began to accuse me of cheating (which I'm not) out of the blue. His accusations included me of being a cocaine addict, a prostitute, a gang member,and drugging him at night, etc. He once locked himself in the bathroom for overnight because our bathroom is the only room with a lock.

I never used drugs in my life let alone being a prostitute. If I took a shower or do laundry while he's away, he will accuse me of washing the evidence away. He had threatened me with divorce and leaving but never followed through. He now wants to have a DNA test when our baby is born, he said its for his own peace of mine (but I am hurt, angry and insulted by his request). Should I give in to his request?

I don't want to keep giving in to his unreasonable requests. I already make sure I don't shower unless he' s home. I feel like a prisoner in my own house. I go to work and come home. I stopped socialization with my family and friends just to avoid his accusations. He refused to seek professional help because he thinks that they will admit him against his will. He works as a psych nurse. Do I just need to be patient and he will get over this eventually? Will he?

Noel's response

His behaviour sounds significantly beyond anything a midlife crisis would cause. You are slowly giving your life away due to his accusations. It sounds to me as though he needs professional help. I am not sure how you can get him to it, unless you get some friends and/or family members to help you get him to a place where he can be assessed.

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