This is an incredibly hard message to write and I am scared that I will explain it wrong or worst still sound mad!
So I am just going to say it as it is and hope someone understands me… because I do not understand myself.
I am in my 30’s and have had OCD since I was a child. I do all the usual stuff, obsessively checking, cleaning, putting things in order etc.
The thing that has ruined my life for the past 15 or so years is my obsession with all my partners past girlfriends.
I am fine at the start of the relationship and then gradually it creeps in.
I have this uncontrollable urge to know every single solitary detail about them and their past relationship with my partner.
I actually don’t want to know anything as the thoughts scare and upset me, but I get this burning desire to question and question my partner about things that have nothing to do with me.
If the answer is what I want to hear, I feel a physical relief, like I can breathe again; if the answer is not what I want to hear then I start feeling physically sick, I become dizzy and want to pass out.
If he refuses to answer my question, I make up scenarios in my head, that are nearly always completely over the top and inaccurate and I don’t rest until I know the truth.
These ideas come into my heard for no known reason, and then I have to know the answer and pray to God that it is what I want to hear!
I compare myself to all of them; I want all the memories he has with them to be eradicated and turned into OUR memories.
I hate them, I hate them all and have seething anger boiling inside of me that I don’t understand.
My ex-partner made a comment once about his ex-girlfriend’s chest size and I booked in for cosmetic surgery the following week and went ahead with a boob job!
Insane I know.
I have thoughts of my partners enjoying sex with their exes and how much better it was than with me and these thoughts make me feel ill! Sick to my stomach… it is almost as vivid as if I am watching it first-hand myself.
I live in fear of something setting me off; it could be a name on a passing bus that would set off an entire chain of events.
The worst thing is that these thoughts come out of the blue… I know it is not normal and sounds crazy but I cannot control it.
We will be sitting there having a laugh and BANG, it will hit me… I don’t want to ask, I don’t want to know… but I have to… and it is all so random I look like a complete lunatic.
I go insane with anger, and then I calm down and start crying.
I just want to go and lie in a field and disappear, anything to remove these thoughts and constant pain I feel. Yet the whole time, the OCD is skipping along merrily and laughing at me because I cannot control it.
I know what I am doing and saying is rationally wrong, I know this 100 percent… but I cannot stop.
I am hurting myself soooooooooo badly along with those around me that care.
Everyone says they understand at the start, but always they cannot handle it and it gets too much.
I have been on various medications for years, I have tried counselling.
I am trapped in this miserable existence for life.
Nothing can stop me and I will one day lose everything.
I am so jealous of people that can be normal in a relationship, I want to be like that, I don’t want to care about things that have nothing to do with me and things I cannot change.
I feel completely embarrassed and cannot talk to anyone as I know how crazy this all sounds. People without OCD say they understand, but I know they don't.
I see the look in their eyes when they register that this is not a normal situation and they cannot relate to it at all!
I am in so much mental pain I cannot tell you.
Please help me.
The following user gives a hug of support to millieann:
Hi... my comments (in point form would be):
1) the past is the past, and you were not with him then - so it shouldn't matter. But I understand with OCD it's not that easy, we can get hung up on thoughts of past.
2) what really matters is that you're together today! Out of all the past exes, he's now with you. So instead of looking back at the past - when you have these reactions, try looking into the future, the future is where you are headed (can't go backwards).
3) everyone has a past, I'm sure you've dated - and think about how that matters to you now in a new relationship. There may be fond memories, but they are just memories.
4) I hope your boyfriend is understanding, but this type of thing can wear someone thin if they need to constantly reassure (which I know is an OCD thing)... It is is what it is.
5) When you have these thoughts, try replacing them with a new thought like DAMN! he's all mine now b**ches! they don't matter!
6) remember OCD is a brain thing, we can't control the thoughts, but we can try to control our reactions to them. Remember this is just a thought - so there is no reason to get jealous, mad, insecure - it's a thought your mind came up with which stresses you out but it's NOT real.
I hope this helps a bit - it's really about trying to just accept the thought when you have it and not react and do something else (new thought). Or just be clear and honest and say to him, I'm having one of my OCD thoughts again - and talk about it (not freak out about it).
I know exactly what you're going through. I have the same exact problem. My boyfriend recently ended our three year relationship because of my obsessions. I was constantly making over the top scenarios in my head of things that he could be doing, who he could be cheating on me with, and if he loved someone else more than me that he was with in the past. I would CONSTANTLY ask him if he was in love with another person from his past, if he was more attracted to someone than me....the list went on and on. And each time he answered, I wasn't convinced. I would feel initial relief, then something else would come up. I loved him so much and truly believed he was the man I was going to marry. Eventually, however, he ended things because the constant obsessing and questioning of what he was doing and who he had been with just got to be too much. I'm left utterly heartbroken and devastated. This isn't how I envisioned my life. There were (and still are) moments where I would be completely filled with rage and hysteria, and I would lose it on him and just end up in hysteric sobbing fits. It scared him to see me like that, and it scared me. I became an awful person, and like you I am so scared I'll never be in a normal relationship with someone. I ruined things with the one person I loved the most. I completely understand your pain and truly feel for you. This isn't a life to live.
