Obsessive-Compulsive Personality Disorder Support Group

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 Post subject: what to expect if we marry??
PostPosted: Wed Nov 28, 2012 9:39 pm 
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Joined: Fri Nov 16, 2012 6:12 pm
Posts: 7
Hi Everyone! New here, and really appreciating all the help and wisdom offered.

After almost two years of dating my boyfriend, I've come to the definite conclusion that he is OCPD. I could go on and on about what makes him so, but you all know the drill. I'd say its not too bad compared to some of the posts on here and other places. I read Too Perfect. He mainly manifests in being a neat-freak, demand resistant, guardedness (very!!), too driven and frugality. He also has, in abundance, the wonderful qualities that go along with this PD.

I got alot out of the chapter in Too Perfect about dealing with living with an OCPDer. Turns out I've been doing that stuff all along. I'm too rebelious to have someone tell me not to put an unwrapped peice of chocolate on the counter. I just ignore him. I have seen him make some lovely changes since we've been together. We've never talked about it, but it almost seems as if he gets his weirdness and he also has alot of respect for me, and if he sees me not being a neat-freak and all that, it seems like he figures it must be OK to let go a little. I don't know, wishful thinking, maybe..

This is my biggest question. We're starting to talk about marriage and moving in together (although I think he's gonna be "talking" about it for a while, as he is slow to change.....OCPD-style). When he and his children are at my house with me and my kids, his symptoms are almost non-existant (he even now lets his kids run around my house with their shoes on- yeah!!). And he stays at my house for extended periods- 3 to 4 days. Of course, it's at his house (where I also stay for 3-4 day periods) that his behaviors come out. So, what do I expect to see happen if we actually have a home together?????? My fear is that it will be his home, so the behaviors will be presesnt. I am NOT capable of doing things his weird way. I won't even try! I told him 1 1/2 years that if we ever lived together that there was NO WAY I was gonna take my shoes off at the door every single time. I'm an organzied person with a tidy and clean house. I have told him that I have been taking care of a home for 20 years now, that I'm very comfortable with (even proud of) my ability to make a house a home, and that I won't be changing. Didn't seem to phase him. So, any advice??

Thanks again to all who post so openly about something so difficult. My BF is an awesome man, breaks my heart that he deals with this. I'm sure it's heartbreaking for all your loved ones also. Thanks!!!!


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 Post subject: Re: what to expect if we marry??
PostPosted: Wed Nov 28, 2012 11:30 pm 
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Joined: Mon Feb 09, 2009 9:25 am
Posts: 4874
Sophie,
Four words - DO NOT MARRY HIM.

I would almost bet that the only way you will live together is if you move in with him. Then his "crazy rules" will get worse. Even if by chance he moves in with you, over time his behavior will get worse. And remember, he will agree to anything now, but all of that will change once you live together.

I highly recommend that you DO NOT mix OCPD with your children.

_________________
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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 Post subject: Re: what to expect if we marry??
PostPosted: Thu Nov 29, 2012 2:53 am 
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Joined: Wed May 20, 2009 9:56 pm
Posts: 2623
I would guess that his behaviors are at a minimum in your house, and with your children, because those things are not his responsibility. It's not his job to mold every last little detail of that place or those people.

If you marry him and share a home, it _will_ be his job to mold every last little detail of your home, your kids, and probably _you_. I know that you want this to work, but I think that it's quite likely that his OCPD will flower and he'll make life miserable for you and your kids. While you may be able to stand up to him, your kids are kids, and will to some extent be under his authority as the second adult in the home.

And I would fervantly urge to resolve that whaver you do, you will not be having kids with him. If you do marry, it falls apart, and you need to leave, your kids will presumably still be entirely in your custody. If you have a child with him, you will be tied to him and his behavior permanently.


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 Post subject: Re: what to expect if we marry??
PostPosted: Thu Nov 29, 2012 3:06 am 
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Joined: Thu Mar 24, 2011 4:07 am
Posts: 979
Marrying would be awful for you, as you can gather from these posts. You would not really do him a favor, either. By marrying him, you make it his responsibility to make sure your mutual place is run the way he needs it to be. This actually increases the stress. I guess he secretly likes a place where he is not compelled to remove his shoes when he enters, your current place with its relaxed rules (by ocpd standards) is a haven of freedom for him as well.

