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Me, my husband and OCD

Marriage is Hard! I feel like no one really let me in on that secret before I got married. Or if they did,  I was too busy imagining what the flower girls dress would look like, to listen to them. 



I've been Married to my husband almost 5 and a half years now, and have known each other for about 7 years. We met on an online dating site. He was 28, I was 19. He was funny and cute, and actually had manners. We got along and had a great time dating. 

Before we got married I noticed some subtle signs of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder in my husband. I just thought he was quirky. 
After marriage his OCD progressed, causing us to have a big strain on our marriage. I didn't know he had OCD before we got married,  and he didn't either. I was the one searching online one day trying to find out why he gets so angry when I do certain things he deems as "unclean". 

Just so you know,  I'm very conscious of my hygiene, and habits. I get disgusted easily by some things,  but not to the extent of my husband. 

I found that my husband had contamination OCD.
For those of you who don't know,  contamination OCD is where the person constantly feels things are contaminated with germs. My husband has to wash his hands way more than necessary, and we go through A TON of cleaners and disinfecting wipes so he can clean everything he deems "contaminated".

So yes this all sounds like he goes overboard with the cleaning. But how does it affect our Marriage?
 I have one word... Time! It takes him soooooo much time to do his rituals.. and every winter when someone is sick around him,  he has a breakdown and adds a bunch of stuff to his rituals so it takes him even longer. 

I cannot tell you how much time I have had to waste waiting for him. On vacations, he takes an extra long time cleaning because he doesn't have all his usual stuff with him. So I get to go on my own adventures for a few hours in the morning, and a few hours in the evenings. 
At home, we try to spend time with each other after the kids go to bed. So he comes home from work,  eats dinner fast, has about 5 minutes with the kids,  and then its off to do his rituals for a few hours. By 9 pm he can watch a show. By then I'm usually exhausted from my day spent with my crazy kiddos. But we endure a one-hour episode of one of our favorite shows. Then it is off to bed. 

I love my husband and the time we get together is great. Sometimes it's nice he has to do stuff in the evenings for a while because it gives me a little while to just have some alone time to read,  or surf the internet.
But I do miss spending more quality time with him. 
After 5 years of marriage and two kids,  he finally is going to a psychologist. It's been helpful with some things and has made some of his obsessions worse but I'm just grateful he is trying to help himself. 



The biggest struggle I've had in my marriage with everything is feeling like I'm the only one going through this. I know there are others out there,  but it is hard work being a spouse of a person who suffers from OCD

I'm writing this in hopes I can meet others with OCD or spouses of a person with OCD. 
I also hope to bring awareness to OCD. Did you know that every 1 in 40 adults and 1 in 100 children have OCD? I can't believe how many people actually have it but I only know of my husband and maybe a couple of celebrities that have it. 

If I have a good response with this subject, I may try to have a weekly discussion about my experience as a spouse trying to help my husband,  and also tips on how to survive a marriage with OCD.

Comments

  1. Thanks for sharing your story. I'm glad he is trying to get some help with his OCD. No marriage is ever perfect by the way. I've been married for two years and we still learn things about each other. Not every day is good but there is some good in every day.

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    Replies
    1. I totally agree that no marriage is perfect. It's a lot of hard work but the good parts make it worth it! Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

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  2. Fascinating insight, very well written - thanks for sharing!

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  3. A very honest post, and I can see why you'd have days feeling you're the only one in your position. I think it's post like this that can really help others too, in showing them they're not alone. I imagine any marriage would be a challenge to make it run well, and this is just another hurdle to work at, but totally worth it. Thanks for sharing xx

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  4. Not an easy thing to cope with but hopefully you will find a way.

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  5. It can be very frustrating to live with somebody with OCD. I have 2 in my life. Lived with both at some point so I know what you mean. But it interferes with their life, the way they do things or can't do things. Great Post. Thank you for sharing your side of things. I'm sure there are many of us out there too with those statistics!

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  6. Love this. It is so important to become aware and supportive of a spouse with an type of mental illness. Thank you so much for sharing your personal story. It will give others gteat ideas on how to help a loved one who has any mental health issues.

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  7. Thank you for sharing this post. Your story sounds and feels so very similar to mine. As I am sitting here reading this, I have tears running down my cheeks because I have been dealing with this with my husband for a while and more recently this has become something he feels ready to seek help for. He feels ashamed and embarrassed and I do everything I can to make things easier and show support. I don't want to air his personal business to others but I recently shared briefly with my close family members so I could feel as though I have some sort of support in this because I know I can't do this as his sole supporter on my own. There are times, like today, when I spend the afternoon in tears not sure how to help, or not sure why a comment I made sent him into a downward spiral. I feel guilty because I'm supposed to make him feel better not worse. I know there's more to it than that, but as you said, this is hard. So thank you for putting your story out there so in this moment I don't feel so alone.... ��

    ReplyDelete

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