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 Post subject: My Value Is Based on How I Make Him Feel
PostPosted: Wed Jul 01, 2009 1:37 pm 
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Joined: Thu Feb 19, 2009 1:12 pm
Posts: 71
So, DH and I are chugging along, but towards what I don't know. We saw a marriage counselor for a few months, but I refused to see her any longer because she readily admitted to me that she didn't really know much about OCPD, and thought it best that DH not get a diagnosis. So, I told DH he needed to find a psychologist. It took him a month to agree to go, and then 2 weeks of researching psychologists non-stop, but he found one. He's met with him twice, and I met with him once. He's also provided DH a battery of psychological profile testing (and he's given me some as well). We get results in two weeks. So, I don't know where we'll end up, and I don't know if I'm going to leave. I know I don't have any affection for DH anymore. He's hurt me too much, but I haven't ruled out the possibility that maybe it can return once I’ve worked through some issues, and if DH improves.

Yet, here's the latest revelation that I'm struggling with. DH and I have been discussing how he's felt about me over the years, and why we have not developed any kind of marital relationship (no emotional or physical intimacy...it's been absent from the very start). He's decided that it's the all or nothing thinking that has done the most damage (which makes me laugh cause he swears he doesn't have OCPD). He says that anytime I've been upset, in a bad mood, gotten angry, or simply done something to disappoint him (i.e. I didn't fold the laundry how he wanted, didn't make the bed the right way, didn't shake down the dishwasher, etc) he would automatically revert to negative thoughts about me. That one "bad" thing I did made him focus on all the other "bad things" I've ever done to the exclusion of the good things about me. So, in essence, he viewed me as all bad (at least for a period of time) and this - obviously - hindered any expression of love he had for me (I don't pretend to understand it, I'm just going based on what he's said...it's mind boggling).

Anyway, as we've had this discussion, it's become clear to me that what brings up his "bad" feelings about me is whether or not I'm making him feel good. That whether he feels "good" about me and focuses on the "good" things about me is totally based on how I'm making him feel at the time. If I'm upset, and that makes him feel bad, then I'm all bad. If I bring up a concern about how our marriage is lacking in certain (many) areas, then that makes him feel bad, and he's off and thinking about all the bad things I've ever done.

I think this even extends to times when I disturb the reality in his head. I know my DH has had somewhat of an alternate reality about our relationship. For 10 years I was saying it was lacking intimacy and I needed intimacy, but he says he thought we were doing just fine. He says he even thought we had an agreement that we were just going to be platonic (laughable considering at times I yelled at him that I needed some affection). So, he had an alternate reality in his head about our relationship and what I needed and wanted from him, and when I brought it up, he would feel bad about me because I disturbed his alternate reality. Same thing with the Ph.D. that he never finished. In his mind, he was a totally productive person who was providing for his family and working towards a Ph.D., but in reality he had completely given up and spent 4 months sitting on the sofa (of course, he vacuumed and kept the house clean) not taking his pre-dissertation exams, but swearing up and down that he was going to take them in 3 months. When I would bring up that he wasn't making progress and, in fact, was hurting us financially he would feel bad about me and focus on the bad things I had done because I was making him feel bad. The result is he would pull further away from me rather than recognize how his behavior had hurt us and work to make it better.

Ultimately, it seems as though my value to him is completely based on how I make him feel. When I make him feel good, I'm valuable and good, but when I make him feel bad, I'm bad and not worthy of him expressing his love.

I know the all or nothing thinking is OCPD based, but is judging someone worthy of love (or only being willing to express your love) based on how the person makes you feel OCPD based? I guess what I'm really asking is, can anyone else relate to this?

Thanks.

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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 Jul 01, 2009 6:45 pm 
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Joined: Sat Feb 14, 2009 4:01 pm
Posts: 2235
Location: Denmark
katiemacsmom wrote:
Ultimately, it seems as though my value to him is completely based on how I make him feel. When I make him feel good, I'm valuable and good, but when I make him feel bad, I'm bad and not worthy of him expressing his love.

I know the all or nothing thinking is OCPD based, but is judging someone worthy of love (or only being willing to express your love) based on how the person makes you feel OCPD based? I guess what I'm really asking is, can anyone else relate to this?

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. And please do not take this as an attempt to excuse my behavior, but before I realized my OCPD I had no idea I was doing it. But my wife have a million examples like the one you mention above. If she did something for me, I would throw her a bone, so to speak.

I believe the behavior is also linked with the catastrophe thoughts. "She knows how I like the laundry folded. Is she doing it wrong to annoy me. Yes, she doesn't like me anymore. OMG, she's thinking of leaving me. Oh no. No, no, no she has found someone else. My world is falling apart. NO NO Why are you doing this to me."

