I've just discovered this disorder ... OCPD.
My BF has this, I think. He hasn't been diagnosed (I haven't even talked to him about it yet), but, this all sure does sound familiar.
To start with, D can be the most caring, gentle, intelligent, sensitive person I've ever know. I love him in every way possible. Not only that, but I'm indebted to him ...
I've had my own problems with having an anxiety disorder (agoraphobia, which was severe and longstanding). I met D online and we talked almost every day for almost three years before meeting. He only lived about 80 miles away, but I was housebound with agoraphobia at the time. Also, I was (and continue to be) about 20 lbs over my ideal weight and hesitated meeting him for all that time. I'd been married to a gay man for years, which hadn't helped my self esteem at all (OMG, is this my life story ... really???).
Oh, and I'd gotten dependent on anti-anxiety meds, to top it all off and had to go through a long and brutal withdrawal.
D was always there for me. Always. Not only did I talk to him almost every day, he would send me postcards and gifts and trinkets from wherever he was traveling with his job. He took his computer with him traveling and would Skype with me from different places, even airports, so I could see different places. There was always something to look forward to and he made me want to become part of the world again. I don't know that I would have started my own recovery if it weren't for him.
He's so gentle In the summer, he catches moths first thing in the morning and lets them out so they won't die inside. He worried about the painted turtle a little girl caught at a local lake. Of course, she should have put it back in the lake for the sake of the turtle. He seemed to really empathize with the plight of the turtle. His cat is taken care of royally ... the right food, he's always trying to figure out what's best for the cat.
I'm still not driving long distances because I'm still recovering from the agoraphobia, so he comes to see me every weekend. He works two jobs (full time sonography during the week, then a part time Saturday job) and after his Saturday job ends, he drives out to see me and stays until Sunday evening. He buys me presents, leaves gas money when he thinks I might run short (he hides it when I refuse). We went to a botanical garden once and I said how much I liked the hydrangeas ... two days later he sent me a pic of the two most beautiful lace cap hydrangeas in the back of his convertible. He brought them out the next weekend and planted them for me. I was stunned. It was such a tender gesture that I just cried when I saw the pic he sent. It still makes my chest hurt to think about it.
I love this man more than anyone I've ever known and he's truly wonderful in SO many ways. He's been generous with his time, his efforts, his energy, his concern ... everything. He's scrupulously honest, a hard worker, and tries his level best to meet whatever obligations he feels are his.
I'd always known he could be uptight and be irritable sometimes. Not a temper, but he would just get frustrated and not be totally overt with it, but just .. prickly sometimes. Usually it's some minor thing. Like we could be driving somewhere and he always expects me to know where we're going and know the directions ... but I've taken a wrong turn every once in a while. This really irritates him. And when I say irritate, I mean he can be smiling and happy and then when I say, "Oh, I think I told you a wrong turn back there, we need to turn around," he will grip the steering wheel and jerk the car around if he's the one driving.
Because he's so wonderful, it's always shocking when there seems to be genuine anger after something so trivial.
I've never been physically perfect enough, either. He hadn't had a lot of success or experience in the romance department and had had sex like maybe 100 times in his life (he was close to 50 at that point).
So ... gawd, this is a long story ... and I feel like there are so many good things about him. I'll try to condense.
I came looking for reasons why our sex life isn't working as well as it should be. He's very affectionate and is cuddly and touchy, but not very sexual. Because of my past experience with the gay husband, I did pay attention to this and he's definitely not gay. He has a very specific feminine ideal ... Naomi Watts comes to mind lol. But also Valerie Bertinelli, who is pretty much like I am as far as weight and shape (VB 2 years after Jenny Craig!).
Anyway, everything fits. I mean, everything.
I love this man and I sincerely think he loves me. Would he do everything he does if he didn't? But in addition to being this wonderful person (and did I mention he's unusually handsome, too? ... he has the most beautiful brown eyes which can be the calmest most sincere I've ever seen ... and he goes to the gym all the time and his body is stunning) ...
... he also has almost every symptom listed for OCPD. The rigid thinking, his emotions are stilted, he talks in a monotone or robotic voice sometimes, he can't stand change, he's very sensitive to smell (he buys me Lever soap all the time and I think it's because he doesn't like how I smell ... I'm very clean, btw), he obsesses over his laundry and if it smells fresh enough ... I've teased him before and called him "finicky" and "squeamish" and blamed it on him being a Virgo lol. He's a loner and has never socialized much.
His mother was raped and murdered many years ago. He was only 21 and in the Air Force. It was devastating for him.
As well, his father left his mother when D was only a couple years old. D's father died recently in another state, after never making contact with him. D had tried to contact him, but his father refused. He was in his 80s and the obit said he'd died with "no known survivors."
Not only that, but when D was little, his mother moved in with D's maternal grandmother and her husband. The step grandfather didn't like kids, so D could never sit at the kitchen table. He ate dinner by himself on his bunk bed. Even today, he eats in his car at work and never seems to sit down and relax while eating. I'm always so happy when he's here and I can make dinner and we sit at the table together.
D's joked before often that he feels like an alien. I think (no, I KNOW) he's very lonely. He has one friend from high school and two ex GFs from years ago that are his friends today. And me. Just last weekend, he said, "What would my life be like without you?"
As you might guess, I have my own issues and don't always relate in the best or most ideal way. And I have my own fairly intense insecurities in addition to the anxiety disorder. But, except for physical perfection, I'm what D has always wanted. I'm kind, thoughtful, artistic and creative ... I'm a painter and writer ... and we're very much compatible in our life goals and what we want. We've both said we see ourselves together when we're old.
Anyway ... I'll repeat it again, I love this man with all my heart.
How can I approach the possibility that he has OCPD with him in a way that's sensitive and not accusing or not threatening?
And even more importantly, what's the prognosis for OCPD? I'm willing and happy to help him in whatever way that would be possible. Agoraphobia is thought to be pretty intractable, but with his love and support (and some dietary changes!) I've made an enormous amount of progress. I want to do the same thing in return for him.
What's the best thing to do to help someone with OCPD?
Thanks in advance for any insight
Sorry for the rambling length, too, I hope I made sense ... as Pascal said, "If I'd had more time I'd have written a shorter letter!"