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Ask Kym Tolson, LCSW, CSAC, NBCCH Your Ow...
Kym Tolson, LCSW, CSAC, NBCCH
Kym Tolson, LCSW, CSAC, NBCCH, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 251
Experience:  Over 15 years of experience as a substance abuse therapist. I am a Licensed Clinical Social Worker
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My husband has, in my opinion, an obsessive personality. His

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My husband has, in my opinion, an obsessive personality. His obsessions are mostly not an issue, but they do interfere with our relationship on some level. The biggest obsession is what he calls "his passion and hobby". But his interest is "constant" and overbearing. It is also costly. He is interested in stereo gear. Simplistic enough. But when all consuming to the expense of getting work done or interacting with others about any other topic, I see it as a problem. My question is, is this obsessive and being that it is mostly not hurting anyone, do I have a right to be annoyed? He gets mad at me for not embracing his passion.
Kym Tolson, LCSW, CS :

Hello, Thank you for using justanswer.com. I'm sorry to hear about this issue. It does sound like he is obsessive about this hobby of his and that it is effecting people in his life.

Kym Tolson, LCSW, CS :

If he is unwilling to acknowledge this nor seek a professional opinion about this, there is not much you can do. You ask "do I have a right to be annoyed?" Yes, you have a right to be annoyed but this doesn't help the situation much. All you really can do is express your concerns and then set boundaries around his discussion with you around the hobby. For example: you may decide you do not want to have "mutual" funds spent on this hobby. You may ask that he spend one or two nights a week with you 'date night" without discussing his hobby during that time. Or you may decide to set the boundary that he not discuss his passion with you nor involve you in any aspect of his hobby. If he respects your boundaries around this issue then you may be able to let go of this anger.

Kym Tolson, LCSW, CS :

If he accepts your boundaries and you are still unhappy you may decide to ask him to go to marriage counseling with you to discuss this issue further or that he seek help for the fact that his hobby is ruining your marriage. If he refuses this, I would suggest getting counseling of your own to help you make further decisions about your marriage.

Kym Tolson, LCSW, CS :

I hope this answer helps.

Kym Tolson, LCSW, CS :

Please let me know if you have further questions or if you need further clarification about this answer.

Kym Tolson, LCSW, CS :

All the best,

Kym Tolson, LCSW, CS :

Kym

Kym Tolson, LCSW, CS :

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Customer: replied 6 years ago.
Just knowing that this is truly "obsessive" is helpful. I understand the ploys you suggest and have tried these ideas over the 20 years we have been married. But of course he still obsesses. I mentioned that he has many obsessions, this being the most annoying. He also obsesses about sex, sleeping, drinking to excess, eating. Notice I don't mention something more positive like finishing the construction of our house which we started 12 years ago and still don't have kitchen cabinets, bathroom sink, floor covering, trim, etc., or exercise or helping friends with their needs, or yard work (which I do all of at age 63), or saving for retirement (which we have neither any savings of any retirement funds). Since he has other obsessions, do you feel he should most definately seek expert help? If so, which type of counselor would be most helpful (social worker, physchologist, pyschoanalist, family counselor)? We have gone to counseling several times, but no one seems to give us "straight forward" answers. Our relationship is always on the verge of shipwreck, but we must care enough about the relationship to keep trying.
Hello, thank you for this question as well. We are unable to diagnose people on this site but his symptoms sound like they are addiction related. I would suggest a therapist that specializes in addictive/obsessive behaviors. The Main problem you will most likely run into is that a person with these problems need to want to get help before any type of treatment will be successful. Usually until the have consequences they will not be interested in help. Your best move may be to seek help for yourself through an Alanon type setting or through counseling to help you make decisions for yourself to take care of you. Often times family members have to make major decisions before the afflicted person will.
I hope the answer helps as well. Please let me know if you have further questions.
All the best,
Kym
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