Recently, my husband and I went back to Boston for our occasional meetings with the CBT marriage counselor. Probably the biggest lesson I learned from this latest session is that I need to be very careful about letting myself slide backwards with the OCD. It’s really tempting to think, “Oh, well if I give in to this compulsion, it’s no big deal. It will only hurt me and no one else.” I'm discovering that’s really not true. Every time I give in, I allow my anxiety to get a further foothold on my mind. When this happens, according to this new psychologist of mine, it takes away energy that I could be putting towards my marriage. Not only that, when I give in to OCD, my world tends to shrink. Meaning, that I tend to spend less time doing “normal” things, and it snowballs and I start doing more OCD things. This of course, strongly impacts my husband. Unfortunately, it is really easy to think that much of what we do has no bearing on others around us.
Apparently, my husband loves it when I participate in healthy activities. This year, I planted a lot of flowers in front of our house. I didn’t know it until my husband admitted this in our session, but he likes it when I'm outside playing with the flowers. It makes him feel good to see me digging in the dirt and just “living.” He knows that when I’m really living, that I will be healthier, and that our relationship will be healthier. This also takes some of the burden off of him, because when I’m living more normally, I am much less dependent upon him. I know he feels a lot of responsibility for my mental health, and anything I can do to lessen that concern for him is a win-win for both of us. Who would have thought that just playing with some flowers could help my marriage?
What little healthy thing can you do that is good (and hopefully fun) for you, and thereby good for everyone who loves you?