Do we really love each other?

So, I’ve been doing pretty well lately. A lot of the harm obsessions have completely subsided and most days, if I didn’t know what to look for, I wouldn’t even notice that I have OCD.

(I do, I know I do. But more days than not, I feel almost neurotypical.)

But, right when one OCDemon gets vanquished, another pops right up into its place. Enter: relationship OCD.

My husband and I started dating in January of 2006. So I’ve already spent over a third of my life with him. We’ve been married since 2009. In the entire time we’ve been together, he has been truly phenomenal. His love and support have been unwavering. His respect and care for me have been constantly and consistently displayed.

Also in that time, I have never come across another person I have wanted to be with more. I am comfortable in our relationship, but I still feel the butterflies. He makes me happy in a way that I didn’t realize was possible, and I couldn’t imagine my life without him.

I have no reason to doubt his love for me. I have no reason to doubt my love for him.

And yet, I do.

OCD is the doubting disease, and it will make you question everything in your life. Especially the things you hold most dear, like the one person you have built your entire life around.

A lot of the obsessions have a recurring theme: adultery and divorce, or a fear that we’re not truly happy and only staying together because we made a commitment before God.

The rational part of my brain knows that the obsessions are categorically false.

But the emotional, anxiety-ridden, disordered part of my brain keeps whispering to me in those quiet moments.

Are you SURE you love each other?”

And of course, I am. Except when I’m not. Stupid OCD.

I’ll be meeting with my therapist on Tuesday, and I will be figuring out some exposures to tackle this, but that’s where I’m at right now.

 

Valentine’s Day…

It’s amazing the way love shifts once you have kids. 

My husband and I didn’t do anything special for today and I kind of love that. 

I’m not criticizing those who choose to make the day special, but I love how comfortable and content we are in our current phase of life. 

I love the way my husband shows his love in small, everyday ways. I love the way he can focus on our children and make them smile. I love the way he supports me. I love the way he can look at me when I’m completely exhausted and covered in snot/spit up/crumbs and see the girl he fell in love with a decade ago. 

I love the way he makes me feel beautiful.

I love the way he shows our children how to love by loving me. (And them)

If you would have told me before our children were born that I would grow this much in love, I don’t know that I would’ve believed you…

I am so blessed.

In sickness and in health…

Today, my husband and I celebrate 10 years as a couple.

…and he’s so sick that we canceled our date tonight. I started out by feeling incredibly disappointed, but seeing him through this very minor illness has caused me to reflect on the ways in which he has seen me through my own illness over the past months.

There’s never a convenient time to be sick, and there’s never a convenient time for someone you love to be sick. When someone you love is dealing with a mental illness, it can often take over their entire life, and yours as well. I know that’s what happened when I was hospitalized recently.

My wonderful husband had his entire world thrown for a loop.

He had to start working from home and relying on our parents to help with the kids. He had to look after our two very young children–filling the roles of both parents–while still working his full-time job.

He had to give me time to work through my OCD and live away from home, all the while working tirelessly to keep the life we built together from falling apart at the seams.

He truly was my rock and the only form of stability our children had for those two long, terrible months.

I cannot ever properly express the gratitude I feel to have such an amazing partner in my corner.

And the most amazing thing of all?

He expects nothing in return.

As a result, I worry that he is neglecting to take care of himself. He tells me he’s fine. His strength amazes me. People tell me I am strong, but I wouldn’t be half as strong without him there to hold me up when I am weak. I feel so protected.

More than anything, however, I feel awed by the way he has lived out our marriage vows each day. Had you told me 10 years ago that I would be loved so deeply, I wouldn’t have believed you. I wouldn’t have believed that someone like me, someone whose brain loves to hate her could actually be with someone who enables her to love herself.

All he wants is me. Me happy, me healthy, me back at my best, sure, but me. I am enough. Through all of the mess and the difficulty that comes with loving someone with OCD, my husband has never complained and never asked for anything more than me.

I don’t know what I did to deserve this wonderful man. I don’t know if I did anything. I’m fairly convinced that he is simply a gift from God. A wonderful gift that I never could have deserved but that was freely given that I might experience God’s love.

I am so blessed. So thankful. So loved.

I am so much better for having been loved by you, darling. Thank you for this beautiful life.