Relationship Issues

Relationship Issues

Many clients come to BHNY to work on their relationship issues in individual therapy. Some have issues of trust, insecurity, or fear of abandonment. Others may get jealous easily, feel inadequate, or unlovable. These issues can cause conflict in one’s relationship with a romantic partner, friend or family member. They can also affect how one relates and interacts with others at work with colleagues or higher level managers.

Working with a psychologist can help uncover your internal issues that may surface in your relationships with your partner, friend, family member, or co-worker. The more you can learn about your own dynamics, the stronger connections you can build, and the more fulfilling relationships you can have in your life.

Fight Couple

Types of Relationship Issues

Trust Issues

Difficulty trusting others due to past betrayals, experience of abuse, or a general lack of trust — leading to skepticism, suspicion, or an unwillingness to be vulnerable.

Commitment Phobia

People who feel significant anxiety, doubt, or discomfort when facing the idea of committing to someone long-term. They may actively avoid or sabotage relationships when they start to become serious.

Fear of Abandonment

A deep-rooted fear of being rejected, abandoned, or left alone – which can often result in clinginess, neediness, or seeking out excessive attention in relationships.

Emotional Unavailability

Having difficulty expressing their emotions and understanding the emotions of their partner.
This can result in a lack of emotional response, intimacy avoidance, and difficulty being engaged or present in the relationship.

Fear of Intimacy

Characterized by an intense fear of emotional closeness or vulnerability, leading to difficulties in forming deeper connections, maintaining long-term relationships, or expressing emotions.

Feeling Unlovable

A core belief or perception that one is unworthy of love, affection, or acceptance from others. People who feel unlovable my anticipate rejection in relationships and have difficulties trusting or fully opening-up to others.

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Signs of Relationship Issues

Relationship issues can show up in a broad spectrum of ways that include:

  • Jealous and Possessive: Strong feelings of suspicion and need to keep a firm grip on the relationship – often by constant checking, monitoring, or questioning your partner’s interactions with others.
  • Needy or Clingy: Frequently seeking reassurance, attention, or validation from their partner. Feeling anxious or insecure when apart, and relying heavily on the relationship for emotional fulfillment.
  • Emotional Walls: You make sure you never get too close to anyone emotionally. If you start feeling yourself getting close, you often back away and create emotional distance.
  • Poor Boundaries: Difficulty maintaining healthy boundaries, either by being overly accommodating and sacrificing personal needs or being excessively guarded and not willing to compromise.
  • Overly Critical: Being excessively critical of their partner, constantly finding faults or flaws, and trying to control their partner’s behaviors.
  • Constant Conflict: Engaging in frequent arguments, conflicts, or power struggles in the relationship, often due to difficulty in communication or the need for control.
  • Emotional Volatility: Experiencing frequent mood swings, emotional outbursts, or intense emotional reactions leading to instability in maintaining a healthy connection.
  • Serial Dater: You fear being tied down and seek-out the novelty and excitement of  meeting someone new – without committing to longer term, deeper connections.

Therapy for Relationship Issues

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)

CBT can help identify negative core beliefs you might have about yourself, the opposite sex, or relationships in general. These negative core beliefs can lead to feelings of insecurity, jealousy, lack of trust, or fear of commitment. By teaching you to challenge these belief systems, CBT can help you remove personal barriers to healthy relationships which can foster better communication, trust, and intimacy with your partner.

Acceptance & Commitment Therapy (ACT)

ACT can help you manage anxiety, fear, and difficult emotions that can arise in the context of relationships. Through cognitive defusion of unhelpful thoughts, mindful awareness, and committed action, ACT can help you move toward your true values and guide healthy relationship choices.

Interpersonal Therapy (IPT)

Interpersonal Therapy (IPT) can help individual relationship issues by improving communication skills, identifying and resolving interpersonal conflicts, recognizing patterns in relationships, and developing strategies to set boundaries and assert needs. By exploring past relationship dynamics and current interpersonal patterns, IPT helps individuals gain insight into their behavior and emotional responses, fostering healthier connections with others.

RT Therapy

What Causes Relationship Issues?

Contributing Factors

There can be various factors contributing to someone’s relationship issues, which can include:

  • Family Dynamics: Growing up in a family with high conflict, poor role modeling, or enmeshment can affect one’s relationships in adulthood.
  • Relationship Trauma: Previous dysfunctional relationships can lead to trust issues, fear of commitment, difficulty with vulnerability, and fear of criticism.
  • Attachment Styles: Different attachment styles can contribute to relationship issues. Avoidant attachment style can result in emotional unavailability and distancing.  Anxious attachment can lead one to be needy, clingy, and overly jealous.
  • Communication: Difficulty expressing emotions, or lack of empathy, can make it difficult to form close relationships.
  • Codependency: Codependency can lead to dysfunctional behavior in a relationship including excessive caretaking, enabling behavior, loss of identity, and poor boundaries.
  • Contentious Divorce: Experiencing a tumultuous divorce (yours or your parents) can lead to trust issues, fear of commitment, being emotionally guarded, and financial anxiety.

Common Triggers

Certain situations or environments can bring somebody’s relationship issues to the surface:

  • Abandonment or Rejection: Being abandoned or rejected can trigger relationship issues such as neediness, jealousy and insecurity
  • Betrayal or Infidelity:  Infidelity in past or present relationships can trigger feelings of distrust, insecurity, and fear of commitment.
  • Conflict or arguments: Intense and frequent conflicts or arguments can trigger one’s relationship issues such as emotional withdrawal and avoidance.
  • Loss or grief: Losing a loved one, through death or a breakup, can result in  fear of another loss, trust issues, fear of commitment, and emotional withdrawal.
  • Criticism:  Receiving criticism or harsh judgement can trigger feeling of inadequacy, self doubt, and defensive behavior in relationships.

Examples of Relationship Issues

  • A wife often finds fault with her husband and frequently picks fights with him over petty issues.
  • A man calls or texts his partner 10 times a day and gets very anxious if he doesn’t get a response back immediately.
  • A girlfriend gets extremely jealous anytime her boyfriend works late at the office or goes for drinks with coworkers.
  • A man has difficulty staying in a relationship for more than 2 months, no matter how well things are going.
  • A woman has difficulty leaving a physically or verbally abusive relationship for fear of being alone.

Benefits of Relationship Issues Therapy

Therapy for Relationship Issues has many benefits for individuals and can help with:

  • Gaining more trust and reducing insecurity
  • Becoming less clingy or needy
  • Overcoming your fear of commitment
  • Being able to open-up and feel vulnerable
  • Allowing yourself to be more present in the relationship
  • Developing a deeper connection with your partner
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Feel Better with BHNY

If you’d like to explore your relationships issues, our clinicians are here to help.