If you have a partner with OCPD (Obsessive Compulsive Personality Disorder). Avoidant Personality Disorder (APD), Passive Aggressive (PA), Dependent, Narcissistic, or any of the other psychological conditions that seem to be a theme here.
Many of these conditions, so I have been told by the professionals, are complimentary to each other, such as OCPD plus APD with undertones of PA and Dependent behaviour, together producing a very subtle but debilitating result on family life and relationships.
What is below relates to my wife and I, it may or may not be relevant to the reader, but for what it is worth it is here. It is a mixture of extracts taken from sites recommended to me by a therapist, and also a forum for OCPD sufferers, I think also shrinkformen dot com.

* - Cluster C (avoidant, dependent, obsessive-compulsive): Patients appear tense and anxiety-ridden to others. Diagnostic criteria (ICD-10) - Anankastic personality disorder also referred to as OCPD
* - Living out the patterns of OCPD for oneself and for others around you is devastating.
* - The person with OCPD is very controlling, and has a feeling of superior competence comparing him or herself to others. He or she will entrust tasks to others only under extreme caution (criterion 6), and have strict instructions as to how they are to be carried out.
* - General rigidity and stubbornness is not uncommon: the OCPD patient takes comfort in "the way it's always been done", does not favour change, and will only relent reluctantly in an argument
* - Because it is a personality disorder, the person with OCPD is comfortable with their high standards and rigid mindset, seeing it as a virtue even though more often than not it hampers success. The person with OCPD will justify actions instead of admitting any sort of problem, because in the person's mind he or she is right.

The primary manifestations of OCPD entail either a bent toward perfectionist standards or righteous indignation. The second factor entails the rigid ownership of truth. This feature produces anger and conflict. Persons with OCPD generally lean toward one of these perspectives or another. In some cases both perspectives are of equal magnitude . . . . . complex syndrome of perfectionist mannerisms, intense anger and strict standards. Their way is the correct way and all other options are "WRONG". Anger and contempt are rarely held at bay for those who disagree.

. . . . persons with this condition tend to resist the authority of others while simultaneously demanding that others conform to their way of doing things

Associated features, according to the DSM III-R, often entail . . . difficulty expressing tender feelings and a depressed mood.
When events stray from what a person's sense of how things "should be," bouts of intense anger and emotional discord are characteristic.

Emotional Rigidity: In a world where being in control is of paramount importance, dealing effectively with the volatility of emotions is extremely difficult. Since emotionality is associated with spontaneity and upheaval (i.e. loss of control), responding to emotions effectively and appropriately places an abundance of pressure on the OCPD to keep them constricted. Exerting effort to contain "out-bursts" of emotion is an everyday phenomenon. It seems however that there is one emotion which exists in abundance. The expression of anger tends to come out naturally and in excess. Anger, as an emotion, is one of the most basic and easily triggered of human reactions. Anger is only seconded by anxiety in its primitive nature.

This anxiety driven desire to retain emotional control can make it almost impossible to be intimate, affectionate or show emotion of any kind as this involves to some degree or another losing self control. The euphoria of sex, as this involves total lack of self control, is sometimes out of the equation completely.

Someone posted a thread asking what type of refuser one has? This is my type.
Endthegame Endthegame
41-45, M
24 Responses Jul 14, 2010

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So glad I found this forumn. Currently involved with a 50 year old man with ocpd. He has the emotional maturity of a three year old. He has been verbally abusive at times and always seems to be in a grouchy mood constantly. Reading your stories makes me glad that I am not married to this man. Also makes me understand that he will not get better unless he seeks treatment. Thanks and God Bless you all and help you to heal


Forgive me if I am posting this comment in the wrong place, as I am new to blogging and was not sure how or where to make a useful, helpful announcement to participants of this blog. Friends, my name is Mack Ethridge, and I, too, have to contend with OCPD behaviors of a family member who lives with me, now for several years. To cope, I extensively researched and wrote a book on OCPD entitled Escaping Another's OCPD Tyranny! -- The Ultimate Survival Guide for the OCPD Besieged. If you go to Amazon.com, type in the key word ocpd and enter, a page will arise showing my book in the first three listings of some 200 OCPD and OCPD related books. Then, click on the book cover image and after scrolling down, a detailed description of the book, my bio, and commendations arise. Sincerely hope and believe this book can be a tremendous blessing to many! It is respectful of all OCPD people, yet tells the truth as it is regarding how their behavior is so hurtful to others. May deliverance come to all parties involved is my prayer!

