- Neglecting your partner.
Both men and women are guilty of this. Men can become workaholics or sport fanatic and put their family second. But women are very good at neglecting the partner once there have children. We give all our attention to our kids and do not have any energy left for our husbands. He feels left out and neglected.
This can come together as well, like in my case. At first my husband was too busy for me and the birth of our first child saved me. But then I totally devoted myself to my daughter and stopped worrying about my partner.
Spending quality time together is very important to be connected and share companionship. Plan it in. Leave the kids with grandparents for a weekend, or take a day off while the children are at school.
- Infidelity and dishonesty.
The foundation of any relationship is trust. And cheating or lying blasts this foundation to pieces. The loss of trust is very serious and often means the end of a relationship, but it is not impossible to resolve it. Usually counseling is necessary to survive infidelity and lots of time to build up the foundation of trust again.
Fortunately, we share everything and have nothing hidden for each other. I hope.
- Depriving your partner.
This is not really about sex, but about expressing your love verbally and non-verbally. By being supportive, caring, loving, attentive, you can keep your relationship strong. So many people assume that the partner knows how much you really care and that there is really no need to express it. But it is crucial to a relationship to keep the intimacy going.
My partner and I are the those people who assume that the other one knows. But if we both assume that, there’s nothing wrong, I think.
- Taking your frustration out on your partner.
We all have bad days sometimes and we all get tired or angry from frustrations at work, in traffic, or in other ways. But it is simply unacceptable to take it out on innocent people (or pets). Or take the situation all the way back into history to find a relation to something your partner did, that might have influenced the situation as it is now.
This is so me! Usually, I kick the cat first, then shout at my kids, before throwing my hands in the air and screaming at my husband that he ‘does not understand anything!’. That’s what family is for, right?
Take the responsibility of your own mistakes, do not blame others, and even better do not dwell on the how’s and why’s of the situation becoming as it is, but take the problem head on and change the situation. Your partner might even help you tackle the issue if you ask for support.
- Nagging, criticizing and finding fault.
When you just meet someone and fall in love, you cannot find any fault in that person. Even the most gruesome habits seem cute and adoring. Usually this phase will pass and you will see the reality soon. If you can accept (or even appreciate) everything your partner is and does, you have a strong and healthy relationship. The positive should always outweigh the negative.
Unfortunately, in many relationships negativity will creep in. You start to be annoyed by some habits of your partner, or find it time to change the annoying behavior. But you have to fight wisely to overcome the real problems and save your relationship. Nitpicking and negativism are very harmful.
No problems here, as long as he shuts his mouth while eating, picks up his trash, be a little more flexible with his schedules, pays a little more attention to the kids than the tv, and for once puts the toilet seat back down! Because the reason I have to complain is because he doesn’t listen!
- Abusing your partner.
There are many forms of abusive relationships. Physical or sexual abuse are obviously unacceptable and should lead to separation. Maybe you have heard of cases in which the relationship survived, but these cases are very rare. It is much more common that the abusive behavior leads to an escalation of the situation.
Verbally blaming, accusing and insulting are less extreme ways of abusing, but are killers to a relationship. Awareness is the first step. Often people in an abusive relationship do not even notice how abusive it really is. It is like always making sarcastic remarks about the other, making it sound like a joke, but both knowing the truth of the remark.
Training can help change the behavior and hopefully the relationship can recover from this emotional abuse.
- Manipulating your partner.
It is normal to have preferences and to want things to be in a specific way. When two people are together there are always differences and these need to be worked out, often by compromising. But when the need to have things ‘your way’ starts to become extreme and like perfectionism, you are breaching your partner’s rights and freedom of will. Obviously, this will trigger reactions as anger and resentment.
Recognize manipulation if one person always ends up making changes to the plans to fit in to the other’s wishes, or if you always only end up with friends or relatives of one partner, but never the other’s. Other signals are excessive jealousness or possessiveness, and shallow apologies after repeat offences.
Manipulators have strong needs to feel superior and are usually control freaks. They will have to work on their personal issues before a healthy relationship can be built up.
Oh, control freak… That sounds like me. Am I manipulative? I’ll have to check on that. I always thought that I belonged to the next group:
- Sacrificing yourself and putting yourself last.
In a relationship you have to consider the needs of the other and it is natural to feel like giving to someone you love. But this is all about finding the balance. Becoming a martyr is not the right way. Martyrs are often bitter, resentful and wallowing in self-pity, waiting for their sacrifices to be recognized and rewarded, but instead end up being used as a doormat.
Martyrs are very good at letting everyone know how hard life is. I know I am. “I only wish I could do that for you, but there are only 24 hours in a day and I already have to do all these other things which you do not help me with.”
Take care of yourself and ask for help. Let others meet your needs in the same way as you meet theirs. Love yourself.
- Being selfish and putting yourself first.
Self-centered people take their relationship for granted. They are so pre-occupied with themselves that they forget to appreciate the partner. They actually do not give though about the feelings of the other and are very concerned with their own immediate needs. A selfish partner has lots of illogical expectations of the partner and the relationship.
Relationships are about giving and receiving. The way to overcome selfishness is not too difficult, if you are in the relationship for the right reasons. You just need to consider your partner’s feelings or thoughts before taking action.
Personally, I cannot understand how a person becomes selfish, but then perhaps I could learn something from them.
Do you talk with your friends about the problems with your partner? It might be nice to vent your issues, but it usually does not help you solve the problem. It will actually just make the situation worse. You partner will feel betrayed (see #4) and might become embarrassed around your friends.
Or worse still, your friends end up mingling in the conflict and they always end up on the wrong side. If they do not agree with you, you might resent them. But if they do agree and say something nasty about your partner, you will feel offended by them later on when you and your partner have made up the difference.
Improve your connection and communication skills instead and discuss your problems with the right person; your partner (or a professional therapist if needed).
Oh… but then there is nothing to blog about…