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  • The Compulsion aspect of having Pure "O"



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    Old 01-02-2007, 08:53 AM   #1
    tileguy
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    The Compulsion aspect of having Pure "O"

    Happy New Year all, I was wanting to get some feedback on an issue. I suffer from Pure O and was wondering how others deal with the compulsion side of this problem. In traditional OCD, people have thoughts (I left the door unlocked, my hands are dirty, etc). This would be defined as the obsession and the compulsion would be to check the door or wash your hands. With my Pure O, I have bad thoughts about sexual inappropriateness or of harming others (We will define this as the obsession). The compulsion manifests itself in two ways: One is self talk in which I remind myself that I am not capable of doing the things I ruminate about, and the other is that I discuss these things with my wife. I have been married for 10 years and was diagnosed with OCD right before my wife and I met. She knew of my condition prior to our marriage and has always tried to help me with my problem. I have just recently learned from her that my telling her of these things has taken a toll on her through the years, and put strains on our relationship. One thought or rumination I have always had is that a person should ALWAYS be honest with their spouse, even if it means telling this person about the horrible thoughts you have about them or concerning them. My therapist has told me that while it is valiant to want to share everything with your spouse, that I should also protect her from harm, including things that would hurt her to hear. I am plagued with this constant need to confess things to my wife as I feel I should be 100% truthful all of the time with her. Is this just an aspect of my OCD? Does anyone else suffer with this? I don't want to hurt her by telling her things, but in a way she has become my compulsion in that I use her to expungiate the guilt I have from the thougts. I feel I need to learn a new way to dissolve the guilt without telling her things that will hurt her.

     
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    Old 01-02-2007, 10:24 AM   #2
    BadMalibu
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    Re: The Compulsion aspect of having Pure "O"

    Tile-

    Well you asked the question if constantly confessing these things to your wife is part of OCD, and I would say yes because you feel the compulsion to tell her, although you know it has a negative effect on her and your relationship.

    Sure I'm all for being honest and truthful in a relationship, but as the old saying goes, some things are better left unsaid. I talk to my therapist about my intrusive thoughts and OCD moments, but I don't talk to anyone else about them. I see, and you should too, thearpy as a time where I can get everything out into the open and be totally honest. A therapist has the capacity to understand what were going through and help us battle our OCD, whereas a wife or spouse may not be able to understand these things or help us with our OCD.

    Just becuase there are things you might not share with your wife does not mean that you're not being 100% truthful. That would be like telling her that you were not being honest with her because you didn't tell her what you had for lunch that day, or how many times you went to the bathroom.

    My suggestion would be to ask your therapist for suggestions, and see what they say about how you should combat the compulsion to be honest with your wife. I'm sure some of it has to do with being afraid of not disclosing something to your wife, but your therapist is going to help you discover what strategies will work well for you to combat your OCD.

    Last edited by BadMalibu; 01-02-2007 at 12:18 PM.

     
    Old 01-02-2007, 02:51 PM   #3
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    Re: The Compulsion aspect of having Pure "O"

    Tileguy I always thought I was the only OCD sufferer who would confess at a drop of a hat to my wife, others, and even on the dang internet. It is nice to know I am not alone. I have been working on this confessing thing for 16 years now. I was really bad when I first became clean and sober and someone put into one of AA books for me to be totally honest or possibly drink.

    But somewhere along the line I noticed that I was treating everyone like they were God or the local priest in the confessional. For me it is a daily struggle not to start confessing it would be getting better by the minute only to slip down into the abyss of confessionals again.

    I have to remind myself that if I am totally honest with myself and my wife would that mean that after having middle aged sex, I would tell her she is great or tell her she is crappy as hell? Shall I tell her that I wanted her to swing like a cheerleader on steroids, while I laid back and not move a muscle like the blob? Or should I be more kind (thus, saving my precious wee-wee) and just keep my mouth shut and tell her," I love you honey."

    That is what being totally honest means doesn’t it?

    Oh, great my wife is cooking…………..that green stuff again……??????

     
    Old 01-02-2007, 03:05 PM   #4
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    Re: The Compulsion aspect of having Pure "O"

    Malibu / Dante,

    Thanks for responding. I understand the wisdom in both of your replies. I have been going through a rough time and feeling extreme guilt over an incident that hurt my wife, and now I feel I have to confess everything I do or I am not being "truthful." This includes thoughts, feelings and actions. This is not bringing me closer to my wife, it is actually causing problems for us and I need to stop, but the compulsion is hard. I need to stop judging every aspect of my life and stop generating so much guilt.

     
    Old 01-02-2007, 05:09 PM   #5
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    Re: The Compulsion aspect of having Pure "O"

    TileGuy-

    I know from reading one of your earlier posts that alot of your confession issue most likely has to do with the fact that you were unfaithful to your wife. If you're not already in CBT, I would recommend starting, and I would also recommend focusing on the infedility issue, as I'm sure this is a major component of your confession compulsion.

