Mumsnet has not checked the qualifications of anyone posting here. If you need help urgently, see our mental health web guide which can point you to expert advice.

The ultimatum-OCD

(53 Posts)
Dad4ever Tue 05-Aug-14 18:50:22

HI everyone,

I'm new to this forum, so thanks for taking the time to read this.
I have a problem. Let me tell you a bit from the beginning.
When my wife and I got married, she moved in with me. The house she moved into is owned jointly by myself, my brother and my late aunt.

My wife and I are expecting a baby in November, and by December I will be taking a contract overseas, where my wife and the newborn shall be joining me.

We live with 3 lovely cats, whom my wife used to like.
Ever since she has been pregnant, she has turned against them. She got worried about toxoplasmosis. Although she doesn't actually have any dealings with the cats i.e feeding or changing their cat litter.
Nonetheless, she went for a toxoplasmosis test, which all came back negative. I should mention at this point that she does suffer from OCD ( contamination/disease fear). She was on Sertraline 0.50mg for a while but stopped when she wanted to try for a baby. Since she has come off the meds, her OCD has got progressively worse. It has got to the point now where she sees a specialist midwife weekly to address any concerns with her pregnancy. She has also been referred to see someone to receive CBT (cognitive behavioural therapy).
Anyway, thank god the baby is all fine.

She has told me now that she wants to move out of the house until I go overseas to work. She doesn't want the baby to be near the cats.
Moving out of the house is going to be very costly, as I'm already paying a mortgage. It would cost over £1000 p/m excluding food. She has told me that she would foot the bill for moving out from 'daddy's money'.
To me it seems a bit extreme, as this money could go towards our baby's future and anything unexpected.
The house we are in has a spare room, which would be great as a room for the baby.
She has also told me that she needs her own space. I fully appreciate this, but if she could just wait a few months until we all travel overseas, she can have all the space she needs.

I love my wife dearly, I want to help her, and would welcome your opinions on this matter. I want her to be happy but i don't want her to be controlled by her OCD. She has given me an ultimatum. Either the cats go or we move out. This is a real tough one.

MrsChickPea Tue 05-Aug-14 19:08:50

Not much help with OCD as no experience, but I'd suggest trying to help your wife now as much as you can now (not moving necessarily but with help to overcome as much as possible the OCD). I am sure the OCD will only get worse once the baby arrives - as we all get a little paranoid over cleanliness then. Congratulations by the way! How long has she had OCD?

AlpacaMyBags Tue 05-Aug-14 19:11:14

I think even if the cats get rehomed, she will move on to another obsession. Has she started the CBT yet?

SilverStars Tue 05-Aug-14 19:36:05

Have you had a joint session with the mental health midwife to discuss this? If they would allow it?

How is your wife regarding plans to move abroad with a new baby? Which sounds a daunting prospect ignoring any mental health issues. Is there support available is the other country or covered by private health care or your job? Or you can finance privately. As it will be a loss, weekly free counselling and the option of specialist peri-natal mental health care, children centre and health visitor support.

A new country, new job, new baby with perhaps no friends or family in an unknown country may be fuelling some of how your wife is? Perhaps. Could she stay with a friend or family for a week or so to see if that solves the issue? If so it may be the cats. If not then it is a bigger issue.

People do not easily get offered weekly midwife support and cbt therefore it tells me there are bigger issues than cats and perhaps she will struggle wherever she is, at least until baby is safely here.

SilverStars Tue 05-Aug-14 19:38:03

Are you taking the cats abroad? Of not what will you do with them? Whoever has the cats could they have them now? Many people are wary of cats around a tiny baby as well as in pregnancy.

I wonder of the ultimatum is an unconscious check whether she has your full support. You will be working full-time, I imagine she will be at home with the baby at least in first 6-12 months. Scary times.

Dad4ever Tue 05-Aug-14 19:56:40

The cats will stay at home with my brother. The country we will be going to is familiar to my wife and I. Also we have friends there and family close by also.

Jessica279 Tue 05-Aug-14 19:57:26

I am dad4ever wife and let me clarify something here .

I know I have OCD and I need help but I chose not to take any medications because there will be 0.001 percent risk for the baby.

My husband and I live with his brother who is a good friend of mine but not it is more about Privacy, I need to feel I have privacy with my baby and No cats to be around her which I am fully entitled to . Not many women would accept to live with the Husband's family for three years and I have accepted that.

I am financially capable of moving and renting another place , which will be my own place , my own rules....

P.S (I cant even change the cutlery without taking everyone's opinion hahahah ) that is a small example.

I am very OCD when the cats are around because their hair is flying everywhere... they are three hairy cats, I am a first time mum and I think I have the right to have the whole nice experience with a new baby without being worried about cats and cleanliness.

Dad4ever Tue 05-Aug-14 20:01:30

Anyway, it's just a few months now and she will have all the freedom/privacy she needs.
I hope that after the cats it doesn't turn into something else.

