Connect with us



ROCD Relationship Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

Relationship Obsessive Compulsive Disorder also known as ROCD is a relationship anxiety. Have you ever obsessed over your relationship to the point of chronic anxiety? Have you persevered to find how to stop ROCD? This blog may answer your ROCD questions.
Have you ever asked the questions:

  • What if it doesn’t work out?
  • What if I’m unhappy?
  • What if we fall out of love?
  • What if I don’t find him/her attractive anymore?
  • What if it fails?
  • What if they stop loving me?
  • What if they get bored of me?
  • I never miss my partner so I might not be in love with them?

These questions are questions that any partner may think of before getting married, or even at any stage of a relationship or while being married. Maybe you hear of a person separating or getting a divorce and you shudder with fear at the thoughts of…
“What if it happened to me!”.
That’s a common response for a person in a good relationship. But that thought will generally fade away and life carries on. However sometimes it can leave a lasting residue and establish a fear in you. A fear of your relationship failing, whether its because of you or your partner. You may not even be in a relationship yet. This fear and anxiety can start a person obsessing over their relationship. Obsessing and checking how things are, checking to make sure everything is ok and that their love is solid. This checking a relationship and ensuing anxiety is quantified as ROCD. Now don’t get me wrong, people in relationships will occasionally make sure all is ok, but when it produces ongoing checking, constant anxiety, and it effects your quality of life, it can then be qualified as ROCD. Sometimes it can develop from something totally unrelated. For example one guy I know went through a really traumatic event when he lost his dad. He fell into depression and developed ROCD. Endless questioning and checking. This developed from his anxious depressed state that he was in and from that came his ROCD. He feared losing the other person whom he loved dearly, his wife.

Can you beat ROCD? Can you be totally rid of it? The answer is “Yes”!
You can overcome it, and “Yes” you can be rid of it.

Overcoming ROCD (Relationship Obsessive Compulsive Disorder)

Step 1: Keep things in perspective.
Some things are important and other things are not. For example looks aren’t that important. I’ve never heard of a couple break up purely because of looks. You’ll find there where other undercurrent issues at play. Learn not to put everything under a magnifying glass. Keep what’s important a priority and recognise any irrational thoughts.

Step 2: Live for the today.
Make your decisions based in the now, based on the facts. If we spent more time thinking about now rather than what happened yesterday or in our past, we’d be alot happier. Don’t dwell on what you cannot change. Dwell on what you can do to make today great. Have FUN!!!

Step 3: Talk to somebody whom knows about OCD treatment.
If you still struggle why not have a chat to somebody whom specialises in this field. I find a problem shared is a problem halved. You’d be amazed just by talking what it can do.

Step 4: Don’t feel you have to prove things or that your partner has to prove their love to you.
Don’t secretly be testing their love for you or your love for them. The reason is as soon as you start these little tests you’ll find its impossible to actually test love. Love cannot be explained, love cannot be measured, love just is. Its like trying to quantify why you love your favourite chocolate bar, or why you love to laugh…you just do.

Step 5: Understand that love is not tangible.
You cannot hold love or be guaranteed of love. Nobody can promise you a bed of roses in any relationship. You may be married in the eyes of the state and church, but it doesn’t guarantee anything. That is why we take things a day at a time. Love is not tangible, it is an inner heart felt commitment. It needs to be protected, and not distracted from. Love is loyalty. If you are married, the endless testing can cause the grass on the other side to appear greener, but I guarantee you, you have what you need already.

Step 6: Don’t be lead by your feelings.
Some days you may not feel in a very loving romantic mood. Or perhaps you go through a difficult time, or like my friend earlier, maybe a death or trauma. Either way, feelings can be up and down. Love may produce feelings, but it is not a feeling. Never be lead by feelings, for your feelings are like the Irish weather…unpredictable and changeable. Instead be lead by your heart. Be lead by what you know is right, your gut.

7: Love is a choice
The most important step is Step 7. Love is not a feeling, an emotion, or something tangible. Love is however, is “A CHOICE”. You can choose to love somebody or not. So when you meet mrs right or mr right, you are presented with a choice before you walk down the aisle. “Do you choose to love them till death do you part?” “To have and to hold as the vows go?” As life throws challenges at you, as you get old and wrinkly, and as you find things you disagree on. You decide, you stick with it, and you trust they do the same. We marry our best friend and lets not forget that fact. When a couple choose to love each other for life its a great thing. When we fear of losing a relationship it only goes to prove that its very important to you. OCD will only target whats important to us.

I hope this helps you. But I must stress that if you are suffering from ROCD drop me an email and I’ll help you through it.
Other articles that might help are listed below, and don’t forget to sign up to my newsletter for all the latest.

Useful articles:

SIGN UP HERE for our free newsletter!!!

By Mark Fennell



  1. Emma

    December 25, 2019 at 4:01 am

    Hello Mark,
    So I’ve been seeing this guy and as the first few months progressed I felt so happy with him and thought he was the most attractive guy on the planet! I was soooo happy in the relationship! Unfortunately now I obsess over his appearance and how interesting he is…I’ve struggled with anxiety an HOCD for years but fear that these thoughts are real even though I want nothing more than to just accept him for who he is and be happy again….I can’t imagine breaking up with him that’s something I’d never want to do but I feel like I have to…I’m beyond distressed and just want to go back to how things were…..I’m so tired and just want this feeling to go away….I’ve never been able to just be happy in a relationship and accept that my partner is good enough for me even though they have been…please help I’m desperate….

    • Mark Fennell

      January 11, 2020 at 4:23 pm

      Hi Emma, thanks for getting in touch and I would like to start by saying is you will be ok in time but you will need to make changes. I have a podcast where I discuss anxiety and thought a lot more so check those episodes out and if you need more help get in touch. Instagram, is a good place to connect with me @markshappyplace
      My podcast is on iTunes, Spotify, and Podbean under the name “This Adult Life”

  2. Tea

    December 11, 2019 at 11:56 am

    Hi Mark!

    I hope you’re still answering to questions about ROCD, I would GREATLY appreciate it if you took the time of day to respond to my concerns. I am in my first real relationship in my life. My boyfriend is my best friend. I couldn’t think of anything more that I’d ask for in a partner, and we are extremely compatible. Our relationship started out long distance, and we first met around 9 months ago when we officially got together. He visited me twice before he eventually moved where I live 4 months ago. Everything went pretty well during those months leading up to his move, although looking back I did have irrational concerns back then too. My self-esteem has always been low, so I was insecure a lot about his feelings for me. However, any issue or concern that I’ve had, we have resolved and moved past without it lingering. The first two months after he moved, things were going pretty great. We were always hanging out and doing things together. Until one day, when we were hanging out I experienced genuine boredom. Not boredom with him, but boredom in general (we were together for about 12 hours that day without doing much, ANYONE would’ve gotten bored). But it got to me more than it should’ve. That night I experienced my first anxiety attack and started questioning my own feelings. I was questioning why I got bored. The thoughts running through my head were “what if it means I’m getting bored of him?”, “what if my feelings for him are fading? what if they’ve already faded?”, “what if we eventually break up because I lose feelings for him?” All of these thoughts brought EXTREMELY terrifying feelings and anxiety and I couldn’t calm down. I couldn’t even cry, I was just in distress and struggled to breathe. After that, I wanted to make sure it NEVER happened again. So I told my boyfriend about my concerns, and he handled them extremely well (as always, he was the most supportive person in the world). So we made changes in how much we were seeing each other, agreeing that we both need our space and time to pursue our own hobbies and interests. We implemented this in our daily lives, and it worked for about a week. After that, every time he would leave or I would leave after a period of time of us hanging out I’d feel guilty and terrible because my thoughts told me that I was lying to him and being dishonest. That I didn’t love him anymore and was just leading him on. After all, I wouldn’t be having those feelings if I didn’t really mean them, right? What if it’s a gut feeling trying to tell me something and I feel bad and unhappy because I refuse to listen to it? This brought me more anxiety, because I want nothing BUT the best for my boyfriend, so thoughts of me indirectly hurting him by not having my whole heart in the relationship was very distressing. Thoughts of the possibility of us breaking up were the worst of all. I would rather do anything in my power to save my relationship, try everything in the world before I even consider ending things between us. This led me to ask my boyfriend if we could spend even less time together, so we reduced our hang out time to a minimum. I did this in hopes that doing things outside the relationship would help me take my mind off of it. But instead, it made things worse because I missed him A LOT. These missing feelings were just as bad as the feelings of anxiety. I started thinking about my relationship in depth, over-analyzing every single aspect of it, as well as my boyfriend and every single one of my feelings involved. I started researching the internet about all kinds of things. I searched “am I in love”, “am I falling out of love”, “is my relationship worth saving”. The more I searched the better I felt, because all signs pointed that my relationship is healthy and my heart, truly, is in the relationship. This cycle viciously continued over and over, and I got used to the bad feeling after we would stop being together and since I was expecting it, I started feeling bad before we even separated for the day. I couldn’t truly enjoy being with him because I knew that feeling would come back. The overthinking and the anxiety would always come back, so I was preparing for it, which led me to stop enjoying our time together as much. This brought things to the worst they’ve ever been, because now my thoughts are telling me that the reason why I’m not enjoying time together is because my feelings are fading. The honeymoon phase is over, so I start getting annoyed with some things he does, which I read that is natural (another thing I’ve researched a lot). I never give him a hard time about them though, and I definitely don’t want him to change because I try to accept him for who he is. He deserves to be himself around me. But my anxiety keeps convincing me that these feelings of annoyance indicate that I am falling out of love with him. Sometimes these worries feel SO REAL that I end up researching things for hours and hours on the internet to find if I am actually losing feelings for him (which almost always end up being a normal part of relationships). I can’t help it. I also seem to seek assurance from my parents and friends that he is right for me, although not as much as I spend time researching it. I’m a very analytical person, and these thoughts make no sense to me. I am constantly checking and re-checking my feelings. I always think, in the back of my mind, how am I feeling right now? Is this love or am I just pretending? So when some situation happens where I get annoyed with a thing he does, my mind dives into the conclusion that, there it is, you’re annoyed so you must not love him anymore. When I do something nice for him, like bring him coffee when he’s stressed out from exams, I consciously pay attention to how I’m feeling when I give him the coffee. I test my feelings. If I don’t feel exactly how I set myself out to feel, then I’ve failed the test and therefore my feelings have faded. I understand that my feelings not being the same as the beginning of the relationship is a normal progression of a relationship. Those feelings were real and great, but not realistic. I didn’t know my boyfriend the way I know him now. Our connection has deepened as time has gone on. We have had arguments and resolved them, we’ve been through tough times together, and I wouldn’t trade that for the innocent blind feelings I felt at the beginning of the relationship. I don’t long for them. Yet, my mind can’t seem to grasp that not feeling butterflies anymore does not mean I don’t love my boyfriend anymore. I still do, and care about him more than anything. In this case, my mind convinces me that I don’t love him romantically anymore, but more as a friend. This isn’t the case either, because I still feel attracted to him just as much as I did in the beginning (although my mind has set tests for this too, luckily I passed). I still want to be intimate with him in a romantic way. My mind can’t seem to give me a break, as hard as I need it. I started taking anxiety over-the-counter pills because I’ve never been an anxious person and it makes me struggle with every day life. They help sometimes, but not when my mind starts racing and the feelings of guilt creep up. I’ve thought about the fact that I am inexperienced when it comes to relationships and strong feelings, which may contribute greatly to the way I respond to things. Now I have something to lose, something that is probably the most valuable to me at the moment. Anxiety challenges this and brings me discomfort and sadness. I don’t know what to do and need some help to find resources to deal with these issues.

    Thank you for your time. It’d mean the world to me if, with some guidance, I manage to break out of this cycle and live a happier life.

    • Mark Fennell

      January 11, 2020 at 4:18 pm

      Yes of course. I also have a podcast called “This Adult Life” so check it out for the topics discussed that might be of help.

  3. Matt

    July 27, 2019 at 5:33 pm

    I am in a relationship for nearly 2 years with a wonderful girl.
    And it is the best thing that happened to me, i was always happy to see her, loved spending the night at her place whenever i could and i was saw i was in love.
    About 2 months ago i had a lot of work and so did she and we didnt talk during the day a lot and at once i started thinking do i really love her anymore, anciety started, it is awful.
    Is it rocd or have i fallen out of love with her.
    About 4 years ago i suffered with hocd.
    Please help.

    • Mark Fennell

      October 1, 2019 at 1:52 pm

      We start out in a relationship and everything is great, time passes by, then we get busy and maybe life stresses happen but we then something triggers a thought, a thought of do I love her like I once did? The feelings at the start of a relationship are so new and amazing but now I dont feel the same, its because your love and relationship have progressed to a deeper love, not the fluffy one at the start. Also to note, feelings can come and go depending on where we are at in life, love however is a choice and not based of feelings or looks, thats why wrinkly old people can stay married lol, love is a deep matter of the heart.

  4. Matt

    July 18, 2019 at 6:03 am

    Hi Mark,
    Im with my girlfriend for almost 2 years and it was up till now one of the best time of my life. I loved spending time with her, loved her a lot and a month ago i started wondering do i love her, can i be with her for the rest of my life etc.
    A couple years back i had ocd and was anxiuos and depressed.
    Now my mind is telling me i should leave her, that i dont love her.
    What should i do, is it rocd or should i really leave her.
    Im anxious all the time, things i used to love doing now i dont.
    Please help

  5. Steph

    June 23, 2019 at 6:44 pm

    Hello Mark, I stumbled upon your article about ROCD. It is haunting me for a year. I started dating my boyfriend two years ago. At first I didn’t have interest in him, but he later asked me for a date. I was unsure if I should date a guy who is best friends with another guy with whom I had no real relationship (let’s call him X). X wasn’t sure if he wanted to be in a relationship with me, even though he said he would love to. After 3 months of pulling my leg he admitted he had slept with my mate. The news crushed me and I fell in depression (it’s not the 1st time) for six months.

    After a while I had decided to go out of depression and not to date any guys. I met my now fiancee three months after the decision. crazy huh? It was all very fast and we started our relationship. It was one of the best things I got in my life… It was unbelievable for me to meet a guy who is very patient, kind, accepting, smart, witty etc. Many girls would be jealous!

    After about a year he proposed to me (we have talked way before about marriage and how he would later propose me). It was exciting and ofc schocking. In that period I was worrying about myself being a serial killer(not the 1st time OCD was showing). It haunted me for a long time, and it shifted right to my bf. I started worrying about our relationship (is he the right guy for me, why does he spend more time with his friends and motorcycle, I don’t feel any butterflies! what should I do? should I leave him?? OMG, I attacked him for no reason, I am super bad and it only proves me that we’re not for another, I am not falling in love again with him…).

    The catalyst for my thoughts were my mother, forums and articles about relationships, and ofc a catholic forum. I think the catholic forum was the worst… There were posts of desperate singles who cried over their partner and asked for a prayer. Some dudes (devil on the internet I call :D) wrote:”Well, why do you think that a breakup is something bad? After all, it was God’s will that you two don’t get together and it shows that God wasn’t satisfied with your guy.” I am not much of a catholic, but God helped me through depression and I prayed for my future husband since I was 19 (now I am 25).

    ROCD makes me sad, mad and crazy. I really don’t have the patience to fight anymore after all tears, arguments… Of course, I read on the internet that because of negative thoughts, people start to have beliefs about something that isn’t true. It is very hard for me to change my belief. I try my best to fight it, but it is hard and I really think it will break at one point,because of ROCD. My psychiatrist and psychologist are no help. They don’t know really how to help except of giving me tablets (I refuse them. After some months I saw progress without medicine. Even my mom was proud of my how I was progressing.). I don’t know whom I can trust or not, what are my real feelings. Thanks for the article. I hope I will win this time 🙂

    • Mark Fennell

      June 28, 2019 at 9:27 pm

      Hi, thanks for getting in touch. I hope you are doing ok and I hope to help. This ROCD is rooted in fear. Fear of what if the relationship fails and I am hurt like before. So our minds try to protect us by constant checking, when there was no sign of problems our thoughts jumped to “but what if I am the problem” or I am a danger. Its not easy, but the ethos to overcoming this is not fearing your thoughts. Here is a lin to a podcast that might help check it out and let me know how you go. You’ll get through.

  6. Emily

    January 9, 2019 at 9:30 pm

    Hello mark!

    My name is Emily and I believe I’ve been struggling with ROCD for almost 4.5 months. I am 18 (almost 19) and this is my first relationship. Me and my boyfriend have been together for almost 2 years and we’ve lived together etc. we’ve been through it all together. Even toxicity! Now we are both out of school and mature and very VERY healthy! (Besides my ocd of course) he’s amazing to me!

    However- I was living with him when I graduated high school then was forced to leave his house on short notice due to his family issues. I was so ado sad! I cried for days (everyday). I moved in with my aunt. But, I remember throughout my relationship (when we were going through toxicity) I always felt this fear like I didn’t want him but was to scared to admit it? He wasn’t abusive (neither was I) just a bunch of drama! BUT whenever we broke up- I regretted it! I was so confused. It led me to the idea that maybe I truly wanted him but something was blocking it.

    Anyways- when I moved from his home i remember BALLING the day before I left saying “we should just be friends” But he ALWAYS believed in us and treated me like a queen! but everytime things got hard I would push him away and wanted to leave.

    I also had this strange fear (the day I left) “what if I loose feelings for him when I leave?” At that point the fear arose because it felt like it had already been happening and it was scaring me! But at the same time I couldn’t confidently say “I still want him”.

    We had also had problems throughout our relationship (looking back) that show signs of OCD I think. When we would start being intimate- I would feel turned off and start crying during sex and didn’t feel much of anything. And he would always comfort me and support me. He also told me he loved me so much and I motivated him to be a better person.

    However, as these things were said I would constantly be saying in my head “poor guy, he thinks we’re going to last and get married” and it made me sad and feel bad SUPER BAD at first. Not a ton of anxiety – a lot of fear in the beginning but it was mostly sadness.

    I remember I hung onto the “fear of loosing feelings” for MONTHS! Still do. At the beginning ROCD sounded just like me, and now it doesn’t at all. I find myself reading articles and I don’t experience any of those things it seems like. I just feel sad some days but I feel THE WANT to leave. I know people may say it’s “flight or fight” bc of anxiety- but I find myself wanting to leave bc of “I’m loosing feelings for him”. Is this expected with OCD? Haven’t heard much on the “genuine-seeming feelings with OCD”.
    Most people say the KNOW they want their partner but are just afraid of the thoughts. Mine is more it feels genuine.

    I went to a counselor because I became very depressed and called my boyfriend in panic (at the beginning) and always cried and had bad dreams and lost sleep and would repeat myself to my aunt asking for advice over the SAME question over and over. My counselor told me “it sounds like OCD” and that was when I found out about ROCD.

    Me and my boyfriend get along SO WELL and I can’t express how amazing he is toward me but I don’t get very sad at all when I think about leaving I feel like I’d be fine but there’s never a LOGICAL reason for me to leave – other than “I just don’t want to” . Just wanting some insight.

    I’ve tried talking to people in a support group and they always tell me they experience the same things but at the same time I don’t gave anxiety you know? And I read that the difference between normal and intrusive thoughts IS the anxiety.

    • Mark Fennell

      March 8, 2019 at 3:30 pm

      Hi Emily,
      thanks for your comment and have hope this will pass, it just may take time. ROCD can surface when a relationship gets serious. Its your minds way of saying “but are you sure”, and “what if?”. Here are more articles and if you need more help get in touch.

