Relationship OCD is also known as ROCD or Relationship Substantiation. It is a subtype of OCD where an individual is consumed with confusions and doubts about his/her relationship. They start questioning their love and affection for their partner and their partner’s love for them. It is normal to have some concerns about your relationship; we all have these doubts in our minds at some point in our relationships. But in the case of ROCD, these are not just some temporary thoughts but irrational, baseless and obsessive thoughts. Whatever you think affects your behaviour, so when you have doubts in your mind about our relationship, it will appear in your behaviour. This will not only hurt you but your partner too. Obsessional thoughts lead to compulsive behaviour which in the end will break your relationship, and you will lose the person you love.
But how can you know if these are not just thoughts but relationship OCD? What are some relationship OCD symptoms? How it diagnosed and what is the best therapy option for ROCD? How do people get over ROCD? In this article, I am going to cover all these questions. So let’s get started:
Relationship OCD symptoms
Symptoms of ROCD are not that noticeable, and mostly it is misdiagnosed. The main reason is that it all starts with thoughts, and most of us are not good at expressing what we actually are going through. Initially these are negative thoughts and baseless doubts which then become an obsession and lead to compulsive actions. Here I am going to explain the obsessions a person may have to deal with and Compulsions so let’s get started with relationship OCD symptoms:
Obsessions in ROCD
Repetitive thoughts, impulses, mental images, or inappropriate, intrusive, and unwanted ideas are referred to as obsessions in OCD. In ROCD, all these thought or ideas revolve around discomfort and doubts mainly due to uncertainty. One simple obsession that is linked with ROCD is: “What if I am not in love with my partner?” the individual who is suffering from ROCD keeps wondering whether their current partner is the one, or if it really is love with that person. Their mind is full of uncertain thoughts, hungry for 100% certainty about their emotions for their partner, which is certainly an impossible thing. Life is uncertain; we do not know what we will happen in future, and we cannot clear all the doubts about something. Here are some common obsessions and thoughts associated with relationship OCD:
- What if I really do not love my partner and it is just a compromise?
- What if he/she is not the right one?
- If I do not wonder where my partner is, what’s is my partner doing all day, does it mean I don’t really in love him/her?
- What if I am not actually attracted to him?
- We kissed, but I did not enjoy that particular kiss, does it mean I am not attracted to him?
- I just saw this really attractive girl/guy; does it mean this is not the right relationship for me? Should I find someone else with whom I don’t find anyone attractive?
- I enjoy my alone time when my partner was out of the city for job purposes, does it mean I am not interested in them anymore, or I don’t love my partner?
- Sometimes I don’t feel turned on around my partner when he/she is looking for sexual intimacy. Does it mean my partner is not sexually attractive enough for me, and I am in a wrong relationship?
- I feel like I can cheat on my partner, I mean I imagine it sometimes, does it mean I don’t want to be with my partner and want to be with someone else?
- Obsessively concerned about hurting one’s partner by staying in a relationship if you may not love them truly
- Keep thinking about negative aspects or flaws of a partner’s character or appearance (no one is perfect)
- Keep thinking about long term viability or compatibly of relationship.
These thoughts are intrusive, and along with obsessions, these become extremely distressing. In the case of ROCD, this obsession leads to breaking up otherwise a really great and loving relationship. These obsessions become even more intense when the individual is in close proximity to his/her partner, and/or if long term commitment issues arise, for instance, meeting family, making relationship exclusive, moving in together or maybe marriage.
People are usually confused about whether these thoughts are linked with ROCD or indicating an incompatible relationship. Sufferer keeps wondering, “How can I figure out that this is not the reality of relationship but just ROCD?” it is a really tough question to answer as compatibility is a personal concept based on overall nature of the relationship. We all have someone in our family or friends whose relationship seemed perfect, but then a few months later they broke up. Just like that, we may know some people who seemed really wrong for each other but ended up together and were happy even after years of marriage.
We can’t determine with 100% certainty that a relationship is right or wrong, just as we can’t guarantee that we will see the next morning or the people we love will be safe whenever they step out of the house. Life is risky and uncertain, and that is what makes it so exciting. Stepping into a committed relationship can come up with the possibility of failure and success. In relationship OCD, there is no problem with the partner but the individual needs to seek 100% certainty about the relationship and emotions of the love for partner.