Thank you for sharing....I have been reading dsm manuals for years...diagnosed or prognosed ....all the same...the combo between the two does not equal intimacy...

ETG, I don't think I ever told you how meaningful this story was/is to me. When I read it this past December, I was in shock. It invoked my "a-ha moment." I researched OCPD further, and was dumbfounded by the information. You helped me to uncover the very probable cause of the dysfunction in my marriage. Thank you for sharing. You have made a big difference in my life.
Yours truly, UJ

ETG has been very helpful to me too. A star.

OMG, the earth has just moved for me! For 20 years I have been married to a man who basically from day one of the marriage had been a total control freak, rants and raves about order and lists, routine, detail, time, won't allow any intimacy so childless (have had sex 10 times in 20 years) He has socially isolated us from friends and family as people are wary of him. He is sullen, angry, aggressive, depressed, would start a row in heaven. Totally ridged in his thought process. Suffers from sever anxiety. Never happy with me or how I run the home, always finds fault with everything I do. Everything HAS to be done his way, everything. Indecisive about most things - can take an hour just getting ready to go out. ALWAYS right and I am always to blame for everything. We have had good times and he is highly intelligent and I do love him but god can he be a monster. I have the crappiest marriage of anyone I know as nearly every conversation now is a battlefield between us. I am deeply sad most day's now and feel very lonely inside and let down by him in life. He has been a major disappointment as a husband. Lifeis to be lived and enjoyed and he has dragged me down into the gutter-but he is still standing strong.
I have kept this inside for twenty years apart from going to his Doctor once behind his back. I am a shadow of my former self and everyday is becoming more and more like a living hell with him. I have searched the length and breadth of the web to try and find out what is wrong with him as I know he has a serious mental health issue which appears to be getting worse but could never find a match-not until tonight. I could cry writing this knowing that I am not alone that there are other people who have or are going through the same thing. Thank you for starting your blog you have given a soul some hope. Please keep writing as I will keep looking.

I know what you mean. I've been married for 18 years. For years I tried to explain to my wife how the lack of intimacy was killing me. I gave up on that a long time ago. Now I'm just tired of her abusive behavior to people. The problem is she doesn't get angry. She just makes it clear when someone has let her down because they didn't perform the way she thought they should.(this is pretty much everyone) And she does it with a smile. One of my son's has shown signs of OCD. But, until today I had no idea where he might have gotten it from. A friend of mine today revealed the characteristics of OCPD to me when I was describing my wife's behavior. He also explained the difference between OCPD and OCD. I recently told my wife I was moving out. I do love her. I just don't think I can do it any longer. We are Christians and my struggle is, "what is the right thing to do as a believer?"

Rejection and neglect is abuse. My stbx (separated since Fall 2013) wouldn't have sex with me since my last child was born over 7 yrs ago. I'm pretty confident this is a biblical reason (sexual immorality) for divorce. I know it is a heart wrenching decision, but I had to leave for self preservation. Best wishes to you for speedy resolution to your sm.

Ok, the really hard part is when you vow in sickness and in health... These people need love too. Who is going to love them? Unconditionally. There was no "if" in my vow. My leaving her will effect so many others and I can't do that to them. But I just can't take it anymore. I am damned if I do and damned if I do not. So I stay and suffer.

