From Switzerland: I’m 23 and I’ve got a problem: My boyfriend and I have been dating for 2 years and almost 3 months. He’s a great guy who never got angry at me or furious because of my OCD (afraid of germs), he was supporting and even changed his behavior in public to avoid me having a panic attack.
Everything would be fine except…
He is my first boyfriend and the only man I sexually involved with, but he once had an affair during his summer holidays.
That was many years before we met and he told me this story a couple of times. Sometimes I urged him to tell me all the details in order for me to suffer and to tell myself what a bad girlfriend I am.
You have to know that I’m having a hard time with intimacy because I once got molested by a guy. So everytime he told me from his affair at the beach I got angry and then I started to admire this girl. I know her name and I use to stalk her on FB just to take a look at her lifestyle and I even started to imitate her.
My OCD forces me to rethink that situation with my boyfriend and that girl at the beach again and again, there ain’t a song that does not remind me of their sexual adventure. I’m sad, angry, hopeless… Sometimes I cry and shout and tell him that I know for sure he wishes to be in a relationship with this precious and special woman.
I tried to open up and do things which don’t comply with my morality. I’m a religious person and I feel guilty everytime I engaged in coitus… but there is this desire to be exaclty like her. My doctors told me that I suffer from a deep depression and everyone tries to tell me that I don’t have to be like every other girl on this planet and do things that I don’t even like. I’m interested in Disney, Archaeology, Music, Film and I’m an excellent student but for me that is not enough.
Can someone please give me advice on how to handle this situation? It is ruining my relationship and my life because I’m not happy with myself!OCD Threatens Relationship
OCD Threatens Relationship
This sounds very, very painful. I hope your list of doctors includes a psychologist or counselor who is trained in cognitive behavior therapy (CBT). You need to address the OCD directly. It won’t help you if someone tries to talk you out of your thoughts and feelings. You need to learn some strategies to stop the recurrent thoughts. That’s where CBT can be particularly helpful. In addition, there are medications that can lessen the OCD so that you can use those strategies effectively. My experience with cases like yours is that the combination of medication and talk therapy is the most helpful approach.
In addition: The best antidote for low self-esteem is service to others. Doing something that makes another’s life better or easier will give you something solid to feel good about. Instead of spending your time fruitlessly trying to be like someone else, turn your attention to being the best you can be.
I wish you well.