(Closed) Husband is a perfectionist/OCD

posted 4 years ago in Married Life
Post # 16
946 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: December 1969 - City, State

greaselightning:  My once vibrant and outgoing cousin married a man like your husband.  Eighteen years later, she is literally a shell of who she was, and lives to keep her OCD husband from going off his rocker because something is not clean enough or isn’t organized the way he wants it.  I’d get into counseling if I were you, and if he isn’t willing, then consider if this is how you want to live the rest of your life.  

Post # 18
173 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: Breckenridge, CO

Was he like this before you married him?

Post # 19
881 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 2006


I can speak from your husband’s perspective. Mess genuinely makes perfectionists anxious. We have very rigid ideas about how things should be done and even though we may know our standards are unreasonable, we still find it hard to relax and let go of our inflexible beliefs about cleaning and organizing. 

My OCD came from being raised by a mother who would physically and verbally abuse me if I did not meet her very high standards of cleaning. A counselor helped me get to the route of my issues and also made me see how I was only hurting myself. 

Your husband needs counseling and perhaps medication. It helps if you acknowledge his feelings while firmly refusing to let his anxiety run your life. For example: “I can see that you’re upset about the floor but there’s no reason to get angry.” My husband will take cleaning supplies out of my hands and give me a hug. My husband will also tell me to relax and redirect my attention towards something fun. I’m still a very clean person but I’m not as neurotic as before. 

Post # 20
1810 posts
Buzzing bee

^^What mrswhitecat said. I’m not OCD but I do have anxiety and I am a perfectionist. I wish I wasn’t. It is so, so stressful and uncomfortable to come home to a disorderly house. I always wanted to be one of those people who could “let stuff go” and maybe get a B or C in college but I never could. I always “had” to get the A and make the bed with 12 perfectly arranged pillows each morning. (Eye roll) The pressure we put on ourselves is as great as the pressure we put on our non-perfectionist counterparts.

So I can say counseling definitely helps. It is all about me being more flexible while my Darling Husband is making an effort to be more clean in the areas that matter to me most. We have days we do chores together now so I know when to expect an acceptable and reasonable cleanliness level along with seeing him make the effort. On my side, I have learned to mindfully repeat things like “play doh is not the hill I want to die on….” or in my case, kinetic sand and mass quantities of Legos. 🙂 I have learned that he will willingly clean up after himself and my stepdaughter if I point out what’s bugging me KINDLY instead of letting it build or just cleaning it myself. Like pp, my husband now does what I ask, injects some humor while doing so and I make an effort to ask less or less often. I choose my “battles.” 

I’m still pretty meticulous and have certain standards for my counters, fridge, floors, and sink. But if a blanket gets left on the couch unfolded, the sun still rises tomorrow. 🙂

Post # 21
881 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 2006

mrswhitecat:   I meant “root” of my issues…not “route.” Sorry!

See? Perfectionist. FML…

  • This reply was modified 3 years, 11 months ago by  mrswhitecat.

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