As social beings, we need to develop and nurture healthy relationships. Relationships enrich our lives, give us support in times of need, and challenge us to grow emotionally and spiritually. Good relationships are built on trust, communication, respect, and mindfulness.
Our relationships often face challenges and even major crises. We may face infidelity, a partner keeping secrets about money or an addiction, or even problems with domestic violence. These kinds of betrayals by our loved ones can ruin trust and end our relationships.
Family issues over finances, parenting or personality conflicts between family members can bring pain to our lives. Our relationships with people from different backgrounds can cause problems without a solid basis of shared values.
The effects of relationship issues will vary from person to person but certainly increased feelings of stress, sadness, abandonment and anger are common. We may experience physical effects, including fatigue or insomnia, and our distress will affect our other relationships as well, putting them under strain and increasing our anxiety.
We can learn to rebuild trust and sustain relationships, even where there has been a betrayal. We can learn to communicate more effectively when there are personality conflicts. We can also explore whether certain relationships should be saved, and how to tell children and other loved ones when they cannot. In therapy, we can come to terms with the loss of relationships through death, separation and divorce.
We do not have to live with bad relationships. Therapy is a place to examine beliefs and values. It is where we learn to move forward with healthy strategies to strengthen our bonds with others. It is also where we find a way out of, and forward from, certain relationships. If we can reach out for help, we will enrich ourselves and our relationships.