Select language, opens an overlay
My Lovely Wife in the Psych Ward

My Lovely Wife in the Psych Ward

A Memoir

eBook - 2017
Average Rating:
Rate this:

International Bestseller

A heart-wrenching, yet hopeful, memoir of a young marriage that is redefined by mental illness and affirms the power of love.

Mark and Giulia's life together began as a storybook romance. They fell in love at eighteen, married at twenty-four, and were living their dream life in San Francisco. When Giulia was twenty-seven, she suffered a terrifying and unexpected psychotic break that landed her in the psych ward for nearly a month. One day she was vibrant and well-adjusted; the next she was delusional and suicidal, convinced that her loved ones were not safe.

Eventually, Giulia fully recovered, and the couple had a son. But, soon after Jonas was born, Giulia had another breakdown, and then a third a few years after that. Pushed to the edge of the abyss, everything the couple had once taken for granted was upended.

A story of the fragility of the mind, and the tenacity of the human spirit, My Lovely Wife in the Psych Ward is, above all, a love story that raises profound questions: How do we care for the people we love? What and who do we live for? Breathtaking in its candor, radiant with compassion, and written with dazzling lyricism, Lukach's is an intensely personal odyssey through the harrowing years of his wife's mental illness, anchored by an abiding devotion to family that will affirm readers' faith in the power of love.


From the critics

Community Activity


Add a Comment
Aug 25, 2020

Such a beautiful way to write about such a delicate topic. It really takes the reader through the hardships and struggles of mental illness.

Nov 03, 2019

I loved this book & I think it was beautifully written. What struck me was how real this book really is. I’ve been there, as Guilia, during the time frame this book was written. I remember the roller coaster of emotions by both her and Mark. Patience, love, protectiveness and concern by Mark and detachment, fear, withdrawal, helplessness and confusion by Guilia. This eventually changed into resentment by Mark and anger by Guilia. Pretty typical and all part of the process. There is no script for this sort of thing. Their families wanted to help but not helping the right way because no one knows how to help, again this often happens, but usually with friends too. The Lukachs themselves don’t even know what they need. The yearning for a baby to make things whole again... From an outsider’s point of view you want to shout, “no, bad idea!” but it was what they thought would normalize them. Make their relationship “charmed” as they always called it. The crack, the fissure that had seemed insurmountable. To be someone who has been there, it’s relatable. For those who criticize the book & said it was more of the same story all throughout, that’s life with mental illness. It feels like one giant circle. It is. It’s not curable. But it is manageable & it often takes a long time to get “there.” If you want to get some good insight into how mental illness affects a young family I’d recommend this book.

The only thing that I’d say that seemed to be an outlier was the money issue. I’m not judging at ALL, but this seems atypical in their flexibility to take so much time off of work, travel back & forth for family, vacation, and have no issue with insurance/payment for mental health which is a huge stressor for most. Hey, I’m happy for them. Who needs any more stress in their lives than necessary?

Jun 23, 2019

For anyone who loves someone living with bipolar this is a memoir that is very direct, open and honest. A true insight to relationships and the illness.

sclibrary_MarkG Feb 26, 2019

I really enjoyed this book. It is set in the San Francisco Bay Area. If you live in the bay area, you might enjoy this book even more. There were many difficult decisions that the husband and wife had to make. It is also an interesting look at how society and the medical profession try to treat people with psychology problems.

Jan 19, 2019

I have to agree with the majority of the other reviews on this one. I find mental health incredibly fascinating in a completely dark way. Its ability to debilitate not only the sufferer, but also those around them is something that remains for life. I can understand Lukach's desire to put his family's experiences into words; however, I did find that it was one-sided and almost read as a pity-party. I don't think I necessarily wanted more insight into the wife's experiences. I wanted less about how he felt having to "deal" with his wife, and what he had to give up for her. I think if you can look past this tone throughout the book's entirety, you glean insight into the mental healthcare system, and how far we have to go before sufferers receive the help they require. I liked the idea behind this one, but was not a fan of the delivery. And that's the tea.

Oct 21, 2018

I thought it was an interesting perspective on mental illness from the caregiver’s perspective. It was very honest about their experience on learning how to work on their dynamic as a couple and becoming a team.

Jun 10, 2018

The book was quite well done. A interesting perspective of the caregiver and the affects of mental illness on the loved ones of the sufferer. Wonderful people that you will root for, hope for, and ultimately, search online to see how things are going for them now. Best of luck to them!

Jun 10, 2018

I have a family member with severe mental illness so I know how hard it can be. Having said that, this book was not about the ill person, Giulia. It was about Mark who acted like a victim and whined through the entire thing. Many of us deal with these issues and we don't have the luxury of quitting jobs, travelling the world or a strong extended family. Not sure how that was possible but I'm glad they had those luxuries during a difficult time. I'm empathetic for anyone going through it but my goodness, man up. Nobody chooses mental illness. Nobody chooses the bulk of the stuff life hands us.

DPLalyssab Mar 13, 2018

Poignant memoir of a husband's struggles to help and support his wife. Discusses their shared challenges with her mental illness.

Feb 09, 2018

A heart wrenching memoir of a young marriage and mental illness. Mark, the author does a great job of telling his story of his wife's illness and gradual recovery. His loyalty never wavers and the healing power of love and endurance.
I loved this book, was easy to read. Highly recommend this book with anyone who has a mental illness or if you know someone.
This book was written in 2017, and would be interesting to know how she is doing today, and if eventually they will be able to give her mental illness a name, even though they had ideas what it is.

View All Comments


Add Age Suitability
Feb 09, 2018

runningbeat thinks this title is suitable for 15 years and over


Add a Summary

There are no summaries for this title yet.


Add Notices

There are no notices for this title yet.


Add a Quote

There are no quotes for this title yet.

Explore Further


Subject Headings


Find it at MARINet

To Top