Catholicism & OCPD

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SpatulaCity

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Catholicism & OCPD
« on: January 02, 2020, 01:11:07 PM »
My husband and I are traditional Catholics.  Latin Mass, no birth control, etc.  I am suspecting that he has OCPD.  Yes, traditional Catholics are often stereotyped as "rigid" but my husband seems to have an attachment to order and following the rules in a very toxic way.  I feel like I can't get through to him no matter how illogical his thinking seems.   He often obsesses over me being on time for Mass and will be very rude and nasty to me if we don't show up on the dot.  He also doesn't want our children playing with non-Catholics and disapproves of me having friendships with secular people.  It's just...weird and not characteristic of most of the people from our church, who might have their quirky views but realize they need to live in the real world.

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Call Me Cordelia

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Re: Catholicism & OCPD
« Reply #1 on: January 02, 2020, 01:57:33 PM »
Fellow traddie here.  :wave: This sounds like scrupulosity to me. My husband suffers from it, although itís gotten better. I think itís fairly common for ACONs, and the pendulum going to far the other way in Catholicism in general (sin, whatís that?) sets us up for being too far to the other extreme. The on time for mass thing sounds familiar, and clocking everyone as soon as they finish breakfast to make sure we make the fast.

But being a few minutes late to mass is not a sin... being nasty to your wife over it is.  Have you confronted that attitude directly?

A book that helped my husband is called ďUnderstanding Scrupulosity.Ē A number of the saints suffered with this and the antidote is humility: Recognizing reality and what we can and cannot control. And how small we really are and dependent on God. Itís the virtue most necessary to personal holiness.

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SpatulaCity

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Re: Catholicism & OCPD
« Reply #2 on: January 02, 2020, 02:49:14 PM »
Nice to meet you!!  I do think some of the stuff my husband has done has been spiritual abuse.  I feel like he is pushing me away from God and I worry he'll eventually push our 2 daughters away from Him, too.  I also have BPD so one of the traits of that disorder is an "unstable sense of self" and through therapy I've been trying to sift through what my own values actually are, because I've spent so much of my life trying to mold myself into something that would be good enough for my husband, but with OCPD it doesn't seem like "good enough" is a thing. 

Unfortunately, my husband seems to have blocked off any input from me.  He isn't the sort of guy that will listen to his wife's book recommendation.   I always wonder what must go on during his confessions, because he doesn't seem to acknowledge that he does anything wrong or has areas where he could grow in character & virtue. 

I remember when we were engaged, we discussed contraception & NFP and agreed that NFP is an option if we have a serious reason.  We had 2 children and I had postpartum depression both times, in addition to my regular old depression & anxiety.  it was hell & I was suicidal and miserable for most of the first years of their lives so I told my husband that I didn't feel like it would be a good idea to get pregnant again.  At that point, he said our only choice was perpetual abstinence.  Because that's somehow more open to life than periodic abstinence?  He said he was worried we didn't have sufficient reasons for using NFP despite ample opportunities to discuss it with a priest.  The traditional priest I talked to said that I'm not obligated to have another child when there's a chance it might make my mental health worse and make it harder to care for our existing children, and this is why we have NFP.   It's not perfect, but we have to do our best to follow church teaching and take care of ourselves.  but it seems like with OCPD your best isn't good enough, so we just have a sexless marriage.

also although traditionists often get typecasted as "rigid," it isn't in the same league as OCPD.  With my husband,  he sucks the joy out of things that are supposed to be pleasant, such as holidays and family dinners with his insistence on things being done a certain way. 

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Call Me Cordelia

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Re: Catholicism & OCPD
« Reply #3 on: January 02, 2020, 04:19:22 PM »
That does sound more serious, beyond "traditionalist problems." I'm sorry if I minimized things. And really, really hard to live with especially with mental health struggles of your own! Your concern about spiritual abuse seems well founded. I struggle to this day to relate to God as Father due to trauma from my earthly father.

My parents have both NPD and OCPD. I wondered the same thing about their confessions. It's a hallmark of both of those disorders that they are never wrong!

Maybe someone else has better advice, but my initial thought is that the work you are doing in therapy to claim a sense of yourself and your values are what you will need to be able to take the next step of having the boundaries you need to cope with that craziness. Nowhere has the church ever said you can only associate with other Catholics for example...  :stars: It must be very difficult but it sounds like you're on the beginnings of a good path. I hope you keep posting, this is a very supportive and insightful bunch of people.

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puellareginae

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Re: Catholicism & OCPD
« Reply #4 on: January 02, 2020, 11:44:57 PM »
My DH and I are pretty traditional - we almost exclusively go to either Ordinariate (which is our main, as DH converted from Anglican Catholicism) or TLM, though we go to the occasional Novus Ordo Mass. I consider myself a submissive wife within reason, and my husband is a perfectionist to some extent.

I say all of this because I feel as though your husband's actions are not consistent with someone obsessive - compulsive. I've known people like this, and they were anxiety - ridden, and were harder on themselves than anyone else. You yourself said your husband doesn't acknowledge that he has any areas in which he could grow in virtue, which is concerning at the very least. My husband and I have discussed things like this time and again, and he's open and honest about his struggles and his strivings toward virtue. We both have friends who are non - Catholic, and we would not keep our kids from having non - Catholic friends - after all, my in - laws are Protestant and my dad isn't even Christian.

And, frankly, your husband refusing to have sex at all seems incredibly abusive of him. As a wife, you have a right, within reason, to enjoy conjugal love with your husband. His complete rebuff of you (until, I presume, you're ready to have another child) is poisonous to your marriage, and he surely has to know that.

I'm glad that therapy is helping you find your voice and beliefs. If your husband would be amenable, I would suggest that you do couples' therapy as well. If he won't go to a secular therapist, perhaps you could ask your parish priest to talk with you and offer advice. Perhaps, since he's a priest, your husband would be open to his words of advice.

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Call Me Cordelia

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Re: Catholicism & OCPD
« Reply #5 on: January 03, 2020, 12:11:14 AM »
NB: Obsessive compulsive disorder is very different from obsessive compulsive personality disorder. Someone on here described the difference as OCD as everything must be done a certain way and the disordered person will sacrifice their life and time to try to make it so, even though itís crazy. With OCPD the disordered person expects other people to sacrifice their time and life to make it so, and thinks everyone else is crazy.