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My wife has OCD, mood swings, irritability, wants to be separate. How to save my marriage?

Asked by Male, 34, Married
I am recently married about 4 months old, but still, my wife is yet to come and live with me. She hardly stayed for a week last month and back with her parents. The problem is she is a chronic OCD patient with lot of mood swings, irritability, and a dominating nature. With her obsession with cleanliness, she is not able to lead a normal life (takes 4 hours in bathroom to come out) along with that she has some chronic back problems, all of which leaves her literally with a very dependent life and she wants to be in the luxury of her mother were all cooking is done and can live in her luxury while as a wife she needs to cook and take care of household stuff. Despite all this, I have never complained about her shortcomings nor had contemplated leaving her for the above reasons, but the irony is my wife wants to call off the marriage and the relationship. She gives one or two vague references, which at any level would not be not acceptable for divorce or breaking a relationship. I see to that, I take extreme care of her be it financially or any comforts for her, yet she finds a way to blame me that I don't match her expectations and neither she is clear in her thoughts as to what her expectations are. I always assure her that to save this relationship I would make necessary changes to meet her expectations even though at times it is pretty demanding and not easy, yet i have gone to the distance to listen to her. Even though I knew she just got treated for tuberculosis for the second time and suffering from OCD, I married her as I didn't want to ditch someone for health reasons. I got to know her through a marriage portal when she was absolutely fine, but over a period of time, her health deteriorated and she was very unclear and unsure about marrying me, but when it really got to the point, I gave up to marry her, but after a couple of months she came back to me that she can't forget me and wishes only to marry me, I was just an emotional fool to accept her tears and took her words, though I was cautioned and seriously opposed at home as to not to marry her given that it was obvious there was no conviction in her to be a marriage material, but today I am alone and seriously punished for taking an emotional decision to give a good life and be a good husband to a girl, who in turns thinks it is a cakewalk to quit marriage and dump her husband. She has nothing to lose as she has come to my city from North India, while I have my family, friends, and the society to deal with if she breaks marriage, which I don't deserve as I have tried to be a good husband one can be, but she is hell-bent to break the relationship and move out of the marriage. Please tell me where I have gone wrong other than choosing to marry her.
Answer
Thumb sneha jayagopal
Sneha
Psychotherapist

Dear writer, I understand that your situation has left you feeling very frustrated, hurt and above all confused.
Before I address the matter any further what is important to clarify is whether your wife has a confirmed diagnosis of OCD and if she's on any psychological/ psychiatric treatment? Is there a family history of any mental disorder?
Why this is important to clarify is so that we know what you are up against. It's natural for you to have your own parameters and expectations from your partner. While it is not always possible to have all our expectations met, one can arrive at an acceptable compromise and continue working on the relationship. Your relationship is a young one at that and there's a lot you have yet to discover. What you have to ask yourself is whether the things you have discovered are truly something you can deal with. Having a partner suffering from a psychiatric condition is not an impossible situation to deal with neither is it a cakewalk; provided you inform yourself and use help in the form of family therapy and in your wife's case individual therapy. It is not about what you are doing wrong but perhaps understanding what her illness is about and her day to day experience of living with this condition . It can help you be more empathetic and understanding towards her suffering. If she does indeed have OCD I can assure you that despite whatever support you think you are giving her, every thought in her mind is probably consumed with this. OCD can literally take over a person's life and with the right kind of support and help it is manageable. It is not easy for someone suffering from OCD to deal with the demands of marital life and adhere to domestic duties because the mental condition ensures that they are in a constant state of stress and anxiety where their rituals, however bizarre, is the only thing controlling the anxiety; added to that her health issues make it difficult to focus on your needs. It might be possible that leaving home and moving in with you was a stark awakening that she may not have been ready for at all. Change isn't easy for anyone but harder for some. You might have to give her that tiime to come to terms with her reality. Secondly and more importantly there's also the regret and resentment you are feeling about this marriage. In order to hold on to the marriage you have work on letting go of your resentment. You have to be sure to that you are in it for the right reasons. Societal judgment and family honor might have to become secondary reasons if you want her to be invested in you as well. You have yet to find a common platform to relate to each other and right now her health and psychological issues might be the platform to work with. She needs to relate to you and you have to be more relatable to her.

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