    • Mark Fennell

      March 8, 2019 at 3:37 pm

      Check this video about ANXIETY out

  7. Em

    January 9, 2019 at 7:47 am


    I typed this out a while back and just wanted to explain my story a bit. I have gotten Fairly better but I don’t know- it feels like I’ve gotten better at getting used to the pain is all which means a whole other different feeling. Of feeling perfectly fine like u want to make the choice to leave. Now it feels genuine like I want to leave. Like I don’t gave ocd and that I’m normal. It feels as if I’m “fine” with leaving but everytime I’m like, “what happens if u leave and it was just ocd?” Need advice! .

    Me and my boyfriend have a loving relationship. We’ve known eachother for about 3 years and been almost dating for 2. When we first met we were juniors in high school and he was always kinda known as a “player” I guess. He got with me because he had a crush on me and he was my very first relationship. I always knew it wouldn’t last long and had a bad feeling because everyone told me he would use me for sex. I denied and we dated for about 8 months- I was obsessed with him (major crush like feelings). Then- we broke up. We broke up because my parents were strict and we never got to “hang out”. After we broke up, I was DEVISTATED. I was still a virgin, but while broken up he asked for my virginity and I hated him after that. We didn’t speak for about 4 months over summer. Then, he texted me and we began talking and he apologized and I told him he would have to prove to me he wanted to change. Once I turned 18,(2 years after my mom passed away) I moved in with him because my step dad was awful. Everything was amazing at first – then one day we were hanging out and I stumbled across a set of old DMs on his phone that I found of girls he was messaging during the first week we started dating again. I knew it didn’t mean much I guess because we weren’t stupid serious but it was VERY IMPORTANT TO ME. He started working on himself after that And he did. For the past year and a half he’s been MIRACULOUSLY different. My dad knew what happened between us and hated gavin for it. He would always talk bad about him and tell me it’s never going to last and all these things. Then I would go home and question gavin and his capability to get a job, all these etc. it just felt like I was falling out of love. I was so cringey and unhappy with him. He would get so hurt because I made this one rule one time that we had to quit vaping and one day he was honest and straight up told me he did and I left him but then BEGGED FOR HIM BACK. He is No where near the same person he once was when I first moved in (two years ago) and he treats me like the literal only girl in the world. My whole family loves him now and how he treats me. He’s really changed for the best. He went out of his way to even apologize to my dad for what he had done and promised to make me happy etc. and he loves me so much. I don’t know how he did it and changed but he did. But, I’ve always had this sense of dread or just so unhappy when I was with him. Just got angry easily- and really annoyed.

    I’m 18 and I lived with my boyfriend for about 7 months and recently moved out do to family issues. It took me by complete surprise. I was upset and whilst leaving, I had a fear I guess of “loosing feelings”. I told him about my fear but it always felt like when I said that it was a lie – like I truly wanted to leave him. I felt grossed out by everything (way he laughed) everything. When I moved, I was very depressed. I would pace around the porch and tell my aunt, “I’m loosing feelings for him” and I’d be terrified! I’d call him and cry for hours and ask my friends at work what it felt like to loose feelings and it felt JUST LIKE ME. when things would get tough between us, (like us moving away from eachother for a bit) I would always be like, “maybe we should just be friends”. While he would always be like “em, pull through we got this.” Always believing in us. I started counseling because I got so depressed (it felt like my life was a twilight zone) and my counselor it sounded like I had ocd.

    Now- about 3 and a half months later I’m so unhappy. When I first found the community it sounded just like what I was going through. And now, I’m just so upset girl. Like nothing helps me. No amount of reassurance, no amount of much helps. It’s like I just REFUSE to believe it’s ocd. Also struggle w “intrusive thoughts” bc these thoughts aren’t thoughts that randomly pop up as people describe them. I think them myself. I don’t feel fear when thinking about leaving him. Just sadness because I don’t want to hurt him. Sometimes I want to leave him so bad because it Just doesn’t feel like anything anymore. I just cry and get sad and I don’t check feelings but I just think about all the time how I feel like I’m crushing him. I can’t even say I want to be with him girl. I feel like I truly don’t. We are moving into our first apartment together in 3 weeks that he’s buying for us and I just don’t want to do it. He’s amazing like I know it would be hell finding someone like him but I don’t know what to do. He tells me everyday he just wants me to be happy and he does everything in his power to make me happy. He’s even spoken with An rocd “survivors”’husband to try and get better

    I don’t know why everything with rocd sounded like me in the beginning and now everything a lie? Even typing this out it feels like I’m just “doing it” like faking it. I don’t want to get to the point where it over takes me but I have an amazing man and a great opportunity. Need insight please!

  8. Laura

    January 4, 2019 at 10:34 pm

    Why do i keep getting thoughts that my boyfriend will bump into an ex or someone pretty an fall in love with them at the pub or wherever he goes if i dont do certain things like tapping so many times or doing my other rituals, is this OCD or ROCD? Please email me as i really need help as i want to live a normal life again an not worry about if my thoughts an if they will come true if i dont tap something so many times.
    Thank you.

  9. Patty

    December 8, 2018 at 6:54 pm

    Hi Mark,

    Read your article on ROCD. Having trouble myself right now with a recent diagnosis of MDD and OCD. ROCD thoughts surround my beautiful wife whom I love very much. ROCD Thoughts continue to spin and become very insidious. Hardest part is I just can’t feel anything proper and continually question.

    Does this sound familiar to you?



  10. Jon

    December 5, 2018 at 8:12 pm

    I’m 38, almost 39, and in my second ever relationship. The first began around my 37th birthday, lasted 8 months and was shattered by my struggles of what I now know to be rOCD. During the first relationship I broke up and got back together with her three times, the first two before I was diagnosed officially with OCD (I have struggled with OCD and depression for 30 years now unbeknownst to me.

    In my current relationship I am often extremely happy when I’m with her, with the worst thoughts coming when we are apart or at the very beginning of our dates. My biggest fear is that I am not physically attracted enough to her, or that I will lose that state of attractedness to her, especially since I have always put such a great emphasis on looks and the Hollywood ideal of love. The most frustrating thing about my current situation is that my “What if?” thoughts almost always turn into “I want” thoughts (I ‘want’ the relationship to end, I ‘want’ to find her unattractive, I ‘want’ an excuse to run) even though she has so many amazing qualities and loves me unconditionally. A lot of times when I have a good thought about her, a bad thought comes in right away and eclipses it. I often have obsessions that I have the OCD backwards – that the GOOD thoughts about her are the “intrusive thoughts”, my choices and actions to love her are the “compulsions”, and I really just want to be alone or an excuse to find the “perfect” one that does not exist. This confuses me because I feel that my girlfriend is as close to perfection as one can get, and why would I want to run? Especially after going to a therapist and a psychiatrist for nearly two years, trying various medications, and faithfully doing my therapy homework? I am encouraged to see you still replying on this article and hope you still communicate via Email. Thank you!

  11. Mike

    December 3, 2018 at 10:32 pm

    If love is a choice then why is it so hard for me to make that choice?

    • Mark Fennell

      December 4, 2018 at 10:38 am

      Good question. The reason is when we are constantly looking to be sure and questioning a decision we want to make, it makes it hard to make a choice because we are questioning and testing out if we are making the right choice. Sometimes you have to make a choice regardless of doubting. There is always room to doubt our choices, but we actually make the choice when we want to stop questioning, that in itself is a choice. So what I tell clients is make the decision based of what you want rather than try find doubt in your decision. Make a choice in the face of fear and do what you want to do regardless of any doubts. Connect with me on Isagram and we can chat there or Youtube.

      • Mike

        December 5, 2018 at 4:45 pm

        I just don’t want to lose my wife. Isn’t that in itself proof that I want to be with her? Or am I just in denial?

  12. Dave

    November 29, 2018 at 3:47 pm

    How important are looks?

    • Mark Fennell

      December 4, 2018 at 10:39 am

      As important as you want them to be. OCD will always find fault in looks, love is never base on looks, and if it was it wouldn’t last long.

      • Dave

        December 5, 2018 at 7:39 pm

        So are we supposed to think that our significant other is the most attractive person in the world?

  13. John smith

    November 23, 2018 at 1:44 am

    Dear sir,

    Hi im a young African male I’m about 20 years old and I have been suffering with ocd since I was about 17 and it was honestly the most horrible time of my life, looking back I kinda had ocd most my life but it wasn’t this bad maybe because I was in my adolescence and I ain’t have much to worry about. Honestly most my life It’s been very good I’m come from a very loving family who’s nurturing and very supportive, but anxiety does run in my family. Okay so it all started with depersonalization I felt like everything around me was weird and I was in some type of movie I didn’t know what to think of it but I honestly just that I had lost my mind and that stemmed into a fear of me going crazy and that I would lose my mind and end up in an asylum or something that haunted me for a bit and I eventually got over it. I use to stay on google for hours searching my symptoms and it always aimed to OCD when I read a whole bunch of forums and paychecks post I was relieved to find out I wasn’t alone form there I study ways to conquer it. my ocd switched themes back and fourth at one point I had HOCD and then it when to Harm OCD and then I worried about my health and it varies from there. The worst was the HOCD it felt so real and I haven’t been so scared in my life I felt like I had. I control over my thoughts and the only time I got a break is when I was sleeping. It gave off feelings that I thought were so real and I honestly believed that I was not in control of my body anymore. After months and months of suffering from that I finally put my food down and took ocd by the horns and ran with it after finding many ways of coping with it I finally conquered in till I was about 18 going on to 19. And then I got into my first serious relationship with this girl I knew for a long part of my life we were friends just not close. She was my first for everything love sex commitment all that shit, it was puppy dog love for a few months and that’s when everything stared going downhill. She had this Ex that she couldn’t get over and I was basically in a three way relationship for a bit but I was blinded and I allowed it to happen. Soon she got over home and it was just me and her but even a long way I to the relationship she was kind still into him
    And blah blah blah. I thought I was in love but this girl was very toxic for me my parents told me my friends told me but I just did not listen I just thought they didn’t wanna see my happy and they were against me. We dated for about a 1 year and some months and then she cheated on me I was heartbroken but thank god she did it because I probably still would’ve been with her today. I forgave her for it and we kept dating for a month or two but my love for her wasn’t the same she hurt me bad and I honestly thought I forgave her. She was always arguing with me making me go crazy I always caught her doing sneaky shit she neve listens when I told her shit that was good for her and basically I was her stepping stool for most out relationship. After a bit I finally said yo forget this crazy toxic chick I’ve had enough and I told her to get out of my life and not to contact me my family we kinda had the same friend group. I blocked her on possibly everywhere and blocked her family members so she couldn’t contact me through them. I haven’t spoken to her since I can’t even remember the last time I spoke to her I remember how but not a date. And honestly I put everything into that relationship not knowing I was hurting myself when o deserved way better, I was content with my decision and it was what I wanted when I was finally rid of her I was happy again all my friends notice it my family notice it I was back to my normal self and I loved every bit of it. After like almost a year I found this girl who was absolutely incredible she was like a blessing sent down from god and I couldn’t believed she even wanted to be with a guy like me. She is so beautiful inside qs she is on the put she anything a guy could want in a girl and I’m lucky to have her. I know I love the girl I’m with and she means everything to me she took me when I was down and turned me into a better man and I could never repay her for that. I really wanna be with this girl for the rest of my life and we will be a year On January 23. Recently me and her have been getting into it way more than usual and that’s just what happens in relationship it not perfect for anyone, i kinda had a traumatic moment with her recently because I was caught trying to have sex with another girl, bear with me know that’s way outta of my character and I have never done anything like that in my life before I was off a lot of drugs and it was just me making the biggest mistake I have ever made in my life. When that happened I was so depressed because I thought I was gonna lose her I stayed in my room and cried for days, and what made me so sad was that even after I did such a horrible thing she stayed and said I love you too much to leave my love is greater than my anger and that killed me I treated a girl who hurt me and made my life miserable so good and when I find a girl who treats me with the upmost respect and love I do her wrong. We moved past that and it made us a little stronger recently I took a Percocet that was 20mg after quitting opioids I smoke weed and this thought of my ex popped into my head after so long of hating her and thanking god that she was outta of my life. It scared the shit outta of me so many thought flooded my head why did you think about her? Do you wanna be with her? Your gonna stop living your girlfriend and go back to your ex, and since than I relapsed and fell back into the whole that was eluded for so long. I am really confused right now and don’t know what to do my ocd is making this seeem so real and I’m scared outta of my mind I don’t wanna go back to her I found happiness and I wanna keep it for the rest of my life but my mind has been filled with thought of me getting back with her and I hate it so much I hit my self in the head sometimes and yell for these thoughts to just get out I love my girlfriend and I don’t wanna be with anyone else especially my evil ex that’s the last person I would want to be with. I don’t know what to do when I look at my girl my exes face pops up when she’s talking my head says she sound like my ex and it won’t stop and i just wanna love my girl and get married to her she doesn’t deserve this I don’t deserve her please I need help I don’t know what to do I haven’t loved or thought about my ex i soooo long and I’ve been happy without her and I never had these thoughts of me loving and missing her. Maybe is it because she was my first for everything or she was there for me when I was going through my ocd whatever it may be I don’t wanna be with her I want to stay with my current girlfriend forever is this rocd or not?

  14. Chez

    November 7, 2018 at 11:29 am

    Dear Mark
    I’ve been diagnosed with pure o and have had many different intrusive thoughts.
    I’m married and have been struggling with rocd for 6 months. On Sunday I told my husband he bored me, that his stories bored me, his voice annoyed me and I had this overwhelming need to leave him.
    He cried, I cried and I have felt awful since. I get feelings of anxiety when I look at his face, when we kiss, I can’t sleep as my thoughts are always to leave him yet I wAke hugging the life out of him.
    I goggle to see if anyone feels the same as me and I can’t find things so I worry my worries are true and are marriage is over
    Six months ago we were brilliant and now even coming home causes me anxiety
    I love my husband and want to be with him but even as I write this I fear I’m lying and it causes me such distress.
    I Google reassurance for many hours of the day hoping to find someone like me so I can then know this is rocd and not my marriage ending.
    When I read this as I write I know how absurd it is yet the thoughts won’t leave me alone.
    It’s daily, hourly and in my sleep.

  15. Jordan

    October 23, 2018 at 12:06 pm

    I feel that I am expieriencing ROCD, although this is the first time in a while. I used to get anxious that my past partners were being unfaithful but this time it’s different. I was with my girlfriend the day before this happened, I was happier than ever and it made me smile thinking about her and then I got a thought “what if I don’t love her?” And since then I’ve been expiriencing really bad anxiety towards my partner and have been thinking about my situation none stop and its causing me a lot of pain because I know that I love her. I have been combing the Internet looking at what this is and if it is ROCD. I don’t want to break up with her because it’s the best relationship I’ve been in. Thank you for reading this and I hope you understand…


  16. Mat1989

    October 22, 2018 at 9:06 pm

    If love is a choice then why am I having such a hard time choosing my spouse? It’s like I have these two opposing urges fighting each other. I don’t want to lose them, but I feel like that is the only way to end the obsessions. Am I just afraid to admit the truth that I don’t really love them?

  17. Kirsty Stephens

    October 20, 2018 at 12:23 pm

    Hi Mark
    Thank you for your advice. I myself suffer with ROCD. I have had it throughout my relationship with my partner. It’s one of the most distressing anxiety imaginable. I love him so much. Would do anything for him but question ‘ do I love him. Then I feel really awful. I am now on medication which suppresses the anxiety and OCD thoughts but not totally. But unfortunately I have always suffered with depression which has worsened due to this anxiety. I want to try and manage it and get over it!! I love this man. I’m going to marry him next year and want to have children with him but this underlying anxiety destroys the time we spend together and my excitement for the future. He understands and has supported me through out. I’m very lucky. What advise would u recommended. If I pay for more therapy what kind of therapy would work best.many thanks

  18. Alisha Wheatley

    October 16, 2018 at 10:22 pm

    Hi Mark thank you for what I have read so far. I have ROCD and boy let me tell you it is tough. I have never experienced anything like this before. I sure could use your help over coming this. I have such a loving husband. We sure could use some understanding of this ocd. Any advice would be great. Thank you Alisha


    October 7, 2018 at 2:23 pm

    Dear sir,
    On june 10th 2018 i got a sudden thought about my gf looking at her picture whether i really like a her or not and i got anxious after which all negative thoughts about her started in my mind. Initially i contacted a psychiatrist and he told me it was a kind of relationship OCD. So he prescribed me some medicines. But since i didn’t tell my parents about this i couldnt take medicines regularly and it never went away. Later on i went into depression because of this. 3 months i suffered from all this. I spoke to my girl she understood my problem and supported me all these days. I went to so many prayers after it started. Changed my psychiatrist again in september and continued the medicines. But on September 3rd my girlfriend broke up with me which i couldn’t tolerate enough. But this depression lowered with medicines. Recently i used to get thoughts of some hindu god which i had in childhood and was treated as ocd.These thoughts are also haunting me every 2 minutes. Its like i have two types of ocd. I had health ocd in childhood as well.Now though i was fine with medicines for about 3 weeks i stopped them 3 days ago and again yesterday some weird dreams in my sleep  disturbed me a lot. I get so many disturbed thoughts and negative speach about myself.Some days i get so plain that I’m not interested in her at all and some days i cry that i need her. Some days I’m jealous if i think about her with other guys and other days i don’t. It’s like a total confusion. And the depression followed doesn’t make me interested in anything if i look at things.I don’t know why is this happening to me. I’ve gone to so many therapists they’ve all told me it’s an anxiety disorder that’s why i experience guilt and hopelessness. I’ve distanced all of my friends because of this. Even though i think good about my future all this is holding me back. It is like something in my mind holding me back.
    I can’t explain this condition better than this.
    Please find your time to read this.
    Thank you.

    • Mark Fennell

      October 11, 2018 at 4:00 pm

      there is hope and the therapists are right it is anxiety. My piece of advice is don’t fear these thoughts or dreams, they are fuelled by the anxiety. Its like if your going to sleep at night and its dark outside, then you hear a noise, your imagination starts playing pictures of robbers or something sinister, but in reality its just a noise from the wind. Thats what anxiety does, it gets our mind imaging these thoughts that just aren’t true to what we really feel. Like when you looked at your girlfriends picture and you didnt react like you normally would, which means nothing (we cant alwasy be amazed at a picture) but if you are prone to over analysing and anxiety, your mind reads teh “non reaction” as a problem and then goes on the search presuming there is a problem when really there is no problem at all. Its just an anxious reaction. Its difficult I know, but learn to not fear these thoughts, know that they are not your real opinions or views. Also some medicines can cause dream disruption so speak to your doctor about that.

  20. Leah Paty

    August 27, 2018 at 8:03 pm

    Hi Mark. I’m having issues really sticking to not googling and getting worked up over intrusive thoughts. I know how I feel and my morals and I know what the OCD says is out of line. We’re slowly talking about marriage and we both want it but the “what if’s” are hard to keep down even though I’m making progress. But day to day is hard to relax! I’m interested in your coaching. What would the next steps be?