_________________
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 Jul 01, 2009 8:27 pm 
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Joined: Sun Apr 12, 2009 9:55 pm
Posts: 201
Katiemacsmom,

I'm probably muddling things here a bit, but I think I behaved somewhat similarly towards my xDH as your OCPD spouse is doing towards you. Now I hope there is a difference (and perhaps Morten or realitycheque will explain it), but I found that I withdrew from my spouse over time, when I found he consistently made me feel bad.

A friend of mine I was confiding in asked me what the problems were with the relationship, and after I described all the bad things (controlling, lack of empathy, condescension etc), I wrote down the good things too (that he shows affection, is good with children etc) but I have to say that over time, I was unable to value the good things because I was so frustrated with the rest of what was going on.

So I feel guilty here of doing what your husband is doing: i.e. being unable to see the good because of what's bad. I'm not sure what this means.

TG.


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 Post subject: Re: My Value Is Based on How I Make Him Feel
PostPosted: Wed Jul 01, 2009 9:40 pm 
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Joined: Sat Feb 14, 2009 4:01 pm
Posts: 2235
Location: Denmark
TG, I don't think you should feel bad. My wife is doing it too. She is espcially withholding bodily affirmation (and I withheld emotional affirmation - i.e. making her feel bad about herself.)

I am quite sure the way I as an OCPDer have withheld affirmation and appreciation and the way an SO is doing it are not at all the same. My wife and I have talked about it, and it is a trust issue. Her trust have been crushed completely. Her mind is ever so slowly beginning to trust me again, but her body is still in defence mode whenever I touch her.

As she says, she know I am touching her or hugging her to be nice, but her body is still expecting there will be a reason - something I want from her. In the past there was always a reason - it could be a small thing or it could be really, really bad, but there were always a reason.

I would weigh out on a scale how much affection she "deserved." It is completely different from what she is experiencing. She is not measuring out how valued I am allowed to feel today. I destroyed her trust, and that is why she is having so much trouble appreciating the good things I do. Although they may look alike, they are two very different things.

_________________
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 Jul 01, 2009 10:29 pm 
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Joined: Mon Feb 09, 2009 8:13 pm
Posts: 1336
Location: OBX, NC, 'Merica, Earth, Milky Way, Local Galactic Group
It's hard for an OCPDer, or a non-OCPDer for that matter, to have loving/caring thoughts for another when they are in a anxious/panicked state of mind. When you're under stress, you more easily get snippy with anyone, including those you love. Level-headed me did so with my 12-year-old DS amidst the chaos while traveling on 9/11 and his asking what was going on (I still feel terrible about how I handled it). It's your mind's reversion to a fight-or-flight response, linked to all-or-nothing thinking (higher adrenaline and noepinephrine levels). OCPDers almost constantly have these feelings, and it seems they have mental and emotional fortifications that they believe protect them, and deflect (or even project onto others) the bad thoughts. But the angel-or-devil assignment to people is fairly specific (but not exclusive) to OCPD, and OCPD reinforcement of negativism and grudge-holding solidifies their assessments of others.

The cognitive distortions* of the mind are not exhibited only by people with disorders -- they are part of the human condition, what I call the blessing and curse of our species to have higher intelligence. All of us suffer from them from time to time; those with disorders suffer more distortions, more severely, and more frequently. Us SOs can get drawn into the irrational thinking of OCPD, and the steady barrage can make us believe it's normal. We can pull out mentally (clinical observation) and emotionally (detachment) to see clearly (SOs who have moved out talk about removing themselves from the fog), but the price is the risk of falling out of love on your own accord. TormentedGal, this may be what you're doing.

Katiemacsmom: Your last two sentences (Morton highlighted) show you're still hoping DH has the capability of choosing the give or withhold love. It seems like there's a bit of emotional reasoning going on with you, that your feelings of value/unworthiness are tied to your actions toward your DH and his expressions of love to you (or lack thereof). I would imagine most of us have had those feelings of rejection (and can relate to your plight), almost a betrayal of emotional trust, though yours seems especially harsh given these and previous descriptions of your DH. I'm just not sure your DH will have the capacity of feeling the emotion of love. My spouse who isn't as severe an OCPDer, questions whether she knows what love is, and I sense it's more the feeling of what gives her comfort. Take heart in the validation of your worthiness of love in the bright, shining, adoring eyes of your kid(s).

