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Causes of Relationship anxiety/ rocd

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This topic contains 32 replies, has 4 voices, and was last updated by  anita 2 months ago.

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  • #288033

    V
    Participant

    Hi,

    i am currently suffering from relationship anxiety in my long term relationship.

    I am wondering if your childhood and your relationship with your family can influence or potentially cause Relationship anxiety or rOCD?

    I am happy to go into further details.

    all responses welcome

    Thank you very much

    #288059

    Valora
    Participant

    Your childhood and relationship with family absolutely can and usually does play a large role in future romantic relationships and friendships as an adult, so please definitely go into further details.

    #288089

    Inky
    Participant

    Hi V,

    Yes, your early years and your family absolutely shape you. But so does your natural makeup. Some people are just born more sensitive (which can manifest later as anxiety).

    Best,

    Inky

    #288099

    anita
    Participant

    Dear V:

    Yes, “your childhood and your relationship with your family can influence or potentially cause Relationship anxiety or rOCD”-

    -when a child is stuck in a home where there is some love, sometimes, but also anger and even hate, what happens is that the child is conflicted, wanting to stay for the love and wanting to leave the hate, to put it simply.

    So later, in a romantic relationship, the adult-child is still conflicted, wanting love but afraid of the hate, and if there is no hate, she is afraid it may happen anytime, and she is scared. Scared, she loses her affection and desire for the man, preparing herself this way to leave.

    What do you think?

    anita

    #288147

    V
    Participant

    Hi all thanks for responding.

    I will give a bit of background information.

    I come from a somewhat broken family. My parents never really had any time or affection to share with each other. They were like no other couple i had observed when i was very young. My father used to be incredibly aggressive to my mother and brother. This stopped as he became chronically ill, which he still is.

    I had dealt with a lot of loss during my childhood. We had to leave the house we were living in. My parents were always in court for it. I cannot recall much as i was only 6 years old. this had traumatised my parents and my brother, who are all still effected by it over a decade later. Around this time, my dad became chronically ill, so i cant really remember a time where he wasn’t sick. within the last year he has become a double amputee due to a vascular disease. It was an absolute shock to everyone. this started to unfold about 11 months ago, around the time i started to have trouble with my boyfriend. All the stress of my home and school life just made me want to be away from everyone i knew. This was resolved around 6 months ago. however, i have rOCD now and im not sure why as my relationship is fine and i have an amazing boyfriend.

    The constant fear started to surface one day 6-7 months ago when my boyfriend told me that he was conflicted and didnt know what he wanted. this was mainly because of how i distanced myself and threw a wall up as i felt like no one would ever be able to understand my situation. However, he was not leaving me but i didn’t see that and went into meltdown mode. so for a month i was worrying about if he really wanted our relationship, if he chose to stay because he felt bad ect. The list goes on. It was intense and incredibly debilitating. anyway there was a week of clarity where i felt connected to him and then one day, i didnt feel so good and it scared me and that’s where the fixation started. id frantically google everyday for an answer that id never get. I was shocked. i felt as if i didn’t love him anymore, this made me physically sick and it was all i could think about. thankfully, this isn’t the case anymore. Now, i am just left with a murky feeling. i dont really have specific doubts as often and i dont read into small things anymore.

    Anita, in regards to your post. yes, i am fearful of our future together(hence why i have this ongoing feeling) and i had noticed that it does make me want to pull away.

    I’m not sure why i’ve created this mindset, but i do know that i truly love him and i would like to stay with him. He is an amazing person who is no doubt one of a kind and i’d hate to throw my relationship away because of this.

    Thank you

    #288195

    V
    Participant

    I’d also like to add that I had separation anxiety towards my mother when I was a toddler for a couple of years. If flaired up when I was around 11 and When I was 15 years old.

    I would stress that if she would not come home or answer her phone she’d be dead and I’d start to plan my life around this scenario.

     

    #288231

    anita
    Participant

    Dear V:

    If I understand correctly, you are a student living at home with your parents and brother, you have “an amazing boyfriend” and your “relationship is fine”, but you suffer from rOCD, not as intensely as you did before, but still.

