Delusional disorder ex

For issues specific to caring for someone with mental ill health.
Hi all,
I’m new to this site, so please forgive me if I don’t follow any guidelines as I’m learning!
I’m not sure why I’m writing this. I guess I just need a bit of support from people who understand what I’m going through.

My partner of almost 13 years seems to be suffering from delusional disorder. I’m not a healthcare professional (although after months of research and speaking to HCPs I feel like an expert!) but he checks every box and has a history of delusional behaviour before I met him. To anyone else who sees him he appears completely normal and holds down a job, but if you touch on his delusions he flies off the handle. He’d always called his previous crisis a ‘wobble’ and said it was because of him smoking too much cannabis (he was 24). I came to realise this wasn’t true - see later in post.
Long story short (and it is a LONG story!) he started isolating himself and drinking a stupid amount of whiskey every day, between two and three years ago. He’d been going through a lot of stress, and started to act more paranoid, detached and secretive than usual, became angry and abusive, and sat all day/night writing into his phone - the phone I used to share with him, but which now he would guard with his life. I assumed he was having an affair with a woman from work he’d been hanging out with (whilst he’d tell me he had no headspace to do anything with me outside of the house, or take me out, he was buying tickets to take her out, and jumping each time she needed something - no brainer, right?). I’d pleaded with him to open up and talk to me/go for counselling, but he said he was okay, the woman was just his friend and he too intelligent for therapy anyway! He’d occasionally say strange things such as he was certain he knew what happened after death, but I had put it down to drunken ramblings.
One night, last August, I went to get into bed, and as usual, he was asleep and his phone was open on the bed. I went to do what I had always done - pick it up, switch it off and put it on the bedside table. But when I picked it up, I saw it was open on a letter he was writing, detailing how he was in love with the woman from work. After two years of growing abuse, heartbreak and abandonment, I snapped and did what I never thought I would ever do - I took his phone downstairs and read his personal letter. I thought I’d finally found proof of his adultery. I used to be a proofreader, so I read very fast, but it took me four hours to get through it all. I wish it had been an affair...it was full of delusional ramblings about how he had been shown heaven by God, he was Jesus/he was Jesus’ emissary on earth, how he was having a secret relationship with a pop star, how God and aliens speak to him, how my 80 year old mum was sexually objectifying him, how the woman from work was the reincarnation of his dead relative and also how she was his true soulmate and he would marry her in his next life, how he wanted to palm me off on any number of his mates, so he was free to be with his true love, how he wanted to pour molten wax down my mum’s ears (she has hearing problems) and tempt her into bed, to show me what she was really like, how he would devise a new political system/cure cancer/accelerate the half life of uranium...it went on and on. It was 6am when I finished reading it in the kitchen, and I was in literal shock. I couldn’t stop shaking and kept thinking I was going to pass out/throw up. I stupidly went upstairs to gently wake him up, so I could 1) admit I’d read it and knew (I’ve never lied to him) and 2) to say gently that I think we should go and see a doctor together. He hit the roof (any little thing would turn him crazed for the last two years, and this sent him nuclear).
Since then, he decided to move out because anything I said was “conflict”, (no matter how offensive he’d been to me to make me question him) he said that what he wrote shouldn’t upset me, but my reading it without permission was the worst betrayal anyone has ever done, etc.
Things went from bad to worse and I couldn’t persuade him to seek help. He moved out in November last year into a flat he can’t afford. He took the last of my savings saying he needed financial help (and stupid me, not knowing what was happening and being grief-stricken gave him the cash) and went on a spending spree. I found out he’s bought a ticket to see the pop star on his own in Paris, and booked a romantic hotel suite, as though he thinks she’ll see him in the crowd and “just know it’s him” and he’ll whisk her off to the suite.
I finally managed to persuade him to see a GP, and went to speak to him before my partner did, to give him the full story, but he said he’d only be able to treat what my partner says is wrong. He went in, and apparently he’s only going to see a therapist, not a psychologist, so he obviously lied, even though he swore he’d tell the full truth.
To say I’m heartbroken would be the greatest understatement in the world.
I’m so unhappy. We had such an amazing relationship before all this happened.
After he moved out of the house, I dug around and found out that his last crisis had been far more severe than anyone told me. He’d been sectioned for turning up at his parent’s house with a knife, saying he needed to protect his mum and sister as his friends were going to rape and kill them. He was on anti-psychs when I met him, but said he didn’t really need them as he was okay, and not knowing the severity of his crisis had supported him in weaning off them. He was fine (or so I think - who knows?) for ten years.
I’m sorry this is so long, but I just don’t know how to deal with all this pain and hurt. He’s said truly terrible things, coldly to me. I ended up having to break up completely with him, as my own mental health began to deteriorate. He’d become so emotionally/verbally abusive and, towards the end, physically terrifying and furious.

How do I deal with this? Is there any hope that he will recover if it is delusional disorder? Does anyone have any words they can offer me from their own experience? As I said, I don’t know what I expect to get from this, but I feel so down and hopeless. Anyone?
Hi Amanda
The saddest thing about loving someone with severe mental health issues is that there is nothing you can do. Anything that can be done needs to come from him himself and it will be a long, lifelong battle for him to even manage, let alone recover.

The best you can do is look after and protect yourself. That means mentally, emotionally and physically. You have to be extra strong and self-reliant. You have to forge a life for yourself that does not let his highs and lows, crisis and euphoria affect you. Sadly most people with MH seem to seek to blame someone else, or put responsibility for any progress or slipping back onto someone else, I.e. you, when in fact it is them and only them that has to seek help, maintain any medication and therapy etc.

You can check out sites such as MIND and Rethink for ideas on how to support, but reading how severe his problems are, personally if I were you, I'd walk away and stay away. He sounds dangerous. It's sad I know, but do you really deserve a life on eggshells and with even more upsetting cycles? I think not.

You have a chance to walk away, just ensure you stay safe

Xx
MrsA
Thank you so much for taking the time to respond to my post, Mrs A. I genuinely thank you for the advice you’ve given. I know in my heart of hearts that it’s time to move on, but it’s just so difficult when you still love someone. I was talking to my friend, and I likened it to the opposite of a ghost: physically he’s still around, but his personality and spirit have all but disappeared. Every now and again I see flashes of the old him, but I know he’s very ill and it won’t last long. It’s so hard leaving someone you love, when that person keeps telling you that they still love you, and it’s only you they want “in this reality” (he’s obsessed by reincarnation and the afterlife).
If he had simply fallen out of love with me, or had cheated on me sexually, I’d know how to handle it. But this is like torture. I know if I wanted to see him I could in five minutes, as he moved around the corner, but I keep telling myself no.
I know you’re right in everything you’ve written, and I need to put it all behind me. If only I could get over this chest-sucking wound of grief...
Thank you again. x