*http://ocpd.freeforums.org/post678.html?hilit=Burns#p678


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 Post subject: Re: My Value Is Based on How I Make Him Feel
PostPosted: Thu Jul 02, 2009 3:24 am 
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Joined: Thu Jul 02, 2009 3:05 am
Posts: 2
I'm not feeling particularly articulate at this time, but I wanted to comment on your post.
I actually just registered so I could.
I was googling about OCPD and I came across this forum.
Anyways, I just wanted to say that I know exactly what you're talking about.
My husband has OCPD and I believe I have it too, but in a much milder form(I have bipolar disoder w/ ocpd) He's the dominant one anyways.
And I feel like he's always measuring me in regards to what I do or don't do. It's like I don't feel his love unless I am able to do everything exactly like he likes it. I have to do the dishes, make sure the bed is made, make sure the tv is on CNN, make sure the baby's room is clean and everything picked up, make sure I have his dinner ready, make sure I take out the thrash. All of this before he gets home or there's going to be issues.
If for any reason, ANY (even if it's only ONE thing) of these things are not done, he will be mad.
And I always felt that his love was conditional. And I can see that I'm probably right.
Even if I do the majority of things just the way he likes it, it's still not good enough and he will still get mad for one little thing I forget or don't have time to do.
Anyways, just wanted to tell you that I know where you're coming from.
*Hugs*


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 Post subject: Re: My Value Is Based on How I Make Him Feel
PostPosted: Thu Jul 02, 2009 7:17 am 
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Joined: Fri Feb 13, 2009 7:54 am
Posts: 65
In our house, everything is based on how DW "feels". How she feels can be based on or affected by so many things, some real, some assumed. However it is rarely realistic.

The tone of my voice, the chores done or not done, the way something was cleaned, put away, stacked, or placed.

The bottom line is always evident in her statement, the one we hear so often, "I just feel that............" or "I just feel like........"

and as the joke goes...."and thats when the fight started."

In reality, you can't make someone "feel" anything. You can hurt them, deliberately or by accident. You can do things that are kind, loving, funny, helpful. But the bottom line is what that person tells themself about the action you have done.

Someone could come up to me and say " your a real a**hole". I can either get all upset and hurt and "feel" down. Or I can tell myself "that wasn't nice, I know I can screw up but my intenetions are usually good. This person is just angry and venting. They are not going to affect me, I am not an A**hole."

There is a real good book that I read and still have. Its is full of highlighted stuff that I highlighted when I read it. The book is called "Telling yourself the Truth" and it is very liberating.

_________________
"If all you do is take and never give... then when you leave this earth you will fill a void instead of creating one"


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 Post subject: Re: My Value Is Based on How I Make Him Feel
PostPosted: Thu Jul 02, 2009 5:15 pm 
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Joined: Sun Feb 15, 2009 10:46 am
Posts: 40
Morton wrote:
Quote:
I believe the behavior is also linked with the catastrophe thoughts. "She knows how I like the laundry folded. Is she doing it wrong to annoy me. Yes, she doesn't like me anymore. OMG, she's thinking of leaving me. Oh no. No, no, no she has found someone else. My world is falling apart. NO NO Why are you doing this to me."

This was my experience with my OCPD-exH. I'd sometimes leave my shoes where I'd taken them off by the sofa overnight. This upset him. And he'd translate it into a larger, relationship issue. "You know that bothers me, and yet you did it anyway, clearly intentionally, because you don't respect my housekeeping priorities and don't care about our marriage." I'd be dumbstruck -- "No, I just forgot to take them upstairs! It doesn't mean anything beyond that!" But he could never take me at my word, and would then accuse me of being disingenuous.


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 Post subject: Re: My Value Is Based on How I Make Him Feel
PostPosted: Fri Jul 03, 2009 8:15 am 
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Joined: Mon Feb 09, 2009 7:36 pm
Posts: 28
Morton, You have stated how if people don't live up to your standards they cease to exist to you. I was wondering, if your wife left you tomarrow, would she cease to exist to you fairly quickly? Just wondering if us SO's of OCPDers are just written out of their minds very quickly after the separation or divorce. As stated before even though we know its the best thing for us to leave the relationship with our OCPDer we still suffer for quite sometime thinking what a shame our marriages had to end. Does this kind of thinking even enter a OCPDers mind?


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 Post subject: Re: My Value Is Based on How I Make Him Feel
PostPosted: Sat Jul 04, 2009 5:47 am 
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Joined: Fri Jun 26, 2009 2:01 am
Posts: 776
Location: Europe
katiemacsmom wrote:
Ultimately, it seems as though my value to him is completely based on how I make him feel. When I make him feel good, I'm valuable and good, but when I make him feel bad, I'm bad and not worthy of him expressing his love.