Compulsions in ROCD
Repetitive behaviours compelled to perform in response to negative thoughts just to reduce anxiety related to these obsessions fall under compulsions. Generally, there are four different categories of compulsions in OCD:
- Mental compulsions
- Avoidant compulsions
- Overt compulsions
- Reassurance seeking compulsions
Compulsions a sufferer may face in relationship OCDare usually less overt as compared to door checking and or repetitive hand washing. Generally in OCD, there are apparent compulsions that require checking, but there are also countless avoidant and unexplainable reassurance seeking compulsions. Here are some common compulsions associated with ROCD:
- They will try to have sex to figure out whether there is an emotional connection or not, and they are aroused.
- They will confess to their partner again and again about how they are having doubtful thoughts about their feelings and compatibility of the relationship.
- They will repeatedly tell their partner that they are attracted to someone else.
- They will try breaking up with their partner.
- They will try to figure out their feelings by flirting with others or spending time on an online dating site to find whether they are attracted to others or not.
- They keep on searching on the internet about love, relationships and issues regarding these.
- Sufferers may try avoiding attractive and triggering people; for instance, people they find attractive.
- They may also avoid being intimate with a partner.
- They may avoid giving compliments to their partner or saying “I love you.”
- They may also avoid any kind of loving gesture for the fear that they will be emotionally involved.
Reassurance Seeking Compulsions
- They will ask others to rate the compatibility of their relationship.
- They will ask others to confirm whether their partner is attractive or desirable.
- They will ask others again and again what they think about the longevity of their relationship, will it last longer or will they end up breaking up with each other soon
- They will ask others about their relationship and compare their feedbacks compulsively.
- They will compare their partner with other desirable or attractive people in mind.
- Mentally checking up whether their relationship is better than other’s relationships or not
- Mentally comparing feelings and thoughts expressed in romantic movies, songs or novels.
- Mentally comparing their ex relationships with the current one.
Compulsive behaviour in ROCD is just to satisfy obsessional thoughts. And to be honest, this provides them comfort but temporarily. Overall, these compulsions fuel repetitive, obsessive-compulsive cycle and make sufferers believe that they will find the one if they keep on trying.
Relationship OCD cheating
Are you wondering about the concept of relationship OCD cheating? Let me clear this concept for you. In ROCD, as I have mentioned above, you have obsessive thoughts about whether your partner is the right one or not. These thoughts may lead you to cheat your partner. For instance, you think about whether you are attracted to someone or not, and to check this, you kiss a random guy/girl, or a friend, just to know whether there is a spark or not. You may also have sex with that person just to compare sexual intimacy between that person and your partner.
Relationship OCD cheating will hurt your partner badly, and it may lead to a break up if your partner is unable to deal with this up and down complex situation and is not that understanding. It’s not your partner’s fault. That is the reason you should go see a therapist if you see symptoms of ROCD in you or your partner.
Relationship OCD test
If you want to know whether you are suffering from ROCD or not, many websites are conducting ROCD tests. Search the best-rated website that conducts this test. Well, there is no proper tool or software that can detect this behaviour. As ROCD is a kind of OCD with less noticeable symptoms. Still, these websites can assess the situation based on your answers and gaining insight into your character.
This test will help you in the best ways to judge whether you have actual problems in your relationship or its just ROCD. They actually judge your behaviour with an answer that you give to questions asked and prepare a report accordingly. This report just gives you a blurred idea, but if you have some thoughts, you need to seek help from professional therapists. It is not possible to know on your own if you are suffering from relationship OCD or not as your mind is engaged in forming irrational and baseless thoughts.
If you are wondering what kind of questions you will be asked here are some examples:
- Do you spend hours thinking about your relationship?
- Does your thinking about your relationship make you feel anxious?
- Have you had a history of OCD in the past?
- Do you have thoughts that your partner is not the right one?
- Does being around your partner make you anxious?
- Are you obsessed with the physical traits of your partner?
- Do you occasionally wonder about “what ifs”?
- Your relationship is going well, but still, you feel something is not right?
- Are you unable to enjoy your life fully just because of these thoughts?
- Do you feel exhausted emotionally and physically because of this overthinking?
Relationship OCD therapist London
Stats have shown that about 1.2% population of the UK is suffering from OCD. Relationship OCD although can ruin your life and destabilize you but you can recover from it. It is only possible if you seek help from a professional. As symptoms of ROCD are not that clear, so it is also difficult for therapists to identify the problem. Those who have limited knowledge or haven’t enough experience may misdiagnose the condition. This is disastrous; it will ruin your currently great relationship and will not provide a solution to the problem. Only a professional and experienced relationship OCD therapist London can help you with that.
An effective relationship OCD therapist London has the following qualities:
- An effective therapist shows acceptance, warmth and empathy towards others.
- The therapist focuses on others.
