How to Sabotage Your Relationship in 7 Easy Steps
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Fighting all the time, using hurtful words, and living separate lives are all obvious ways to cause strife in your relationship. But what about the more subtle ways in which you can neglect, sabotage, and ultimately destroy your relationship? Read on to learn about 7 ways you could be sabotaging your relationship without even knowing it:
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7. You’ve Let Intimacy Fall by the Wayside
Intimacy is integral to a strong relationship, and it doesn’t just take the form of sex. Intimacy can be created by the acts of touching and cuddling, talking and really listening to one another, and sharing your deepest thoughts and dreams.
It’s worth making time for intimacy in your relationship, whatever form it takes. It’ll help you bond as a couple and feel deeply connected.
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6. You Look to Your Partner for All Your Happiness
There’s only one person responsible for your happiness: you. Even in the best of partnerships, one person can’t be expected to satisfy all of the emotional needs of their partner. Everyone needs other people and interests in order to make their lives fulfilling and meaningful.
By looking only to your partner for happiness, you put undue pressure on them as well as on the relationship. And if you allow differences of opinion to stop you from doing what you need to make yourself happy, you sabotage your relationship further: it can lead to resentment, and the feeling that you’re missing out on life.
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5. You Aren’t Communicating Well
We’ve all heard the theory that men and women are from different planets. But in the case of communication, it is true that the genders can differ a great deal. Studies have shown that women use communication through conversation as a means of getting close to their partner — to create intimacy and connection. Men, on the other hand, tend to prefer doing things together as a means of creating closeness.
It’s important to recognize this difference, since poor communication can feel like a lack of attention from your partner, causing hurt feelings and emotional distance. Bridging the gap between your communication styles will help to better understand one another.
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4. You Let Stress Get the Better of You
Everyone has stress in their lives, whether it’s work, family, finances, or a combination of pressures. Handling stress is difficult for the best of us, and it’s easy to make your loved one the target of your feelings. But taking it out on your partner can cause him to react with anger and frustration.
Instead, ask for what you need during your stressful time. Do you need to vent? Perhaps you need to cuddle, or to have some time alone. Whatever it is you need, telling your partner helps him know how to best be there for you, and it can prevent the problem from turning into an argument.
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3. You Get Defensive
Learn to take constructive — and not so constructive — criticism gracefully. If you are unable to listen to your partner’s complaint and instead get angry, the disagreement becomes unproductive and it’s impossible to fix the problem. Couples in successful relationships know that sometimes, partners just have to agree to disagree. In fact, many relationship counselors agree that it’s necessary in any partnership. Since it’s unrealistic to expect that differences of opinion won’t arise, remember that it’s OK to respectfully disagree — it could save your relationship.
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2. You’ve Stopped Having Fun
What was it like when you first met and fell in love, and how was it different than now? Chances are, when you first met, you had more fun. Over time, we get busy and stressed by life. It’s easy to forget to have fun with your partner, or to make time for it. But spontaneity and laughter between partners can build bonds that will carry you more smoothly over the rough patches that even the best relationships encounter. Try to identify those things you used to do for fun, and make time for them again.
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1. You Make Your Partner Choose Between You and Friends or Family
Does your partner feel that you support his relationships with friends and family? If not, you could be making him feel he has to choose, whether it’s intentional or not. It’s normal and beneficial for your partner to have connections with other people outside the relationship. Making him feel like he has to choose, or to feel guilty for spending time with others, causes intense feelings of resentment and dissatisfaction. Nurture your partner’s life by encouraging him to maintain friendships and family connections.