Relationships are challenging. It’s not something we’re taught in school, and most of us have few, if any, good role models to emulate. Understanding the most common behaviors that damage relationships can be a good first step to having a relationship that lasts.
See how many of these behaviors seem familiar, either in yourself or your partner.
These behaviors can doom a relationship to failure:
1. Fear of intimacy. Maybe you want someone in your life, but you don’t want them getting too close. This is a common fear, particularly among men, but women also struggle with this relationship challenge. Eventually, your partner will become frustrated with the contrast between your need for love and your expectation of failure.
2. Poor communication habits. This can include everything from not mentioning the little things that get on your nerves to just not communicating in a meaningful way on a daily basis. The quality of the communication is what ultimately determines how close you stay over the long run.
○ Avoid fighting via text message. This is especially common with couples that are frequently separated by distance. This is a dangerous practice. We’re all a little bolder than we would normally be while texting. It’s also easy to misinterpret when you can’t hear or see the other person.
○ Expecting the other person to figure out what’s bothering you. This is a common challenge. No matter how much the other person loves you, they can’t read your mind. Take responsibility for your happiness and need-fulfillment and let your partner know what you need.
○ Avoidance. Many of us like to give the silent treatment when we feel annoyed or wronged. This accomplishes nothing other than escalating the situation. Your partner becomes resentful and less interested in resolving the issue.
3. Insecurity. Insecurity is a relationship killer. You drive yourself and your partner crazy. This lack of confidence is unattractive. Your partner also eventually feels insulted. Insecurity can manifest itself in many ways:
○ Are you frequently jealous? This can include your partner’s close friends and previous relationships.
○ Do you analyze everything your partner says and does for some sign that they’re losing interest?
○ Do you need constant reassurance that everything is okay?
○ Do you spend more time worrying about the stability of your relationship than you do enjoying it?
○ If you have a lot of insecurity in your relationships, consider addressing your levels of self-confidence and self-esteem.
4. A need for control. Do you feel the need to control every aspect of your relationship? No one likes to be dominated day in and day out. Ask yourself why you feel the need to control everything about your relationship and your partner. Micromanaging doesn’t work in the workplace, and it won’t work at home.
○ This is commonly camouflaged as caretaking taken to the extreme. But caring for the other person isn’t the real purpose. The real purpose is control.
5. Assuming the role of the martyr. “Nice guys” and many women often assume this role. They mistakenly believe that if they sacrifice enough in the name of their partner’s happiness, they’ll eventually get what they need in the end. Over time, this leads to a level of resentment that can never be satisfied.
Look at your past relationships and consider how many of these behaviors were present in yourself or the other person. By avoiding these common behaviors, you can give your relationships a much better chance of surviving and thriving. Take a hard look at yourself and make the necessary adjustments. Great relationships make life an exciting and rewarding experience.