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I'm not sure what to do. I am overwhelmingly unhappy in my marriage and it seems to only be getting worse. We have three amazing children for whom I want to stay, and I've been trying to do so "happily" for years. I've lost my sense of self somewhere in the process and I'm not sure how much longer I can do this. We're in couples counseling which has only made things worse. I simply can't imagine not being around my kids and having them grow up with divorced parents in separate households, but I'm beginning to think staying together might do more harm than good.

We fight over the most immature, childish things. Last night she asked me if I put my gum in the toilet, which I did. She told me that could clog up our sewage pipes. I laughed because I have been doing it for years (off and on) and had no idea I was risking plumbing. I asked her if that was true, if I had indeed been risking backups this whole time, then she got unbelievably angry at me for "not believing" her. "Why can't you just listen to and believe your wife for once?!" I tried to explain that she misunderstood my question, but it was too late. She stormed off and things got worse. There are obviously several underlying issues. I tried to tell her that, in all of our years of marriage, being "wrong" 99% of the time has finally worn on me. I've spent the length of our marriage apologizing - for everything. I once got yelled at for going "#2" in the toilet and not opening the window. I thought marriage was a 50/50 union, but this morning she said I am 90% to blame for our marital problems.

My wife also suffers from severe OCD. She said she fights for her life on a daily basis, and my heart goes out to her. I've read (and continue to read) many books on OCD, but they haven't really helped me understand what it's like to actually have it. She said I've never been supportive of her for anything which, of course in my opinion, isn't true. But I can say it's pretty difficult to be supportive of the same person who yells at you for everything.

I used to be (and sometimes still am) a confident person. I am so tired of looking into the mirror and seeing this awful person that I don't like. I am not an awful person, but years of essentially being told that I am has led me to believe as much. I'm tired of my lack of concentration due to marital problems. I work two jobs (one of which I am supposed to be focusing on now) which are very demanding, but nothing is more demanding than her. If I go to work during an argument, then to her then it's because I "don't care." I can no longer ignore my work responsibilities due to almost daily fights; especially since we are in massive debt.

This whole thing is ridiculous. It's like we are a couple of married kids with kids of our own. Our feelings towards one another have absolutely changed. I want to do whatever it takes to have us stay together and BE HAPPY together. Our daily arguments and childlike interactions make me doubt that that is even possible now. If we can't stay together for ourselves, I desperately want to for our children. I would do anything and everything in the world for them.

At what point do we both say enough is enough? Is our marriage salvageable or do we pick up the pieces and move on? I just can't seem to meet her expectations or make her happy.
 

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How much of a connection do you believe there is between her OCD and her behavior? Take the OCD out of the picture and I would say it sounds as though she treats you like a child and wants things done her way, not willing to compromise...ie if you do everything the way I want I wouldn't yell so this is something you should be fixing. In reality, I think it's very important to recognize that in a marriage you are living with someone who most likely does certain things differently than you & while it's important to not let things that really bother you fester, it's also important to realize that compromise is necessary or you will begin to resent one another.
Yelling in my opinion, just shows a lack of respect for the other person and I wouldn't respond to it (not in a positive way anyway)

If she is struggling with obsessive thoughts on a daily basis, it is probably draining for her and she may have a short fuse if something she obsesses about (say germs) gets her thoughts racing. So if it's something you did (like not open the window) she may point the finger at you for causing her anxiety that she's constantly fighting within herself. I have no background in this other than to say I had OCD as a child (not severe) and still get some symptoms (although rare) and can somewhat relate to how it feels to not be in control of one's own thoughts.

I would think you need to sort out what is OCD related and not & see if there is some sort of compromise where you both feel you want to do or not do certain things because you truly want your spouse to be happy.
 

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I don't know too much about her condition. Is there something to help her for example drugs? If there is then it might be worth trying and seeing if that improves the situation. If she is not willing to take that action then that is another problem.

If I am being honest it sounds like you are finished and only staying for your kids. While that is a noble idea I can tell you from experience that kids pick up on the tension even when you try to keep it from them. My parents didn't split until I moved out for college and when they told me I said about time. They weren't happy and that effected me. Sounds like you are a devoted father and you can be a better and happier father without being married to your wife. If you believe you have done everything you can do to save the marriae then maybe it is time to do something for yourself. Good luck.
 

