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Living with Relationship OCD - Symptoms, Causes, and Treatments

What Is Relationship OCD?

Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) can manifest in all kinds of strange ways, but if you live with relationship OCD, it might take the form of constant fears that you’re not doing enough to please your significant other or that you’re somehow not worthy of their love and attention. You might find yourself constantly checking in with them or making sure they know how much you care about them.

Living with Relationship OCD

If you have this kind of OCD, there are some effective treatments available to help you overcome it. Read on to learn more about relationship OCD symptoms, causes, and how to get the help you need!


Some signs and symptoms of relationship OCD may include:

  • Intrusive thoughts about your relationship or partner.
  • Constant brooding about whether your partner really loves you.
  • Caring about your partner's happiness.
  • Constantly think about your partner's weaknesses.
  • Thinking that you could have found another, a better partner.
  • Constantly looking for validation from your partner.
  • Feeling distracted by intrusive thoughts about your relationship or partner and not being able to concentrate.

For OCD to be diagnosed, these obsessions and compulsions must interfere with your normal activities and abilities.

To make the diagnosis, your doctor or therapist must also rule out other conditions contributing to your symptoms, such as anxiety disorders, depression, or obsessive-compulsive personality disorder.


The exact causes of relationship OCD are not entirely clear, but several factors may play a role. Factors that may increase a person's risk of developing OCD include:

  • Changes in thinking.
  • Difficulties in close relationships.
  • Abuse in the past.
  • The loss of a loved one.
  • Trauma.
  • Sudden life changes such as a move or marriage.
  • Changes in serotonin levels in the brain.

Most people suffer from relationship anxiety to varying degrees from time to time. However, people with relationship anxiety suffer from it much more severely and often.

Personality traits that raise your risk

Certain personality traits may raise your risk of developing relationship OCD. For example, if you're a perfectionist or have high standards, you may be more likely to doubt your partner. People who are highly sensitive or anxious may also be more prone to developing relationship OCD.

Jun said that people who are Type A personalities are also more likely to develop the disorder. It's like they want everything in their life to be perfect. She went on to say that those who worry about what others think of them might also struggle with thoughts of infidelity. It's like I'm constantly seeking reassurance from other people. 

Panic attacks can be caused by relationship anxiety

For people with relationship OCD, even the thought of being in a relationship can cause panic attacks. This is because they constantly worry about things going wrong. They may worry about being abandoned or cheated on, or they may have unrealistic expectations about how their partner should behave. As a result, they may try to control their partner's behavior or obsessively check on them to make sure they're okay. This can obviously put a lot of strain on the relationship.

If you're struggling with relationship OCD, it's important to seek treatment. Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is often very effective for this disorder. During CBT, you'll learn how to challenge your negative thoughts and behaviors. You'll also learn healthy coping skills that can help you manage your anxiety. Keep in mind that not everyone responds well to CBT, if it doesn't work for you, there are other options. Medication can be helpful as well as support groups and psychotherapy.

Ways to cope with stress and anxiety around relationships

If you have relationship OCD, you may constantly worry about your partner cheating on you or leaving you. You may feel the need to check in on them constantly or go through their things to make sure they're being faithful. This can cause a lot of stress and anxiety, both for you and your partner.

However, there are ways to cope. There are three steps that anyone can do when they start to get anxious about relationships. These steps will help take control of thoughts and feelings so that the fear is less powerful. 

  • First, identify what triggered the fear. It could be anything from one small event (e.g., finding out your partner looked at someone else) to an ongoing pattern (e.g., feeling like you always come second).
  • Second, allow yourself to experience those thoughts and feelings without judgment by acknowledging them as facts rather than trying to change or deny them.
  • Third, ask yourself what action would be most helpful given these circumstances.
The answer might not be doing anything. For example, if it's clear that your partner has been unfaithful, then you may want to confront them. But if you're worried because they glanced at another person during dinner and then immediately apologized, maybe it's better just to give them space.

By doing this three-step process every time we face our fears, we can calm ourselves down before we act impulsively or do something drastic based on unfounded fears. We can also start practicing self-compassion, caring for ourselves, and treating ourselves kindly.

Allowing ourselves to accept uncertainty is also crucial; we don't have to know everything, nor should we strive for perfectionism around relationships. All of these approaches will help us lead healthier lives and keep our fears under control.

What is sexual compulsivity?

Sexual compulsivity is a type of obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) that focuses on sexual thoughts, urges, or behaviors. People with this condition often have persistent and intrusive sexual thoughts that they can’t control. 

They may also feel the need to act on these thoughts to relieve anxiety or tension. This can lead to compulsive sexual behavior, which can be harmful to both the individual and their partner.

Sexual compulsivity can disrupt relationships, cause financial problems, and lead to legal trouble. It’s important to seek treatment for this condition if it’s negatively impacting your life. 

How you can live normally again?

If you're living with relationship OCD, you know how debilitating the condition can be. The constant fear of your partner cheating or leaving you can take a toll on your mental and emotional health. But there is hope. 

With treatment, you can learn to manage your symptoms and live a normal, healthy life. It's not easy, therapy takes time and commitment, but it's worth it. It may also help to talk about your fears with your partner so they understand what you're going through. And if you feel that medication is necessary, please don't hesitate to reach out for help from a qualified professional! There are many therapeutic options available, including prescription medications and therapy sessions tailored specifically to treat relationship OCD.

Whether you decide to see a therapist one-on-one or in group therapy sessions, the most important thing is that you do something. Give yourself permission to take care of yourself by getting help now, before your symptoms worsen and become too much for anyone else to handle.

A Word From Health Rey

If you suffer from obsessive-compulsive disorder in your relationship, remember that there are treatment options that can help you and your partner cope. Learning more about the disorder can help you better understand why you are experiencing intrusive thoughts and compulsions related to your relationship. By getting help and involving your partner, you can find a way to manage your symptoms and build a stronger, more secure relationship.

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