Cheating OCD? Long post but really need some insight

Postby anon1989 » Thu May 04, 2017 8:08 pm

Hi everyone,
I'm new here. I think I may be suffering from Cheating OCD, but I'm not sure. Here’s what’s going on…

Been married for 10 years. Have a 2 and 5 year old. After my kids were born, I developed OCD with cleaning/sterilizing. I'd disinfect all day and developed eczema on my hands as a result. Sometimes after the kids were in bed, I’d clean the floors with rubbing alcohol. Would wash my dog's feet several times a day and 3-4 baths a week. Prior to cleaning I would feel extreme anxiety and then after cleaning, I'd feel relief. Sometimes I felt I needed to clean in a certain sequence to avoid recontamination. I have since recovered from that form of OCD.

A lot has changed in my life the last 2 years and I can say I’m under some stress. My husband and I opened and sold a business, we had a second baby, my husband quit his regular 9-5 job to open another business with a few other partners and take a 40% pay cut with longer hours and a less predictable schedule, we moved in with my parents, my daughter started school. I don’t get much help from my husband with our kids and he doesn’t spend much time with us due to him working from home on the computer and having to go to work all the time.

About 2 years ago, when talk started about starting the business he’s with now, I began to worry. I saw a text to a friend on his phone. His friend was giving him details of a hook up and my husband wrote back, "I hate you", as if to say, he hated his friend for being able to live the single life. I asked about it and he said it was a joke. Since then, I've started snooping and last year found some more texts that were talking about women he would run into while running business errands and he'd text his friends, "You should have seen the girl I saw today,” type of stuff. The texts made me see him in a different light, and made me feel pretty crappy about myself to be honest. But he chalked it up to "guy talk". He said he’s always talked that way and pointed out that he used to be able to joke around with me too about other women but that I’ve become so self-conscious that he can’t do that anymore. One day I was reflecting on how bad our relationship had gotten. Then out of nowhere I thought, "At least he's not cheating on me". And then I immediately thought, "Wait, what if he is?" Ever since, I've been trying to find proof that he is. These thoughts also came around a time that my best friend found out her husband cheated on her, my husband’s best friend cheated on his fiancé and his business partner cheated on his wife and then girlfriend after he got divorced. So there were many people in our lives cheating/being cheated on.

I’ve always viewed my husband as the most trustworthy person I've ever known. He’s always been against cheating. His dad cheated on his mom, his bro-in-law cheated on his sister. But I wonder if the past two years has changed him and made him wander closer to someone else. He’s told me he felt I didn't support him much while he was trying to open the businesses to support us (because I always complained about the long hours he worked. It was hard and very lonely taking care of a newborn and toddler practically on my own).

