OCPD And Being In A Relationship
So you’re dating a guy who seems to be perfect for you(btw, I am the guy referred to here :)). He’s everything you’ve ever wanted. You can tell that he just gets you, and everything feels right. Except that he has one problem, which is that he has obsessive-compulsive personality disorder (OCPD). This article will discuss what OCPD is and how it affects relationships.
Obsessive-compulsive personality disorder (OCPD) is a personality disorder which generally consists of someone who has a “preoccupation with orderliness, perfectionism, and mental and interpersonal control at the expense of flexibility, openness to experience, and efficiency” (American Psychiatric Association, 2013, p. 765). In a nutshell, people with OCPD are typically very fussy and controlling. They also have problem letting go of control when it would be better for them to do so – this means they can seem stubborn from an outside perspective. Because they value perfectionism and mental and interpersonal control, people with OCPD tend to hold themselves to very high standards. These high standards make them seem like they are always trying to be in control of everything, which can come across as bossy or “uptight” (For more information on the DSM-V criteria for OCPD, see American Psychiatric Association, 2013.)
With all of this in mind, you may be wondering how OCPD affects relationships. It definitely makes them harder, but it’s not all bad news.
Basically, people with OCPD are typically very picky about who they date because their high standards cause them to want only the best for themselves. This means that by dating someone who has OCPD, you can feel like no one else will ever live up to their standards. You may start to wonder if anyone at all could live up to these standards, and this can cause you to feel insecure or inadequate when it comes to your relationship. Or, if someone with OCPD is very controlling in the relationship, you may feel like no one else would want to deal with that kind of controlling nature, so you might as well stick around.
On the other hand, if your partner’s OCPD is not as intense as it could be, you might appreciate being with someone who has a lot of self-control and knows how to stay on task. In addition, having OCPD can teach a person about boundaries, since people with OCPD usually have trouble knowing where to draw the line between their own thoughts and another person’s. So even though it is challenging, having a relationship with someone who has OCPD can be rewarding.
However, if your partner’s OCPD becomes too intense at some point in your relationship, there are some things you can do to help with the situation. The first step is to voice your concerns and how you are feeling. Let them know that even though they might not be doing it on purpose, you still feel disrespected or controlled by their actions towards you. However, since people with OCPD have a hard time letting go of control and being flexible with their own thoughts, this might not go over so well. If that’s the case, don’t get discouraged; just keep trying to talk about it until your partner gets what you’re trying to say. Another thing you could try is to support them in their goals and interests while still maintaining your own individuality . This may be helpful because people with OCPD often feel substantial outside validation, like through achievements or accomplishments (American Psychiatric Association, 2013). As long as you don’t take it too far and start to neglect your own interests in order to satisfy theirs, this can be a nice compromise.
Overall, having a relationship with someone who has OCPD can be difficult but rewarding. It is important to note that it’s not anyone’s fault that they have OCPD, and if their behavior causes you to feel insecure or uncomfortable, just know that there are ways to manage the situation and things can get better. Remember: even though your partner has OCPD , you are still a good match for each other.