    About six or seven months ago, your home and school related anxiety went up and you distanced yourself from your boyfriend, you “threw a wall up as I felt like no one would ever be able to understand my situation”. After that,  your boyfriend told you “that he was conflicted and didn’t know what he wanted”. After he told you that, you “went into a meltdown mode”, worrying greatly, a worry that was “intense and incredibly debilitating”.

    You then experienced a week break from this intense worry, “a week of clarity” where you “felt connected to him”. After that week the rOCD symptoms started: you “felt as if I didn’t love him anymore”, that feeling and thoughts consumed you, you googled a lot for answers and became physically sick. Currently you feel better, less obsessed (“I don’t read into small things anymore”), but you are left “with a murky feeling”. You are fearful of your future with your boyfriend and that fear makes you want to pull away from the relationship.

    Childhood history: you suffered from “separation anxiety towards my mother” that was most intense when you were a toddler, 11 and 15. If she didn’t come home on time or answer the phone, you feared that she was dead and, “I’d start to plan my life around this scenario”

    Your parents “never really had any time or affection to share with each other”. Your father was “incredibly aggressive” to your mother, and he was incredibly aggressive to your brother until your brother got chronically ill. Both your parents were distressed over a lawsuit of some kind for a long time and that distress affected you (about 6 years old) and your brother. At that time your father became chronically ill and is currently a double amputee. At the time of his recent amputation, 11 months ago, your distress increased and that is when you distanced yourself from your boyfriend.

    My input:

    1. When fearing that your mother will leave you (die), your reactions was: “I’d start to plan my life around this scenario”. When fearing that your boyfriend will leave you, your reaction was to … plan your life around that scenario by no longer feeling love for him. No love= no pain when he leaves. This preparation is in the heart of rOCD.

    2. Your anxiety is a lifetime part of your life so far. It started early on, when you were a toddler and is still ongoing. At times it was focused on the idea that your mother may be dead, at other times it was awakened by your father’s aggression toward your mother and your brother (aggression always scares children… and adults), at a time it was about moving (as a result of the lawsuit), and yet at other times it was focused around illness, your brother’s, your father’s .. your own when you were sick.  You were anxious to observe the loveless marriage of your parents, the absence of love and comfort. Then there were school anxieties, and relationships problems, here and there.

    Even if your rOCD disappears completely, gone is that murky feeling, anxiety will still be there. At times it is intense, at other times less intense, and yet, at times, the brain takes a much needed break from the ongoing upset, and there is calm. But the calm doesnt stay, anxiety is back sooner than later.

    This is why it is important for you to plan on moving out of your parents’ home (if you are still living there), to remove yourself from the sources of your anxiety, the aggressor himself, and the reminders of your very distressing, scary childhood.

    It is also very important that you attend quality psychotherapy to learn skills to lower your anxiety and function better and better in life. Lowering your anxiety, learning new skills and improving those you have (ex. being assertive), are long term goals and will benefit you greatly.

    3. Regarding your relationship: if your boyfriend is not at all aggressive toward you or others (you don’t want to witness it like you witnessed your father’s aggression toward others), if he is honest with you and kind, then continue the relationship. Share some of your anxiety with him but not too much, so to not overwhelm him. It is often a mistake young women do (and some older women), thinking that if they tell their boyfriend everything, then he will take all that information in, process it and come up with the solution. But what happens instead, is that the boyfriend gets stressed, overwhelmed and he may want to get out of that distressing situation.

    So share in moderation, don’t pretend to be happy-go-lucky when with him, tell him the truth, but don’t go on and on about it.

    And do prepare for a possible ending  of the relationship with him, simply because most romantic relationships do end. Prepare by focusing on your studies, on making an independent life for yourself, that is,  being financially able to support yourself. Attend therapy, maybe yoga, tai chi, practices that are calming and increase Mindfulness.

    If you would like to tell me what you think/ feel about what I wrote so far, I will be glad to communicate with you further.

    anita

     

    #288375

    V
    Participant

    <p style=”text-align: left;”>Hi thank you for responding</p>
    Moving ouf right now is definitely not an option. So I try to do positive things for myself during the day. I will say my home life has improved as there is an absence of a family member but yes, I understand why you had suggested doing so.

    yes I am planning on speaking to someone who can assist me with my anxiety.

    as for my relationship, im comfortable with speaking about my thoughts and I am aware that it’s important to do this with moderation.

    if you have gone through rocd yourself, do you have any tips you’d like to share?

