Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: South Carolina, USA
I'm coming on the boards in the hope of receiving some help or advice. First, a little about me. Depression and anxiety run rampant on my mom's side of the family. Almost every family member has it. My mom has some form of contamination OCD but will not admit to it, and has never sought help for it. I have inherited depression, anxiety, and Pure O.
Up until recently, I didn't know that I had OCD. I have had intrusive thoughts since I was around 9, but I never knew what they were. Recently, my psychologist told me that the constant thoughts I have had throughout my life are intrusive thoughts and that I have a form of OCD.
Now to my current problem. I have been dating my current boyfriend for 9 months now. About two months into our relationship, we began to encounter problems. He would speak about his exes and past hookups frequently, and would go into detail about things they had done sexually. I began constantly obsessing about him being with other people, and images of him being with these other women would pop into my head. I began obsessing over whether I was as good as they were, etc. This caused me great pain and anxiety and I felt my feelings for him fade behind the anxiety and depression I was feeling. I told him this bothered me, and he said the only reason he did it was because I had been talking about my exes, so we agreed not to talk about exes anymore.
Eventually, I got over this, but my OCD would always immediately jump to something new to obsess about. He had a friend who he would talk to online and hide from me who he had made comments to me about. We recently settled this and he offered not to talk to or about her anymore since it made me uncomfortable (she's just a childhood friend, and nothing happened between them). But, like I said, my OCD would always find something to obsess over. I would read forums online where men would say that "All men want threesomes" or "All men would cheat if given the opportunity." Suddenly, I was obsessing over whether my boyfriend would have a threesome or cheat, and if he would, what did that say about him? Was this a reason for me not to be with him? I would search the internet for hours googling things like "would all men cheat," etc. Usually, this only made my OCD worse, because I never found the answer I was looking for. I would also question my boyfriend about things for reassurance.
Now I'm going through an episode where I don't even know if I should be with my boyfriend, because I'm not sure if I love him. Just last week I had this amazing happy feeling that I was going to see him and that I had so much love for him, and immediately after this feeling was experienced dread came over me, and the OCD tried to convince me that I was lying by saying "Why are you feeling this way? You don't love him, remember? Remember when he made those comments about his friend? That's why you don't love him." So, then I felt anxious and nauseous. I constantly have intrusive thoughts like "What if I don't really love him? What if I'm just afraid of being alone? Why don't we have a connection? Why can't I feel anything for him? Why do I sometimes get anxious when he calls? Why am I happy to be away from him sometimes?"
Basically, my first love broke my heart back in 2010, and I've never felt that way about any other person, but that's because it was first love. It was deep feelings and passion, and it ended prematurely and terribly. My current boyfriend is wonderful. He takes care of me, he's never judged me, he treats me well and makes me feel good about myself. I honestly can't find anything wrong with him or the relationship, other than a few things that aren't too major (such that he can be materialistic sometimes, etc) and the doubts that have plagued our relationship. We have different communication patterns, but we're in sync to the point that if we take something the other said the wrong way, we can ask for clarification. He's honestly everything that I could want in a boyfriend, but I feel like the OCD clamps on to my first love and tries to compare those feelings to my current boyfriend, and since I don't have them, it makes me doubt my relationship with him. Yet if we have an argument about something (we've only had 2 or three major ones the whole time we've dated) and he says that he might break up with me over it, I'm utterly devastated. The OCD keeps telling me that I have to break up with him because I don't like him as much as he likes me, but I just thought of that scenario earlier and my heart dropped and I started crying at the thought of him not being in my life.
I just don't know what to do. It's my first long term relationship, and I love him to pieces. It may not be a powerful passionate love, but I feel that it's deep and lasting, hidden beneath the surface like the roots of a tree. But I can't separate falling out of love and ROCD. I don't know the difference between the two feelings, and I've had these OCD doubts and anxiety for so long that it's hard to feel anything at all for him, so I can't even reassure myself that way. I don't know which I have or what to do. I just want to be happy with him, because if I think of being with anyone else or alone, it doesn't feel right. But then I think "Well, why do I doubt my love for him? How do I know he's the one? Isn't it supposed to just 'feel' right?" and having these constant doubts and anxiety for 9 months is making me not have any feelings at all towards him, and making me fall in and out of depression.
I've talked to my doctor, but he seems to downplay it and says he can put me on medicine if it interferes with things in my life. But I don't want medicine, because I don't like the side effects of those pills (I used to take zoloft for 7 years for anxiety). I'm thinking of trying 5HTP, but I don't know.
Does this sound like OCD or me just not having real feelings for my boyfriend? Anyone gone through something like this and can offer me some comfort and advice?