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Boyfriend gets obsessions and I get shut out


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My boyfriend isn't officially diagnosed with OCD, but he has admitted he has an obsession with contamination and additionally he has vocal/motor tics and Aspergers traits. All of this he managed to hide until about 4 months into our relationship, but since then they've been getting worse and worse. I try to be as understanding, accommodating and caring as possible, but his problems put a lot of strain on me and they affect our relationship but it's only me that sees that and although he concedes that he can be very difficult to cope with, there's no understanding or compassion for my feelings or for me getting upset about anything.


What particularly hurts is when he gets obsessed over something and then shuts me out, even though I'm apparently the only person who knows about his problems and sees the tics etc. Last weekend he tried to show me a perceived stain on his hand, but I couldn't really see anything. He wrung his hands almost constantly all weekend (a tic he's been doing more and more), but was in a good mood, maybe because we were doing activities he chose and so was distracted. However, I normally go over to his after work on Tuesday evenings and this Monday he told me he didn't have the energy to even put a jacket potato in the oven for me, yet suggested we drive into town to a restaurant instead. He said it would be better to meet later in the week, but gave me no indication of when that might be and he's claimed today that he's feeling no better. He said, as he always does whenever he experiences any kind of negative emotion, that he is "fatigued" and "drained". However, despite feeling such apparent fatigue in these situations, he still goes to work, interacts with colleagues, visits his mum, goes shopping etc - in other words, every other part of his life carries on like normal except he doesn't want to spend time with me, the one person with whom he has admitted his OCD and Tourette's and has shown so much patience and care towards him. He knows I am fearful of rejection and I do feel rejected and shut out, but there's no point in telling him. I try to just carry on like nothing has happened, but inside I feel sad and wonder why no-one and nothing else gets shut out other than me. If/when he pulls himself out of the obsession he just carries on like nothing has happened, without any acknowledgement of the impact it's had on me. I really don't know what to do - suggestions, please?!

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Why is he self diagnosing? Why hasn't he seen a doctor?


If you're miserable then end it. A relationship is not a prison sentence.


Your bf seems selective with his conditions. He seems to like to manipulate things to get his way. Don't you think it is odd that you did not know until four months, and no one else knows?


Why doesn't he have friends? Do you have a life outside of this guy? Do you hace friends?

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Unfortunately he needs to see a neurologist/psychiatrist for a workup. Stop playing nurse/doctor and encourage him to get help. You have no idea what you are dealing with. It seems you are tossing out diagnoses left and right based on this or that symptom you found on the internet.


You don't know if he's just obnoxious, on drugs, schizophrenic, etc. Even stranger is that only you see these symptoms and he only has them around you yet holds down a job, social life and functions just fine with his family and other responsibilities.

My boyfriend isn't officially diagnosed with OCD

he has vocal/motor tics and Aspergers traits.

he still goes to work, interacts with colleagues, visits his mum, goes shopping etc

he has admitted his OCD and Tourette's

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Yes, this definitely sounds like something for which he needs to see a doctor. It's likely that he can hold himself together just long enough for work, social occasions, and such, before his symptoms just have to come out. Only a psychiatrist can properly diagnose these conditions: OCD, Tourette's, etc.


A local well-known woman in my city has severe, debilitating OCD, and she spoke to my woman's group last year. She talked about the obsessions & compulsions being so bad that a simple shower would take her 4 hours. She's been in treatment nearly all her life. When speaking to us, she was calm, beautiful, professional, and she's married and even on t.v. in commercials. But she said to not let her calm exterior fool us, as it's taken literally decades, and proper medication, for her to be able to spend a few hours in public like this. It took many years, and many different professionals and in-patient treatment centers, to get her where she is today.


Please, if you love this guy, encourage him to seek proper treatment.

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He really needs the help of a medical professional.


He might be shutting you out because he is embarrassed for you to see this side of him. Or perhaps shutting out emotional intimacy is part of his condition(s). Without a proper diagnosis, you're going keep spinning your wheels with him.


I do find it odd that nobody else has ever noticed these things about him. If it's this noticeable to you, I cannot fathom that not even his family has picked up on it.

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I think he can control the behaviours to a degree, when he needs to. He's told me that he's had tics since the age of 6, so his mother is aware of them but to what degree he wrings his hands and says "c*nt" under his breath in her presence I'm not sure. He's told me that former colleagues used to make fun of him so again, I can only assume that he applies some control at work whereas because I'm the one "in the know" and closest to him, he feels able to be himself and tic away. I simply don't believe that I'm the only one who's seen him tic, but even now he will lie and say, "My hands are sore" or some other nonsense I know to be untrue, so maybe he's given excuses to other people and they've not seen the behaviour often enough to know it's a tic.


I've suggested on more than one occasion that he should go to see his GP but he says, "But why?" and can't understand what good it would do. I know full well that there's a football game he'll want to go and see this Saturday, so if he makes no suggestion to meet up before then, or for that, then I think I will have a decision to make.

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Unfortunately, it sounds like he's avoiding you and would rather see his friends, family coworkers etc. However he may be avoiding you playing social worker and trying to fix him. Surely his family knows a lot more about him than you do. Yes breakup because you can't deal with him and he's avoiding you.

He's told me that he's had tics since the age of 6, so his mother is aware of them
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Who knows - he could be on drugs.


He is not someone who can give you the give and take relationship you want and deserve. Its up to him to seek help for his issues and because he has done none of that in his life, I would decide the relationship is not for you and move on. I am not saying people with OCD or whatever shouldn't have relationships - but there is a difference between someone who is self-aware, has addressed their issues and is mature about it by doing that vs someone who is not at that point yet.

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