No relationship is perfect. But when you have relationship obsessive compulsive disorder, or ROCD, you’re constantly seeing your partner and relationship in a negative light. Naturally, this can harm your relationship in a number of ways. If you harbor a lot of obsessive doubts about your relationship, knowing the common triggers of ROCD may help you deal with your intrusive thoughts in a healthy way.
“All relationships have their ups and downs including moments of doubt, uncertainty, and ambivalence,” psychotherapist Dr. Avigail Lev, tells Bustle. “But with relationship obsessive compulsive disorder, these experiences of obsessive doubts and ambivalence about your relationship are pervasive and drastic.”
ROCD can manifest in many ways. You may spend days worrying about whether you’re with the right person or not due to one tiny incident. You may have doubts over the longevity of your relationship every time your partner irritates you. When you’re out with other couples, you may compare yourself and wonder why you don’t seem as happy as others. Every conflict may feel like it could lead to the end of the relationship, and it’s difficult for you to distinguish between normal relationship conflict versus toxic problems.
“You may also have a core belief, or schema, of perfectionism and unrelenting standards so you set extremely high standards and expectations for yourself and your partner,” Lev says. When you have standards that are very difficult for anyone to live up to, you’re more prone to ROCD.
Knowing what triggers relationship OCD can help you better manage any intrusive thoughts you have. Here are some common triggers to be aware of and how to deal with them, according to experts.
For folks who have relationship OCD, a variety of different situations can trigger an onslaught of intrusive thoughts. However, with the guidance of a therapist, it’s possible to overcome these nagging doubts through healthy communication practices, the repetition of affirmations, and practicing gratitude for your partner.