One of the biggest threats to a relationship is when one or both of you stop trying. We all know the honeymoon period isn’t going to last forever. Once the butterflies in your stomach start to fade, you’re entering a new phase in your relationship where you’re both comfortable being yourselves. But, be careful, or you could start to lose sight of why you’re coupled up at all. Here are some things you might be doing to destroy your relationship without even realizing it.
You’re unnecessarily critical. No one is perfect. There’s nothing wrong with making suggestions if you’re trying to help your boyfriend through something, but constantly scrutinizing and judging his every move is eventually going to become grating. No one wants their character to be questioned at every turn, and it’s unlikely he’ll put up with your negative attitude for long.
You’re always passing the blame. Being able to say you’re sorry requires you to be able to admit when you did something wrong. If you can’t do that, you’re essentially saying you’re always right and he’s always wrong, which is just never the case. It’s not a competition, so losing a couple of battles along the way isn’t the end of the world. If you want to destroy your relationship, refuse to take accountability. That will do it.
You laugh at each other’s expense. Lighthearted teasing might seem like no big deal. That is until it starts to take a malicious, hurtful turn. It might be harmless at first, but we often don’t realize when we’ve taken it too far, and end up saying things we regret.
You only pretend to listen. It’s going to be pretty obvious if you’re constantly asking questions and then tuning out the answer. You’ll both start to feel like nothing you say really matters, and you’re just going through the motions of being in a relationship.
You value honesty over tact. While there’s no doubt that honesty in a relationship is extremely important, so is being in touch with your partner’s feelings. If you know he’s insecure about gaining a few pounds, you probably shouldn’t tease him about it. No one likes their flaws to be constantly pointed out, so know when to keep your mouth shut.
You don’t make quality time for each other. Notice I said quality, not quantity. The sheer number of hours you spend in each other’s presence is a lot less important than what you do while you’re together. If all you do is small talk over dinner, watch TV in silence, then go to bed, you might as well have spent the night alone.
You make each other your entire life. You can’t get enough of each other, I get it. But you need to have a life outside of your relationship or you’ll end up way too dependent on each other. You’ll wake up one day with no friends, no hobbies, and no boyfriend once he realizes he needs more than just a relationship to be happy.
You hold grudges/don’t let things go. If your partner hurts you in any way, it’s perfectly understandable to be angry about it and even to confront them about their behavior. However, once they understand and apologize for how they’ve wronged you, it’s important to move on. Holding grudges make you an angry and bitter person, and these feelings will prevent you from being happy. Forgiveness should come second nature to you if you don’t want to destroy your relationship.
You take everything personally. Not everything is about you and that’s a good thing. When your partner mentions they don’t like black jeans, it doesn’t mean they’re secretly judging you for wearing them. When they say they’re exhausted from socializing too much work, that doesn’t mean they’re sick of talking to you. Instead of taking things personally, realize that you complement your partner’s life – you’re not the whole thing.
You drop hints instead of communicating openly and directly. Unless your partner is a mind reader, chances are they don’t always understand what you’re trying to convey with hints. A relationship based on passive-aggressiveness isn’t healthy because it means you’re unable to express your thoughts, feelings, and desires as directly as you should. Remember, open and honest communication is key to long-lasting healthy relationships.
You avoid conflict at all costs. It might seem like a great idea to change the subject to avoid conflict because if you don’t fight, there’s nothing to resolve, right? That’s definitely not the case. Avoiding conflict will not only cut off honest communication between you, but it will also force you to suppress your feelings and bottle up frustrations, leaving you mentally exhausted and eventually resentful of your partner. Instead of avoiding conflict, engage in a meaningful conversation to resolve the issue and remember points #1 and #2.
You take your partner for granted. There’s a fine line between being kind and being taken for granted. If you want to save your relationship, you’d better know the distinction. When’s the last time you thanked your partner for doing something nice for you? Appreciate them for the small things they do every day and let them know that you will never take them for granted. Treat them the way you want to be treated.
You try to change them. If anything will destroy a relationship, it’s this. No one’s ever going to be perfect, so if you can’t accept your partner flaws and all, maybe it’s time to revisit the reasons why you’re together. Unless you’re trying to help them live a better life (and they’ve actually asked for your input), let your partner decide whether they’re willing to change who they are. Don’t force them to change just because you think the outcome would be better for you. Don’t be selfish.
You pretend to listen. Your partner will be hurt if you constantly tune out when they’re talking to you about something important. If you’re in the middle of work, politely ask them to wait as you won’t be focused on whatever they have to say. If you’re not busy, pay attention to them. If you pretend to listen, they’ll be able to tell and after a while, they’ll start to do the same thing. This tit-for-tat situation will disconnect you from each other even if you live under the same roof.
You constantly point out their flaws. Partners should indeed be honest with each other, but honesty should not become the bullet that lodges in your partner’s heart. If you know their insecurities, you should help them overcome their flaws, not tease them and expect them to not take it personally. Point out flaws only if you have a solution to help them overcome, otherwise, don’t poke them where it hurts most. Remember, your partner is likely already aware of their shortcomings. They don’t need your constant reminders.
You refuse to change. There are certain aspects of our life only our partners can help us change. When you started dating your partner, was your life different from what it is now? Maybe you’ve gone to a few anger management classes together, joined a gym, or started living a healthier life. Remember, change is good only if it benefits both of you and you see positive changes in your relationship.
You won’t admit or apologize when you’re wrong. If you said or did something that hurt your partner, apologize. Own up for what you did wrong. If you’re having a hard time apologizing, that’s not a good thing. It means that you’re always right and your partner is always wrong, and that’s never true. You’re not perfect – you make mistakes too. Making mistakes isn’t the problem, not apologizing after committing mistakes is a huge problem. Sure, you’ve lost a few battles, but it’s not the end of the world. Own up and say you’re sorry so you can move forward. Otherwise, you’ll surely destroy your relationship.