7 Sneaky Habits That Are Sabotaging Your Relationship
Things like lying, adultery, shouting, and name-calling are clear toxic relationship practices. However, there are other, more pernicious habits that couples pick up over time without recognizing how detrimental they might be. We asked therapists to identify the seemingly unimportant activities that couples do on a regular basis that are unintentionally harming their relationship.
1. You Don’t Maintain A Life Outside The Relationship
It’s usual to experience a honeymoon phase when you first start dating someone, during which you spend the majority of your time together. After some time, though, if you’re still giving your spouse all of your attention while neglecting your friends, family, and other interests, it can be a poor indicator of things to come. According to Saunders, relationships are put under a lot of stress when couples become overly entwined. “Since neither spouse has their own life or support system, maintaining the partnership at any costs can become the goal. If the relationship fails, it could seem as if life is about to end. Make careful to maintain your identity, interests, and important connections outside of your romantic engagement if you want to avoid falling into this destructive trap.
2. You Check Your Partner’s Phone Without Asking
According to Makepeace, it shows a serious lack of confidence in the relationship if you have to check your partner’s phone to verify their loyalty. People in relationships should be able to keep some privacy and independence from their partner without it being odd or dishonest. Psychotherapist Ryan Howes previously told HuffPost that “many people in relationships desire a bit of their own benign independence.” This is not to imply that they wish to part ways. They frequently value and want to maintain their relationships, but they also desire some solitude, which isn’t usually a problem.
3. You Make Promises You Can’t Keep
Making your partner feel loved and valued and establishing trust requires keeping your word, even in tiny matters. On the other hand, if you have a history of promising to do something but then failing to follow through, whether consciously or unconsciously, it can erode your relationship with your partner over time. According to Smith, this might manifest itself in a variety of ways, such as following through and taking care of the car’s lease expiration, completing the baseboard installation in the family room, emptying the dishwasher every day as promised, or failing to be prepared to leave at the scheduled time.
4. You Ignore Your Partner’s Interests
Having interests that are different from your partner’s is natural, healthy even. Just because your significant other like country music doesn’t mean you have to put on a cowboy hat and dash to the next Luke Bryan show. Even if they aren’t really your cup of (sweet) tea, you can still find small ways to encourage your partner’s interests.
Abigail Makepeace, a marital and family therapist in Los Angeles, told HuffPost, “For example, if your partner wants to share a song with you, it is important to show interest in what they enjoy about it or to listen to it, even if you might not have a taste for that genre of music.” “Otherwise, a lack of acknowledgment of your partner’s interests can eventually add up to a feeling that their passions — or that they themselves — are unaccepted in your relationship,” the author writes.
5. You Don’t Say Thank You For The Small Things
You express your gratitude when your partner gives you a gift, arranges a weekend getaway, or schedules a massage for you. But you might overlook the little ways they make your life easier on a daily basis. Over time, anger can develop if these efforts are not acknowledged.
The great gestures are not what make for good relationships. They are created and preserved by the ordinary, little moments, according to Charlotte, North Carolina, therapist Nicole Saunders. Even if it’s something they’should’ do, like unload the dishwasher, failing to acknowledge and appreciate your partner for all the work they put into the relationship is a missed opportunity to forge strong connections. Do not ignore these little deeds. Whatever your partner does to make your life simpler is deserving of praise.
6. You’ve Gotten Lax About Your Personal Hygiene
It’s not a big problem to skip the occasional shower, but when it becomes a habit, it can obstruct intimacy and lead to relationship tension. Kurt Smith, a therapist in Northern California who specializes in counseling guys, said that failing to brush one’s teeth, take a shower, shave, and other basic hygiene rituals might be disrespectful to one’s partners, particularly when one is aware that such behavior disturbs them. It’s important to note that poor hygiene can occasionally be an obvious sign of a mental health issue like depression. Talk to your partner and think about scheduling a mental health consultation if you’re having trouble staying motivated in other parts of your life, feeling unworthy, or withdrawing from social situations.
7. You Criticize Your Partner Instead Of Asking For What You Need
According to couples therapist Zach Brittle, criticism occurs when a problem in the relationship is presented as a defect in a person’s character. You might, for instance, yell at your partner and scream, “You’re always late for supper. Why are you never in a timely manner? You are very thoughtless.
Making our partner defensive by using criticism generally results in a fight rather than the desired improvement, according to Makepeace. These critical remarks over time can damage our partner’s self-esteem and exacerbate emotional distance between you two. Makepeace advised making a precise request for a change in behavior rather than making harsh statements if we want our partners to act differently.