in , ,

Redditor With OCD Lashes Out After Husband Uses Dish Brush To Clean Dog’s Food Bowl


Life is full of compromise, especially in a relationship.

We all have to deal with one another’s quirks and issues.

But sometimes it can be too much and everyone comes to blows.

Case in point…

Redditor Substantial-Shoe6273 wanted to discuss their story for some feedback. So naturally they came to visit the “Am I The A**hole” (AITA) subReddit.

They asked:

“AITA for saying he lacked common sense after he used my dish brush to clean his dog’s food and water dish?”

The Original Poster (OP) explained:

“I feel like an AH for saying this because it was one of those in the moment and you cant shut up despite mentally telling yourself to stop type of things.”

“I was pushed over the edge after him saying it wasn’t a big deal.”

“But regardless, I do feel bad and I need to know if I’m overreacting.”

“I have O[bsessive] C[ompulsive] D[isorder].”

“Cleanliness and organization obviously play a huge role in my life.”

“Amongst other things (generally speaking I have to do most things 3 times- whether it be locking my car, checking on my kids, sweeping the floors, rinsing dishes, etc).”

“Not sure why its 3 times but I guess that doesn’t matter.”

“However, because I have children and a husband, I have learned to adapt and allow them to help me.”

“Despite even the idea of it making me physically ill and usually I will go behind them once they’ve all gone to bed and redo it.”

“Because I don’t want them to feel like they didn’t do a good enough job or like I don’t appreciate them.”

“However… yesterday afternoon my kids and husband wanted to help clean and told me to ‘go relax’ and not watch them because they know that if I hover I become anxious and want to do things my way.”

“They know that if I don’t watch, I’m generally okay.”

“Well I went out to the kitchen about 45 minutes later or so (I was in my bedroom upstairs watching tv) and I find my husband using my dish scrubber (you know the ones with the long handles used for tough build up) on the dogs dishes.”

“I immediately felt ill.”

“I don’t think that has anything to do with OCD but just the fact that it’s disgusting because I don’t know how many times he has done this and I use it to wash dishes!”

“So I ask him wtf he’s doing and he just looks at me and says ‘cleaning?'”

“So I was like ‘you’re washing your dog’s dishes that its filthy slobber and germs have been on with my dish scrubber?'”

“He doesn’t answer and just states at me.”

“I tell him to throw the scrubber away after he is done and walk off because I don’t WANT to freak out and I felt it coming.”

“Well he comes to the bedroom a few minutes later and says ‘I don’t know why you’re so upset right now. It’s not a big deal at all.'”

“‘The dogs dishes needed to be cleaned.'”

“And despite mentally telling myself to just shut up, I end up snapping and saying ‘common sense would say not to clean a dirty dog dish using a f**king dish scrubber that I use every single day but apparently common sense isn’t so common.'”

“He says I need help. AITA?”

Redditors shared their thoughts on this matter and weighed some options to the question AITA?:

  • NTA – Not The A**hole
  • YTA – You’re The A**hole
  • NAH – No A**holes Here
  • ESH – Everyone Sucks Here

Redditors declared our OP was NOT the A**hole… for the most part. 

It’s a tricky situation.

Let’s hear some thoughts…

“As someone with diagnosed OCD myself, I 100% understand this.”

“Also as a person with diagnosed OCD, I am going to say a soft YTA.”

“We have all these things built up in our heads.”

“And feel they should be obvious to others.”

“But the fact is they do not always understand the importance to them for us.”

“My girlfriend occasionally does things that set off my OCD and I choose if that is a thing I can live with or if I need to act.”

“If I need to act, we sit down and I very clearly explain the issue to her, and we move on.”

“It is very important to me that the dishes and the dog bowl not be cleaned with the same implement.”

“This is part of my condition and can be upsetting for me.”

“If that discussion has not happened in a clearly communicated way (not implications, no ‘he has seen me do it 100 times’ or ‘things are clearly labeled’) then I have failed to relay it appropriately.”

