20 Bad Habits That Could Hurt Your Relationship from 20 Bad Habits That Could Hurt Your Relationship

20 Bad Habits That Could Hurt Your Relationship

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20 Bad Habits That Could Hurt Your Relationship

The “honeymoon stage” of a relationship is great, but once that comes to an end, we begin to notice things about our partner that we may have overlooked in the beginning. You or your loved one may be doing things subconsciously that are sabotaging your relationship. Annoying habits like leaving dirty clothes on the floor or leaving dirty dishes in the sink are one thing; but name-calling or hiding the phone isanother.

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Silent treatment

Avoiding and running away from conflict is not going to resolve anything. “Successful couples learn to fight well and find solutions quickly,” sex therapist and relationship counsellor Giverny Lewis, says. “They don't avoid fighting altogether and shut each other out."

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Holding intimacy hostage

"Withholding sex and intimacy or using it to get what you want is ultimately toxic by creating resentment,” Lewis says. “Showing and expressing your love in a physical way is really healthy! If you're not keen on getting it on with your partner, find other ways to connect physical and emotionally, like cuddling, massage, or a no-obligation make-out session."

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Being passive-aggressive

Those snide comments that you make under your breath aren't constructive, they just end up pushing the other person away, Lewis says. “Find assertive and fair words to state what you want. You'll clearly communicate to your partner and get it off your chest in a positive way."

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Checking their phone

"In the world of online relationships, more and more people are obsessively checking their partners’ history, messages, and social media posts,” Lewis says. “Unfortunately this is a double-edged sword.” If you find something that looks suspicious, it's almost impossible to raise it with your partner – this means you need to reveal your snooping. “You also usually don't have all the context, so it's easy to misinterpret what you're seeing. And if you find nothing, often you assume they're just being extra secretive, and the cycle continues,” she says. “If you're having difficulty trusting your partner it's best to talk to them and work out strategies together to address this concern."

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Making assumptions

"Routines are fantastic and they help us feel secure in relationships, but familiarity can really kill the romance and excitement,” Lewis says. “Getting stuck in the same old day-in, day-out habits can make the relationship feel stale and unrewarding.” Mix things up a bit – have a mid-week date night, go on a weekend adventure or take on a new hobby together. You'll discover new things about your partner and reinvigorate the fire, she adds.

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Spending all your time together

"It may seem counter-intuitive, but spending too much time together can actually drive you apart,” Lewis says. “Doing things separately helps to reinstate your individual identity and lets you grow alongside your partner.” Go out and spend time with friends, find a solo after-work activity, or spend some time indulging on your own. “You'll have plenty to talk about and bring a fresh attitude back to your time with your partner,” she adds.

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Wondering eyes

Wondering eyes bring out insecurities in relationships. “You always need to keep eyes only on the person you are with; otherwise they feel ignored or less appealing to you,” says Dr. Karen Phillip, Counselling Psychotherapist.

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Putting friends as a priority before partner

Yes, it is important to spend time with your friends but choosing to spend time with friends over time spent with your partner can give off the impression that you prefer them and they are more important to you, Phillip says.

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Ignoring special occasions

“Valentine’s Day, birthday, mother's or father’s day – when we know our partner would love to be spoiled on a special day and we elect to dismiss their feelings, this places strain on any relationship,” Phillip says.

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Not appreciating the large and the small things your partner does

"We all need to be appreciated, especially for the effort we put in to care for our partner and family,” Phillip says. “Appreciating and noticing this effort motivates us to do more, more often.”

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Speaking harshly or disrespectfully

“Words can hurt and cut deep. What comes out of your mouth goes in their ears and remains in their brain,” Phillip says. “You can't remove a harsh, disrespectful or insulting comment.”

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Trying to improve your partner

Your partner may want to be a better person for you but this is different than you forcing him or her to change. Your selfish motivation can be the biggest mistake you’re making that is going to end up ruining your relationship, according to Relate Institute, which specializes in helping couples find success as relationship partners.

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Criticizing his/her family

Criticism is destructive to relationships when it is about personality or character, rather than behavior, filled with blame, and when it’s belittling, according to Psychology Today. Your partner cannot change his or her parents, siblings or cousins. No matter how horrible they may be, they are his family and you have to respect that. How would you feel if he or she was demeaning your relatives? Remember that we don’t choose them so they don’t, or shouldn’t, reflect on us.

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Not forgiving little mistakes

Compassion and understanding is important, whether you have to forgive yourself or your partner. Research shows that excessively punishing ourselves for mistakes can do more harm than good, leading us to feel hopeless and paralyzed by self-doubt. However, it’s important to remember that self-forgiveness is only relevant when a person has truly accepted responsibility for a transgression.

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Having no self-confidence

Evidence on the link between people’s self-esteem and the quality of their romantic relationships suggests that high self-esteem is beneficial, according to studies. Data shows that it has a positive effect also on the partner’s happiness with the relationship. Perceived regard and secure attachment between the partners may explain why self-confidence and self-esteem is valuable. Separate research also suggests that people with low self-esteem are more likely to stay in unhappy relationships.

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Thinking you’re saying “white lies”

While many people will disagree because “they don’t want to hurt their partner’s feelings,” lying about insignificant things can lead to a vicious cycle of covering one lie with another. Research from the University of Notre Dame shows that when people managed to reduce their lies over the course of 10 weeks, they reported significantly better health and relationships. Participants in the no-lie group also reported improved social interactions that go more smoothly when they tell no lies.

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Not complementing each other

Compliments need to be recognized by the romantic partner, and indeed they may be idiosyncratic to the relationship, according to studies. There isn’t a need for others to be aware of the compliment, but there is importance in the presence of the compliments in relational satisfaction. The absence of praises will likely influence an individual’s perception of the quality of his or her relationship. 

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Keeping score/record

You have probably heard of the infamous story of a man sending his wife a spreadsheet of all her excuses not to have sex. She called the behavior “immature and inflammatory,” and many experts agreed. Who is doing what, when, and, of course, who is doing it more is not the way to go. Psychologists recommend against “bank-account relationships,” in which you keep score of how often you get your way and how often you compromise.

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Not communicating

This is different than silent treatment. In this case, there is nothing specifically wrong and the two of you are talking when someone initiated a conversation. The problem is that this doesn’t happen often or you are not saying much to each other. Research that looked into the communication and interaction between couples in long-distance relationships found that by talking more they not only survive long distances, but they can often be healthier than traditional couples, too. A separate study shows that couples are less stressed when they talk it out.

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Overreacting

Watch a good show on TV if you want heart-stopping drama. Overreactions are hard to kill – they often happen suddenly and unintendedly. Observations of newlywed couples led experts to conclude that men who are emotionally intelligent are key to a lasting marriage, according to research. Overreactions undermine intimate relationships, other studies show. People who enter romantic relationships with anxious expectations of rejection readily perceive intentional rejection in the insensitive behavior of their partners.

20 Bad Habits That Could Hurt Your Relationship