rOCD dealing with my longtime wife ...

williamn

williamn

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Hi ...

I definitely have been experiencing OCD for a long time ... I also suffer from anxiety and depression ... I also have had Epilepsy for almost my entire life ...

I am 54 years old ... I am a retired Math and Computer Science teacher - I had to retire after 21 years due to the Epilepsy ...

Anyway, I feel that I definitely have rOCD - I have been going to counseling for a long time ... My therapist will not let me discuss rOCD - I must discuss only OCD with her - I am not to be specific by naming the problem as rOCD - I do not understand this at all ...

My wife and I have been together for 27 years - married for 24 years and dating for 3 years - we have a superb relationship - we love being together ...

My large problem is that I have thoughts about her constantly ...

These thoughts bother me so much that I cannot stand it - it has been awful - I deal with this every day and night ...

The largest rOCD problem that I have deals with her weight and her looks ...

I first asked her out within the school where we both taught in 1992 ...

When we began dating, she was currently working out daily - needed to overcome her weight problems ...

I was not aware of her having a weight problem at the time we began enjoying each other so much - she looked fantastic from day one ...

At this point, I have terrible thoughts about her mostly when we are in public ...

As an example, I often do not introduce her to friends of mine (I do not have many) - I do not want them to see what I have or what I have chosen and how I could have done so much better ...

I feel so awful both mentally and physically when I experience the thoughts ...

What keeps happening is that I seem to be having a problem with "image" - I have always lived in a very small town (we have lived there for 24 years) - Everybody knows what everybody else is doing in the town - "looking good" has always been important - My Dad, who is 85 years old, still practices "image" today ...

Do I want to be with her ?? ...

Do I really need to end this relationship ?? ...

Is she someone that I do not want to live with because of her weight ?? ...

We really do have an absolutely tremendous relationship - except for my thoughts ...

She does know that I have what I mentioned above - she actually attends my counseling ...

She could not be understanding any better ...

I just have not discussed rOCD very much - she has no idea how this is ruining my (ours) life ..

What do you think ?? ...

Do I suffer from rOCD ?? ...

I really need to understand and agree that I do suffer from rOCD - and what happens, what I do, etc is not my fault ...

Can anyone let me know if my thoughts and actions are actual rOCD examples - or am I being unfair to her by "keeping" her in the marriage ?? ...

Do I have rOCD ?? ... Is what's happening not my own fault ?? ...


I am suffering ...

Thank you very much for your assistance !! ...
 
calypso

calypso

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Hello and :welcome: to the forum. What is rOCD? I've never heard of it. I would be interested to know.

As for your thoughts, they are just that, thoughts and I wouldn't leave a really good relationship because of these thoughts. They sound like intrusive thoughts, which I get all the time. I just imagine them written on a piece of paper, scrunch it up and through it into an imaginary bin. It takes practice but eventually they lessened as a result.

I think not introducing her to your friends is a step too far though. She must be so hurt inside but putting on a brave face for you - do you think that is fair or am I wide of the mark? I could understand if you were concerned for her health, that would make sense.

I think you are in pain and need to be able to explore those feelings more. You mention your father, do you think you learned this way of thinking from him? It might be a problem that you can ditch for yourself. Can you manage to be proud of her and not care what others think? Or is that too much to manage right now? I understand if it is too much. I hope others will be along soon to help you more than I am right now. Take care.
 
williamn

williamn

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Hello and :welcome: to the forum. What is rOCD? I've never heard of it. I would be interested to know.

As for your thoughts, they are just that, thoughts and I wouldn't leave a really good relationship because of these thoughts. They sound like intrusive thoughts, which I get all the time. I just imagine them written on a piece of paper, scrunch it up and through it into an imaginary bin. It takes practice but eventually they lessened as a result.

I think not introducing her to your friends is a step too far though. She must be so hurt inside but putting on a brave face for you - do you think that is fair or am I wide of the mark? I could understand if you were concerned for her health, that would make sense.

I think you are in pain and need to be able to explore those feelings more. You mention your father, do you think you learned this way of thinking from him? It might be a problem that you can ditch for yourself. Can you manage to be proud of her and not care what others think? Or is that too much to manage right now? I understand if it is too much. I hope others will be along soon to help you more than I am right now. Take care.
 
williamn

williamn

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Hello ...

I thank you so much for your reply ...

