Although less common, some people start with doubts regarding the relationship and only later become preoccupied with a flaw of the partner. In addition to obsessive preoccupation and doubts, both presentations of ROCD are associated with a variety of compulsive behaviors aimed to reduce their feelings of uncertainty, anxiety, and distress, or to reduce the frequency of such thoughts.Common compulsions include, but are not only: Comparing their relationships with other peoples’ relationships, such as friends, colleagues, or even characters in romantic films or TV sitcoms.ROCD symptoms have been linked with significant personal difficulties (e.g., mood, anxiety, other OCD symptoms) and couple difficulties (e.g., relationship and sexual dissatisfaction).
In the case examples above, Evelyn (Case Example #1) has relationship-centered obsessions, while Jeffrey (Case Example #2) has partner-focused obsessions.People like Evelyn with relationship-centered obsessions often feel overwhelmed by doubts and worries focused on their feelings towards their partner, their partner’s feelings towards them, and the “rightness” of the relationship experience. Relationship-centered and partner-focused symptoms can often happen at the same time, and sometimes can even reinforce one another.Many people describe being preoccupied with a perceived flaw of their partner (e.g., body proportion) at first, and then being plagued by thoughts about the rightness of the relationship.As can be seen in the above examples, this form of OCD often leads to severe personal and relationship distress and often impairs functioning in other areas of life, such as work, study, or family functioning.It is common for people to have some doubts about the suitability of their partner or the relationship at some point during their romantic connection.
When she is unhappy or tense, she always thinks Jeffery, a 35-year-old man, has been married for 5 years.