Obsessive-Compulsive Personality Disorder Support Group

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 Post subject: Re: My Value Is Based on How I Make Him Feel
PostPosted: Wed Jul 08, 2009 7:17 pm 
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Joined: Sun Apr 12, 2009 9:55 pm
Posts: 201
Katiemacsmom - thanks for starting this thread...

Morten, RealityCheque - thanks for your thoughts. Morten, I used to pull back too - I had started to withdraw. RC - you're right, maybe it was the continual random insults and meanness - I always felt I was about to be attacked. Probably took things too personally eventually. I did withdraw, lose respect and fall out of love.

Bea - regarding the hug, I can so relate. My ex always wanted a hug and I was scared to give him one, operating as we were in a war zone.

TG.


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 Post subject: Re: My Value Is Based on How I Make Him Feel
PostPosted: Thu Jul 09, 2009 10:59 am 
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Joined: Mon Jun 01, 2009 3:31 pm
Posts: 118
Location: USA
The hugs amidst a war zone. Ditto. Just thinking about those requests for hugs makes me want to puke. They were always requested by exDH after he had done or said something particularly despicable. During my divorce, when his mean-spirited personality was in full bloom, I got a lot of those requests from him. I finally said "I'm all out of hugs, from here on out it's all business."


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 Post subject: Re: My Value Is Based on How I Make Him Feel
PostPosted: Wed Mar 10, 2010 11:22 am 
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Joined: Sat Jan 16, 2010 1:14 pm
Posts: 86
WOW!

katiesmacsmom has summed up perfectly how my exocpd would dish out affection as some sort of reward
I said to her once " i think we should be more affecrionate & tactile with other "" She replied "" well, it just doesn't happen like that you know" The penny dropped....that she either rewards or punishes me!!

Hi, TormentedGal......sorry, i am a bit dozy today:) but are you the OCPDer or the SO?

cheers
Joe


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 Post subject: Re: My Value Is Based on How I Make Him Feel
PostPosted: Wed Mar 10, 2010 3:06 pm 
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Joined: Thu Feb 19, 2009 1:12 pm
Posts: 71
Hey Joe,

Wow you bumping up my old post made me realize that I never responded and thanked all those who were kind enough to contribute to the discussion and share with me. So, thank you everyone. :D I think I was just in a black hole for a long time...I'd post and then feel overwhelmed by it all and just couldn't read or even think about it anymore. I still have a hard time seeing how my future can be happy so I'm not out of my black hole yet…but I am trying.

This is timely because I saw DH just last night and we talked about us some. I moved out in January, and I barely talked to him for two months. He seems to have made progress (still meeting with his psychologist), but his progress still just manifests itself in words. He's now willing to talk about how he feels (and how he felt before), which is great because it's progress, but it's still just words. I'm looking for actions (i.e. conducting an extensive professional job search to put his master's degree to use, addressing other financial concerns, and taking action to address some specific things in the past I've said I need or would like in our relationship). So, DH's words are gentler and more insightful, but still just words. Here are some interesting tidbits, though, that may help others understand their OCPDers more.

DH says that he fully accepts that he has OCPD, which is great. I asked how he came to that realization and he said it happened when discussing with his psychologist the diagnostic criteria. Back in August, the psych was going over with him why and how he felt DH met all 8 of the diagnostic criteria and DH was (not surprisingly) arguing each point with him. DH said they talked for hours on each criteria going back and forth with each giving his argument. DH said that at one point, he stepped outside himself and realized that he wasn't listening to anything the psych had to say. He realized then that he was more focused on proving he was right rather than being open to learning about himself. Apparently, he’s realized that’s how he handled our entire relationship. So, he’s acknowledged (and apologized for) bulldozing my needs just so he could justify to himself that he wasn’t wrong. It’s sad that I remember how early in our relationship we’d joke that DH was "never wrong.” I just didn't realize the extreme he’d go to in order to maintain that belief in hid mind.