  21. Gemma

    July 27, 2018 at 5:57 pm

    Hi Mark after reading your artcle plus a thousand other I have really not found any answers to my current situation. I have suffered from different types of ocd for years now, only this year have the intrusive thoughts began which crippled me for 2/3 weeks. About 2 weeks ago my girlfriend who I have been with for six months and who has been so supportive wth my ocd. She told me she loved me as we normally do but when she said it this particular time I got the strangest feeling, like an anxious or pit in my stomach. I at first worried a bit but pushed it away, later in the evening my worries came back just a very unsure feeling but when I told her I was able to move on and feel okay. But within the next two days that out in my stomach feeling was back and I couldn’t help but think they only way I could get rid of it was to breakup, although I was feeling so low I almost became clingy to my girlfriend. I was very upset and distressed for two weeks straight endlessly testing my feelings and looking at YouTube videos about divorce and separtion. I guess what I’m trying to ask is this fully ocd making me feel like this or am I not in love and I’m using ocd to cope with it,

  22. Jon Kearney

    June 20, 2018 at 3:34 pm

    Hello Mark I am going through a hard time please contact me by email I was hoping we could skype.

  23. Mor

    June 12, 2018 at 5:25 am

    Hello, I’m 20 years old and have been with the person I think is the one for almost a year. I have starting suffering from all these thoughs recently and I dont know what to do. My belief is that it started when I started having issues with my closest friends which, in end, resulted in the stopping of those friendships. Now, I’m starting to have all of these thoughts and doubts and I dont know how rational they are. Its comforting knowing there are others out there who think the same.

    • Mark Fennell

      March 8, 2019 at 3:20 pm

      Many peopel go through what you are experiencing and the good news is you can overcome it.

  24. Bill Mansiantima

    April 16, 2018 at 4:09 pm

    I recently just got me first girlfriend ever and she is amazing. We’ve been dating for nearly 3 months and I’ve loved it, i have never been happier. But ever since our 1 month anniversary, i’ve been having these intrusive thoughts like ‘do i even like her?’ ‘Do i love her’ ‘Am i capable of love’ ‘can i see myself with her for the resr of my life’ . And i have felt ao bad about havig them and thought something was wrong with me or our relationship even thogh nothing has changed. I love being with her and talking to her she makes me so happy, but these thoughts make it so hard. I get this huge pain in my chest/gut and these thoughts just consume me. I get so anxious and i feel so horrible cause she is an amazing women and all ive ever wanted. I keep comparing our relationship and my feelings for her to others and other relationships. I keep trying to like seek proof of my love for her. I’ve just started researching this and it seems that many people have gone through what I’m going through and that i may have rOCD. That makes me feel better that I’m not alone but i just want to know how could i stop this because I love her and I want to be with her but i want these thoughts to stop too. Is it possible that i could email you?

    • Mark Fennell

      March 8, 2019 at 3:22 pm

      It all started when in your thoughts the relationship got serious so dont worry, hang in there and keep going. You have nothing to fear even if it feels real. Your thoughts are just thoughts and not a true representation of your heart.

  25. Hannah

    April 5, 2018 at 9:11 pm

    Hi Mark,

    I’ve been struggling with ROCD thoughts a lot lately. I was diagnosed with MDD and GAD at a young age and have had anxiety about my health and religion. The ROCD thoughts started as extreme anxiety to the point where I’d burst out in tears around my boyfriend but now it’s developed into a deep depression where I’m numb to everything; my boyfriend, school, life, etc.

    This started occurring around two weeks ago and it hasn’t stopped. I feel like my mind is playing tricks on me and it won’t stop because I love him to pieces but it keeps telling me I’m wrong or “it won’t last” or “this is just how you feel, get over it and move on” but I love him so much. I just want to stop feeling and thinking this way.

    Some days I wake up in extreme anxiety and as the day goes on it just turns into not caring about anything. I’ll be driving and start to wonder if I’d even feel anything if we weren’t together. That thought in itself makes me distraught. I’m now worrying about not caring.

    Please help. I’m at a loss. I feel like it will never get better. I just want to feel normal with him again.

  26. Carl House

    March 28, 2018 at 3:16 pm

    Amazing article. I’m suffering from stress of my past and job stress . I’ve been happily married for 5 years and as soon as the massive job stress came on I started developing rocd about my past and about my wonderful relationship I’ve been in despair and anxious for 10 days now and I’m trying to fight so hard I was diagnosed with ocd 15 years ago and lost a past relationship due to rocd it’s just nice reading this I can’t lose my amazing family they mean the world to me I just need to get the help I deserve ….

    • Mark Fennell

      March 8, 2019 at 3:23 pm

      Thank you and I am glad you like the blog post 🙂

  27. Karrah Hill

    March 14, 2018 at 4:29 am

    I am currently going through some experiences of my own, and I was looking for someone who I can sit down and talk to who could actually help me.

  28. em

    February 22, 2018 at 1:02 am

    also, I am constantly afraid of not having him in my life. He already has established that he won’t leave, and that he loves me. I believe him, so of course my brain goes to focus on me and says “what if you leave him” “what if you don’t love him” “what if you’re just convincing yourself you love him and you really don’t” and honestly it is SO exhausting. how can I cope with these thoughts? I’m so afraid. I never want to lose this man.

    Thank you

  29. em

    February 22, 2018 at 12:56 am

    I’m young, and have been in a relationship for about half a year. I have never felt this way about anyone before, and I know in my heart I love him. I would call him my soul mate. My past relationships have been mentally abusive, and just wrong, and they create fear in me to this day. Lately, I’ve been having ROCD problems. I am constantly “checking” my relationship and my feelings to see if it’s love. And the more attached I get to this man, the worse it gets. I think it has something to do with never having someone treat me right before, and I love him so much that I’m afraid to lose him. I always have thoughts that are the opposite of what I know is true like “do i love him” “are you sure you want a future with him” “is he your one” and it’s been so tiring. I know in my heart what’s true, but lately by mind has been clouding that. It feels like an internal battle, and I want it to end, I want to be happy again, and I don’t want to overthink. I just want to feel secure with my partner and not have these OCD problems, which I have faced ever since I was a child. Please help me, tell me this will get better.

  30. Michelle

    February 18, 2018 at 2:29 pm

    Good morning, I just came across this article and it really hits home for me. I have been in a relationship for a little over 3 years now. We have moved in with each other about a year ago. Since then I feel like I have had obsessive thoughts about whether her truly loves me and shows affection. Come to think of it I feel I have always been that way with him. Since moving in we have gotten into big arguments about his past. Those arguments led to him threatening whether he wants to be with me. We recently about a month ago got into a large rough patch. He told me he does know if he wants to be with me beicaae he has to find himself. So for about a month I was living with him in limbo wondering everyday if today was going to be the day he will end it. It was on my mind all day everyday. Finally he said just go home. So I went back home to my parents and I was a complete and utter mess. I have never experienced a pain like this in my entire life. After about a week he wants me to come home and said he never wants me to leave again. I went through a huge psychological mind screw with all of it. But as you can see if been a little bit OCD with whether he is always loving me. It’s a constant thought when we are together. And if my thoughts weren’t bad enough they are worse now that we are okay. Any thing he says that inches towards a negative comment(sounding like we aren’t okay) I panic. And I’m constantly afraid something is going to ruin things when they are finally good. This leads me on to my next terrible problem I am facing today. So since I moved back in we have been great. I was on cloud 9. Excited to start fresh. I then remembered a time when my ex texted me when I was first dating my current boyfriend. He said happy birthday and I said thank you. This made me feel absolutely guilty that I didn’t tell my boyfriend. I have been obsessed with the fact that I didn’t tell him. One day I was freaking out really bad about it and in that same day my boyfriend texted me that his good friend was cheated on by his new wife. This text sent me in over drive. Besides me feeling guilty for not telling my boyfriend about the text I think what he told me scared me. It either struck a nerve because I just went through something terrible or I was afraid of something terrible happening again. Nothing about cheating. But now I am facing pure panic everyday since I have found out. I’m constantly questions the love I have for him. When he touches me I have pure terror whether I like when he touches me. I’m scared I will never get over this. I’m afraid it’s not worry about it is the fact that I don’t love him. But I do love him and I know I am in love with him. I always have been. And literally the day before these thoughts everything was perfectly great. It’s just hit me like a ton of bricks. Please help me I don’t want to live with these thoughts everyday. I don’t understand why this is happening.

  31. Erin S.

    February 4, 2018 at 5:12 pm

    I’ve been in a relationship for almost 4 years with my boyfriend. Everything was and is great. He hasn’t changed his love for me, he hasn’t distanced himself from me, yet I can’t rid myself of these thoughts. I love him dearly and can’t imagine life without him, but when I wake up in the morning the first thing in my mind is “you need to break up with him”. Recently, I have this aggression sometimes when he calls me for no reason and my mind is always telling me “you don’t love him, he doesn’t love you”. I can’t imagine a future without him in my life but it gets hard to separate reality from my thoughts. I question everyday do I want to be with him because of this. We are in a long distance relationship as we go to 2 separate colleges, but when I am with him the thoughts are not there. I am completely submerged and overwhlemed by his love and he reminds me and reassures me constantly that it is all in my mind. When talking to my best friend, who knows our relationship very well, in addition to talking to my parents everything does seem to be in my mind. I know he isn’t doing anything wrong, and I know deep down that I want to be with him, but the volume of these thoughts is very difficult to cope with. Sometimes I question my happiness even though the only reason I am unhappy would be because of the thoughts. I am unsure what to do.

  32. Olivia

    January 29, 2018 at 9:25 pm

    I struggle with anxiety disorder/OCD for more than a year now , a few months back I got into a relationship with my boyfriend that I’m head over heels for , I know I love him for sure but I get anxious and obsessive over that I don’t , and that i would rather be with someone else even though I know it’s not true , in fact he is my best friend and the only person I have and I wouldn’t wanna lose him . He is the person I wanna marry . I’d say it’s because he is my first boyfriend and I would wanna see if relationships with someone else would be different / better . Even though I have everything I could ever ask for . We”‘re together almost 6 months and I can never get rid of the thoughts no matter what I try . It gets too much at times because he has a feeling that I don’t love him even though I really do . These thoughts come and go but always come back every day . Sometimes I get really upset as to why my relationship isn’t without ROCD like everyone else’s . The main triggers of the thoughts are that I maybe didn’t think of my boyfriend enough and that’s why I dont love him etc. as I even think about it and type it out it sounds silly but in my head it’s a very big deal . How do I get a normal relationship without worry or fear? :/

  33. anya

    January 4, 2018 at 5:08 pm

    I had a really bad chest pain and I googled it, hoping to get answer, and I found your article about ROCD and I found myself in the description. I’ll try to describe my situation here, because I come from Croatia where these kinds of sychoterapies are not available and I hope you can help my in any kind. I’m in a relationship with my boyfriend for 6 years (now I’m 25 years old and he is 27) and he is my first boyfriend. We fight a lot because we are very different and after those fights I always have those toughts you described. And I always have doubts if he is the one because I haven’t had any other relationship and my cousin encouraged me to break up with him because she saw that I’m struggling, while my parents always told me to stay with him because he really loves me and they say that I’ll never find someone better than him. I always tried to break up but we never did. I was always coming back to him because I couldnt imagine my life without him and I’m not sure if this feeling is just because a habit of being with him. I’ve been struggling for 3 years now, and I had had those crisis in periods, few months everything was good, but then came months with lots of fights and negative energy. Now, when we are about to live together, firstly, I was very excited, but suddenly I felt anxiety and all those thougths came to me and I feel chest pain and I sweat a lot during night, but I sleep well. I’m asking if this is ROCD or something else? Is this fear of breaking up and being alone or ROCD? Everyone in family expects from me to be married by 25, esspecially with my current boyfriend. How can I know the difference if this is really ROCD or that I’m used to being dissappointed in this relationship and that I’m very scared to be alone because I might lose something good that now seems bad?

    • Mark Fennell

      January 10, 2018 at 5:01 pm

      Sounds like you are putting pressure on yourself to settle down. This can cause us to become like a perfectionist as settling down can be a big step. So we analyse “is he the one”, “will it last”, “am I sure”, “how do I know I am sure”. All these thoughts start and we start obsessing about our relationship as we are in fear. Please read my article on this again and remember, perfect doesn’t always exist, partner might be perfect for you 😉

  34. Megan

    December 27, 2017 at 5:39 am

    Hi mark I really hope you get to read this and respond. I have been with my boyfriend for 11 months, I have loved him dearly throughout it, about 2 months ago a thought popped into my head of maybe I didn’t love him (just a thought) nothing about me or my boyfriend had changed nor did the relationship change, nothing prompted this thought. I pushed so hard to remove it but eventually became obsessed with the thought, it’s heartbreaking I feel like I have lost some love/security solely due to the fact that I am almost trying to force feelings of love to prove these thoughts are fake. I do not want to end my relationship, I want things to return to how they were. I know even if I did leave my perfectly good relationship the same situation would just occur with another partner. I know deep down I do love my boyfriend but I am scared incase I never will recover from these thoughts or that the love won’t return if the thoughts do disappear or maybe that I never loved him. It’s a vicious frustrating cycle. I just want it all to stop, as dramatic as it seems, thank you for you time!! Megan

  35. Kenneth

    December 8, 2017 at 6:45 pm

    Im sufffering from rocd she is so beautiful and strong I love her I need to shake thought spikes please help

  36. Kenneth

    December 8, 2017 at 6:40 pm

    Please email me back your article helped a little I love my wife like crazy I know I can and will beat this just need some help please on my knees with tears begging

  37. Nicole

    December 2, 2017 at 11:46 pm

    Can you please help me get through this

  38. Dillon

    November 28, 2017 at 9:08 pm


    I feel like I am being punished/punishing myself because of almost getting back with my girl and then I felt a ton of guilt for spending time with another friend girl and I cannot seem forgive to forgive myself for it and I keep telling myself that if I hadn’t spent that one time feeling guilty then I would’ve been on the right track for a happy loving life. I told my real girl that I feel guilty really guilty she’s just scared that I feel guilty because of it. So I don’t know what to do without explaining my ocd thought/feeling process. I think that’s what this is. Ocd. linking feelings to thoughts = rewarding with pride / punishing with shame.
    I just can’t seem to climb out of/reammmend the state I feel I was at with my girl without feeling guilty but I need to be prideful or this won’t work. Complicated. Help?

  39. Delaney Miller

    November 16, 2017 at 12:09 am

    Hi mark! i just wanna say that you making this article really helped me understand that i’m not going through it alone. About a year ago, i got on a medication i need and my anxiety sprung up out of nowhere. Before then, i have never ever experienced it. I constantly worry about my relationship, constant negative thoughts such as “do i really love him?” “will this last?” “am i wasting my time” “what if we grow apart?” and these thoughts eat away at me. I am unable to be happy and enjoy my time spent with him, when i know for a fact that i love him so dearly and i wouldn’t be the same without him in my life because he’s my best friend. fortunately, i communicate with him about this and he understands. i just want to know how to get out of this funk permanently. please shoot me an email, your input would mean so much!

  40. Callo

    October 31, 2017 at 7:53 pm

    I can’t stop thinking that I don’t know if I truly love my boyfriend after I found out he bought me an engagement ring it has lead to severe anxiety and constant obsessing.

  41. Annum

    October 26, 2017 at 1:45 pm

    hi i would like some advice on Relationship ocd. if you could email me please

    • Mark Fennell

      March 8, 2019 at 3:44 pm

      Sure how can I help?

  42. Annum

    October 25, 2017 at 7:04 am

    I have been wanting to talk to you. I have been diagnosed with moderate depression and I all I day is obsess what’s wrong in my relationship. I need some serious help. Can you please help me

  43. Johany

    October 5, 2017 at 3:41 am

    I been with my boyfriend for 2 months now. At the beginning it was so blissful , i was so happy and nothing can stop us but just about 2 weeks ago my my anxiety has been killing me. I keep getting thoughts of not being happy , I question my love for my boyfriend all the time. I am always researching if other people have felt like I have. It causes me so much distress. I know what I want , and he has everything I need but sometimes around him I get anxious , I get thoughts of not being happy , I obsess on how I should be feeling which keeps me away from enjoying the moment. I just want to hug him all the time , I can’t seem to be away from him. I have my mind battles everyday but when I hug and engage with him it gets better , I wish he never had to go. But today I was intensely affected , I just kept thinking what if he’s not the one ? But It doesn’t make sense because he is all I want , why am I so depressed ? He is so understanding and he loves me so much , I love him too although I am not in love because it is to soon. This is my first real relationship. I don’t know what’s the right or wrong way to feel. I get scared to lose feelings for him , to get bored , to hurt him , I’m scared of not falling in love and I don’t know what to do because I want to so badly , I want to appreciate everything he is , I just don’t know what to do anymore. As our relationship develops my feelings go back and forth , one day I’m super happy and the next day I’m doubtful. I use to get insecure but now I am not , I just want to love him the way he loves me. I want to take time to fall in love with him but my fears do not allow me to. I have euphoric moments and later overwhelmed with sadness. I just want it to all be how I was when I met him.

  44. Chuck

    September 14, 2017 at 9:06 pm

    Hey man I am so glad I found your article. I’m with a girl whom I love and care for, but I am overthinking this and I have all the signs of it being ROCD. I need help because I do not want to lose this woman. Please get back with me. Thank you so much

  45. Austin Perro-Wells

    August 22, 2017 at 4:54 pm

    Hi my name is Austin and i believe im curently struggle with OCD, at first when i was 16 it was just the neat freak kind, rewriting notes kept my room clean before i left school i had to make sure my binders were pefectly straight in my locker it was bad then when my year and a half girlfriend broke up with me i knew i had to get rid of it and i did…. But its back and its different its no longer physical OCD its mental i get these god aweful thought about wanting to be single and i try to ignore it but its hard it makes me question whether i want to date the girl im with and the bad part is shes done nothing wrong shes sweet caring and most of all shes understanding. My biggest issue is i cant buy anything i want. I love video games and i want another xbox and my OCD is saying well if u break up u have to get rid of it and everytime me and a girl broke up i got rid of the things i bought when i was with them and its tough cause if i buy it and by chance things do end everything ive done on my games will be gone cause i have to get rid of it so my other option is to leave her and i dont want too. I dont have the money or insurence to get therapy so im kinda stuck in between a rock and a hard place. Plz help i know it sounds stupid but it really affects my everyday life

  46. Melissa Shaw

    July 7, 2017 at 5:59 pm

    I would love to be coached through this! Please email me anytime!

  47. Lauren

    June 27, 2017 at 5:34 pm

    I think im suffering with this and need help!!

  48. Gabby

    June 18, 2017 at 10:58 am

    Hi, so first of all, I think it’s relevant to point out that I have some trust issues. I’ve been with my boyfriend for 8 months now and I get scared he’s looking at other girls sometimes when he’s not. Even when I know he’s not sometimes, I still point it out. I have to reassure with him sometimes that he’s not attracted to anyone. I don’t know why. Our sex life hasn’t been great recently, I haven’t really been enjoying it. We’ve been doing other stuff though. But not since this had all started (second paragraph). I trust him, I know he would never cheat on me. He treats me the best. I really do, deep down, love him. So basically, we both hate the thought of either one of us finding someone else attractive and we said in the past maybe we wouldn’t be together if we did. I think that puts a massive strain on the relationship. So every time I see someone I feel like I’m under pressure and the first thought that comes to my mind is that I can’t look at them, I don’t want to anyway, I don’t care about anyone else. But I look because in my head, I know I’m under pressure and shouldn’t look so I do anyway.