AlpacaMyBags Tue 05-Aug-14 20:04:15

So the cats weren't yours, but belonged to the people you live with? And it sounds like you are living in what feels very much like 'someone else's' house to you. I can see why that would be difficult, probably even more so as you progress through your pregnancy and want to nest and prepare for the baby.

That said, if you're moving in December then presumably you aren't really able to find a place of your own now, as you'll be moving on soon. And you can't tell your husband's family to get rid of their cats. So I think you need to find a way to manage your anxiety about them (and their hair). Is there a different part of the house that they can be confined to?

plinth Tue 05-Aug-14 20:05:15

Ummm OP and wife shouldn't you really be having this conversation face to face?

plinth Tue 05-Aug-14 20:07:06

Fwiw the cat hair would drive me bonkers, but it doesn't really seem worth the hassle of moving just for 5 months max

Jessica279 Tue 05-Aug-14 20:11:12

No I want to moving out the house but still rent a place in the UK by September 2014 as I will not be joining my husband in his new job except after the baby Vaccination which will end by March 2015.

So I want to move from next month till March 15.

No I don't and never felt it is my house as Can't really make any solo decision with my husband as we have to consult his brother as he is part of the house.. I want to feel at ease in my own place.

@plinth smile)) He knows all what I said but I wanted you guys to know my side of the story

Dad4ever Tue 05-Aug-14 20:13:18

So she wants to move out with me for 6months/ sept-march. Which would be appx £6000 minimum, before we have even hit the supermarket. Ouch!

I think you guys need to discuss this face to face. Without us.

It's very easy to dismiss someone's actual preferences as part of a condition when it suits the point, every women faces a degree of anxiety when pregnant esp FTM and it's natural to want to control the environment to some degree (nesting, cleaning, baby proofing)

Don't forget your wife is still in there, even if she's struggling with OCD.

Dad4ever Tue 05-Aug-14 20:21:48

Sure, we are discussing this. I felt I might get a bit more closure on this if I were to share. It's good to see others opinions.

SpringItOn Tue 05-Aug-14 20:22:31

I don't suffer from OCD and I am a cat owner. When I was pregnant with my first, I also had worries about the cat. I think it's natural to feel a bit like this with a PFB.

I guess I can see both sides but that 0.001% chance is so minimal compared to your health and wellbeing. I guess the nature of your condition obviously gives you a very different view point though?

(Sorry if that sounds patronising, I don't mean it to)

When you say you want privacy, that really is understandable. OP your DW needs to be able to feel comfortable in her surroundings. How severe were the OCD tendancies prior to you taking medication and did it help you?

You need to talk to each other.

SpringItOn Tue 05-Aug-14 20:25:35

X-post. I see you are talking to each other but are choosing to do it on here. Fair enough! grin

Jessica279 Tue 05-Aug-14 20:25:43

medication used to help and i will start once i give birth , it is not only about the cats , it is also i need to feel privacy , especially I am getting bigger and need to wear comfy clothes which I cant do when my brother in law is around because of cultural reasons .

I wouldn't take the meds during pg even with 0.0001 risk

Why? They can't ethically study pregnant women

Pregnancy is a short time where family can support with illness unless it is extreme life/death type. The child's health is forever.

I was in a position where I fought while sick not to take meds, the week my baby was born the papers ran an article that the medication was actually dangerous after all... After doctors/family/friends trying to convince me otherwise for the duration. Still glad... Would not have coped with the guilt.

Sorry to go off on a tangent... Just I see the wife's POV

Dad4ever Tue 05-Aug-14 20:32:28

Yes, the privacy thing is coming. Just hold on a few months pleaaaase! Plus my brother can help out when we need.

Jessica279 Tue 05-Aug-14 20:33:46

@choochootrain1 , That is what I said to my midwife , if there is a tiny tiny risk , I will never do this to my baby. I prefer to suffer than making her suffer from anything in the future. smile

itiswhatitiswhatitis Tue 05-Aug-14 20:37:17

Sounds like your wife would like a place of your own where you can be a small family unit. She feels restricted in a home that doesn't feel her own and can't relax around your brother.

I think this sounds like less to do with OCD and more to do with your house share arrangement.

Capitola Tue 05-Aug-14 20:38:30

This is weird. Why not have this conversation with each other?

plinth Tue 05-Aug-14 20:52:13

It sounds like there are cultural issues whereby the wife can't be comfortable in her own home.

Do you have to cover up around BIL for example?

I wouldn't be looking forward to being pg and a new mother in this situation either Jessica. You need your privacy.

I would also want to have a place of your own. I think the OCD might be a red herring.

SpringItOn Tue 05-Aug-14 21:00:23

Yes, i think the cats are a red herring, you're going to be on your own for 3 months with the baby until you join your husband. Is it that period you're concerned about?

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now