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Positive tips on handling this relationship and life?

(21 Posts)
goldsilver Thu 07-May-15 09:59:19

Hi to all you good people :-) I have valued reading responses here, very much.
My OH would be a delight to some women. He is sweet, loving, charming at times, intelligent, with a sense of humour, works hard, etc.
He also has obsessive ways, he has an obsessive personality. His former wife (over 20 years) had OCD, His father has OCD. To give you an example, yesterday I cleaned the house, worked hard. There is a sponge on the bath, used for cleaning. I did not remove it when I cleaned the bath and I used bleach to help get rid of damp patches. When he came home from work, his first words were; "I can smell bleach. Did you clean the bathroom? Did you remove the sponge?" No, I didn't. Apparently I was careless for not doing so, because it meant he had to buy a new sponge now! (which you can get for a quid but it meant he had to put the effort in in getting one). This illustrated to me how his brain works, what is important to him.
He has routines and ways that he has created to make his life easier and stress free. But to someone living with him, they can be at best just irritating and at worst, time consuming and restrictive. He has to do ironing, he has to fold his clothes in a certain way, he still lies on the bed to put his hair into a ponytail and he has routines that he follows every day before he leaves. The list, if I created it, would depress me. I have tried to talk to him about it, but he will never change. He never realised, till I came along, that anything was amiss. His brain is wired this way and he doesn't wish to change, he can't see the problems. He wakes me at half five every morning to go to work (this still is a problem) and he snores. He hoards things, he is quite miserly with money. I realise he has OCPD. He stares at women too, it is as if he can't help himself. He says he doesn't even realise he does it. Maybe he doesn't. But I find it disrespectful, and of course, I have told him, but it continues.
My health isn't exactly the best, I suffer from anxiety, am going through the menopause.
This weekend we are going to a music gig that lasts ten hours a day over both days! We can't go later because he said we won't get a parking space. So that is that.
But the real problem has to be me. He won't change, so I need to. I don't have much of a life, it revolves uselessly around his really. I suffer from mild agoraphobia but I want to get out there and lead a better life. And I try to do this every day.
I am hoping to do a masters degree in September but I can't afford to do this and leave him, for example, and rent a place of my own. I feel trapped.
He can be so lovely, the best man I have ever met (and I have known and been out with many). Yet these problems exist.
Anyone with a positive spin on this please?

FredaMayor Thu 07-May-15 10:39:34

"He won't change, so I need to." - Why do you say that? If you are in a relationship then addressing problems should come from both of you, not you sacrificing yourself on his altar, FGS.

Menopause - the symptoms can be life-affecting, is HRT an option for you?

With regard to the Master's, how would you be getting your funding? Full time or part time?

Sorry to be brief, need to go and vote for some idiot.

ImperialBlether Thu 07-May-15 10:43:55

Get yourself on the HRT, OP, it's amazing!

I would think that living with someone who has rigid routines and beliefs would drive me mad, actually. Do you feel it has a huge impact on you?

Now is your time to get out if you're going to get out. Why do you think you couldn't pay for your MA? You can get a Career Development Loan - is it the sort of MA that would help increase your salary?

Do you work at the moment? Do you rent?

bluejelly Thu 07-May-15 10:44:25

You poor thing, that sounds a very tough life to share with someone. Has he ever had treatment for his OCD?

goldsilver Thu 07-May-15 10:45:47

FredaMajor, thank you :-) Yes, I have to vote too, for some idiot ;-) I am on HRT; only been a couple of months, so still waiting for positive effects, but think there have been some changes.
No real funding for Masters, will be full-time and I have applied for a scholarship in the hope I might be successful. If I am I will have fees paid for, if not, I have to find them. I have some savings but only enough to really cover doing the Masters at a real struggle.
I believe that both should change in a relationship, if needs be, but I know in my heart he won't change. He is almost 50. Perhaps one day, when he sees the light of day...

goldsilver Thu 07-May-15 10:48:55

ImperialBlether, his routines do have an impact sadly. I hope that eventually I would do a PhD but it could increase my employability. I work from home at the moment. I rent, from him! He is, in effect, my landlord. Bluejelly, he has never had treatment. He won't. He doesn't see he has an issue at all. It has only been me coming along that has given him any insight and even then, he just gets annoyed or denies it as he says what he does makes his life easier and less stressful.

Jan45 Thu 07-May-15 10:54:15

Too much hard work going on there, and it's you doing it, it's not about you changing, it's about you making up your mind if you can stay with a man who has very little respect for you or, if you think, you are worth more than that and could be happier on your own, or even with someone else.

bluejelly Thu 07-May-15 11:38:48

Personally I couldn't hack being with someone who had so many issues and refused to explore treatment options. Are you willing to sacrifice your own happiness for his illness?

goldsilver Thu 07-May-15 11:43:45

Jan45, it can be very confusing, because he can be so very attentive and caring and respectful, wanting me to be happy. I just don't think he can help the way he is, it is entrenched in him. Even the looking at women, he just doesn't seem to be at all aware! But all what you have said goes through my mind. And it doesn't appear like an illness Bluejelly, not like me with anxiety and agoraphobia. Just seems like I am criticising him all the time, as he says. He is lucky really, he has found a way to live his life in a relatively calm way, but perhaps not for me.

