6 Ways We Ruin Relationships And How to Stop
Relationships are hard work. It takes a lot to keep them going, and it can take so little to crash one into the ground. We start off with the best of intentions. Then, before we know it, the whole thing has blown up – and we’re not sure why.
DO YOUR RELATIONSHIPS KEEP GOING BAD DUE TO THE SAME TOXIC BEHAVIORS?
HERE ARE SIX COMMON MISTAKES YOU MIGHT BE MAKING – AND HOW TO STOP.
Lying – even by omission – is one of the most common relationship killers. To stop this behavior, you need to first get to the root of it. Why do you lie? Are you trying to avoid getting in trouble? Are you doing things you know you shouldn’t? Are you fine with your choices, but afraid your partner won’t understand or approve of them? Are you afraid your partner will not accept you for who you are? Do you not accept yourself, for that matter? If you find yourself habitually lying to your significant other, you probably need a more accepting partner, a louder conscience, or a healthier sense of self-love. The latter two can be found with some hard work and the help of a good therapist.
Addictive behavior doesn’t only manifest in drugs and alcohol. Many people are addicted to food, sex, shopping, pornography, video games, or social media. Less important than the behavior itself are the feelings driving it. Are you trying to fill a void in yourself? Are you ignoring a trauma rather than working through it? Do you reach for your addiction to avoid feeling emotions? Are you afraid to be vulnerable? Imperfect? Alone? Find a support group that focuses on your addiction. Some common ones are linked above. Find the courage to confront it, and be honest with your partner along the way. Free yourself. Make it possible to give your whole heart to your significant other.
Poor communication is an ironic result of the digital age. With text and email at our fingertips, we often fail to connect in ways that truly matter. Mothers everywhere make an effort to coordinate family dinner, only for each member to spend the entire meal wrapped up in their own phone.
Couples, all too often, do the same. When we become comfortable with one another, we stop making an effort to get to know them. We take our connection for granted. By the time we realize what has happened, it’s usually too late. Be intentional in making time to relate to your partner. Put down your phone. Turn off the computer. Speak face to face, and learn something new about who they are.
Becoming attached to your partner at the hip is as unhealthy as it is annoying. While doing everything together may seem like a cute way to bond, it deprives you of the chance to cultivate individual identities. You may even become co-dependent. If you worry you are falling into this trap, pick up a hobby of your own.
Revive your interest in art. Join a kickball league. Learn to play guitar. Encourage your partner to pursue their own interests, as well. Institute “guys’ nights” and “girls’ nights” during which you hang out with your separate groups of friends. It’ll feel good to rediscover yourself as an individual.
Disrespect can come in many forms. Do you ignore your partner? Do you find yourself interrupting them? Do you respond to their genuine thoughts and concerns with sarcasm? Disrespect does not have to be as blatant as public criticism or flirting with someone else. In fact, it’s the small shows of disrespect – like eye-rolling – that are often the most insidious.
If you sincerely find it difficult to respect your partner, the relationship has likely become too unhealthy to save. If you do respect your partner, but still find yourself engaging in disrespectful behavior, investigate the emotions behind it. Are you afraid? Insecure? Intimidated? If you want to save your relationship, you’ll need to fix your attitude first.
Insecurity is often the driver behind the behaviors above. In fact, it’s a key cause of each one of them. We can’t form a healthy and loving connection with our partner if we don’t first love ourselves. If you find that insecurity is causing your relationships to sour, it might be time to take a break. Date yourself for a year instead.
Discover your passions. Develop your interests. You know that confident, accomplished, and self-possessed person you always wanted to be? Go out into the world and become that person! Create a self you can be proud of. Life is too short to waste it not loving yourself.
“THERE IS NO REAL ENDING. IT’S JUST THE PLACE WHERE YOU STOP THE STORY,” WROTE FRANK HERBERT.
Sometimes it’s hard to understand why a story ends. We can only seek solace in writing a better beginning. Don’t lose hope, and don’t keep making the same mistakes.
HAPPINESS IS WAITING FOR YOU. GO AND FIND IT.
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