     
    Old 01-03-2007, 06:48 AM   #6
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    Re: The Compulsion aspect of having Pure "O"

    Malibu,

    I had done CBT about 8 years ago and it helped me overcome my obsessions of hurting / sexual inappropriateness with others. And you are right, my confessing compulsion has stemmed from the fact that I was unfaithful to my wife. Now my obsessions center around thoughts about other women, and I am dreading being intimate with my wife as I fear I will start having thoughts about other women and feel compelled to confess this. It's the old "don't think of a pink elephant and now it's all you can think of." The truth is, I love my wife very much and am having a hard time forgiving myself for what I have done. I also suffer from a streak of perfectionism, and knowing that I did something that is in stark contrast to my core values is not allowing the issue to rest. This incident that happened between this other woman and myself was a one time event that happened on a business trip with lots of alcohol involved. Although no intercourse was involved, our actions were inappropriate. This event happened nine months ago, and I have been in therapy over this for the last nine months. I started going to therapy three days after this happened as I was racked with guilt. In a nut shell, here is what I believe to be a major stumbling block for myself. I have gained the "tools" from therapy in the past to know that I am not a rapist, pedophile, serial killer, etc., regardless of the thoughts that I have because I have never done any thing that would make this label correct. However, I have sexual thoughts, fantasies, ego-dystonical thoughts (thoughts not consciously aroused) about other women and now I feel horrible about them. In the past they would've fallen into the category of, "Well I don't do these actions with other women, therefore I have nothing to feel bad about." Now that rule doesn't apply, and I feel like my coping skills are useless. I know having sexual thoughts, fantasies, etc is normal, yet I can't shake the guilt I feel over them. I keep feeling like these thoughts must now have a deeper meaning like, "I don't want to be with my wife anymore." or "I don't love my wife anymore." My therapist (who is very good) tells me that I am applying to much meaning to such things and that the thoughts themselves do not necessarily have a "deeper" meaning. My problem (as I'm sure most who suffer with Pure O) is that I assign a deeper meaning to all of my thoughts, especially the ones that conflict with who I think I am or what I think is appropriate. Sorry this is so long. I just want to ensure I am explaining this so that it makes sense. I appreciate your insight into our disorder.

     
    Old 01-03-2007, 08:10 AM   #7
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    Re: The Compulsion aspect of having Pure "O"

    I, too, am a confessor. I also do the "self-talk," rationalizing to myself that I haven't done anything wrong, but this only works to calm me for a little bit, when I'm not able to confess to my mom, or when I haven't gotten up the nerve to confess to her. My biggest compulsion still is praying, which consists of repetitively crossing myself (I hide it very well) while repeating phrases of prayer over-and-over in my head. I repeat the phrases and cross myself while seeing images of the things I'm praying for/about. It's actually a highly complex thing, if you think about it. Us OCD-ers are pretty awesome in that aspect... I just had a bout of confession this past weekend, New Year's Eve. It was, of course, over something really stupid. I have gotten better at holding in my confessions, but I think that's because I'm at college now, and since my mom's not there with me, the temptation to confess isn't as high. I tend to ruminate with panic attacks for a few days before telling her now. Of course, this all changes over Christmas break. I've always had a tough time with the Christmas holidays because I'm at home with nothing to do, which triggers obsessions for me, and everybody's in such a good mood, and I don't ever want to spoil that with confessing, which in turn, makes me have even more obsessions. Not fun. But I guess that, all-in-all, it can be a good thing because of the honesty. I have never once lied to my mom. Most people find that hard to believe, but it's true. I tell her everything, and I would much rather tell her something that would make her mad than not tell her at all. Her anger comes second to the OCD guilt...
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    Old 01-03-2007, 08:22 PM   #8
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    Re: The Compulsion aspect of having Pure "O"

    TileGuy-

    It sounds to me like you have a good grasp on what causes your OCD, how to deal with it, and what works well for you. You mentioned that the coping strategies you normally use don't work for the compulsion that you need to disclose everything to your wife. My response to that is, all of us here use different coping strategies for different obsessions/compulsions. I would say talk to your therapist and tell them that the normal coping skills you use don't work for this obsession and see if the two of you can come up with different strategies to battle the confession compulsion.

    One other important thing that I've noticed your posts lack is something very simple. Forgiveness. If you can't forgive yourself, you're not going to be able to get over this, no matter how much therapy you recieve.

    As I'm sure you're aware, all of us here beat ourselves up way too much, and were our own worst critics, and I'm sure that the guilt you feel is pretty bad. How much guilt, depression, and remorse is enough?

    Work with your therapist on forgiveness and working through your confession compulsion, and do the best you can.

     
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