- The therapist will make you feel that you can trust them in a really short time. Trust is the most important thing between a therapist and patient only then they can share everything.
- The therapist forms a sense of partnership with his patient and does not impose anything but willing to work with his patient to set goals.
- The therapist tries their best to develop an acceptable and consistent treatment plan.
- The therapist communicates effectively regarding offering ongoing knowledge on a therapy course.
- The therapist keeps check on the progress of therapy and is concerned about the progress of therapy.
- The therapist thinks that treatment is not bringing desirable results, and is ready to modify the plan for the betterment of the client.
- The therapist is sensitive towards the cultural background of the client and possesses a great sense of self-insight.
- The therapist relies on the best research and tries ther best to educate the client.
The best way to find a reliable and effective therapist for treatment of relationship OCD is to ask those who have been through this and have recovered from ROCD. If you do not know anyone personally, you can take help from M.D.D. You can also consider online therapy services if you cannot attend regular sessions because of your job or any other issue.
Relationship OCD success stories
ROCD is a condition that can make your relationship a living hell. One day everything is fine, and the next day you are completely drowned in obsessive thoughts revolving around doubts and FREE CONSULTATION regarding your relationship. Here I am going to share some relationship OCD success stories with you that will inspire you to fight your ROCD. So let’s get started:
One of my friends says Lara shared her story. She said that everything was going fine and she found someone she was in love with. They were having a good time together. One day she met her old friend from high school and her fiancé. She said she was so impressed to see their bond and love for each other. Everything was fine, but after seeing that couple, she became worried about her own relationship. She said that she had questions, “Do I share the same bond with my boyfriend? Is he the right one or not?” She told me that she tried to ignore these feelings at the start, but it did not help at all, things started getting worse and worse as she started questioning her relationship. But then she decided to take help from a therapist, and with the help of regular therapy, she was able to recover from it. She said that she was asked to write down all negative thoughts. According to her, it was so draining as one thought lead to others and was unstoppable. But now she is recovered and enjoying a loving relationship. She suggests everyone in this situation find a therapist to connect with to understand what you are going through and guide you properly.
Here is another one of the best relationship OCD success stories that I read on Reddit and I am going to share as it is:
“I am not 100% better, but I have been practising mindfulness (meditation app), resisting my compulsions, and trying to be accepting of ALL my thoughts for the past month and a half. Although I still have a long way to go, I have made an impressive amount of progress. Before I could barely stop obsessing over his looks, our sex life, whether I loved him, etc. But after working hard on myself and keeping my mind and body busy, I have made loads of progress. Beforehand I could hardly concentrate and being near or around my boyfriend made me so anxious, and now most of my days are spent peacefully and having a good time with him.
Yes, there are spikes here and there, and I have loads more work to do. But I believe if I can have this much progress in one month, that things can only get better and better.”
Relationship OCD Reddit
Relationships are complicated, and ROCD makes them even more difficult to be in a loving relationship. But if you try, you can recover from it and can have a beautiful relationship. Here I am going to share some relationship OCD Reddit examples to inspire you. A lot of Reddit users have shared their experience with ROCD and how they coped up with it, so let’s have a look at some of these relationships OCD Reddit examples:
“I was avoiding a new relationship because of this, but I’ve managed to get back in one. And like you said, as soon as he asked me to get serious with him, the floodgates opened and just about anything became a trigger. I like communicating, but it’s hard to vocalize irrational thoughts. I wrote down things I thought he needed to know about when I get spacey or start overthinking things, and he accepted everything so well, which helped a lot.”
Another user shared:
“For me, it was all about letting go of control. Accepting the relationship may not be perfect, but I am going to stay in it anyway, and that’s ok, and if we wound up breaking up, that’s ok too, it happens. When times were hard, focus on things besides the relationship.”
Here is a suggestion for those who are looking for treatment options:
“OCD is treated by using proper ERP. ERP isn’t always taught correctly, so make sure you are receiving proper treatment. If you have a roadblock in your recovery, you have to talk to your therapist about it so you two can come up with a plan on how to solve it.”
Thoughts related to relationship OCD are very intense and can leash hell on romantic relationships. You have this extreme need to satisfy your thoughts that you start behaving compulsively. You will not only hurt yourself but also the person you love most in this whole world. You will end up losing the love of your life. I know you do not want this so if you feel like you have relationship OCD symptoms make sure to seek help from a professional therapist. relationship OCD,
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Relationship OCD treatment
Relationship OCD treatment becomes necessary when you have obsessive negative thoughts about your relationship and show compulsive behaviour. Relationships are complicated, and when the honeymoon phase ends, practical life starts, which is much more challenging. Things will be different; something that made you laugh at the start of the relationship may feel annoying now. Little things are now irritating you. Is this normal or indicates ROCD?
