When OCD Comes Between You and Your Partner: Coping Strategies

Obsessive-compulsive disorder, or OCD, is a mental health condition that affects millions of people worldwide. It’s characterized by repetitive, intrusive thoughts and compulsive behaviors that can interfere with daily life. It can be particularly challenging when it comes to relationships, as it can make it difficult for partners to communicate effectively and understand each other’s needs. Here are some coping strategies for when OCD comes between you and your partner.


The first step is to educate yourself and your partner about OCD. Understanding the condition and how it affects you or your partner is important for effective communication and empathy. Because OCD can be distressing, it’s important to validate each other’s experiences and acknowledge the impact OCD has on your relationship.

Acknowledge Your Needs

It’s crucial to establish boundaries and communicate your needs with your partner, as well as listen to theirs. It’s important to understand any specific triggers that may cause OCD symptoms to intensify, and work towards minimizing them. By identifying these triggers, you can adjust your behavior or environment accordingly, and this can help prevent flare-ups or episodes of OCD.

Seeking Support

Individual or couples therapy can be helpful for managing OCD and improving communication. As a couple, working with a therapist who is experienced in treating OCD can help provide a safe and supportive environment for discussing the condition’s impact on your relationship. A therapist can also teach effective coping strategies and encourage better communication, allowing you and your partner to work towards building a more understanding relationship.

Manage stress

Stress is a known trigger for OCD, so it’s important to manage stress levels to avoid exacerbating symptoms. This can involve regular exercise, meditation, or participation in relaxing activities you enjoy. Additionally, it’s important to establish self-care routines and make time for activities that bring joy and pleasure to your life.

Sharing your struggle with OCD with your partner can also help reduce stress and feelings of isolation. It can bring you closer together and enable your partner to offer support and understanding when you need it.

Final Thoughts

While it may be challenging, it’s not impossible to maintain a healthy and positive relationship with OCD. Utilizing effective coping strategies, acknowledging each other’s needs, and seeking support from a therapist can help you and your partner navigate OCD in a way that brings you closer together rather than tearing you apart. If OCD is causing significant distress in your life, it may be beneficial to speak to your healthcare provider about additional treatments available to help you manage your symptoms. Remember, you are not alone, and there is always help available.