It is amazing to me how much stress that plagues a marriage is not actually anything of the physical realm, so to speak. Many marriages today can be mostly tolerable of day to day things that need to be cared for; utilities, children or house work. But there are so many people plagued by obsessive thinking. What thought or thoughts is that for you.
Is the stress of this obsession warranted, is there evidence that gives reason for its manifested stress. Are most of your arguments fueled by this unseen stressor that you seem to let start with as a simple thought? We experience an obsession when we are trying to stay abstinent or stay stress free and are overpowered by thoughts of using or controlling.
People who love addicts, let’s say, experience obsession in their relationships when they feel the desire to control other people’s moods or behavior. Obsession can take a variety of forms. If people are obsessive about keeping a clean house they clean continually. At this point a dirty house is no longer the stressor, the obsessive desire to keep it that way is now the stressor.
Some people who have been dumped, who hasn’t, can begin to blame themselves. If they feel they hadn’t expressed enough love in the former relationship the obsession becomes about showering the new relationship with lots of love. This obsession usually leads to smothering and a new list of other stressors. Mental obsession is term used in the addiction world so you will see some references to using drugs/alcohol.
An intrusive obsession is a thought of using or controlling that seems to enter our minds from out of nowhere. When we are hit by an intrusive obsession, we find ourselves suddenly dropping our plans and responsibilities, and pursuing the substance, behavior or person that we crave. By behavior I mean the continually calling them, checking text messages, showering them gifts or always changing your plans because you think your spouse needs you by their side at all times. Another kind of obsession is called circumstantial obsession.
We experience a circumstantial obsession when we are presented with the opportunity to use or feel the need to exhibit a curtain behavior and cannot think of any good reason not to, even though we have everything to lose. We may give ourselves some silly excuse for using or acting out, or we may not think at all. Before we know it, we are deep into active addiction again or “stalker mode”, wondering what happened to our common sense.
The fundamental obsession, another form of obsession, may not be experienced as a thought of using or acting out at all. Instead, we experience this obsession as a basic preoccupation with ourselves and how we feel. It is usually hard for us to identify the fundamental obsession at first, because it is so much a part of how we experience the world. It is like water to fish—we are so familiar with it that it is hard to see.
You may not notice when you’re exhibiting jealousy or controlling behaviors. Those of us who have been abstinent for long periods of time without a spiritual solution know the pains of fundamental obsession all too well. Life is unsatisfying. We are constantly agitated and restless, even though we may be quite depressed. We are unable to form meaningful or lasting relationships. We have a deep sense that life is treating us unfairly.
People seem cruel and selfish to us; they ignore us and our needs. No matter what we try, we do not seem to be able to get any peace of mind. We are constantly trying to adjust the circumstances of our lives in an attempt to find some comfort. We may have a vague sense that something is wrong with us, but we do not know what it is. Here is where and why I believe there are so many arguments that marriages have that neither party can seem to point out the exact source for the fight.
A reoccurring obsession is a thought of using or acting out that enters our minds over and over again throughout the day. Fighting with this thought consumes all of our energy. We try to remind ourselves of the importance of not using, of all the things we will lose if we use or act out again, and of what always happens to us when we are on a spree, but the thought keeps coming back and seems to grow stronger over time.
Reoccurring and circumstantial obsession may actually get easier to cope with over time, but the fundamental obsession only gets worse. The pain of daily living builds up inside us and we have to vent it somehow. Some of us become violent; others tax the patience of our spouses or friends with complaints. Many of us find some substance or behavior that provides us with temporary relief. In other words, we switch addictions or act out in order to cope with the pain of fundamental obsession.