We keep talking about the things we should be doing if we want a healthier, happier, and generally smoother relationship.
But what about the things we should not be doing? The things that slowly and silently sabotage our relationships. The things we usually take for granted and think they’re “no big deal.” The things that might trigger our partner and slowly push them away.
I bet we rarely think about them. Naturally, we tend to focus more on what could enhance our relationships—such as communication, respect, trust, quality time, second chances, and so on. But focusing on what could deteriorate our love bonds is honestly tough work.
The honest reason behind why we tend to focus on improvements and not failures is because failures are extremely personal. Failures mean we’re doing something wrong, and as human beings, we don’t like to admit, fix, or own our sh*t.
Folks, if we want our relationships to work, we need to own our sh*t. We need to have a clear, honest, direct conversation with ourselves and cut our partners some slack. It’s not always them; sometimes it’s us, and we need to acknowledge it. And remember, when we address our failures, with time, they become improvements.
Here are five things we might be doing that could potentially, one day, bring our relationships to an end:
1. Being constantly unhappy. Sadness is normal, and sometimes it just creeps into even the happiest days. Life happens, and we have no control over what could suddenly transpire. However, when we constantly feel blue for no reason, especially if we have a supportive and caring partner, this could make them feel as if they’re not doing enough. Normalize talking to your partner about your emotions and seek help if/when you need it.
2. Bottling up your emotions after a fight. Suppressing our feelings after a disagreement with our partner is bad for us and them. They might think we’re okay when, in fact, we have so much to say. When we don’t address what we want or need, we end up feeling angry and rejected. Having disagreements is normal; however, we need to build effective communication so we don’t explode over silly things in the future.
3. Neglecting yourself. When we enter relationships, we slowly become comfortable in the presence of our partner. Over time, we might neglect ourselves and lose our identity because we think there’s no need to care for ourselves. Our partner is not going anywhere, right? Well, wrong. To maintain a happy, long-term relationship, we should never feel too comfortable and lose ourselves in the process. Prioritize self-care because it might cost you your relationship one day.
4. Not taking your partner’s needs seriously. Relationships consist of two different people with different needs and wants. What our partner wants might appear to be totally unimportant or silly, but for them, it’s not. We’re not them; we’re not their past, their experiences, or their traumas. That said, never underestimate your partner’s needs when they express them. Take them into account however “silly” they might appear to be.
5. Exhibiting controlling behavior. Being in a relationship with someone else doesn’t mean we have the right to control, change, or fix them; we can only inspire them to become better people. If we tend to control their whereabouts or behaviors, we might have fear of abandonment or trust/self-worth issues, which is never our partner’s fault. Work on yourself before your behaviors transform into obvious red flags.