DH admitted he was ruled by lists. Moreover, he didn’t just have to write things down; he also had to do them in order in which they were listed. Apparently, he listed tasks in the order he thought most efficient. However, even if he accomplished all the items on the list, he would feel anxiety if he didn't do them in the written order. He would feel anxious because he wasn’t as efficient as he possibly could have been. Also, he says he couldn't relax unless and until two things were complete: 1-he could put a "checkmark" by all the items on his list; and 2-nothing was left out of order or out of place in the house. Only when these two things were done could he "sit down and relax." Looking back, I realize just how much it bothered me the way DH measured his (and my) days in terms of productivity around the house.

Finally, we talked about his feelings for me. DH says (much like other OCPDers here) that he does love me and is capable of love. However, he never expressed it to me (or had an extremely hard time expressing it) because opening up to someone and loving them means examining yourself and your feelings. He was not willing to experience his feelings b/c then he’d also have to come face to face with the failures that he was trying so hard to repress and avoid. To just follow up on the whole “he only values me when I make him feel good bit” he admitted that it was easier for him to focus on my bad qualities and failures (and to allow me to think there was something wrong with me) than have to examine himself, his own feelings, and own failures. As I understand it now, it’s all a defense mechanism (a really big ‘ole nasty defense mechanism) that he punished me for trying to break down. My OCPDer (obviously) was so unable to ever handle being wrong or making a mistake that he tanked our personal relationship and his professional development just so he wouldn’t have to deal with the fact that he has faults. It’s mind boggling, honestly (I know you all understand how I feel).

Anyway, I'm still trying to be open to him b/c now he readily admits he has faults and he's still working on himself. I appreciate that. If there’s any way I can feel something for DH again, then I’m open to it. So, I’m not moving on just yet. I guess I'm blessed that my DH has accepted his OCPD enough that he's not mad at me for needing space and contemplating moving on. The psychologist has been amazing at training DH to calm his catastrophic thought processes. At least now it seems that DH doesn’t think his life will end (and thus he has to punish me), if I move on. Only time will tell.

_________________
DESTINY:You were meant for me. Perhaps as a punishment.
-Dr. E.L. Kersten


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 Post subject: Re: My Value Is Based on How I Make Him Feel
PostPosted: Wed Mar 10, 2010 3:44 pm 
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Joined: Tue Mar 02, 2010 2:27 pm
Posts: 75
Morten wrote:
People around me are mainly objects. As long as they suit my purpose, I keep them near. The minute they are less useful, I lose interest. And if they fail to live up to my standards they cease to exist to me.

When you make me feel good, I can make you feel loved. If you are a nuisance I will make you feel like the lowest of the low. "


Wow can I relate to that line of thinking Morten! I think I'll struggle with it all my life. I've "cut" so many valuable people from life this way. So sad to realize now. One of the hard parts of this for me is reconciling myself to all the damage I've done. I used to view people as disposable. No wonder I'm 41 & have only 2 real friends. :(

_________________

MDNC07


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 Post subject: Re: My Value Is Based on How I Make Him Feel
PostPosted: Wed Mar 10, 2010 5:05 pm 
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Joined: Sat Jan 16, 2010 1:14 pm
Posts: 86
Hi katiemacsmom

I found your thread after searching the forum for ' disappoint'. This is how I felt. I consider myself a loving guy but my Ex was
constantly criticising me. It was as if not washing up properly outweighed my good points. How sad that someone can be judged because they didn't make the bed 'properly' ! That's why your post struck a chord. If I made her happy I was rewarded. If i upset\disappointed her( in her eyes) i got nothing. It was my job to make her happy whilst she did nothing to make me happy-A one way street!

