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Living with a partner who has severe mental health issuesMental Health | Last Active: Jan 7, 2020 | Replies (7)
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Replies to "my story is the exactly the same. We have tried so many things and nothing seems..."
@kibrma2020 Welcome to Mayo Connect. We are a diverse group of patients, family members, and caregivers, who offer support and share our experiences with others. We are not medical doctors and cannot give a medical diagnosis. I hope you will look further into finding a support group for you, and might consider some counseling with your husband? I also urge you to read the post by @rpg who words really resonated with me! Being a caregiver is a tough job, and taking care of yourself is important. Please tell us how we can help you today?
My husband has OCPD with possible cte impact. I live in a very small community. I have been married 29 years. For us, I have been through the trying to be a better wife, thinking that would solve our problems. It began as picking at me about house cleaning. Then the depression (his) deepened. And the rages and verbal abuse intensified. I prayed. I begged him to get help. I could see his anxiety, just like a pot that varied from simmer to full boil but never calm. I was able to step outside myself and see that I have never seen him experience joy or even just a good belly laugh. Even the birth of our children was just another occasion for worry. After watching the movie “Blindside” our high school aged children said that reminded them of dad. So I began researching. I also began searching about Alzheimer’s which his mother had and my high school junior said seemed like dad. About 10 years ago, hubby suggested couples counseling to “fix” me. I agreed. After 5 months the psychologist suggested we had come as far as we could and asked for individual exit sessions. He explained OCPD to me. Made sure I had an exit plan for safety. Told me to keep my friends close because he might drive them away. And told me that he was treatment resistant at that time – he had not followed through with any homework. When I googled it I felt someone had sat in my home and written our life. I have been able to back away from my expected marriage relationship I was desperately trying to hold onto. I have had my own bedroom for many years and we have not been intimate for years. Instead of trying to fix him or our marriage, I have come to see he is unable to experience joy or the level of marital intimacy I need. So I am focused in myself and finding joy in each day. For now I am still married. He is living in the master bedroom/bathroom. He doesn’t dress most days and often gives me the silent treatment, but I have taught myself to not let that into my bubble. I go for lunch or supper with friends and have joy. I look at it as living in a beautiful home with a bad housemate who most often is not present. When he rages, I have a go bag packed and have stayed in hotels, but 6-7 nights in a hotel every couple of months is cheaper than rent and utilities. I’m not sure if this is forever, but is working for me so far. I am hoping 2020 brings me 2020 vision and wish the same for all of my brothers and sisters on this journey. A website that has given me much hope and many resources is outofthefog.net
I hope that finding out you are not the only one brings you comfort. Mental health impacted marriages can be lonely. If our spouse has cancer, we don’t hesitate to tell others. They visit, send cards, bring casseroles, and pray for us. Too often we keep mental health a secret, and even if we share people we thought would be part of our support team disappear. You are not alone.