Understanding relationship OCD.
Disclaimer: Although I have personal and professional experience in the mental health field, I am not a licensed mental health professional. The information contained in this article is meant for educational and entertainment purposes only. The contents of this article are not meant to diagnose, treat or cure any disorder.
Anxiety around relationships is normal for everyone. But when someone with OCD has strong obsessions and compulsions towards their relationship(s), then there can be major problems that can drastically impact interpersonal relations.
Everyone’s felt jealous or unsure in a romantic relationship–it’s not uncommon. But usually, that anxiety can be dispelled by logic and reasoning.
For example, your partner has been coming home late from work the past few days and hasn’t said much to you. This is different from their usual behavior. Your anxiety is building, all these scenarios are running through your head–you are terrified.
So you talk with your partner — hoping that will alleviate your anxiety. When talking to your partner you find out that work has been far my stressful than normal, and the work has been piling up at the end of the day. Your partner expresses how exhausted they are at the end of the day, so they go straight to bed when they get home.
Through this, you gain perspective on what your partner is telling you — everything adds up. This would be the logic and reasoning behind their behavior. Typically this would suffice — there’s no issue growing or the worst happening. But someone with relationship OCD will be more inclined to pursue this anxiety far more.
What is relationship OCD?
Relationship OCD is an intense obsession that centers around the major relationships in someone’s life. Specifically, romantic relationships are the center of focus within relationship OCD.
Questioning your relationship with a long-term partner is normal at some point in a long-term relationship. Still, those with relationship OCD can take that much further and experience questioning and doubts consistently. The thoughts and obsessions around the relationship are time-consuming and cumbersome.
According to clinical psychologist, Dr. Owen Kelly, on verywellmind, relationship OCD can present in the following symptoms:
- Needing constant reassurance from your partner
- Experiencing persistent intrusive thoughts about your partner and/or your relationship
- Thoughts about being with someone else over your current partner
- Questioning your love and relationship with your partner
- Exessive worry and concern for your partner’s well-being
These symptoms happen repeatedly over time and cause extreme distress to the sufferer.
How it affects relationships
Those who live with relationship OCD or OCD, in general, are more prone to intimacy issues, according to the United Brain Association.
The person in the relationship with OCD will be going through a heavy amount of anxiety–this relationship is nearly all they can think about it. This is all their brain will allow them to do; it’s devastating.
All the partners may see is the constant attacks and questioning they are receiving.
The fears and anxieties within the relationship bounce back and forth. Both partners can become worn down, and there can be a struggle. But when you fall into these times, it’s best to connect with a therapist.
Anxiety can boil over and become so unmanageable. Over time, that can really eat away in a relationship. Getting help — even if you don’t have OCD but are struggling with anything mentioned in this article — will help you.
Issues come up in any relationship — bumps are normal. If relationship OCD is taking over your world, or you are just having a lot of anxiety in relationships — seeing a mental health professional is the best option.