I recheck things. Every morning before I leave the house I make sure that I’ve unplugged my fan … at least three times. I make sure I’ve set the thermostat … at least twice. I make sure the girlies have unplugged their various “make your hair look like a mad scientist” like devices …. at least three times. Then I walk downstairs, make sure the back door is locked. Make sure the dogs have water. Make myself a glass of orange juice (only 1/2 cup because I’m on Weight Watchers) with creatine. Then I recheck the backdoor and the dog water AGAIN. Then I can leave the house.
I’m getting better. Which kind of sounds like I’m the guy in that creepy sci-fi movie where he merges his DNA with a fly and then is all oozy and fly-like and swears “I’m getting better.” as his eyes grow to the size of dinner plates and he starts puking on his food before he eats it. Except in this case I don’t have much fly DNA in me AND I really am getting better.
The rechecking is an OCD like behavior that I picked up during my years on Paxil. It’s an anxiety related thing and the only way out is to force yourself to reduce the behavior and acknowledge that the sky didn’t fall, the world did not end, and I didn’t turn into a fly creature just because I didn’t make sure the door was locked for the twelfth time.
Where was I going with this? Oh yeah … The Deal.
D used to give me nine kinds of hell about rechecking things. He wasn’t being mean about it, just frustrated that it took me an extra twenty minutes to leave the house AFTER I was ready to go. He would chuckle a little and say things like “are you sure you unplugged your curling iron?” Which was really stupid, because that just put the “did I unplug my curling iron?” thought in my head … and back upstairs I would go … where I would recheck the curling iron AND the thermostat AND the window latches AND the closet doors AND the lamps, fans, etc. etc. … you get the picture.
So one day I decided that I would stop nagging him about his weight (and horrible food choices and blood pressure) if he would stop giving me hell about rechecking things. He agreed … and it worked!
He eats better when I eat better (and I’ve been eating better thanks to WW … I’m 53 pounds lighter than my Paxilated weight). He exercises when I exercise. He doesn’t snack as much if I don’t snack as much … and he doesn’t eat out of spite, because he’s tired of hearing me nag about his weight. Oh sure … I’m very tempted to blurt out things like “do you really need a bowl of peanut butter and syrup for dessert?” … but I don’t. And when I came home one day to find that he had cooked a whole six pound package of bacon (don’t worry … he didn’t eat it all in one meal), I didn’t say a word. I said he was doing better … and for him that IS better.
We’re working on it.
My OCD rechecking has decreased significantly and he has lost a few pounds. Turns out that nagging might just make things worse. Damn … I wish we had figured this out 23 years ago. By the time we’re in our eighties, we might have this whole married thing figured out.
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