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Hi Les,

I would say first that I admire the heck out of you for giving this the noble try. I think that speaks volumes about you.

I also think that you need to, first of all, take care of yourself. I don't mean independently from your marriage. But it's sort of like when you're riding on an airplane and the oxygen mask drop due to cabin decompression. What do the flight attendants tell us? Put on your own mask so that you can then help others with theirs, right? Same thing here.

If you can find "alone time" to get away and start some kind of journaling, this might be useful. I've been keeping psychological/philosophical journals for years, and have found them sometimes very therapeutic.

If necessary, get personal counseling. My only caution on this is be wary of excuse-making therapists. We did some family counseling because of some difficulties with our son, and one of them kept telling us (with him in the room!) that he "couldn't" do certain things. After that meeting, I told the therapist that I didn't like the way he phrased that. He was creating self-fulfilling prophesies that my son could use as a way of shirking responsibility. He refused to see that and persisted. We quit him, I took on the responsibility of helping my son get through some of the supposedly "impossible" things and lo! I was right! This is the long way of saying that the therapist isn't always right. So you have to be mindful of what your gut says and work things out as rationally as you can.

One more thing; and I'm not saying that this is true of you - just asking, OK? You might look to see if there are things you do, albeit unconsciously, that set up the patterns of arguments you get into. Are there things you *could* do to pre-empt her upset. For example, walking up to her and saying, "You might want to wait 10 minutes before using the can. I forgot to open the window. Sorry." Sometimes we have to do things for our mates that seem asymmetrical, but which nevertheless make things work better.

Ultimately, there will be decisions you have to make. Healthy people generally don't put up with irrational pain unnecessarily unless there is a compelling reason to do so, and once they realize that there is a compelling reason, they discount the source of the pain, tuning it out much the way we tune out tinnitus and floaters.

I wish you and your family well.

Regards,
Bal
 

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I am also married to a rude person that likes to yell and bark orders when talking to me. I helped this by yelling back and then when told not to yell, bringing to her attention that she yelled first so I yelled and unless she wanted me to keep yelling at her then she should stop yelling and start talking. It took some time and a lot of grief but it's worked for the most part, she still tries to yell and get away with it, but I stand strong.

I, like you, put up with a lot because of a beautiful baby boy we share and because I've learned that it's my job to save us from her because she can't save herself from herself.
The same goes for me though, if it wasn't for her influence in my life I wouldn't be where I'm at now in life financially. I would probably have an STD, have gotten killed on my bike or been shot or in prison to be honest. She is very square and has tamed me more so than I have been able to change her, but then I agree that I needed it more.

She's the better part of me in a lot of ways and I guess I have to be the better sometimes too.

You are the only person that can answer the question of how much is "enough"...
I personally think if your Wife isn't involving other people (cheating on you) then there is still hope of making things work.

Communication and conditioning are still viable tools at your disposal. Communication, talk to her and let her be able to talk to you about anything, conditioning, reward good behavior and punish bad behavior.

I practice fairness at all times in my household, and expect the same in return. My Wife thinks I take that concept too far sometimes but can't argue when it works in her favor.
I am quick to correct my behavior as I expect from her, it sucks sometimes but I have to be fair. The dark side to this is that I also believe in revenge, or in nicer terms, keeping/making things fair, balance, an eye for an eye.

I don't know if you feel obligated to be the "bigger person", because of your Wife's OCD but you shouldn't.
I think you should be supportive, which I'm sure you already are reading up on the subject and all, but not let her disorder become something she hides behind.
My Wife may be bi-polar but I am yet to get her to address or even admit the possibility of an issue.
I also can not wait to deal with our relationship issues until she gets help and then until she gets better.

I hope you are able to find a way to have both your family and a happy relationship with your Wife.

I am currently enjoying good times with my Wife in large part to my new found tuff love, a-hole mentality. This might not work for you or be your style but I do hope you find your way soon.

Good luck either way you go.
 

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I don't know if you feel obligated to be the "bigger person", because of your Wife's OCD but you shouldn't.
I think you should be supportive, which I'm sure you already are reading up on the subject and all, but not let her disorder become something she hides behind.
:iagree:
I think this is what bothered me when trying to respond to your post. I really think the OCD needs to be brought to the forefront and to figure out how it relates to her behavior. If it has become something she is using to defend her behavior that's another story.
 
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