Do you worry that you might be bad for your partner? Do you constantly question your compatibility or whether you are really right for each other? If so, you may be struggling with relationship OCD. This type of OCD can be incredibly damaging to relationships and can cause a lot of stress and anxiety. In this guide, we will discuss everything you need to know about relationship OCD, including how to identify it, the symptoms, and how to get help. We will also provide tips for coping with relationship OCD and maintaining healthy relationships despite the disorder.
- 1 What Is Relationship OCD?
- 2 What Are The Types Of ROCD?
- 3 What Are The Symptoms Of Relationship OCD?
- 4 What Causes Relationship OCD?
- 5 What Are The Consequences Of Relationship OCD?
- 6 Therapy Treatment For Relationship OCD?
- 7 Helpful Tips For Relationship OCD
- 8 Conclusion
- 9 A Word From Mantra Care
What Is Relationship OCD?
Relationship OCD is a type of OCD that can affect anyone at any age. It is characterized by intrusive thoughts and fears about one’s relationship. People with Relationship OCD may have obsessive thoughts about their partner cheating on them, or they may be afraid of being rejected by their partner. They may also worry about saying or doing something that will drive their partner away.
This is often a type of OCD that is difficult to diagnose because the symptoms can be so similar to those of regular OCD. If you think you may have Relationship OCD, it is important to talk to a mental health professional who can help you get the treatment you need.
Moreover, relationship OCD can be extremely debilitating and can cause a great deal of distress for both the sufferer and their partner. It is also known as ROCD, relationship-centered OCD, or relationship anxiety. One example of this might be if you’re constantly questioning whether or not your partner really loves you. Then, you may look for “evidence” of their love by checking things like their social media or texts to see if they are talking to other people.
This can be very distressing and cause a lot of problems in the relationship. If you think you may have ROCD, it is important to seek professional help from a mental health provider who specializes in OCD.
What Are The Types Of ROCD?
The types of relationship OCD can be divided into two broad categories:
- One where the person is afraid of being rejected by their partner (Rejection Sensitive Dysphoria)
- And, another, where the person is afraid of their partner cheating on them (Jealousy).
In the first type, the person with ROCD becomes extremely anxious about any sign that their partner may be losing interest in them. They may constantly seek reassurance from their partner that they are still loved and wanted. In fact, they may become so clingy that their partner starts to feel suffocated.
The second type of ROCD is characterized by extreme jealousy and suspicion. The person may constantly accuse their partner of cheating, even if there is no evidence to support these claims. They may go through their partner’s belongings, check their messages, and follow them around. This type of ROCD can be very damaging to a relationship, as it creates an atmosphere of mistrust and suspicion.
Both types of ROCD can be equally debilitating and cause a lot of distress in a relationship. In addition, both types can lead to the same result: a breakdown of trust and communication. If you suspect that you or your partner may have ROCD, it is important to seek help from a mental health professional. With treatment, it is possible to overcome this disorder and have a healthy, happy relationship.
What Are The Symptoms Of Relationship OCD?
The condition can manifest in many different ways, but some of the most common symptoms include:
- Excessive worrying about whether or not you are really in love with your partner
- Spending hours analyzing your relationship and looking for signs that it may be doomed
- Constantly doubting your partner’s feelings for you and wondering if they may be ready to leave
- Being unable to enjoy time with your partner because you are so wrapped up in worrying about the relationship
- Feeling like you need constant reassurance from your partner that they love you
- Avoiding all physical contact with your partner out of fear that it may lead to sex or intimacy
- Checking social media obsessively for any clues that your partner may be cheating on you
These are some of the signs to identify whether you have a relationship with OCD. In fact, research suggests that as many as one in 100 people suffers from the condition. Moreover, it is believed that the majority of sufferers are women.
However, there is no such evidence to support the claim that more women than men suffer from relationship OCD. The condition can affect people of all genders, ages, and sexual orientations. If you think you may have relationship OCD, it’s important to seek professional help.
What Causes Relationship OCD?
The causes of Relationship OCD (ROCD) are not yet fully understood. However, research suggests that ROCD may be caused by some personality traits, such as perfectionism or a need for control. Additionally, ROCD may be triggered by stressful life events, such as the death of a loved one or the end of a relationship.
The personality trait of perfectionism has been found to be a significant predictor of ROCD symptoms. Perfectionists tend to have high standards for themselves and others, and they often feel that they are never good enough. This can lead to obsessive thoughts and behaviors in an attempt to achieve perfection.
The need for control is another personality trait that has been linked to ROCD. People who need to control everything in their lives may obsess over their relationships in an attempt to make them perfect. This can lead to nit-picking and criticism of both themselves and their partner.
ROCD may also be triggered by stressful life events, such as the death of a loved one or the end of a relationship. These events can cause feelings of insecurity and anxiety, which may contribute to the development of ROCD symptoms.
It is important to be aware of the possible causes of ROCD, as this can help you to understand your symptoms and seek treatment. As identifying the root cause of your ROCD can be difficult, it is often helpful to seek professional help.
What Are The Consequences Of Relationship OCD?
There are several consequences that can result from having relationship OCD.
One of the most common is social withdrawal and isolation. Those who suffer from relationship OCD often become so focused on their relationships. That they begin to isolate themselves from friends and family members. This can lead to feelings of loneliness and depression.
Additionally, those with relationship OCD may miss out on important life experiences, such as going to college or getting married. Because they are too afraid of what might happen in their relationships.
Another common consequence of relationship OCD is financial problems. Many people with this disorder spend a lot of money on gifts for their loved ones. Or on products that they think will help them fix their relationships. It might sound strange, but some people with relationship OCD even spend money on therapists.