    Thank you

     

    #288439

    anita
    Participant

    Dear V:

    I suffered from OCD since a very early age, diagnosed with it later on. ROCD is a term that was coined later, I don’t know when, and it may be internet related because the behavior includes googling and there is a community of ROCD people as well as HOCD who do post a lot.

    You asked for tips:

    1. Don’t google ROCD, don’t google anything related to it. If you are suffering from rOCD, then the googling itself is a compulsion, the C of the OCD. No matter how compelled, resist the compulsion and don’t google.

    2. If your relationship is indeed healthy, if the two of you are honest and kind to each other, then focus on these Values: honesty, respect, kindness and not on your Feelings. Appreciate these things about him, take in that good feeling of knowing he is honest with you, respectful and kind.

    3. In any relationship between two people, the two don’t always feel love for each other. In all romantic relationships it happens that the person notices… no love, no affection, and instead there is a distance. This happens because feelings are not permanent. They are like the weather, sometimes it is rainy, at other times the sun shines, and it changes. So let the feelings be, don’t try to force a feeling any more than you will try to force the weather to be a certain way.

    4. When a person suffers from significant anxiety, and particularly OCD, the person gets scared of this and that or the other thing, different things at different times. A thought can be scary, and often is when one suffers from OCD. As I wrote above, in any romantic relationship, sometimes a person doesn’t feel love for the other. A non OCD person doesn’t get alarmed. But an OCD person gets alarmed: oh, oh, I don’t feel love for him.. what does it mean? Is it over? Will I ever feel love for him? .. And so forth.

    Therefore, I suggest you talk sense to yourself when you are engaged in rOCD thoughts, repeat to yourself what I italicized above.

    -And post again anytime you want to.

    anita

    #288917

    V
    Participant

    Anita,

    Thank you for responding to me.

    Would there be any other strategies as to finding the root cause of these thoughts? I do understand it may be something i need to do with a professional.

    Thank you

    #288919

    anita
    Participant

    Dear V:

    You are welcome. You asked about “any other strategies as to finding the root cause of these thoughts?”- my answer: your fear as a child in the home you were born to, your father’s aggression was no doubt perceived as danger by the young you (“My father used to be incredibly aggressive”).

    In addition to his aggression both your parents were anxious and distressed for a long time (“My parents were always in court.. I was only 6… this had traumatised my parents.. who are all still effected by it over a decade later”)- a child witnessing her parents very distressed for a long time perceives it as danger, because distressed and disturbed parents don’t seem capable of taking care of the child.

    At this point you live with your parents and your father is recently a double amputee, this very recent development, maybe increased your anxiety.

    You mentioned a professional- as you can see, it is quite easy to figure out root causes when they are clearly there. But the strong emotions involved in those root causes, for you, these cannot be … resolved in communication here. It will take a long time in the context of quality psychotherapy to do that. You will need to sit face to face with a capable, empathetic therapist who you trust, over time.

    If you want to share with me more about your current living situation and the reason that moving out is not an option, please do. It is perfectly fine with me if you choose to not share and not answer any of my questions otherwise. I do wish you well regardless.

    anita

    #288961

    V
    Participant

    Hi Anita, Thanks for responding to me.

    I am now aware of what actions to take but thank you for helping me out, i appreciate it. Youve given me hope.

    Thank you for your kind words.

    Kind regards.

    #288963

    V
    Participant

    I will keep in touch thank you

    #288965

    anita
    Participant

    Dear V:

    You are welcome. I am glad you intend to keep in touch, and when you post again I will reply to you.

    anita

    • This reply was modified 2 months, 1 week ago by  anita.
    #289085

    V
    Participant

    Hi,

    Tonight i feel quite bad and moody. i find that sometimes i’m totally fine and feel comfortable with my partner and others i am confused, worried or just wanting space. all of this can happen in just a few hours. I have had a thought that i am bored. this has stuck with me for a few days and its really annoying me. i feel as if i have no control over anything anymore. can rocd/anxiety  make you tired or bored of your relationship? When i have these thoughts all it leads to is me thinking if i even want my relationship and it just stresses me out. just thought id tell you how i was feeling as this is somewhat unusual for me to feel this way. any tips for right now? thanks

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