I’ve gotten to a point where my wife’s OCD and anxiety (PTSD onset) overwhelm me too much. I’m afraid I need to get out.

Men. I don’t even know where to start. Me (M31) and my wife (F31) have been married for 9 and a half years and we started dating 14 years ago. About 7 years ago my wife had an incident while she was working in a hospital. She is a rock star nurse and healthcare worker. During a visit to an HIV-positive patient, she got stuck with a needle. A scary event, but tests were negative at all intervals, which is for the next year. However, my wife developed PTSD onset of OCD. diagnosed. She triggered panic attacks because of germs or the “possibility of germs.” Compulsively created routines to “keep everything clean” and not spread germs. “To protect me”. She at first she would come home, tiptoe to the basement where the laundry room was, she would undress, shower downstairs, tiptoe through the house to the upstairs bathroom, and then shower again. After that, she sanitized every inch she walked in the house (excluding the basement which was filthy and just for her robe) and then showered again. We’ve come a long way since that. She did therapy to strategize, but eventually she stopped. Although we have taken action. You can’t even look at a person you *know* who works in the healthcare system and not feel anxious about it. A father in our son’s gym class who is a hospital chaplain? He runs around the house and plays go straight to the bathroom with our daughter as some kind of game to convince our daughter to take a shower right away. Then continue by jumping straight into the shower (even if you’ve had one or more that day). Go to the dentist? He has to take a shower. It’s a doctor’s office. Do I go to the doctor’s office for a routine physical exam? I have to shower as soon as I get home. Take out the trash? Now you’re dirty and you have to wash your hands (a fair request), but if she doesn’t shower, she’ll get anxious and if she doesn’t shower before touching something, she’ll sanitize later. What if I get too close to the laundry basket? Anxiety attack because her robe goes there. I’m constantly not sure if the next thing I do is going to trigger an anxiety attack or if it’s “okay” and not a problem. I can’t do laundry at home. Even moving clothes from the dryer to the bedroom to fold them is a big question mark because it’s not the right *routine* when you shower right after. Are there scrubs in it? What if I didn’t shower before handling the clothes or touched something “dirty”? Once I had lost my wallet and I had a strong feeling that it was in the basket. Instead of finding it, I had to literally *cancel every credit card we had* due to the possibility that it might be somewhere else instead of double checking the pants I wore the day before. We just got home from vacation yesterday and my MIL babysat at our house. She helped us by cleaning the house from top to bottom. Super nice gesture. She cleaned the bedding and put it on top of the hamper. My wife literally gasped over the phone when my MIL said this. We got home last night and my wife had to wash all the bedding *again* and she started an obsessive house-cleaning regimen. Which had already been deep cleaned and kept clean by my MIL. Tonight when I got home, our oldest son has ballet. After showering I went out with her in a tutu but no stockings. I asked “no stockings” and my wife just said “I know. I fail.” by chance. It’s 90 degrees and it’s raining. I checked my oldest daughter’s clothes dresser suspecting it had to do with anxiety and they had emptied it and they were all in the washer. I asked her and she said: “My anxiety got the better of me. My wife couldn’t be sure my MIL wouldn’t touch the laundry basket and then touch our children’s clothes. I don’t think she would have planned to give him pants. In freezing temperatures with rain. The blind, anxiety fueled decision making, rules and habits have been going on like this for 7 years now and she is not the person I married I don’t think she ever wants to face it and try to get better and I am at a breaking point I’m depressed I’m resentful I’m developing anxiety just thinking about it My input doesn’t really matter We continually go into a cycle of being fine for a few days only to have a bunch of anxiety running through my head and I feel frustrated or scolded I love to live normally in our house. . I’ve said the same things over and over again and there seems to be no end in sight. She doesn’t want to face therapy again because she is “scary.” I had to resort to *literally moving* to get away from the basement that I wasn’t even allowed to enter. I tried a fresh start. We had a baby in January and it only got worse. I digress. But she just left for the ballet and I was sitting here shaking because I’m so overwhelmed by it. I do not know what to do. What I can do? *TL;DR* My wife developed anxiety, panic attacks and OCD, triggered by PTSD, after a needle stick incident with an HIV positive patient. Our relationship is weak and I’m not sure I can handle it anymore.