If she has ocpd then the sad truth is you made your vows to different sets of rules. What you do with this knowledge if you accept it is your choice. As far as the suffering goes, you can re gain your self but it requires work. I recommend seeing a specialist in ocpd yourself for clarity, not some lame couples therapist but a good one specialising in cluster C anxiety disorders.
Look at a website called 'shrinkformen'. Look at the old posts relating to living with crazy.
I was like you once. You seem aware of your position and you can move on if you change your framework of thought.
PM me for some links if you want.
Good luck

I keep reading this post as it reminds me why I left. Thank you.

thank you endthegame...I'm seeking therapy to help me, it is scary. My feelings are to leave everything behind and leave with just my clothes

I have been married to my wife for 42 years never realizing there was a condition called OCPD until I sought out counseling when she started going through her changes. After the 4th therapist I knew there was nothing they could do, I kept blaming it on her changes and sooner or later she would be ok. WRONG! Because I worked long hours and got home late every night it kept me away from her so the condition didn't reel itself but for a few short hours. Long story short....I have been verbally beaten into the ground from the minute I walked into the house, berated in front of my adult children and have lived a celibate life for too long. I am now seeking counseling for "me" to help me leave her. I have found a place to stay and will be signing a lease within the next week. I know leaving her after 42 yrs will be devastating but I have to consider my health and well being, my lost identity and the need to love and be loved again before they close the lid. Every line I read about OCPD is her and I have enabled her to flourish and grow stronger with her disease of the mind. The constant berating and no sex marriage has finally taken it's toll, and only I can remedy my condition of loneliness and depression, I have to leave....it's not going to be easy!

Good luck to you. I am glad you had the ocpd epiphany. Remember, its not you, it never was. You always were the sane one.

I can relate to your post totally. My husband always has to be right and is unable to have any fun. Everything becomes a job for him. I am afraid to leave as I have no family. How has it been for you since you left as your post is one year old.

I have been worn down for 25 years to the point of believing him as there was no one else to witness or tell my otherwise.

Thank you all so much!! I have been married to a man with OCPD and he has made my life aliving hell!! I can relate to all your posts. He has alienated me from my family and tried to get me to beleive that I am crazy. Life has been pure hell with this controlling man who I loved dearly but treats me like dirt due to his OCPD illness. I have 5 children and leaving has been a challenge but I am going to go back to school in a few months and I will leave him no matter what. I would rather live in poverty than in the hell of a life he keep me in with his unstable mantal condition which he refuses to acknowledge. I wish you all the best!!

I am a 23 yr old woman, living with my undiagnosed mother who I strongly suspect suffers from OCPD. This "type" fits my mum to a t. I also suffer from chronic fatigue syndrome. My dad left mum last year. He believes I was conspiring against him. He's now not there for me in any capacity. <br />
<br />
This blog really hit home. Ever since I was young, I was always "hopeless" and have always felt this innate sense that I wasn't the perfect daughter. I'm not good enough & never will be. I never do anything to her standard & have stopped trying, the backlash from doing something "half-assed" is worse than the backlash from refusing to partake in the task. She is manipulative, controlling & emotionally abusive. I sometimes wonder if she's playing games...<br />
<br />
I broke down and sobbed throughout your post. How can someone we love damage us so much? Thank you for penning these words. Their value is tremendously understanding.

I am a 23 yr old woman, living with my undiagnosed mother who I strongly suspect suffers from OCPD. This "type" fits my mum to a t. I also suffer from chronic fatigue syndrome. My dad left mum last year. He believes I was conspiring against him. He's now not there for me in any capacity. <br />
<br />
This blog really hit home. Ever since I was young, I was always "hopeless" and have always felt this innate sense that I wasn't the perfect daughter. I'm not good enough & never will be. I never do anything to her standard & have stopped trying, the backlash from doing something "half-assed" is worse than the backlash from refusing to partake in the task. She is manipulative, controlling & emotionally abusive. I sometimes wonder if she's playing games...<br />
<br />
I broke down and sobbed throughout your post. How can someone we love damage us so much? Thank you for penning these words. Their value is tremendously understanding.

