Helping Someone You Love
Information for Friends and Family

Behind the Relationship Troubles

Fears about the future together are normal.  Facing your fears together is healthy.

If your spouse has OCD and you are experiencing relationship troubles, it’s good to take a step back and look at the whole relationship, not just the OCD.

Getting effective treatment for OCD should be your first priority, because that’s the first step toward recovery from this disorder.  But before undergoing treatment, your spouse must be evaluated by a cognitive behavior therapist.  It’s a good idea for you to have a conversation with the therapist, too.  The therapist may be able to uncover other stresses in your relationship.

If related anxiety disorders (or OCD spectrum disorders) are present, additional therapy or medication may be recommended.

If you are a prospective parent and are concerned about whether any children you may have together could inherit OCD, research shows that in most cases, the chance of OCD in a child is small. Many major medical centers have genetics counselors on staff or by referral who can discuss this issue with you.  Scientists continue to research genetics and OCD, and new developments are announced often.

Fears about the future together are normal. Taking care of yourselves (physically, mentally and spiritually) during times of stress is a healthy step that you can choose to take.  Facing your fears together is also a healthy step toward building (or rebuilding) a healthy relationship.  The choice is yours.

You can read more about OCD, related anxiety disorders and OCD spectrum disorders in the OCD Facts or Individuals sections of this web site.  You may also benefit from attending a support group to learn from the experiences of others who have battled and continue to battle OCD.

Go to OCD Facts section

Go to Individuals section

Find a support group

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