Hi Morten ..It's great to read your ocpder perspective. In this thread you said you would very upset if your wife left. Why, if she was so flawed? Can I ask why you haven't left your wife? I am assuming that she disappointed you, was a nuisance & irritated you ( by not living upto your ocpd standards) so why didn't you get fed up with her and leave? My ex ocpder got so fed up with me that she wanted out! Just curious why your 'ocpd brain' didn't want to dispose of her?

thanks guys

regards
Joe


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 Post subject: Re: My Value Is Based on How I Make Him Feel
PostPosted: Wed Mar 10, 2010 7:47 pm 
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Joined: Sat Feb 14, 2009 4:01 pm
Posts: 2235
Location: Denmark
mdnc07 wrote:
No wonder I'm 41 & have only 2 real friends. :(

Oh, I am turning 38 in a couple weeks. That gives me three years to make 2 friends, if I want to live up to your wild and crazy social life... :lol:

Joe wrote:
Hi Morten ..It's great to read your ocpder perspective. In this thread you said you would very upset if your wife left. Why, if she was so flawed? Can I ask why you haven't left your wife? I am assuming that she disappointed you, was a nuisance & irritated you ( by not living upto your ocpd standards) so why didn't you get fed up with her and leave? My ex ocpder got so fed up with me that she wanted out! Just curious why your 'ocpd brain' didn't want to dispose of her?

Thanks Joe.

I did want to throw her out often, and often she was close to breaking down. We were really close to divorce on several occasions, but we didn't because of two main reasons. First, my wife backed down WAAAAY too often and let me have things done my way. She was slowly but surely relinquishing her personality to me. I was eating it up. Second, it wouldn't be RIGHT to have a divorce, so I never filed the papers. The RIGHT way was for her to shut up and do as she was told. Divorce was wrong, so it would (probably) only have happened, if my wife had filed.

As a little added info: In my parents case (undiagnosed OCPD father) over the years my mother has become the enforcer of the rules. I believe she has lost her personality to my father, and that was precisely what I was doing to my wife. Luckily she got fed up with me and put a stop to it.

_________________
Morten

OCPD - Only Contemplating Potential Disasters

Here's a short story on how I control my OCPD: http://ocpd.dk/Beretninger/OCPD_uk.pdf


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 Post subject: Re: My Value Is Based on How I Make Him Feel
PostPosted: Wed Mar 10, 2010 8:58 pm 
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Joined: Tue Mar 02, 2010 2:27 pm
Posts: 75
Morten wrote:
mdnc07 wrote:
No wonder I'm 41 & have only 2 real friends. :(

Oh, I am turning 38 in a couple weeks. That gives me three years to make 2 friends, if I want to live up to your wild and crazy social life... :lol:

Morten-
You'd better get busy then! :)


As a little added info: In my parents case (undiagnosed OCPD father) over the years my mother has become the enforcer of the rules. I believe she has lost her personality to my father, and that was precisely what I was doing to my wife. Luckily she got fed up with me and put a stop to it.


The same thing has happened to my parents (mom & step-dad, cut my real dad out of my life yrs. ago), only it's my mom who's OCPD (& probably my real dad too which explains the high volatility of their relationship.)

_________________

MDNC07


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 Post subject: Re: My Value Is Based on How I Make Him Feel
PostPosted: Thu Mar 11, 2010 5:55 am 
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Joined: Sat Jan 16, 2010 1:14 pm
Posts: 86
Hi Morten
Thanks again

Continuing on from katiemacsmom's original comments I have just 3 more quick questions which may help me make sense of all this, if that's ok?

1) When your wife was not meeting your 'standards' and not doing things ' your way' how did it affect your
Romantic feelings towards her? Did your feelings diminish ?

2) Did your wife not meeting your standards ever make you question the relationship? Did you ever think ' I am unsure if i want to continue this relationship because this woman and her behaviours are not for me?

3) Now you are aware of your OCPD- Do you still have the same ' high standards' but have learnt to react differently when they are not met? OR have you learnt to lower your standards\expectations?

