We’ll look at marriage-stressed obsessions in this post. Take a look at the example below.
The irony is that obsessing over security can actually make you less secure because you become so focused on an imagined downside that you fail to notice the real one. Mike began to worry after dropping our son off at preschool that he had accidentally hit someone and had not realized it. Instead of paying attention to the road, he began obsessively checking his rearview mirror.
I begged him to stop worrying and concentrate. When I told my therapist what was going on, she suggested that Mike and I see a specialist in obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), which neither Mike nor I knew much about. Rather, we thought we knew, but what we imagined was the movie model: frequent handwashing, turning on and off lights, and avoiding stepping on cracks. Those were not Mike’s problems.
Furthermore, most people associate OCD with being a “neat freak.” How could my forgetful husband, with his stacks of unfolded clothes, have OCD?
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Mike’s obsession, according to a specialist, was security, particularly around contamination and poisoning. His obsessions had been analyzed and seeking reassurance. Like an addictive drug, the reassurances had less of an impact each time, so he needed to recover from his anxiety more and more. So every time I promised him that everything would be fine, I was feeding his dysfunction.
What we discovered about OCD: Symptoms usually appear in childhood or adolescence, but they can also appear in adulthood. Once symptoms appear, it can take several years for people to receive an accurate diagnosis and treatment.
Fortunately, the therapy may be very effective. We made a list of all the issues Mike was concerned about and ranked them at our first appointment with the specialist. Then, starting with the easiest, he began to confront his fears and simply sit with the discomfort.
What is Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD)?
Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is a chronic mental illness characterized by obsessions, compulsions, or both. According to the American Psychiatric Association, approximately 2 to 3 percent of people in the United States have this condition.
Obsessions or repetitive unwanted thoughts that prompt an extreme urge to repeat a specific behavior are common symptoms of OCD. They then act out that urge, or compulsion, in order to alleviate the obsessive thoughts.
Many people check to see if they’ve locked the front door or turned off the stove. It’s also common to have a few superstitions, such as knocking on wood or wearing your favorite team’s jersey when they play. These habits may make you feel more secure, but they do not necessarily indicate OCD.
OCD Signs and Symptoms (Marriage-Stressed Obsessions)
Obsessions and compulsions are the two main types of symptoms associated with OCD. Many OCD partners have both stressed obsessions and compulsions in general, but some people only have one or the other in their marriages.
These symptoms aren’t just passing through. Even milder symptoms can consume at least an hour of your time each day and have a significant impact on your daily activities.
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Obsessions or compulsions brought on by stress can impair your ability to pay attention and complete tasks at work or in your marriage. They may even prevent you from going to school, work, or elsewhere.
Marriage Stressed Obsessions
Obsessive thoughts can have a wide range of content, but a few common themes include:
- Fears of germs, dirt, or illness
- Fear of hurting yourself or others
- Having doubts about your sexual desires or orientation
- Fear of saying something obscene or offensive
- A desire for your belongings to be aligned, orderly, or symmetrical explicit sexual or violent thoughts
- Fears of throwing things away
- Concerns about your or your loved ones’ health and safety
- Images, words, or sounds that are distracting
No matter how hard you try to ignore or suppress these unwanted and intrusive thoughts, they keep returning. Their persistence can lead to an even stronger conviction that they are true or will come true if you do not take precautions.
What Causes Marriage-Stressed Obsessions?
Experts aren’t sure what causes OCD, but a family history of the disorder may play a role. If you have a close family member who suffers from marriage-stressed obsessions or OCD, you are more likely to develop the condition yourself.
According to the National Institute of Mental Health, the condition is also associated with abnormal brain development and impairment in specific areas of the brain. Some evidence suggests that OCD is related to how your brain responds to serotonin. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that regulates mood and sleep as well as many other vital functions in your body.
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Risk Factors for OCD or Marriage-Stressed Obsessions
Other factors can increase your chances of developing OCD or marriage-related obsessions if you are genetically predisposed to it.
These are some examples:
Trauma or stress.
Significant stress at home, school, work, or in personal relationships can increase your risk of developing OCD or exacerbate existing symptoms.
OCD may be influenced by personality traits such as difficulty dealing with uncertainty, increased feelings of responsibility, or perfectionism. However, there is some disagreement about whether these are fixed traits or more malleable learned responses that can change.
