Cheating OCD, but my partner actually cheated on me

Quote

Hi. First off all; sorry for my bad english! I have a kind off special case going on. I have suffered from Pure O for many years now, in different forms. A year ago I suffered from cheating OCD, and I was terrified that I had cheated on my boyfriend everytime after I was drunk. But then my OCD slowly changed form, and I began to be afraid that my boyfriend had cheated on me but wouldn't tell me. Last summer he actually cheated on me while drunk at a party. He called me the day after and told me everything and was devastated. He has done everything he can to make it okay again, and to make me safe in this relationship. He almost doesn't drink anything anymore and I can check his phone whenever I want to. So all indications are that he will not be unfaithful again. But I think my OCD is ruining this relationship for me. I have become obsessed with the thought that he has cheated more times and wont tell me. I am terrified of this thought and think about it for several times each day. I ask him for at least 10-15 times a day if he is sure that it hasnt happened again and if he is lying to me about it. He assures me everytime that he promises that that one time this summer was the only time something like that has ever happened. I also ask my friends and family for reassurance a lot. "Do you think he is a maniac liar that cheats on me often" etc. I seek reassurance everywhere, on the internet, from him, his family, my family and so on....

I think this started last winter when he was at a school trip with his class. There was girls at that trip, and when he came home I was sure he had cheated on me. I had no evidence at all, but I was terrified. It was like my brain had decided that he had cheated on that trip almost before he went to the trip. "What if he cheats on me on this trip" was the start thought. That was when these thoughts started. If the cheating this summer hadn't happened I think recovery and saving this relationship would have been so much easier. I think that he is an honest person that tells me if something like that happens, because he actually told me when it happened. But the doubt that he wont tell me if it happened again is terrifying. How can I cope with this? I understand that my OCD revolve around he cheating and not telling me, and the truth is that he most certainly will tell me if it happens again, but i struggle so much with this anxiety that I don't know what to do anymore. It is ruining my relationship with this great guy that did a horrible one time mistake that I don't think he will do again. I really love him, and he screwed up, but he had the courage to actually tell me the mistake he had done, and that says a lot about a person. Many people would pretend like nothings ever happened. Is this a kind of cheating OCD? Sorry for the long text, but I am really sad and scared. What should I do? Thank u so much if anyone can help me just a little bit.

Quote

Can someone please reply?:(

Quote

I don't have any experience with your type of OCD or a cheating boyfriend, but I have experience with OCD so I will give it a try. I think it would be normal to have some anxiety around your boyfriend cheating as it has happened in the past, however it sounds like you are giving the thought a lot of energy which is making it worse for you. People with OCD want certainty in life and we can never receive total certainty about most things - maybe death and taxes like the old saying goes. I would say that if you want to continue in this relationship to stop seeking reassurance from your boyfriend as this will only cause more stress in your relationship and like any OCD thoughts try to disregard when they come in.  I am sure that will be difficult because of the past issue but I can't see any other way around it.  The more you focus on it and question the worse things will get as far as I am concerned. 

Maybe other people have more experience with this type of OCD - just wanted to give you some encouragement as I can see you are in pain and distress.

Quote

I am quite nee to my ocd diagnosis but what o have u fees told so far is that it all revolves around fear and uncertainty. I also had a strong fear around cheating ( from both sides ) and slowly realized that once I got better in that area ocd found another very personal and difficult topic in life. That’s why it is a disorder ... it is a tricky disease putting people into very troublesome mental states. It happens on purpose... ocd attacks the most important areas in our lifes bc it needs to elicit fear. If it wasn’t important we wouldn’t have fearful response but that’s exactly what ocd needs. Evoke emotional reaction of fear to the point that we feel like we need to mobilize our actions and prepare for the worst and that that is the only way to get a safety and relief. Unfortunately the behavior that gets mobilized urges us to be prepared and rationalize, ruminate and ask for reassurance is the very behavior that makes the ocd stronger. The behavior and thought patterns make pathways in our brain and the more we ruminate the stronger they get. The focus needs to be on rewiring  the brain and to weaken the pathways. When we get reassurance it obviously is not helpful because we continue asking for one. So that is not only a solution but also it harms relationships and takes away our selfconfidence away. Since ocd is about learning how to tolerate uncertainty I’m learning to take a baby steps. After years of ruminating when I started to make a progress a realized that ruminating never helped and every time ended by me saying “ there is no way I can control that “ or “ I will never know “ and move to another activity while managing anxiety the thought evoked ( like holding that uncertainty feeling and breathing and staying with it for a while moving from that physical space ). With practice now I can do that not after long rumination and the catch myself sometimes right when it starts, say the phrase and move on. What helped me was definitely therapy and maybe medications as well. Not sure if you have an access to see ocd specialist. Also I learned that boyfriend by reassuring the honesty a devotion to the relationship is actually enforcing ocd instead of helping you to be ok with uncertainty and learn how to trust. Trust is not when we know that they’re not cheating it’s when we give them our love and stability without truly knowing what they’re doing. That’s normal and it’s life ... unfortunately for ocd people obtained with a practice and time and therapy. There is info about relational ocd on internet and I think you could benefit from learning about it together with your boyfriend to bring some lightness into your relationship if unable to do therapy or therapy together. Not sure if any of this makes any sense but it’s something that is helpful to me. 🙂