How to Avoid OCD Related Divorce

OCD

How to Avoid OCD Related Divorce

Obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) can seem like a stranger getting between you and your spouse. Of course a spouse with OCD can limit your comfort level in your own house, play with the balance of power and limit your lifestyle. OCD rules can seem confining, even smothering. So how do you avoid OCD ripping your marriage apart? How do you avoid OCD related divorce? The first thing to do is to learn all you can about your spouse’s condition. OCD is a brain disorder that distresses and can even disable the sufferer. According to the World Health Organization OCD is one of the topmost causes of disability across the globe. OCD doesn’t just affect your spouse, it affects everyone around them. 60% of family members get involved to some degree in the rituals of someone with OCD. Often slowly an OCD person’s habits, rituals and opinions will take over your life. It can start to feel as though you are being criticized constantly, or as your spouse might see it, re-corrected. Further, they could make you late to engagements say making you go a certain route to avoid potholes. They may curb your good time out by refusing to let you use a public restroom. Of course, making any marriage work can be difficult. But OCD can look like a boulder size stumbling block, especially if the condition has worsened over time.

One way to put things into perspective before you call the divorce lawyer is to see things from your spouse’s point of view. How hard is it for them to live with OCD? Though they do these habits compulsively they may secretly feel guilty about say driving friends away with their difficult behavior, making outings less interesting by interjecting their needs or demands and so on. They may struggle between trying to control their behaviors in order to make you happier and being compelled to fulfill their compulsion or compulsions. OCD sufferers usually take part in these rituals because they are scared of what might happen if they don’t go through them.

They believe deep in their hearts that these rituals keep themselves and the ones they love most, namely you, safe and protected from harm. Now it’s time to do some research. Look on the internet and find local support groups in your area. There are some great books out there about OCD. Contact the International OCD Foundation for more information and see if they have any workshops, symposiums or other resources or events in your area. Be sure to discuss the problems you are having with your spouse. Convince them to go to therapy with you. Tell them the truth. Don’t sugar coat it. If there behavior is driving you to think about seeking out a divorce attorney, maybe this information will provide them with the wakeup call they need to get a handle on their condition.

Offer to help them find a counselor and to go to counseling with them. Make sure this is a therapist they can connect with and that has some experience or background in dealing with OCD conditions. Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychological & Brain Sciences at the University of Louisville Monnica Williams, Ph.D. writes in an article for Psychology Today, “Ask yourself, Am I going to let my spouse’s rituals ruin our marriage, or am I going to find strength to be supportive and compassionate so that we can have the marriage that we have always wanted?’” A supportive therapist may be required to help keep the relationship together and cope with the situation depending upon how serious your spouse’s symptoms are. If your spouse is going to therapy, it’s a good idea to go with them so you can get a new perspective on the issue, how to handle them, get knowledge you didn’t have before, and perhaps you can even ask the counselor for some strategies to help you cope with your spouse’s behavior. Being married to someone with OCD isn’t easy. There may be many times you want to throw in the towel. But if you truly love this person and think you can support them through this difficult time you and your spouse should come out better and stronger than ever before. For more, read Loving Someone with OCD: Help for You and Your Family by Karen J. Landsman, Kathleen M. Rupertus and Cherry Pedrick.

Wife’s Nagging can lead to Husband’s Early Death

nag

Wife’s Nagging can lead to Husband’s Early Death

When a man tells his wife she’s nagging him to death, he may not be exaggerating. According to research out of the University of Copenhagen a wife’s nagging can lead to a husband’s early death. Spousal worries and demands lead to about 315 deaths per 100,000 says the National Post. Those men who had very demanding spouses were 150% more likely to die early. Going to work helped some husband’s de-stress. Those who were unemployed and home with a nagging wife all the time had a higher chance of kicking the bucket early. Women are socialized to talk about and communicate their emotions with friends and family. Men however are socialized to hold things in or deal with them themselves. Instead of friends, men generally have their spouse or lover as their confidant. Lead author of this study Dr. Rikke Lund in an interview with The Daily Mail said, “Men will limit their conversations with friends and family. The one person they have as a confidant is actually the one putting the worries and demands on them then that could be making them more vulnerable.” Men’s bodies react to stress by releasing cortisol, the stress hormone. This isn’t good for cardiovascular health such as blood pressure.