Your help would be greatly appreciated

cheers
Joe


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 Post subject: Re: My Value Is Based on How I Make Him Feel
PostPosted: Thu Mar 11, 2010 12:46 pm 
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Joined: Sat Feb 14, 2009 4:01 pm
Posts: 2235
Location: Denmark
Joe wrote:
I have just 3 more quick questions which may help me make sense of all this, if that's ok?

No problem. You just ask all you want, and I will do my best to answer

Joe wrote:
1) When your wife was not meeting your 'standards' and not doing things ' your way' how did it affect your Romantic feelings towards her? Did your feelings diminish ?

Most of the time she was merely an object, so if she ”malfunctioned” I quickly began thinking of replacing her. I think it is much like when you car is giving you trouble. You need it in order to get to work, but if it is constantly in the shop, you will think of getting another car. Life would be more peaceful without “car aggravations,” but then again you can't really do without one.

Joe wrote:
2) Did your wife not meeting your standards ever make you question the relationship? Did you ever think ' I am unsure if i want to continue this relationship because this woman and her behaviours are not for me?

Every single time.

Joe wrote:
3) Now you are aware of your OCPD- Do you still have the same ' high standards' but have learnt to react differently when they are not met? OR have you learnt to lower your standards\expectations?

I think it is option 1. My basic settings will never change. The OCPD will never go away, so my standard reactions are the same as they have always been. The difference is I now recognize the unwanted behaviors as my OCPD and not reality. But I am on constant patrol in enemy territory.

In an earlier post I have described my OCPD as a wild male lion . I can never tame this magnificent creature, but nevertheless I have to share my life with him. I can get better at understanding him, and I can see more and more facets of his personality. I can get closer and closer to him, but if I misjudge his intentions just once, he will kill me and eat me. I can never forget he is always lurking about in the bushes, so I have this lion tattooed on my right upper arm.

_________________
Morten

OCPD - Only Contemplating Potential Disasters

Here's a short story on how I control my OCPD: http://ocpd.dk/Beretninger/OCPD_uk.pdf


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 Post subject: Re: My Value Is Based on How I Make Him Feel
PostPosted: Thu Mar 11, 2010 1:03 pm 
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Joined: Tue Mar 02, 2010 2:27 pm
Posts: 75
Wow Morten! What an insightful post that was! I absolutely understand what you mean about thinking of your wife (or in my case SO) as an object to be traded in or replaced if she/he failed to live up to expectations. I repeated this cycle (& did indeed replace them) several times in my younger years, then gave up dating. I realized there was something wrong with the way I was relating to my BFs, so decided to refrain from dating altogether.
I also agree that my natural reactions to others haven't changed that much, just that my behavior has to change. I still get irritated (although not as easily) but see that it's not ok to lash out @ everyone.
I love your view of your OCPD as a lion, the predator waiting for you to let your guard down so he can destroy you.
Thanks for once again sharing your point of view!

_________________

MDNC07


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 Post subject: Re: My Value Is Based on How I Make Him Feel
PostPosted: Thu Mar 11, 2010 2:43 pm 
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Joined: Sat Jan 16, 2010 1:14 pm
Posts: 86
Hi Morten

I second that Wow !!...Your post is imformative and so brutally honest too! thankyou Morten.
Things are beginning to make sense to why I so disappointed\frustrated my ex. I often wondered why
she was even with me such were the criticisms of 'trivial' things ( well, trivial in my mind anyway )

The talk of your spouse as like an 'object' is interesting. I thought this was a trait of BPD and\or NPD ??

Have you been diagnosed with other PD's? OR is objectification something an OCPDer can have too?

