Tuesday, March 9, 2010

5 Things My Husband Does to Help me Cope with OCD

  1. Supports me, not the OCD. He is empathetic to my struggle and my pain, but he doesn't reassure me in order to keep the peace.
  2. Uses his sense of humor to highlight the ridiculousness of some of my OCD fears. He doesn't mock me, but the OCD is fair game.
  3. Stays curious about the disorder. He read Jonathan Grayson's book Freedom From OCD on my request. He's not a support group kind of guy, and he isn't interested in going to the International OCD Foundation Conference with me, but he does educate himself about OCD.
  4. Encourages me to do exposures, and is willing to get involved. If I am obsessing about what task to do next, he'll suggest I flip a coin. In the rare cases that his ADD mind actually gets stuck on something, he'll try an exposure out himself.
  5. Affirms my decision to see an ERP therapist, even though it's expensive, because he sees the progress I've made.


  1. I hid my OCD from everyone, including my wife, for 36 years. She would have every right to be furious with me for that. However, she simply pitches in and helps me work it out. She is my greatest blessing! I'm sure you feel the same way about your husband.

  2. Yes! I feel very grateful that my husband shows me compassion, and I am glad to hear that your wife is a blessing in your life.

  3. I'm so grateful when I read people's stories of supportive spouses. My experience of dating with OCD has been mixed- some supportive people, some who couldn't deal at all- but I hold out hope.

    Glad you got a good one!

  4. You are extremely lucky. My husband belittles me, yells at me, and constantly reminds me that I am not the woman he married. I have begged for a seperation, but he claims he loves me and just wants the "old me" back. What he does not understand is that she is gone and will never be back. BTW, my ocd is all contamination related.

  5. Anonymous--I am concerned for you--no one deserves to be belittled or yelled at or verbally abused by their partner. He can't harass you back to your "old self"--getting better from OCD doesn't work that way, and as much as he says he loves you, his actions speak differently. I encourage you to seek help--The National Domestic Violence Hotline is one resource: 1.800.799.SAFE (7233) http://www.thehotline.org/

  6. I wish, so much, that my boyfriend would take the steps you have taken. We've been together 5 years, and I knew six months in what he was dealing with, but I didn't educate myself and so I just fed the obsessions and compulsions without thinking about it, to "keep the peace."
    I regret it every day. I wish he would see a therapist, or anything. But he insists that nobody can help him, he can only do it himself. I just don't know what to do. I want to be supportive, but I'm already so deep in participation that I can't escape.
    I don't know what to do.

    Good for you that your partner supports you AND you have a strong desire to face OCD with help.

    1. Chelsea, somehow I missed your comment. I would encourage you to find an OCD support group for family members, or attend the International OCD Foundation Conference, where there are many workshops for family members. There are other people who have similar experiences to yours, and have found ways to escape participating in the OCD compulsions of their loved ones.