Mr Back shares his story about what it is really like living with someone with OCD and why it didn’t work out. He is sharing his story in the hopes that it opens other people’s eyes as to what it is like watching someone live with OCD.
Mr Back is a 26-year-old student that has a bachelor’s degree in Kinesiology, a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist and currently studying the PhD Physical Therapy program.
His main focuses have been on back-related issues, as well as the mind-body connection and he loves to share his strong passion for how the human body works! He also has a goal of helping people find their most suitable solution, whether you are overweight, pregnant or an elderly in need of support.
OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder) is the most confusing and frustrating thing that I have ever experienced.
This article is not about how she perceived the OCD, but the experience of my point of view as a partner. I can only imagine what she has to go through in our relationship and what she still struggles with. And she did everything she could in order to cope and deal with her issues, but this is beside the point of this article.
OCD takes over your personality
Obsessive compulsive disorder is something that is one of the biggest traits in a person’s behaviour. OCD is not like back pain, where a person can easily admit to themselves that they are suffering from a condition and find a logical solution to the problem. The OCD clouds a person’s real self with excessive control over another person’s behaviour. It’s really hard to constantly tell yourself that it isn’t your partners intent to always fix everything you do or to think that you yourself are the one that has a problem.
If I come off as selfish in this article, it’s not my intent, but I don’t want to keep anything out since I don’t want to come off as someone other than who I am. When living with someone that has OCD, it makes your own feelings feel like they are not important. I would spend so much time dealing with our obstacles in the relationship that I didn’t even know how to tend to my own feelings. I couldn’t even distinguish between love, compassion, responsibility or guilt.
It is really hard to know that the frustrations and feelings in the relationship are not caused by your partner, but by the condition itself.
OCD can come in many forms and my partner had an obsession with control and order. Nothing could happen out of the schedule. Everything needed to be written down on our calendar. Nothing could be spontaneous (and I mean NOTHING). Everything had to be planned beforehand.
There could be no dishes in the sink before going to bed, there could be no shoes not in the shoe rack. The problem was often things that were hard to foresee, and the problem was often the unforeseeable emotional reactions.
When you live with someone that has so much control of everything you start to notice your own flaws a lot more. Like I am some lazy person that “does not want to live in a controlled and clean environment”. It was hard to lower my own expectations of myself – and even harder to keep my partners’ expectations of me to a reasonable limit.
Even movie nights became hard work
She was wonderful, my ex-girlfriend. We planned to have a movie night every Friday. She would prepare for it for maybe two hours and the movie should already have been decided. The TV should only require a press “play” to start the movie. The popcorn would be timed exactly to when the movie started. (And you couldn’t either drink anything or eat any popcorns before the movie started, the actual movie not the intro).
It was hard to not make everything in our relationship about the OCD. When everything fell into place there were moments where she could let her personality shine through. When everything was in control, and there were no fears of anything that could go wrong. For example, sitting still on a couch watching a movie. If I would say that I didn’t like the movie the night would be ruined because we couldn’t just start over with another movie and she couldn’t have me watch a movie that I didn’t like.
In the end, it was just not working
But it was just not working. I couldn’t decide if it was my real feelings that have gone away or if it was a too large part of her personality that was buried under the OCD. I couldn’t just go and wait to have 2-3 hours of “normal” time with her every week. It wasn’t fair to let her live with a person that she was constantly annoyed at and that she knew it was making us both miserable.
I hope this makes people think twice before throwing the term OCD around as something “cute” or as something to feel special about. It is a real disease that is controlling a person’s life more than anyone could understand.
Thank you, Mr Back, for sharing your story. If you want to read more about OCD, I have written a low down piece on what OCD is, what the signs are, treatment options and where to go for help. Check it out here. Remember, it is an illness and can be managed with help. If you are watching someone live with OCD there are ways you can help too. Just click on the link above to gain more insight
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