Obsession Causing a Possible Rift in Marriage

Recommended Posts

Long story short, my husband thinks the Second Coming is right around the corner. He's been obsessing about food storage, the Illuminati and secret combinations, and "living in the wilderness" when the time comes. He has his reasons for thinking so - he's very smart and good with Scripture interpretation, and there is a LOT of speculation about that very topic on hush-hush sites around the internet. He's reading so much into other people's ideas, predictions, and interpretations that it's seems like it's taking over his mind.

Don't get me wrong - I love my husband, and I think he's a wonderful man with great intentions, but we definitely don't see eye to eye on this. He was raised in the Church and I was not, so I have a very liberal understanding of the Scriptures and am a pretty free spirit. I can't really even pinpoint why I'm beginning to worry about it; my husband has had obsessions before, but he's never gotten so lost in it before. He's very defensive about it, in my opinion, when I bring up the possibility that it won't be so soon.

He's recently started studying the Scriptures multiple times daily, but it's for the purpose of learning more for the Second Coming and how to cope when the end of the world does happen. Truthfully, this hurts my feelings because at the beginning of this year, I spent hours creating a YEARLONG calendar detailing an intensive Scripture study program that would increase and solidify our familiarity with ALL of the books in the Scriptures, ALL stories, ALL prophets and ideas...and he basically just blew it off. He always told me he "didn't feel like it" or "wasn't into it". But now that he has the end of the world to read about, he's all into it. This is the core, I think, of the problem, is that he's becoming self-centered. His greatest concern is ensuring that HE is prepared spiritually. He actually said to me, 'Well ONE of us has to be prepared when the day comes."

We've only been married for a year and a half, and we have a five-month old daughter, but this is NOT the only marital issue we've had. We've always been prone, even while dating, to screaming matches, name-calling, and deliberate skewing of each others' words and intentions. We almost split up about a year ago because we were fighting so much (I had just gotten pregnant and was in a very depressed place and it just wasn't good for our relationship.) I don't have the time or space to cover, even in a general sense, all the problems we have, and I didn't explain our situation very well with the LARGE amount of space I've already taken up. I guess I'm just not looking forward to this...the next couple of years, I feel, are going to be all about the end of the world. He's completely given up on having a future in this world in case it DOESN'T collapse, and has told me more than once that he's "banking on" this time coming to an end.

Truthfully, if this continues with this intensity, I don't actually know if I'll be able to take it. He's not an easy person to talk to when he's made up his mind and someone disagrees with him, and he's definitely not an easy person to talk to about feelings and emotions, either. I don't, in all honesty, feel comfortable talking to him about this. We do not have a peaceful or understanding history, and now it feels like he's pushing me away in favor of this world-end agenda. Someone please give me some advice, i don't really know what to do, and this is starting to affect me mentally and emotionally.

Edited by cecilyhallward
Link to comment
Share on other sites

My husband got a bit like this for a while, thankfully he listened to me.he was getting so involved with different conspiracy theories and finally I told him I wasn't living like that. But......it was before he joined the church. Basically I told him, stop reading all that stuff, listen to the prophet and live your life well so that if you get hit by a bus tomorrow you'll be good! I wish you the very best, it's really rough...I understand!!!!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

My husband has an obsession too... towards NFL. So, when we got married, August through February, I'm like a widow - my husband is completely consumed by football. From March through July, he's waiting for football.... and he spends tons of money on anything football. It was very rough at first. But, we've been married over 15 years... I've figured out how to win over football!

It wouldn't have been too bad if I liked football. I don't like it. I think the game is stupid. I still do now. And there are much better ways to spend that money. But, I knew he was big on football before I married him, so I knew what I was getting into.

So, what I did... I mastered football. I still don't like the game so my focus wasn't on the game. I like reading about people, so I read about the major players, who they were before they became NFL players, their celebrity lives after NFL, etc. There was this story about Tom Brady leaving his pregnant girlfriend (the woman from iRobot) for this blonde model... ooooh... I wanted Tom Brady to lose every single game. And I read about Eli Manning having married his high school sweetheart... So, man, I was glued to that TV on Superbowl Sunday rooting like crazy for Eli Manning and wanting Tom Brady to lose big time.... My husband was rooting for Tom Brady... and Eli Manning won! It was awesome. My husband is super happy because I'm watching football with him (he thinks I'm his super best buddy!) and I'm happy because Eli Manning was giving Brady a come uppance! I didn't really care about the football. And my husband knows that but he is fine with it. We are spending time together and I even feel so special when he gets invited to watch the game with his male friends and he tells them it's up to me if I want to go or not because he wants to watch the game with me. So, I go for the free food and drinks and sit down to watch commercials (I like watching commercials - hah. I can watch QVC channel all day) and most of the time, I'm the only girl in the room which is kinda wierd but all his friends think I'm super cool. I have my own team on the fantasy football... I pick my team members according to whether I like their jersey colors or if they're good looking or if they are living good lives... and guess what, I won fantasy football one year! I like joining fantasy football because it gets me excited about game day - to see how my boys fare. But, a lot of times, I don't want to watch football, so my husband is infront of the TV massaging my head while I read a book/play on the computer/or even work (I work on the computer). I make money while being with my husband and my husband is snug as a bug on a rug, happy as a clam. You know, these games are on Sunday! Sabbath Day holy and all that! Yes, he DVRs Sunday games, but he watches big games on Sunday... but with him happy as a clam, I can convince him to ditch Sunday football if I start to feel it's taking over my own Sabbath observance.

