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Relationship Problems - Definition, Symptoms & Causes

A personal relationship involves, by varying degrees, an emotional connection between two people, whether between family members, friends, or within an intimate relationship with a partner. Many people gravitate towards personal relationships as they can be a source of companionship, excitement, love, pleasure, or support. When a life event or disagreement occurs, a personal relationship may come under pressure and either or both people involved may experience uncomfortable thoughts or emotions.

Symptoms of Relationship Problems

Personal relationship issues may involve having different expectations of a relationship, not accepting someone is different or decides their own direction in life, denial of the present with a focus on the past or future, or a lack of boundaries, communication or negotiation. Symptoms may include anger, anxiety, competitiveness, depression, doubt, hatred, hostility, humiliation, hurt, isolation, jealousy, low self esteem, powerlessness, resentment, sadness, shame, silence, stress, tension, or withdrawal.

Causes of Relationship Problems

The causes of personal relationship problems are many and may include abuse, affairs, alcohol dependence, a bereavement, codependency, critical parents, debt, divorce, divorced parents, domestic violence, emotional abuse, family problems, impotency, infertility, physical abuse, physical illness, power struggles, moving house, one parent families, personal growth, pregnancy, mother and baby issues, redundancy, step families, stuckness, sex, unresolved issues, verbal abuse, or work stress.

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Updated 31 December 2013