Any insight appreciated
cheers
Joe


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 Post subject: Re: My Value Is Based on How I Make Him Feel
PostPosted: Thu Mar 11, 2010 4:45 pm 
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Joined: Sat Jan 16, 2010 4:40 pm
Posts: 1310
Location: Suburbs of Atlanta
My DH repeatedly says he has never throught of leaving me for a single instant. When I was in the worst of the OCPD-think, I would contemplate divorce every day, although I have never told him that (and I don't feel that way any more). I don't think I thought of him as an object, but maybe I did. I didn't want to replace him; I just wanted to be alone. I thought my life would be so much easier if I only had myself to worry about. And to be honest, it IS easier for folks like us to live alone. I do try to please my husband because I love him. In a normal marriage, you compromise on everything from food to money to sex to where you go on vacation. OCPDers are not very good with compromise.

For example, I went through a major house remodel when I was single. I had a very good contractor, and there were absolutely no hassles except the self-imposed ones of me taking a while to pick out cabinets, etc. Our current house needs some remodeling and DH wants to do some of the work. It's not that he can't, or wouldn't do a great job, but I am afraid that I will be upset if he doesn't keep to MY timetable or do things the way I think they need to be done (stupid, because he knows a LOT more about remodeling than I do!). It's that OCPD lioness that wants to be in charge.

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Liza Jane

Peace is the result of training your mind to process life as it is, rather than as you think it should be. ~ Wayne Dyer


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 Post subject: Re: My Value Is Based on How I Make Him Feel
PostPosted: Thu Mar 11, 2010 10:48 pm 
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Posts: 385
LJ, I can identify so very strongly with what you are saying about lack of compromise and the difficulties with choosing amongst all the available choices for various things in remodeling. I bought a fixer-upper home just before OCPDW and I got married. It was absolutely HORRIBLE dealing with her on all this. She wanted total control, but knew little about remodeling and I think even less about sticking to a budget. She wanted to spend 20% of our total budget on a custom glass shower door!!!! It took me quite a while to talk her out of that. I remember all the time it took to pick tile and the repeated trips to pick paint and all the paint samples we had to go through until we found "the ONE" that worked with the tile and the new carpet. Now, the final product resulting from her choices was excellent...I had no bones about that, but getting to those choices took months and was excruciating!!!!! Oww-ow-ow-ow-ooowwwww-OUCH! :cry: :x :?

_________________
You can escape the black hole if you want to enough...but, you have to look away!


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 Post subject: Re: My Value Is Based on How I Make Him Feel
PostPosted: Fri Mar 12, 2010 2:16 am 
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Joined: Mon Feb 09, 2009 9:25 am
Posts: 4874
I looked at a gazillion homes (over 200) and DH wanted a perfect home. He wanted the exact kitchen, bathrooms, floor covering that we wanted and looked until we didn't find it and stayed where we are. When he moved into this home, it was perfect but when I saw it and we got married, I wanted updates (men often don't care about that as long as it is functional).

We actually put a new kitchen in and it only took 2 weeks. We had a kitchen contractor who was highly organized and did what they said they were going to do in the time that was initially set up. We had a powder room redo in one day.

We had new tile put in threw out the house within a week.

We had new granite in within 3 weeks from the time we picked it out at the warehouse, it was delivered, we were measured and the granite was cut and installed.

What worked in all of these cases was two things - 1) the contractors stayed on time and did what they said they were going to do. 2) we had a decorator who was our tie-breaker. She made a lot of decisions for us. She listened to what we wanted and would give us no more than three choices for anything. ***The decorator was the best money we spent. Particularly, since we were combining two homes of furniture, his and mine and wanted to blend things.***

...................
When it comes to car repairs at the garage we use, my DH also has found someone as organized as he is. The guy gives realistic time frames and calls constantly to give us updates throughout the day (we need parts, this is the cost, the parts are now in, it will take about 2 hours for the repairs etc.) Can you imagine making all those calls?

It is the same way for our car dealership. They are highly efficient and service oriented.

The moral of the story, don't do the work yourself, get good people to do the work or don't do it at all. lol

_________________
Married 10+ years
Diagnosed 18 years ago
Fairly good marriage


“ When people show you who they are, believe them, the first time."
― Maya Angelou


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