My husband of 20 years has obsessive thoughts about a girl who was his friend from his past. How can he rid them?

A: The first question is whether he wants to be rid of them. I’m always concerned when someone other than the person with the problem writes the letter. Is it possible he is telling you about this obsession as a way to start talking about problems in your marriage? If that’s the case, then the two of you need to have some honest discussions and perhaps go to a couples therapist.

If, on the other hand, he was too upset or shy to write but is genuinely bothered by his thoughts, then, yes, there are ways to reduce or eliminate obsessive thoughts. Look for a therapist who can teach him “thought stopping techniques.” These are methods a person can use to stop a thought and turn his attention to something else.

I wish you well.
Dr. Marie