My impression of OCPD is that sufferers do not generally seek therapy because they feel there is nothing wrong with them; the problem is with others. Initial therapy sessions then morph into marriage counseling issues with the sufferer complaining about the spouse rather than focusing on the sufferer's issues. OCPDers are good at hiding their insidious side and it takes time to show itself. You are aware of it if you live with one because you're exposed to it all day long, but someone who sees them for a short while may not see it. Not even pros. I'm not a pro myself but am talking from experience.

Spot on Rajj

All of your comments have been helpful to me. I am dealing with a son in law that I have dearly loved for over 10 years. I knew he has some personality issues but didn't realize until a few months ago he suffers from OCPD. 6 months ago he told me he just couldn't be around me, I have not seen him or been around him for almost 6 months as per his request, we live about 5 minutes from each other. My daughter has done her best to bring my grandchild to see me. She has worked hard to try to balance her life with his demands and our desire to see our grandchild. The poor girl has ru herself ragged to work on making everyone happy. <br />
<br />
Do any of you have any suggestions on how I should deal with my son in law? It was a total shock to me that he stated he needed a break from me. I have never wanted to be the creepy mother in law so I have never gone to their house prior to this without calling first. I don't meddle in their lives and try to respect him. I have really loved him and liked him to be around our family. When he is in a good moodm he is very fun to ve around. He was physically abused as a child and my husband and I have tried to fill a void in his life by being supportive, letting them live with us for a few months, loving them unconditionally and being available go babysit for them on a moment's notice. I even left town and stayed 3000 miles away for 2 months so he would have his space from me. <br />
<br />
I have been devastated by his hatred for me. I have been to a therapist and he helped me realize that none of this is my fault. I am still just devastated and sad about this turn of events for our family. Now my other children do not respect my son in law, our family is torn apart. We have been close in the past and struggled with him not wanting to be a part of our family.<br />
<br />
What is the best way for me to handle this situation?<br />
<br />
I would appreciate your suggestions, our little grandchild has been held hostage in my eyes and he is a huge part of my life.

Cheers Dolphin! You fly free - or swim rather.

Dolphin - you once again Rock my friend - and it is self awareness mixed with awareness of the spouses issues that sets us free. We get free in our heads before the body. Then we jump.<br />
<br />
It was of course never about us - it was always about their need to keep their cycle of anxiety control in order, we were just vehicles, beasts of burden.<br />
<br />
Pure crazy is easy to spot - just below the water is the ***** - you don't know your drowning with them for a long time, then it's a long swim to shore...

HeWhoHasEars - I will PM you, It's easier...