Galvanised Thu 07-May-15 11:58:58

He probably has aspergers, not an illness.
He can't intrinsically change himself but he might be able to be a bit more aware of how he behaves and how that impacts on others with lots of discussion. It's up to you to to decide if you want to stay or not. A tip, you need to be really strong in your own beliefs, if you believe something is reasonable or unreasonable stick to this. You can work out what changes he can cope with and what he can't and go from there.

FredaMayor Thu 07-May-15 12:54:38

If you have to be self-funding it might be an option to consider for you to do the Master's part time, one or two modules at a time and that way it could reduce your outgoings on uni fees whilst staying in work. Another is to ask your employer to sponsor your fees if that is something that happens in your field. If you haven't already spoken to them, your Uni's Master's admission tutors may be able to suggest alternative ways of funding for you if you contact them. On graduation your employability prospects and salary level may well be improved because it is likely that your course work will have involved close analysis of the current critical issues and possible solutions in your subject of study.

Charley50 Thu 07-May-15 12:59:59

Why are you renting from your own partner, and why are you in a relationship with a man with a ponytail? (Just joking to make you smile). The OCD I would find v difficult but what's the deal with the renting situation? Is it fair?

goldsilver Thu 07-May-15 13:09:38

I have often thought that, Galvanised, that he has aspergers. Thank you for the tip, that's a good one :-) He is very different to most people. Sometimes he just doesn't think and can even be insensitive. He certainly isn't an easy person to live with. I suggested once before that he had aspergers and he didn't like that! Thanks FredaMajor, good points, I will try all I can to get help financially. Charley50, the renting situation is an odd one. I am his lodger and pay him rent every month. I think it is a reasonable rent as I wouldn't be able to live anywhere else so cheaply. It is another way, I suppose, of contributing to the bills which is what I would do anyway.

bluejelly Thu 07-May-15 14:02:37

How long have you been together? Do you have children? (Sorry for all the questions)

goldsilver Thu 07-May-15 14:18:44

We have been together about two years. No children. I have a daughter from a previous relationship who is 18 but doesn't live with us. She adores him but often tells me she couldn't cope with him!

MatildaTheCat Thu 07-May-15 14:33:51

I wonder if you would be happier living separately. I have a friend so has a partner with many of the same character traits and he drives her mad even though she loves him.

Living with someone who criticises my cleaning that way would be very difficult for me and living with a miser would probably be a deal breaker. Being mean with money to the person who is your partner is almost always associated with emotional meanness, too.

Him being your landlord is strange. Are you like a lodger with benefits? (Sorry, don't mean to be offensive). It's clouding the situation and making you unequal. You either are partners, equal and sharing or not and not isn't the best answer for anyone.

goldsilver Thu 07-May-15 14:38:34

I agree totally with you MatildaTheCat, and perhaps living separately might end up being the only solution.

AttilaTheMeerkat Thu 07-May-15 14:50:44

I remember you well and sadly I am not at all surprised to read that you are still there with him.

BTW did you ever seek out counselling or a therapist?.

Why do you think, "he won't change so I need to?". Is that what your mother also taught you in childhood?. I think you have also changed so much for people that you really do not know who you actually are. You've had to meet other people's needs your whole life rather than your own and you're still trying to meet his needs now. Its a long standing pattern.

Your mother certainly has a lot to answer for I think, the rot for you here really started with her. If you really think this individual is really the best man you have ever met, I shudder to think what the other men you dated were like. My guess is that were really very much like your mother.

Galvanised Thu 07-May-15 14:55:59

I think in cases of asd/aspergers the meanness with money is more to do with very rigid/inflexible thinking. Things are either right or wrong, logical/illogical, and emotions don't really come into it.
It can be very hard for the person to appreciate how the other feels though, which could come across as emotional coldness, but it's not intentional. My own dc with aspergers describes himself as feeling emotions very very strongly, which would explain how he passionately feels something is right or not right iykwim.

Jan45 Thu 07-May-15 15:27:20

Was this the thread ages ago about the lady who's man couldn't stop staring at females, if so, please get rid, he's an arsehole, never mind the rest.

goldsilver Thu 07-May-15 20:22:09

Attila, yes, have just started to see a psychologist. And yes, very much true about my mother but I am still determined to see a way through despite her legacy. I have been doing a lot to change my own 'programming'. And sadly, most previous relationships have been abusive and some just completely wrong. I could have done much better. Galvanised, I agree about things being either right or wrong. The man I am with is not controlling but he does have these things he does. Jan45, no, not the same thread ;-)

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