You are correct to be concerned. Dating is about attempting to determine if your partner is someone with whom you could spend your life. If you continue in this relationship, his mental illness is a reality that you must face.
People with psychotic disorders can have successful relationships, but they are not without their challenges. The success of those relationships is often dependent upon receiving effective treatment. The concern is that your boyfriend is not participating in treatment. The cat feeding incident is evidence that his cognitive state is a problem and may be the result of his not participating in treatment. The extent of his symptoms and how this impacts your relationship is apparently not able to be determined at this time.
Whether he needs to be on medication or could benefit from other mental health interventions, should be evaluated by a psychiatrist. Even though he doesn’t have health insurance, most community mental health centers offer free or low-cost treatment. Having been in the military means that he has access to government treatment through the Veterans Administration (VA). He should be eligible to receive free treatment through the VA.
Untreated symptoms will impact the quality of your relationship. If he is unwilling to participate in treatment despite having symptoms, then you may want to rethink this relationship. You may also want to consider consulting a psychotherapist for short-term counseling about this issue. It could help you objectively evaluate whether or not this relationship is healthy and sustainable. It could help you to navigate the relationship, should you decide to stay. Please take care.
Dr. Kristina Randle