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Ask Eleanor
Ask Eleanor, Psychotherapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 1517
Experience:  Marriage & Family Therapist/Prof. Counselor for 20 years
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How do those with OCPD love? Im baffled by their ability

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How do those with OCPD love? I'm baffled by their ability to shut off the emotional tap without a backward glance.
Hello, I am a Marriage and Family Therapist and have been working with individuals and couples in psychotherapy for 20 years. I am pleased to respond to your question. Not everyone with Obsessive Compulsive Personality Disorder loses their ability to love and be in relationships. How long have the two of you been together? How severe is his OCD? Does he receive treatment in the form of therapy or medication? Have the two of you ever been in couples therapy?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
I was with him for a year after his wife left him for another man. I believe he loved me but the more fearful he became of my abandonment the more illusive and demand resistant he was. We didn't go in to couples counselling because I didn't want him to know that I knew he was an OCP. He was textbook except for the hoarding. He actually had an aversion to "stuff". I felt so "perfectly" loved in the beginning but now I wonder if it was just part of the performance.
Good to hear back from you. I seriously doubt if he was performing. Underneath all anxiety is really sadness. In other words, people defend against feeling their sadness with their OCD behavior. He did not deal with his sadness over his wife leaving him for another man before beginning a relationship with you. So yes, he was fearful that you would leave him too. If you want to have an emotionally healthy relationship with him, the two of you will need to be in couples therapy for a while. In therapy you need to be honest and tell him that you know he has OCD and work on ways you can be together with minimum negative effects of his disorder. Honesty is a foundation of any healthy intimate relationship. He may be afraid that if you verify that he has OCD, you will reject him. He may feel this is why his wife left him. So it is the "elephant in the middle of the room" and must be acknowledged. Naming what is going on has a lot of power to change things for the better. To find couples therapists where you live, go to and So a loving relationship is possible for the two of you with professional help. I hope this is the answer you were seeking. Chat back if you need anything further. If you are satisfied with my answer, please submit a positive rating for my work. I wish you all the best, XXXXX XXXXX Eleanor
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