Purpose: The aim of this phenomenological study was to qualitatively classify the experience of spouses caring for patients with schizophrenia. Methods: Data were gathered using 2 hour in-depth, unstructured interviews with nine spouses of patients with schizophrenia. The data collection period was 2012 to 2013. Colaizzi``s phenomenological method was used to analyze the resulting data. Results: Five clusters of themes were identified. These were termed according to the experiences described by the spouses, as: suffering from falling into the abyss of despair; deepening heartbreak, clouds of misery hanging over one``s family; possibly of losing the bond between family members; getting over one``s hurt and stepping forward to the future. Participants experienced many burdens while caring for their spouse, however, they showed the ability to overcome difficulties positively and actively. Conclusion: The results of this study indicate that the spouse of a patient with schizophrenia experiences multiple sources of distress, and suggests a process to overcoming them. Recommendations include helping nurses be aware of the sufferings of both the patient and the spouse and to plan and provide for psychological interventions, such as stress management programs and informational support on social welfare programs.