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Wife has OCD - marriage is slipping away

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I thought I might just tell my little story and maybe somebody can find solace in knowing that there are others out there in a similar situation - i could not find any article like this for myself so for me, this is sort of a vent for my emotions.

I've been married for 6 months now - my wife was first diagnosed with OCD about 5 years ago while we were courting. In retrospect , she always showed signs of OCD however if you aren't aware of what OCD is you just ignore the symptoms, marking it down to sillyness.

The first course of medications stopped about two years ago (we wanted to see if the CBT had worked and if we could manage without medication) and things went down hill again so she started taking the tablets and things stabilised - we were really happy - everything worked perfectly, it was as if the OCD was a bad dream, we went on honeymoon and there was nothing that could have dented our happiness - there was one problem - there was no sex, her libido was down to absolute 0. We went to our psychiatrist who advised slowing down the medication which we did. AT this point my wife had a few side effects (physicall reactions) to stopping the medication which was normal but they persisted and we were advised to stop the medication sooner than initially planned. At first I could not even see the symptoms creeping back into our lives until it was too late. The last two months have seen my wife move out of the house, her break all ties with my folks, attribute all the past happiness and success in our relationship to the drugs and a false reality and the fact that she was not really in controll of herself all that time.

She has realised with much help from her folks that something is wrong and we have been to the psychiatrist again. She has started the medication again (2 weeks) and we've gone to the psychologist we went to previously however the anxiety over our relationship and where its going and the past happiness not being real but a result of her being over-accomodating and lenient is rooted so deeply that she has bombarded me with years of memories, re-worked into this line of thinking. The sad thing is that I cannot remember the things that she brings up and I can't say that it never happened like that (I know the things she says aren't real, i now i would never do those things in the way she puts it now) so i cannot reason the anxiety away and that just serves a a re-inforcement. Everytime I point out that we were happy for all the right reasons, or bring out emails or photos or anything - she is able to create a counter-reason for being happy (so much logic built in to the story that I get totally sucked into a sort of circular argument that ends up in the same place no mater whether I am for or against what is being said).

No matter how hurtfull the things she says to me are, I know that she is having an even harder time right now - and they way her mind is processing her memories and the fact that she's delving into every happy event or normal event and mundane decision we've ever made is an indication of the OCD BUT the pain that I feel is real and the hopelessness and the feeling that I can't enjoy those memories anymore because i can't be sure of any of them anymore myself and the feeling of instability that no matter how much effort I put into this relationship, even when she overcomes this bout of OCD, It could all dissolve away and we need to restart. I just feel very very lost at the moment and theres nobody who will understand what it feels like to have you entire relationship unravelled bit by bit and rewritten by OCD to such an extent that I can't even see things clearly - its only the emails and photos that keep me sort of fixed in myself knowing that its all worth it and we can get back there - even if she doesn't remember everything as happy memories anymore, it can get back there. our next appointment with the psychologist is in two weeks as everybody is on leave for the festive season - i'm unfortunately spending it by myself this year as my wife cannot stand being around me anymore and evry minute with me reminds her of something new that she "just remmbered and doesn't think it was her real decision because the tablets made me think it was okay then and I'm realising now that I should have done it differently..."

I don't know how much longer I can take this as I feel like I am runnning on fumes as I cannot help her through this bout of OCD - I am sort of the cause and trigger for now - and I am also the negative focus... its hard for both parties involved in this situation.

I haven't been eating and I feel the signs of mild depression slowly settling over me...however I've taken steps to prevent this and I have stepped up my exercise levels and adjusted my mindset as much as i can ... however there are moments like now where it all just feels unfair...

I'm just drowning at the moment...i can only imagine what its doing to her...

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I'm so sorry to hear your story. But I am very glad to hear that you are trying to take care of yourself. You HAVE to take care of yourself. What you are feeling...the sadness and depression beginning...I think is normal considering everything you have been through lately. OCD can be absolutely horrible for the family as for the person with the ocd...it can stop everything someone believes about their life in it's tracks, as I know you are aware. Good luck to you and your wife and your life together. It sounds like you are trying your best to be a supportive husband. If the two of you have an appointment with a psychologist in two weeks it sounds as if there is still some hope for reconciliation and even if you find out that there is not perhaps the two of you can still support each other as friends someday.

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I have a husband and son who suffer with OCD so I can sympathize


we have found that most meds only make things worse and so instead use supplements and diet modification along with acupuncture and this really helps them!


may I also suggest a very active OCD forum at PsychCentral where you may find support for you and for your wife too. The other forums there may also prove helpful to you



all the best and I hope you are able to work though this together. I know it isnt easy, but after 25 years of marriage I can tell you with certainty that it is possible to get through this together!

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