My wife suffers from "contamination OCD". The specific "triggers" are not important for the moment. For nearly 5 years I've been "helping" my wife by performing her "cleaning" rituals for her. If she were to do so, she'd become distracted, possibly brush into something, have to shower, and start over, etc. At first, she did all the cleaning but quickly realized she needed my help. I never should have gone that route but had no idea at the time this was even OCD and would get worse like it did. We had some very difficult times in 2015-2016 but things have gotten much more controlled now. It’s far from cured and will NOT be until she begins therapy since medication alone is only helping so much.
It's gotten somewhat better and is much more under control with medication (no therapy yet). We've essentially struggled for about 3 years trying to clean up our house so we can fix it up and sell/move. We are NOT moving because of her condition but because this is something we've wanted to do even prior to this beast forming inside of her.
We've had significant financial implications as a result of her condition. In a nutshell we rented an apartment to have the "clean slate" she says she needs but it did not work out that way. She clearly was not ready at that time (about 2.5 years ago). The plan was to set up the apartment and be able to go to the house, fix it up, list it and sell in a few months. Without OCD that could have been easily accomplished. Well, that never happened and after draining financial resources (from paying a mortgage and rent as the same time for so long) she reluctantly agreed to give up the place and re-group. The big issue is we have some important possessions (nice wedding gifts, etc.) and last year she decided against putting them into one of those storage places since she feels they are "dirty", not knowing what people could be putting in them. Keeping them at home is not a good option as we did so much to get them out of the house to a safe place. She has placed extreme importance on the safety of our prized possessions. I agreed (very reluctantly) to keep the apartment and we were going to move in last year in the Summer. We were unable to clean out and list our house last year. She does fully understand our financial situation and insists we'll be moving this year and I need to let things play out and I have done so thus far. I feel I need to hold her to this and if it does not work out (recent past history proves this; also, OCD and selling/moving do NOT mix since we have to move freely through the house - and we are far from that) then take a different approach.
The more sensible approach is to get her much healthier from therapy FIRST and then list the house for sale. She has insisted she would go for therapy but only when we’ve got a “clean slate” (new place to live). I’ve often stressed that OCD and selling don’t mix and it won’t ever work (and so far, that’s been correct).
I’d have to be a bit hard on her. Would it be so wrong of me to insist she begin therapy NOW (rather than later)? Would it be wrong of me to insist she find a storage place for our prized possessions; and get rid of the apartment we use to keep them? (I’d almost rather toss them into a dumpster at this point rather then continue to tap into our retirement funds.) I don’t like threats or ultimatums, do NOT believe in them but would likely have to prepare to leave if these demands could not be met. I know she loves me and this would be the last thing she would want as would I.
I love my wife with all my heart and it breaks my heart to have to even consider such a thing. This has ruined our lives: harmed relationships with family/friends, caused a lot of resentment on my part (because she did not stick with therapy years ago), there’s almost constant stress and chaos when we go anywhere, we’re lucky if we barely look presentable because clean clothes are always an issue, it’s completely killed our intimacy, harmed our finances, we frequently throw things away (sometimes brand new unopened things), I could go on… I can’t stand it any longer and I’ve expressed this to her over and over.
..So am I justified in insisting on therapy first, no more apartment? Or else that’s it?