Three Very Good Reasons . . .


. . . to look to a relationship as a source of personal, emotional and behavioral problems.

1. Psychological research

Many researchers now propose that relationships can be the actual causes of many emotional problems. For example, some suggest that relationships are the context in which emotional/psychological problems emerge, flourish, or are corrected.

Furthermore,  relationship disturbances are the roots of emotional/psychological problems. They say that “relationship issues are not only important for defining problems, but also for understanding the origin and course of disorder.”

2. Long-standing psychological advice

Here’s another another good, time-tested reason.  For years, psychologists have advised that we cannot effectively help people with their personal problems solely by focusing on the individual;  that you have  to look beyond the person, outside of the person, to another element that also influences or causes our behavior. Psychologists have called that element by various names: the setting, the situation, or the environment in which the behavior occurs. Relationships are such settings, situations or environments. Overlooking this important source of problematic behavior could result in our misinterpreting the cause, course, and possibly the correction of the conflict that is occurring.

3. Every day common observations of human behavior

You have probably observed that people behave differently in different settings, places or situations. For example, we behave differently at a football game than we do at a theater; we behave differently at a lecture than we do at a picnic; we behave differently in a bar than we do in church.

One reason for this is that the varieties of situations or settings in which we find ourselves place different expectations on our behavior. Each relationship we encounter also places different expectations—indeed, demands—on our behavior. So it’s the relationship that contributes to our behavior, both problematic and otherwise, and it is the relationship we must address when attempting to correct problems.

The manner in which relationships shape and direct behavior is similar in ways that other environments direct our actions. For example, the earthly environment, through its climatic conditions, requires people to behave differently in various kinds of weather. If these demands are not met, possible health problems or even death can occur. Relationship like other environments makes demands on its inhabitants. These demands come in the form of expected behaviors; if these behaviors are not present then the relationship is at risk for problems, which in turn may lead to the death of the relationship.

Thanks for reading.