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Hi! I believe I can be of help with this issue. First, let me say I can imagine how frustrating and distressing this situation must be for you. On the one hand you are just trying to live normally. But on the other hand your wife seems to not only micromanage everything about the family and the house but she does it in an extremely critical manner. And this is actually the key to my answer to you that you need to consider and think about. The symptoms you describe do not seem like OCD. You are correct that one aspect of OCD is very often a ritualistic aspect to the behavior and you write that she doesn't do that. The other part is the compulsive and obsessive nature of the behavior, whether in ritual form or not. An example would be that if you had made popcorn, she would feel the compulsion to keep checking the microwave door to make sure it was closed completely.
None of the behavior you describe seems to fit a diagnosis of OCD. However, it DOES indicate a need to be controlling and a need to be critical. The neatness, etc. seems to come from that need to control. The controlling and critical behavior, though, is either a problem she has in and of themselves or as part of the marital relationship. It is not possible to differentiate without doing some therapy work.
Therefore, I urge you to go to couples therapy with her. First, it will help you determine if there is an emotional or mental disorder she is dealing with or if there is a marital problem she is expressing with her critical behavior. Second, it will help the marriage either way.
One type of couples therapy is called Gottman therapy. Seek a therapist who is certified by the Gottman Institute. Here's their web address for finding a therapist:
http://www.gottman.com/49824/Find-A-Therapist.html Why? Because John Gottman is the foremost researcher in marriage today and his couples therapy model is the most straightforward model available. The other therapy is Emotionally Focused Couples Therapy. This one I would use in your situation if you or she connects with it more than Gottman. Why? Because it focuses on how there have been created emotional barriers and how to get through those barriers. Here is the web address for their therapist finder: http://iceeft.com/findtherapist.php On the website you'll also find excellent books by the founders, Sue Johnson and Leslie Greenberg. Okay, I wish you the very best in this and in the future! Know that in my practice your marriage would be one that still has potential and hope!
Please remember to click the green accept button. Feel free to continue the discussion; my goal is to get you the best answers possible. Bonuses are always appreciated! If I can be of further help with any issue, just put "for Dr. Mark" in the front of your new question, and I'll be the one to answer it. All the best, XXXXX XXXXX
Hello, thank you for your answer. However, I don't think you really understood what I was asking. I was not asking whether or not my wife had OCD, I was asking asking if she had Obsessive-Compulsive Personality Disorder. This is, at least as I understand it, a different and distinct disorder that falls under the grouping of Personality Disorders, not anxiety disorders. It is also know as Anankastic Personality Disorder and is listed seperately in DSM-IV-TR.
In any case your answer certainly is helpful and I thank you for it. Unfortunately , one of the characteristics of someone with OCPD is "ownership" of the truth. My wife refuses to go to counseling because the root of all our problems lie in my own failings. I am worried about the effect of this situation on my children and I will continue to seek answers on my own.
Hello, ok as I understand it; based on the information that I have given you, you do not feel that my wife suffers from OCD nor OCPD. That is what I was seeking an answer to; the question of whether my wife was displaying symptoms of OCPD.
Actually, I have tried something close to the route you have suggested. I went to a psychologist because my wife suggested it and I also felt that I needed some help. He asked to see my wife with me and also my children. His conclusion was that I had a alcohol dependence problem. I went into treatment, got out, and became a member of AA. I just had my one year anniversery in AA and the program has been, literally, a godsend for me. His other conclusion was that my wife had OCD and that her condtion was having a negative result on our children. The reason that I am attached to idea of OCDP, is that when I read descriptions on the condition I feel that I am reading a description of my life with my wife.
I understand that my dependence on alcohol affected my relationship with my wife. If I read your answer correctly it may be that her behavior could be more of a result of the dynamics within our relationship, rather than an underlying condition of her own.
I will read the literature that you suggested and if I can I will try to get my wife to go to couples therapy with me again.
However, if this is not possible I think the best solution for everyone, myself, my children and my wife, would be for us to seperate. If you would like to comment on this, or have any advice that you think would be helpful I would gladly pay another fee to hear it.
Thank you, XXXXX XXXXX