January 16, 2011

Sad Times

About two weeks ago I broke down and told my boyfriend I couldn’t continue our relationship.  I was feeling completely overwhelmed and confused, and yes – ANXIOUS.  I cannot deny that the main reason I broke up with him is my OCD  – my level of anxiety was so high I couldn’t handle it.  My intrusive thoughts were almost constant throughout the day.  In addition, I am still dealing with other very stressful areas of my life, and there’s no denying that we were fighting – A LOT.  We didn’t speak to each other for almost two weeks, and though I wish we didn’t have to create that space between us, I actually think it was good for me – to actually calm down, gain some objectivity and gain some new resolve in order to deal with my first two priorities – spending time and helping my sick mother, and learning to cope more effectively with OCD. 
I don’t know what will happen between me and my boyfriend.  He is a wonderful person, with many qualities that I admire and would like to have in a partner.  I love him very much.  And I know that fundamentally, beneath all the struggles we endured in these last few months – we deeply believe in each other.  I am certain that OCD puts a strain on any relationship, but having HOCD and ROCD was even more challenging for both of us to cope with.  I can’t imagine how hard it would be to hear “I’m not sure if you’re the right person for me” as regularly as he heard it. 
Don’t get me wrong – my OCD wasn’t the only contributor to our problems.  My boyfriend has Dyslexia,  and struggles with his self-esteem and self –confidence.  He is a “people pleaser” too.  These things – when not identified and “managed” (I say this because we all struggle with these problems to some degree or another), can put great strain on a relationship.  I knew that, and I identified these issues fairly early on.  It scared me - and flared up my OCD like crazy.  I desperately wanted him to get help  - for himself – and for the sake of our relationship.  He did start to take positive action, but by that time, too much damage had been done.  By the end of our relationship – I just didn’t trust that we were on the same page, and I didn’t know who he was taking care of more – me or him.  He was trying so hard to avoid conflict and make us happy that he lost himself.  That makes me sad.  I know that we both see the “beautiful, deep truth” that each of us has inside, but somehow, something prevented us from nurturing that beauty. 
We talked today, for the first time in two weeks.  I have so much more clarity, and so much more tenacity to move forward together.  But my boyfriend said that we cannot get back together.  He said that he needed to learn how to take care of himself.  That right now – we both need to focus on ourselves, and that if our relationship is meant to be, it will be.  As much as I respect him, and I am so proud of him for putting up that boundary, it also makes me sad.  He’s right in a way.  I suppose I can’t expect a two week break to suddenly change things, and make things different.  But – I love him – and that makes me want to believe that we can endure – no matter what. 
I am being presented with several opportunities to practice living with uncertainty.  I will do the best that I can. 
“If you love something, set it free.  If it comes back, it’s yours. 
If it doesn’t, it never was.” 


  1. Beautifully put. I can relate to so many of the thoughts and feelings you express here.

    When my OCD initially got really bad, it put enormous(!) strain on the relationship I was in. I was already unsure about it, though as you said, they guy I was dating was (and still is) "a wonderful person, with many qualities that I admire and would like to have in a partner." It's hard to let someone go when you really respect who they are, even if you're not sure they're right for YOU.

    Not sure if this helps, but since breaking up with my boyfriend over a year ago now, I feel like I have grown immensely. I have learned how to be okay with myself on my own, without constantly leaning on someone else for support. I think for me having a therapist in the picture also really helped, for instead of constantly turning to my boyfriend to help me whenever OCD and my related insecurities arose. I began to have a constructive way to work on those things rather constantly having to turn to the boyfriend to feel "okay." Now, when I am ready to date again, I think I will probably be ready to have a much healthier relationship because my boyfriend will be just that - my boyfriend - not my other half, not my shrink, and not my main source of confidence in myself.

    Anyways, like you said, decisions and changes like this are hard, but are a great chance to work on dealing with the uncertainty of life. Maybe you guys will work things out, maybe you won't. Either way, life will keep going, and you will adjust.

  2. Fellow - Great to hear from you! Thanks for your support. I am sad right now, but this is a great opportunity for me to learn to live with uncertainty and have "faith" and learn that I will be OK no matter what.

  3. I'm so sorry to hear of your turmoil and sadness! I'll be thinking of you. I felt like I saw a glimpse of you in this post, rather than a glimpse of the OCD, being present in your life, as sad as it is right now, but still yours.

  4. expwoman - my post was very sincere and heartfelt and at the moment - my feelings are very raw. Posting is so therapeutic for me and is a way of putting my true, honest, sometimes "ugly" part of myself out in the world - it sure helps to "expose" myself. My love for my boyfriend is also very sincere and raw. I struggle with the reality that you two people can love each other so much yet still can't make it work. Thank you for your support. It means a lot coming from my OCD friends.

  5. I hope it all works out for you and I'm sure it will if you love each other. Personally, I'm too quirky to have a boyfriend.