Romance is complicated for even the most “normal” individuals; so, for a girl suffering from a bad case of OCD mixed in with your fair share of anxiety and depression, things can get interesting, to say the least.
All relationships, especially when between two imperfect human beings, are hard work. However, in a world where dating happens behind computer screens and cell phones and defining what your connection with another person is can be nearly impossible to do (Are we just friends? Friends with benefits? Boyfriend/girlfriend? Exclusive?)—romantic relationships are often fragile, filled with emotional landmines just waiting to blow at the slightest disturbance.
I’ve only been married a year and a half, and it’s been quite the learning experience for someone like me. I’ve had to learn how to compromise, to fight fairly, and to care more about someone else’s feelings than my own.
As someone who is stubborn and fiercely independent, I will admit it’s been an adjustment period.
My husband is no pushover, and while secretly I may be thrilled I’ve found someone who can finally handle everything I’m putting out there, I’ll never say so out loud.
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Unlike any of my past relationships, I was honest from the get-go with Braden. What he saw was what he got, and I’d run out of patience for anymore game playing.
I didn’t censor myself, and I figured if he couldn’t handle it, there was the door. It didn’t take long for him to see every part of me—the good parts and the not so good, too. He never did leave, though.
Since fully committing to my own recovery, he’s been with me every step of the way.
I have him to thank for getting me through some of my worst days. Truly, when everything in me is falling apart, my husband is the strength holding me together.
One thing I’ve learned for sure is my recovery, and especially my struggles with it, will impact my relationship. Especially on the bad days, when my illness overrides every other thought I have and my fear takes control, I am not the best version of myself.
I become someone else, someone I don’t always like very much.
My OCD is a disorder in my brain and causes me to say and do things I don’t mean, and when I’m feeling weak and at my lowest, my husband suffers for it.
Not only does he hurt because I hurt, but shamefully, I sometimes become the source of his pain. I pull away, falling into myself and lose who I am in the chaos. My illness makes me doubt everything, my self-worth and my strength, and it causes me to question whether I am even deserving of love.
As sure as I am that my recovery has the power to affect my marriage, I am even more certain my relationship with my husband is one of the greatest motivators I have. Braden’s love and support helps me believe that I can become greater than what weighs me down. I may never be completely free of my demons, but I know they will never hold as much power over me as love now does. I am beyond blessed, and I will never take my relationship for granted.
I have a partner who sees me, in every sense, and loves me unconditionally in spite of my failures.
He protects me and pushes me to be better. He is endlessly patient and forgiving, and his goodness makes me want to be something more than my illness. He is my anchor, in a sea rough with questions and fears. He holds me steady and stays the course, never expecting me to go it alone.
Ultimately, my recovery is something I have to face on my own, but my relationship with my husband is one of the reasons I am strong enough to do so.
Love is a tricky thing, and it’s not perfect or without fault, but it has been my lifeboat in this storm.
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