Are you sabotaging your relationship?
When your relationship is on the rocks, it’s easy to find things or people to blame. Work’s too busy, your partner doesn’t understand you, the kids are always in the way – the excuses are endless. And it’s not that those things aren’t factors, but they may not be the real source of the problems you’re experiencing.
Life gets busy and difficult for everyone. Even the couples that have the healthiest relationships deal with money problems, time constraints, and family issues among other things. The differences between the couples that can weather these storms and those that are barely holding on can be traced back to the behaviors of the individuals within the relationship. In many cases, people sabotage their own relationships without even realizing they are doing it.
Take a look and see if you could be guilty of one or more of the following:
1You’re always right, right?
No one likes to be wrong, but the truth is we all, at some point, have been. For some people, however, that can be particularly difficult to admit.
Yet in a relationship, being able to admit when you are wrong is crucial. It demonstrates not only your own emotional maturity but also the respect you have for your partner. Both of these things are important parts of a healthy relationship.
So if you find yourself fighting to the death to prove your point or doing the I-told-you-so dance when you get your way, you are undermining your relationship.
2You know there will always be time for things later
Being busy is the standard these days. We are all running ragged trying to fit everything in. But pushing off the things that make life worth it won’t do you any favors. None of us know what the future holds and assuming there will always be time for things like family and relationships is foolish.
It’s also frustrating for the people who love you and want to enjoy time together. If you make a practice of procrastinating, it’s time to stop. If you don’t, it’s possible that you’ll never get the chance to enjoy those things you thought you would someday have time for.
3Sarcasm is funny and not hurtful, right?
Many of us use sarcasm on a regular basis. It can be funny, but using it too often as a form of communication can be very hurtful. Sarcasm generally masks some form of insult and anger and can feel like thinly veiled hostility. When sarcastic comments become too regular it can break down the trust and intimacy that are necessary for a healthy relationship.
4You know your partner will always be there
It’s nice to feel comfortable in your relationship and trust that your partner is in it for the long haul. Unfortunately, taking them for granted and not making any effort to make them feel needed and special can mean that, at some point, they may leave.
Relationships take work and partners need to know that they are valued and loved. Without this, cracks can occur despite your tight connection and other problems can develop. It’s vitally important that you make the effort to make your partner feel appreciated and wanted.
5You figure it’s okay if things have cooled off in the bedroom
Dry spells can happen in any relationship. We all get tired and busy. But if you are measuring your intimate encounters in months or even years, you are creating problems. Making a point to connect with your partner in an intimate and sexual way helps to keep you bonded to one another. When there is no intimacy in a relationship, it is far easier for other problems to take over.
6Your partner knows how you feel – no need to belabor the point
Similar to taking for granted that your partner will always be there, taking for granted that your partner knows how you feel is a mistake. We all need to be reminded that we are loved and needed. Hearing those words can make a powerful impact. If you regularly forgo telling your partner you love them, you are setting yourself up for problems to arise.
Problems happen and there’s no avoiding that. But when problems that could have been prevented happen or when things are made worse by your own behavior, it’s really frustrating and unnecessary. If you recognize any of the self-sabotaging behaviors above, you should think seriously about how to make changes before it’s too late.
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7Author: Dr. Kurt Smith
Dr. Kurt Smith is the Clinical Director of Guy Stuff Counseling & Coaching, a Northern California counseling practice that specializes in helping men and the women who love them. His expertise is in understanding men, their partners, and the unique relationship challenges couples face today. Dr. Kurt is a lover of dogs, sarcasm, everything outdoors, and helping those seeking to make their relationships better.