I’m in negotiations with my OCPD (Obsessive Compulsive Personality Disordered) dear husband (DH) to become a full-voting partner in our marriage; specifically on decisions about home furnishings. Okay… This doesn’t sound like a very serious hill to climb but au contrare…It’s turning out to threaten our very relationship!It seems DH has a death-grip on what he considers the ‘right’ decisions about our kitchen and dining room and it’s actually taken me a few weeks to even get him to sit down and discuss any changes we might want to make. (Mainly because he doesn’t want to make any.)
We decided to talk the next day, about some changes I was proposing. But since he already knew it was my wish for a new refrigerator, he got really anxious and chose minimal contact with me for the rest of the day. That’s a nice way of saying he avoided me, no talking and wanted to watch TV by himself later that night. It was getting uncomfortable for both of us so I asked if he wanted me to sleep in the guest room and he said he didn’t mind if I stayed in our bed. I decided it would be okay with me, as well.
This episode is really indicative of how much stress a person with OCPD can feel over a seemingly minor event. It just isn’t minor to them. It’s a big deal for my husband to stay in control, especially over decisions that he feels VERY strongly about: in this case, re: an appliance that is 30+ years old but still working fine. (See earlier Post: Compromise)
So, to cut-to-the-chase, there are two points I want to share in this post about the ensuing ‘discussion‘ we had:
#1. It’s possible to keep your boundaries (e.g. not accepting: name calling, unfair character attacks, couched insults…) in a conversation with someone who engages in those behaviors and do it in a calm way.
#2. Wanting something (e.g. a new appliance) other than what you already have (OLD appliance) does not have to be based on LOGIC, cold-hard-facts, etc. but rather can be simply because you want something nice, convenient, and gives you ‘pleasure’. (This last point I actually got from the book: ‘Too Perfect’ and almost cried when I first read it. Isn’t it amazing we don’t come up with this stuff on our own????)
So, we tabled the ‘Frig discussion’ for now.
At first, this morning, we hugged, silently. Now we talk about our choices for dinner and when we should start shoveling the accumulating snow outside. Tonight, we’ll watch our latest Netflix video together.
For now, and for both of us, the peace is more precious than working out the frig-thing.
And for me, not finding the left over broccoli, hidden in the depths of the ‘beast’ is paling in importance, compared to having my partner back!