Relationship Discord: Understanding its Roots

Therapists are trained in relationships and understanding relationship patterns. Therapists often see that people in relationships are affected by certain, but not all, actions of their spouse or partner. This can be as small as leaving out the tube of toothpaste or drinking straight out of the carton of milk. On the other hand, profound negative actions on the part of one person in a relationship can really "push the buttons" of their spouse or partner.

Why would an individual be so affected by one action as opposed to another?

Oftentimes, one's "buttons" are pushed because their spouse or partner is touching on emotionally sensitive triggers. These triggers are often not only a sore spot due to one's partner or the current relationship, but rather, they are oftentimes triggers because the person has a sensitivity surrounding a particular issue from the past. These triggers can often be traced to one's prior relationships or childhood relationships within the family of origin.

A past relationship issue might have a central theme of being abused or feeling neglected, for example, and one might feel this common theme or feeling similar feelings in present relationships. Our early relationships form a basis for how we view our future relationships with other people, ourselves and with the external world.

Current conflicts in relationships can often be understood by looking at early conflicts in life and understanding one's role in those relationships.

A trained therapist can help you to identify the roots of a current relational problem by gaining greater understanding of those early relationships and re-defining oneself in the present by creating healthy boundaries and expectations. As a result, one can gain greater satisfaction in current relationships and can experience a reduction in stress, worry and depression.

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