Contamination OCD destroying our relationship

6 July 2020 - 8:56

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Hi, I don't know who to turn to so thank you for listening.
Me and my partner have been together for nearly 2 years and moved in together just before lockdown. We live together with my 10 yr old autistic son.
He made me aware from the start of the relationship that he had OCD but he managed it well and it wasn't a problem to him.
However the covid-19 pandemic has changed everything for him and us. When the crisis first happened and lockdown was put in place we all self isolated and I went out once a week to do the shopping. He insisted that I went at 8an when the shops opened so it wasn't so busy. We were then not allowed to go out (even into our garden for about 3 weeks) . Even to take my son out for some exercise was too much for him to deal with so he didn't go out for about 8 weeks. When I did actually pluck up the courage to take him out, my partner's reaction was extreme and he had a meltdown.
During the lockdown I luckily have been working from home which has been a great distraction. My partner however is self employed and isn't yet able to start work.
His temper and moods have been terrible towards me, my son and even the dog. His mood swings are unpredictable and sometimes quite volatile. He always apologies after an outburst or an argument.
So my problem is that as restrictions are easing and people are starting to live a new kind of normal, I don't feel like I am able to do that. He still wants us to isolate and to continue to do so until he feels it's safe to do so. I however am ready to start taking things slowly and sensibly.
I have a 22 yr old daughter who has her own house and we are extremely close. I took my son to visit her yesterday and we went into her house (as we're now allowed to). We social distanced and were further away from each other than what people are in a supermarket. My partner has reacted really badly to this and it looks like our relationship is at the end. I was completely honest with him about going into her house but he says I've done wrong and it's unforgivable what I've done. The arguments during the crisis have been terrible and it's clearly affecting my son. I don't know what to do as I truly love my partner but we can't go on like this. He accepts that he has this condition but is too proud/ stubborn to seek help. Thank you for listening

This post has been thanked 1 time. 8 July 2020 - 18:57

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You need to think about what is best for you and your kid. Talking about ocd openly is difficult, when I am with someone I explain my ocd and issues it can cause. I dont sugar coat it. I dont explain thoughts etc because I find them hard to explain and people without it can struggle to understand.
Covid is an asshole to people with contamination issues and it will affect him but the fact he wont seek help not only for himself but for you speaks volumes.
I'd not be waiting for things to get better. Covid and social responsibilities to ensure we dont get a second wave (unfortunately could easily happen if people dont wise up) isn't going to stop anytime soon. It could be years. You need to put yourself first. If he gets help and can manage better then maybe he deserves a chance. Yes this is hard for him but he needs to get help. He cant dictate to you how you should be behaving for his issues.
I dont mean to sound harsh towards him, I know what he is going through with contamination issues of my own, it is hard, but if I thought for a second it was damaging a relationship or making a partner unhappy I would do everything to try make it work

This post has been thanked 1 time. 11 July 2020 - 20:57

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Weeman, thank you so much for your wise words. It makes sense to me everything that you've said and this was my thoughts too but I felt like I was being harsh. He told me I am selfish for going into my daughter house and that I am not thinking of him and putting him at risk.
The whole of lockdown has been how he's needed it to be (I've not been allowed to peg washing out and on hot days he's gone round the house and closed any windows I've had open).
I do feel and worry for him and I'm learning and trying to understand how he feels but it's so difficult for me and my son.
Hes very proud and stubborn so it's a careful line I'm walking to encourage him to seek help. He knows he has ocd but says there's nothing wrong with his mental health and doesn't need to talk to anyone.
I feel much more confident since reading your reply so I thank you for that.
Hope you're well

This post has been thanked 1 time. 14 July 2020 - 11:59

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Sorry you're going through this.Two things I want to say to you.1. Your safety is obviously paramount, and of your child. I can't tell from your message, but if you're in a situation where you're health / safety are coming into question, then you need to deal with that. I'm not qualified to say, but I'm sure there are people you can talk to, or organisations or the police, if you are in any danger. I may have misunderstood your message, but I just think its important to say you need to really look after yourself and your child. 2. In terms of actual OCD, its hard for partners to understand. OCD feels very real to sufferers and the fears they have, seem very very real. So that is why someone with OCD may become quite irrational, because their fears aren't just silly worries, they are genuine fears that feel very real to them. These people need therapy to get them through this. I had OCD for 30 years, but have recovered through recovery over the last year ir two. It can be done.So yes OCD is very tough, also on partners. But as I say, please make sure that you are safe.

 

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