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Pregnant Woman Says Husband Asked Her To Cut Contact With Brother Who Has Intrusive Thoughts About Kids

Photo: fizkes / Shutterstock
Couple fighting

A soon-to-be mother posted about a predicament she’s in online regarding the baby she’s currently carrying, her husband, her brother and his condition.

She calls her brother “one of the kindest and gentlest people” she knows but was shocked to learn about the harm OCD he has struggled with for years — Pedophilic obsessive-compulsive disorder (POCD).

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Her husband is forcing her to cut contact with him before she gives birth.

She posted to the subreddit “r/TrueOffMyChest,” a place where she can share her feelings and pain with the world without fear of judgment or unsolicited comments.

She explains the context behind her brother’s diagnosis, telling everyone about his attempt at committing suicide because of his intrusive thoughts.

“The type of OCD he has is informally known as POCD. To greatly simplify, it's a form of harm OCD involving children,” she explains. “People with POCD think that their intrusive thoughts mean they are predators towards children.”

Not to be confused with actual pedophilia, people with POCD have intrusive thoughts that they are unable to control which brings along anxiety and fear that they might actually do harm.

“Over the years, my brother has told multiple therapists about his intrusive thoughts, and they have all agreed he is not a predator,” she continues.

“I don’t think they would risk their licenses by saying he wasn’t a predator, if there was even a small risk that he was.”

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She claims that her husband won’t listen and is threatening their marriage.

“I’ve tried telling my husband everything I’ve written here, but he won’t budge,” she explains. “He says that if there is any chance those therapists were wrong, then we can’t risk our baby around my brother. He is threatening to leave me if I keep my brother in my life.”

Her husband was the victim of a predator when he was younger, so she implies that his intense feelings for the situation are understandable and even warranted.

However, she’s heartbroken by the prospect that she might have to stop talking to her brother.

“I’m terrified of what this is going to do to my brother,” she writes.

“He's going to ask why I suddenly stopped talking to him, and if I tell him, it might just push him over the edge. If my brother hurt himself over this, I could never forgive myself.”

She’s worried that her family will hate her husband for how he feels about the situation.

“My life is about to explode, and I can’t even tell the people close to me about it,” she writes. “I can’t tell my parents and sisters about this for obvious reasons. If I try to tell my friends about this, they might think my brother is an actual predator.”

The situation has gotten so bad that she even regrets telling her husband about her brother’s OCD in the first place.

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Redditors believe that there’s a reasonable compromise for her situation.

“Stay in communication with your brother, but never bring him around the baby,” the top comment reads. “He never meets the baby until they are old enough for everyone’s comfort.”

Users widely agreed that she should not have to cut contact with her brother over her husband’s reaction, explaining that his judgment is likely clouded by his trauma.

“Three therapists said that your brother is not a predator, and he actively avoids children. It would be a different situation if he actually had a history of child abuse,” they continued.

“But you should not cut your brother out of your life entirely because of a mental health diagnosis that he did not ask for and is trying his best to control.”

Other people suggested her husband try therapy himself in order to sort out any trauma of his own.

Her husband, however, shut down all of these suggestions, prompting Redditors to label him an emotional bully.

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Isaac Serna-Diez is an Assistant Editor who focuses on entertainment and news, social justice, and politics. Keep up with his rants about current events on his Twitter.