2 thoughts on “When Your Partner Has a Phobia

  • October 11, 2016 at 10:29 am

    My wife has what I can very objectively consider to be an irrational fear of mold. We have lived in nine apartments in the last two years, and each time we move, she has us throw out everything we own, start new, with new clothes, new furniture, new everything, and then after one month in the new place, she begins to smell “something,” and then she’s back to the old habits- cooking things on the balcony, sleeping with the kids in the car, refusing to let anyone open a carton of milk inside, for fear the mold will get into the milk. The place has no mold; we’ve had them all tested professionally, and they are as clean as a whistle.
    What is frustrating as can be is that every article I read about phobias says I need to get my wife into therapy, and get her to face her issues, etc. What you “professionals” never address is the fact that paranoia, by its very definition, means the phobia is REAL to the phobic! Why would such a person even GO to therapy if she is solidly convinces there is really mold that is threatening us? Why does you article NOT address that? You seem to make the assumption, as does just about every article I read like this, that the paranoic will simply obligingly come with me to see a therapist, will listen attentively to what is said, and will, eventually, buy into it, and commence to make progress. That, I can tell you, has NOT been my case. I’ve tried taking her to therapy. And the stupid therapist hammered her, and my wife decided the therapist was just like all the doctors, mold testers, mold specialists, and even former mold sufferers to whom we’ve spoken over the last 14 years- “they just don’t see it; they don’t want to see it.” To the paranoic, anyone who doesn’t affirm his or her fears and tell him/her that yes, this fear is real, is either misguided, or is part of some sort of conspiracy.
    That’s what I am living with. I get this sort of feedback all the time, as I say, and I have never seen where you all actually address how I am supposed to deal with someone to whom the source of the obsessive fear is so real, coupled with a refusal on that person’s part to hear anything else.

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