People with OCPD tend to have very limited flexibility in such a way that everything has to be done their way. Finding out that someone close (ie, your significant other) has Obsessive Compulsive Personality Disorder (OCPD) may not be the end of the world for you yet, but this will keep you struggling to ensure that your relationship or marriage stays afloat.
Things to Do If Your Spouse Has OCPD
Your OCPD spouse will have the tendency to make you feel unloved, neglected and disrespected without knowing you feel that way already. Aside from having a mentality that can be considered black-and-white, a spouse with OCPD may exhibit idiosyncrasies such as following a color–coding system for clothes. An OCPD spouse may seem overly demanding and very unreasonable and these kinds of behaviors usually take its toll on their significant others along with the responsibility of their relationship and marriage.
Finding Ways to Cope
If your spouse has OCPD, you may at times feel helpless and useless, but the willingness to understand and help your spouse will always be there. Here are several things you can do to have a harmonious relationship with your OCPD spouse:
• Accept the fact that it is nobody’s fault. Not your spouse’s, not yours. Their being OCPD may have been congenital or maybe they could not avoid developing it.
• Maintain open communication lines with your spouse. Talking to your spouse about his/her OCPD peculiarities and how these make you feel can be a big help.
• For OCPD tendencies that cannot be compromised on, learn to accept as many of these tendencies as you can. Some peculiarities are so trivial that they can be let go and no longer viewed as troubles.
• For extreme cases, an OCPD spouse may need professional help.
Should yours happen to be one of those extreme cases where professional help is necessary, take time to consider that while therapy may have helped some people, it is not always the case and may not work in the case of your spouse. You also have to take into consideration the fact that people with OCPD tend to think that nothing is wrong with them and the problem lies with the people around them.
Couples therapy is also recommended so your OCPD spouse won’t feel all the blame falling squarely on them. This will show that the two of you are sharing the blame for the mess and you are trying to sort things out together as husband and wife, which is the most important part.
When an individual diagnosed with Obsessive Compulsive Personality Disorder (OCPD) routinely carries out inconvenient behaviors or rituals, the effects of such actions may not be limited within the personal space of the individual alone. More often than not, the closest family members and friends of the individual with OCPD might also be affected by the compulsive behaviors.
This leads us to one salient question: What measures should you take if your spouse happens to be diagnosed with, or is exhibiting symptoms of OCPD? Indeed, dealing with the disorder can be very challenging, but always remember that coping with such behaviors does not necessarily mean supporting the behavior.
More often than not, a spouse who persistently performs rituals such as arranging furnishings into perfect alignment – rituals that eventually result in compromising daily routines and appointments – may also begin to affect your daily routines as well. When this happens, you and your spouse will soon realize how such a disorder could significantly affect your relationship. In one aspect, you begin to realize how such behaviors could damage your own regular activities, and in another aspect, your spouse will soon notice how such behavior can affect your own personal space negatively.
Helping your Spouse
Beginning to embrace the reality of your spouse’s psychiatric disorder is the first step in coping and dealing with the situation. Accepting that the disorder is neither your spouse’s nor your fault is part of the process of starting to look at possible options for dealing with OCPD.
Obtaining comprehensive information about your spouse’s psychiatric disorder can help you identify the most appropriate course of actions to take. Because access to information is easily accessible through the Internet, educating yourself with all the facets of this personality disorder will not entail an enormous challenge.
When it comes to the treatment of OCPD, your commitment should play a major role during the entire duration of your spouse’s therapy. Because you have the closest proximity with your spouse, it would help if you also ensure that every element of the therapy is correctly observed as recommended by the therapist. It is also important to note that you should not give in to your spouse’s irrational rituals and other compulsive behaviors, as this may solicit a sense of reward for the unwanted behavior.
Commitment and Support
When it comes to the treatment of OCPD, your spouse would need your support and commitment in dealing with the disorder. Thus, the focal point of control should reside within both you and your spouse during the course of the therapy. Because it may take a long period to complete the treatment, a strong commitment by you and your spouse would be extremely helpful.
With Obsessive Compulsive Personality Disorder (OCPD), the object of obsession lies on the goal of achieving perfection. For example, some individuals may exhibit the compulsive behavior to arrange home furnishings in a perfectly aligned fashion. Figurines and small items have to be placed in a perfectly organized manner with no indication of slight misalignment.
According to recent statistics, males are twice more likely to acquire OCPD than females, and that teenagers have higher chances of acquiring the disorders as compared with adults. Estimates also show that roughly one percent of the population may have OCPD, and between 3% and 10% of outpatient psychiatric outpatients may have the disorder.
Aspects of OCPD
Because individuals with OCPD are closely bounded with absolute black and white rules, some situations that may require them to straddle between one option and the other is highly challenging. Thus, every decision they make has to be aligned with absolute sides, not bordering between shades of grey or reality.
For some individuals, the urge to hoard becomes remarkably difficult to resist, and at some point, stinginess would also become evident. Thus, if such behavior already poses a threat to the normal flow of daily routines at home, then professional intervention should be sought to reverse the unwanted behaviors.
OCPD on the Life of an Individual
Because individuals with OCDP harbor obsessions of perfection in virtually all aspects, even their language becomes closely guarded when it comes to communicating with close friends and family members. Thus, the individual takes risks that compromise close relationships.
Such unwanted behaviors and obsessions become overtly observed in public places and in the workplace as well, sometimes going to the extremes. For example, individuals with OCPD may show excessive displays of respect to their superiors, but on the other extreme, they could treat their superiors with utter disrespect. Moreover, the individual may show a more patronizing behavior toward his or her subordinates.
Individuals with OCPD may be in a state of denial as to having any psychiatric disorder. Such denial may prove to be quite challenging in the treatment of the personality disorder. Thus, the individual should have enough commitment to complete the therapy as recommended by the psychiatrist.