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Study: “Relationship OCD” Leads to Sexual Dissatisfaction

Hayley Matthews

Written by: Hayley Matthews

Hayley Matthews

Hayley has over 10 years of experience overseeing content strategy, social media engagement, and article opportunities. She has also written hundreds of informational and entertaining blog posts. Her work has appeared in numerous publications, including Bustle, Cosmo, the Huffington Post, AskMen, and Entrepreneur. When she's not writing about dating news, relationship advice, or her fantasy love affair with Leonardo DiCaprio, she enjoys listening to The Beatles, watching Harry Potter reruns, and drinking IPAs.

Edited by: Lillian Castro

Lillian Castro

Lillian Guevara-Castro brings more than 30 years of journalism experience to ensure DatingAdvice articles and reports have been edited for overall clarity, accuracy, and reader engagement.

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Do you continually question whether your partner truly loves you or whether you’ve picked the right soul mate?

If so, you might be classified as having relationship obsessive-compulsive disorder.

Unfortunately new research has found such sufferers also are less satisfied with their sex lives.

What’s behind this?

The authors of the new study, conducted at the School of Psychology at the Interdisciplinary Center in Israel, believe the real issue lies with people who are unhappy in their relationship as a whole, and this merely manifests through reduced sexual satisfaction.

More than 150 couples, who had been together an average of 15 years, participated in the research.

Those with ROCD, or relationship obsessive-compulsive disorder, frequently reassessed their partner’s physical attributes, doubted that person’s love and questioned whether they have a future together.

“ROCD symptoms are often overlooked by family and couple therapists,” study author Guy Doron said.

Likewise, the actual sufferers may misinterpret an issue with the relationship as simply a sexual concern.

Doron, a psychologist and founder of the ROCD Research Unit, said the condition usually presents itself in two familiar obsessions – whether their partner is truly in love with them or whether they are truly in love with their partner.

“Sufferers may misinterpret an issue

with the relationship as a sexual concern.”

Can anything be done?

One such subject in the report was a male who believed his was in love with his partner, but he was unable to stop wondering if he’d be happier with other women he had encountered.

Though such thoughts would be perfectly normal in any relationship, the differences arise when these doubts become obsessive, even to the level of impacting day-to-day life.

According to the study, heavy doubts can present themselves under circumstances where no real or rational basis exists, such as with a partner who really does love their mate.

“These relationships can often repeatedly break up and reunite multiple times a week,” said Steven Brodsky, a psychologist and clinical director at the OCD and Panic Center of New York and New Jersey, adding the condition can sometimes present itself as almost a self-fulfilling prophecy.

Sufferers of ROCD were shown to be dissatisfied in their sex life usually in accordance with their own level of compulsive.

Anthony Ferretti, a private-practice psychologist who is not associated with the study, said, “When you’re constantly questioning and obsessing over the quality of the relationship, or the fulfillment of the relationship, it’s going to impact both your physical and emotional connectedness.”

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