Relationships are part of our lives. Indeed, we are social beings and part of our fulfillment in life revolves around building meaningful relationships. Although we often hold on to relationships that are supportive, we can all experience moments where we do not feel much in tune with the other. This can happen for different reasons, sometimes it is in one’s control and sometimes it’s not.
Below are three points which can kill relationships from continuing to be supportive for the individuals involved.
1. Lack of communication
Communication is a key aspect in every relationship. You can have a PHD in communication and you are still bound to have relationship problems. This is not necessarily a bad thing as relationships are complex and in truth we all communicate differently from one another. Miscommunication stems from not being aware of healthy ways to communicate. Both extremes of not talking and talking all the time without allowing the other to express themselves can hinder communication.
Communication needs a space where both individuals can talk openly about their feelings without pointing fingers. Another important aspect is to never assume or expect the other to know what is going through your head. If something is bothering you, speak up and try to find a way together in a transparent way, to prevent a communication meltdown.
2. Lack of boundaries
Any relationship brings two different individuals together with different and similar interests. Some couples may have many common interests, perhaps even in the way they view life. This is not necessarily the healthiest way to be in a relationship. Indeed, it is important to hold on to your own interests and friendships, otherwise you risk becoming too much part of the other and unable to think for yourself. Some long-term relationships which come to a halt, may cause the individuals to experience an identity which has become too intertwined with the relationship and it then becomes very hard to pick up their own interests once again.
Keeping healthy boundaries is not impossible and it ties in with good communication. To do this, just ensure you keep doing the things you love to do, despite being in a relationship. Sometimes it is about finding a compromise between the interests of the relationship and the personal interests of the individual.
3. Lack of trust
This is pretty straight forward, if one cannot trust their partner, it is very difficult to be truly happy in the relationship. It becomes rather draining when one is constantly feeling doubtful. Earning the trust of one another starts with mutual respect. For instance, being on time when agreeing to go out and following through when you commit to something. This can support the process of building trust.
Relationships are challenging. At some point, one needs to take a leap of faith into trusting the other. This is not always achieved by the couple, even if they become aware of the difficulties they have. Here is where talking to a professional such as counselor or psychotherapist about these issues can support the couple. Learning about how you and your partner are contributing to the relationship can shed light on the way forward. Getting in touch with your feelings while listening to the other can support the relationship to become more trustful.
The above points can be relationship killers. Relationships are not easy to maintain and both individuals need to do their part to ensure a meaningful connection. Keeping an eye on the foundations of relationships can help save connections and allow them to prosper.
If you’re experiencing similar issues in your relationship and wish to speak to a professional, you can book an appointment here.
Charlot Cauchi is a Gestalt Psychotherapist at Willingness. He has experience with adult clients with mental health difficulties, anxiety, depression, loss, trauma, stress and relational issues.
Sherts, M. (2014). Conscious communication: How to establish healthy relationships and resolve conflict peacefully while maintaining independence. Sky Meadow Press.