    It started last Friday, I was at work doing something when I turned around and seen a guy. In my head I said “he’s fit”. After that I kept thinking to myself, why did I say that? I kept over analysing the situation to the point where I wasn’t eating and felt horrible because of my boyfriend and that I had done something massively wrong. So I clean at a hotel for my job at the minute and whilst I was cleaning that room, I couldn’t stop thinking about the situation where I said he was “fit”. And why did I say it but I couldn’t stop these horrible thoughts to the point where i felt I had to stop cleaning that room as the thoughts were getting horrible. I don’t care about him and to be honest, I didn’t even find him attractive. I seen the person again and thought nothing of him, at all. But this was affecting me so much. I told my boyfriend and obviously he hated the thought of it and I broke down. A couple of days after, I told him how I was feeling and he thought I still found him attractive and cared about him. But I had to keep telling him I wasn’t because I wasn’t and I didn’t care. I kept thinking about the situation. But then after, me and my boyfriend spoke about the situation and were happy again, I felt like everything was getting back to normal and I was glad he trusted me and we sorted things. Then I carried it on and kept saying to him, “how come you took it so well, you know it’s still not okay for any of us to find someone else attractive” I still had the thought popping into my head about the situation where I said he was “fit” and I felt guilty and horrible.
    The day after it was dreadful, I kept thinking do I have feelings for this guy, everytime I thought of the situation that happened, I had in my head that the situation turned me on, like you know what I mean. But it didn’t, I feel like my mind tried to convince me it did. I didn’t care about this guy at all and love my boyfriend so much. So that bothered me so much. And now I’m at a point where I feel like my feelings are distant from my boyfriend. When I see him, I have horrible thoughts like “do I love him” but when we are out and just talking me and him, I forget about everything. Sometimes the thoughts do come into my mind but then forget about it when we carry on talking and having fun. But when I wake up next to him, I feel like its hard to feel and show my love as there’s this thing blocking it. I know, deep down I love him so much and I can’t leave him. When I’ve thought about what it would be like if we broke up, I feel like crying. I’ve broke down to him because it’s so hard to deal with all these horrible thoughts and feelings. But even though I have some trust issues, we have always said we will get through it together and we are never breaking up and I know that we won’t because I know I never want to leave him and I can’t imagine myself without him.
    My main worry right now is how distant and faint my feelings are right now and how when I try and feel and show my love, it’s there, but it’s distant and feels like there’s something just blocking it. Please help! I just want this to go so I can carry on with my relationship with the love of my life! It’s day 6 and I’m struggling to get my appetite back as this is affecting me so much! The thought of eating makes me feel sick and I just feel so numb to everything that’s going on around me. I just don’t feel anything. I just feel numb. When I worry about my relationship, and google stuff for reassurance, my anxiety is sky high and I start overthinking, again. I’m constantly thinking what if I’m feeling like this because and then it carries on. Sometimes I am okay and feel a bit positive but feel there is something still there bothering me. Then, when I see my boyfriend, I just have these lost feelings. Ughhhh

    Please tell me how I can get things right and carry on with my relationship

  49. Cauley

    May 14, 2017 at 10:10 pm

    Hi ,I had a panic attack about my relationship and ever since I’ve been questioning everything about us and it’s really destroying my life.I suffer wth depression and anxiety also and I am terrified of the doubt and questioning my love for her.Please help me

  50. Abbey Dooge

    April 11, 2017 at 2:53 pm

    I am 24 having a couple months of anxiety from early 20s kinds of things (job,money,travel, social media) I am in a loving relationship with the man of my dreams for 2 years and suddenly the thought of “do I love him” “is this what I want” popped in my head literally out of nowhere. I’m trying really hard to take in all advice about trying to accept these thoughts but it’s just sitting in the back of my brain. Any advice or excercises on how to kick that thought from my brain? Thanks!

  51. Taylor

    April 7, 2017 at 5:44 pm

    I came across this after googling overcoming ROCD. I was diagnosed with OCD when I was 21, i’m 29 now and have had all types of ocd from contamination, to harm, to religious fears, to pedophilia ocd and homosexual ocd. I’m a mom of 3 now and have been seeing my boyfriend for a few months who I worked with before we started dating. He’s incredible, my kids love him and he loves them. He’s sweet and goofy and I can talk to him about anything. He’s so understanding especially about my OCD. So in every relationship I’ve been in I’ve had the doubts about attraction or is this the right person. Exiting the honeymoon phase worries me because I don’t feel as close to him as I was at the beginning and it scares me. Throughout my past I’ve had the tendency to become obsessed with someone, or the idea that I have feelings for them and want to be with them even though I don’t. I just can’t get the idea out of my head. It’s happening again now with my boss. He’s an older guy who’s funny and nice and we joke around but I keep getting these thoughts or feelings that I have a crush on him or that the reason I’m feeling distant from my boyfriend is because I have feelings for my boss. I don’t want this. I love my boyfriend but I’m questioning everything now from our intimacy to if I still think he’s funny. It’s awful and I hate it. I’ve told him everything and he’s been so understanding which makes me feel worse. I feel guilty. I just want to be confident in knowing that I love him. I really do love him and miss the carefree days we had at the beginning.

  52. Ashlie

    March 28, 2017 at 12:19 am

    Hi Mark,
    Thank you for your inspirational article.
    I am unsure if how I feel is ‘normal’ or if it is a form of OCD that is bullying me.
    All I remember is that, even from a young age, I was always very worried about my parents breaking up, and even had concerns about them having an affair, yet I never understood where these fears came from.
    Now 21 years old, I have had many, short term relationships for someone of my age, and I have always been fearful that the person would fall out of love with me, get bored of me, or cheat on me. It has got to the point where each of these relationships have come to an end, and I feel that the majority of the time this was due to my fears. I always have moments where I freak out and interrogate, seeking reassurance, then a short while after I realise that my behaviour was irrational, but the cycle begins again. I feel so exhausted and I don’t understand how I can change my pattern of thought and behaviours, for example constantly checking my parents social media accounts for any signs that could mean he is being unfaithful, it’s unbearable and I’m sure it’s beginning to push him away too. I really feel like I can no longer go on like this, and I wonder sometimes how I will ever have a happy relationship. I would be very grateful if you could give me your thoughts on this please.
    Many thanks

  53. Perri M.Smith

    March 18, 2017 at 10:59 am

    Although I haven’t been diagnosed with ROCD. I certainly feel like I have it. I constantly analyse everything I do or say to my partner. I keep trying to prove to my self that I love him and I know in my heart that I do love him. I get intrusive thoughts questioning my love for him and keep saying to leave him or that I want to dump him. And I get into moods and I feel really down and upset about it because I know what I want. I just want to smile and be happy with him. I don’t want to worry that I might not love him. I have attacks where I just cry my eyes out because of it. And he has talked to me so many times to try and reassure me but he is struggling on know what to say. He doesn’t know how else to help me. I just hate having these thoughts over run and ruin our relationship. I want to be free of it. This started around late December. And I’ve been doing my best. Just want it to go away so badly. I keep trying to remind my self and prove to my self that I love him, to get the anxious feelings to go away. I keep researching about it (which probably isn’t helping) and I keep trying to find answer to why I feel this then etc. I know I need to stop that. I just want this to go, so that my relationship will be a much brighter and happier one without me worrying 🙂
    Please let me know how I can get over this and get better.

  54. Denise Goswick

    March 12, 2017 at 1:36 pm

    Hi I know I’m suffering from rocd. It started from work. I work with a bunch of guys I’m the only girl. They would flirt with me, be overly nice to me, and be perverted toward me. I am married and working in this environment has started this rocd thoughts toward my marriage. I want to quit my job but my husband and counselor think I should try to overcome it first. What’s your thoughts?

    • Mark Fennell

      March 8, 2019 at 3:14 pm

      It sounds like a challenging environment. However ROCD is a type of ocd and is rooted in a fear. So have a read of my articles here and see how it goes:

  55. Britany

    February 22, 2017 at 3:32 pm

    These are great tips. Thank you. My biggest problem is when I am finally able to come down from a spike, I second guess and say to myself, “Am I lying to myself?” “Do I really not love my wife?” “Am I just suppressing my feelings?” Then the cycle starts back over again. The main reason I feel this is ROCD is because I’ve had HOCD for more than 6 years and it followed this same pattern. Also, this has been the only relationship I’ve been effected by ROCD, I feel this is because this is the 1st relationship that I’ve really felt love. Past relationships, I was able to clearly tell when it was over and gently walk away from.

  56. Mikayl

    February 17, 2017 at 5:16 am

    I have been with my boyfriend for 4 years and I have struggled with jealousy very badly over the past year. I get so upset when I even see him talking to another girl walking down the hallway and I get such bad anxiety even thinking about seeing him with another girl. It has been a constant cycle and no matter how much he says he loves me I just can’t seem to get i through my head and it’s making me so unhappy. I do not know what to do anymore but I think I for sure fall under this category

  57. Angelica

    February 12, 2017 at 12:33 am

    I don’t know if you still help people, but I shot you an email..

    • Mark Fennell

      March 8, 2019 at 3:15 pm

      I do certainly help still so let me know how things are.

  58. Ruby

    February 5, 2017 at 12:13 am

    Hi Mark,

    I just read your article on ROCD from October 2014.

    I just broke up with my boyfriend of 10 months because I was having doubts. I began questioning my feelings for him because I felt like they were not strong enough, but I was scared to continue the relationship thinking my feelings were not going to increase. When I was with him, I never felt more like myself. I felt like I could be completely myself with him and weird and he was totally accepting of me. However, I was really judgmental of him.For example, I thought he bowled weird, I hated that he ate with his mouth open, I thought he talked too much at times or sometimes his jokes were not funny and I found myself getting annoyed with him. I began to focus on these small things and they affected how I saw him or what I felt for him. Sometimes I would have a great time on the date and the next day I would doubts for the entire day.

    For half the time we would be having a great time on a date, but then my doubts would surface. For the most part he has the qualities I want in a man- he knows how to have fun, he likes to try new things, open minded, incredibly intelligent. His sense of humour was also improving.

    Is this ROCD? Is there hope for us to get back together?

    He really wanted to work through the doubts and we talked about them a lot but I could not see a future if I felt the doubts every single day.

    Any advice you could give me would be helpful.

  59. Becca

    January 23, 2017 at 12:21 am

    My boyfriend has this I think… we’re currently long distance and that just makes it so much harder. I don’t know what to do but knowing that in his brain he’s constantly struggling to know whether he really feels what he does for me.. he hates the way I look half of the time. His parents don’t want us together and that doesn’t help. All I really know for sure is it hurts so bad to be on this end of it. We want to get married but I’m afraid that this will stay with him forever and always have an effect on us. Can he take medication or meditate or anything to help?

  60. Sophia

    January 9, 2017 at 12:44 pm

    Hi mark, i sent an email to you. Wondering if you have received it? It was a long email, sorry for that 🙁 but i really need your help.

  61. Claire

    December 17, 2016 at 6:31 am

    I have terrible relationship OCD. I’m 17 years old, when I was 16 I fell in love with a boy in my grade and it was the realist thing I’ve ever felt. I was his first love and I truthfully pictured us being together forever. Towards the middle of our relationship his parents got divorced which took a big toll on him and since I cared for him so much it put a big toll on me trying to make him feel better everyday. Through this I developed OCD mainly towards picking out things in my head that I “supposely” don’t like about him, & also dealing with intrusive thoughts that I just don’t find him attractive even tho I do. We broke up, but towards the end of our relationship the OCD started to fade and when I wasn’t with him I cried because I love him, I would see him and not pick out his flaws. Then, when I recently just got him back after this break up, the symptoms of my OCD came back full force and I don’t know what to do. It’s not fair that I can’t be with someone I love, even though it’s hard for every day and maybe it would be better to be with out him I should be able to be with someone that I want to be, I just don’t know what to do and being so young and I expierced about mental illness makes me want to cry forever because I feel like I can’t live like this

  62. SB123

    December 10, 2016 at 1:03 am

    Hi Mark,

    I’m sorry if this is too long but I could use your help and honest opinion.

    I don’t know whether this is ROCD or not, I have always been an anxious child and adult. Basically I was in a really good relationship which began around 4 months after I split up from my first love(whom I was with for 5 years) I knew at the time it was too soon but we took the relationship really slowly and I had an exchange abroad for 6 months which gave me some distance and time, although I still had some doubts whether to begin relationship with him, I decided I wanted to and on return around a year after we met we made our relationship official.

    I had always had some doubts that it was the right thing because of how soon I met him after my first relationship, but because he was such a loving stable committed guy with whom I had such an amazing time with and laughed with, I wanted to see how the relationship progressed.

    As it went on I developed love feelings for him and knew that I was committed and loving towards him although never had the dizzy ‘in love feelings’ it just felt more mature and steady. We had a great time together and it was just effortless in his company. I felt loved and more importantly for me safe with him. We had a great intimate connection although initially I experienced some panic attacks around this we worked through it. We eventually moved in together and although we had lots of stresses with DIY and jobs stress for 2 years it worked really well I began to think about our future more seriously, having children etc.. we bought another house project together. I still had some niggling doubts what if this isn’t right but was able to brush these aside because the relationship was for the the most part great.

    Unfortunately a year into this project life stress became overwhelming with very emotionally demanding job,bullying boss, post graduate study, house project and trying to sell another house, financial pressures, I had a breakdown resulting in panic attacks and anxiety. when the anxiety hit I started having these thoughts I don’t love him enough, i’m lying to him and myself, I need to leave him, he isn’t the one for me, something bad is going to happen if I stay in the relationship. I started to think what if I stayed and my life was unfulfilled, what if I was making a mistake. What if he really is the wrong man for me. The thoughts were really intrusive and obsessive. Initially the anxiety and panic was so bad I was triggered by hugging or kissing him and sleeping next to him was terrifying. It felt like my safe haven in that I used to be able to have him wrap his arms around me was just gone overnight. I found it hard to decipher if it was my gut or anxiety. I was put on medication which helped a lot.

    However, a few months later I was spiked by my mum asking if I was truly happy ( i wasn’t as I was still recovering from breakdown) we had a short 12 hr breakup but I just didn’t want us to be over so we stayed together.

    Over 6 months with his support I began to get better, I returned to work, switched jobs he moved into his parents I moved into mine and we continued to do up our house together. I had flare ups most months but I managed and 16 months after the breakup I began tapering off my medication. I had times where I felt connected and I could be physically intimate with him again. He proposed this August and I checked wishing myself and the answer was of course yes. I still did not feel the same connectedness as before my breakdown but I knew I did love him and he would be a great person to be married to and certainly a wonderful father.

    Fast forward 3 months and we were due to go on a trip to Japan together. I started to have an spike and intense intrusive thoughts and anxiety I had to leave, it felt like my gut was telling me although there was no logic to it. I felt like I was going to get ill again and just couldn’t go through it again. I ended our now 7 year relationship 5 weeks ago and I’m devastated. I’m still anxious because of the breakup. A big part of me doesn’t want it to be over but often the thought of going back to him makes me feel so anxious because I don’t want to make myself ill.

    Is this ROCD or is it just my anxiety trying to tell me it was not right all along? I cannot tell. All I know is if it really wasn’t right why all the dramatic anxiety? I just got so tired of trying to fight and deal with the thoughts and the painful heartbreaking feelings I gave up. Now all I seem to obsess over is whether I have something wrong with me that justifies breaking up with him meaning there may be a chance we can reconcile.

    • Mark Fennell

      March 8, 2019 at 3:18 pm

      Ok so you can move past this and over time you can get stronger but it takes work and effort on your part. Have a read of my other articles and if you need more help let me know:

  63. Clarissa

    October 28, 2016 at 1:04 am

    Hello! I have been dealing with ROCD for a few months now, and it is genuinely driving me crazy. My parent and I are on a break right now due to the distress this is causing me. In order for me to really explain what’s going on, let me show you my thought pattern:
    -Do I really love her? Yes, yes i do. Well, how do you know? Well i’m not quite sure, I just love being with her and i’m comfortable and making her happy is very important to me. Well is it really? Yes. But would you do ANYTHING for her? Yeah i’d like to think so. I don’t think you would.
    -You didn’t “feel” anything when you two kissed, you must not love her.
    -Are you into someone else? Well, no, i find them attractive but i’m not attracted to them. But are you sure?

    I’m just honestly at my breaking point. I have no idea of reality right now, it’s convinced me that i don’t really love her and it’s driving me insane because i do love her. Please help me!

  64. Marcus jones

    September 17, 2016 at 3:54 pm

    Hello my name is marcus recently my ocd theme has switched to rocd well I think it has I am in a committed relationship with a girl for a year and 2 months now I have recently beat hocd I have never had doubts about my relationship until now my
    I know that I love her more then anything in my life
    I also know that nobody can take her place and I know my relationship has been completely healthy I am extremely close with her and I have told her everything I even made promises with her to marry her and always take care of her. I really don’t want anybody else but her but my mind will throw thoughts at me like is she the right one that thought gives me extreme anxiety
    Is there such things as the right one or is love a choice. Then my mind will also tell me I’m with the wrong girl
    Isn’t love a choice ? Is there such thing as the right one or the perfect partner. Am very happy with my partner I couldn’t wish for better she accepts me for me and loves me for me and I love her the same way so what should I do with these thoughts I know it would be insane to leave her I need advice to beat this and return to my relationship

  65. Ashley

    August 30, 2016 at 4:56 pm

    Hi! I fear I’ve fallen into this ROCD category. Although never diagnosed, I just know. I love my boyfriend but everything inside of me is all “do you really?” “What if you aren’t happy” “what if you’re too young” “what if this isn’t right” yet any time I get close to breaking up with him, i sob and cannot do it. I’d miss him terribly and I destroy something great. If you could drop me an email thatd be great

    • Mark Fennell

      September 16, 2016 at 7:00 pm

      The questioning is anxiety at its best. Constant doubting and second guessing. It stems from fear, fear of “what if”, fear of things we feel we cannot control. My email address is if you feel you need more help let me know your main struggles.

  66. mike

    July 26, 2016 at 4:48 pm

    Hi Mark, I just read your article about ROCD and i think im suffering from that. I started a relationship about 4 months ago with an amazing girl and about 2 months in the relationship she went out with some friends and when i picked her up she said things little insults that kind of triggered something. she did not remember what she had said and when i told her the morning after she felt terrible. since then ive been feeling very anxious about my relationship but also my future with her.Ive asked myself all the questions mentioned in the article and had all the symptoms of anxiety ranging from panic attacks to nights with barely any sleep. i have strong feelings for her but it looks like my brain is doing everything to convince me otherwise. Im at a point where i dont know what to believe anymore. My Girlfriend is coming back this sunday from a 1 month trip and part of me is excited to see her but also terrified that ill be anxious and that things will never be the same. Do you have any tips?

    • Mark Fennell

      April 3, 2019 at 10:17 pm

      The terrified feeling is because you fear “what if” like what if I dont feel love. Its then you remind your self love is a choice and not a feeling. Here are more articles and if you need to chat reach out.

  67. Faith Swenson

    July 20, 2016 at 4:26 am

    I would love to skype sometime about OCD targeting relationships. I have been struggling with OCD for many years and have overcome several manifestations. I loved your article and your tips were helpful.

    Thank you!

  68. June

    July 13, 2016 at 12:43 am

    I am not sure if you are still doing replies but I have recently been struck down with anxiety and OCD diagnosed by my psychologist. I am deffinetly not like myself, the first few weeks I wasn’t eating and sleeping well because I always had so much anxiety swelling through my body and I was worried about being gay and now I’m worried about falling for other people that I once used to talk to. The common thing is that I am so scared of losing my amazing relationship with my partner. He is someone I could see living out the rest of my life with I love him so much, but from starting my study I developed anxiety and then began worrying about it to an extent where it affected my every day life. I worry and fear about falling out of love with him and wanting to leave him. So because of that, people that I once knew or had a crush on me keep popping up in my head like “would they be better for you because he likes things that you like” or “what if you fall for them instead” and whenever those thoughts come into my head I feel so much pain and sadness. I try to acknowledge them as just thoughts but they hurt so much and I want them gone! I just keep trying to find reason for all of these thoughts like “if I’m thinking them a lot then there must be a reason for it”.

