“Good relationships keep us happier and healthier. Period.” -Robert Waldinger
We are wired to connect.
It’s clear that relationships are an important part of life. They facilitate learning, community and growth.
Additional benefits to relationships include support, contribution, purpose and meaning.
As much as they are valuable, important and rewarding, relationships can be difficult and even painful.
In the beginning, a relationship may feel like it is going well. However, gradual or sudden changes may become more noticeable.
We may doubt ourselves and think, “it’s just me,” and blame it to overthinking, but just something about the relationship doesn’t feel quite right.
The following relationship challenges list are common things we may begin to notice:
- frequent arguments
- frequent need to control things
- insults, name calling and criticizing
- shutting down, withdrawing, ignoring
- commitment difficulties
- lack of consideration for one another’s needs
Of course, it’s not exclusive only to these difficulties. But if any of these are occurring in a relationship it’s a sign that one or both individuals may need help.
Not all relationships are the same.
The severity of challenges differ based on context, frequency and impacts on our mental health.
There isn’t a “perfect” relationship, however there are essential ingredients that contribute to emotional wellness such as safety, respect, acceptance and engagement.
According Robert Waldinger 1 in 5 people will report feeling lonely. Waldinger further explains that high conflict relationships and loneliness impact the quality of our health, life longevity and happiness. (2016)
Relationship distress may include the following, but not limited:
- feeling anxious
- feeling stressed/overwhelmed
- angry outbursts/irritability
- changes in energy
- changes in motivation
- trouble sleeping
- negative thoughts about self/others
- feelings of shame/worthlessness
- trouble letting things go
If you are experiencing any of these difficulties, a mental health counselor can help.
A mental health counselor can help an individual process the “stuck” points. This means that we have the opportunity to understand both ourselves and what happened.
Now, the list above didn’t include relationship difficulties such as abuse, domestic violence and betrayals.
If this has occurred, there are complexities to the relational and emotional wounding that need to be addressed in more depth with a mental health professional.
A provider can facilitate the healing and recovery process for the individual who has experienced this type of pain.
You are not alone.
You are important, valuable and worthy of respect.
If this feels right. Please call us for more information.
Waldinger, R. (2016). What makes a good life? Lessons from the longest study on happiness. Retrieved October 23, 2020, from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8KkKuTCFvzI
Waldinger, R. (2020). Lifespan Research Foundation. Retrieved October 23, 2020, from https://www.lifespanresearch.org/