And yes, we still spend money on NFL - season tickets, NFL packages on TV, team jerseys - but I can sit down with my husband on the budget and make sure the NFL expenditures doesn't creep into the household budget and he's very reasonable with it because he sees me as being on his side instead of against him. We basically budget it with the entertainment - like watching movies or going on vacations - which is a fixed amount. So, I tell him straight up, I like to watch movies - so we trim down the NFL expenditures so we can put in the movies. And he's very good with that.

Anyway... when it comes to these obsessions, there's really not much you can do to change it. So, instead of going the uphill, contentious, daily battles of making him stop, you can go jump the fence and see a piece of that obsession you can get yourself onboard with. Then he doesn't see you as the enemy and it becomes easier for you to help temper his obsession. For example, yes, you planned on this year long scripture study... you can do the contentious route of trying to force him into your plans or you can be like water and go with the flow... ask him to plan the family scripture study while you do the year-long plan on your own. And if it ends up that you're studying the end-world stuff, that's fine. End-world stuff is still scripture. Then you can study it together and you can temper the cuckoo stuff with your own personal beliefs (not in a contentious manner but as another point-of-view) and hopefully bring him closer to reality. You can have more influence on this obsession if he doesn't see you as the cop giving him a traffic ticket. Who knows, you might learn some end-world stuff that you haven't known before. So, it's a win-win.

So yeah. Love him. Don't make this a battle of you versus him. Make this a battle of You AND Him versus the obsession. Both of you on the same team....

Hope this helps.

Edited by anatess
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Perhaps you might need to do some research on this level of obsession. Show him some articles on obsessive personality disorder and see if you can convince him that he's gone way beyond what's normal. In any case, I think it would be a good idea to let the bishop know where your husband is at and see if he thinks an interview with him would be a good idea. You need support for your side.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I agree with Anatess on this.

To be honest, I believe we are living in very interesting times; is it end of world times, who knows. But for example, the only thing that can really compare to 9/11 in US history is Pearl Harbor. Then think of all the world calamities that have happened in the last 15 years. Katrina, the Indonesia Sunami, Japanese Sunami, the Gulf Coast spill . . .etc. This isn't to say that horrific events like these didn't happen prior to 15 years ago, it just wasn't as well publizied. The collapse in '08 really only has a comparison with the 1929 collapse (and I personally believe we haven't seen the end of the repercussions of the '08 collapse).

There is a lot of things that are happening in the world that one could say are indicators that the 2nd coming is getting closer. I think some people take this too far; from your perspective your husband has taken it too far.

Regardless, if you help your husband in some practical terms with this you will be able to become more in unison rather than making a battle to win. Anatess gave some great examples of how she copes with her husband's football obession.

You are relatively young and there is much you can do to prepare yourself and your family for the calamities and wickedness that will occur prior to and during the 2nd Coming. From my studies, I do not believe that the 2nd coming will just magically happen and all the sudden all the wicked will be gone. Study with your husband on the 2nd Coming and help him realize that it's not just a magical event.

Even after the 2nd Coming, people will still need to eat, drink, work, play, have a place to live, etc. And even if the 2nd Coming was just a big poof and all the sudden the wicked were gone and only the righteous survived, just getting there intact with our families is a challenge.

So what does that entail on a practical sense, it means be prepared spiritual, physically, emotionally, financially, etc.

The Church recommends a years worth of food storage. Plan it out, you'll only eat those things you like so help plan it out. And if the 2nd coming isn't about to happen (probably a good bet), a year's worth of food storage done properly might just save you some headache down the road. I bet a lot of people in New Orleans wished they had had just 1 weeks worth of food storage after Katrina.

The Church also recommends a years worth of finances, I bet a lot of people wished they had had a years worth of savings after '08.

Our modern conveniences have lulled many into complacency. Have the power off for more than a few hours and you'll get the drift. Now this doesn't mean one needs to go full-board prepper; but having a 72 hour kit, a generator, spare gas, getting out of debt, etc. All of those things physically will help prepare someone if the power ever does get turned off.

Those are all very practical things that one can do to be prepared in case something bad does happen and the best thing is that you can make it look like you are on the same side as your husband, you are helping prepare for the 2nd Coming (even if you are really only preparing for disasters :-).

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Speaking for myself, what my obsessions were, were clogged up thoughts trying to suppress my real feelings.

What I was obsessing about was not the problem for me. My problem was that I wasn't allowing myself to feel.

Lately, I've been opening up to the bishop and to my therapist who has a master's degree in social work. She is a licensed clinical social worker and is skill in listening and understanding me.