  69. Laura Edwards

    June 27, 2016 at 2:29 am

    Thank you so much for your helpful insight on a misunderstood subject like ocd and rocd. I’ve never received professional help and don’t take medication but am self diagnosed. When I figured out what my problem was through the los Angeles ocd website, I realized I’ve had all the symptoms since I was about 5 years old. The recognition alone helped tremendously with learning to cope. Prayer and mindfulness meditation led me to marrying my husband of 3 years. He’s amazing and I’m so grateful that God led me to him and gave me tools to recognize the precious gift he put in front of me. It’s your site and others that encourage me and others more than you know. I’m so grateful to also have a Christian point of view. Thank you and God bless you.

  70. Morgan

    June 17, 2016 at 9:08 pm

    My husband of 6 months has ROCD and when in a state of stress he goes on facebook and looks up to see whats going in her life because he is curious. I am unsure how to handle this. He says he loves me to the moon and back as well as would be devastated if anything happened to our relationship. I believe him. He says I hold his life together and without me, he would break down completely. I am panicking that he still has feelings for his ex although he assured me he doesn’t. Is the curiosity seeded from still lingering feelings for his ex? Or is it regret for marrying me? Please help. I am unsure what to do. Thank you.

    • Mark Fennell

      September 16, 2016 at 7:04 pm

      Sorry to hear of your situation. But it is fixable, and it takes two. ROCD is a fear, which causes obsession. This can lead to obsessing over the past, like things like an ex or other situations in the past. This is all the fruit of ROCD. My advice would be for him to talk to somebody, I would be glad to help. My email is

  71. Ericka

    June 6, 2016 at 3:01 pm

    Hello I believe I suffer from rocd. I started off with having to have everything perfect in my house or the fridge a certain way (sounds funny to say) . I’ve been married 7 years next week and with my husband 8 years total we have a little girl . I have talk to my primary care Dr and he seems to think it’s my hormones and won’t prescribe me zoloft or a anti depressent he only gave me buspar and Xanax which both give me terrible vivid nightmares or my husband cheating and make me worse . My symptoms are I am always having thoughts when I see a new girl around ..does he want to be with her ? Am I not good enough ? What if he is getting her number ? I always feel the need to be around him even when he goes to the bathroom I am right there making sure he’s not texting other women I know he loves me and he tells me I am bring stupid he loves me but me constantly talking about it all the time is driving him insane bc I am always saying something like do u like her etc …. it’s got so bad at one point I was checking his texts through online and calling those numbers to make sure it was not women I did this about a year ago … sometimes at night I lay in bed up all night and picture a certain women in my head and will start shaking and become sick to my stomach. It’s redicoulous and I am sick of it . I want to be the woman I use to know that he use to know I never had jeleousy now I am jeleous about everything it seems . We have worked together for 5 years nearly and so I get thoughts about women here older younger it doesn’t matter please help !

  72. Sarah

    June 3, 2016 at 2:41 pm

    What a great blog. i have suffered with ROCD for at least 20 years on and off. Married for 19. The good is very good but when having a blip all the old bad stuff comes out again. I’m having my OCD blip at mo. I’m coping with it. What makes it even harder is that I’m training to be a CBT therapist! My actual therapist is my supervisor so he can’t be my therapist anymore. I told him that’s fine as I know all the answers which I do! I’m just struggling to get my anxiety down and to not engage in my thoughts. The way it works is i have a thought eg do I really love him as not feeling at the moment. Can’t find evidence that I do so the thought makes you anxious. Behaviours might be checking for that love feeling, can’t find it and don’t believe that I felt it when I said I did and So anxiety goes up. I know The trick is to change your reaction to the thought. We can’t stop our brain thinking but we react to something telling us that it’s something to be scared of then every time that thought comes we get more scared. So just let the thoughts be. I have to be ok with them. It’s impossible to find that feeling when you try to or try to manufacture it. So got to be my own therapist again! its just hard. Your blog really helped.

  73. Priyanka ghosh

    May 31, 2016 at 10:02 am

    I had an abusive childhood. Felt rejected all the time. And by the time I was 15 yrs old,started dating ppl n hunting for love.continued this for over 10yrs and after marriage also.Now I am 30yrs old and whenever I can sense the desired person is going out of my life,I simply go to any extent to get him back.become completely obsessed. Going through a touch time.can you please help….

    • Mark Fennell

      March 8, 2019 at 3:00 pm

      Have a read at other blogs on my website and if you need to book in for a one to one coaching session let me know.

  74. Kara

    May 27, 2016 at 4:45 am


    How refreshing it is to stumble across this site. It took me a while to figure it out, but I realized I have rocd. I was diagnosed with OCD when I was about 12 (this includes many compulsions..hand washing, re-tracing steps, intrusive thoughts, etc.). I’ve developed some great coping mechanisms over the years. It took me a long time and it was quite debilitating, but I am now 29 and I feel stronger than ever with dealing with this disease. I never realized Rocd existed until I started searching about it. I have dated some great guys, but rocd seems to take over the moment I get really close with them. I’m currently in an 8 month relationship with a great guy, but it’s been rocky due to my racing mind. I know I love him, but I need to shake this current episode because I am experiencing panic attacks and physical sickness. I guess I just wanted to briefly share a little bit about my situation and let others know they are not alone. It is the disease. Don’t let it win and persevere.

    • Mark Fennell

      March 8, 2019 at 3:01 pm

      Have a read at other blogs on my website and if you need to book in for a one to one coaching session let me know. There is also a video i made at this link here:

  75. Beth

    May 27, 2016 at 12:03 am

    Hi, is it possible to email you? If so, what is your email address?

  76. Tarniot

    May 23, 2016 at 4:37 pm

    Hi, i have been suffering for 6 months now and still doesnt get any easier and it kills me to think ill always feel this way but if feeling like this forever means i get to keep my wife im gunna have to face that

  77. BAD2G4E

    May 18, 2016 at 4:39 am

    Hi. I’ve been with my partner for about 8 years now and I’d like to know if you believe I have ROCD. It all started July 18 of last year. A family member called me and said that “God told him I had a husband, and that I should leave my partner”. After speaking with him, I called another family member who “prayed” for me. She asked God to place despair on my and my partner’s heart. it all went downhill after that. Around November, I started questioning every single thing about my relationship. I literally became obsessed with everything from intuition, to gut instincts, dreams, numbers, signs and lots of other things. I started to monitor my every thought and feeling. I became obsessed with the need to know what to do. I became obsessed with finding answers. I started thinking maybe I should leave, but I don’t want to leave. I started thinking maybe I’m in the wrong relationship. It caused me hours and hours of pain to think about hurting my partner, because on top of it all I never stopped believing we belonged together.
    One day I sat at my computer and cried my heart out as I admitted out loud that I did not want to be with her any longer. It hurt because the thought came from no where and I had no idea why I was saying this. I love my partner with my whole heart and I want our relationship to escape this never ending cycle. It’s as though I have a couple of great weeks and then I see something on TV and I restart the search. I read article after article about what to do and what my feelings are saying and when to leave a relationship knowing damn well that I will not leave because what we have is truly special.
    To wrap things up, I’d like to say that I have always had obsessive traits. As a child I remember wishing my mom would die, or crying because I thought a serial killer had got to her or at the age of 8, thinking I was pregnant without having had any sexual contact with anyone. I also have looked out onto my balcony many nights and seen someone by the pool only to stay up all night panicking and hoping he doesn’t break in. We had a new neighbor move in about a month ago and I was convinced he would break into our apartment and rape me; and my partner is so loving and understanding. She comforts me and helps me realize how ridiculous most of my thoughts are. Any Advice? Thanks in advance.

  78. Ilse

    May 12, 2016 at 3:47 pm

    Hi Mark,
    I’ve been with my fiancé for over a year now and engaged since last August. I’ve had OCD about my relationships before, but not as bad as in this one.
    Before, when I had an OCD spike about him, it was always really black and white. Black for really bad and white for really good. Since my last spike ended I didn’t go back to white but stayed in a sort of grey area, so to say.
    I became really irritated and annoyed with my fiance during the last spike. At the time I didn’t like him so much. I’ve been doing better and like him a lot more again, but it seems that annoyed part of me didn’t really pass. So when I used to like his hugs and closeness, something in me screams that I have to get away. But why? When I hug him or kiss him (on my initiative) it’s like the old days. I feel awful and such a bitch when I turn him away and I often cry in bed after I turned him down again when we wants to cuddle. Maybe it’s not OCD and I just don’t like him anymore. It doesn’t make me as anxious anymore, but on the other hand it kinda does.
    I’ve never been in this weird limbo phase.. Is it OCD? How do I get rid of this negative feeling towards him?
    Also, our wedding is in September and I also get these thoughts about making a mistake doing it. But I would never want to postpone or cancel the wedding or even leave him. I want this ‘lovey-dovey’ feeling back…

  79. Amy

    April 26, 2016 at 9:37 am

    Hello I’m quite sad to write this but twice l have sent a comment asking for help but both have been ignored and my last message has disappeared. Thankfully my cbt has started. I just wondered what l had done wrong

    • Mark Fennell

      March 8, 2019 at 3:03 pm

      Thanks Amy for your comment I’m not sure what happened. Hope you are keeping well.

  80. Pam

    April 20, 2016 at 12:17 pm

    Hi, As previous post I will make as short as possible. Met my husband when he was a patient of mine many years ago. I am a nurse. Also I was engaged to be married with another guy who I had been dating for years, but was not happy about my upcoming wedding. We went out a couple of times and I ended my relationship with my fiancé. I have to say I never regretted this breakup and never looked back. We have been married for over 30 years Have 3 beautiful kids, graduated from college and in wonderful relationships. Our lives are our kids and we do whatever we can for them as most parents do. My problem is embarrassing but I have not been attracted physically to my husband for a very long time. I am seeing a therapist because I so doubt my love, but would never leave him, as I do not believe in divorce. My thoughts are so consuming from the time I wake up until I sleep at night. Yes I have just told him my feelings and he was better than I thought he would be. I am on an anti depressant hoping my obsessive thoughts will reside. He is kind, loving etc. but my physical attraction is nothing. I do not even like him or consider him my friend and he does absolutely nothing wrong. Please please give me some direction. I am on Wellbutrin for about 6 weeks now to help with these intrusive thoughts. I feel people think he is not attractive because he is balding which I feel so ashamed and guilt because it is just such a shallow thought. Please give me some advice as he is so wonderful to me and our kids.

  81. Emily

    April 11, 2016 at 6:06 pm

    Hi I was looking at the symptoms for this abd I think I am currently suffering from ROCD. I am 19 and in a long distance relationship with my boyfriend. The last time we met I had a very troubling week and I think I was experiencing a form of ocd with my past where I kept telling him everything about my past and if I remembered something I’d have to tell him no matter how bad it was or the guilt would eat me alive. If I ran out of things to say I would always be anxious and think I was forgetting something. When I went to meet him it felt like my brain completely switched it felt different to the other times like something was missing. I love him so much but on the train bsck I didn’t miss him at all and this absolutely terrified me. It has been a month and I find myself crying nearly every day in thought that I’m falling out of love. He’s so supportive and understanding but I really fear i will lose him. I constantly test things like checking to see of I feel anything when he messages or over analysing how excited I am when he calls. I know deep down I still love him but 2 days ago we skyped and I think it’s triggers or something but I felt extremely empty and this terrified me so much. Some days I feel fine but then it’s like a wave that takes over randomly where I’m trapped in these horrible thoughts and paranoia. Yesterday night I felt I lost complete control of my senses and thought I no longer cared for him so said I wanted to break up but then after when my head cleared I couldn’t believe I felt that like it was an alien feeling. I’m so terrified I will feel it again and I find myself getting paranoid like I never miss him anymore and I think it’s because I’ve overanalysed my feelings that I’ve just been left completely empty. I think it’s getting worse because now my brain tells me not to reply when he messages to see if I’ll panic or not care and it’s really distressing me. I couldn’t concentrate at all at college I try occupying myself but I nearly croed in lesson today and had to leave. I get paranoid over tiny things and the past 3 weeks I keep telling myself if we meet next and I felt like how I did before I want to end my life. But now it feels like this emptiness is getting worse and I wold rather die than lose love. During the day it’d constant battles between of course I’m in love with him then suddenly switching to distressing thoughts. This is the worst pain I’ve ever felt and Id rather be how I was in 2014 (severely depressed before I met my bf) than feel this bc I would die if I fell out of love with my boyfriend. I love him so much and he is a rare gem but I just feel so empty towards him sometimes. When I researched about this and read peoples experiences any negative outcomes like “I never got the feelings back” or “I ended it since I wasn’t in love” makes my heart sunk because I don’t want that to be me. I was so sure about wanting to marry my boyfriend but since that day my mind has been clouded with distress. I don’t want to break up with my boyfriend or fall out of love and I force the feelings out which makes it worse. Im so terrified that by next week I won’t feel anything at all and it’s getting worse and I want to desperately spend the rest of my life with him but how do I get rid of this. This will sound ridiculous but I’m also very terrified that if this rocd goes that I’m not actually in love with him and sometimes in my head I want to test stupid things like breaking up for a week to see if I’d miss him but I’m so terrified to do it because Im scared I won’t. I feel so hopeless and distressed all the time it’s like my head is making me go insane. :(((

  82. Lydia Wilks

    April 10, 2016 at 7:11 am

    Hi Mark, would you be able to shoot me an email?
    Thank you in advance.

    • Mark Fennell

      March 8, 2019 at 3:04 pm

      no problem.

  83. Allysa

    March 17, 2016 at 5:28 am

    Hello, I’m not sure if you still check these comments but I thought I’d give it a try. Anyway, I am a 20 year old female and for the past 2 months I have been struggling with the thought that I don’t love my partner. The thought suddenly popped in my head one night and ever since then I can’t shake it. Everything was fine in our relationship, we even got engaged a few weeks before I started having these thoughts. I know deep down that these thoughts are caused by OCD, but it’s been so long that it’s hard to not believe them. In the beginning (once I began to have the thoughts) I could easily tell myself that they were simply just thoughts, but now not so much. A few weeks ago I stopped having the thoughts and everything was fine for about a week, I felt happy again and even thought to myself how crazy I was for ever thinking those thoughts. However, after a few days the thoughts crept back in. I do have moments of clarity when I know I love him, but then the thoughts pop in and I feel like I was lying, or faking.I have struggled with OCD symptoms of all kinds since I was a child, but have never been diagnosed. I really want to get rid of these thoughts and just be happy again. Do you have any information or tips that could help me? Also, do you believe I have ROCD?
    Thank you!

  84. Allysa

    March 16, 2016 at 6:48 pm

    Hello, around 2 months ago I had a sudden thought of “what if I don’t love my partner” hours before that I remember thinking how lucky I was to have such an amazing guy, and how much I loved him. This thought popped in my head, and ever since then I can’t stop thinking about it. I have constant worries about whether it is true or not. I spend countless hours researching ROCD. About three weeks ago the thoughts stopped for a few days and everything was fine, I even thought to myself how crazy I was for ever having those thoughts. But then they came creeping back, and I have been struggling ever since. I also struggle with other forms of OCD. I have talked to my partner multiple times about what I am going through and he is very understanding. I just want to feel happy and in love again. I have moments of clarity when I’m with him where I know I love him, but then the thoughts will come back and I feel like it was all fake. Any information would help. Thanks

  85. Marlene

    March 14, 2016 at 11:17 pm

    Please message me back I have been having intrusive thoughts and all I want is to be how it used to be

  86. Amy wright

    March 11, 2016 at 12:57 pm

    Hello Mark thank you for interesting article. I have been struggling with hocd for along time. At the moment it’s under control but just recently met a man and now developed rocd.I’ve been on a waiting list for over 30 weeks for cbt. So if you could possibly help it would be very much appreciated. Thank you 🙂

  87. Johnny

    March 6, 2016 at 1:01 am

    Love the site Mark. Pretty sure I’m suffering from ROCD I’ve had H-OCD in the past and now in my last two relationships I’ve had incessant doubts/fears of how I’m feeling or if the relationship is “right.” Please let me know if we can skype sometime.

  88. manu

    March 4, 2016 at 11:03 pm

    Hello, I’m Manuela a girl of 24 years.
    It started two years ago, two hours later that I had been with him and felt love him a lot but after two hours comes over me a sense of anguish (although during the week I’d had kind ‘thoughts if you do not cry while quarrel then do not love him ‘), suddenly a little voice told me that maybe I loved him more, I had images and thoughts that made me throw up and in fact lost six pounds in a week.
    while text with him how I feel, and not to feel emotions sends me into a panic .. I also had moments though where I felt love again but then I put in doubt as well, it’s like I want to love him but I can not, then I happened to cross looks of other kids and think that maybe I left my boyfriend for them all this anguish and anxiety, crying, afraid to dress well because my head was saying chelo doing to get noticed by others, so I went to elegant dress not treat me much fear to do it for other kids and betray him.
    Only the thought of how we were before all this crying. because I wanted this guy for eight years before being together for 2 years and felt emotions being with him and I knew I loved him, then precisely on July 2 after these two years broke out all over … according to my psychologist have stressed the university and pour everything in my relationship, I’m with her for a year and she thinks’ who does not love does not fear ‘and I was diagnosed with obsessive / phobic … telling me to’ confirm fear ‘when they are with him. quado I’m afraid is very sick and I have to throw up in fact I take medicines. I am obsessed by the fear of falling in love with other guys at work, not to feel emotions when I see it and I always control my body and my mind. Sometimes I fear that I do not like the most and it seems ugly his face but then I obsess about the emotions that are the thing that put me more anxiety. anxiety fact often came to him and let him have been more wrong! After one day we came back together because I would rather die than not be with him. Always ask everyone if I love, what is love and I respect … for a period I was afraid that it was not love but only possessive jealousy (because I’m terrified to be with another if we leave, I’d die) when people tell me ‘you love him’ I feel better right away with a push, a force inside that tells me that I love him, but then I come to fear that it is not true love and is anxious me …
    when we go on vacation together I’m better, I spent a happy week with him safe to love him, I felt emotions of happiness but then returned home.
    lately I fear that when I feel positive emotions is the doc to create them and therefore are not true … and I’m so scared because I do not know to hold on …
    I also have low desire, we do a once a week and every time I have a lot of anxiety, then let myself go and sometimes it’s beautiful and I want to tell him that I love him
    he and I are very compatible intellectually, we understand each other very well and we are accomplices … but I’m so afraid that I do not love him under the doc, so I’m afraid to heal
    I do not want to leave, I would love him … but now I can hardly even see the future with him for fear that I … basically, deep down a little voice tells me that I love him but I’m afraid it’s an illusion because sometimes it seems really did not love him, do not try anything, and I suffer so much
    how can I do? It is destroying my life all this … I live in fear of not loving him and I do not know how to heal because it scares me

    • Mark Fennell

      March 8, 2019 at 2:59 pm

      Have a read at other blogs on my website and if you need to book in for a one to one coaching session let me know.

