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Ell

Bulletin Board User
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  1. Hey, like other people I wanted to reach out and say you're not alone, and to cash in on any advice floating around here... My boyfriend has OCD that has really become apparent in the last 1-2 years of us dating. He is really focused on bins and contamination from external sources like that, and his compulsions are washing- 2 showers a day often, up to 1 and a bit hours; using antibacterial wipes on phone and wallet etc; washing for a long time before touching personal items. In the street he has to give bins at least a 2 metre berth, if he sees something gross on the street (dog poo etc) he has to check several times even if he was at a decent distance and would worry for the rest of the day that he brushed something. If he has to walk within a metre or so of any bin the rest of the day is a write-off with washing and stuff, and he has a lot of ritualistic behaviour surrounding cleaning up when he gets in from work or shopping. I feel like it's only getting worse, but can't say anything constructive without it turning into an argument or tense situation. He thinks he can improve on his own and tells me often that things are improving but I honestly think they're getting worse. We are currently long distance so I get a windowed view of his behaviour. I try to gently suggest CBT but I'm not very assertive and he had a negative experience with a therapist and doesn't want to go to another. I totally understand how unappealing seeing a psych is, having seen one for several years in my 20s. I just feel like I can't be his therapist because every time I see him holding his hands the way he does when he feels contaminated my stomach drops and I feel so incapacitated that every thing I do to try to help feels wrong. I think I feel a bit bitter because it flavours every day we spend together, and I feel so guilty for feeling this way because if that's how I feel, he must feel so much worse. I feel like I'm nearing the end of my tether though. How can I reassure him that one bad therapist does not write off the whole industry without causing him more guilt and stress? It's negatively impacting our relationship but I have no idea how to help him without it ending up with him saying 'just leave if you don't like it', or me feeling so stressed I feel like I can't talk about it? Sorry for the wall of text. I'm feeling so stressed these days!
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