Your relationship works now; keep it that way. Getting closer will be destructive, and I cannot really see the need, it is as good as it can be with an ocpd person. Have you managed to talk to him about ocpd?


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 Post subject: Re: what to expect if we marry??
PostPosted: Thu Nov 29, 2012 10:01 am 
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Joined: Wed Aug 22, 2012 8:10 pm
Posts: 228
I can tell you I am sorry that I took the plunge. My marriage collapsed very quickly, his behavior, which had seemed quirky before moving in together, completely flared up and made life unbearable. The nice side of my husband pretty much vanished and everything was a battle. I know people report here about success with putting up boundaries, but he was too much for me.

However, all of this became apparent only after I had quit my job and moved a great distance to be with him. Luckily I could move back to my place, as it wasn't yet rented. But I'm unemployed now and have had no luck yet finding a job. And not only will he not give me any support, he believes I owe him money! In the meanwhile, I'm living on savings and worrying about spending every penny.

I am working on getting my remaining property out of the house, which is complicated. We now both have lawyers and are in the process of divorcing. So none of this is fun and it is all consuming of time, energy and money.

Sorry to give you so little encouragement, but with the benefit of my 20/20 hindsight, I would urge you to be careful. Maybe if your guy is in treatment for it, and maybe you two can negotiate your relationship successfully, but I can guarantee you that his behavior will deteriorate once you live together full time and especially if you live in his home. What belgianguy says above is interesting about other homes being a haven for OCPDers. Things were always more relaxed for my husband and me when we were at my place or somewhere other than his home, where everything must be kept under control, including me.

For me it was really hard to give up on him and I so hoped that the good would outweigh the bad. I loved him very much and I am a very loyal person. What finally settled in for me, is he is sick which made him mean, he doesn't see it and he is unwilling/incapable of changing. I could only change my own circumstances. Good luck to you. Keep reading the board, this has been so helpful to me. There is a lot of ignorance about OCPD out there and what it is like to live with it, so this board is a great resource.


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 Post subject: Re: what to expect if we marry??
PostPosted: Thu Nov 29, 2012 10:23 am 
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Joined: Mon Feb 09, 2009 8:13 pm
Posts: 1336
Location: OBX, NC, 'Merica, Earth, Milky Way, Local Galactic Group
I've found that my DW compartmentalizes our home. I've carved out just one room for myself (the ManCave), which she literally has difficulty entering because it does not display like a museum exhibit. Hers is an unhealthy coping mechanism.

sophie wrote:
I told him 1 1/2 years that if we ever lived together that there was NO WAY I was gonna take my shoes off at the door every single time. I'm an organzied person with a tidy and clean house. I have told him that I have been taking care of a home for 20 years now, that I'm very comfortable with (even proud of) my ability to make a house a home, and that I won't be changing. Didn't seem to phase him.
OCPDers have difficulty seeing the present reality, so I don't believe your DH can even conceptualize a future reality. There's much cognitive dissonance* which for OCPD Perfectionism is often dysfunctionally "resolved" by ignoring / eliminating new inputs or by adding additional distorted cognitions to maintain their perceived reality. This PD is Anxiety-based and reaction-driven, so until he experiences your living together full-time, you won't be able to ascertain how he will handle it. You can read stories on this forum of how others have, though.

* see http://www.beyondintractability.org/bi-essay/cognitive-dissonance


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 Post subject: Re: what to expect if we marry??
PostPosted: Thu Nov 29, 2012 2:46 pm 
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Joined: Wed Jan 25, 2012 11:56 am
Posts: 299
Sophie,

I can see your really in-love with this guy. I'm happy for you.

Ready? I know we all sound a little jaded here. So forgive me for singing the same tune. You mentioned guarded and demand-resistance. How far does this rabbit hole go? You better find out before you jump into Wonderland. These 2 are the biggest hurdles for me in my marriage. And they've only gotten worse over time.

Aim. Self awareness is HUGE. But often times, so is the OCPD denial. An "interesting" (read possibly explosive) experiment would be to see how accepting he is to the idea of a PD. See if he's willing to talk to a therapist for a diagnosis, (don't lend him yours, make HIM do the work here) and ongoing treatment. Meds, self-help books, couples therapy- what is he willing to do? Get ALL the cards on the table so everyone is being honest with each other, and themselves. (Keep in mind honest to him is probably a distortion. IE, he honestly wants to be with you, but he isn't honestly realizing what that will mean.) He can't just go through the motions here when your talking about real awareness. I'd then take another year with an xxPD discovery focused partnership, and make your decision. No rush here.

