Where do relationship issues come from?

  • It is normal to experience problems in relationships from time to time but if it feels like you are facing constant problems or like you have never really had a healthy relationship, it may be time to take a closer look at what is going on. 

  • Our early childhood experiences can have a huge impact on how we show up in relationships, whether with friends, intimate partners, or co-workers. We tend to behave in the ways that were modelled for us by the adults we grew up with and this means we can pick up a lot of bad habits unconsciously. For example, we might not learn how to communicate our needs assertively and set appropriate boundaries if we didn't see our parents do this. 

  • If you had a traumatic childhood and experienced abuse or neglect growing up, you might have a hard time trusting people or being vulnerable, which can make it hard to develop close emotional bonds with others. Or, you might have a fear of being abandoned, leading you to seek closeness with someone who can't give it to you or who treats you badly. Relationships might be tied up with a lot of anxiety if you have been treated badly in the past. These kinds of problems are sometimes called attachment issues

  • When we don't learn what healthy relationships look like early on, we might miss red flags that could warn us that someone we are forming a relationship with could be dangerous or abusive. We also might not see abusive behaviours for what they are, if they seem normal to us. Sometimes, low self-esteem and experiences of childhood abuse lead us to believe that we don't deserve to be treated well. 

  • Being in an abusive relationship takes a huge toll, especially in the long-term. Depression and thoughts of suicide can become an issue in these situations. If you or someone you know is experiencing thoughts of suicide or self-harm, it is very important to reach out for help. 

  • If chronic, repeated relationship issues are a problem, talking to a therapist can help you understand your relationship patterns and learn healthier behaviours. 


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