I would like you to know what rOCD is - this is a pretty brief, but accurate definition :

Relationship OCD, also known as Relationship Substantiation or ROCD, is a subset of OCD in which sufferers are consumed with doubts about their relationship. They question their love for their partner, their attraction to their partner, their compatibility with their partner, and their partner’s love for them.

One thing that I would have to say is that I never have a problem / thoughts about her love for me - she really loves me and the life that we share ...

Also - I would like you to know that I am always concerned about her health, but that really does not affect my bad thoughts - I believe that the thoughts are due to "image" ...

She absolutely puts on a brave face for me - not introducing her is absolutely incorrect - I do not want to do this at all - it just happens - often I look the other way so that I do not see the friends and no introduction is necessary ...

My father definitely has definitely taught me to have "image" - he has mentioned her weight to me at times ...

I try to love and want to love her greatly - I try to be proud of her for what she is - the rOCD thoughts just happen for some reason ...

I am in GREAT pain every day - you are correct ...

I hope that you know what OCD is - rOCD is a subset of OCD- here is a brief definition :

Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is a mental disorder in which people have unwanted and repeated thoughts, feelings, ideas, sensations (obsessions), and behaviors that drive them to do something over and over (compulsions). Often the person carries out the behaviors to get rid of the obsessive thoughts.


What do you think ?? ...

I appreciate your reply soooooo much !! - Please continue ...


Thanks again ...
 
williamn

williamn

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Hello and :welcome: to the forum. What is rOCD? I've never heard of it. I would be interested to know.

As for your thoughts, they are just that, thoughts and I wouldn't leave a really good relationship because of these thoughts. They sound like intrusive thoughts, which I get all the time. I just imagine them written on a piece of paper, scrunch it up and through it into an imaginary bin. It takes practice but eventually they lessened as a result.

I think not introducing her to your friends is a step too far though. She must be so hurt inside but putting on a brave face for you - do you think that is fair or am I wide of the mark? I could understand if you were concerned for her health, that would make sense.

I think you are in pain and need to be able to explore those feelings more. You mention your father, do you think you learned this way of thinking from him? It might be a problem that you can ditch for yourself. Can you manage to be proud of her and not care what others think? Or is that too much to manage right now? I understand if it is too much. I hope others will be along soon to help you more than I am right now. Take care.

Hello ...

I thank you so much for your reply ...

I would like you to know what rOCD is - this is a pretty brief, but accurate definition :

Relationship OCD, also known as Relationship Substantiation or ROCD, is a subset of OCD in which sufferers are consumed with doubts about their relationship. They question their love for their partner, their attraction to their partner, their compatibility with their partner, and their partner’s love for them.

One thing that I would have to say is that I never have a problem / thoughts about her love for me - she really loves me and the life that we share ...

Also - I would like you to know that I am always concerned about her health, but that really does not affect my bad thoughts - I believe that the thoughts are due to "image" ...

She absolutely puts on a brave face for me - not introducing her is absolutely incorrect - I do not want to do this at all - it just happens - often I look the other way so that I do not see the friends and no introduction is necessary ...

My father definitely has definitely taught me to have "image" - he has mentioned her weight to me at times ...

I try to love and want to love her greatly - I try to be proud of her for what she is - the rOCD thoughts just happen for some reason ...

I hope that you know what OCD is - rOCD is a subset of OCD- here is a brief definition :

Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is a mental disorder in which people have unwanted and repeated thoughts, feelings, ideas, sensations (obsessions), and behaviors that drive them to do something over and over (compulsions). Often the person carries out the behaviors to get rid of the obsessive thoughts.


What do you think ?? ...

I appreciate your reply soooooo much !! - Please continue ...


Thanks again ...
 
williamn

williamn

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Hi !! This is just a follow up with my original post regarding rOCD /OCD ...

Please forgive my for all of the caps - I copied these notes out of my journal that is used with a counselor (LCSW) - I had no time to retype these thoughts ...

IT IS KNOWN THAT rOCD / OCD INVOLVES THOUGHTS - AS LONG AS I AM JUST HAVING THE THOUGHTS AND NOTHING IS ACTUALLY DONE OUTSIDE OF MY MIND - WHAT DOES IT MEAN WHEN I HAVE PHYSICALLY AVOIDED GOING PLACES WITH MY WIFE (WE WOULD STAY AT HOME) OR WHEN WE HAVE GONE PLACES AND I WOULD AVOID TALKING TO PEOPLE SO THAT WE WOULD NOT BE SEEN TOGETHER - ARE THESE MORE THAN rOCD / OCD EXAMPLES ??

