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AIBU to be revolted by DH's constant lip picking

(19 Posts)
user1473602935 Sun 12-Mar-17 21:41:07

He does this all day - whether we're driving, watching TV, talking face to face, he continuously picks little bits of skin off his lips and sometimes until they bleed. Then there are more bits to pick it!

He doesn't care that I find it disgusting, and gets defensive if I dare to ask him not to do it!

Makes my skin crawl

AIBU and how can I convince his it's really gross for other people and he should stop!?

greenworm Sun 12-Mar-17 22:21:48

I am also a lip picker/skin picker (terrible with skin around fingernails too) though it goes through phases. It is like a compulsion, I don't want to do it as it looks gross and IS gross, but it is just so hard to stop. Very difficult to explain if you don't feel the urge yourself. My DP has never really said much about it, but my mum would get upset about me doing it so I just became more furtive about it, but still couldn't always resist even when she was around.

YANBU at all though, I fully understand it must be gross to witness. But I think if your husband is aware you hate it but hasn't been motivated to not doing it around you, you're onto a losing battle.

I partly think it might be genetic too, my dad did the same.

I would never let leave bits of skin for others to clear up though, in my defense.

Happyandhungry Sun 12-Mar-17 22:24:15

Get him to apply lip balm each time rather than pick. Like a replacement habit. Like having a glass of water instead of a cigarette etc.

highinthesky Sun 12-Mar-17 22:24:15

Sounds like dermatillomania to me!

Thebookswereherfriends Sun 12-Mar-17 22:28:23

I used to lip pick during winter months as a teenager. I was pretty unhappy and I think now that it was probably a form of self harm because I always used to pick at scabs too. Once I left home and became somewhat happier the habit went away. Maybe your dh is anxious/unhappy and doesn't realise he's doing it most of the time.

Phalarope Sun 12-Mar-17 22:32:39

Has he always done it?
I remember doing it in my pushchair so it's a pretty ingrained (horrid) habit. Have tried many times to stop and failed, but I probably would try harder if DP asked me to. I don't do it in front of people, I don't think.

SunnyCoco Sun 12-Mar-17 22:33:12

I suffer from this compulsion too

My husband can't stand it

I know it must drive you mad but if he's like me he just can't help it. I know it looks awful, and it really hurts sometimes but I can't stop sad

U2HasTheEdge Sun 12-Mar-17 22:37:37

I do it all the time.

I can't seem to stop. I get sore at times and bleed quite often. I pick with my fingers and with my teeth. When I apply lip balm I wipe it off because I haven't got any dry bits to pick.

I enjoy it, even though it hurts at times.

I am definitely worse about it when my anxiety is bad.

U2HasTheEdge Sun 12-Mar-17 22:38:34

BTW it doesn't bother my dh at all.

abbsisspartacus Sun 12-Mar-17 22:45:06

Its an anxiety thing I tear off my skin till it bleeds sometimes

Fairylea Sun 12-Mar-17 22:46:32

I am a skin picker too. For me it's the edges of my fingers and I really cannot stop doing it if I have the urge- usually in the evening when I'm relaxing but also if I'm stressed. I literally do it until it bleeds and have done so since I was a child (I'm now 36). I know it drives my dh mad so I try hard not to do it around him too much but sometimes he will ask me not to and I have to admit it gives me the rage. It's the only way I know how to relax so for someone to tell me not to is the equivalent of someone turning off a film I'm enjoying half way through....!

INXS Sun 12-Mar-17 22:51:03

"sometimes he will ask me not to and I have to admit it gives me the rage. It's the only way I know how to relax so for someone to tell me not to is the equivalent of someone turning off a film I'm enjoying half way through....!"

Yes, I get like a defensive caged tiger when DP tells me off.

"how can I convince his it's really gross for other people"

OP, it's called dermatillomania, and it's not about you.

Scribblegirl Sun 12-Mar-17 22:54:32

I have a thread in MH about this.

I have dermatillomania (also known as excoriation disorder). I know it's horrid. He won't be doing it to piss you off.

I could bleed and bleed and put up with serious pain, it doesn't stop it. I hate to gross out DP and friends and family but it's a mental health problem according to the DSM and the way to stop them isn't by saying 'ew'. I'm working to tackle my underlying anxiety.

If it was the more well established trichtotillomania, would your reaction be the same?

CaptainHarville Sun 12-Mar-17 23:00:21

I never knew it had a name. My DH moans at me to stop and I just can't! It's soothing for me, no idea why. The more anxious I am the more I do it.

PickAChew Sun 12-Mar-17 23:01:46

At least he doesn't sniff all day.

user1473602935 Mon 13-Mar-17 08:40:15

Really insightful responses, thank you everyone! I will try to be more understanding. He is quite a stressy person so doing it as an underlying anxiety thing explains a lot

londonrach Mon 13-Mar-17 08:43:33

Wow, thanks op as orthers have now given this a name. My dh also suffers. I just hate it when its bleeding. Been better recently. Is it linked to stress.

INXS Mon 13-Mar-17 15:12:10

Good for you OP.

In terms of practical support, a lip balm could help (to be used only at home in the evenings if he's squeamish about looking like he's wearing lip gloss grin ) as it's harder to pick at moisturised skin.

The other thing is keeping fingernails scrupulously short.

I think physical barriers to picking, although they seem like workarounds, are the most helpful. As the more you pick, the worse it gets.

amusedbush Mon 13-Mar-17 15:43:04

I do this, as well as picking/biting the skin around my fingernails. I know it's gross and I don't want to do it, but generally I don't even notice until after I've done it. I'll keep doing it even when it's sore!

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