But . . . I do find therapy very helpful for my life. Though I have completed CBT with my therapist, my husband and I have started seeing another psychologist who specializes in working with couples with anxiety disorder issues. This psychologist is also located in Boston and she was recommended by my therapist.
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We decided to start seeing her as there is a lot of "collateral damage" so to speak, caused by our having to live with my OCD for so many years. Next month, we will officially celebrate our 25th wedding anniversary. It is important to note, though, that the last 16 years of our marriage have been significantly impacted by my struggles with anxiety. Though I'm greatly improved now, my husband and I currently have a way of relating to each other that still caters to the demands of anxiety. This psychologist is helping my husband to stand his ground with me when it comes to compulsions, and to learn how to be a more effective ERP coach for me. Moreover, I think this therapy has helped my husband to feel less guilt about having some "normal" expectations of me. He has always treated me very gently, which is great, but it has made it easier for me to give in and avoid my issues. I have also found this therapy to be a great step-down from my previous therapy. We only see this psychologist every 2 or 3 weeks, and this will not be a long term therapy.
I have to admit that I feel a little weird about doing therapy once more. Lots of people live their lives without ever having to visit a psychologist. I was also a bit worried what people would think about me seeking therapy again. I've come to realize however, that it really doesn't matter what other people think. The reality is that when a person has a serious mental illness, it becomes a problem for both people in the marriage. It takes a great toll on the relationship. I would rather admit that I have an issue and deal with it, than continue to limp along and just survive.
We are already seeing some of the benefits of this therapy. Working together to fight the OCD and to improve our marriage is probably the best gift we could give each other for our anniversary.