Join Date: Apr 2005
Relationship Difficulties with OCD
I'm sure my story isn't a new one, but what is new to me is that I have finally figured out why I have such a hard time with anxiety and mis-trust in relationships. I'm in my 40's and it took me this long to realize how much OCD can negatively affect a relationship. The term ROCD is new to me, but I think it may be exactly what is going on with me.
To quickly sum it up...yes, I have had bad relationships and a bad marriage in the past. I have been cheated on, lied to and betrayed by boyfriends, a husband and my own family, so of course I have a natural tendency to be mis-trustful, suspicious and skeptical of most people. Beyond those normal reactions, however, I realize my OCD makes it so much worse. I am currently in the healthiest relationship of my adult life. I have been with my current boyfriend for a few years and we live together. He is kind, respectful, loving, attentive, funny and very caring. I've tried to come up with reasons for my intermittent, full-blown doubt of his loyalty and devotion, and the reasons I've come up with do not warrant my behavior (suspicion, snooping, questioning, constant doubts). The only negative things he has done is to tell a few very small white lies...and I know what he lied about (or lied by omission). He admitted to them each time. I know he has his own issues with fear of confrontation, unpleasantness and fear of me leaving him as well. They were not terrible things...he has never cheated or lied about anything significant...they were just avoidances that were admitted soon after I called him on it. One time I didn't even call him on it...he actually came clean about two minutes after it occurred, said he felt like cra* about it. I am not condoning even little white lies...I think they lead to mis-trust and he knows how I feel about it. This hasn't happened for quite some time, at least as far as I know. If I'm being honest with myself, I know that I am super sensitive and super suspicious, so I guess I can't blame him for trying to avoid getting me upset and starting a blow up over something very small. That is the number one reason I fear he will betray me with something big one day. The other thing is his past, which I KNOW I cannot hold against him because I have a past too and I was definitely not always the compassionate, fiercely loyal and ethical person I am today. I know he is a different person than he was years ago, as am I, but I get that voice in my head that says "he was like that once...he hasn't changed...you're an idiot...you've been fooled, he's going to rip your heart out and squash it, how could you fall for it at your age?"
So...with all that being said, my problem is that I often become completely overwhelmed with obsessive thoughts that he is lying to me, hiding things from me, on the verge of betraying me...that he isn't madly in love with me like he says he is, or he doesn't find me that attractive or compelling anymore...or that he has a woman he may be interested in, or he's got secrets, etc. I HATE feeling like this. I question everything (in my head) all the time. If he gets home from work 10 minutes late, I wonder what's up all the time. Things like that. It's not always like this, but it goes in cycles. Sometimes I'll force myself to move past it and I have a few good weeks or even a month or so, and then it starts again. The reason I am so upset about it right now is that I've started snooping, and it's addictive, a compulsion and I freaking hate it. I don't want to do it. I feel horrible when I'm doing it. I check our cell phone records and if I see a number that he's called several times, or one I don't recognize...or if he gets texts during the day...even when he gets a text in front of me, I HAVE to know who it is. Sometimes I play it off and act like I'm not interested, but even he knows at this point that I'm dying to know. Last week on his day off, I saw there were 10 calls to a number I didn't recognize. I went so far as to check the call log on his phone directly, and those calls weren't there, so I wondered why he had erased them. So I looked for the number in his contact list and it was there, with a guy's name. Of course that wasn't good enough for me, I thought "well, it could be a girl and he just put a fake contact name." So I did *67 and called the number and it was a guy that answered. I hung up. I feel awful for doing these things. I told him I felt that there was something he was hiding about his day off...a "feeling" I had and I've brought it up a couple of times. Of course I can't tell him I searched our bill and his phone and this is why I'm suspicious, right? So he keeps asking me why I feel this way, what did he do, why do I not believe him, etc. and I can't tell him why. He told me again yesterday there is nothing he is hiding about that day. I'd love to let it go, but that little voice keeps saying "why did he call that number repeatedly, 10 times, and talked to you in between those times and didn't mention it, and why have I not seen that number before or after that day, and most importantly, why did he delete the calls out his call log???" I can't let it go. I don't think it's occurred to him that I can search his every call (we very recently got on a shared plan...this is all new to him and I'm the one that deals with the bill, so he doesn't know I can check that I guess). He kept asking me what in the world was making me think something was up, and I said "I don't want to tell you. It will embarrass me." So, it's un-resolved and I can't stop obsessing over what in the world it could be. I told him that I know he's only told little fibs before, but that I fear that someone who fibs and hides small things can someday fib and hide big things. He understood that.
So...I guess I would love some advice on how to stop obsessing, stop snooping, how to move on from this and finally, for the first time in my life, RELAX and enjoy someone who actually treats me wonderfully. To stop the voice that is even now saying "yeah, right...you've been fooled...he's not honest...don't fall into that trap and believe in him and in us, keep your guard up, don't be a fool...?" I can't take living like this anymore!! When I'm anxious like this, the compulsions get worse too. It seems like every night, the amount of time it takes for me to check and re-check the burners, oven, windows and doors gets longer and longer and I just want to scream and cry in frustration!
BTW, I have no insurance right now and I have no extra money at all, so I can't seek therapy or medication at this point. I hope to have a permanent job in the near future. I get paid well, but our bills are ridiculous and we live paycheck-to-paycheck right now.
Thanks for your help.
UPDATE: Two weeks later (last night), he admitted he WAS hiding something! The thing he was hiding I already had pretty much figured out...again, nothing big, it didn't involve another woman or anything terrible...but a lie is a lie. We had it out and today I'm just kind of numb and trying to figure out if I can ever trust him to not really betray me. I guess OCD and obsessive thoughts aren't ALWAYS a bad thing...it's the OCD that won't let me let things go, that makes me become relentless in my quest to find out things. I am furious because had he told me the truth from the beginning, all it would have caused was minor annoyance that would have passed quickly, as opposed to two weeks of hell for me...anxiety, doubt, obsession, suspicion, insecurity and feeling physically terrible. I think the thing that really upset me the most was that he tried to make me feel like there was something wrong with me; that I was "loony" for having those thoughts and that it was my own issues that were causing me to feel this way. That was hurtful and honestly it was the first time he ever did anything deliberate that hurt me. Guess I have some things to think about.
Last edited by nannie8; 08-19-2012 at 11:54 AM.
Reason: Update: I was right.