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Back about six years ago, I had no idea what Relationship OCD was, let alone how to help myself cope with it.
It wasn’t until my relationship was being negatively affected by my obsessive thoughts that I realized what I was going through wasn’t healthy.
That’s when I discovered ROCD.
What is Relationship OCD?
ROCD can manifest itself in countless, unique ways.
But the main concept is there are obsessions and compulsions that essentially run on a neverending loop.
Obsessions in OCD are defined as repetitive unwanted, intrusive, and inappropriate thoughts, ideas, mental images, or impulses that someone experiences.
- Fixation on the flaws of your partner’s appearance
- Fixation on the compatibility with your partner
- Constant visualizing of your partner with their exes
- Obsession with negative aspects of your partner’s character
- “What if I don’t really love my partner?”
Compulsions in OCD are defined as repetitive behaviors that someone feels compelled to perform in an effort to avoid or decrease anxiety related to obsessions.
There are several types of compulsions, such as overt, mental, reassurance-seeking, and avoidant compulsions.
- Repeatedly confessing to your partner that you are experiencing doubts about your feelings
- Comparing your relationship to other people’s relationships in friends, family, strangers
- Constantly asking your partner how they feel about you
- Avoiding places, activities, objects from your partner’s past relationships
The problem with performing these compulsions is that it further increases the pathway of OCD in your brain.
You can find more about ROCD in my post: Relationship OCD and the Fantasy of Finding The One.
Talking About Relationship OCD
It’s always very painful for me to get through a post about Obsessive Compulsive Disorder.
As soon as I start thinking about my OCD, my obsessions and compulsions only seem to intensify.
I hate my brain when my ROCD is acting up, because it’s like I’m trying to fight a battle I can never win.
It’s incredibly frustrating, and sometimes it feels like I’ll never get any better.
Sometimes, I feel like there is no hope for this debilitating mental illness.
However, these next four tips have helped me the most in my recovery with OCD. My hope is that they’ll help you too.
4 Coping Mechanisms That Help My Relationship OCD
1. ATTEND THERAPY
Therapy can be a crucial part in managing your OCD.
Talking to someone who is experienced with what you’re struggling with can make all the difference.
Did you know that there is affordable online therapy?
BetterHelp is the largest online counseling platform worldwide.
There are several amazing options and therapists available, and you don’t even have to leave the comfort of your home.
You can get counseling in four ways:
- Exchanging messages
- Chatting live
- Speaking over the phone
- Video conferencing
What I love about BetterHelp is that your monthly payment will be the same regardless of the number of messages and sessions you have with your counselor.
This means you can communicate with your counselor as often as you’d like and whenever you need.
You never need to worry before getting help.
I do want to mention that because BetterHelp is online only, your therapist won’t be able to make any official diagnosis, to fulfill any court order, or prescribe medication.
However, BetterHelp is much more affordable than traditional therapy.
The cost of BetterHelp ranges from $40-$70 per week. Whereas, traditional therapy will charge $100-$250 per week.
That’s a huge savings, especially if you don’t have insurance!
2. LISTEN TO AUDIOS
Excel at Life has made the biggest impact on my life in my recovery.
They have the best audios I’ve ever heard. Seriously, I can’t say enough good things about them.
All of their audios are cognitive therapy based with a focus on mindfulness, and they’re incredibly eye-opening and life-changing.
Back when my OCD was at it’s worse, I listened to them multiple times a week, and I noticed a significant change in my way of thinking and thought processes.
They have several OCD audios, as well as articles you can read alongside them.
Excel at Life also has audios about other anxiety disorders and mental illnesses, like depression.
You can listen to them from a couple different Android apps (only available on Android), or you can listen to them from the internet here.
3. SELF-HELP BOOKS
The only OCD self-help book I’ve read so far has been The Mindfulness Workbook for OCD, but it has been a tremendous help.
The book covers several different types of OCD ranging from checking to relationship OCD.
Its approach is cognitive-behavioral therapy-based, but it’s written in a very compassionate and warm tone that makes you feel more at ease.
You can go at your own pace, which I think is sometimes better than your traditional therapy.
I also love that you can write right in the book, so you can go back and check your progress.
I’m definitely going to try more OCD self-help books in the future, but I’m taking my recovery one step at a time. Recovery is definitely not a race.
4. TALK TO MY BRAIN
Whenever you begin to obsess over something, you’re creating new pathways in your brain.
And whenever you give in to your obsessions by doing a compulsion, you’re only furthering that pathway.
A compulsion is only a temporary relief to a much bigger problem.
Instead of trying to give in to my obsessions and compulsions, I try to talk back against my ROCD.
I’ll say these phrases in my head:
- These are just thoughts. I don’t have to listen to them.
- This is just my OCD. I don’t need to give in to it.
- I am in control of my OCD. My OCD does not control me.
Then I’ll breathe in and out slowly until the obsession is gone.
Help for Your Relationship OCD
ROCD manifests itself in countless ways, which makes coping with it that much more difficult.
- Seek Therapy → BetterHelp is a fantastic choice
- Try Excel at Life audios
- Read through The Mindfulness Workbook for OCD
- Practice positive self-talk
What are some of the ways you cope with your OCD? Let me know in the comments below!
- Relationship OCD and the Fantasy of Finding “The One”
- 7 Relationship Anxiety Books and Courses to Help Your Recovery
- 8 Offensive Phrases People with OCD are Sick of Hearing
- What it’s Really Like Living with Pure Obsessional OCD
- Why Facebook and My OCD Ruined My Relationships