How Does OCD Affect Relationships

Around 2.5 million people in the US and another 2.3% globally suffer from Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder or OCD.
People living with OCD struggle with regulating their thoughts, actions, and feelings. Such effort is difficult to manage, can affect their relationships, social life, and work ties.
When managing OCD, every challenge has a solution. Contact us at Treasure Behavioral Health for guidance on treatment options and guidelines for OCD.
Knowing “How does OCD affect relationships?” is crucial for both those experiencing it and their partners, friends, and family members.
So, below we will explore in further detail OCD and relationships OCD and how can OCD affect relationships.

What Is OCD?

How Does OCD Affect Relationships

Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) is a mental health problem where people have unwanted thoughts that will not go away.
These thoughts can make them feel anxious or scared. To ease these feelings, they do certain actions over and over.
One common type is contamination OCD, where people are afraid of germs. They may wash their hands a lot or avoid places they think are dirty.
OCD can be serious and make daily life hard. It is not just about being neat or checking things.
There are different types of OCD, but they all involve unwanted thoughts and repetitive behaviors.
Understanding OCD helps us support those dealing with it and see beyond stereotypes.

What Is Relationship OCD?

Relationship OCD, or ROCD, is a specific type of OCD. It impacts the bond between two people.
A person’s OCD symptoms start focusing on their partner’s feelings towards them.
ROCD splits into two main categories:

  • Relationship-centric
  • Partner-centric

The first involves doubts related to the relationship and interactions between the two. The second is about doubting their partner’s traits and moral qualities.
These people often get more obsessive thoughts over compulsive actions. They frequently struggle with intense worry and intrusive thoughts.
This anxiety makes them constantly search for reassurance from their partners.

OCD and Friendships

Having a friend with OCD can be challenging at times. They may need more attention and support than others, especially when they are dealing with their compulsions and obsessions. It is important to be patient and understanding during these moments, as it can feel like things come to a standstill for them.

How Does OCD Affect Relationships?

How Does OCD Affect Relationships

Dealing with OCD can be tough in a relationship. The constant worry and fear can wear both partners out.
People with OCD often find it hard to talk about their feelings, which can cause arguments and misunderstandings.
But it is not all bad news. Living with OCD in a relationship can also bring some good things.
When you think about OCD in relationships, there are a lot of challenges:

  • Trust Issues: They often worry about their partner cheating or leaving them.
  • Communication Problems: It is hard for them to talk openly about their feelings and fears.
  • Compulsive Behaviors: Things like constant checking or cleaning can frustrate their partner.
  • Intimacy Issues: They may avoid closeness due to fears of losing control or contamination.
  • Staying Angry: They may hold onto anger over small things.
  • Asking for Reassurance: They often ask for constant reassurance, which can strain the relationship.
  • Unhealthy Jealousy: They may doubt their partner’s faithfulness without reason.

Dealing with OCD in a relationship is tough, but understanding these challenges can help better.
Even though OCD can make relationships tough, there are good things about it too.

  1. Creativity

People with OCD often have active imaginations, which can make relationships more exciting and fun. They are also good problem-solvers, which helps when issues arise.

  1. Attention to Detail

Those with OCD notice small details and can come up with creative solutions to problems. They communicate their needs well, which helps during stressful times.

  1. Empathy and Support

Having OCD means needing a lot of support, and partners often become very understanding and supportive. This strong support system helps both partners manage challenges and stay happy.

  1. Self-Awareness

People with OCD are often really aware of their feelings and thoughts. This makes it easier for them to understand themselves and their partners, and talk things out without getting upset.

These positives can make the relationship stronger and more fulfilling.

How Can You Tell If You Are Experiencing ROCD or If Just in the Wrong Relationship?

With ROCD, you constantly worry and doubt your relationship. You may compare it to others or question your feelings.
This is not about specific problems with your partner, it is more about internal worry.
If you regularly feel unhappy, or like you do not fit well or have enough support in your relationship, it may mean it is not right for you. ROCD is about obsessive doubts.
Being in a wrong relationship means you are not satisfied with your partner.
If unsure that your feelings are due to ROCD or a wrong relationship, assess how they impact your daily happiness.
A relationship OCD therapist may help. They can help you understand what is happening and what you should do next.

Treating OCD in Relationships

Treating OCD in relationships involves therapy, medication, and support from loved ones. Therapy like CBT, especially ERP, helps them face fears and reduce compulsive actions.
Communication and empathy from partners are vital. Learning about OCD’s effect on bonds of love helps improve understanding.
Physicians may recommend SSRIs, a type of drug, to reduce OCD signs. With therapy, medication, and a strong supportive network, coping with OCD in a relationship becomes a lot easier.


How does OCD affect relationships? It can affect relationships by causing doubts and repetitive behaviors.
But with understanding, therapy, and support, individuals can manage these challenges and strengthen their bond.
It is about patience, communication, and seeking help together to overcome OCD’s impact on relationships.
At Treasure Behavioral Health, we offer different treatments that focus on your overall health. Each patient gets a customized care plan designed just for them.
For more information, please contact us.


Can therapy help with ROCD?

Absolutely. CBT and ERP are highly effective in managing ROCD symptoms and improving relationship dynamics.

Is it possible to have a healthy relationship with someone who has OCD?

Healthy relationships are achievable with understanding, patience, and appropriate management strategies.

Can OCD ruin a relationship?

Yes, if left unmanaged, OCD can affect relationships. But with proper relationship obsessive-compulsive disorder treatment and support, many couples can succeed.

 How do I know if I have ROCD?

Persistent doubts and compulsive behaviors focused on your relationship may indicate ROCD. Consulting a therapist for a proper diagnosis is essential.

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