When your partner is diagnosed with Obsessive-compulsive disorder it can change the formula of your relationship. You might not be in a position to cater to the challenges it demands. Although you are into work on the relationship and stay strong for your partner, it is important to take care of yourself in the process.
It is important to prioritize your well being to support your partner through a difficult time. It is easy to educate yourself about the illness, OCD treatment, and how to be supportive, but it still is hard to apply the lessons in real life. Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder is one of the common mental health conditions faced by many.
Although it is one of the difficult illnesses to understand, it is possible to support and love your partner and have a healthy relationship. A partner’s mental illness will certainly affect your life in a lot of ways. If your partner is diagnosed with OCD, here are ways you can take care of yourself.
6 Ways to Take Care of Yourself if Your Partner has OCD
Develop Healthy Coping Mechanism
Educating yourself about OCD is certainly important to understand the illness. It is also important to develop healthy coping mechanisms for your partner’s conditions.
There is a fine line between putting up with a condition and being able to efficiently cope with your partner’s condition. The latter helps in having a balance in the relationship and stops OCD from affecting your personal life.
You can talk to your partner’s therapist about how you can have a healthy coping mechanism. Practice not to take anything personally. Have clear boundaries with your partner and do not feel guilty for wanting time on your own.
Monitor your Wellbeing
Being in a relationship where one partner is suffering from a mental illness can be mentally exhausting. The eccentricity of OCD sometimes affects your life as well.
Carefully monitor your mental health. Look for signs and symptoms of burnout or exhaustion. Signs you need to look out for are tiredness, fatigue, resentment towards your partner, etc. Take frequent breaks from taking care of your partner and spend some quality time with yourself or your friends.
It is okay to be there for your partner but it is equally important to be there for yourself. Have a support system for yourself where you can turn to when things get difficult for you. You can also join online groups where you can share your experiences with people who are going through the same.
You can also seek professional help to develop healthy coping mechanisms. Taking care of yourself will help in supporting your partner better. Being in touch with people who get you will make your journey less lonely. Keep reminding yourself that you are doing the best you can and it is absolutely okay to seek help for yourself.
OCD treatment works differently for different people. Do not compare the progressions of two patients. Stay patient with your partner. Do not point out the things your partner is not doing instead, try to be supportive when the symptoms show up.
OCD recovery varies from person to person depending on a lot of factors. Do not make your partner feel bad for not making any progress, staying patient, and keeping low expectations during difficult times will take the pressure off your relationship.
Do Not Take it Personally
OCD disorder can make people act irrational at times. Do not mistake your partner’s stubbornness or behavior for lack of love. Keep in mind that your partner is going through something that you cannot understand that is making them act in a certain way.
Their inability to express feelings or communicate does not mean they are not interested in you. Try to empathize with your partner than to blame them for their actions and their consequences in your life. If you are finding it hard to cope with this, you can consider reaching out to your friends and family.
Have Quality Me Time
Taking care of someone with a mental illness can be exhausting. It is important to set healthy boundaries for your wellbeing. Take some time off for a quality “me time” when you need it. This can help you cope with stress better. Taking some time off can also impact your relationship positively.
If you find yourself going down the sacrificing spiral, seek help immediately. Never put down your needs and expectations trying to fulfill your partner’s expectations. Although obsessive-compulsive disorder might not be easy to understand, clear communication and boundaries will make sure that it does not affect your relationship.