Post # 16
I agree that he needs professional help. Redoing chores like vacuuming and loading the dishwasher is not normal. Even if he doesn’t believe what he’s doing isn’t normal, him belittling you and treating you like a child warrants counseling.
It’s all fine and good to make jokes, but this really isn’t a joking matter. It will build up and tear your marriage apart if not addressed. My Dh tried to tell me that I folded towels wrong at first, and I shut that down immediately. It turns out that I didn’t fold towels the way his mum did and he had no other frame of reference (she died when he was a teen). He realized that because we lived in the home he grew up in, he got stuck thinking everything would be the same, but that it would be fine if they weren’t, too. We do most things differently from how his mum did now, and it works for both of us.
Post # 17
As mentioned by a PP, obsessive compulsive personality disorder (OCPD) was my first thought here. It might be worth looking into OP. I’m sorry you are dealing with this.
Post # 18
I’ve seen this twice, one case up close and personal as I was a live in nanny for the couple. The husband corrected his wife constantly and was condescending when she stood up for herself. As an example, he would go behind her and reload the dishwasher after her, even the silverware, claiming she loaded it wrong. He complimented how I loaded the dishwasher once, saying his wife always did it wrong, and I wasn’t flattered. I was struck by how unhealthy his behavior was. They divorced a couple years after I left. The other case was with a couple I still know. They are BOTH self proclaimed “neatfreaks,” and keep things very clean and organized no matter where they are or what they’re doing. The husband admitted that, in his case, he thought he had OCD as messes or clutter made him physically nauseous. In any case, his wife is one of the cleanest living people I know and it still wasn’t enough for him. He critiqued her and complained constantly, even to others in conversation. It destroyed their marriage. They divorced last year.
Of course what you’re feeling is upsetting. His nitpicking of you is unhealthy. It puts you undr constant emotional and psychological stress either trying to clam up to avoid a fight, trying to meet his demands, or standing up for yourself asking him to stop (which he won’t). I would say this is not a minor problem. It’s a major problem which will wear your marriage down to shards. I could recommend counseling if there are no other elements of psychological abuse that haven’t been disclosed. I think this particular is safe to bring into counseling. But counseling will only help if he’s willing to change for the sake of the relationship.
Post # 19
This is what I have been practicing saying:
You of course are welcome to do as you wish.
Me: wow I just vacuumed, I’m amazing, look how clean to rug is! ( to myself in my own head)
Husband: Comes in a undermines me by redoing and making passive aggressive comments…
Me: Honey, I notice you are vacuuming( or the kettle or the dishwasher) after I just did, I feel I vacuumed( loaded to the best I could, filled the water as I desired) beautifully but you of course are welcome to do as you wish!
Then walk away, don’t attach emotion or get pulled in and don’t argue or say anything that provokes explanation.
This way YOU set the standard for what you will or wont tolerate. You set the standard for how irritated you get. If you expect him to do it then take the power away by being assertive about it. Don’t attach emotion and look at it from an outsider. Its not you. Gently detach during these moments and use the tactic.
Post # 20
I remember your previous thread where you questioned whether you should take hand me down baby clothes and your husband worried they were too dirty – now his concerns make more sense in the context of his OCD. I think he needs to seek some professional help to deal with his compulsive issues. Trust me it will be nearly impossible to maintain a perfect standard once the baby arrives
Post # 21
I think many of these comments are really harsh. “It’s not your problem”, or “make him do everything” are not healthy suggestions. OCD is tormenting, he doesn’t need to be tormented by you as well. You can have a calm conversation with him to remind him that you’re not in his head and it’s impossible for you to know exactly how he wants things done. From a place of love, not frustration, ask him: what do you think will happen if the dishwasher is run as is, you don’t revacuum the carpet, etc. This thought has helped me put things into perspective. I do agree that he should see a therapist. OCD usually gets worse as time goes on, and with a new baby his standard of living will be impossible to keep up with.