I am brand new to this and have just found this site.
I have been married for 16 years and have two wonderful daughters aged 13 and 8. I think I am going to go mad in my marriage if I stay with my wife.
She has got a compulsion with cleaning that is driving me insane. I have to undress at the back door before I can come in the house in-case I am dirty. The girls have to change clothes three times a day and lord only knows how many times my wife changes. The washing machine is on 3-4 times a day and we go through tumble dryers every 1-2 years as she will not allow engineers in to repair in-case they dirty her floors.
We don’t have friends round to visit and the kids have no friends round to play if anyone does manage to visit the house is bleached disinfected etc one night I stepped on a dry bit of cats dirt and she washed the grass with bleach and the paths also threw my boots out without telling me even when I had cleaned them and the path.
I have approached her about this and she knows she has a problem but will not look for help. I have even said we would find someone private but it is a closed subject. My wife is really close to her mother and father and I have said I am going to tell them the full extent of what she is putting us through. I am at the end of my tether and don’t know if I can go forward. We do not talk or make love it is more like we exist in the house for the sake of the kids. The only thing that has stopped me going is my daughters I fear that my wife will make my life hell and turn my kids against me.
I have my own business and my wife will not even answer the phone to take messages to help out although she still expects the money at the end of the week. If I go I would still pay the mortgage and pay allowance and make sure my daughters are provided for. However as I travel away on business throughout the UK will my wife be able to make my life hell?
I feel I cannot stay in a lifeless marriage until the kids leave school or are older as I still think I can meet someone who wants to have a normal life. The other night I asked her if our marriage was finished and she said yes,I asked if we should talk to someone to see if we can save it and as told she would not talk to anyone. I asked her if I should get a flat and move out and was told do what I like!!!
Any advice would be greatly received as it is the first time I have put it down on paper how I feel.
It really sounds like your wife needs medical help this has gone far further than an obsession. It must be awful for you and your children to have to live with this, maybe counselling would help. I am no expert just some friendly advice. I hope someone with more experience with your situation can offer you good advice.
OK hope you don’t mind, just passing you a few sites that cover O.C.D. Obsessive Compulsion Disorders, things like this as you say are difficult but even her parents have to help you out on this, if they want to that is. There are reasons why this has started and can of been something traumatic in her teens or younger.
The road your coming on will be like walking on glass with no shoes, your looking at possibly false accusations and harm of self, or others should the scales tip more.
Divorce can be expensive in legal fees, take years to be completed, it isnt as simple as most of us thought when we started on this rocky road and god how spitefull our Xs (male and female) do turn. You have two young daughters who will need to be looked after till 18 and wife who will be able to claim a good portion of your income, your home will have to be the roof over their heads until such times as its is agreed it can be sold. Your cost of living/income can be slashed dramatically. each of us here are on or have been on this very path, there are no winners and the only losers are the children. But advice on how we coped we will give when ever you ask for it so take it one step at a time.
She has Obsessive Compulsive Disorder probably, and like most other mental health problems, she must first acknowledge this, before she could even start to get help. She won't change until she wants to! Sad fact.
Mental health issues end a lot of marriages, when one party can no longer tolerate their restricted lifestyles because of the way the illness poisons the family structure.
However, you do have your own say in this matter. She hasn't changed because you're all pandering to her illness and weird behaviour. You have to take responsibility in that. What is to fear if you were to come in, (without undressing at the back door - absurd!!!) and just stroll in and make a cuppa? Maybe when she she's it's her problem, maybe only then will she get the help she needs.
Is that being cruel to be kind? Not sure? You're not being defiant, just asserting your own normality, and she obviously has a control issue.
Your kids are at an age when they are still doing what mummy wants. But, at some point, (very soon I think) your older daughter may start to question her mums practises. Changing clothes that many times a day is not normal, (although some teenage girls do it for fashion, but not for cleanliness!)
You are still asking her for direction in your marriage. Maybe you decide if you still want to stay. Some people do agree to co-parent sensibly, some don't.
Your wife probably doesn't answer the phone for your work, because she's too busy cleaning! Other blokes might moan because their wives never clean and are always on the phone.
No one can predict how their spouse will react with a divorce, but kids at age ten, will have their thoughts considered regarding their visits to parents.
Welcome, to the forum. You'll get a lot of knowledge here, but read up also on the Cumpulsive disorder bit before making drastic steps. Hopefully she'll get some help.
(Sorry, couldn't resist that, great film) I don't want to be seen as touting for divorce, and the advice you have received from Sera and others is excellent. But if you did elect to divorce, "unreasonable conduct" is no less "unreasonable" if it happens because of mental illness. It is still a fact you can rely upon in a divorce petition.
My first marriage failed because of this identical problem, although it materialised earlier before we had kids so divorce wasn't as hard. I sympathise.
I agree with the others that your wife does seem to have obsessive-compulsive disorder, and it must be terrible for you all to live with. However, if you leave you will be leaving your daughters to be brought up by someone with serious mental health problems which are not likely to get better (and may well get much worse) without help.
I think you should probably go and talk to your wife's parents, not confrontationally, but sharing your concern for her welfare, and see if they can get her to see that it would be better for her to try and get help with her problems. It must be increasingly limiting for her and the constant panic about keeping on top of the dirt must be very troubling for her, but presumably she is more fearful of what it would be like to get help.
I got my husbands mother involved she didn`t have a clue what ws going on and thought I had post natal depression (which the doc and the counsellor - ex cpn refute) she helped him see my point of view which gave me some hope. It might help if someone she trusts can get your feelings across, you need to try everything you can to try and help your wife and try and keep your family together.