Move into his place for a month or two. See how many cracks in the relationship start to appear then. Take this slowly. I would hope, if you decided to marry. You'd move into YOUR home, with separate rooms. This way he has his bedroom/mancave to control, while you control YOUR kids living space. It's your household, but he has a place in it. I'd set this precedence going into it though. Your house, Your Kids, Your control. Strongest boundaries here.

Fire. If he baulks on the above conversation. I think you have your answer. Keep everything as is, and save yourself from the Queen of Hearts scenario laying in wait.

Best of wishes for you and your family here. I think it's awesome your trying to figure this stuff out. It's gonna be hard.


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 Post subject: Re: what to expect if we marry??
PostPosted: Thu Nov 29, 2012 8:14 pm 
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Joined: Fri Nov 16, 2012 6:12 pm
Posts: 7
hello again,everyone!!! Thanks so much for all the helpful responses.

Confusion, so sorry to hear about all your difficulties. I really hope and pray that things will start to work out for you will be able to re-group in a manner that goes quicker and easier than you expect. I'm glad you have your house to go back to, and hopefully a job is coming quickly!!

Well, you all have given me good insights and I honestly feel that I am going to keep the relationship as-is for a while. Even if a proposal/engagement is coming, the marriage can be slow to follow, and I will keep my own home for a while longer. And, I have never even considered the possibility of moving into his current house. It doesn't work logistically anyway, and I firmly believe that it's a mistake to blend two families together without first finding a new house that is completely a fresh start for both families.

The point about my kids not being able to set boundaries with him is VERY well taken. I will end it with him in a heartbeat if he acts out of his OCPD with my kids. He never has done so, but then again, most of his mainly all really good interactions with them have been at my house or a neutral location.

On a very positive note, I was in a freaky car accident this morning where my entire front wheel sheered off (lug bolts and all) on a very twisty backroad. It could have had a very bad outcome, but no one was hurt at all, Thank God. I called my BF right away, and he had a really nice and caring and concerned emotional response. I could hear the emotion in his voice, and he called me about 3 times today to tell me he loves me. This is very out of character for his normal gaurdedness. Of course, he also spent alot of time at work on-line and talking to buddies about what could have possibly happened- more than a normal conversational way. More in a OCPD overly analitical way to prevent anything bad from every happening again. He even seemed obsessing in a way. But, it didn't block out an emotional response! Yeah for me and him! But, on the other hand, it's kinda telling that I'm all excited that he openly showed emotions about me potentially being hurt. That's supposed to be a given, huh??????

And, yes, DuckNweave, I really do love him. He's a great man. I just want to have my eyes wide open, for my sake and for his.


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 Post subject: Re: what to expect if we marry??
PostPosted: Fri Nov 30, 2012 3:24 am 
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Joined: Thu Mar 24, 2011 4:07 am
Posts: 979
Hi Sophie,

Good that you escaped injury. And that your BF could show you his emotions. It is healthy for him, too.

You are very close to understanding what we say. But: it is not about going slowly and giving it time. It is about: the current form of relationship is the happiest you will ever be with him, and he with you. There is no marriage ahead of you that would be the natural outcome of your currently wonderful relationship. If he proposes, you have to somehow make clear that for you two you have to find an emotional equivalent to marriage, but basically you have to say no, no engagement, no really living together and blending the households, notwithstanding the recognition that your relationship is wonderful and that with a non-ocpd person you would say yes. Since he does not recognize ocpd, you will be alone in saying no and cannot really explain. But no you must say, for his sake and for yours. That will be very hard. Take care...


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 Post subject: Re: what to expect if we marry??
PostPosted: Fri Nov 30, 2012 12:57 pm 
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Joined: Fri Mar 09, 2012 3:14 am
Posts: 127
Hi Sophie,
I am sorry to tell you that I was also very happy and in love during our dating period. He was so nice and understanding not only to me but also to my kids. Everything seemed going great for 2 years...until the day my sweet dream became my worst nightmare-we got married!
EVERYTHING CHANGED! the sweet, nice, caring, loving man turned into a monster!
A year and a half later, Thank God, I got divorced and not only me but my kids are free again!
We cannot tell you what to do, however reading advice of people that went through very similar experience is important! Please for your and your children's sake listen to so many here that tell you DON'T MARRY HIM!
I know its painful, I also LOVED HIM SOOOOOOOO MUCH!!! but trust me the pain later is much greater!!!
Wishing you much of luck. Make good and clear decisions. Try to focus on your head versus heart!
Hugs,
Caring


