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Bill, LCSW, Consultant, Expert Witness
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 3707
Experience:  35 years treating individuals, couples, families with mental health and substance abuse prob's
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How to protect myself from conflict with a OCD spouse? My

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How to protect myself from conflict with a OCD spouse?

My husband has been diagnosed with OCD(Obsessive Compulsive Disorder) years ago. He took some medicine one year then stopped. He claims he is all better. But when it comes to his interest, belief and religion etc, he becomes obsessive about it, can not stop. I suffer when I try to connect with him, do things together, work together for religious activity. He never satisfied with my performance, whatever I do. When I want to stop and take a break, he is frighten and try to manipulate me to do more. But I dn't want to, and I can't sometimes.

I have been mistreated by my father and mother when I was 7. They refuse to listen to my request on staying in my real home, my grandma's house, aftering living there since infancy. I went through a Trauma to leave that home. So I have PTSD. When my request get refused by someone close to me, I go nuts. Emotionally, I flash back to the childhood trauma. It is painful, and very frustrating to me.

How can I protect myself, not entering the conflict with my OCD husband, when it comes the things we both are involved together. I don't want to get depressed about it on this.

Bill :

Hello- Thank you for asking the question. I have over 30 years of experience working with individuals, couples and families & am happy to reply.

Bill :

I am sorry to hear about this problem your are having with your spouse as related to his problems with OCD.

Bill :

If you go to the following link you will find information on how to deal with and online support with others confronted with the same problems. It will help you learn more, receive support from other and be better able to cope with this problem.

Bill :

Online Support Forum:

Bill :

I also recommend that you get the book:

Bill : "Loving Someone with OCD: Help for You and Your Family"
Bill :

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Bill :


Bill :

By Landsmen and Pedrick

Bill :

I trust this will help you with this most difficult issue

Bill :

Kindest regards, Bill

Bill :

I appreciate your positive rating so that I receive credit for my time.

Bill :

Thank you

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Hi, Bill. Thanks for the OCPD info link. I read about that page. I think my husband has a lot symptom of OCPD stated on there. But it did not help me with that question, how to deal with it from my pont of view as a spouse. Can you summarize with your own words so I don't have to look everywhere on the page?

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Is OCPD a mental illness? What is the difference between personality disorder and mental illness?

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Hi, I read the website again. It helped with some questions I have. I hope you don't mind to help me with a little more details. I think the most difficult thing I have to deal with my husband is his manipulative and sabotage behaviour. It get me confused, going nuts, sometimes. He is the man I married for 15 years now, I am very frustrated with the relationship. I felt lonely and scared about getting close to him at all.

Hi Margaret-
These are Mental Illnesses and as stated in the link- the differences are as follows:

"Obsessive-Compulsive Personality Disorder (OCPD) is a different condition from the more commonly known Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD). OCD is often characterized by a repetition or adherence to rituals. OCPD is characterized more by an unhealthy adherence to perfectionism."

You have to look at this as you would someone that has a condition such as diabetes.
There is no cure- but there is treatment.
I has been demonstrated that couples can best cope with this disorder in marital therapy with a Cognitive Behavioral approach which is designed to identify triggers to conflict and develop strategies that have productive resolution vs destructive escalation.

It can be very difficult for someone to be in a relationship with someone with OCD and some help tips are as follows:

Learn as much as you can about OCD and its treatment.

View the obsessive-compulsive behaviors as symptoms, not character flaws. Do not allow OCD to take over family life.

  • Do not participate in the person's rituals.
  • Communicate positively, directly and clearly.
  • Keep calm.
  • Mix humor with caring.
  • Know the signs that show the person is struggling with his or her OCD.
  • Support your family member's medication and treatment program.
  • Don't forget that you are only human.

Take care of yourself

Caught up in concern and caring for the person who is ill, family members may not take proper care of themselves. They may give up their own activities and become isolated from their friends and colleagues. This may go on for some time before they realize they are emotionally and physically drained. The stress can lead to sleeping problems, exhaustion and constant irritability.

  • Keep your own support network.
  • Avoid becoming isolated.
  • Recognize signs of stress in yourself.
  • Know what situations within your family are most stressful in coping with OCD.
  • Keep up your interests outside the family.
  • Consider having your own professional support.
  • Take a little time each day just for you.

Using these coping strategies will help you deal with this. If you and your husband are willing seek counseling as I addressed above.


I also again recommend that you get and read the Book:

"Loving Someone with OCD: Help for You and Your Family"
It has many helpful coping strategies that you can employ to deal with this more effectively.

You have to become your own expert on this subject and I always suggest people learn as much as they can about the disorder and get necessary support.

Another great organization that I recommend to patients and families is the OCD FOUNDATION:

You have to educate yourself and find support and understand that you are not alone. Many people are married to persons with OCD and learn to cope and function very well. Again, this is treatable and can be stabilized.

I suggest you gain as much help as is available.

I trust this better clarifies my suggestions for you and your husband.

Kindest regards, Bill

I appreciate your Positive Rating as it is the Only way I receive credit for my time.

Thank you -
Bill and other Mental Health Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Thank you, it helped.

You are most welcome.