WHAT IS ACTUALLY WRONG WITH ME / OUR RELATIONSHIP ?? - MAYBE THESE ARE SOME “IMAGE” EXAMPLES WHERE I FEEL THAT I MUST LOOK GOOD TO OTHER PEOPLE - HOW IS THAT RELATED TO rOCD / OCD ??

Thank you very much !! ...
 
calypso

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I don't know much about OCD. I know what it means etc but I have never suffered from it. What does your therapist say about this? If you were in Britain there is an organisation called Relate who specialise in relationship problems of all sorts. Do they have anything like that near you? It might be an idea to look into it.

Do you think that you are using (unconsciously) the rOCD to hide a deeper problem which means you can avoid facing it whilst you are consumed by such thoughts? It could be a Barrier you put up to prevent you having to deal with the emotions below it. Just a thought. Personally I would look at your relationship with your father and if you only got enough love if you had your image right etc - I'm not saying that is true, just another thought.
 
williamn

williamn

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I don't know much about OCD. I know what it means etc but I have never suffered from it. What does your therapist say about this? If you were in Britain there is an organisation called Relate who specialise in relationship problems of all sorts. Do they have anything like that near you? It might be an idea to look into it.

Do you think that you are using (unconsciously) the rOCD to hide a deeper problem which means you can avoid facing it whilst you are consumed by such thoughts? It could be a Barrier you put up to prevent you having to deal with the emotions below it. Just a thought. Personally I would look at your relationship with your father and if you only got enough love if you had your image right etc - I'm not saying that is true, just another thought.

Thank you - I will get back to you when I have some time - I appreciate what you have done ...
 
Luci

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These are all just thoughts to explore...
I wonder of you are not physically attracted to her and feel guilty and that is how it manifests?
Maybe because your dad has made such comments, that you are very much concerned about what your father thinks of her image. But what about you?
Could it be possible that your father is jealous of the loving relationship you have? What have his relationships been like?
If you genuinely love your wife this is something you need to get over or it could destroy her confidence. Isn't she more to you than image? What is more important to you? Who she is and how she supports you? Or how she looks?
Maybe a joint healthy eating/exercise plan could help? Do it together, motivation, improve both your moods, get out together more ... even if it's just to a local forest for a long walk, or a jog round the block? Join a class together?
 
williamn

williamn

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Calypso -

I do not know any places like "Relate" around here - I wish that I did ...

My Father and I had the greatest relationship that you can imagine ... We never separated from each other ...

But ... He did believe in "Image" ... Where everything that you do in life has to impress other people - other people's thoughts mean sooo much ...

How do you see that this has to do with my relationship between my wife and I ?? ...

I am not quite sure what you mean - but I really want to learn about what you are saying ...

What do you mean by a deeper problem ?? - I really need to understand this ...
 
williamn

williamn

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These are all just thoughts to explore...
I wonder of you are not physically attracted to her and feel guilty and that is how it manifests?
Maybe because your dad has made such comments, that you are very much concerned about what your father thinks of her image. But what about you?
Could it be possible that your father is jealous of the loving relationship you have? What have his relationships been like?
If you genuinely love your wife this is something you need to get over or it could destroy her confidence. Isn't she more to you than image? What is more important to you? Who she is and how she supports you? Or how she looks?
Maybe a joint healthy eating/exercise plan could help? Do it together, motivation, improve both your moods, get out together more ... even if it's just to a local forest for a long walk, or a jog round the block? Join a class together?

Luci -

Thank you very much ...

You have me thinking ... My Dad has had only one relationship - my Mother - she had Multiple Sclerosis - she has died - he loved her and took care of her constantly year after year ...

As far as being physically attracted to my wife, I am - but the problem is caused by the thoughts that occur just by seeing her - I think of her weight and how this would look in public - and how she did not look like that when we dated and were married a few years - I hate this - it just comes up in my head - I do not think about this purposely at all ...

When I think about it - How she supports me is soooooo important to me - I know this - I am so frustrated when I have negative thoughts about her ...

We both do walk in the morning - just not together - my pace is much longer and faster than hers - we cannot get a good exercise trying to be right next to each other ...

What do you think about what I have said ?? ...

Thank you again ...
 
Z

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What you haven't yet indicated is what your wife feels about herself, i.e. what is her take on her own "image" and weight as you call it. That would be something to explore further. Because her self image is paramount to her and what she thinks of herself is just as important as what you think of her.
 