Oh my gosh! I've been married to an OCPD for 40 years and have been in pain and agony - always thinking there was something wrong with me (not realizing what was wrong with my husband). I was always told I was wrong - even when changing the diaper of our firstborn child. He had never done so before and I had done so countless times. We went on from there with his constant announcement of "bachelor tips" to label the refrigerator shelves and with every move I made was told how to do the job. Even when painting the family room he angrily announced that I should not be doing so without having decided together as to what, when and how. I became so upset I threw the paint roller in the pan, splattering paint everywhere including the poor dog and walked out. My husband cleaned it up. <br />
It took all these years to know what psychology calls OCPD. I did know the man had and has a serious problem causing me to disintegrate in tears and depression. I've been on medication for many years now just to cope. I finally fell into an affair years ago when a man much younger than myself showed so much respect and love toward me - I could talk hours and hours with him, laugh together and even have arguments that would end in laughter! I knew that what I had married so long ago was seriously strange and dysfunctional. Even after the affair my husband stayed arrogant with the fact that he is "forgiving" and wanted me back. We have 4 grown daughters now and throughout all of this agony I have been rejected by them and never am able to see my grandchildren. He enjoys Christmases and other holidays and events with them to my exclusion as if he is the hero in the family and deserves to have the time with family while I remain an outcast. I truly think the disorder is often prevelant in the offspring of such a person. This man's controlling and arrogant behaviors makes a spouse feel as if she/he is going crazy! I do not have difficulty with other people and have traveled various places around the world to reach out to others in love and with help where led. No one is ever a "stranger" to me as I love to be with and talk to people whether living nearby or on the other side of the globe. I am not the despicable person my husband tries to lead me to believe. I never like to think of hating anyone, and yet, if ever I felt hate for someone it is for him! I have cried out to God for forgiveness for such hatred over and over and over again. I thank God for what I have found on line about this terrible disorder and the effects on family. I've already lost my family and of course according to him I caused it all. Thus he is entitled to enjoy all. I recently sent him one of the articles I found about the condition and said as long as he will refuse to get help we will merely co-exist in the same house and have separate lives. At 61 years old and never allowed to be employed since it would "cost more than I would make" though I was certified to teach and also had a degree in "Sociology/Anthropology" I am not employable to care for myself and have been beaten down to the extent I don't think I could even function well. I found an excellent therapist for myself who is helping me pick up some pieces in my life and see myself in a better light. This is a terrible terrible conditioin to live with a man with OCPD in its most profound definition. God help us all who find themselves married to such. I am devastated by him and the agony of losing my children and grandchildren over the past 10 years by his self-righteous control over me and the daughters. I will no longer allow that control to have its way over me any longer and I will survive this. Thank you for all who shared as it truly helps.

Thanks Rosedl, This is partially armchair analysis and partially based on the opinions of 2 psychologists, one from Relate, the UK couples therapists organisation and another independent NHS psychologist specialising in anxiety based disorders.<br />
<br />
I talked to Relate alone in an attempt to solve our problems as my wife refused to come with me. This was well over a year ago now. I mentioned my concerns to the therapist and she said that most problems are symptoms of a relationship breakdown and there is unlikely to be a true psychological problem. It did not take long for the therapist at Relate to state she was worried that my partner was showing signs of OCD. The therapist said my wife does not present classic OCD symptoms but she really does need to be seen as something is not right, but she will never know unless my wife seeks help. <br />
My wife went to see a therapist 20 years ago, but never mentioned what for, she said it was related to her x husband, but wont go any further with her explanation. At Relate the texture of the therapy changed over time and the therapist grew more concerned, don't get me wrong, my wife is not suicidal or anything, but concerned that my wife needs to be seen.<br />
<br />
At the end of my couples therapy she gave me the name of a National Health therapist and said if I do manage to get her to see someone to go to this individual. 6 months passed and my wife began showing signs of what I can only say are moral imbalances manifesting themselves in bouts of anger, not necessarily at me, but at the way things are. Also she began showing more acute signs of planning for disasters eg, basing travel preparations and holidays around hospital locations rather than best holiday locations. These tendencies always existed, but were coming to the fore. I booked an appointment with the recommended therapist, again my wife would not come, so I went alone.<br />
During the consultation the therapist stated that there is no way he could diagnose anyone bi-proxy, which I understand completely and was not my expectation. He asked me many questions about her behaviour, her past, our past. He said she is most likely to have an anxiety disorder, most likely OCPD based on the information I presented him with, possibly APD and/or depression. He did stress however that there is no way he can be sure and as you correctly mentioned in your reply to my post, the symptoms she has may be a part of something else. He did state this to me with clarity.<br />
I had never heard of OCPD before this. He did say typically OCPD, and many disorders are picked up during couples therapy when a partner makes a demand of 'we get help or that's it', then things unfold during couples therapy and the patient can be seen by another professional. He also said that as some sufferers, especially OCPD sufferers, refuse to see there is anything wrong with them. It is sometimes difficult to get them to seek help. Whether it is OCPD or not, his opinion is my wife has an anxiety based disorder and probably depression. In the end the question he put to me was blunt, he asked "Can I live with it?". He pointed me in the direction of a support group for people living with psychological illnesses, and a part of this group is support for partners. It was good to talk to people that were in similar positions as you and I, but in the end it comes down to my ability to live with this, and unfortunately I have decided I can not.<br />
You are right, armchair diagnosis is not good, but for me it is all I have and is at least an informed opinion. <br />
The reason I put this on here is maybe someone else struggling will explore this as a possibility, many here seem to work on a sexless marriage using techniques of a,b,c to improve relationship issues when there is possibly a deeper cause. It may open some doors? Maybe not. What struck me was that this slowly crept up on us, it was so slow and subtle that sometimes you can not see you are in it for a long time as this way of life becomes the norm.<br />
<br />
I wish you luck with your own problems, I sympathise with you, for you.<br />
<br />
And to the other people who replied. Thanks for your advice and support.