Abuse in childhood.
Children who have experienced abuse or other traumatic childhood experiences, such as bullying or severe neglect, are more likely to develop the condition.
Childhood acute neuropsychiatric symptoms (CANS).
Some children develop OCD as a result of an infection. This syndrome is known as PANDAS after a streptococcal infection. PANDAS stands for pediatric autoimmune neuropsychiatric disorders associated with streptococcus. However, symptoms can be caused by other infections or diseases.
Traumatic brain injury.
According to a 2021 study, OCD symptoms may appear for the first time after a head injury.
However, it is possible to have a family history of OCD or marriage-stressed obsession, as well as other risk factors, and never develop the condition yourself. Furthermore, people with no known risk factors can develop OCD.
Diagnosis of OCD
A trained mental health professional can assist you in obtaining a diagnosis and exploring the best treatment options.
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For approximately half of those who have OCD, symptoms first appear in childhood. Because symptoms often appear gradually, they may not be obvious right away. In fact, many people suffer from the condition for years before seeking help.
Talking about OCD symptoms can be difficult, especially if you’ve tried before and been dismissed.
Perhaps you discussed an obsessive thought with your parents. They laughed and hugged you. Their love dismissal, however, did nothing to alleviate the thought.
How Stressed Obsessions Can Destroy Your Marriage
Many of us have things we really enjoy. While it is nice to have an interest, there are times when a person may be overly fond of something and dwell on it all the time. Some bad habits, such as substance abuse and gambling in your marriage, can become stressed obsessions. Sometimes people become obsessed with collecting items, and this obsession can destroy a marriage. Some marriages have ended due to stressed obsessions.
A woman’s stressed obsession with cats destroyed one marriage. The husband was sick of dealing with his wife’s cat obsession. The 70-year-old Singaporean man was evicted from his home due to his wife’s cat obsession. After a decade of dealing with it, he moved out in 2006.
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The 67-year-old woman developed a cat obsession after having a dream about her late mother. Her mother advised her to be gentle with the cats in her dream. She assumed that doing so would be the only way for her to “cross into Paradise.” She began to go around feeding stray cats. She’d then take them home and add them to her “collection.”
The cats were free to roam the house, going to the bathroom wherever they pleased. The husband couldn’t take sleeping on the bed any longer. Even the neighbors complained about the stench. The final straw came when a cat urinated on the man’s face while he was sleeping. He moved away to live with his brother-in-law and hasn’t returned since 2007.
Why is Marriage Stressed Obsession Bad?
When a person is stressed, they become fixated on things that are unimportant to their marriage or life in general. An obsession can take over one’s life. One or both spouses may lose interest in the marriage as a result of this.
Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is most common in adolescence or early adulthood, but it can occur at any age. An obsession can be triggered by a single event, such as a woman’s dream about her mother. OCD frequently involves rituals, such as constantly organizing things or washing hands.
Obsessive behavior is also detrimental because it can result in depression. Addiction can also cause a person to feel anxious, worthless, restless, and fatigued. OCD was previously thought to be untreatable. For the rest of their lives, people lived with these thoughts. There are medications and behavioral therapies available to help people live as normal a life as possible while maintaining their relationships.
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Seek Legal Advice and guidance
While having hobbies and interests is beneficial, having too many of them can be detrimental to a relationship. Moderation is advised, and when something becomes an obsession, it can strain a marriage. Therapy can help if you or your spouse are struggling with an addiction. However, you must both be willing to work on your marriage. If not, divorce may be the solution.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are the most common compulsions?
Excessive cleaning, handwashing, and repeated checks of doors, locks, appliances, and the like are common compulsions. Chanting or praying to ward off evil; rearranging objects
Are compulsions a symptom of anxiety?
OCD causes compulsive, repetitive behaviors. These repetitive behaviors or mental acts relieve anxiety caused by obsessions or prevent something bad from happening. Compulsions provide no pleasure and only temporary anxiety relief.
How do you break a compulsion?
Exercise is important. Exercise helps manage OCD symptoms by refocusing your mind when obsessive thoughts and compulsions arise. Most days should include 30 minutes of aerobic activity.
What is it like to be married to someone with OCD?
In some cases, the partner of a person with OCD denies the disorder exists, but in most cases, spouses say their loved one’s OCD affects them. Families report frustration, isolation, shame, and guilt.
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