Relationships require work and are bound to face challenges large and small. Simple, everyday stressors can strain an intimate relationship, and major sources of stress may threaten the stability of the relationship. When challenges are left unaddressed, tension mounts, poor habits develop, and the health and longevity of the relationship are in jeopardy.
Chronic relationship conflict or stress can contribute to mental health conditions, like depression or anxiety, for one or both partners. Relationship problems can also affect one’s self-esteem and physical health or lead to feelings of guilt, shame, or anger. Sometimes addictive behaviors, like substance abuse, are employed by one or both partners in order to avoid confronting the source of the relationship conflict. Relationship problems can also adversely affect family members, such as children, who may repeatedly witness relationship conflict between their parents.