The description sounds very much like my husband. My H has several diagnosis's. He was diagnosed many years ago with High Functioning Autism, OCD, Ongoing Chronic Depression, Various personality disorders, including Schizoid , etc. The list is long. Unfortunately after a short time of trying 1 medication for his depression, he stopped. He is unwilling to try therapy for himself, quit going years ago, because he didn't want to try any other

Arm chair psychologist isn't a wise thing to play. Many of the personality disorders can mimick each other. And, sometimes conditions outside the spectrum of personality disorders such as bipolar or other mood disorders can take on the flavors of personality disorders as well. <br />
<br />
I was a psych nurse for a long while, and one thing I know is that diagnois isn't always clear cut.<br />
<br />
Has your wife been evalutated by a professional? Has she been officially diagnosed or are you speculating based on reading the DSM?<br />
<br />
If your wife does have a mental illness, she is in need of treatment. I am in NO way suggesting you stay in a situation that is not bearable for you especially if your wife refuses to seek out help for her problems. However, if you understand that she is ill, it might allow you to view the situation with a little more compassion. Her illness is dictating her life to the point where her husband is about to leave her, and she does not have the capacity to share intimacy with other human beings. It is very sad.<br />
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My husband was just diagnosed with OCD and I know the pain that this type of anxiety causes in an individual. He is willing to seek help and work on it, but I don't know if it will change anything. I am willing to give him a few months time to see if treatment helps as I have vested a lot of time and love into this relationship, so a bit longer now that there is an actual chance of treatment seems reasonable.<br />
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I know it is hard to get beyond the hurt and rejection, the pain of living with an individual so out of control that they try to control you and everything else to keep their illusion of security. Still, it might be worth it just to try and talk to your wife, non-defensively and provide her with some observations and give her a chance to get some help, if not for you, then for herself. Turning away from the resentment and bitterness is essential so that you can heal as well and do what you need to do for your future happiness.<br />
<br />
I am so sorry you are going through this...<br />
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Best of luck

There is so much which you have documented in your first story, I'm finding it very helpful. I tried this address but it didn't work, I couldn't see a blog:<br />
<br />
http://endthegame.blogs.experienceproject.com<br />
<br />
Like you described in your introductory story, I'm caught up in never-ending thoughts and doubts, so many questions, and I have so few answers. If my husband and I were able to communicate in a non-aggressive/defensive way, I would like to ask him if he were ever plagued and tormented by these thoughts like I am, because he just gets on with his life, somewhat like your wife, somewhat serene and oblivious to my anguish. He thinks it's all in my head, that he's doing his best, and if I am unhappy, it is my fault. I am the one wringing my hands, researching, asking my friends, trying to book a therapist, making all the efforts. It is telling how the refuser refuses to even just TALK to us.<br />
<br />
Also, there are so many books that "teach" us to be better spouses, i was reading one "How to improve your marriage without talking", because, well, my husband isn't talking to me, but I was just hit by sudden nausea, that I'm the one doing all the reading, the researching, the trying. I'm so sick of being the adult in the marriage.

She did not start out like this, there was a little of it there, but I had no idea it would end up like this.<br />
Older and wiser I suppose.