Men. I don’t even know where to start. Me (M31) and my wife (F31) have been married for 9 and a half years and we started dating 14 years ago. About 7 years ago my wife had an incident while she was working in a hospital. She is a rock star nurse and healthcare worker. During a visit to an HIV-positive patient, she got stuck with a needle. A scary event, but tests were negative at all intervals, which is for the next year. However, my wife developed PTSD onset of OCD. diagnosed. She triggered panic attacks because of germs or the “possibility of germs.” Compulsively created routines to “keep everything clean” and not spread germs. “To protect me”. She at first she would come home, tiptoe to the basement where the laundry room was, she would undress, shower downstairs, tiptoe through the house to the upstairs bathroom, and then shower again. After that, she sanitized every inch she walked in the house (excluding the basement which was filthy and just for her robe) and then showered again. We’ve come a long way since that. She did therapy to strategize, but eventually she stopped. Although we have taken action. You can’t even look at a person you *know* who works in the healthcare system and not feel anxious about it. A father in our son’s gym class who is a hospital chaplain? He runs around the house and plays go straight to the bathroom with our daughter as some kind of game to convince our daughter to take a shower right away. Then continue by jumping straight into the shower (even if you’ve had one or more that day). Go to the dentist? He has to take a shower. It’s a doctor’s office. Do I go to the doctor’s office for a routine physical exam? I have to shower as soon as I get home. Take out the trash? Now you’re dirty and you have to wash your hands (a fair request), but if she doesn’t shower, she’ll get anxious and if she doesn’t shower before touching something, she’ll sanitize later. What if I get too close to the laundry basket? Anxiety attack because her robe goes there. I’m constantly not sure if the next thing I do is going to trigger an anxiety attack or if it’s “okay” and not a problem. I can’t do laundry at home. Even moving clothes from the dryer to the bedroom to fold them is a big question mark because it’s not the right *routine* when you shower right after. Are there scrubs in it? What if I didn’t shower before handling the clothes or touched something “dirty”? Once I had lost my wallet and I had a strong feeling that it was in the basket. Instead of finding it, I had to literally *cancel every credit card we had* due to the possibility that it might be somewhere else instead of double checking the pants I wore the day before. We just got home from vacation yesterday and my MIL babysat at our house. She helped us by cleaning the house from top to bottom. Super nice gesture. She cleaned the bedding and put it on top of the hamper. My wife literally gasped over the phone when my MIL said this. We got home last night and my wife had to wash all the bedding *again* and she started an obsessive house-cleaning regimen. Which had already been deep cleaned and kept clean by my MIL. Tonight when I got home, our oldest son has ballet. After showering I went out with her in a tutu but no stockings. I asked “no stockings” and my wife just said “I know. I fail.” by chance. It’s 90 degrees and it’s raining. I checked my oldest daughter’s clothes dresser suspecting it had to do with anxiety and they had emptied it and they were all in the washer. I asked her and she said: “My anxiety got the better of me. My wife couldn’t be sure my MIL wouldn’t touch the laundry basket and then touch our children’s clothes. I don’t think she would have planned to give him pants. In freezing temperatures with rain. The blind, anxiety fueled decision making, rules and habits have been going on like this for 7 years now and she is not the person I married I don’t think she ever wants to face it and try to get better and I am at a breaking point I’m depressed I’m resentful I’m developing anxiety just thinking about it My input doesn’t really matter We continually go into a cycle of being fine for a few days only to have a bunch of anxiety running through my head and I feel frustrated or scolded I love to live normally in our house. . I’ve said the same things over and over again and there seems to be no end in sight. She doesn’t want to face therapy again because she is “scary.” I had to resort to *literally moving* to get away from the basement that I wasn’t even allowed to enter. I tried a fresh start. We had a baby in January and it only got worse. I digress. But she just left for the ballet and I was sitting here shaking because I’m so overwhelmed by it. I do not know what to do. What I can do? *TL;DR* My wife developed anxiety, panic attacks and OCD, triggered by PTSD, after a needle stick incident with an HIV positive patient. Our relationship is weak and I’m not sure I can handle it anymore.

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