“And it is not her fault when it upsets me.”

“It is my job to make sure she is aware of each thing.”

“She doesn’t have OCD.”

“She doesn’t have that thing in her head demanding that things happen a certain way that freaks out when they don’t.”

“Unless I actually say the words ‘This thing is an issue for me, here is why and here is what I specifically need from you in this scenario’ I can’t hold her responsible for adhering or diverging from those needs.”

“I constantly remind myself ‘My mental illness is not my fault, but it is my responsibility.'”

“And raising my voice or lashing out at others for not having my condition, and therefore not inherently understanding is on me, not them.”  ~ thecartoonrobot

“As another person with OCD. It sounds like OP is very difficult to live with.”

“I know I used to be a nightmare to live with also until I learned how to find alternative strategies to coping with my OCD that didn’t boil down to controlling the behavior of anyone else I live with.”

“Or else punishing them when they didn’t behave to my (often unreasonable or arbitrary) standards.”

“I pushed a lot of friends and roommates away by lashing out in the way OP is lashing out at her family.”

“Therapy and medication are good steps but she needs to get that under control.”

“And realize it’s not OK to take her frustrations out on them just because of her OCD, or she will push them away too.”  ~ Maxwells_Demona

“Exactly. She is N T A for feeling upset by it, but she is TA for the way she responded to it.”

“You can’t control your feelings.”

“But you can control your actions and the way you communicate, and she was disproportionately harsh.”

“It seems that if he’d known it would upset her, he wouldn’t have done it.”

“I see this as a communication failure on part of OP.”  ~ 21ratsinatrenchcoat

“To add on this as someone with OCD who lives with someone else with ocd: people are also not responsible for our triggers.”

“It can get controlling very quickly if we start to make other people live by our triggers and anxieties/compulsions.”

“I’ve seen it and lived it and do my best to make sure it doesn’t happen with me.”

“So, soft YTA because the reasoning for being upset was mostly based around OP’s anxiety/ocd.”

“And if OP is reading- get yourself doing some ERP (Enterprise resource planning) ASAP!”  ~ howbouthailey

“NTA. He knew where the pet scrubber was and he chose not to use it.”

“Hopefully this was an oversight on his part and not malicious.”

“Either way, it’s gross and you are not TA for feeling this way and it is not anything to do with OCD, it’s basic hygiene.”

“Regarding your OCD.”

“Have you ever tried CBT(Cognitive behavioral therapy) in a group setting in order to attempt to challenging some of your actual OCD behaviors?”

“I think you might find it useful either in conjunction with medication or instead of.”  ~ Wibblejellytime

“NTA. I say this as someone who’s always washed my cat’s food dishes along with human dishes (same sponge, same water tub, cat bowls before human plates, because I don’t want any onion/garlic residue on the cat’s stuff).”

“There are a lot of people out there who are disgusted by this idea, it’s an evolutionary mechanism and it’s perfectly normal.”

“This isn’t an OCD thing.”

“It’s not a big deal to use a different, designated brush for pet bowls, if that’s what members of the household prefer.”

“It sounds like you’re doing a lot to take care of all your OCD issues, and they aren’t doing anything to accommodate you, on the contrary.”  ~ scatterbrain2015

OP added some details…

“ETA: I’m on meds and I’m in therapy.”

“The doctor has been changing my medications almost every 2 months and has been for close to a year and a half because it doesn’t appear to be working at all.”

“My therapist is the one who suggested to my husband and children that I remain in the other room when they clean and it does help.”

“I just happened to be walking in to the kitchen to see this and freaked.”

“We have a scrubber under the sink labeled as ‘pet dish scrubber.'”

“He knows where it is.”  

Well OP, you have quite the situation.

It’s definitely more complicated than Reddit can get into.

But Reddit does seem to be understanding.

Good luck.