Advice needed to carry our relationship on.

29 June 2020 - 16:38

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My husband is 31 and he was diagnosed with intrusive thoughts / OCD 2 years ago. We have been married for almost 5 years and have been together for nearly 10.
He had a break down where he confessed a lot of things that really no wife would want to hear, for example, he said that he masturbated about my friends and sisters, was crying and obsessing about his thoughts and feelings and didn't know what he wanted in our relationship and he was bringing up lots of old memories about things. Groinal responses, overthinking, etc. I knew he was unwell so he went to hospital and ended up getting CBT for 8 weeks At the time he had this breakdown our daughter was 8 months old and I was just about to go back to work from maternity leave. It was a really terrible time and I didn't know how to feel about our relationship. I felt trapped, hurt and I needed to get away from him and vice versa for him.

Fast forward to today after a lot of working through things and myself getting some therapy, we had an argument and then he started saying some things that were not like him at all. Saying that we should have a divorce, he isn't sure if he loves me, that I'm not his type etc etc and he wonders what it would be like to be with someone else. It obviously really upset me and although we all sometimes think about it casually like what if this or that it seems like he takes his thoughts literally and thinks everything is over. The next day he takes it all back and said it was really selfish of him to say these things and he was really apologetic.

We have been working really hard in our relationship but lately we haven't been so close and he doesn't show as much love as he used to. Now I'm beginning to wonder whether this really is the end or whether he needs to see a therapist again?

We normally get on so well, but I also have my own problems with anxiety and depression so our relationship is very complicated sometimes. But I'm starting to wonder whether our relationship is worth saving.

1 July 2020 - 0:35

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Hello,

You and your husband have gone a long way together, you’ve known each other for such a long time and went through a lot of things together. When it comes to psychology there are always ups and downs, every person is different too and some might have troubles with treatment, some react better to it. If it seems that something’s just wrong - it’s a good idea to talk with a therapist, many people have them and there is literally nothing wrong about that. And relationships are always worth fighting for - we tend to forget that love really is rare. 

Furthermore, during arguments people say many things they don’t want to say. My therapist told me that OCD is connected with hiding some part of anger and not accepting oneself paired with (even unconscious) low self esteem. Which makes it just easier to “explode” and release all this anger in a wrong way, suddenly, which just brings more and more things an OCDer wouldn’t normally say. 

I’m sure you can get through this. You mentioned you get on well usually, don’t let treatable disorders tear down something as beautiful as love. 

28 October 2020 - 16:27

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I can fully understand branchiostoma's comments.  They are the positive viewpoint of what may occur.

My viewpoint now is totally different.  Your discussion above mirrored a lot the experience I was having, including intrusive thoughts.  I fought for our relationship for years and tried to make it work.  In the end I feel strongly that you can't help anyone that doesn't want help.  In the end you can only do what is best for you and what is important to you.

You can read my older posts for my history if you want, but in my experience if your spouse is not showing signs of willingness to get better, I would run at all costs, look after yourself and your child, and get out of the relationship while your child is young. 

I fought to keep my family intact for years, trying to work with the OCD that was entrenched in our family.  Only to have my spouse tell me, out of the blue, that she wanted a divorce based on things she VIEWED as happening.  Now after almost two years of legal battles, my diagnosed severely mentally challenged person that continually stated that she could not take care of our kids without me (because of her condition), has turned her OCD into anger towards me and being obsessed with keeping the kids from me.

Our kids are now 17 and 18 years old, and the courts, even with experts willing to testify, won't help out due to their ages.  No help from the courts, even with physical violence being shown towards the kids in recent months.  As a result, she has been successful in alienating the kids from me in less than a years time.  A year ago, I had a great relationship with all of my kids, and would have never have been able to foresee what has happened, just 12 months later. 

Ironically, her adult son from her first marriage sees what she is doing, and lives with me.  My younger 3 kids, are being influenced by her and they are gone.

People say that I must have done something, but there is nothing and for years I was the main caregiver to all the kids.  Now I have lost my kids and everything important to me, based on her obsession to hurt me and keep the kids from me.

I've seen psychologists for help, and they agree that there's nothing I can really do anymore, until the kids get older, and hopefully then, they let me back into their lives.

In looking out for my family these past years and fighting to keep it together, it all went for nothing, as in the end I have nothing to show for my efforts, except for one adult son, that I truly cherish.

If I would have divorced her when the concerns first showed up (7 years ago), the kids would have been younger and the courts MAY have helped out more. 

Waiting and trying to help is admirable.  But the tables can easily turn if the spouse gets obsessed with making your life hell.

You can't help someone that doesn't want help.

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