10 Ways You Could Be Destroying Your Relationship
There are many, many ways that we either consciously or unconsciously sabotage our relationships. The success of our relationships relies on a constant process of trial and error – finding out what works and what doesn’t and navigating the choppy waters with a shared sense of purpose and direction. Any one of those challenges we face can escalate into a relationship threatening crisis if not understood and given the attention it needs. Following are ten common reasons why relationships fall apart:
1. Withdrawing – Often issues that really need to be dealt with get swept under the carpet for one of two reasons; either we feel it is too difficult or uncomfortable to confront, or we feel (or our partner makes us feel) that it is not significant enough to bring up. However, anything that is important to one or both partners that is left unresolved will gradually create resentment and will likely explode (often about something entirely unrelated) sometime in the future.
2. Reduced Affection – It’s natural that our desire for physical affection reduces once our hormones revert back to normal levels after the initial stages of falling in love. However consistent non-sexual physical touch is essential to retain intimacy and closeness in your relationship. Simple things such as holding hands, hugs and gentle loving touches are vital to maintaining that connection.
3. The Need to be Right – Whenever we are determined to be right we automatically dismiss our partner’s opinion. And when we feel dismissed we are unlikely to feel inclined to be intimate with our partner. In most cases there is no right or wrong, and we all see the world through different eyes. Being open to your partner’s opinions will make them feel more valued, and allows the opportunity to find a different solution.
4. Not Making Your Relationship Your Top Priority – After we settle down it is easy to put work, kids etc ahead of our intimate relationship. However the quality of your relationship affects the quality of everything else in your life, and if we neglect it everything suffers. And your kids want nothing more than for the two of you to be happy. The quality of your relationship affects the quality of their lives enormously.
5. Not Listening – Most of us think we are good listeners, but few of us are. We hear, but we don’t truly listen. Listening is a skill, and utilising effective questioning to follow up what our partner has said is vital to them feeling understood and supported.
6. Excessive Criticism – We all criticise at one time or another, and generally it is not overly harmful. But when criticism becomes the predominate method of communication in your relationship then you will quickly find yourselves in trouble. Criticism is an ineffective way of achieving what you desire, so it is vital to find other methods of communicating your needs.
7. Dishonesty – Trust is vital in an intimate relationship, and any dishonesty will quickly erode that trust. Often it’s not the act that causes the most hurt, it is the dishonesty about it that really drives a wedge between you.
8. Invalidating Your Partner – We all come from different backgrounds, environments and experiences, and as a result we all have a unique view of the world. If we are determined to make our partner see the world through our eyes we send the message that they are not valued for who they are, and as a result they will become reluctant to share their thoughts and feelings with you.
9. Excessive Anger – Few of us are immune to the odd outburst of anger, and occasionally it can be healthy for a relationship, but when anger becomes pervasive it can tear a relationship apart. Some people can handle anger better than others, and often the perpetrator doesn’t understand the destructive effect their anger has on their partner. It can make them feel belittled, fearful and unsafe, and that is a recipe for distancing yourself from your partner.
10. Lack of Affirmation – We all react more positively when we feel accepted as we are. However as a relationship goes along it is very easy to get caught up in the negatives and begin to overlook the good things about our partner and our relationship. It’s vital to a healthy relationship to make a point of seeing the good things and pointing them out to your partner.
These are just a few of the common issues in relationships, and any one of them can lead to the demise of your relationship if not attended to. If any of these are infiltrating your relationship, then perhaps now is a good time to do something about it.