Why you struggle in relationships

Relationships are sources of joy, happiness, connection, fulfilment, stability and safety. But very often, relationships are complicated.


Our lives are constantly marked by inner and outer conflicts, and it is in our human nature to oppose others, to feel mistreated, prejudiced, and discriminated. If we add the inherent misunderstandings, lack of communication, frustration, and annoyance in our encounters with others, we see already a very complex dynamic.

We struggle with our family, friends, couple life, school, work, neighbourhood, members of our local community, and members of various social, religious and political groups, and these tensions can have a negative impact on us.

Couple relationships can be in particular difficult. They involve love, infatuation, sex, desire, jealousy, betrayal, and insecurity, and when the communication is poor and partners carry within them unhealthy patterns of behaviours form their past relationships, it can be really hard to manage.

We find it difficult to openly communicate our needs to let the others know exactly what we want, when we want it, and how we want it delivered. We imagine our partners know us enough to read our minds and we build up internal tension when we don’t get the desired response.

We believe there is only one reality in this world, which is a faulty belief since each person has their own reality which should be accepted as a valid perspective by everyone else.

We set unrealistic expectations and we get angry, frustrated, and bitter when the others fail to deliver to our standard. In these times, we focus on the shortcomings and not on the overall exchange between us, which is a superficial and dysfunctional approach.

We forget that our human nature is prone to conflict, and we do not learn to limit the damage when problems arise. This is creating an accumulation of distress, and it puts a lot of strain on our relationships.

We tend to get stuck in our painful inner experiences, and we do not learn to embrace healthy ways of dealing with them. We find it difficult to make amends, and to give and receive forgiveness, which will stay in the way of healing. 

We learn to function, observing the world around us, and we continue to live by default, following the crowds. We waste significant parts of our lives in darkness, not knowing that we can edit our beings and create stable, caring, and compassionate relationships with the ones around us.

We rush into decisions, and we do not invest time and patience in our relationships, running away too early, without giving ourselves the time and space to figure out what is actually happening. Sadly, by doing that, we carry with us the losses and the unhealthy relational patterns into our next relationships, only allowing the vicious cycle to continue.

Relationships are not easy, but we can make them pleasant and fulfilling if we really want to. It takes openness to the world around us, an understanding of self, and a willingness to live in peace and harmony with others to develop those positive and satisfying relationships, but it is absolutely rewarding when we do it.

The views expressed in this article are those of the author. All articles published on Counselling Directory are reviewed by our editorial team.

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London W1K & SE22
Written by Nicoleta Porojanu, MSc, BSc Hons, GradDip Psy, PgDip ClinHyp
London W1K & SE22

Nicoleta is a counsellor & psychotherapist with background in clinical psychology and a large variety of clinical and international community experience.

She trained in a wide range of techniques from psychology, CBT and integrative psychotherapy, to mindfulness, hypnotherapy and therapeutic counselling.

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