I need your advice! Any thought would be of massive help
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7 August 2021 at 10:17 #7650Anonymous
Hi there and happy to see the support within this community!
[Really sorry for the long post, but unfortunately, I don’t know where else to go…] [ 6-7 mins reading]
I was wondering if I can get some guidance or some answers regarding the OCD condition. For my whole life, like many other people, I’ve heard countless jokes about OCD being the obsession of cleaning and having things in place, but it has always been misused or used inappropriately to trivialise a serious condition. I believe that my partner might have OCD and it’s been really difficult to understand some of his behaviours and patterns. At first, I was confused, felt like there is something wrong with me and took everything personal as his words and actions were very convincing. We’ve been together for over 1 year and a half and I’ve noticed a lot of patterns in terms of cleaning/organization obsessions, as well as obsessive or compulsive thoughts that he keeps having over and over again:
- He gets really annoyed if objects (plates, socks, clothes, cosmetics) are not placed in perfect order and says I’m disorganized and don’t have respect for his stuff (It’s really upsetting because I’ve always been clean and organized coming from super organized parents; I’ve even learned to fold clothes his way and I do it out of love)
- When we clean the house, we take on different tasks but sometimes he checks on me on how I do my parts (e.g. vacuuming) and adds comments or even intervenes to ‘correct’ me; I have to be honest, it is really annoying and I feel controlled and incapable of doing things on my own (which isn’t the case)
- I work from home and because he usually comes back home in the evening, I help with a lot of the house chores: shopping, cooking, laundry. vacuuming, etc. There are days when I do all these because I love him and want to make life easier for him, but I also do my job work and I feel really exhausted by the end of the day. He comes home and finds something that does not match with his order ideas and gets really angry and says I do nothing, I’m careless and he has to think about everything and do everything himself (which isn’t the case but it’s really upsetting and hurting me because most of the times, I don’t feel appreciated)
- He once got really angry because he couldn’t find one of his socks while I was washing the dishes; I asked him to wait till I finish with the dishes and I will go look for the sock; he got really annoyed that I won’t start looking for it immediately, said that I don’t care about him enough and threatened to throw his other sock; I got upset and left the dishes unwashed and looked for the sock; it took me less than 1 min to find it and gave it to him and told him that I feel hurt; he didn’t apologize and instead said that I am careless and one day I may lose his ID or other important documents (I got very upset and took it personally because I’ve always taken care of my things having lived alone for 9 years and also having travelled alone to various places including Asia, Africa)
- Regarding his thoughts, he keeps playing these negative scenarios (‘Will you leave me?’, “Are you cheating on me?”, “Who are you with when I am not at home? You must be bored alone”, “What if one day I lose a leg, will you leave me? I will personally tell you to leave me.”, and many other examples). He does that everytime he gets angry at me and lists all these thoughts which is very very exhausting. I keep telling him I won’t do those things because I have no reason but he get even more annoyed…I even tried to keep quiet and he got annoyed and said “Ok, so you not answering means that you will do it”…there is no way to bring him mental peace
- He is obsessed with some thoughts and images from my past. At first I didn’t want to tell him because I knew that they might make him uncomfortable but he kept insisting that openness and vulnerability will make our relationship stronger and I really believed that.
- Now, he cannot take those ideas/images out of his mind and I am always reminded of what I did in the past, before even meeting him, and I started feeling bad for my choices so I ended up going to therapy. I was already struggling with low self-esteem and self-criticism, and him judging my past worsen my situation. It made it really hard for me to deal with situations when he is very irrational. My mind is also fighting my own anxieties and cannot be 100% clear when he throws those words at me. I feel threatened, judged and my involuntary impulse is to protect myself by defending myself. That’s when he gets more annoyed and calls me mean
I want to mention that he sometimes acknowledges that he has OCD when he becomes aware of his rigidity with cleaning and organizing things at home but he says it more as a joke and I feel like there is more to it…I’m afraid to mention it to him and to suggest him to seek help from a therapist as he usually reacts badly (with anger) when I try and make suggestions. Whenever he is angry about something, he gets even more angry for feeling angry and keeps saying that no one understands him or love him, and he keeps asking me if it’s true. If I tell him that it’s not true (because it isn’t), he gets angry because he says I don’t listen to him and instead have the urge to reply and defend myself. I feel really stuck in a loophole because if I keep quiet, he thinks I don’t care or listen to him, and if I reply, he gets annoyed and confused of my defensiveness.
In our conversations, I often try and help him by throw him hints such as “it helps if you try and relax or meditate or even write your thoughts on a paper”, or “the first step in your healing would be to be more gentle with yourself and forgive yourself for the thoughts you have”, or “putting yourself on the victim position will make you suffer more, meaning you will have to finding that inner strength, which no one will be able to give it you”. He always gets hurt when I tell him these things and calls me mean, heartless and with zero compassion despite the fact that I put up with a lot of his criticism, on a weekly basis.
This made me stronger and more resilient as a person but more anxious on the inside as I am a sensitive person. I really love him (never loved anyone like I love him) and I work really hard to keep my mind balanced so that I can have a clear rational mind when he ‘hits’ me with his anger. I actually started doing meditation, therapy, mindfulness. I even became less judgy of people, more understanding, incredibly patient and vulnerable … like I never was. But some days are harder…Some days, his words and emotions are so strong that they make me believe I am a horrible, selfish person incapable of compassion and caring.
I know he is a good-hearted person, loyal, very reliable, honest (sometimes too much) and vulnerable, someone who is scared and acts out of fear and anxiety. He was emotionally neglected and constantly criticized as a child but I think he brings all the baggage in our relationship and it’s really hard. I am trying to figure out if he has OCD, obsession for order to avoid his own suffering. I don’t understand why he cannot see that he can hurt me and never acknowledge his mistakes 🙁 I am okay with his obsession for order. He can do or organize as he pleases, but why take it on me? 🙁
I am not a professional therapist, I cannot diagnose someone but any idea or advise would be of massive help!
Really sorry for the long post, but unfortunately, I don’t know where else to go…
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