Children and spouses who were demanding were the ones that put men into early graves. In-laws and neighbors didn’t have the same effect. It could be out of a sense of love, duty and social responsibility that makes men more susceptible to the stress placed upon them by their wife and kids. Women have stronger social networks and therefore aren’t affected by nagging the same way men are, according to the Telegraph. Certainly men should make sure to pay attention to the woman they plan to marry in this regard. He should however notice his own behavior. Does he increase her likelihood of acting this way? Does his wife believe he isn’t listening or paying attention to her? Or is she just a complainer who exports all of her happiness in a selfish and demanding way? In terms of nagging women, wives should first evaluate what she is going to say to her husband. Are you giving him more stress or helping him through it? Sure, couples do have to discuss uncomfortable situations. But is this something you can handle yourself? Are you making things positive, secure, happy and loving for your man or are you making his home life worse? Find different ways to communicate and see how best to reach him. Try to couch things in a positive manner. Make sure, instead of putting the burden on him, you two are going to tackle problems together, as a team. For more information on this study, you can find it in the Journal of Epidemiology & Community Health. To learn about communicating in a more positive way, read The Dance of Anger: A Woman’s Guide to Changing the Patterns of Intimate Relationships by Harriet Lerner, Ph.D.

Relationship Advice for Women in their 40′s

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Women in their 40’s today are not like those of the past. They have fulfilling familial and social relationships, close friends, and careers that buoy and inspire them. It’s not like you need a man, like in the old days when men were the sole avenue of economic stability more or less. But most women today still at this stage would like to have a man in their life. Lots of women will tell you that the dating pool has dried up at this stage and what are left are those that you’d rather throw back. But it’s certainly not the case. In today’s world, there are great eligible people of both sexes and at any age. That doesn’t mean it’s easy. It can be difficult, as we all know, finding someone who is right for you. You have to be patient and have the right mindset. Though it may look distressing to some and awkward to others, in fact finding the right person for you is quite like a quest. It’s an exciting adventure where you’ll meet all kinds of interesting, though some admittedly bizarre men along the way, and most importantly it will be an adventure in self-discovery. Here’s some relationship advice for women in their 40’s. First, if you are dating again, don’t have a tight list of demands that you want a man to fill. Some women have gone through a painful divorce and swear they never want to go through that again, which is understandable. But often they use their checklists to keep all the men that might be interested at arm’s length. Instead, have a few rules or guidelines but be open to different things and different people. Someone who doesn’t have the best fashion sense for instance may have a kind heart, which would outweigh the shortcoming. You can always buy him some nice clothes as gifts.

Don’t try to act like something you are not. Most women are comfortable in their own skin at this age. Celebrate who you are. Don’t try to be someone that you think will attract the kind of man you want. Instead, just be you, love it, live it and celebrate it. Nothing attracts great people to you more than being the fun, light-hearted, playful you with that glowing gold aura. But sulking in the corner with a drink and looking unapproachable will get you no looks, no love and no attention. So why not enjoy yourself, have fun with your friends. If you see someone you like from across the room, a smile or a raised eyebrow can do wonders. Meet men in places you want to hang out with a future lover; an art gallery, museum, sporting event, a film festival or a café. Try online dating. Take some time to shop around and look carefully at the different dating websites. See what options and features each have. Most let you take a free tour. Invest some time making your profile. Keep things fun or inspiring. Negativity will just get you passed over. Once you’re in a relationship, decide whether or not you want to have children if you haven’t already. Children aren’t for everyone. Do some soul searching. Lots of women feel pressure to have children but that’s a commitment you can’t reverse. Don’t feel limited to dating or getting serious with men only in your age bracket. There are lots of younger men who are interested in more sophisticated women. The stigma seems to have been lifted by shows such as Sex and the City and Cougartown.  Nobody really gives a second look. Are you into a slightly older man? Why not give it a shot?