All of these consequences can have a negative impact on a person’s life. If you or someone you know is suffering from relationship OCD, it’s important to seek help from a mental health professional. With treatment, it is possible to live a happy and fulfilling life.
Therapy Treatment For Relationship OCD?
The most effective treatment for relationship OCD is a type of therapy called exposure and response prevention (ERP). ERP is a form of cognitive-behavioral therapy that helps people manage their OCD by gradually exposing them to their fears and teaching them healthy coping mechanisms.
During ERP, people with relationship OCD work with their therapist to identify their specific fear triggers. They then create a hierarchy of fear-triggering situations, starting with the least anxiety-provoking at the bottom. And working their way up to the most anxiety-provoking. Once the hierarchy is created, the individual begins slowly exposing themselves to their fear triggers. While simultaneously practicing healthy coping mechanisms.
The goal of ERP is not to cure OCD, but rather to help people manage their symptoms so they can live happier, more productive lives. The majority of people have witnessed the best results within 12-15 sessions. In this, you will mainly deal with your obsessions and compulsions head-on to learn how to better manage your relationship with OCD.
Example of how ERP helps
Let’s take one example Jane who has relationship OCD and is afraid of abandonment. Her therapist may help her create a fear hierarchy that looks like this:
- talks to her therapist about her fear of abandonment
- reads articles about abandonment
- watches a movie where a character is abandoned
- imagines being abandoned by her partner
- speaks to her partner about the possibility of being abandoned
- partner leaves the room for a short period of time
- partner goes on a business trip for a few days
As you can see, each situation becomes gradually more anxiety-provoking. And as Jane works through her hierarchy, she’ll also practice healthy coping mechanisms. And, ERP works for all types of relationship OCD, whether it’s fear of abandonment, infidelity, or even divorce.
Try Mantra Care for your OCD
Here at Mantra Care, the team of highly trained mental health professionals specializes in treating OCD. They can help you or a loved one manage their relationship OCD, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us. In fact, Mantra Care offers a free 30-minute consultation where your specific case can be discussed in more detail and you can ask any questions about treatment.
We understand that seeking out professional help can be a daunting task. But, it will be worth living a happier, healthier life. So if you or someone you know is struggling with relationship OCD, please reach out to us today.
Helpful Tips For Relationship OCD
There are some other things you can do to help ease your relationship OCD. Here are a few tips:
Talk to your partner
As it is about a condition with which you may feel very alone, talking to your partner is crucial. Discussing your anxieties and getting their reassurance can be incredibly helpful. In fact, together, you may be able to come up with a plan to ease your fears. And, being together is itself reassuring. Moreover, this can be a way to deepen your relationship and build trust.
Do not avoid your fears
It may seem counterintuitive, but avoidance will only make your anxiety worse. Once you have talked to your partner about your anxieties, try and work out a way to face them head-on. This could involve baby steps at first, but eventually, you will get there. Avoiding fears could never be an option because it would make the fear itself more real.
Challenge your intrusive thoughts
When you have a negative thought about your relationship, try to counter it with a positive one. For example, if you are worried that your partner is going to leave you, remind yourself of all the reasons why they love and care for you. It is also related to the point above about avoidance – the more you challenge your thoughts, the less power they will have over you. In fact, it works in a similar way to exposure therapy, which is a treatment for various mental health conditions.
Focus on the present moment
Don’t dwell on past arguments or mistakes, or worry about what might happen in the future. Try to live in the here and now as much as possible. It will not only help you to feel calmer but will also allow you to enjoy your relationship more. After all, the present moment is all we really have. Moreover, if you focus on the present, you will be more likely to notice the positive aspects of your relationship.
Practice self-relaxation techniques
Self-relaxation techniques are a great way to ease anxiety in general. They can help you to feel calmer and more in control. There are various techniques you can try, such as;
- deep breathing,
- progressive muscle relaxation.
Find support groups
There are various support groups available, both online and offline. These can provide you with valuable information and allow you to share your experiences with others who understand what you are going through. In fact, support groups are often recommended as a treatment for OCD. It works in a similar way to exposure therapy and can be very helpful.
Take care of yourself
It is a good idea to make sure you are taking care of yourself in general. This includes eating a healthy diet, getting enough sleep, and exercising regularly. Taking care of your physical health is important for your mental health. Moreover, it can help to reduce stress and anxiety in general. These are all things that will help you to cope with relationship OCD. And do not forget to be patient as recovery takes time.
If you follow these tips, you will be on your way to recovery. Remember, it is a process and it takes time. Be patient with yourself and do not hesitate to ask for help when you need it. Recovery is possible and you can overcome relationship OCD.
These will all help you to feel more relaxed and less anxious. By following the tips above, you should be able to ease your relationship with OCD. Remember, it is important to take step by step and not to expect too much of yourself. Recovery takes time, but it is possible. So, be patient and be kind to yourself. You can do this!
To conclude, relationship OCD is a serious and debilitating disorder that can wreak havoc on your life. It is a condition that should be taken seriously and treated accordingly. If you or someone you know suffers from relationship OCD, don’t hesitate to seek professional help. With the right treatment, recovery is possible.
Moreover, people need to understand that having relationship OCD does not make someone a bad person. It is a disorder that causes sufferers to obsess over their relationships and to doubt their own worthiness of love. So, get help at the right time, it will save your life. Thank you for reading! I hope this article was helpful in some way.
A Word From Mantra Care
Your mental health — your psychological, emotional, and social well-being — has an impact on every aspect of your life. Positive mental health essentially allows you to effectively deal with life’s everyday challenges.
At Mantra Care, we have a team of therapists who provide affordable online therapy to assist you with issues such as depression, anxiety, stress, relationship, OCD, LGBTQ, and PTSD. You can take our mental health test. You can also book a free therapy or download our free Android or iOS app.