16 Ways To Ruin A Relationship! Are You Guilty Of Any?

If you have moved beyond the headline of this writing you must have some interest in developing, maintaining, and, hopefully, thriving in your primary love relationship. It is my intent to offer you both the positive things that you might do to enhance your relationship as well as to present behaviors that ruin your relationship. Psychotherapist Amy Morin has put together fifteen factors. I list them and add my commentary. Plus, I have added another that I feel most people need as a reminder.

  1. NAGGING TOO MUCH: Many studies have indicated that this is very high on the list of grievances that men have with women. Hopefully your communication and negotiation of what needs to be done by whom at what time can be easily agreed upon and carried out accordingly. Men don’t need “Mamas” to nag on them nor do they need to act like a petulant or procrastinating teenage boy when certain things need to be done.
  2. NOT TAKING CARE OF YOURSELF: I hear this one a lot in relationship counseling. In good relationships each partner makes a big effort to bring his or her best to the other – in every form and fashion. Your partner deserves your best!
  3. TAKING YOUR PARTNER FOR GRANTED: Think of the time when you were very consumed with your partner when you were dating. You did little, and big, things to make that person feel special. Time should not erode those continued behaviors. Ramp it up a bit.
  4. HALF-LISTENING: Nodding your head with an occasional “ah hah” doesn’t get it. Focus in more and maybe mention a point heard and ask him/her to elaborate.
  5. AVOIDING DISCUSSIONS ABOUT PROBLEMS: It is amazing for me in counseling to hear how many problems are “shoved under the rug”, not brought up and attended to. The more problems are avoided the more serious they usually become.
  6. NOT BEING ASSERTIVE: Too often individuals passively assent and do not speak up as to what they are thinking and feeling about a particular issue. It’s hard to respect someone who is not assertive with regard to issues of importance.
  7. TESTING YOUR PARTNER’S LOYALTY: Trust is not to be tampered with. Consistent confidence in your partner is important. Earn and maintain it.
  8. COMPLAINING ABOUT YOUR PARTNER: This is one of my biggest pet peeves. If you have an issue with your partner talk with him or her about it. By bringing the issue to someone else you damage trust and may damage your partner’s reputation in ways that cannot be redeemed.
  9. NOT BALANCING FRIEND AND FAMILY TIME: Your calendar tells you how you divvy up your time. Hopefully spouse and kids are your highest priority.
  10. USING THE SILENT TREATMENT: Question for you. Who does this more, men or women? You or your spouse? There is a place for short term silence as in cooling your temper down. However, communication is necessary for direction, problem resolution, and re-connection when needed.
  11. TAKING TEASING TOO FAR: Once you are past your teen years teasing should be kept to a minimum or not done at all. Teasing rarely makes the other person feel good and usually tends to move the person away emotionally. Most people are more sensitive, especially in certain areas, than you may believe they are.
  12. TELLING “WHITE LIES”: Any lie whittles away at trust. Better to say nothing than to cop out and offer a “white lie”. That is not to say that everything that you think and feel needs to come out of your mouth!
  13. FOCUSING ON YOUR HAPPINESS ONLY: You may think you are important, and you are. However, so is your significant other. Being all about you is narcissistic and off putting. Do your best to make your partner happy in various ways. If you are in a good relationship, this will help and assure that you will get plenty back to make you happy.
  14. KEEPING SCORE: I despise this one. Score keeping ruins relationships. Do your best to fully participate in the relationship and have confidence that your partner is doing the best s/he is capable as well.
  15. MAKING A SCENE IN PUBLIC: This is a classy one! You embarrass yourself and your partner doing this and probably assure yourself that you will not be welcomed back to that place again. Watch your drinking, your temper, and your mouth, especially when you are in public.
  16. CRITICISM: It doesn’t work. Give it up. A better way is to make a positive statement of what you would like or need. Invite your partner to do something rather than criticize what was not done. I know this is tricky but language can be learned that avoids criticism and optimizes the possibility of getting done what you want.

Needless to say these are not the only ways to ruin a relationship. There are many more! These are some of the more subtle or common ones that well meaning individuals do to erode their relationship. May these serve as reminders even to the best of you!

“The unexamined life is not worth living”    Socrates

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