  89. samy22

    March 2, 2016 at 5:29 am

    Hello ! PLEASE HELP ME…! (I’m Italian but I hope you can understand)
    I am a girl of 22 years and for two years I fight against the doubts about my relationship, focused on the aesthetic!!
    I and Paul at the beginning we were just acquaintances and he physically did not like it, then by the time knowing him I started to see it nice and wanting to be with him for months and months, I hoped and suffered but he did not return to me and it was my best friend. then to forget I was busy with another guy but I did not feel anything for him. paul seeing that boy declares his love for me and I burst of anxiety and happiness at the same time. happy because I liked a lot and anxious because he had said ‘love’ and I did not know if what I felt was love! I was wondering ‘how do I know if I love him if we have not kissed?’ ‘And if I do not love him?’
    I start to feel bad at school when I see it, I have stomach pain, fear, and suddenly the valentines day I look at him and see his face UGLY! and I did not understand how it was possible because I liked him so much. Thus began my obsession, the fixed control face at various angles (front, three-quarter profile) controls on my feelings with him, the search for evidence on mieiPaolo does not fall in the characteristics of the ‘nice guy’ because it is not very high , it is slender and looks a bit nerdy. I am a very insecure girl and paranoid about my physical appearance and character and suffer for fear of judgments… When we got engaged, then burst two fears, to see him ugly and the people to think that it is bad and that I really loved him. but despite all the fear I felt that my feelings were important. we were a year and a half together with this obsession and then he leaves me and I suffer so much (I lose pounds, I cry, anxiety) and for a continuous year waiting for him and do everything to get it back and sometimes I obsessed about how much I missed ‘and if I do not miss enough? ‘ then after a year back Paul and I again feel both anxiety and happiness,I was hoping to end the obsession and instead after the first kiss again return the facial controls and fear. and now we are together for two years. Each time I hope to see him beautifull when put my eyes on him but often I see him ugly and a few times beautifull , so I think ‘and if I see bad because I do not love him?’ ‘And if I do not like enough physically?’ (Obsessions) ‘and if all they see bad and we misjudge?’ (Paranoia). his face is a round little and that’s why when the front known cheeks protrude and it seems that I do not like, and I see it as a whole ‘not nice’ and I feel discomfort and doubts. instead his profile reassures me because I always like (not seen protruding cheeks) therefore always control his face as the main obsession, but I also doubt about my feelings even though I swear I’m fine with it, there is complicity between us, tenderness and desire … we kiss and make love. it is as if my head is a mess but my body knew how he wants because I want it and I am tender with him. But this view it bad makes me doubt and obsess and I’m scared.
    thankfully at times I see it still as good, such as when sleeping next to me or a few seconds / minutes / hours when we’re together … but I’m afraid it can not really please me his face … and I do not know how to do.
    I’m in therapy for a year (tbs) and the psychologist diagnosed me doubt pathological obsessive, she says that my relationship is healthy and that I do not hear the head but also says ‘only the doubts removed you can see if you love him’ and this scares me to heal obsession. are blocked because for me he is important, sometimes dream the future with him and I get excited sincerely … because basically I’m okay with Paul, at times I am really happy to be with him because we are very accomplices … but my head whirls, and I see his face sometimes ugly and I hate the idea that removing the disorder may find that I do not like really.
    Only a few times, I am convinced that it is love, the rest of the time are constant checks and doubts

    please help me, also I feel lonely because few people are so obsessed by the physical aspect of the partners 🙁

    • Mark Fennell

      March 4, 2016 at 4:14 pm

      and thank you for your email. I speak with hundreds of peopl whom suffer with the same thing and the good news is it will pass. How long it takes I dont know but it will 🙂 There is actually nothing wrong with his looks for you, it is just the anxiety fieled obsession trying to fault find and when it finds nothing it creates possibilities. If you need more help drop me an email. Hope this helps, Mark

  90. Aileen

    January 5, 2016 at 4:25 am

    Hey Mark

    Well, my name is AC. I was diagnosed with both OCD at the age of seven, and was told I have a great grasp of my disorder. That’s very true, but I think it’s both a blessing and a curse; it keeps me from believing the thoughts, but knowing it’s bullshit is incredibly frustrating!

    I’ve had a fair few “forms” of OCD, as it were; the contamination one (my hands will never be the same!), the thoughts-telling-you-to-harm-your-loved-ones type. It’s always been there, in the side-lines. But there never has been a force more unholy and powerful as relationship OCD.

    I’ll refer to the boyfriend as Himself, to keep his name private.We’ve known each other since childhood, but it was when we were fifteen when we started dating on and off, and only in the past two years we have gotten more committed. The rOCD has been there since the start; at first I didn’t know what it was. I just had this crazy notion that Himself would beat my ass (which he wouldn’t, by the way, he’s a wuss. Haha!) I went to a lovely shrink who said I was putting barriers up, so I bailed. Only realized a month later that was complete and utter shite. We stayed in that weird, uncomfortable realm of “just friends” for over a year, then tried again. Then, my Little Friend returned! I still didn’t know what rOCD was, but I knew something was not right, I said to my mom, without researching first: “I think it’s OCD.” A google search later, and I discovered my plight, and have been fighting rOCD since.

    Himself and me (or is it Himself and I?) went through all those weird motions of being friends some more even though that was clearly not what we wanted. It wasn’t until our eighteenth year that we said being friends was all for naught, and, despite a few setbacks and short breaks, we’ve been together since. The setbacks were, thankfully, not rOCD related.

    Let’s just say that I’m mad about the boy. No, he’s not perfect, but I love him all the more for it. I only keep falling for him harder, which seems impossible but eh! He’s my best friend, and the most important person in the world to me. We’re extremely close; I trust him with my life. I feel that I don’t want anyone else. I feel blessed to have gotten lucky the first time around, which is funny to me, because I didn’t even LOOK for him; I just decided to give him a chance, thought he was cute and eventually things just built from there! We’re incredibly similar in some ways that it’s uncanny; grumpy, cynical human versions of Garfield, both with kind hearts and unexpected squishy centres. Yet, we also hold different qualities that balance us out; he’s more grounded and realistic, I’m overly imaginative and negative. I am a chatterbox, he’s usually ridiculously quiet. Sometimes the tables turn, and he’s too chatty and I’m like SHUT YOUR MOUTH! haha 😛 We have different interests, but that’s not a big deal for me (although it can pop up in my Obsessions Box). He makes me feel happy, and I feel most content when with him. He can make me smile at the drop of a hat. I love just sitting with him, being with him. I love his company, I love his laugh, I love his smile. I love how grumpy he can be and how unexpectedly hyper. I love him as a person, as a friend, as more than that. To paraphrase Chandler from “Friends”, everything feels so RIGHT. I’m really happy with him; anxious, but happy. It’s not perfect, he’s not perfect, but I can see through the cracks, and he’s beautiful.

    Then my Little Friend comes in. Believe you me, I’ve gone through every single rOCD thought in the book. I’m a textbook case, really. Every article I’ve read, every forum I’ve visited, Guy Doron’s website – it’s like they stalked my brain and wrote all that shit down, all of it! I said to Himself; imagine if Pixar made an “Inside Out” sequel about my brain? He promptly told me it’s be rated 18, and that sums it up really.

    It’s brutal. When I’m on my own, especially, it’s very hard. More like excruciating. When I’m with Himself, it’s much calmer; my former CBT therapist told me that’s proof the thoughts are meaningless, and I believe she’s right. It’s kind of like ERP, in a way, only I get more out of it. When with him, I feel happy, the thoughts are there but they don’t hurt half as bad (usually). It’s as soon as I come home, my Little Friend barges in and starts wrecking the place. God it gets so loud… the thoughts can be new ones, old ones, thoughts in Wolf’s Clothing (same thoughts in a different context). They can come one at a time, all at once. I can obsess on one thing for months, days, or even just a half hour, Then, when it’s gone (like if I’m with Himself, or I’m just having a good day) it’s bliss, until another obsession comes in, and the whole thing starts all over. I’m triggered both internally and externally, by anything and everything. It’s a mess, a hot mess.

    I’m a veteran, mind you; I’ve been fighting for over five years. I believe, that the closer I get to Himself, the happier I become, it grows stronger. I hope I’m making sense. It makes sense to me, at least.

    My thoughts can be like:
    * Do I not love him?
    * Am I unhappy with him/you ARE unhappy with him
    * Will this work?
    * is he the “One”?
    * What if we end up fighting a lot?
    * should I see other people, even though I don’t want to? (stems from me thinking he’s my first boyfriend, which of course doesn’t matter, but it triggers thoughts regardless)
    *How do you know if he’s the Right One? If you’re thinking this it must men he ISN’T the Right One?!! That means you don’t love him, that’s it, game over. But I know that’s not true… I know it!
    * Oh, he didn’t laugh at my joke. Ok, that’s bad. That’s VERY bad.

    That’s only a sneak peek!

    If I get anxious around him, I get upset out of guilt and frustration, which leads to me thinking I’m unhappy with him, which makes me MORE upset. I calm down and relax eventually, but whatever made me anxious, or even just the guilt, sticks to me.

    This years main obsession was centred around humour; if he doesn’t find me funny, is that bad? Does it mean anything? It faded when we went away for our first weekend, and we had a good laugh, I realized it was a silly worry. Oh it’s still there, just not as strong.

    I’m not free of course, I panic about if he’s the One or not, which is funny since I don’t believe in that concept. The way I see it, I love him, he loves me, I’m happy with him regardless of my anxiety and condition. It’s going good, getting better but my mind won’t fuck off! I can give contrasting evidence for EACH worry, but it doesn’t stop the tsunami of doubt.

    *You don’t know if he’s the One – no, I don’t. So? I’m happy with him, that’s what matters.
    *You’re not happy – the evidence is against you, thought. He makes me happy, I love his company, I feel content with him, I hate leaving his side. FIGHT ME.
    * Do you see yourself with him ten years from now? – that’s irrelevant.
    * Is he what you want? – well, I want to be with him
    * He’s your first; how do you know he’s what you want? Should you see others? How do you know? – So what if he’s my first? I want to be with him, I have no interest in seeking out others right now. Why should I see others when that’s not what I want? If he’s not what I want, then why does he make me so happy, and why do I want to be with him?

    Don’t get me started on “not quite right experiences.”

    What do I do? I ruminate, seek reassurance, google, pick my thumb, mumble mantras, withdraw, get emotional, reassure himself and I that I love him very much.

    Yet, despite all this mental torture, my heart is happy; dear god, I love this man. I want to see him to tell him how much I love him, to hold him and get close to him. He’s so much more than my boyfriend, and this feels much deeper than love to me. I’m not with him for any stupid reason, I’m with him because I WANT to be, because of how happy he makes me despite my condition. He embodies who I am, who I admire, who I respect the most. I adore this man. I can live without him, I just don’t want to. He is my light, my darkness, my day and my night. I’m so lucky to have him. I fall for him more every day. He’s the reason I smile, the reason I fight my OCD daily. I love him, even when he’s being an arse.

    I love him, my OCD can’t change that. I want him, my thoughts can’t ruin that. He makes me happy, my anxiety can’t overshadow that.

    He’s my first, and he ma be my last. The thoughts scare me, but I’m excited to find out; bring on the horizon.

    With him, I’m home. I may have rOCD, but rOCD doesn’t have me.

    TL;DR: I’m happy with my boyfriend, hope to have a future with him, but my rOCD is a fucknugget and my anxiety gets on my nerves.

    Thank you for reading 🙂


    AC 🙂

    p.s. Here’s a great example of my rOCD. I met up with Himself on the 29th. The weather was awful (I hope you’re in no way effected), so he had to stay over at mine. Before we met, I was shitting bricks. That changed upon meeting. There was no anxiety. None. It was bliss. I felt so happy and content. When he want home the next day, it felt as though I lost a limb, I missed him, but the anxiety started creeping back: was it just lust? what if it was just a once off bit of happiness? The other day, I decided to watch him on Twitch or YouTube or whatever. Now, Twitch (a livestream videogaming website) makes me feel like Big Brother, so it is rather strange to watch your fella live. Then there’s YouTube which is equally strange for me due to the personal link with who I was watching: Oh I know him, now I’m watching him play videogames, how odd! So I feel anxious. I start to panic. So I was there, simmering, when the thought popped in “you shouldn’t love him/like him.” What utter bull, but it stuck with me like glue. So I was happy as a pig in *ahem* when with him, then THIS happens. Don’t get me started on when I DO get anxious around him… the guilt makes it so much worse. It’s a right pain. I know I’m happy with him, so I can’t say I’m unhappy with him because that’s not true, but I’m scared to admit I’m happy with him for fear it’s a lie. UNGH. If this isn’t rOCD, then I’m a potato.

    Sorry for the novel. Any help would be highly appreciated! I’ve been following Stuart Ralph, a fellow rOCD sufferer, who gives great advice. I feel, even though I’m an rOCD vetran, that I need to get help. I love my fella and I don’t want rOCD to tear us apart; I need to learn to, um, NOT fight!

  91. Lindsey

    November 18, 2015 at 11:10 pm

    Hey mark! What is your email. I’d love to chat with you about my current relationship

  92. Gabriel M.

    October 24, 2015 at 9:19 pm

    Hi, lately I’ve been having a lot of anxious thoughts about my 5-month-old relationship and it’s turning my life into a living hell. Right now I have a lot of things going on in my life (starting college,etc) and to add up to that I’ve been having a lot of relationship doubts on an extreme level. It started a little more than a month ago: we were going to spend the night together and when we went to be I started getting extremely anxious and wondering if i really loved her. I couldn’t sleep that night because I kept shaking and having that anxiety attack. Before that I was sure that I did, we were in that infatuation stage of the relationship, but since that night I can’t stop thinking about it. A few days later I started feeling better and was able to spend time with her without worrying too much (though always outside the house, going on small dates and stuff) but a month later after the first incident it happened again when we were alone at her place, which terrified me. I’m constantly paranoid that I might not love her after all, that I’m just convincing myself that I love her, and sometimes that she’s going to break up with me because she doesn’t love me. I’ve had several nightmares in which she leaves me, and I feel devastated every time. There have been times in which I’m with her and I feel very happy and relaxed. But then the anxiety comes back. Me and my girlfriend have a very healthy relationship, we never had any bad fights and we communicate a lot. She’s very loving and understanding and probably my best friend. I don’t want to lose her, but I keep wondering whether I should break up with her or not because these obsessive thoughts suck the joy out of the relationship and I feel like I’m not being a good boyfriend and that I could be lying to her.

    Does this sound like ROCD to you? I’ve never dealt with any type of OCD before (though my brother suffers from it), but I did do some research and I strongly identify with the symptoms. I’d like to have a skype or e-mail session with you because I feel lost and I want to save this relationship.

    Thank you so much for reading and I await your reply.

  93. Justin

    October 17, 2015 at 7:11 am

    Thanks for the article, it helps to know im not the only one. I live in constant fear of hurting anyone i may be with because of ROCD and doubts i get. Ive had everykind of ocd you can think of, handwashing, harm, eveything. But this one is starting to get worse. I used to fall head of heels for girls, but then a relationship i had that immediatly started with doubt because of a difference in religion(and i hadent been in a relationship for 4 years prior to that) messed me up completley. Or at least i think, because now anytime im with a girl i get doubt immediately because im worried if she is the one(as i initially thought the relationship that screwed me up was). Im currentley seeing a new girl and dont know what to do. Im atracted to her but i wonder how much, i fear i dont like her as much as i thought. Its really hard to know the difference between the ocd and real feelings is my biggest problem i think. Idk if i should tell her my ocd story, Just break up with to tske the stress away or keep fighting and hope it works out. I dont wanna hurt her. Idk if were too diff. Also, i game, she doesnt, she drinks and smokes e cig i dont. We have other stuff in common tho. Any advice?

  94. Alyce

    October 5, 2015 at 9:58 am

    Hi Mark,

    Can I please email you directly through email? Ive been in a relationship for a year now and we are really compatible and dont have hardly any problems but I cant stop thinking negative thoughts like What if i break up with my boyfriend because of these thoughts? What if i dont love him etc? Its like i have this fear of losing him and just me thinking of the thought makes me emotional like crying with devastation. In the past i had a relationship where i was in love but due to religion and his parents we had to break up as they got him an arranged marriage. So i had to let him go.

    Kind Regards


  95. just me

    September 21, 2015 at 11:11 am


    I am already married to the most loving, caring and reliable man and suffering from rocd. Or I really hope this is rocd.

    I have had different doubts during our whole relationship. And in all my three previous relationship, which I have ended myself. But I have also felt that my husband is the best man for me and he has been always so supportive.

    The biggest issue has been that I started to see dreams about my first boyfriend since we got married. I thought that I was really over that guy, but in my dreams we are together again and it feels good. I have felt terrible guilty about these dreams. And it has made me doubt that I have made a mistake.

    I really loved my first boyfriend, and we had very dramatic on/off relationship, but he did not treat me well and I could not trust him anymore even though I had very strong feeling toward him, so I decided to end the relationship.

    My relationship with my husband has been much more stable and healthier. And he treats me very well. I would like to be present with my wonderful husband and son. Please help me.

    Sorry about my english.

  96. beth

    September 20, 2015 at 3:07 pm

    Hi.not sure if this is rocd .its my first dating and real relationship experience.i had a 6 year online relationship experience that ended becoz he met someone i met someone35 years my senior.we not in official relationship coz we super question each other we had a three weeks text and dating im always thinking if he feels the same way.he says he cares and itmakes me sick everytime we dnt speak online.we find ourselved super analyzing every little convo we do i deal with this.its disrupting my routine already.

    • Mark Fennell

      October 12, 2015 at 10:01 pm

      It seems you need to relax and just go with it. You may be a bit paranoid as you don’t want to lose him. Try learn to relax and remember if it’s meant to be it will be. Controlling your yourself and try not let yourself obsess over the unknown.

  97. Lauren Ray

    September 15, 2015 at 1:09 pm

    I’d like to email you personally. What is your email address? Thank you

    • Mark Fennell

      September 16, 2015 at 7:50 pm you’ve got mail 🙂

      • Sophie

        June 19, 2017 at 6:26 pm

        Hi I emailed you a while back please let me know if you get my email.

        • Mark Fennell

          March 8, 2019 at 3:07 pm

          Hope all is well. Get in touch if you need to.

  98. Mia

    August 13, 2015 at 6:26 pm

    Hi, I don’t know if you still check this but I could use your help with my ROCD. I’ve suffered every single day for 3 months and I feel like it’s winning. I feel like every day I move closer to breaking up with him. I’m so scared that’s my clarity. At the beginning I knew I loved him, I know I didn’t want to break up. But lately the anxiety has died down and I’m so scared that it’s just time to end it. There’s nothing wrong with us, he’s absolutely perfect. He’s everything I could want. I just don’t understand. I don’t want to leave, but it feels like I want to. I don’t know how to get passed it. It feels like it’s my clarity to leave him for absolutely no reason, and that I won’t ever feel connected to him again. That this will never get better. I don’t know what to do anymore. I could really use a Skype session or email session.

    • Mark Fennell

      August 26, 2015 at 9:16 pm

      Hi, when rocd is present it can give a feeling of wanting to leave but this is the flight part of “flight or fight” response and is not a genuine response. I always ask clients to simply start with “what do you want” answer this as if anxiety didn’t exist. Let me know how you get on.