Luci

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What was your dads relationship with your mum like? I wonder why he zones in on the 'image'. Again I wonder if jealousy of the love and support you get from your wife is the start of this? Subconsciously, that he spent all his time looking after your mum, caring doe her, supporting her.... you have it the other way round. You have something he didnt always have?

So if those thoughts don't originate from you finding your wife attractive, where do they originate from? No one looks the same as they age, this is an inevitability of life...

You say you cant get good exersize together, you mean you cant get good exercise with her.... I guarantee that if you slowed down your pace and spent more time motivating your wife she would enjoy exercising a lot more as she would be enjoying time with you. If this is the only issue you have with your wife I wonder where it comes from as it seems trivial in the grand scheme?
 
williamn

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What you haven't yet indicated is what your wife feels about herself, i.e. what is her take on her own "image" and weight as you call it. That would be something to explore further. Because her self image is paramount to her and what she thinks of herself is just as important as what you think of her.
Ziedite -

Thank you ...

My wife knows that she needs to lose the weight - just to be healthy - she has told me this herself ...

But - she has absolutely no problem with "image" - She does not buy into that theory ...

She does walk and workout in a gym / club ...

She always concentrates on the "good" things in our life together - there are many good things - the weight loss is not something that is "image" - she does know that good health is important, but things that we do together are what is important - not what we look like ...

Thank you ...

Please respond again - you have been great ...

williamn
 
williamn

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What was your dads relationship with your mum like? I wonder why he zones in on the 'image'. Again I wonder if jealousy of the love and support you get from your wife is the start of this? Subconsciously, that he spent all his time looking after your mum, caring doe her, supporting her.... you have it the other way round. You have something he didnt always have?

So if those thoughts don't originate from you finding your wife attractive, where do they originate from? No one looks the same as they age, this is an inevitability of life...

You say you cant get good exersize together, you mean you cant get good exercise with her.... I guarantee that if you slowed down your pace and spent more time motivating your wife she would enjoy exercising a lot more as she would be enjoying time with you. If this is the only issue you have with your wife I wonder where it comes from as it seems trivial in the grand scheme?
Luci -

Thank you - here is some more information ...

My Dad and Mom were sooooooo tight - during the good times and the bad times when her disease (Multiple Sclerosis) was happening ...

They had a great number of years together before the disease kicked in - I really do not think that he sees what I have as something he wants himself ...

Nobody looks the same as they age - true - I just have terrible thoughts that are constantly in my mind - I cannot shut them off ... Why ?? ...

Thanks - I would love to hear from you again ...

williamn
 
Luci

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Im wondering why he would say this about your wife then? Where do you think this idea of image being so important comes from?
If you are experiencing negative rhought when you see your wife there may be some underlying problem you don't want to acknowledge?
 
Z

ziedite

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Okay - firstly your wife has a wonderful self image of herself, and being female, I am so impressed as that is hard to have the older one gets. Firstly, what are you comparing you wife to... if its 23 year olds I can guarantee that you will be disappointed. The female body at 50+ will NEVER be like that again. NEVER... Biology, hormones, menopause, you name will all conspire against us to never attain that. Super models who only consume 800 calories a day are generally psycho and not nice people to be around. So you need to make a decision - thinness or niceness. And if the tables were turned and she said to you - you are not a butch six packed man anymore so I am not interested in you, how would you feel. I know I'm being harsh, but kindness, gentleness and genuine love surmount most physical aspects.
 
williamn

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Okay - firstly your wife has a wonderful self image of herself, and being female, I am so impressed as that is hard to have the older one gets. Firstly, what are you comparing you wife to... if its 23 year olds I can guarantee that you will be disappointed. The female body at 50+ will NEVER be like that again. NEVER... Biology, hormones, menopause, you name will all conspire against us to never attain that. Super models who only consume 800 calories a day are generally psycho and not nice people to be around. So you need to make a decision - thinness or niceness. And if the tables were turned and she said to you - you are not a butch six packed man anymore so I am not interested in you, how would you feel. I know I'm being harsh, but kindness, gentleness and genuine love surmount most physical aspects.

It is no problem that you are being harsh ...

Everything that you have said is correct - I feel sooo bad ...

You said : "I know I'm being harsh, but kindness, gentleness and genuine love surmount most physical aspects" - THIS IS SOOO TRUE ...

Thank you again ...
 
Z

ziedite

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Try to work out for yourself where this "image" issue is coming from... it may help you deal with it better.
 
williamn

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I will try this for sure - thank you so much for your help ...
 

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