By HANNAH LANG
It goes without saying that falling in love with someone often knows no rhyme or reason. No matter if you met one another in the schoolyard during childhood or as adults on a disabled dating website, the heart wants what it wants. As the old saying goes, the “course of true love never did run smooth” so there’s no telling what sort of challenges will ultimately come along with being in a loving relationship with someone.
Loving a person who has Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) comes with its own set of challenges and issues. Fortunately, they are things that can be dealt with together as a couple. Read on to find out how you can best help your partner with OCD navigate the ups and downs of everyday life while living with this condition.
- Be Understanding and Accepting
Understand that the thoughts and actions your significant other with OCD has are out of their control. They can manage them, yes, but there is no cure so telling them to ‘just think about something else’ isn’t going to go over well.
The first step to better understanding OCD is to learn about it. Accept your partner’s obsessive-compulsive thoughts and behaviors as just another part of them and not something to be rationalized or willed away.
People with OCD often need to vent and that’s understandable. Be there for your partner and listen when they’ve got to get something off their chest or mind. It’s been said that people were created with two ears and one mouth for a reason: to do more listening and less talking. Take that to heart when it comes to your significant other and really listen when they talk about their daily trials and tribulations.
- Know How Important You Are
Having the love and support of their partner can make a world of difference for someone with OCD. As is the case with any relationship, having someone by your side to help you face your troubles head-on or even just comfort you can be a real lifesaver, not to mention incredibly helpful for dealing with whatever life throws one’s way—even more so for someone with OCD. You are a VITAL part of their life; don’t ever forget that.
- Realize That There is No Cure
Unfortunately, there is no cure for OCD, no ‘magic’ pill your partner can take to do away with their symptoms. OCD never goes away. True, some rituals and repetitive behaviors and thoughts may (or may not) abate over time, but there are always symptoms that will exhibit themselves to some degree or another. It also helps if you realize that the brain of someone with OCD simply doesn’t function like yours does.
- Take Part
No, not in their rituals or anything like that but in their therapy if they ask you to do so. This all comes back to supporting your partner and being there for him or her, same as you should with any partner, including those who don’t have OCD.
Keeping these tips in mind and utilizing them can make you an important part of your significant other’s success in living and thriving day-to-day with OCD. The over thinking and paranoia that often go hand-in-hand with OCD can be best managed when you show caring and empathy. Above all though, remember that the support of a loving partner means more than you’ll ever know to someone who has OCD.
HANNAH LANG is a guest contributor for The Buzz Insider and is a passionate blogger with a graduate degree in creative writing. She has written thousands of posts for notable companies, charitable organizations and websites regarding world issues, psychology, pop culture and more. She is a dog lover, a globetrotter and likes to think of herself as a digital nomad.
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Image provided by writer and retrieved from Flickr.