Well in ROCD there is a repeatitive cycle of being clingy and pushing your partner away. But what are Relationship OCD trust issues, what tends to trigger them, and what are Relationship OCD treatment options? In this article,lets talk about it.
Relationship OCD trust issues
Relationship OCD trust issues that will encounter your mind are as follows:
- Am I really in love with my partner?
- Is he/she “The One”?
- If he/she is the one, why did I find someone else attractive?
- What if I made a mistake?
- What if I am not good for my partner?
Relationship OCD trust issues include these kinds of thoughts in mind. But these are not just thoughts; these are obsessions that will trigger compulsive behaviours.
Relationship OCD triggers
- You are committed, but you see someone, think that he/she is attractive, and start questioning yourself.
- Seeing your ex can also trigger ROCD, especially when your ex is happy.
- Watching a romantic movie or listening to love songs.
- When you are stressed about anything.
How you can manage it at home?
Just like other types of OCD, you can try to manage ROCD at home with the help of your partner. If it does not help, it becomes crucial to seek help from professionals. Here are some steps that will help you in managing symptoms of ROCD:
- Whenever you have negative thoughts, sit alone and ask questions about your relationship. For instance, do I like my partner? Do I like where we are in a relationship? And other such questions. Write at least five reasons why the answer to these questions is no then move towards the next step.
- Try to know why you are feeling unsatisfied, what are unmet needs in your relationship. If you can’t pinpoint the exact issue, give yourself some time. After that, if it is all about appearance or other stupid things, it means ROCD is messing with your head.
- Talk to your partner, discuss all these things. Tell him or her how you feel. It may seem difficult, but you can do this, and your partner will help for sure in bringing out clarity.
Relationship OCD treatment
Treatment of ROCD is very important; otherwise, you will lose the person you love most. Relationship OCD treatment resembles the treatment of other OCD types. Treatment revolves around different therapies suggested by a professional. Here are some approaches used in Relationship OCD treatment:
Meditation has plenty of forms that can help in dealing with relationship OCD. One such form of meditation is mindfulness. It has proven one of the best approaches to deal with different kinds of mental health problems. It is on your therapist how he recommends you to imply it on yourself.
Mindfulness allows you to divert your attention from stupid and baseless thoughts that might ruin your relationship. You will be able to refocus your attention on something free from any kind of emotional baggage, for instance focusing on your breathing.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is an excellent approach used in Relationship OCD treatment by experts. With its help, negative thoughts and their changing patterns are identified. Whatever a person thinks, it affects their behaviour. If a person has negative thoughts about their relationship, it will be noticeable in their behaviour with their partner. In ROCD, people make false assumptions far from reality in their mind and behave accordingly. These particular thoughts are identified and then treated with the help of CBT.
A simple technique used in CBT involves saying “STOP”, either in your head or aloud whenever there is a rush of negative thoughts about your relationship. Imagery rescripting is an experimental technique that has also been incorporated in CBT for challenging behaviours associated with commitment. It is also suggested that CBT, combined with Systematic Desensitization Therapy, can help deal with ROCD.
Exposure and response prevention (ERP)
ERP can also play a useful role in Relationship OCD treatment by breaking a connection between obsessional thoughts and compulsive actions resulting from these thoughts. For instance, a person suffering from ROCD may be asked to trigger his/her doubts regarding relationship and preoccupations by saying “I am not sure about my relationship”. Instead of doing a compulsive ritual or stressing due to these thoughts, the individual is encouraged to deal with the anxiety and know how he/she can eventually dissipate these thoughts.
At the early stages of any kind of mental health, issue medication is not recommended, therapies are used initially as I have shown above. But in some cases, it becomes necessary to give some medications in addition to therapies. It is because mental illness does affect not only our minds but also our physical health. When ROCD becomes really bad (extreme anxiety, poor mood, panic attacks) and starts affecting physical health, doctors may recommend some medication. But that does not mean you can take medication on your own as some of these have side effects. However, there is no particular medicine for the treatment of ROCD in some cases, Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRIs). It is effective in reducing anxiety and also improves mood. There is no known mechanism on how it really works, but it can maintain healthy serotonin levels.
Relationship ocd treatment final thoughts
ROCD is not good for a relationship and requires proper treatment. It is just like any other mental health problem. Seeking professional help is crucial if an individual wants to save his/her relationship. I have tried my best to provide you with useful information regarding Relationship OCD treatment. I hope you will find it helpful.