I snoop through his phone, read his emails, check his car, check his clothes pockets and wallet, check the bank statements and phone records, his facebook messages. I always feel anxious checking these things, afraid I will find something, then when I find nothing, I feel a little better. Could this be Cheating OCD? I've read about people suffering from Cheating OCD where they are convinced they cheated on their spouse, but I can't find much info on situations where one spouse thinks they're being cheated on. I can't get the thought or images out of my mind of him being with another woman, especially a certain woman in particular. I used to suspect this 22 year old girl he hired and then I got over it, thinking it was silly of me to think that (we are 36 FYI). But now the feeling is back and I'm suspicious about her again. I feel like something happened between them and people at his job might know and feel sorry for me, like I have no clue I've been cheated on. I have no proof of that, it’s just in my mind. He knew this person for about 2 years before he hired her. She no longer works for us but stops by a lot to visit her friends who work there. She’s always super friendly with my and my kids. I would think if something had happened, she’d appear a bit awkward around me? I don't think he'd ever mess around with one of his employees because he was extremely against it when the subject came up regarding owner/employee relations and said under no circumstances were the owners allowed to date the staff. But, there were probably many nights where he and she closed shop together when no one else was around and something could have happened. Mistakes are sometimes made, maybe they got caught up in the moment/sexual tension/moment of passion? It makes me sick. Or maybe he cheated with her when they first met a couple years ago? It's all I think about. My mind bounces around, "Could he have messed around with this person? Or maybe he slept with this person or this customer”. I have no proof of anything going on. And this girl has always seemed super moral. Ive heard stories where she was on a date and found out the guy had a girlfriend and was uncomfortable being on the date with him knowing he had a girlfriend, even though he called his girlfriend and told him he was with her. She told me once that she had raised her standards for guys since meeting my husband because it made her realize hard-working/loyal family guys exist. But then I think, maybe all of that is a cover up to keep me from being suspicious of something going on between them. Every time I've been suspicious of something and investigated, it has checked out ok. He is always where he says he's going to be. But every time something pops up, I can't let it go. It's almost like I think, "What if THIS is the evidence I've been looking for?" and then I investigate and it turns out fine. My friend told me I’ve been trying miserably for two years to prove something is going on. The only sketchy thing I've found was a credit card charge for a sushi place. It was only $15, but it was sketchy to me because he was running work errands and was on his way back to work when he stopped for sushi. My husband is a drive-thru guy. I thought it strange he'd stop for sushi (although he has at times randomly said he’s in the mood for it). But, there's a sushi place right across the street from his job that he was on his way back to, so why not wait 20 minutes and get sushi there once he got back to work? I told my mom and her response was, “That’s him. He’s spontaneous and when he wants something, he wants it right away”. I also found a charger in his car that didn't match his phone. I asked what it was for and he said he used to use it to charge his bluetooth headset before the headset broke, and that he just never took the charger out of his car after it broke. But it was plugged into his car charger so IDK why it would have been plugged in if he wasn't using it, unless it belonged to someone else? He has since put it in the business for employees/customers to use to charge their phones if they need it. Our finances are transparent to me. I can log on and see charges and withdrawals whenever. His entire paycheck gets deposited into our checking account.

Anyway, he is adamant that he's never cheated. He swore on the lives of our kids that he's never cheated (something he's never said before). But when I brought up this girl, his response was, "She's only 22, she could be my daughter" and "She's one of the grossest people I know" (her behavior, not what she looks like). When I married him, I KNEW that that wasn't something I needed to worry about with him but I feel so different now. I just don't know if this is all in my head? Some days I think, "That's not him, he'd never do that" and others I convince myself that he did. It's literally driving me crazy. My parents and friends think I have nothing to worry about and that it's just OCD and irrational thoughts. Because of these thoughts, I’m on Zoloft and Welbutrin and see a therapist and psychiatrist. I’m assuming he wouldn’t let me do all of that if he really had cheated? I would think he’d come clean before I started taking meds. I hope that’s the case. But I can't stop wondering. Could he be? How will I ever know? Is this just OCD? I'm sorry this was so long! FYI I'm looking to switch therapists to one who specializes in OCD, as my current one isn't helping too much. This is literally driving me crazy. I'm having a hard time showing him affection and being his partner because I feel he did something, even though there's no proof. It's been very damaging to our relationship. He told me a few days ago he hoped I got over it soon, because he'd like a partner again. I'm so confused.
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Postby Cooler » Fri May 26, 2017 8:08 am

Hi anon,

I'm no expert, but some psychologists tell us that OCD may be based on fear. We fear something badly and then have all the looping thoughts and behaviour to somehow block out this fear. Unfortunately it doesn't help and we get more and more worried and looping.

From your post it does seem that you are in a fear loop over your partner. Also, the OCD tends to isolate us and even pushes other people away.

I think you have recognised clearly what is happening and want to find a way out. A new therapist with OCD specialisation would be a good move, and also cognitive behaviour therapy has a good track record. The bottom line is the OCD in my view, and the 'cheating partner' fear is the way the OCD is hurting you. OCD will always give the sufferer a fear, that is how it works.

I hope things get easier for you soon.

Good thoughts,

Alex.
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