For awhile now my husband and I have acknowledged that he had OCD tendencies. Well, a little background: I am a stay at home mom to our 14...almost 15 month old son. I keep a clean home, I do the laundry, I grocery shop, I cook dinner 4 out of 5 work nights. I also do outings for our son, I co sleep still and breastfeed at night and some days I am tired from the night before. Well, my husband's OCD has always been something we spoke of in a light hearted manner. I no longer think its something to take light hearted. I think my husband has a problem.
One source of our issues is the fact that my husband is a neat freak. He does prefer the house be abnormally clean but one reason we have battled is he wants the kitchen counters clean all the time!!! For example, if after breakfast time I leave the yogurt cup on the plate and the cereal bowl on the counter and I move on to the next thing before cleaning it he will have a fit about it. We discussed all this yesterday and he pleaded with me to please either clean it up or tell him when he gets home that I had a rough day and didnt get to it. This makes me irate. I dont want to feel like I need to brief my husband about the damn kitchen when we have a child who is my priority. I'm going to "brief" him about how he's doing, how did he nap, how did he eat, how he's been today. My husband had tears in his eyes when he was asking me to do this. He said he cant focus on anything else until that kitchen is clean. Honestly, he cleans the kitchen like 3-4 times a day and its soooooo frustrating to me.
I told him he needs help and I think he really suffers from OCD. My husband is currently in personal counesling for some issues we're having in our marriage and we are also in marriage counseling. The OCD sort of came up in our joint session yesterday. He said he would bring it up in his personal counseling session.
I dont know how to handle this. I'm really frustrated because I do not feel that his one thing is my priority. Our child is my priority, first and foremost...then I prioritize my day depending on what needs done the most. His need for me to jump through his hoops is exhausting and I dont know how to go forward. I think he needs help, but until then what do I do?
First and foremost, I understand how and why your husband's behavior is annoying to you as you feel the need to focus on your child. OCD can be very frustrating for the sufferer's relatives, family or friends, as they can't really understand why it is so important that some things have to be done one way and not another (as the obsessive-compulsive person feels). When he tells you he can't focus on anything else except the yogurt cup on the kitchen counter, he really is unable to think about anything else until you eventually clean it up. I am suffering from OCD myself (although not the same kind as your husband) and it is really horrible to try and fight the obsessive thoughts, particularly on tiring or stressful days.
Your husband should probably talk about this to a professional; there are more than one possible treatment for OCD nowadays. He can have therapy or take medication like Prozac or Xanax (I heard it's very helpful for some people who have OCD).
Whereas it is perfectly understandable that you feel you need to focus on your child right now, remember that, if your husband is suffering from OCD (and his case sounds quite severe), then he is going through a true nightmare, and he is going to need all the help he can get to eventually get better. Your husband needs you too; and it may not be good for your baby to grow up in a stressful environment, what with his father struggling with his disorder and all.
If you can't get your husband a psychiatrist NOW, you can always try to put him on the right track yourself by buying him a self-help book on how to deal with OCD; there are a lot of those. It could help your husband understand more about what he is going through and, as a lot of fear comes from not knowing what is wrong with you and why is it happening, it may relieve some of his anxiety. You can set up a kind of ritual where he tells you at the end of the day if this was a good or bad day for him (regarding his OCD) and what he felt he needed to do. Or, if he is embarrassed or afraid of what he's experiencing and doesn't want to talk to anyone about it, you can suggest that he keep a journal where he writes down his thoughts every day.
You should also probably tell your husband how you are feeling about your child. This might cause him to realize how big of an impact he is having on your family's life and maybe motivate him to get better so he can become a better father and husband.
Anyway, I hope I helped! Good luck!