A relationship can be amazing … right up until it isn’t.
John Lennon once said, “We’ve got this gift of love, but love is like a precious plant. You can’t just accept it and leave it in the cupboard or just think it’s going to get on by itself. You’ve got to keep watering it. You’ve got to really look after it and nurture it.”
We’ve all had relationships that have felt as if they would go on forever, but in the end they just couldn’t stand up to the stress or the problems that had been caused. Knowing the types of things that can cause a strong relationship to grow weak can help you avoid making the same errors.
Once you know the common issues that kill a relationship, you’ll be better equipped to either avoid them, or work on the problems and make your relationship strong again.
Here Are 5 Habits That Can Destroy Relationships And How To Avoid Them
No one wants to think that they’re being unkind to their significant other. And usually, they aren’t being unkind in an overt or cruel way. But rather, a time comes in a relationship where couples are no longer supporting one another unconditionally. Instead, you may start saying “no” to things that your significant other asks of you. This unkindness is subtler, and it can grow into resentment of feeling as if your partner doesn’t care about you.
How to avoid it?
In order to avoid this, make sure that you give your partner your full attention when they ask something of you. Say ‘yes’ more often. Let your partner know you care about them by accepting what they’re saying to you.
Remember, “Research has shown that the way a problem is brought up determines both how the rest of that conversation will go and how the rest of the relationship will go,” says certified Gottman therapist Carrie Cole, M.Ed., LPC-S.
2. Fights that never end
When a relationship is starting to crumble, you may find that you’re getting into fights with your significant other that don’t ever seem to have an end. You could be fighting over the most ridiculous thing – it often doesn’t matter who’s right, but it’s the principle of the thing.
“There are good rows and bad rows but make no mistake – everybody argues. Ridiculing or humiliating each other is not a good idea, or a good omen,” says author Kate Figes. Often times, these fights aren’t even about the matter at hand. Rather, they’re about feeling hurt, or misunderstood, or taken advantage of.
How to avoid it?
Learn to take responsibility for yourself, your words or your actions. You may not have intended to hurt your partner, but that could have possibly happened. When you find yourself getting defensive and can feel one of those never-ending fights coming on, try encouraging your partner to tell you why they’re upset, and what you could do to make it better because “you are more likely to understand each other better,” adds Figes.
After all, it takes two people to argue.
3. Feeling lonely after a fight
After a fight that doesn’t seem to have a resolution, couples often isolate themselves in order to let the frustration and anger in the room dissipate. While it may be good every once in a while, to go and cool off, it starts to get lonely. The relationship can start to falter when we don’t have the one person that we count on to make is feel better by our sides after a fight. If you’re left to feel lonely after a fight, it can start to cause resentment.
How to avoid it?
The best way to avoid this particular issue is to deal with it. After the fight has ended, it’s time to talk about it. Unpack what went wrong, and why each other’s feelings got hurt. Validate what your partner is saying to you, and understand where you might have gone wrong. And remember to explain yourself as well. Tell your partner how you feel, so they can understand where you’re coming from.
4. Changing history
When a relationship starts to go wrong, you may find that you start rewriting things in your head a bit. To protect yourself, you start imagining that you were never in love with your partner in the first place. After all, it’s easier to leave a relationship that you were never invested in, than to leave one that you know will take pieces of you with it in the end. You may begin to change the history of your relationship in your head entirely, just to make it easier for yourself to move on.
How to avoid it?
The way to fix this is to let your vulnerability show. Sit down with your partner and explain how you feel. When you have arguments, let yourself show the softer and more vulnerable side of you. Instead of turning away from your partner, turn towards them. They can’t help you keep history right unless you let them.
5. Your partner is a stranger
It can feel weird to sleep beside someone who you had just gotten into a huge argument with. They had hurt your feelings, and now you return to your marriage bed and it can feel like your partner is a stranger to you. You may begin to tell yourself that you never really knew them at all. You begin to think negatively about your partner, and focusing only on the negative things about them, rather than all of the wonderful and good things that they make you feel.
How to avoid it?
Instead of letting this fester, give your partner unexpected kindness. They may be feeling the same way. Show them that you love them through actions, and they’ll be able to do the same thing. “Becoming a more effective partner is the most efficient way to assure a loving, intimate relationship,” says psychotherapist, counsellor and author Judy Ford.
Remember all of the good things about your partner that they have shown you throughout your time together. Start showing the good parts of yourself again, too – and your partner will feel compelled to do the same.
Falling out of love can happen before you even know it. By then, the relationship is already over. Instead of letting your relationship fail due to common issues, learn the signs of a faltering relationship and be ready to take actions to correct it. Sometimes, we may have to look deep into ourselves and ask if we’re bringing our best self into the relationship. If the answer is no, then it’s time to change and show our partners that we love them through our actions.
“We don’t develop courage by being happy every day. We develop it by surviving difficult times and challenging adversity.” – Barbara De Angelis
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