Relationship OCD books
Relationship OCD books help deal with the harmful effects of OCD on intimate relationships. Relationship OCD is a kind of OCD in which a person experiences, distressing and unwanted thoughts about the quality, strength, and true nature of love for his romantic partner.
When we hear the term OCD, the first thing that comes to our mind is that it means compulsive lock checking or hand washing for hours. But OCD is not limited to this only; there are plenty of exhausting subtypes in which symptoms are not that prominent, these are called “Pure Obsessional OCD” or “Pure O”. However, this term is inaccurate for this kind of problem as compulsions in Pure O are not obvious, so others cannot notice these efficiently, but that person suffers a lot. One such sub-type of OCD is relationship OCD.
In this article, I will talk about how it affects marriage and how some popular Relationship OCD books can help in dealing with it. So let’s get started:
Relationship OCD and marriage
Those who suffer from relationship OCD operate like they are single because they have this strong concept of love that they keep on wondering whether the person they are dating is “the one” or not. Those who are in a relationship or are married feel a lot of stress about their relationship.
As I have mentioned above, symptoms are not clear, so this is a complicated type of OCD that can ruin your marriage. In simple words, Relationship OCD and marriage is the worst combination ever.
Relationship OCD and marriage revolves around repetitive thoughts around uncertainty and issues of doubts. The sufferer may think “What if I don’t love my partner and all of this is just an illusion?”.These kinds of thoughts may lead to some compulsive actions, such as telling their partner that they are attracted to others or in extreme cases breaking up with their partner.
There is no need to say that obsessions and compulsions a person experiences in ROCD does not only affect the individual but their partner too. Marriages or relationships in which one partner suffers from ROCD are unstable and chaotic because of conflicts and misunderstandings that ultimately lead to breakup or divorce. Even though a nice and understanding person may struggle with the repetitive situation of hearing, his partner does trust him and has doubts about their love emotions. The worst thing is that the sufferer has no control over it; the sufferer keeps expressing doubts to their partners. Those suffering from ROCD cause serious emotional suffering to the person they love most in this whole world.
Relationship OCD books
We all have some doubts at some point in our life, for instance, while starting a new career or committing to someone, simply while making any big decision. But still, we take risks and aim to be happy in our life and move forward progressively. Relationships are complicated, and no matter how hard we try, we have little doubts which are removed with care and love, and everything goes back to normal. But Relationship OCD makes everything difficult; doubts are not cleared instead increase with time. Reading Relationship OCD books can help in finding the solution to your relationship problems. Here I am going to share some popular Relationship OCD books available in the market. Let’s have a look at these:
“Relationship OCD Recovery Solution” by Ali Greymond
Relationship OCD has become very common these days, and this book will help you cope with this. You will be able to know why you are having these thoughts and how you can make them go away. It may seem like you don’t have any control over it, which is true to some extent, but you can eliminate it if you try. It is not easy; you will have to put in a lot of work to get rid of it.
Ali Greymond, who is the author of this book, has also experienced OCD, but he recovered from it and explained methods that were effective for him. His methods have helped people in dealing with OSD from all around the world. A lot of people have recovered from OCD with the help of this book. If you think that relationship OCD is ruining your relationship, take help from this book, and you will not be disappointed at all.
“Love you, Love you not, Breaking Free from Relationship OCD” by Bruno Ping & Hannah Pedersen.
This is one of the Relationship OCD books based on real-life experience. It revolves around a journey through ROCD, insightful conclusions from the recovery process, and deep research on the concept of relationship OCD. Currently, it is a poorly known condition that badly affects romantic relationships. So many good relationships end just because of this ROCD. This book effectively explains the whole process and will engage you to keep reading it. The best thing about this book is that it explains the concept of love too. In this materialistic world we judge everything on what we see, we don’t care about emotions, and somehow our love is materialistic too. But read this book, and you will know what actually love is.
It is not only for those who are suffering from ROCD but also for those who don’t have this issue, but their partner, friend, or family member is badly suffering from ROCD. It is an eBook, so you don’t have to go anywhere and purchase it. You can download it whenever you want and can read it on your phone.
Relationship OCD and marriage make a terrible combination. If it is not dealt with properly, a marriage will end up in divorce. If you are suffering from ROCD, make sure to talk to a professional otherwise, you will end up hurting and losing the person you love most in your life. You can consider any of the above-mentioned Relationship OCD books for help. I have tried my best to provide useful information about Relationship OCD. I hope you will find this article helpful in coping up with ROCD. Call 03333443853 for professional assistance and book in a free consultation with one of our team members today.