SHOULD I LEAVE MY PARTNER?
"What if he/she isn't the one?"
"What if I have to leave my partner?"
"Should I break up with my partner?"
"What if I'm not attracted to my partner?"
"What if my partner doesn't love me?"
"Do I love my partner enough?"
"What if my partner loves me more than I love them?"
"What if we aren't compatible enough?"
"Am I lying when I say 'I love you' to my partner?"
Let me ease your anxiety right away but saying that these thoughts are NORMAL.
THESE. THOUGHTS. ARE. NORMAL.
Having excessive intrusive thoughts like these are likely a sign that you are struggling with relationship anxiety or relationship OCD (ROCD).*
Relationship anxiety is a form of anxiety and can also be a form of obsessive compulsive disorder where you are having constant thoughts obsessions or compulsions about your relationship. This type of anxiety is unfortunately not talked about enough - however, in recent years, it is gaining more attention as more people are experiencing it.
There can be different ways that relationship anxiety manifests. Your anxiety can be relationship-focused or partner-focused. It can be experienced as just obsessive thoughts (sometimes referred to as Pure-O). It can also be experienced as an obsessive-compulsive disorder. This is where we may find ourselves "checking" or seeking reassurance. For example, we may "check" to see if we still love our partner by how we are feeling that day. We may constantly ask our friend if they think we should be with our partner.
You may also be experiencing a mix of all of these. And that's okay.
If this post resonated with you, I'm glad. I have personally struggled and recovered from Relationship OCD and felt as though I did not have any resources. I hope that this will be a helpful resource for anyone suffering.
- It's okay to have doubts about your partner and your relationship
- What you're struggling can feel isolating, so be gentle with yourself
- Try to take time to notice and challenge your thoughts (Hint: there will be a lot of "what-ifs" and "shoulds"
If you feel ready to heal from your relationship anxiety/ROCD, you can book an initial consultation with me to see if we would be a good fit or you can just jump right in to booking a counselling session!
Take care of yourself,
Spencer Dawson, MA
Registered Clinical Counsellor
* This blog post is not referring to relationships where there is any type of abuse.