Relationships: they can be complicated and messy and unfortunately there’s no handbook or guideline on how to make them work. Many of us have gotten ourselves into a cycle of behaviors that do nothing to further the relationship but are instead steadily chipping away at it.
Here are six actions that can be deadly for any relationship:
1. Emotional blackmail. If your typical response to criticism from your partner is to threaten the relationship (“I’m not sure I can do this…”), you’re creating unhealthy drama. Neither one of you is going to like everything about the other; that’s normal. Threatening to end things because you feel uncomfortable isn’t.
2. Keeping score. If you’re constantly bringing up your partner’s past mistakes in an attempt to lay on the guilt to justify your own bad behavior, your relationship is going to be stuck in a frustrating rut of trying to subconsciously one-up each other. When one of you makes a mistake that affects the relationship, the time to deal with it is right away, then move on so your relationship can grow.
3. Covering up problems superficially. If your response to relationship conflict is to buy something nice to appease your partner instead of dealing with the problem itself, the emotions and issues are still going to be there, under the surface, waiting to erupt.
4. Being passive-aggressive. Dropping hints about what you want your partner to do and finding little ways to irritate him or her likely means you are insecure about your relationship. Try being open and straightforward instead.
5. Playing the “blame game” with emotions. If, every time you have a bad day, you expect your partner to drop everything to attend to your emotional well-being and vice-versa, the primary emotion in your relationship is going to be come resentment. Expecting your partner to be responsible for making you feel better is both selfish and an example of co-dependence. Be supportive of each other without obligating each other to do so.
6. Being lovingly jealous. Some jealousy is probably inevitable in any relationship, but taking it out on your partner or trying to control the relationship speaks more about your own insecurities than about how much you love your partner. Few things doom a relationship more than a lack of trust.
If you read through this list with growing horror thinking “That’s me!” or “I do that!”, take some comfort in the fact that these are common bad habits. Recognize them for what they are and use that awareness to change your behavior. Your relationship will be stronger for it.
Corey Wayne: 12 Principles Of Successful Relationships