      • Joss

        October 8, 2015 at 6:00 pm

        I’ve suffered from this for about 2 years now. I’ve been diagnosed with OCD but this is this type of OCD is the newest member of the group. I’ve been going to therapy on and off for the two years which has given me some really helpful tools, mindfulness being one. This is probably the most helpful and effective for clearing your head of all those busy thoughts! I’ve been doing great, but I haven’t been doing my mindfulness as much as normal and I had an attack yesterday for the first time in a while. I was reading a FB post yesterday by a famous celebrity. She was describing how happy she was to have found her soul mate and how she still gets tingles every time she kisses him. This sent me into a frenzy because well.. what does a soul mate mean, is my partner my soul mate, am I supposed to have tingles every time I kiss him am I supposed to feel like I would die without him!? I’ve been reading through some of your posts and I like the tips you give but you often say listen to the heart, what is it that you want…? OCD is a disease of doubting so how do you know what you want. When I close my eyes I know he is the person that has been by my side through everything and that I want to be here, that is all I know. It’s like when you “know” something you don’t actually know and you just start doubting it anyways…so knowing what is your heart and what is your thoughts…it’s kind of hard to know and to be sure.. I never know anything for sure. You kind of just have to take a leap of faith…?

    • Ashley

      August 30, 2016 at 6:59 pm

      Mia you are not alone. I am in this exact same position as you right now and have been suffering every day for about three months as well

  99. Tanya

    August 12, 2015 at 5:06 pm


  100. Tanya

    August 12, 2015 at 5:05 pm

    Hello mark. I first discovered your blog a couple weeks ago and I can’t tell you enough how much it has cleared up my thoughts for me. I finally feel that there are people out there that have the same compulsions as I do! It gave me hope because it validated that all of my obsess doubts come from somewhere.. ROCD. I Learnt that just because we have the thought it doesn’t make It true… The thing is that it’s easier said than done sometimes. I most definitely have Rocd. I obsess over the same typical questions as you mentioned in your blog… For example, have u fallen out of love etc! I’m Starting to finally realize that our Ocd attacks the one thing that is important to us, in my case my amazing gf. She’s the best thing in my life and the though of losing her cripples me. She’s everything I’ve ever wanted and she understands me. I just find it difficult sometimes because once I finally start feeling better or optimistic about our future, my head thinks of something else that can cause me to bought an obsess. It’s almost as if my mind says ” ohhh she’s feeling happy now what else can I come up with that can cause doubt in her mind?” since your blog I’ve been fantastic and been knocking the instusive thoughts out of the ball park! My gf and I are thinking of Traveling together, moving to an other city, getting married. I want to cry when I think about it because I just want it to happen but my Head destroys all of my happiness by supporting all. Positive thoughts with a negative. Almost like a rebuttle. However, my head decided to test me with something else.. My ex. Sheeeeshh I’m exhausted at this point. My ex from 3 years ago was my first love. She opened up the world to me. I never knew what affection felt like. It was a very dramatic and deep/ on and off relationship. I had moved to live with her which was in an other province. I left 8 months after. At the time I wasn’t happy. I was miserable… I missed my family… Wanted to move back home. I didn’t feel that ‘in love’ or passion anymore. I wanted to be with other people. I believe I loved her for what she did for me and respected her but I didn’t feel that passion anymore. It was a really thought breakup because I left someone I truly Respected and loved as a person. Now that I’m older I’m reflecting upon this and realize that I still carry a lot of guilt. This is where my obsessive thoughts com : ” OMG you’re still in love with her…. You’re just suppressing it… OMG but. I’m. Happy and I’m in love with my gf why would I think this?? But I. Don’t want. To be with my ex….” the I get depressed because I feel like I’m. Letting my Eaton’s hip with my. Currently gf slip away and I don’t want it to.. I’m so mad at myself. And I feel so incredibly guilty and ashamed because when ever I confide in someone about these obsess thoughts… I feel like it makes the thoughts true! Yesterday.. My amazing gf brought me new coffee machine. I took a sip and it triggered a memory about the ex. Memory triggers always screw me up. After the trigger… I was able to go back and feel what I felt at that period of time in my life. It’s like I’m literally stuck in a time warp! I then it plays with my emotions and feel ” I still love her” and then tell. Myself that I feel sad because I’m. Not. With her. After 5 minutes I feel like an idiot lol bexauw I. Don’t want to. Be with her. When I was with her I wasn’t attracted to her anymore.. So why the heck am. I. Coming up with this stuff?!! See now my. Head is telling me that I’m just trying to convince myself I’m. Not in love with my ex. I’m.hoping u can shed some light over this recent obsession. Ps. I’m so sorry about this long message

    • Mark Fennell

      August 26, 2015 at 12:47 pm

      Hi, obsessing will obsess on anything you react to. It’s like your mind goes” ok so I reacted there so let’s explore that thought” this of course brings you to thoughts you don’t want. All your thoughts that produce anxiety and depression are doing that because they are not agreeing with your heart. The simple answer is “so what to what you think” let your thoughts run wild but don’t see them as your thoughts, see them as your mind. You aren’t in love with your ex or anyone else and to me it’s obvious but YOU need to know that when there is anxiety,depression,irritability it’s all OCD. It’s like a survival thing in our mind, when we think of something that we might not want our mind tries to u dr stand and take it apart to figure out how to protect us when really it’s just a case of thinking too much. Be lead by your heart not your head and theories,etc
      Hope this helps.

  101. Evelyne

    August 12, 2015 at 1:16 pm


    I am involved in sort of a relationship with a guy with ROCD. He also has quite some other OCD characteristics.The guy is 37 years old and has never been in a relationship in which he was “sure” that it was the girl he wanted to be with and he broke things off every time (5 relationships).

    He says that now is different with me, yet he doesn’t want a real committed relationship for something external in my life, for which I don’t have control and which I feel is not a legitimate reason not to have the relationship. He says apart from that I’m “perfect”.

    He constantly pushes and pulls. I feel that sometimes he is smitted with me and then the next day he can look at me and I feel and see the repulsion on his face where all his love for me evaporates.

    He is not the type of guy that has many women to chose from, yet I have quite some admirers. Nobody understands his behavior as everyone is telling me that I am much “higher” than he is (and quite frankly, it is the blunt truth). Yet, I see something in him that nobody else seems to see.

    Soit, I am ready to blow everything off and move on with my life without him.

    My question is really, should I say goodbye to him or is there a good chance that he could eventually be in a normal relationship where he doesn’t have these waves of repulsion and doubt towards me? If the chance exist how should I behave without losing myself?

    If he can’t be smitted with me as I am with him, then that means the end for me.

    • Mark Fennell

      August 26, 2015 at 9:12 pm

      Hi, I’m all relationships the live must be as strong both ways, it’s hard to say but if he got help and cbt therapy it is possible to move past this but the ball is in his court on this. Give it time and then trust yourself with what is best for you both. Hope this helps.

  102. Cucsmuc

    August 7, 2015 at 8:10 am

    I suffered from this condition in all my relationships, recently I separated from my wife and we’re getting a divorce. Everything was okay until we got married after that hell broke lose in my head, I fought with it for 4 months but couldn’t do it anymore, I lost all will for anything.
    Even though I knew I love her, even though she’s a beautiful human being I had many different intrusive thoughts. Once I noticed her hair being a bit messy and I started obsessing about it, thinking I’m not into her anymore because I noticed such thing, and that I must be thinking she’s ugly. Worst for me is that I would get angry because of those thoughts, at her, or annoyed. Anxieties were severe, insomnia, derealization, panic attacks. I had all sorts of intrusive thoughts, some of them really absurd. I felt tremendous shame and guilt. Anyone living with this is living in hell. I hope people that are still with their loved ones manage to win. I lost

    • Mark Fennell

      August 26, 2015 at 12:53 pm

      So sorry to hear this but you can recover from this and I would still be hopeful for your marriage with the right help. I offer Skype sessions if you are interested and if your ocd and if your OCD is the root of your break up I would hold off on divorce and get help. You can get over this.

  103. Natalie

    August 5, 2015 at 3:00 pm

    Hello Mark,

    I’m 25 and believe I have been suffering from ROCD for 4 years now. It first occurred when I was in a relationship with a great guy. After about 6 months of dating I just woke up one morning and didn’t feel ‘in love’ any more. I did all of the “what if…” that all of the other comments are mentioning. Eventually it got to the point where I couldn’t sleep, eat, work, or do anything, and I ended up breaking up with him to try to get a break from all of these thoughts. A year later I met another amazing man. He is fantastic and I feel extremely in love with him. We’ve been together for one month short of a year. About a month ago, the anxiety started creeping in, and I am trying very hard to keep it at bay. I want to stop it dead in it’s tracks before it gets out of control again like it did previously. But it’s hard because the more I tell myself to ignore it, the more i obsess over it, and the more I obsess over it and get mentally exhausted, the more I am annoyed at my boyfriend since he is who I associate these thoughts with. Haha it’s a vicious cycle, one that I want to get out of ASAP.

    I really want to learn some good methods for I didn’t the last time this happened. I just ran away from the problem by ditching the guy. I went to a therapist at my university but as helpful as they were trying to be they didn’t seem to understand ROCD very well and said I am an anxious person who has GAD but I don’t think they are 100% correct because this anxiety only really focuses on relationships. Any tips?

    – Frustrated N

    • Mark Fennell

      August 26, 2015 at 11:10 am

      Hi, This has all the markings of rocd but see it as temporary. When we try to analyse love it is pretty impossible so all the “what ifs” tend to be a waste of time. Answer love by simply asking yourself “do I love him” a simple yes or no question without going into thoughts, instead your gut your heart.
      These fears can be present in slit of people in love but the difference for you is you have gotten caught on the concept of love and relationship.
      The key to being free is by not being afraid of your thoughts. Easier said than done but definitely possible. The truth in life is we cannot always have guarantees. We must live in the moment and not try tell the future. The key is to not let fear win and currently it appears it is. Let the thoughts just be, allow them to float by but see them as invisible nothingness for that is what they are. Live by fact not fiction and get busy enjoying life.
      Hope this helps,

      Many thanks,

  104. Dana

    August 1, 2015 at 5:30 pm

    I am 33 and have been married for almost 7 years, been together almost 10 years in total. Just about two years into the relationship, we bought our first apartment, and within a few days after moving in, I literally woke up and felt really strange. I had extreme anxiety, no appetite, crying, pacing, wanted to just sleep all day but couldn’t, didn’t work for 2 weeks, felt weird, off, not right with anything, people, life etc. but the main thing I couldn’t stop and feared was not feeling anything for my boyfriend. I kept thinking that I don’t love him, felt scared around him, etc. this lasted for Bout two weeks. I started on Effexor through a phyciatrist and said I have anxiety. Well since then, I have had good months of not thinking any of that, living life, happy, then I’ll wake up one day again months later and the exact thing happens again. Exact same thoughts, feelings, no appetite, miss work etc. this has been going on for like 6 years and yes with The same partner when this started who is now my husband. We have travelled, sold and bought a house, I went through schooling, etc…. But this always comes back!
    I have home to emergency a few times as well because the anxiety was so unbearable I didn’t know what to do with myself, but they just sent me home with more meds… I also stayed in a home for 2 weeks to readjust my meds.
    So basically, I have anxiety, major depression, and one phyciatrist said obsessive thoughts.
    Last October 2014 I was hit again with this, and it has not stopped since then. Still to this day, I am questioning if I’m happy or of i love him, can’t picture the future , irritated by everyone around me and don’t feel myself but the anxiety has calmed down. Since October I have tapered off of Effexor which I was on for pretty much 6 years, started lexapro which didn’t work then back on to Effexor and added Wellbutrin.

    Any advice, similar stories, or anything would be greatly appreciated.

    Thank you.

    • Mark Fennell

      August 4, 2015 at 4:48 pm

      your story is one I have heard many times before. I’ll drop you an email.
      Chat soon,

  105. Jared

    July 27, 2015 at 7:16 am

    Thank you so much for this excellent article.

    I suffer from pure O and it has taken on the form of ROCD as of late and it’s rather annoying. At times I suffer from the common “Do I love her enough”, “Am I attracted enough to her” (which is annoying because she is beautiful), and so on. I’ve realized that when I try to mentally review the relationship or picture her in my mind, to generate ‘feelings’, that this is a compulsion so I try not to. It’s really annoying at times though because I know I love her so much and I get so hyper focused on my feelings that I tend to feel numb at times.

    Any advice? Any thoughts or comments are appreciated. Thanks!

    • Mark Fennell

      August 4, 2015 at 4:59 pm

      Typical ROCD but basically doubting fuelled by anxiety which is a result of a fear. That simple. You fear not loving her so you question and obsess over it which leads to more stress. Drop me an email i you need more help and let me know more details.

      • Jared

        August 18, 2015 at 6:46 am

        Hey Mark, I’ve emailed you a couple times. I know you’re probably very busy but I’d love to hear from you!

        • Mark Fennell

          August 18, 2015 at 8:55 am

          I’ll be in touch shortly

  106. Chloe

    July 16, 2015 at 4:41 pm

    I would really appreciate some help Mark as you seem pretty good with words and explaining things in a logical way! I’ll try and keep this as short and sweet for everybodys sake.
    I’ve just turned 21, met my boyfriend abroad who I am incredibly happy with! We’re currently in a long distance relationship (him Essex, me Edinburgh) but manage to see each other every 2-4 weeks, and speak every day on the phone. Never really had a full blown argument (bicker yes as everyone does) but not had any reason to properly argue until now…
    I didn’t know I suffered with OCD until this latest theme hit me and literally took over my life for a good 3 months, still fighting it now but doing a lot better than I was at the start. I first suffered from this when I was around 14/15. Obviously not knowing what anxiety or OCD was at that age I just thought thats how I knew a relationship was over. Again at 18 I was in what you could call an actual relationship, and this happened again, a bit older I was able to describe these symptoms a bit better like there was an internal conflict almost. That ended for reasons completely unrelated to OCD. However now I have been to my GP who has confirmed I show signs of OCD behaviours in constantly checking and making sure things are just right, which also comes along with the horrendous intrusive thoughts. (Also unrelated to this, skin picking, rituals before bed, worrying about having extreme illness’)

    Now I’ve had the majority of the stages as you’ve listed above. The crippling anxiety which seems to go on for weeks, all the thoughts such as ‘what if’; I don’t love him, I’m just convincing myself I love him, this is all a waste of time if we don’t work out… And the constant feeling checking ‘does this feel right, does that feel right, imagine this scenario does it make you feel nervous/anxious/happy/scared/upset/numb…

    What I’m looking for now is a bit of clarification because I’ve had some intrusive thoughts recently which are half like a back door spike (being anxious about not being anxious, RIDICULOUS I KNOW) and half just plain uncomfortable and upsetting.

    I’ll list them to make it easier:

    You’re only with him because you can’t stand the thought of upsetting him and you’re a coward.
    You’re only with him because you like his family.
    You’re only with him because you like being in Essex (again ridiculous)
    You really want to be single (although I have no real urge to be)
    You are better off alone
    You’ll be more independent by yourself
    What if you’re marriage ends when and if you get married!
    What if one day you come to the realisation you hate him.
    You’ll be much happier alone.

    I’m wondering if you or anyone has suffered from any of the above or similar as I just find them much more difficult to dismiss than the usual ‘You might not love him’ thoughts…

    Bit more background also suffer from the ‘feeling guilty about cheating although not really cheating… Speaking to a work colleague on a night out? GUILT. Dancing and a man showing me attention and me even saying I have a boyfriend? GUILT MUST CONFESS TO BOYFRIEND.

    Any feedback would be great, sorry for babbling on and thanks again 🙂

    • Mark Fennell

      July 16, 2015 at 6:42 pm

      Hi Chloe, thanks for your message. When we ask ourselves questions like “what if…” or statements like “you are ….for this reason” these are anxious thoughts testing,querying,doubting what is and trying to see how you react to the thoughts. It’s your mind trying to be sure of something (in your case love) because of how important it is to you. It’s simply a reaction to a fear. A fear of making a mistake, it’s like a perfectionist thing. But nobody or nothing is perfect or guaranteed and somebody with anxiety finds it hard to handle this but really it’s easy if you learn to go with your gut. The real you knows that your love is true and these thoughts are just OCD connected. In time you’ll learn to recognise the truth from the noise. Hope this helps.

      • Chloe

        July 16, 2015 at 7:57 pm

        Thanks a lot for your reply Mark I really appreciate it! I understand what you say about perfectionism as I’m always scared I’ll ruin a relationship by cheating which would be much worse than if my spouse cheated on me as I have this image of like a tarnished track record and it makes me really uncomfortable and like the relationship isn’t right and there’s a black mark against my name if something were to happen (sorry that’s my paranoia about cheating and ruining everything although I never have). What you said about the gut feeling I sometimes find hard to follow because when I get these intrusive thoughts and scenarios in my head e.g. Me breaking up with my boyfriend it gives me an uncomfortable feeling in my gut like it’s hit some kind of mental/emotional nerve… I’m still fairly new to understanding this but would you say that’s something that goes hand in hand with anxiety one of the feelings like almost a feeling of dread and the inevitable happening in the pit of your stomach? Sorry for all the questioning I’m just having a bit of a hard day 🙁 thanks again

  107. Anna

    July 12, 2015 at 1:38 am

    Dear Mark,
    My 18 month relationship with my boyfriend ended a month ago. We met when we were both happily single and became happily a couple very quickly. He is quite a bit older which was never an issue and we spoke openly about it. I often wondered and asked why he was single for so long and he simply said ‘He hadn’t found someone to commit to’. He told me he loved me early on which he had never said to another partner, he also would tell me he had never felt this way before about someone. We are so compatible in so many ways and honestly truly enjoy each others company no end!

    We moved in together after 9 months, something I now know he wasn’t ready for, I was, he wasn’t. He tried to say he wasn’t sure but wen’t along with it anyway. He’s always been an anxious person about life in general. He would get anxious over work, if he’ll be late, if he’s doing a good job etc. He is a musician and gets performance anxiety too. He also has mild OCD. It was suggested before by professionals that he try CBT or an anxiety tablet, neither of which were followed up on. Throughout the relationship we laughed, loved and made amazing memories. I never for one moment doubted he was the one. He is extremely caring and supportive and I never saw this end coming. Up until February everything was normal. We were closing the deal on OUR house – He’s still going ahead with it. He said ‘he wasn’t feeling the same’ in March and I tried to assure him we were very busy but summer was coming and things would calm down. Anytime I tried to talk about us he would clog up and not talk. We started TM together which I felt was helping him. I assured him of the ups and downs in love and it was natural not to feel head over heels all the time. He assured me he cared and would love to have a future with me if he could but he wasn’t feeling ‘it’. His dermatitis flared up, tummy was in bits and I knew things were getting worse. He was also starting to withdraw. YET when relaxed was so loving and normal. Telling me he loved me, talking about the new house right up to the day we broke up. We were even planning a holiday that morning.

    He ended it because he doesn’t want to hurt me and simply ‘doesn’t feel the same’. He’s been acting just like we were still a couple except without intimacy since we split. I’ve been trying no contact and giving him space but we are in the same circles (work and personally) so it it’s been difficult. Also neither of us want to avoid the other – when we see each other its totally normal.

    He wants to be alone, he doesn’t see a relationship with anyone in the future for now yet he would love us to still be friends. He said ‘it was worth hanging in for, if it was going to be anyone I would have wanted it to be you – maybe I’m not supposed to get married or have kids’. He admitted he forgets things he had said about the future and us. He doesn’t know why but he knows right now he’s better alone. I don’t disagree because he’s health has improved significantly. I just wish I could convince him that ROCD is what he has and if we tried talking to someone things would resolve. I suggested CBT as a couple before but he is convinced there is no issue except he is better alone. He said that I had him convinced before that something was wrong with him but after the spit he feels he made the right decision and he’s ok.

    I know it wouldn’t be easy and we would have to go back to the beginning but I have this horrible feeling I have lost ‘the one’. If I push too much he’ll pull away. He’s not close to ANYONE. I was the only one he let in. He hides the anxiety very well by living alone so no one else is around to help him see it.

