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.

When OCD keeps you from Happiness in Love

ocd

People with OCD sometimes learn to contain it themselves through neutralization and rationalization. Still, even if one has other aspects under control, OCD can keep you from happiness in love. Those with OCD are wracked with indecision about whether or not to say get married, stay in a relationship or even date someone. Yet, the sufferer may not even be aware that it is OCD that’s blocking their ability to advance to the next level. If you think you or someone you know might be suffering from OCD or if certain OCD like tendencies are torpedoing their love life, check out these warning signs and see if they are familiar. People with OCD can’t tolerate even the slightest doubt. So if this person is wracked with doubt that might be an indicator. Then the fear of making a wrong decision plagues them. They slowly become convinced that the relationship won’t ever work out. Now they go over and over again in their mind whether or not they are truly in love with this person. They become obsessed with the issue. They go through the other’s list of qualities to see if they measure up to what they are looking for. But the victim of OCD will never get to the bottom of this. Soon they seek out the assistance of others and more often than not start to feel better about the relationship.

Soon however the questions begin again. Will this person love me? Will they cheat on me? Soon the OCD sufferer may start acting strange, making their significant other annoyed or worried. This reaction from their lover may make the OCD sufferer feel as though the relationship is in fact doomed, and decide to break it off. Soon however the one who has OCD may come to understand that these troubling thoughts are their own doing. They are going to try then and control them. These impulses however keep coming. Their partner may notice little signs of their self-control and worry about them, which again may backfire as the OCD person thinking that there is trouble in the relationship. Next, the OCD sufferer may try to avoid the triggers that start this line of thinking from occurring. But this avoidance, say of staying in all the time versus going out where the triggers may be could start static in the relationship, causing the doubts to rise up again. Lastly, the OCD sufferer may feel tremendous guilt but not know what to do. OCD has certain genetic links and is triggered by stress. Look and see if others in your family have had an anxiety disorder. Furthermore, seek out therapy. Make sure you find a qualified therapist who you connect with and has dealt with this issue in the past. Open up to your partner and let them know what’s going on. Ask them to come to therapy with you. For more advice on this topic, read Loving Someone with OCD: Help for You and Your Family by Karen J. Landsman, Kathleen M. Rupertus, and Cherry Pedrick.