I know the all or nothing thinking is OCPD based, but is judging someone worthy of love (or only being willing to express your love) based on how the person makes you feel OCPD based? I guess what I'm really asking is, can anyone else relate to this?

Yes, I can relate to this. It's part of how my stbxH made me feel guilty. If I didn't make him feel good, then he told me that I was being selfish. He had no concept of seeking happiness in himself, his feeling good relied completely on my following the "rules". If I did become critical of him, he would go off in a huff or say hurtful things - anything to blank me out. I actually think he devoted himself to doing things that he thought I would be grateful for, and then he would be upset that I didn't "reward" him. Dreadful to think of how deluded I was to think that we were equal partners.

_________________
Sugar
March 2009 - Ended 22-year relationship with undiagnosed exOCPDH
December 2009 - Met my wonderful partner (non-OCPD)


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 Post subject: Re: My Value Is Based on How I Make Him Feel
PostPosted: Sat Jul 04, 2009 11:03 am 
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Joined: Sat Feb 14, 2009 4:01 pm
Posts: 2235
Location: Denmark
eagle wrote:
Morton ... I was wondering, if your wife left you tomarrow, would she cease to exist to you fairly quickly?

No. On the contrary. It would be a disaster, and it would take me very long to get over. When I describe my OCPD behavior and way of thinking it is from before I was diagnosed. Because I am aware of my problem and (literally) constantly work on it, my way of thinking has changed. My basic auto responses are still OCPD, but ever so slowly my mindset has changed.

Your other question - what an OCPDer will think of an ended marriage. I guess you would be sad because the good parts had to end too. That the bad parts were too big and too many for the good to survive. I would have thought of the inconvenience and that it would have been a bother having to explain to everybody. And yes, I believe that within a relatively short time frame I would have cut all strings to my ex-family. It would have been way too dificult to relate to the emotional turmoil. It would be easier to "forget" all about them.

_________________
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: Sat Jul 04, 2009 7:32 pm 
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Joined: Mon Mar 23, 2009 2:25 am
Posts: 24
Wow, this thread has been eye opening. I can def relate!!


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 Post subject: Re: My Value Is Based on How I Make Him Feel
PostPosted: Wed Jul 08, 2009 3:56 am 
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Posts: 2623
Y'know, some of the discussion in this thread makes me think of something about my relationship with my SO: He seems to need interaction more than I do. I can quite happily spend hours or days completely by myself, but he's not happy that way. He needs interaction with me.

This means that I am, unintentionally, doing one of the things that I've seen advised: I'm creating a situation where I'm more distant from him, and where he has to pursue me, instead of the other way around. This means that when he behaves badly toward me, and I withdraw, that's a fairly strong and immediate consequence for him.

Hmm. I wonder if "cooler", less social, less affectionate, more introverted people deal more easily with OCPDers in general?

Fava


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 Post subject: Re: My Value Is Based on How I Make Him Feel
PostPosted: Wed Jul 08, 2009 12:53 pm 
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Joined: Mon Feb 09, 2009 2:25 pm
Posts: 377
Morten, You are helping me heal. Thank you so much. Your explanation about how your wife pulls back when you offer affection really rings a bell with me. My stbxDH stopped by the house last week and we talked a little. He said he wanted a hug and it took all I could muster to agree to it as a flag went off in my head. He is undiagnosed and "has no problem" so I am sure he had another motive in mind for the hug.

Your comment about when a marriage ends also rings true for me as my stbxDH has basically cut me, his kids, my family and our friends out and acts like it is no big deal. I always though it was because he didn't want to have to face himself and all the pain he has caused us so better to start over with a new family and a clean slate (he has had a girlfriend with kids for the past 3 years). He doesn't seem to care in the least how the kids and I feel about it as after 1 1/2 years out of the house he hasn't mentioned to the kids anything about him leaving !!!!

Thanks again.

katiemacsmom,
My stbxDh is the same. He is nice to me when he feels I am of some value to him. He also does this to friends and family. The second anyone makes him feel any less about himself or any critisism, he turns off and is blatantly rude.

-Bea


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 Post subject: Re: My Value Is Based on How I Make Him Feel
PostPosted: Wed Jul 08, 2009 4:09 pm 
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Joined: Sat Feb 14, 2009 4:01 pm
Posts: 2235
Location: Denmark
beaporqupine wrote:
Morten, You are helping me heal. Thank you so much.

I am very happy to be of assistance - you'll be getting my bill soon :lol:

_________________
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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