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 Post subject: Re: what to expect if we marry??
PostPosted: Fri Nov 30, 2012 1:39 pm 
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Joined: Mon Feb 09, 2009 9:25 am
Posts: 4874
sophie wrote:
I will keep my own home for a while longer. And, I have never even considered the possibility of moving into his current house. It doesn't work logistically anyway, and I firmly believe that it's a mistake to blend two families together without first finding a new house that is completely a fresh start for both families.
I totally agree about blended families or just two people getting married. But if your DH is anything like mine, he will probably not sell his house. And whatever you do, don't agree to sell yours first, like I did. I took him at his word that we would both sell our houses and buy one we both agreed upon. The practical part of me decided paying a mortgage for my house while living in his was a waste of money so I sold. Little did I know that he had NO intention of keeping his end of the bargain. He never sold his house.

But more importantly, if you can't say I want to marry this guy TODAY, then why stay with him another moment? Why not move on and find someone who is not so complicated?

_________________
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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 Post subject: Re: what to expect if we marry??
PostPosted: Fri Nov 30, 2012 3:17 pm 
Sophie,

Perhaps you have read enough posts to know the personal and marital circumstances for the most frequent posters, but in case you aren't that conversant yet.....WHEN MORE-FREEDOM says 'don't marry him'....sit up and pay attention. She is one of the only posters, who is a female spouse of a male OCPDr, who has worked out how to stay in a marriage without being pretty miserable, pretty much of the time.


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 Post subject: Re: what to expect if we marry??
PostPosted: Sat Dec 01, 2012 4:41 am 
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Joined: Thu Mar 24, 2011 4:07 am
Posts: 979
Sophie, one approach that could possibly work: tell him that you let him move in with you, under the very clear condition that not a single rule can and will be changed. Do not go live in his place (which means you basically agree to his rules) or set up a new place (which means that you show that you will 'mutually' create the rules as you go). OCPD'ers know about rules, they are addicted to them, need to impose them once you are in their power, want to get you in their power so that they can impose them. They do not 'want' it consciously, but it describes their behavior quite reliably. So, possible (and very risky): your place, your rules (except maybe in one room), your way or the highway. Not the relationship we want, but it could work.

It also struck me: ocpd'ers are supposed to be bad at relationships. They are not really, they can be quite good at them, until they achieve the power to impose the rules (and justify this because they are their 'moral duty'). Then they cannot resist, just like an alcoholic cannot resist. Marriage, to an ocpd'er, is basically a license to impose rules. Marriage is the equivalent of an alcoholic going to live in a bar... Not a good thing.


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 Post subject: Re: what to expect if we marry??
PostPosted: Sat Dec 01, 2012 1:10 pm 
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Joined: Tue Sep 18, 2012 8:00 pm
Posts: 40
Personal experience.....do not get married or move in together!!

I love my DH with all my heart and I know he loves me but the behaviors are relentless and no matter how hard they try, they can not control all of them. Some days it is just so much more than I can handle. I wish almost every day we had remined in separate households. There can be so much hurt and pain it can destroy the love. Sorry for another negative opinion. Just want to help you remain happy. He will make promises now, but it all changes when he is in "control" of the home.


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 Post subject: Re: what to expect if we marry??
PostPosted: Sat Dec 01, 2012 3:17 pm 
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Joined: Fri Nov 16, 2012 6:12 pm
Posts: 7
Well, I thoroughly appreciate all the advice and opinions. You all have a lot of experience and wisdom in this. I think I've known all along that there are problems. Now I have a name for it. So depressing. The biggest problem is that I have become very close to his young children. We're all quite attached to each other. Why did I let this happen? Why would I, or anyone of us, fall in love with this type of person?? We're spending the day together now doing Christmas stuff (standing in line to see Santa) and I'm watching all the normal dads who seem relaxed. I don't even remember what it's like to not feel rushed and in need of being efficient.

Everything I read about OCPD talks a lot about their 'significant others'. These people DO have people who fall in love with them. How? Is it just that they are so good at hiding it for a while?

I am totally bummed and needing to make a tough decision. Thanks for all hour help.
Love, sophie


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