My husband has OCD and I can’t do it anymore
My husband has OCD and I have known this since we met. But in the last few months it has got out of hand.
since the beginning I have done whatever possible to help him and make his life a little less stressful. From cleaning to doing his nightly rituals.
I am now at the end of my patients, I have been encouraging him to seek help as it causes a lot of stress on our relationship but he always has an excuse. It makes him so miserable so even though I am burnt out with it I just want him to be happy.
the final straw has now come from a phone call I received from him at 11pm that so happened to be on a night I wasn’t at home the first time in months I’ve been out with friends.
He spilt a tiny bit of oil and he spiralled that he now needed to clean it and he is panicking that it is on his stuff and it’s going to be all over the house and he is going to have to spend hours cleaning it. Begging me to come home, saying I don’t care ignoring anything I say to help.
The worst part is in 14 weeks pregnant and exhausted, we ended up being on the phone for 2 hours for a clean up that in the end only took him 10 minutes.
I understand OCD I’ve done my research but I’m at the point where he is so uncaring and unhelpful for me and he can be very nasty when I don’t bend to whatever he wants, countless sleepless nights for me over this and so much stress.
but now it’s not just me it’s our baby too that he begged for and wants so badly but I dread to think what the babies life will be like and I don’t want this for our child.
I’m exhausted and I don’t know where to turn
First of all, thank you for sharing your story and welcome to the forums! We hope that our community will be able to provide you with some support during this time. This sounds like a really difficult and isolating time. It isn't easy watching a loved one experience mental health difficulties and it can be frustrating when we feel that the person is not engaging with help.
It sounds like it’s been a really difficult time for your husband, it sounds like you care for them deeply and are trying to be supportive and understanding through this, but it’s also hard to manage your own wellbeing through providing a lot of support, especially considering your growing family. We’re glad you could share this here, as our lovely community will have kindness, advice and understanding for you.
Is there anyone that you feel able to talk to about this? It sounds like you could really do with talking things through, so please don’t hesitate to give the lovely Beyond Blue counsellors a call on 1300 22 4636 or speak to them on webchat here. There are also some really good pointers here for staying connected, and finding support through a trying time. Our counsellors are experienced at providing help, it may be an option to talk to a counsellor with your husband on speaker phone, if he isn't comfortable accessing help alone.
It’s also really important to check in with yourself while you’re going through this, so it might be good to have a look at our pages on looking after yourself while supporting someone. There’s a really useful part about how it can affect relationships which might be useful to you, too.
It is wonderful that you have been able to reach out for support here on the forums, it must have been difficult to write this post, but you never know who might read it and feel less alone in their own experience. Please keep sharing whenever you feel comfortable to do so. We hope our warm and kind community will spot your post and offer their support soon.
You sound like such a supportive, caring, loving and beautiful person. Your husband and the baby you're in the process of growing are blessed to have you in their lives.
I think there comes a point where we reach the absolute peak of our tolerance, just before breaking point. Sounds like you've reached breaking point. I've found at breaking point something has to change. There's no choice. To continue tolerating something so intolerable that it begins to impact our way of feeling, our nervous system, our blood pressure and even our immune system in some cases is typically when our dis-ease (unease) becomes a physical thing and that's definitely no good. To say to your husband 'I just can't manage this anymore' would be a fair and reasonable statement. 'You need to find added ways of managing that don't involve me so much' would be another fair statement. To add 'I'm in the process of growing a human life inside of me and I refuse to grow him/her under this much stress' could be included. In this situation, you are top priority (the person growing life).
An obsessive compulsion can be a good thing in some cases, such as the obsessive compulsion to hit the gym each morning at exactly 5am. It's a healthy obsession some people feel fully compelled to stick to. It's routine that provides a sense of achievement, satisfaction and good health. When an obsessive compulsion begins to create disorder in the life of a person and/or the people around them, it's a whole other story. In order for your husband to create a sense of achievement, satisfaction and ease in his life, you have to experience disorder, discomfort, upset or some sense of dis-ease.
I can recall my husband saying years ago 'It's okay, you don't need to go to so much effort' when it came to me working so hard to manage depression. Long list of trying to find what worked, from antidepressants through to different forms of counseling and a whole stack of things in between. My response to him was 'It is my job to find what works and what doesn't, as this doesn't just involve me'. It also involved him and our kids. Over the last decade or so especially, I've developed a lot of knowledge and skills in finding what works, knowledge and skills that have developed me into the person I am today. Trying a different angle, you could always suggest to your husband 'I'm now demanding you make a choice. You either begin to develop greater self understanding and skills or you don't. If you choose not to, expect me to no longer make your life easier'. Sounds harsh but you need to love yourself enough to say it or something along these lines. In the process, remind yourself 'I'm a good person who has worked so hard to help him in so many ways'.