So thankful I found out about this disorder...however, I wish I had sooner. My ordeal started about 7 months ago, almost overnight it seems. My boyfriend and I met in early February, we grew up in the same town and had talked occasionally but never really hung out. We started hanging out with mutual friends and fell in love with one another.
I've never met anyone like him, he's hard-working, responsible, has a kind heart, respectful, funny, smart, and we have loads in common. It seemed that all of a sudden I started questioning everything..thoughts popped into my mind like, "do I really love this guy? Is he the one for me? Do I just THINK that I love him? How do I know what love really is? What if it's just infatuation? Does he really love me? Am I IN love? How do I know?" And the thoughts never went away..at work I would often go to the bathroom and cry for minutes at a time, which would alleviate some of the anxiety..but it would always come back. I summed it up to depression..."I cry all the time, every day..it HAS to be depression." So I went to an MD and was prescribed Lexapro..which made me feel absolutely terrible and didn't help with the anxiety and thoughts at all. So I quit taking it, with no withdrawals thankfully.
The triggers are things like seeing couples act all lovey dovey with each other in certain ways..I think, "Well my boyfriend and I don't do that, we must not be in love like those people are." Then that starts the thoughts again. When I see someone online post something on their social network about their significant other and how much they love them, the same thought comes..."We don't do that..we must not be in love." Deep down in my heart I know I love my boyfriend very much, there are too many reasons to list how I know that I'm in love with him. The anxiety and thoughts often keep my from being myself around him, which I absolutely hate. The compulsions I have are silly...such as checking online forums and yahoo answers for things such as, "How do you know if you are in love?" Which only makes the situation worse, as all relationships are different. I haven't done this recently, but it's like I would make up things in my mind that are wrong with our relationship and call my boyfriend to start an argument about it...then halfway through our conversation I think, "What am I doing? This doesn't bother me in our relationship at all? Why did I even call him to do this? I'm so stupid." Moments like that are when I catch myself snapping back into reality.
Since discovering this disorder, I remember things from when I was younger that were symptomatic of OCD...like counting my steps at all times and freaking out when I would mess up...I wouldn't change loved ones ringtones on my phone for fear that something bad would happen to them..if I had a thought to do something, I had to act on that thought and carry it out because something bad might happen if I didn't. I thought nothing of it when I was young, I always thought people with OCD were just extreme germaphobes. I would much rather have that obsession than the relationship kind..this is awful.
Thankfully I have a wonderful guy that accepts me for who I am and wants to help make things better. We've been on the verge of breaking up multiple times due to my obsessive thoughts, but never have. I am determined not to let this ruin my relationship with the love of my life, I won't stand for it. I've been researching this disorder and reading posts on forums about it; this one has helped a lot. I can't afford a therapist at the moment, and I really don't want to take medication...I've read that letting the thoughts in instead of trying to make them go away is a good approach..just let them enter your mind and say, "This is an OCD thought, it's not mine and it's not how I feel." It's been working pretty well so far...I still have the thoughts and feel guilty about them, but I'm determined to learn how to deal with this so it doesn't affect my relationship. Any other advice on how to deal with ROCD or any success stories would be appreciated.
Last edited by ms_mod; 01-12-2013 at 03:28 PM.
Reason: Broke post up into paragraphs to make it easier to read. Ms_Mod
Sorry to hear you are struggling with OCD, as a fellow sufferer I know first hand how challenging it can be. Although I don't suffer from Relationship OCD I can empathize with what you are going through. Learning about OCD and how to manage it is a big step. You are right that one of the most important parts is to learn not to fight your anxious thoughts but to just let them be. It seems counter intuitive (if I don't like something I work to get rid of it right) but for OCDers like us the act of trying to fight the thoughts just feeds in to them making them bigger and worse. If we could just logic them away we wouldn't have OCD though would we? Sorry to hear the Lexapro didn't help, hopefully you'll be able to tackle your problems without medication but keep in mind there are others out there that might work for you where one didn't. The brain is still a big mystery and sometimes finding the right medication takes time. Until you get the chance to work with a therapist (which I highly recommend) you might try some reading and workbooks on your own to learn techniques to help. Brain Lock is a well regarded book. I've also made good use of two workbooks Get Out of Your Mind and into your Life by Steven Hayes and The Anxiety and Phobia Workbook by Edmund Bourne. I have not used it yet but The OCD Workbook by Bruce Hyman is the highest rated on Amazon with some very positive reviews! I'd suggest involving your significant other in your learning about OCD. It will help him better understand what you are going through AND help him be a better resource for you. Often our friends and family are well meaning but without being able to understand what we are going through they struggle with being able to help. They might try and help you how they imagine you should be helped, like trying to get you to reason through your fears (which doesn't help) or engaged in enabling behaviors without realizing it. You are lucky to have someone who loves you and is willing to work through this with you so make sure he had the resources he needs too! One last recommendation. <edit> Sometimes reading a post and being able to say "yes, that's exactly what it's like for me!" can be therapeutic because it lets you know you aren't alone!
Thank you so much for your feedback, it is really comforting to know that there are others suffering out there and I'm not alone. This forum as well as other resources has really helped me understand OCD better. I will definitely give those workbooks a try, thanks!
Hi there. <edit> I am going through the same exact thing as you. It started about 7 months into my relationship and has occured numerous times in the last year and a half. It really helps knowing other people have the same issues going on. I think we could really help each other out! :-)
Last edited by ms_mod; 01-14-2013 at 06:32 AM.
Reason: removed posting rules violation. Ms_Mod
Letting the thoughts in and acknowledging that they are just thoughts is very helpful. I wish the thoughts wouldn't enter my mind at all though, but I'll take what I can get. I had a minor slip up a couple days ago...the thought came into my mind, "Well, maybe I'm not mature enough to be in this relationship." No idea where it came from...I was fine the whole day until then, I had been hanging out with my best friend/roommate at her family's camp by the lake. I go to my boyfriend's house because he is off work that day (we had planned to watch a movie together at his house that evening) and act completely ridiculous, and tell him that, "maybe I'm just not mature enough to be in this relationship." I had no reasons to back up my statement...he just kind of looked at me odd and said that he really didn't want to deal with this kind of thing on his day off, he just wanted to relax. Feeling awkward, I just decided to go to my own house. We talked on the phone later and he told me to calm down and to just think about what I was saying about not being mature enough for our relationship. He was right...it was a thought that my mind generated...not a feeling that I have in my heart. I apologized of course, and felt very bad for having messed up our plans. He's learning how to deal with me better and that's helping me out a lot. I'm going on two days now with minimal intrusive thoughts. Hopefully I can keep it up.
Do you see anyone?? It helps to get your thoughts outside of your head. This is so hard to deal with but I wish you the best. Try to take it day by day and keep yourself busy. I find that keeping busy helps calm the thoughts from consuming me.