Think carefully about what kind of relationship you want to be in. If you aren’t dating but are with someone whom you love but the spark is gone, reignite that fire. You both have to be committed to doing so. But you can. Talk about the past. Bring up nostalgic moments. Studies have shown that this can help reignite the inferno of passion. Usually people in their 40’s can fall into a sexual rut. Talk about your sex life openly and honestly. What fantasies do you have that you haven’t explored yet? How about your partner? Make sure it’s a comfortable, romantic time in which you bring this up. Start to form some ideas and begin fulfilling each other’s fantasies. Sometimes there are walls built up around past hurts at this time. Talk things out. Bring your partner in as someone you will cooperate with to solve these problems in order to bring you closer together. Do a grand gesture to show your partner how much you love and appreciate them. Start paying them compliments and showing your appreciation. People who are appreciated, especially spouses or partners, feel better and often want to return the favor. It’s reciprocal and then you start a virtuous circle. Take a vacation together. Have a date night and reconnect. Turn off the TV a couple of times a week, have a glass of wine together and just chit-chat. Touch, kiss, hold hands and connect on a physical level. Lastly, do something novel and exhilarating together. Studies have shown that an experience that gets both of your hearts racing together will stir up the feelings that you had when you first fell in love. For more, pick up a copy of Sexy and Sparkling after 40: 7 STEPS to Revitalize Your Radiance & Create Romantic Adventure in Your Life! By Sherri Nickols.

Being Married to a Narcissist

NARCISSIST

Being married to a narcissist is an emotional roller-coaster. It can be nerve racking, extremely painful and cause you to feel perpetually anxious. For some this is exciting, at least in the beginning. But it can wear you down. Abuse is also generally the norm when connected with a narcissist romantically. Physical affection and love will only be on the narcissist’s terms. This breeds a state of constant anxiety. The narcissist demands total submission. These types will break their own rules, push boundaries and never accept or submit to accountability. It’s not that they think they are perfect. In fact, for most the opposite is true. Though there can be and usually are other healthy psychological signs underneath the surface, the general holding pattern for the narcissist is gaining and self-interest. They aren’t evil villains per se, nor complete egotists. In fact, the opposite of absolute confidence is true. Narcissists are so insecure that they can’t even stand a whiff of criticism from anyone. Narcissists have trouble processing complex emotions and this may be one reason why they often cross boundaries and hurt others. Narcissists feel absolutely entitled. Since they feel the world is theirs alone, they also believe that their romantic partner is lucky to be with them and so should comply with whatever wishes or desires they request.

If you love a narcissist then know that you need a plan. Any questioning or challenging makes them rise up enraged. Disgust and rage inhabit the area just behind the mask of composure. In fact, occasionally the narcissist will get a whiff that something isn’t right with them, and they’ll scramble to keep themselves under control. If you are in a relationship with a narcissist you will be constantly walking on eggshells. Narcissism isn’t just one condition; there is a spectrum. Only 5% of sufferers endure actual Narcissistic Personality Disorder. It’s usually caused by a bad relationship with their primary caregiver in infancy. The trouble is they don’t know how badly injured they are psychologically. If a narcissist believes you have enacted a transgression against them their response will be to punish you severely, perhaps withholding sex, money or something else needed in life. There is a test psychologists use called the Narcissistic Personality Inventory. You can find it online. But it’s rare that any narcissist would sit down to take it.  Since these relationships are so shaky and painful, there are two choices- either leave the narcissist or decrease the amount of emotional contact between you and them. For the second option you won’t spend much time together, won’t have sex, watch TV or attend events together. You may have a marriage license or appear to be a couple but the relationship is emotionally devoid of any real connection. For more on this topic, pick up a copy of When Love Is a Lie: Narcissistic Partners & the Pathological Relationship Agenda by Zari L. Ballard.

You Have to Push Back When Handed Legal Demands From Your Adversary’s Attorney

Fight Back

Your adversary’s attorney will likely make several demands that you will find unreasonable or questionable in nature.  Divorce attorneys will push as far as you will let them in order to discover your limits and weaknesses.  You have to push back and set your limits and standards throughout the duration of the divorce process.

Make it clear what you will and will not tolerate with the legal guidance of your own attorney(s).

There will be demands that you must comply to, however, it is your job to question these by discussing them with your attorney and any other legal counsel you may have.  It is then your attorney’s job to investigate the demands and let you know your rights concerning them.