If you are currently in a romantic relationship with a person that struggles with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), you may find yourself feeling unsure of what you can or should do to support the man or woman you love. It is also important to know what to do to take care of yourself as you are helping your partner manage and deal with their OCD. Learn some of the things that you can do when you love someone with OCD. Then, you can be sure you are taking the right steps to support your partner and help your relationship thrive.
Take the Time to Do Your Research
It is not entirely the responsibility of your partner to educate you about obsessive-compulsive disorder and what the condition entails. While they can explain some of their own personal experiences in living with the condition, you will also want to take the time to do your research about OCD and how other people cope with it. Find an online OCD support group that welcomes loved ones of those with OCD as well. If you have a therapist, discuss your questions and observations with them.
Do not burden your partner with constant questions. This behavior can start to make them feel like you are questioning everything they do rather than simply trying to understand. Of course, you should still ask your partner some questions directly. You cannot learn their unique compulsions from anyone else, for example.
Honor Their Trust in You
If your partner is willing to do any kind of sharing with you about their OCD, consider it an honor that they are giving you that kind of trust. OCD is a condition that can cause a great deal of embarrassment, and many people with the condition try to hide their obsessive thoughts and behavioral compulsions from the rest of the world. When they let you in, it means that they deeply trust you.
Be sure you honor their trust in you by keeping their confidence. Do not comment about their condition to your friends or family members. Do not make light of their struggles, especially not in front of other people. If you do need to talk to someone about their OCD (other than your partner), talk to a doctor or therapist that you can confide in. They will be able to give you the kind of advice and guidance you might need.
Of course, if your partner wants to share details of their condition with friends and family, that is up to them. Just be sure that you do not take that decision-making power away from them,
Consider Couple's or Family Therapy
Navigating a relationship, in general, can be tough, and when you throw in a serious mental health disorder along with other relationship issues, the challenges can be even greater. However, this does not mean that the relationship is not worth the extra effort. There is nothing about OCD that makes it impossible to be in a relationship with that person.
If you want to make the relationship work as well as become a strong support system for your partner with OCD, then couple's counseling and/or family therapy (if you also have children) can be a major help. These therapy sessions can help you, and your partner better communicate your wants and needs from the relationship.
They may have certain compulsions that they want you to keep an eye out for that they are working on controlling, for example. You may want them to let you know when the thoughts are getting out of control, so you can work together through a crisis plan. The therapist can help facilitate these and many other relationship goals, give you tools to improve your communication, and help you develop that crisis action plan in case your partner's OCD symptoms ever completely get out of control.
Now that you know some of the steps you can take when you love someone with OCD, you can work towards improving and building the foundation of your relationship. For more information, contact a company like The A Treatment Center today.Share