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.
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.