His OCD is Destroying Our Marriage – She was about to leave him with her new baby!

She walked into my session with the biggest smile, she was ready to learn more about herself. This was a very different version of her that I had met just three weeks earlier, so I was naturally curious about what had changed for her.

Three weeks ago she came to a session with her husband, she told me she was about to leave him. She didn’t want to go, but for her, life with her new baby a 10 month old had become unbearable and this was because of his OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder) behaviour.

She sat down still smiling and totally confused, “how is it possible…” she said “How is it possible that my husband can spend just 4 hours with you and his OCD is now gone” tears of joy in her eyes. “I now have my husband back and I love being with him again!

She wanted to know what had happened and how such a dramatic change had occurred so quickly.

So what did happened in that session because he had suffered with this for many years? Historically she was aware of his condition, but they had only lived together for a couple of years? So the impact was not really understood until she moved in with him.

His OCD was displayed through his uncontrollable desire to put order in the house. If his wife asked him to do something small like change a light bulb, suddenly all the problems in the house became more important than anything. When he came home from work instead of connecting with his wife he would scan the room for anything out of place. She felt rejected, ignored, worthless and unloved.

Eventually this had become too much for her, her future looked so bleak and escape from the relationship seemed her only choice.

They came to me as a couple and slowly their story unfolded, his uncontrollable need to control his environment became clear. I had a strong feeling that this was to do with “LOVE” but we ran out of time to have real clarity. He was not convinced ‘love’ was the issue or the cause of his OCD, but he chose to trust me as the thought of losing his wife and child was unbearable.

I asked him to come for a 4 hour session.

In the session we uncovered his story, when and where the controlling started we explored the possible causes. The causes became clear, we learnt that for him there was so much uncertainty surrounding love and he was safer and more certain if he could find ways to grow.

The growth he discovered years before was in creating order in his home after the break up a relationship which at the time was important to him. This is where his condition was born and so I became more convinced love in some form was the trigger, but I would see what came out from the session.

At the start of the session I asked him on a scale of 1-10 how compelled was he at that point to control his environment 10 equals I feel 100% compelled to control, zero means the desire has gone.

He answered 10/10. So we got to work, I ran some very short processes to see if we could affect the perception of his memory of the time this condition was born. This took the condition to a 8/10.

I then started to understand how his conscious mind and subconscious mind had set up the way he met values which were important to him.

At the end of this part of the session his could see intellectually that his life was unwinnable, the proof through his own answers was on paper staring at him.

This took him down to a 6/10 so even though he could see life was impossible intellectually he was still compelled to want to control, but it had now lost some of it’s power.

We then explored his fears and how they had affected the way he had lived and met values which were important to him. We discovered the fear of not having love was very powerful and combined with other fears this was driving his day-to-day behaviours/needs.

So if not having love created fear and getting love created uncertainty for him you can see why he became suddenly stuck many years before. Whatever he did in the context of love his fears would be ignited. He was so full of uncertainty, his mind searched for ways to gain certainty and controlling his environment was the perfect solution.

He was now at a 4/10 he now understood why his behaviours had not worked. So he was less likely to control, but it was still a strong possibility.

We then designed a way he could focus his mind and efforts that made it impossible to ignite his fears. As we progressed through the process he was visibly excited at the thought of his new life.

Now he was at a 2/10 this was great progress, but for me there was still a chance he could want to control.

You see understanding life intellectually is one thing, but getting the body physically involved in the change is critical. As humans we experience the world both in mind and body so it’s critical to mirror this in any change work if you want the change to stay.

Through changing his perceptual positions in time both for leverage of the cost he will incur through controlling and the pleasure he will experience in the future of his new behaviors was enough to shift him to give me a 0/10 of desire to want to control.

The shift he had made was to learn how he could use love to create the growth he needed. He discovered how he could grow his love for his wife and so he was back in control of what was really important.

I gave him some simple tips on how to use his new behavior plan to become an amazing partner for her and he left with the biggest smile on his face.

Love was no longer his uncertainty, love was now his certainty through understanding how to give it unconditionally. In that session his OCD became his uncertainty and so that day he rejected it and the shift was complete.

His wife few days later booked in a session wanting to spend time with me to sort out her own fears that had been fired from all the controlling.

She then turned up and this is where this story started. At the end of my session with her she said “she now felt similar to how what she experienced when then they first met and her desire to rush home to him was clear.

Wonderful outcome and now they are a family again.

What’s important is even though he didn’t agree with my initial thoughts he was open minded that he may not know what really going on with him and so he trusted me to help him.

About Stephen Hedger

International relationship expert Stephen Hedger's philosophy on relationship problems is this: Couples fail to understand their relationships because they are too focused on their problems and so they totally miss what created them. Stephen's approach is a refreshing and enlightening journey that helps couples uncover their truth. His strategies uncover the knowledge that all couples need to create a successful and lasting passionate connection. If you are in crisis and you need help, book an initial consultation today to get your life back on track.


  1. Trust in the process and the solution is key! This is a wonderful outcome. I’m so glad they’ve discovered they have a wonderful future together.

    • Stephen Hedger says:

      I agree without the trust the couple won’t take the journey, some couples feel they have to know all the answers before they move forward, but of course this is impossible.

      • And some people don’t believe they could possibly be wrong and so hang on to their own solution, which they’ve created in a moment of fear, so missing out on something which could have been so much greater!

  2. Wow! To trust like that could an enormous amount of courage. Great success story.

    • Stephen Hedger says:

      Thank you for your comment Glynis

      He knew what he was doing didn’t work so the pain of losing her was greater than anything.

      Trusting me then became easier.

  3. I am in a similar situation. My OCD is destroying my marriage. I want to seek help, but don’t know where to go? All the other counselors and psychiatrists I have been to all do the same thing–give me meds and send me on my way. I want to learn how to overcome my condition, not medicate it.

    • Stephen Hedger says:

      The question is what purpose does the behavior serve to achieve?

      Once you can understand that and you help the person to fulfill that need in constructive ways then the body provides the natural chemicals that help us to feel at peace.

      Of course the person has to want to make the desired change.