I started thinking about how often her mood puts us in a bad mood versus when my mood does. And I realized that whenever I’m in a bad mood I feel justified to be in a mad bad mood. And so I say whenever she’s in a bad mood it’s all her fault and I can get resentful about it.
But I don’t do the same with myself. And I realized that I am only in a bad mood when I feel justified to be in it so she probably only is when she feels justified to be as well. So in order to get either one of us out of our bad mood and bring up the emotions of both of us, we need to let go of feeling justified to be that way.
I just want to say that even though I was extremely fearful and had reason to doubt that this relationship would be good as I got married to her, it is most often sweet, tender and wonderful. The fear as wet fueled most of my OCD. But our marriage is an extreme blessing to me right now.
We’ve had such a good week or two, specifically. But it hasn’t been without its difficulty.
We had a difficult talk last night where I told her I feel like I’m giving more to this relationship than you are and we were both really sad and we held each other as we went to sleep. And today we went to church together and went to shopping and had just a sweet and wonderful time.
The things that used to bother me still give me pause but I’m able to let go of them now because I’ve experienced that the faster I can get over them, the better life is for me. It does no good to focus on those things. We will both be more unhappy in the end if I do. I just focus on bringing life, joy, kindness and laughter to our marriage. And it is so sweet.
We spent a couple hours this afternoon trying to connect sexually, and it is difficult. We enjoyed it all but neither one of us got all the way there. And we’re not sure why. Maybe part of it is the medication I’m on for the OCD. Citolopram seems to maybe be at fault for me not being able to climax. And she is having trouble getting turned on. Or maybe I should say I have been unable to turn her on very much. She’s also quite late with her period, even though she’s taking four pregnancy tests and they all say negative.
Anyway all that to say that even when things are difficult in the bedroom, we are sweet and kind and Grace-filled to each other. I am not always this way but when we are, life is so much better. And after the frank talk with her last night, and after both of us were sad about it, we were just so tender to each other today. And even after we seemed to waste the whole day trying to please each other sexually, and what seemed in the end like a failure, she still texted me messages when I went to church tonight saying I miss you. And I sent her messages saying I love my wife so much.
And I’m on my way home now with flowers to say thank you for spending the whole day trying to please me sexually., even though I know she had lots she wanted to accomplish.
We’ve been having a lot of fun lately.
We still do you have our tough moments, like last night when she said the reason like 50 people didn’t come to our wedding might be because they didn’t receive our invitations and she thought she couldn’t trust that I sent them correctly.
But in general we’re laughing a lot. And this makes things feel really great. And I realized that when time and money and effort are limited currencies, laughter is bottomless. You can always create more laughter in a marriage just by trying. More tickles, more corny jokes, more light-hearted teasing, more poking fun at yourself.
There are times that I really dislike my new bride.
Just little things she does that annoy me. Or thought processes she has or certain personality traits. Sometimes just the tone of her voice when she’s around certain people.
But I’ve realized that even if I don’t like her at times that doesn’t mean we can’t be happy at those times.
Liking her and being happy are somewhat independent. Even if I don’t like what she says I can still choose to joke around with her and laugh and make it a good time. And then even if I’m not enjoying what she says or does, We are still happy.
Much I can still be happy.
I was scared that I would be unhappy in a relationship because of who the other person was. But as we’ve been married I no longer have to worry about if this is the right person or not, and instead I just have to figure out how do I make us happy. Everyone has different things in their relationship dynamic that will make them happy. The trick is to find that thing and feature it, an exaggerator, and find those moments as often as possible.
And in this way, if your partner does things that used to make you unhappy, you don’t have to let it. The happiness is found in deciding as a couple to do the things together that bring you both happiness. It is in my house to choose what to be happy about, and it is in my hands to choose how to do those things that bring us more happiness.
So I realize that a big part of OCD is the fear that drives it. My fear was that I would be unhappy in marriage and that I would find and focus on any reason that this might live out to be true. But I have found ways to really make marriage fun. And the fear goes away the more that I live into those fun moments and embrace them. If we build up a lot of good moments of fun, where I am happy, then when she says the things that used to trigger me, they don’t trigger me anymore. And my OCD is stopped.So I realize that a big part of OCD is the fear that drives it. My fear was that I would be unhappy in marriage and that I would find and focus on any reason that this might live out to be true. But I have found ways to really make marriage fun. And the fear goes away the more that I live into those fun moments and embrace them. If we build up a lot of good moments of fun, where I am happy, then when she says the things that used to trigger me, they don’t trigger me anymore. And my OCD is stopped.
I talked with a friend of mine who is in his 60s and got divorced three years ago. He talked about things that he’s just learning that I already knew, whether it be through my church community or through Counseling or through friends. So I thought it worth stating these things so that others won’t fall into the trap of not knowing them.
Number one is don’t be afraid of counseling. It’s no longer uncool to do counseling. in fact I think among my friends if you aren’t in counseling they think maybe you are denying something that you need. It’s like having a doctor. You need those guys and gals.
The second one is just get good at talking about just about everything with your spouse. Talk about what you like and don’t like in sex. Talk about your feelings and why you feel that way. Do these things in a non-judgmental way. The bond it can create by just being transparent makes a place that you can grow from. Bring things into the light. There are some things not worth talking about like maybe the other girl that you thought was hot when she walked by or what you don’t like about your wife. but transparency about most things in a very humble way, assuming that you may be wrong and stating that these are just my feelings not blaming you, gives a platform for understanding and growth.
I was just thinking that I have the power to ruin or make joyful each day in the life of my wife.
And she has the same power over me.
Being so intimately connected with this other person, and being promised to stay with them, gives them this power.
That is such a tender and vulnerable important role. We must Steward it well.
Of course there are factors we cannot control but we have a huge influence on how their day goes. We can put a huge wrench in the gears or we can make it smooth and start their day off with joy and blessings.
So weird it with such awareness.
The love of my wife is a fragile thing. I recognized myself thinking and asking myself this morning, is my wife really attractive or am I deceiving myself. She definitely has her flaws.
For most, this may sound like a ridiculous thought but for someone with relationship OCD it’s a dangerous one. I had to consciously tell myself “Stop, that is not helpful.”
It might be true that my wife isn’t really that attractive! But even if some thoughts are true they are not helpful. There’s very little reason entertaining a thought like that that could be a good thing.
So those of us with rOCD must choose our thoughts wisely, for when battling against a mind with rOCD, our love is a fragile thing.
I just remembered a technique that an old OCD therapist of mine recommended. She said not only should you drop the thought when you can but you can actually make fun of the thought or the force that’s making you think it.
What she meant was when you have a thought you can try to drop it like some therapists say, but what is even more powerful is to just say like “Yeah right, like that’s really true!”
Like if I had a thought when my wife said something dumb and it made me think she’s super dumb (the type of thing I obsess over), I should counter that thought by saying something ridiculous like “yeah okay so she’s the dumbest person in the world. That’s obviously got to be true.”
Which isn’t. And this is the method that is not only supposed to help you passively stop obsessing but actively work against it.