How Does OCD Affect Romantic Relationships?
It’s natural to wonder if your relationship fulfils your needs and if your partner is right for you but if you have OCD unwanted negative thoughts might be a daily occurrence that puts a lot of strain on a romantic relationship.
What is OCD?
OCD stands for an obsessive-compulsive disorder characterised by intrusive thoughts and compulsive behaviours. People who suffer from OCD experience a lot of anxiety in their daily life; for example, a person might wonder if they turned off the stove after leaving the house and worry it will be on fire if they don’t go back to make sure.
While it might give them a sense of relief to check it at first, dealing with intrusive thoughts by engaging in compulsions leads to more anxiety and more dependence on those behaviours in the future.
Can OCD Make Relationships Difficult?
People who have OCD tend to worry about different aspects of their relationships, which can make them particularly difficult to maintain. For example, they might analyse what their partner does and wonder if they should break up with them just because they don’t like one of their traits. Even though they might be in love with their partner, those kinds of doubts might preoccupy their minds every day. It’s also not uncommon to experience relationship-focused anxiety, which means that a person might worry if they love their partner and if their partner really loves them.
These kinds of thoughts might have a negative impact on a relationship:
- OCD might become the primary focus of the relationship – people with OCD might find it challenging to focus on the good sides of their relationship, which might make their partner feel like they aren’t good enough or like they have to walk on eggshells
- Constant need for reassurance – constantly asking your partner to confirm that they love you can be exhausting and make it seem like you don’t respect their boundaries
- It might interfere with your sex life – it’s quite common to experience intrusive thoughts before engaging in sexual contact. For example, you might worry if the doors are closed, if you’re clean enough or worry about contracting an STI
- Sometimes, people with OCD avoid relationships altogether to prevent getting rejected
OCD can affect every area of your life and make it especially difficult to navigate social relationships if left untreated. At My Family Psychologist, we offer a range of therapies that can improve your symptoms. Contact us today for a confidential chat