There are LDS therapists available at LDS Family Services, but your husband would have to be willing to ask your bishop for help and develop a relationship of trust with a therapist.

My therapist is a woman who seems religious, but I believe that she can only listen to me talk about religion and can't talk about religion herself.

Mind, body and spirit are one and at LDS Family services they would more likely to understand your husband than therapists paid for by the government would.

My breakthrough in therapy came after I started reliving my childhood memories as I was writing my personal history all private to myself. Then I began telling my therapist about my childhood memories. When I got to the part of my history when the neighbors shot my dog and my dad didn't call the cops, I was overwhelmed with emotion and I couldn't speak. This was a breakthrough for me as I was feeling pure emotion and my obsessive thoughts began to wane.

I said to my therapist, "I just got in touch with my emotions". She nodded and she said in language that a guy would accept, "You've accessed your emotions". I like the way that she put it. Unlike how some sexists authors have written about "getting in touch with your feminine side". I wouldn't have accepted that kind of language.

My obsessive thoughts were about computer programming. I would program computers and help people program computers all day and all night. I was really trying to resist my bad feelings. There is a saying "what you resists, persists".

After my breakthrough in therapy that day, I went home and instead of my usual activity of being on the computer every waking moment, I watched TV with my wife and I accessed my feelings all day and evening. I had anxiety for hours and then a whole range of emotions that worried my wife, but after accessing my emotions for so long and then resting from my obsessive thoughts, I have been feeling more peace of mind than I have felt for years.

Priesthood blessings of healing help. Having good home teachers helps. Having a patient wife helps. Having a bishop to confide in helps. Having a professional therapist who is understanding, a good listener, and is skilled at giving just a bit of direction have all helped me.

In addition you can request that your bishop starts a marriage and family group in Sunday School. I'm going to ask my bishop to start one and I'm going to try to get my wife to go to it too.

May God be with you both.

Edited by kaydell
Link to comment
Share on other sites

There are LDS therapists available at LDS Family Services, but your husband would have to be willing to ask your bishop for help and develop a relationship of trust with a therapist.

You can contact LDS Family Services directly without a recommend from your Bishop.

You only need to see the Bishop if you need financial assistance to pay for your counseling sessions.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

You can contact LDS Family Services directly without a recommend from your Bishop.

You only need to see the Bishop if you need financial assistance to pay for your counseling sessions.

To the original poster (OP) Here is the toll-free phone number to LDS Family Services:

1-800-453-3860 ext. 2-1711

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Looking beyond the mark, as they call it, is a real issue, and becomes a true problem with some people. Beyond the good advice given by others, I can only add this thought. You cannot make others change. You can only change yourself. Start there. No more screaming, etc., all that other stuff that you admit yourself guilty of too. Fix that first. You may be surprised at how much changes when you start with yourself.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I don't, in all honesty, feel comfortable talking to him about this.

If I were you I would go into therapy myself at LDS Family Services.

Bishops are good, but sometimes, in my experience they are uneducated about some things. A therapist is a professional that can understand some things that a bishop usually doesn't.

The general authorities have created LDS Family Services to help people that the bishop cannot.

If you can afford it, call LDS Family Services and go into therapy.

If you can't afford it, call LDS Family Services and get an idea of what they offer and then go to your bishop and get a bishop's authorization to help pay for therapy.

You can't reason with obsessions. Obsessive thought can be treated by therapy. Here is a link to books that talks about understanding obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD).

Amazon.com: stop obsessing

Edited by kaydell
Removed details of my experience, leaving a more general idea.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think a letter written by you to him would be a good first step, especially since he's opposed to counseling. Find some quiet time to think and pray (I know that's hard w/a baby, but this about your peace of mind and marriage), and compose a letter expressing how you feel. Don't give it to him right away, set it out slowly and carefully and not in anger. Once you're finished read it carefully before giving it to him to make sure it has everything you want to say to him, w/o putting anything in that'll make him angry (no accusatory language, that'll only make him dismiss your letter). Acknowledge his worry about the second coming, yet remind him that he is a husband and father, and as such needs to lead his family in prayer, towards God. As the husband and father, he is primarily responsible for his families faith formation and spiritual growth.

I don't know him at all, all I know is what you wrote, but it seems to me that he might be "obsessed" with this subject b/c of the nature of it, he feels an urgency to be ready, so he doesn't want to stick it on the back-burner. Like I said, I don't know what you're truly going through or how bad this situation is, but suggest to him that sometimes the best way to prepare, is in prayer, and through faith just trusting that God will provide and everything will turn out fine. Perhaps you can mention that the scripture study you planned is also a good way to spiritually prepare for the second coming, and it'll be more rewarding since it will include you as well.

Also, keep in mind how young your marriage is, and that you have a young baby. I remember those days, and it was tough! Our marriage suffered as well, for several years, though our situation was different, but now as I look back, I'm glad we made it through the "refining", and I can now truly love and appreciate him for who he is.

Good luck, I'll keep you both in my prayers!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.