    • Mark Fennell

      July 16, 2015 at 6:52 pm

      Hi, anxiety is a reaction to fear. The best way to help somebody with anxiety issues is to be a support, never pressure them and tell that whatever happens that you’ll be ok even if they freak out every now and then. It sounds like he could do with a good therapist that specialises in cbt and exposure techniques. It’s difficult for me to help without chating to him but if he wants to email me in confidence I can see what I can do.

      • Anna

        July 26, 2015 at 8:01 pm

        Thank you Mark.
        Unfortunately he seems to have his mind made up and the break up is for the best in his mind and the feelings are just not there. I’m currently giving him lots of space and no contact hoping he will realise what we had and possibly seek help.
        Thank you for your reply. If anything changes I’d love to get him to take you up on that offer.


  108. Helena

    July 7, 2015 at 6:03 pm

    Hi Mark I find your blogs all very helpful, especially the HOCD one as this is what I believe I am suffering from, as I have things like if I do this does it mean I’m gay, worry about checking out girls/ my past- did I have crushes on girls etc and have this constant anxiety regarding sexuality, even tho have been in relationships with guys, and am pretty sure I’m straight, or that’s what I thought before but I feel like HOCD has somehow turned me gay. Also Didn’t know ROCD was a thing, but definitely I get this as a result of HOCD like do I like kissing guys, sex with guys, and then this leads on to what if I want to kiss a girl and more, and its a source of great anxiety. Am I able to email you for some advice with regards to overcoming this? Thank you

    • Mark Fennell

      July 16, 2015 at 6:46 pm

      thanks for your message. When we ask ourselves questions like “what if…” or statements like “you are ….for this reason” these are anxious thoughts testing,querying,doubting what is and trying to see how you react to the thoughts. It’s your mind trying to be sure of something (in your case sexuality) because of how important it is to you. It’s simply a reaction to a fear. A fear of making being something you don’t want to be, it’s like a perfectionist thing with constant checking. Anxiety finds it hard to handle this but really it’s easy if you learn to go with your gut. The real you knows that you are straight and these thoughts are just OCD connected. In time you’ll learn to recognise the truth from the noise. Hope this helps.

      • Helena

        July 26, 2015 at 5:17 pm

        thanks for your reply. i think yes youre very right of course, and they are OCD connected thoughts especially as i have suffered from anxiety/panic disorder for the last few years and despite this being better, i have been left with overthinking problems etc which i might have to find an ocd specialist to help me with. i have high periods where i check so much but at the moment its low, however now i have been in a relationship with a guy for a month and already i am starting to worry about whether i’m not attracted anymore, what will happen when i go off to university, what if i am gay because i am getting these feelings etc. how do i sort of start moving off this since this started happening in my last failed relationship? i dont know what to do to stop myself feeling like i have cold feet even though i cant have… everything’s muddled!

  109. Stella

    June 23, 2015 at 7:55 pm

    Hi Mark!I ‘ve been with my boyfriend for over7years and the last4 years we live together.for the first 3 years I felt very in love with him but some day out of the sudden I ve started wandering whether he’s the right for me,if I loved him enough to decide to marry him.I ve started checking his looks,if I liked his kisses,his I felt when he hugged me…The worst part though started when I felt attracted to a colleague of mine,whom I know over 12 years,and despite sometimes that we made out in the past,never felt that I wanted to be with him.NOw,I ve been wandering if I want him instead of my bf,I constantly trying to check that out making comparisons etc.I feel extremely guilty, I m sure that I ‘ll hurt my bf and that’s something I can’t stand.I m seeing a therapist who diagnosed rocd but I m having doubts about that.I think that I don’t my bf and I m too coward to admit it.I would appreciate your opinion!!

    • Mark Fennell

      June 24, 2015 at 9:57 am

      Hi Stella, OCD used to be called the doubting disease, although it’s not a disease it certainly is true when it comes to obsessing. OCD is an obsessive and doubting constant way of thinking until the habit is broken. So if your therapist said its rocd you can trust his judgement. What I’ve found is a relationship goes through stages of love, from the initial physical attraction to deep rooted love that comes over time. When live gets deeper is sometimes when I’ve seen rocd surface. It’s like something tells us “ok this is serious we must be sure we are doing the right thing”. Somebody prone to OCD can start the obsessing and examining everything about their partner when really, if you did not love them you would end it, because that’s how it is(unless you are married of course) Ive have never seen a relationship break up permanently over rocd. Hope this helps

  110. Olivia

    June 13, 2015 at 4:35 pm

    Hi Mark,

    I went through something that I perceived as very traumatic and it really took a toll on myself and my relationship. I have had a history of OCD in my childhood and now it is picking on my relationship. I have been with my boyfriend for 3+ years and never had one irrational doubt (I have had the normal doubts that any healthy relationship has) in the 2.5 years before the traumatic incident. I could really use your insight and advice, if you could email me, I would deeply appreciate it. I know you must be busy with others but if it crosses your mind, please reach out:

    • Mark Fennell

      June 16, 2015 at 8:07 pm

      You’ve got mail 😉

  111. Trav

    June 13, 2015 at 12:16 pm

    Hi mark

    I have rocd very bad atm help please

    I have had rocd about 15months ago and go over it, as I re bed it was bad, but I have it again now and it’s worse then ever….I have been with my partner for 5 yrs and love her dearly,,,, but my mind keeps telling me I don’t love her and we should break up, it goes around around around in my mind 24/7 and is bring me down, I wonder all the time wether it’s true and if I should break up??,,, but it hurts so much I don’t want to, now it seems to have got worse when I’m around her very short with her and feel distant with her,, I some times push through it to give her a cuddle and a kiss but soon as I do my mind says didn’t feel the love you mustn’t lover her, and I find my self trying to find signs that I love her,,,,, please help me is this rocd or is it true, thanks

    • Mark Fennell

      June 16, 2015 at 8:14 pm

      Absolutely ROCD in my opinion. Go with your gut,your heart. For all the rest are just thoughts of your imagination fuelled by your fear of losing her. Sounds to me like you really love this girl 😉

      • Trav

        June 17, 2015 at 8:25 am

        Thanks very much, this is such a hard thing to deal with, just don’t no what to do, makes you feel so confused and numb, also it’s very hard to get the right help for this, is there specialist for rocd?

        • Mark Fennell

          June 17, 2015 at 10:09 am

          Hi, but believe when I say you can get over this and you’ll be stronger for it. I would be very experienced in ROCD but understand it’s an anxiety issue and the same treatment is what is done for OCD. The numb feeling is a way of your body coping with high levels of anxiety and unrest but this will pass when you learn how to control OCD. The root of all OCD is being afraid of being afraid. We overanalyse things as our mind says “I don’t want uncertainty as this causes me to fear and be anxious so I’ll keep checking to avoid these feelings” but then we shock ourselves by this questioning and conclude that if there is any plausible truth then maybe I have need for concern. This is wrong way of thinking.

          • Trav

            June 17, 2015 at 10:43 am

            Thanks you seem to be the best I have I have spoken too,, all the doctors around here look at me weird and don’t really understand me, wish I could have meetings with you twice a week really could over come this scary problem,
            It all feels so real I have to really try hard to pull out of it and stop my self from thinking, it is doing a lot of damage as I’m slipping the depression road over this, thanks

  112. Lee

    May 17, 2015 at 2:23 pm

    I could really use some help,
    I’ve been with my boyfriend for 6 and a half months now. A little over a week ago someone had made a comment to me that “I am only in this relationship as a rebound because he’s the first person you got affection from since your break up, you’re only trying to fit in with his family so you don’t have to be alone.” In six months, I had never ever felt this way. He is the light in my life, the fresh start I needed. He treats me like a princess and like I am the only girl on the world. He’s truly everything I have ever wanted in life! We try new things almost every week, which before I would never do with my ex. The problem is, since that comment has been made, I cannot stop thinking about that person being right. That I really am in this for the wrong reason, that I don’t love him, that it’s not going to last. I never thought this before and it’s really scaring me! I have anxiety issues but nothing like this has ever happened to me. It’s getting to the point where I am believing myself that my thoughts are true but.. He’s my light, my love.. I don’t want to lose him.. But I need these thoughts to go away.. Please help me..

  113. Kelli

    April 1, 2015 at 1:34 am

    I have been with my boyfriend for a little over six months…I knew from the beginning that he has OCD..when I meet him he has a lot on his plate…going through a divorce, having a two month old wife his ex wife and also having strong guilt of leaving his previous girlfriend of thirteen years along with their daughter. His marriage was quick and ended even quicker. We have been very open from the beginning of our relationship and both knew where and what we wanted in life. Everything was amazing! His past haunts him to the point where he can not sleep, ever! This has lead to a couple fall ours between us. A little less then two months in I stepped back and gave him space. I wanted him to be able to figure out his true emotions towards his ex wife and their newborn baby girl. He had a few counseling sessions about this and meet with his ex to talk about things. Not even a couple weeks later we were back together and stronger then ever. Our emotions got deep and we talked about the future alot( which this is something I don’t normally do this early on) but we just felt that finally we meet someone who we can truly understand and love.
    He had his doubts here and there, mostly about making me happy and worried he would hurt me the way he did with his past two relationships. After a long talk and reassurance from us both we were fine again.
    Recently we had an argument about someone from his past, well I brought it up after seeing this person. I had know idea this bothered him so badly because he showed no signs of still being angry after it was all done and over with? But that day has thrown us into the worst place we have ever been? We spent all the next day just laying in bed, recovering from are horrible night of distance and just loving on each other. Then the very next day he has completly shut down? I realized why he feel the was he did and apologized for my immature mistake. But this event seemed to trigger something? Then I realized it wasn’t about our silly fight about this person from his past, it was deeper? I have told him I wanted to be there for him, I wanted to understand his struggles and help cope with them? I even offered to go to counseling ith him, which he said he would enjoy? But I’m just looking for a little advice because it’s new to me? And I just want him to be able to enjoy life again, and feel the love I have to give to him.

    • Mark Fennell

      April 1, 2015 at 3:32 pm

      Thanks for your comments. Well there seems to be a little guilt on his behalf and this is why he felt there was unfinished business with his ex and when he met it closed the chapter so thats all good. OCD is an anxiety issue and can be fixed. I would have a heart to heart and ask “is there a problem?” and “what troubles you?” and then work toward fixing it. The key here is to except whatever are his issues without judging or arguing. Its a time for you to listen and slow to speak. The reason I say this is sometimes simply talking about everything regardless of how irrational it may be can actually help lots. Start there and let me know how it goes. I’ll help as best i can. 😉

  114. Charlotte

    March 29, 2015 at 9:45 pm

    Hi, I have been suffering with this particular type of ocd for almost a year now. I’ve been with my boyfriend for a year and a half, however things only seem to be getting worse. I’ve been on two different types of medication(Zoloft and Prozac) but neither worked. I really have hit rock bottom, all my compulsive behaviours that used to work and help me achieve certainty for a period of time no longer work. So I’m worried that this means my thoughts are true, I don’t even like being close to him physically it makes me freak out but I just want to be able to hug and kiss him without pushing him away. Everything he does annoys me and I have such a temper with him because I’m frustrated with still having these thoughts. Another thing my obsessions have switched to is borderline personality disorder. I was reading the symptoms of this disorder, and one was ‘attaches onto a damaging relationship’ and ever since then I have been obsessing about having it even though I dont, I have convinced myself that I have it and that it means I cannot be with my boyfriend. I really have hit rock bottom I think the only option is to end the relationship. Any thoughts?

    • Mark Fennell

      April 1, 2015 at 3:25 pm

      Hi, thanks for your comment. Anxiety attacks the things we really do care about, like relationships, personality, etc and it appears this is true for you. Its hard to be close to anybody when our anxiety is high especially our partner. Regading obsessions, our brain sometimes will get bored with obsessions and we actually end out examining “why” am i not compulsed to do that certain checking thing? So pop down your questions and drop me an email at put down in simple one liners what are your main challenges

  115. Melissa

    March 23, 2015 at 6:18 pm

    Hi Mark,

    I have been with my boyfriend for more than 3 years now. And I would like to tell you my story and please let me know if this is ROCD or just genuine feelings. Since 28th December, we had an argument ( a silly argument) but I felt like breaking up with him because of it, but we fixed it on that day, however since then I started getting depressed and anxious. I have a history of depression and GAD (I was taking Cipralex for those 3 years but weaned off them last summer so I wasn’t on medications in December when the argument happened) So I fell into another depression and started taking Cipralex again but since then, I can’t stop having anxious thoughts about him and I can’t shake them off. I really want to love him because he is everything I want in life but I can’t seem to get out of this hole. This anxiety is taking over me.. and I think the cipralex is not working anymore.

    Thoughts go like this: I do not love him anymore, or I do things and gestures to feel some loving emotions but when I don’t I feel worse. Or I analyse in my head all the things we are doing together and see if that is the correct way of a good relationship. I wasn’t like this before January and I just want our relationship to how it used to be. I feel like retching with anxiety 🙁 I am sorry for a long post… but I really need help…


    • Mark Fennell

      March 26, 2015 at 6:30 pm

      Hi, so it appears you really love him but your anxiety isn’t allowing you to be certain. Thats what anxiety does, it causes doubting even when you are sure. But rally how can we analyize love when its a heart issue. Love is not just a thought its more than that. i know its hard but the key is to accept uncertainty and live in the moment. Dont fear being anxious and it actually goes away over time. Taking the stand like “I love my boyfriend even if I doubt it for I know that anxiety”. If you didn’t love him you wouldnt fear not loving him. Hope this helps.

  116. Andrew

    March 18, 2015 at 5:21 pm

    Hi Mark,

    I have been in a relationship for about seven months now and my significant other and I are currently engaged. Three weeks ago I was the pinnacle of happiness, never doubted for a second that I loved her and never had a thought of breaking things off. Then about a week ago I had the passing thought of “what if this isn’t the right thing to do?” And it spiraled from there. We are getting married in October and the feelings come in waves. Sometimes I feel all the emotions and know that she is the one and then days like today I wake up and it’s like I feel nothing. My therapist and family have all encouraged me not to break things off, but this feels so real. Please help. Is this ROCD? Also to give you some background, this has happened with a previous relationship I was in for three years and then that ended because I did not know the difference and I have been diagnosed with ocd and am taking Paxil.

    • Mark Fennell

      March 19, 2015 at 4:14 pm

      Drop me an email containing the above and any questions you have regarding ocd. My email is

  117. Maria

    March 12, 2015 at 3:11 am

    Hi! I’m from Chile, South America, and i am suffering of rocd right now (before it was hocd). I am kind of desperate, although I have the most loving and understanding partner I’m afraid I might lose him. I’m afraid of so many things, almost everything, lately. How can I get past this?? Thank you

    • Mark Fennell

      March 12, 2015 at 3:46 pm

      Thank you for you message. To answer your question you can get past this and in fact you may learn from it to help you in future. The fear you are experiencing is anxiety and you may be in an anxious state. When we are in this way our senses and thinking is at a heightened state so we can overthink and make ourselves fearful. If you can tell me a little more via email at and I’ll see what we can do.

      • Maria

        March 17, 2015 at 9:20 pm

        Thank you so much Mark, just sent you an e mail!! =)

  118. Victoria

    March 10, 2015 at 11:07 am

    I think ROCD is what I have been experiencing for the past two years, but I am not sure. All I know is that it’s been horrible and all those questions at the beginning of this page are the ones swimming in my head. Constantly. It has gotten to the point where if things are bad between me and my partner I can’t eat or work or sleep for more than three hours (and that’s with a sleeping aid). Is there a way to turn this off?

    • Mark Fennell

      March 11, 2015 at 6:31 pm

      Hi, thanks for your message. The short answer is YES you can turn it off but only you can turn it off and you need to know how. Email me at and we can get this thing sorted out.

  119. Hannah

    February 14, 2015 at 11:01 am

    Ps, the reasoning for not reading your email wasn’t because I was being rude and ignoring it! I just couldn’t find it! Is there anyway you could respond on here incase I can’t find it again?

  120. Hannah

    February 14, 2015 at 10:45 am

    Hey there! I never actually read your email to my previous comment above!
    Since then I am still with the partner I was writing about however the thoughts have slightly changed, basically..
    What I didn’t tell you before (because at the time it wasn’t an anxious thought rummaging round my brain) was that after the previous 3 year relationship ended, I very quickly got into a relationship type thing for about 2/3 months. It was never official however he was very possessive of me. he never wanted to make it official however he didnt want me to be talking to anyone else. He controlled me and my thoughts, made me extremely uptight about everything. He would one minute be fine, the next be randomly blunt making me feel I had done something wrong. He made me feel so worthless, I felt I had to change my appearance to suit him and to almost look like his ex (someone he was very blatantly not over). I was clearly being used abused and played. He made me get attached but then abruptly abandoned me. I was very upset.. More because of the worthlessness I was left feeling.
    Fast forward a month I began a new course at college with new people. I was feeling refreshed, and slowly started to get happier about myself again! I didn’t want to have anything to do with boys, but then the inevitable happened. Me and this boy (my current boyfriend) sparked. We randomly started chatting, very naturally, and I soon realised we had a very great connection something I honestly hadn’t felt before. I took things fairly slow as I was scared naturally that the same thing that happened before would happen again.
    When I messaged you, it was about a month in, where I had continual sexual thoughts about being a lesbian. At the time they were consuming me, however I told my partner everything! And soon after those thoughts faded away and now I’m 100% clear on my sexuality being straight.
    However rocd being rocd didn’t like the fact I beat that thought, so it’s been throwing many other ones at me.
    The main one being thoughts about my ex (the horrible one). These thoughts are literally consuming my life just like the sexuality ones. I do not in any way miss him, never do I feel the urge to want to speak to him or anything like that! It began with thoughts about the name and that was it, but the more I’ve focused on it and googled about it etc etc, the worse the thoughts have gotten. To the point where I’m having intrusive memories (and honestly 80% of the ‘relationship’ was horrendous)!
    I’ve noticed that as I’ve gotten more stressed with the process of uni applications, the worse my anxiety has got.
    I have my clear moments- like last week me and my boyfriend spent a whole weekend together of pure bliss, laughter and anxious free feelings. I even said to him how I don’t feel remotely anxious and that all the loving feelings have flooded back and was having no thoughts about my ex!

    My boyfriend has made me realise what love actually feels like. The warmth and comfort it brings! But these thoughts are clouding that, and I just wanted your insight and help because I cannot take much more!


  121. Hannah

    November 16, 2014 at 1:34 pm

    Hello there! I just wanted some advice on whether you think what I’m dealing with here is rocd or legit feelings. Here’s
    a quick back story:
    I was in a 3 year relationship which ended mutually around 7-8 months ago now. During that time I had all the usual relationship anxiety irrational thoughts that spiralled out of control. We then split up mutually for other reasonings. I have recently got into a new relationship which has honestly been so refreshing and amazing. However I noticed as my feelings have deepened, my anxiety has raised. It began with questioning my sexuality repeatedly all the ‘what if’ thoughts. That eventually subsided and now the rocd thoughts have taken over. I’m constantly questioning his behaviour and whether its ‘normal’ and if he seems slightly distant I panic and think that we aren’t right and it doesn’t feel right and constantly assess this. I’ll question how I feel for him, and maybe everything I felt was purely led by infatuation and now I don’t feel anything. Oh gosh I just really want to be with this lad and enjoy it! I want to be able to grow our relationship! Please help me 🙁

    • Mark Fennell

      February 11, 2015 at 9:26 pm

      Thanks for your comment and I’ll email you a response 😉

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Recent Posts