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Horrible day last week

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We were booked on the train to go and visit my parents.. it had been a while since I'd been on public transport with her and I had a feeling this was going to be bad

Day started off really badly, she was already agitated and stressed from packing and as she rushed about in the house before leaving, I accidentaly brushed my hand against her hair whilst squeezing past. This sent her into a hysterical rage about contamination of her hair and she actually grabbed a bottle of disinfectant table cleaner spray and started spraying the back of her hair with the chemicals

When we got on on the train, we'd been going about 5 mins when I dropped my sunglasses on the floor in the aisle. Without thinking, I bent down and picked them up.. this tipped her over the edge because I didn't wear gloves to pick them up and she stormed off to sit in a different carriage leaving my son and I on our own for the rest of the three hour journey. I tried to get her to come back but she raged that I had shown no respect to her feelings or concerns at all and I was a selfish b*stard etc etc

When we got to our destination station, she was still scowling and angry, then our boy (5) said he needed a wee. He wanted me to take him because he could see she was upset and he was a bit scared but she refused point blank to let me take him to the station toilets for fear of what we might touch without her supervision. We argued about it for about 20 minutes on the station platform with him crying his eyes out, everyone was looking at us, it was a horrible situation but he refused to go her with her. In the end she gave in on the condition that I made him wee into a water bottle in the corner of the toilet complex away from any urinals or cubicles

Days like this are getting more and more common and it's so draining :(

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Hi nytoffee

So sorry that you had this experience; I'm a sufferer myself but I can see how difficult this must have been for you and for your son. Of course, also for your wife, as she will have been terrified, but still I feel for you! Does she have any help with her OCD? Can you get away for a break ever or would that make the situation worse?

Thinking of you - hope the trip got better...


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Im so sorry you and your son and indeed your wife, are living like this. I know she refuses to get help because it will go on her record, but at the end of the day what does that matter? Its her health that matters and the effect its having on her life, yours and more importantly your son's. I suspect that's actually an excuse, because she is scared about reaching out for help as she knows she will have to confront her fears.

OCD just takes more and more and somehow, however difficult it is, you have to start to take back some control over your lives. I felt so sad for your poor little boy, desperately wanting a wee and a huge row going on about it and then having to do something totally abnormal, wee into a bottle. How does a 5 year old's mind cope with that?

Somehow your wife has to listen, however terrifying it is for her and she is very frightened about what is happening to her. If it was just you and her you could muddle along and as an adult you get to decide whether to stay or not, but she has a child who deserves a normal childhood. How does your wife feel when he comes home from school? How about friends coming round? It will only get more difficult the older he gets and Im sure you dont want him growing up being worried about upsetting his Mum by doing the wrong thing and Im sure she doesnt either. Is there a family member who knows about her OCD, who could sit down with you both and help talk it through?

I so hope she realises she cant keep on like this for all your sakes.


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Thank you both for taking the time to reply

Although this forum is quiet, it's still like a pressure relief to be able to talk about this with people who understand

She won't tell any any member of her family, saying it would destroy her if her parents or friends knew so it can get very lonely not being able to talk to anyone, especially as we are rarely getting on

I suspect her parents have a good idea anyway even though I've not said anything because although she hides it as much as possible, there have been several little incidents, like when we were all playing piggy in the middle with the children in the garden and she wouldn't play or handle the ball at all or at the family meal table, they have a tradition where they hold hands around the table to say Grace, she often makes an excuse to not hold hands because she's put lots of hand cream on for her dry skin.

She is quite panicky when he comes home from school, he often wants to tell or show her things but she can't relax until he has been bundled upstairs for hand washing

It would be good to get away from a break but I'm self-employed which makes it hard in terms of time and money. Packing and getting orgazied causes her vast amounts of stress so really we need to go away for at the very least a week if there was to be any hope of her enjoying the break

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hi nytoffee

I really feel that this could start to damage your son - I wouldnt in any way want to alarm anyone but my daughter suffered years of my husbands ocd and controlling behaviour and it has taken four years since we split up, to unpick some of that mess - she had Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and OCD. So your son comes first.

What you could do is talk to her, no arguments, if she gets angry or shouty just back away dont engage - and stay firm but calm. She needs to tell her parents and a doctor, explain that your son was made to do something he didnt want to do - because of her ocd and that is unacceptable. Keeping calm but being firm is the way forward, this upset for your son cannot continue. I know that deep down your wife knows this. Getting angry and having shouting matches is not a productive way forward and just causes bad feeling on both sides.

Make sure she knows this is about your child, not just a whinge or other sort of argument, this is about the most important person in your life and both of you can try and see how her ocd and the upsets and arguments it causes are affecting him. This is not a blame game - its trying to find a way to get your wife help so she can be the mother she really wants to be for your son.

take care and good luck

Edited by Mel1971

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Thanks for the advice Mel, really appreciate it

She has a run of days off work starting soon which will lead to calmer times for her (relatively speaking) so I'm going to try and get her to sit down and at least look through the websites of local psychiatrists/psychologists to see if we can draw up a shortlist with a view to approaching one, at least for an initial consultation

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