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Couple dealing with ROCD

Relationship OCD (ROCD)

Couple dealing with ROCD

Breaking the Cycle of Relationship Uncertainty

Relationship OCD (ROCD) is a challenging form of obsessive-compulsive disorder that focuses on intimate relationships. Individuals with ROCD struggle with persistent doubts and excessive worries about the validity, quality, or longevity of their relationships. They may question their love for their partner, their partner’s love for them, or whether they are in the “right” relationship, leading to significant emotional distress and impacting the relationship’s stability.

What is Relationship OCD (ROCD)?

Individuals with Relationship OCD (ROCD) may find themselves in a relentless quest for assurance about their feelings and their partner’s commitment, which can become a significant strain on both parties involved. This continuous need for validation can manifest in various behaviors such as comparing their relationship to others’, constantly checking their own feelings, or incessantly focusing on perceived flaws in their partner. These behaviors can exhaust both partners and create friction.

Moreover, the effects of ROCD aren’t confined to romantic relationships; they can spill over into family and platonic relationships, as the person’s compulsive behaviors and intense anxieties affect broader interpersonal interactions. This widespread impact can lead to a pervasive sense of instability and dissatisfaction across various facets of the individual’s personal life.

Couple struggling with ROCD

Symptoms & Diagnosis


  • Excessive reassurance-seeking from their partner about the relationship’s stability or their feelings.
  • Persistent doubts about their affection towards their partner or vice versa.
  • Intrusive thoughts about the relationship’s potential flaws or the suitability of the partner.

Diagnostic Criteria

  • The presence of persistent and intrusive worries about one’s romantic relationships.
  • Engagement in mental or physical compulsions in response to these worries (e.g., comparing past relationships, checking feelings).
  • Recognition by the individual that their obsessions and compulsions are excessive and unreasonable.

Impact on Daily Life & Emotional Well-being

The ongoing doubts and compulsions can severely disrupt daily life, leading to heightened anxiety and stress, which can diminish overall life satisfaction and mental health. The constant questioning and the need for reassurance can lead to frequent arguments or discussions about the relationship, further straining the connection with the partner. For some, the fear of being in the wrong relationship can prevent them from fully committing, causing a significant barrier to long-term happiness and stability in their personal lives.

Treatment Options for Relationship OCD

Bethesda Therapy offers specialized treatment for ROCD, focusing on Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and Exposure and Response Prevention (ERP), which are effective in reducing relationship-centered obsessions and compulsions. Therapy may also include relationship counseling to help both partners understand the dynamics of ROCD and develop healthier ways of communicating.

Treatment Techniques

Coping Strategies & Self-help Tips

  • Establishing clear and healthy communication patterns with your partner.
  • Practicing mindfulness to stay present in the relationship and reduce obsessive thoughts.
  • Engage in individual or couples therapy to better understand and address relationship anxieties.
  • Maintain a journal to reflect on positive interactions and feelings towards the partner, which can be helpful during moments of doubt.
Comforting a partner with ROCD

Bethesda Therapy’s Dedication to Specialized Relationship OCD Treatment

Local Resources in Maryland, DC, & Virginia

Bethesda Therapy provides comprehensive care for individuals dealing with Relationship OCD in Maryland, Washington D.C., and Virginia. Our expert therapists are equipped with the tools and knowledge necessary to help individuals and couples navigate the complexities of ROCD.

Tailored Care for Relationship Challenges

At Bethesda Therapy, we recognize the unique challenges presented by Relationship OCD. Our treatment plans are customized to address the specific needs of individuals and couples struggling with ROCD, incorporating advanced therapeutic techniques to foster recovery and relationship health.

A Supportive Path to Relationship Healing

We offer a supportive and understanding environment where individuals can explore their relationship fears and learn effective strategies to manage them. Our commitment is to help you achieve a healthier, more satisfying relationship life.

Adherence to Evidence-Based Practices

Our approach to treating ROCD is grounded in the latest research and best practices. We are dedicated to providing the highest quality of care, helping our clients navigate their relationships with confidence and peace of mind.

Getting Started with Bethesda Therapy

We understand that seeking help can be a big step, but remember, you’re not alone. We’re here to support and guide you on your journey towards a more manageable life. Scheduling a consultation with us is straightforward and the first step towards recovery. Reach out to us either by phoneemail or our website form to book your appointment. Be assured, your confidentiality is our top priority, and we’re committed to providing you with the highest level of care. Take that first step today – we look forward to assisting you.

Therapist and Client Connecting

What Colleagues Say About Us

Beautiful Mountains

Rose Bleiweis


Melissa is determined, hard-working, and provides a range of therapeutic interventions. She is committed to professional development to further her clinical skills.

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Jen Lodico


Melissa’s skillset was empowering to work with. She is professional and supportive. Melissa is a fantastic therapist who I cannot recommend enough!
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Beth Cocker


Melissa Murphy is a wonderful therapist. She is kind, non-judgmental and empathetic. She truly understands her client’s needs and takes into account the whole-person. I do not hesitate to refer clients to Melissa and enjoy collaborating with her on cases. She is an excellent therapist with expertise in anxiety, depression, and OCD.

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