Using writing, and meditation, and ice cream, and reading, and dreams,

and a whole lot of other tools to rediscover who I am,

after six years living with a man with OCPD.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Too Perfect Tuesdays - Workaholism and Your Mate

Santa Barbara pier
This post continues with The Costs of Workaholism: The Poisoning of Personal Relationships - Workaholism and Your Mate from Chapter Nine.

This series looks at a small snippet of The book on the Perfectionist Personality, aka The Obsessive Compulsive disordered Personality, aka OCPD, each week. Please follow along, leave your comments, engage more on the FaceBook website... whatever your heart calls you to do.

When Being in Control Gets Out of Control by Allan E. Mallinger, M.D. and Jeanette DeWyze was published by Random House in 1992.  If   you believe you are dealing with OCPD or someone who is "Too Perfect," whether that's you or a loved one, please buy a copy of the book and read it for additional insights that will not all be covered in these excerpts.
Workaholism and Your Mate
As for your spouse, workaholism may not cause problems if you're both comfortable spending only limited time together. But when this is not the case, one partner's workaholism can make the other's life a lonely purgatory. Resentful, angry spouses often find ways of retaliating by withholding affection, undercutting their partner's standing with the children, having affairs, spending too much money, or otherwise making their discontent manifest. They may ultimately seek a divorce.

<snip> too much work is likely to take its toll on your sex life. <snip> The sex researchers cite, " the kinds of husbands and wives who relentlessly search for new ways to occupy their time and use their energies - making more money, advancing in a career, caring for children, improving homes, doing community work, accumulating possessions - in short, doing anything that feels like work... In that scheme of things, a sexual relationship has virtually no place. Coitus does because it is translated into a task, a chore, an obligation, a performance, something to be done."

We've all seen the ads - the couple on a sunset patio, holding hands from their side-by-side bathtubs. Ridiculous, of course, and yet... what the ads are selling isn't really boner pills. It's the idea of intimacy, closeness with one's partner, sharing an experience.

Sex can be a big part of that, but not if you turn it into a chore. Or into, "I'm in the mood, right now, so let's do it, right now." Not that I, personally, mind a quickie here and there, but other times I need a little time to get my motor running. I want the hand-holding and sunset walks on the beach.

 A couple years before we split up, my ex and I took a trip up the California coast. I got my sunset walk on the beach - only I didn't, because he wouldn't walk with me. No hand-holding, no sharing the moment, just two people who happened to be in the same place at the same time.

Sunset at Pismo Beach.
Not even close enough to capture both our shadows in the same picture.

Oh, we did have moments on the trip when we did connect - overall, it was a very good trip - but always on his terms, if and when he wanted. There was little mutuality. Most of the time, we'd be twenty, thirty feet apart, wherever we went.  (And there were the times when he had a total meltdown and behaved horribly, including one evening out with a couple of his friends at a restaurant.)

He never saw these guys at all, because he was off having a snit fit  about what restaurant we were going to eat in, and when I beckoned him to come over, I believe he flipped me off and walked in the opposite direction.

I am less lonely now, without a boyfriend, than I was when I was with him.

Do you value work over your partner, or know someone who does?
Has your sex life become another item on the to-do list?
Your thoughts?
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