When you have an obsession about whether your partner is right for you or not, or whether your partner loves you enough or not, you inadvertently find yourself engaging in a debate. The question that your mind always seems to ask you is ‘Do I love my partner?’ or ‘Does my partner love me?’ Both of these are Yes or No questions. Your ROCD engages you in a debate about the appropriateness or inappropriateness of the relationship.
But in moments of clarity, not wanting to let go of your partner, and your partner not wanting to let go of you may be an obvious conclusion. However real your doubts may have seemed; you may have nailed down the irrationality of the thoughts and moved past them. So, there is no point in repeatedly engaging in a debate with your ROCD for the same question. Hence, you need to End the Debate in your mind.
When your mind asks you if you love your partner, you do not have to engage in the debate. You have to remember that the debate has ended and that you know the answer even if it does not seem plausible in the moment. Similarly, if your mind asks you if you believe that your partner loves you, remember again that the debate has ended. The Yes or No question is irrelevant, even though it seems valid and real in that moment.
Ending the debate is easy. Reminding yourself mindfully that no more engagement is needed will require work. When you put in the hard work through ERP, you will move forward in your recovery journey, by dealing with your obsessions without doing the compulsions.
In the next chapter we shall look at a way of winning the argument with ROCD.