Jump to content
ACN Latitudes Forums
  • ACN Premium Membership Free Trial

Sign in to follow this  
Chris516

Girlfriend with OCD

Recommended Posts

My girlfriend n' I are adults. We have been in a long-distance relationship(she lives in New Mexico, I live in Maryland) for five years. She told me from the start that she has OCD. The first year she was begging me to move out there within months of our starting to date. I wanted to, but because of my physical health problems, I don't like living alone.

 

The first three years, she had no communication problems. Then starting shortly after Aug.' 2011, her communication started becoming less n' less. She recently told me that things started to change after Aug.' 2011. She told me, she is afraid of me. While I haven't verbally said it outright, I refuse to enable her OCD.

 

The first year, she asked me to get a battery of STD tests, considering my ex's sexual history. I thought that was a bonafide request, so I got them. I felt relieved when they all came back negative. But she keeps claiming that I have an STD. She even wanted me to do the battery of STD tests all over again. I flat out refused to do a second complete round of STD testing. Not only were some of the tests not covered by insurance, but I also knew, when she claimed the warts she got in Aug.'2011, were as a result of us having sex, that I knew she was obsessing. I even called the USCDCP(U.S. Centers for Disease Control & Prevention), an agency of the U.S. Government, for my own piece of mind. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control & Prevention, confirmed what I had already thought, that her warts on her fingers, were not caused by us having sex. She keeps insisting that the warts are because of an STD she says I have.

 

She is not seeing a therapist for her OCD. She was seeing a therapist years ago, but that was before we even met online.

 

This is killing our relationship. Please, Anyone, Give me some feedback on how to handle this?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Chris --

 

Sorry you're going through this as it sounds as though you have some health issues of your own with which to contend, as well.

 

The really sinister thing about OCD is that it will "morph" and move into another cranny of your girlfriend's thinking, no matter how many times or how completely you may try to rationally set aside her concerns about you and any STDs. Because OCD is not rational; it's entirely irrational. You could go ahead and have the battery of tests all over again, have everything demonstrate (once again) that you are 100% fine in this regard, and her OCD could continue to either 1) drive her to fear that you've somehow lied or falsified the test results or 2) move on to a completely different, unrelated irrational fear with regard to you. OCD is insidious in that way.

 

Your girlfriend needs therapy, more specifically, she needs Exposure Response Prevention (ERP) therapy. But as adults, you can't "make" her go to therapy or "make" her buy into the treatment the therapist tries to give her. You could do some research with respect to ERP and do your best to support her therapy . . . like you said, continuing to refuse to "enable" her OCD. Doing things like getting retested or trying to rationalize away her OCD concerns will only feed those anxieties, so you're right to try and rise above that fray and not buy in.

 

I feel for you because it's hard for us on the "outside" of this crazy condition. My teenage son has OCD, and it can be very hard to deal with him at times. You just keep thinking that he's so intelligent and so self-aware, surely he can see that this OCD response or that one are irrational? And surely he can stop reacting in that way? But it's just not that simple. They have trouble "turning the OCD off," or even turning the OCD's volume down low enough at times that they can even hear the rational part of their brain.

 

Now that my DS is getting older, we tend to respond with "tough love." "That's OCD, and you know it, and we don't run our lives around here according to your OCD. Move on. Let it go." Sometimes, we tell him flat out what a "normal," non-OCD response to some situation would be because, frankly, he's contended with the OCD so long I'm not sure he always knows what that is! And then we tell him that's the way you need to respond, because that's the non-OCD way. And he'll usually push back, trying to rationalize why his OCD-ridden response is still credible, still rational. But we hold a firm line because he needs support in pushing back and responding "normally." And usually, that gets through and helps. It's a process.

 

I hope some of that helped or at least lets you know you're not alone. Hang in there!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Chris --

 

Sorry you're going through this as it sounds as though you have some health issues of your own with which to contend, as well.

 

Yes, But my health issues are physical, and stable.

 

The really sinister thing about OCD is that it will "morph" and move into another cranny of your girlfriend's thinking, no matter how many times or how completely you may try to rationally set aside her concerns about you and any STDs. Because OCD is not rational; it's entirely irrational. You could go ahead and have the battery of tests all over again, have everything demonstrate (once again) that you are 100% fine in this regard, and her OCD could continue to either 1) drive her to fear that you've somehow lied or falsified the test results or 2) move on to a completely different, unrelated irrational fear with regard to you. OCD is insidious in that way.

 

I knew all that. Except for, the part about replacing one obsession, with a new obsession.

 

Your girlfriend needs therapy, more specifically, she needs Exposure Response Prevention (ERP) therapy. But as adults, you can't "make" her go to therapy or "make" her buy into the treatment the therapist tries to give her. You could do some research with respect to ERP and do your best to support her therapy . . . like you said, continuing to refuse to "enable" her OCD. Doing things like getting retested or trying to rationalize away her OCD concerns will only feed those anxieties, so you're right to try and rise above that fray and not buy in.

 

I know about ERP therapy. As for her getting therapy, that is easier said, than done. Because, Her mother is 'part of the equation'. Her mother feels this need to 'entertain us', when I am out there.

 

I feel for you because it's hard for us on the "outside" of this crazy condition. My teenage son has OCD, and it can be very hard to deal with him at times. You just keep thinking that he's so intelligent and so self-aware, surely he can see that this OCD response or that one are irrational? And surely he can stop reacting in that way? But it's just not that simple. They have trouble "turning the OCD off," or even turning the OCD's volume down low enough at times that they can even hear the rational part of their brain.

 

Very true.

 

Now that my DS is getting older, we tend to respond with "tough love." "That's OCD, and you know it, and we don't run our lives around here according to your OCD. Move on. Let it go." Sometimes, we tell him flat out what a "normal," non-OCD response to some situation would be because, frankly, he's contended with the OCD so long I'm not sure he always knows what that is! And then we tell him that's the way you need to respond, because that's the non-OCD way. And he'll usually push back, trying to rationalize why his OCD-ridden response is still credible, still rational. But we hold a firm line because he needs support in pushing back and responding "normally." And usually, that gets through and helps. It's a process.

 

I am sort of 'middle of the road' about 'tough love'. I feel a family member should be tough, without being brutal about it. In specific to OCD, creative, without 'enabling'.

 

I hope some of that helped or at least lets you know you're not alone. Hang in there!

 

Yes it did.

Edited by Chris516

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

×