I’m the wife of ocpdh. We have been married for 20+ years and together for 25. 2 teenage children, DS college freshman, DD15.
DH (ocpdh) and I met at college. I am 2 years older than he. I was not interested in a relationship, but found him attractive and sweet, also reliable and persistent. Looking back, with the help of my therapist, I also found him to be devoted, someone who wouldn’t stray. My parents had divorced when I was in my mid-teens and there was a significant amount of infidelity on my father’s part over the course of many years. So, we dated exclusively for 2 years, were engaged for 2 and then married. During that time we argued about me being late, not being able to do much with friends, etc. but I thought he was worth the trade-off. I didn’t have a terrific relationship with my parents, primarily due to their divorce and the burden it placed on me (caregiving of my younger sibling, emotional support of my mother and difficulty forgiving my father). I became closer to ocpdh’s family and had also moved away from my hometown, leaving me with no friends, either. I had many concerns about living up to his parents’ standards of cleanliness, cooking, hard work, etc. I told him I could not and was not even interested to have those kinds of standards and that if he couldn’t live with me, he needed to tell me…he didn’t. I guess he thought he could, or that I could change.
We married, and I moved into the apartment he had been living in. The demands of keeping house began immediately. He always wanted me to clean when he wasn’t home, so it didn’t interfere with us spending time together. I fudged my way through it and did the cleaning, exercising, living on his schedule, even though I was commuting hours more than he and sometimes falling asleep at work. All the time thankful that he was such a hard worker and wanted to be with me so much.
We bought a home and after a few years wanted to have a child. Because he was so anxious to find out if I was pregnant, I took a test and found out that I was. We called family and friends, only to have to call them back with terrible news of a miscarriage, all within the first month. He was distraught and I was sad and a little worried myself. Somehow, he made me feel that I was uncaring (like something was wrong with me) because I took it as the doctor explained it, the body’s way of making sure a healthy baby would develop. I supported him through his doubts, never noticing that he wasn’t fully there for me, emotionally – or even particularly concerned for my physical health. A few months later, I was pregnant, again and we had DS. I still worked full-time, took care of the finances, things inside the house and most childcare, working from home a great deal. Ocpdh did share the childcare, due to a retail schedule that allowed him to be home when I went to the office a few days. During all of these years, I also made more money than ocpdh. We continued to argue about the cleaning/cooking standards.
Also, this is when the complaining about his varied bosses became more noticeable. His work was like a roller-coaster. If things were good, everyone was riding high, if not, everything was terrible. He was being used, overlooked, treated poorly. Most bosses were incompetent a**holes. It was about this time when I suggested therapy the first time. He balked, saying it was for weak people who were too lazy to try hard enough to work through their own problems, even though my parents had insisted that I go during their divorce (so these criticisms meant ME). So, of course, WE didn’t go.
A few years later DD was born and things continued on, with him getting promoted and working hard, still complaining about the upper management. My family was pretty much marginalized and I really had ‘no time’ for new friends or hobbies. He reminded me how busy I was working, taking care of 2 children, etc. so that’s pretty much ALL that we did. We continued to argue about the household stuff, except More, because we built a much larger home and now we added parenting into the mix of things I wasn’t as good as he is, due to my own lacking childhood. He complained that I never planned anything (why would/how could I) it would just be dismissed, criticized or ‘tweaked’ to meet his point of view. (He to kids & I, where would you like to go out to eat? 2 or 3 suggestions from me and kids, comments from ocpdh that we can’t make a decision (like a shell game, he would choose somewhere else, or one of the places we had suggested he didn’t like, or whatever…) but he would never just choose to begin with, even though that’s how it always ended up.
All of this continues on for the next 20 years or so…
I threatened to leave on a number of occasions, but really felt I had nowhere to go, because of the void in my family. The holidays were always a fiasco, he not wanting to invite my mother, but giving in and then pointing out how she always ‘tainted’ the occasion in some way. Also, holidays are busy in retail, so I would handle almost all shopping, all wrapping, cards, baking (which I loved) and my job, which also picked up at the end of the year. All to a stringent set of rules - must be equal number of gifts, equal dollar amount spent, often with him buying for one and me having to even things out. This went for my 2 nephews, as well as my children. Also, this wrapping and preparing was expected to be completed when he was working or sleeping or whatever, so that it didn’t cut into our time together.
To address the ‘together time’, that consists of me listening to him rant about his day, his a**hole bosses, co-workers, subordinates, their schedules and how they have modified them and how that changes his (never I work, on x days at y times – why do you have to write that down? Why do you have to make lists? Just try to be more organized…I digress), or watching what he wants on TV, usually flipping between stations and irritated if I’m reading a book (especially one he did not recommend), on my phone or iPad, definitely not in another room, irritated if I’m folding laundry, cutting coupons, I digress, again!)
Next part will be a fast forward to the present
RikkiTikki, 23 yrs married. July 2014 aware of OCPD, Sept 2016 divorced
XH=non-diag OCPD (Narc?) DS=21, DD=18
RL - Rekindled Love, BF from 20's Back in life
The beginning: rt-lift-off-rikkitikki-s-chronicle-t5072-2775.html