Common Causes of Relationship Problems
Relationships require respect, care, and communication for them to remain healthy and fulfilling. We each learn about love, communication, and our behavior in our first relationships with our parents or primary caregivers. When two people come together they naturally bring with them expectations, assumptions, and communication styles based on those early relationships. Ideally, the individuals learn what pre-existing patterns and behaviors from old relationships do not support the current relationship with the person in front of them and they are able to adjust. Destructive communications and maladaptive behavior patterns can erode the bonds between partners.
Thus, it is not surprising that we find challenges and feel distress in our relationship with our significant other. The goal of relationship counseling is to gain insight into relationship patterns, conflicts, and challenges, and work together to improve communication skills to problem solve, enhance emotional connection and empathy.
What are the most common causes of relationship problems?
- Expectations – unrealistic, unclear, and unexpressed expectations can create disappointment, unhappiness, and instability. You may know what you expect but your partner is not a mind reader and likely has no clue. Partners can struggle to live up to the other’s expectations even when they are unrealistic or unclear.
- Communication – Communication is a common issue in relationships. It may be difficult to communicate unmet needs. In fact, you may be frustrated and angry, feel unheard or unable to express yourself, and you may not even understand what it is you feel or need.
- Finances – One in ten people argue about money. Problems can appear as lack of money, splitting finances, job loss, and/or poor money management. Money problems are one of the most troublesome challenges a couple can face.
- Mental health issues including depression, drug and alcohol abuse and trauma.
- Lack of trust is a serious relationship issue. Trust is vital in any relationship because it provides a sense of security and safety. Lack of emotional support, dishonesty, constant criticism, verbal abuse, blaming, jealousy, infidelity, unreliability, and insecurity can all lead to a lack of trust.
- Control issues, lack of respect and disrespect for the other can devolve into contempt and destroy a relationship.
- Lack of self-esteem, poor confidence and poor boundary setting can lead to trouble in any relationship.
- Defensiveness is a response to criticism and blame can shatter a relationship.
- Boredom may show as feeling stuck in a relationship. Companionship, compatibility, and shared values are important but sometimes that is not enough.
- Lack of sex and intimacy, or fear of intimacy.
- Growing apart, changing life goals.
These are just a few of the ways in which a relationship can suffer. There is help and hope. With a caring therapist and the right treatment, you can learn to make positive changes for a healthy and productive relationship. If this sounds like something you or a loved one are struggling with, we at Healthymynds in Redondo Beach are here to help. Reach out to schedule a consultation and learn how to address common causes of relationship problems.