I Obsess About My Relationship with God

Relationship obsession may occur within a variety of relationships perceived as significant to the individual. In fact, clinical experience suggests relationship obsessions may also occur within the individual-God context.  Indeed, one’s personal relationship with God is considered a core element of monotheistic religions such as Christianity and Judaism. Research of religious obsessive-compulsive (OC), however, has mainly focused on scrupulosity — persistent doubts about sin, intrusive mental images of a sacrilegious or blasphemous nature, and fears that one will be punished by God.  Following recent research of relationship-related OC phenomena, we have developed and evaluated the Relationship with God Obsessive Compulsive Inventory (R-GOCI). The R-GOCI, a 10-item measure assessing the severity of OC symptoms centering on the individual’s feelings towards his or her God and the “rightness” of the relationship experience as well as obsessions relating to religious observance. The R-GOCI was found to be internally consistent and showed the expected associations with OCD related symptoms and cognitions, mood and relationship variables. Our preliminary investigation of relationship-with-God OC phenomena has the potential to increase research and clinical awareness of patients with such clinical presentations thereby reducing misdiagnosis of this disabling phenomena. Interventions for such phenomena may draw on OCD and relationship OCD treatment literature.



The following statements describe the way people may experience their relationship with God. Please rate the extent to which such thoughts and behaviors describe your experiences in your relationship with God.


  Not at all A little Moderately A lot All the time
1. I seek confirmation that my love of God is strong enough. 1 2 3  4 5
2. The thought that I don’t really observe God’s laws occupies me. 1 2 3  4 5
3. I find myself constantly doubting my emotional relationship with God. 1 2 3  4 5
4. I check – over and over again – whether I observe God’s laws correctly 1 2 3  4 5
5. I’m looking for confirmation that my emotional relationship with God is “real” 1 2 3  4 5
6. The thought that something is wrong with the way I observe God’s laws bothers me. 1 2 3  4 5
7. I have a need to check and evaluate how much I love God. 1 2 3  4 5
8. I’m not sure that I observe God’s laws properly. 1 2 3  4 5
9. I keep on re-examining the truthfulness of my relationship to God. 1 2 3  4 5
10. I feel a need to check and re-check how much I observe God’s laws. 1 2 3  4 5