Hi there, i too believe i know exactly what you're going through and believe im going through the same thing right now, though as a male and with my female partner. I also experience constant thoughts about my partners sexual past, due to OCD.
I obviously haven't nearly mastered how to eradicate these thoughts from my life nor fully deal with them. However i feel that some of the ways i do try to cope with them gives me the capacity to maybe be happy in a relationship with someone, plus i also know that simply talking about it can help.
I'm 24 and i'm currently in a serious relationship with a girl i know i love despite obsessing about her past and feeling so low from it a lot of the time.
I don't know if you're obsessions with your partners' pasts start when your OCD has material to feed off? .. By this i mean things such as the identities of certain people who have history with your partner, seeing old pictures which bother you, your partner perhaps saying something which causes you to imagine their past etc.. Because after my first relationship where i had all or most of this happen, i told myself to do all i could not to see or hear any of this about any future partners. That way i could technically meet someone, not ask and not be told. This way i would have nothing specific to obsess over and could be comfortable in the knowledge that "i am with someone who, like anyone else i might have met, has a past and im being mature by accepting this".
So, i guess im saying if you meet someone don't investigate their past and take it as an opportunity to be with a person you like and who's sexual past you know nothing about other than simply 'they have one'.
However if you, like me are currently in a relationship where it's happening, then i know whatever's made the obsession possible is quite literally irrelevant. You just want it gone. The only reason i feel capable of offering advice on an issue that i currently seek assistance with too is because i feel my current relationship has a chance of lasting despite my thoughts.
So i tried not to find out much about my current girls past but - long story short - I know a lot. I completely sympathise and I do the same as you, i'll be doing something feeling seemingly happy and then an image will flash into my my mind of my partner with someone from her past. Or i'll see or hear something which kind of, perhaps, could possibly relate to something from my girls past and then there i am, upset or extremely angry, questioning her or even thinking i want out of the relationship because shes in some way ''wrong'' or ''bad'' because of a past sexual experience - (which she isn't and we're all entitled to a past etc. etc.).
I also feel the need to better all previous partners they've had and i find myself at the gym a lot, partly due to wanting to be, but also because i want to look better than every single one of them ex's, so i see why you felt you had to get the boob job.
I don't think we can ever get rid of the the thoughts once they occur with someone we like however certain thoughts seem to help me to an extent.
Firstly if there is something you're imagining, try remembering that obviously you weren't together then (which absolutely everyone says, i know) .. i take this fact to mean mean that whatever you're jealous of your partner having done each time.. they have the exact same thing to deal with regarding you. If they were with someone you don't like, maybe you have been with someone they really wouldn't have liked you to have..
I try to think of everything as equal, for all the unwanted images of your partner which you're forced to imagine, you posses a past full of your own potential scenarios which - though your partner doesn't have the disadvantage of having OCD and them constantly being in their head - they too are aware of and know happened.. but they still love and want to be with you.
Regarding things that remind you of the unwanted thoughts, i have this often, geographic issues seem to annoy me mainly these days, if i see the name of a town or city my girl met someone at or was with an ex, i get very angry and upset. I also dont want to go to any but i refuse to let OCD or someone elses past dictate where i go in my life. We can never stop things reminding us of what we dont want to think about, having ocd i think we have the ability to relate anything to it. I just tell myself that OCD is forcing me to relate these things and that it's trying to make me unhappy. You know that you should rightfully be able to live your life without irrelevant things reminding you of what you dont want them to. Be aggressive towards these thoughts, tell yourself if your partner had OCD they would likely be confronted with the same issues regarding your past.
Its hard to talk to people as you say, i try to explain the situation best i can and how i think etc. but it must be incredibly difficult for people to imagine a mind like ours when they're used to having nothing hindering how they think and act. So i hope my advice and comments were more relevant to you than what you may have heard previously.
I hope that you can learn to cope with it and not only save any relationship it affects but also find happiness. i wake daily to unwanted thoughts and images and if i'm not careful it can set the tone for a bad day. Remember you're as entitled to anyone else to be happy in a relationship, smiling, and that every happy couple you're jealous of haven't tackled each others sexual pasts nor confronted them (or felt compelled to), but they know that those pasts exist and accept and love their partner. I sometimes say if my partners sexual past bothers me i must not love them as much as they love me nor be as accepting or tolerant.
Wish you all the luck in the world. I've rambled on and fear i may be relaying my problems rather than helping you. I sincerely hope i have helped though! Take care
Last edited by daniel l; 10-04-2012 at 11:02 PM.
This probably doesn't apply to anyone here, but I have had the same issues on a temporary basis. Both of the times that I dealt with these thoughts, it was due to my under performing thyroid (hypothyroidism). If you haven't, please get your thyroid checked. It's a simple 2 minute blood test. It has made all the difference in the world for me. Once treated, my irrational, jealous thoughts disappeared. Good luck!