Anyone that has been or is in a relationship has had to deal with their partner’s habits. Although not all habits are bad or annoying, they are some that just get under your skin. And then there are some that can slowly destroy your relationship.
If the habit is disrespectful, hurtful, or drives both of you into very difficult situations it’s time to get help and reevaluate your relationship, including your own role in the conflict.
We have to admit that sometimes it is hard to identify these destructive habits which is why we at Psych2Go have decided to list 13 habits that can destroy a relationship.
Remember, this article is for educational and entertainment purposes only. This article is not meant to self-diagnose or provide help. If you need help or would like information on how to deal with the habits presented below please reach out to a mental health professional, clinic, or institution for more information and treatment.
1. Ignoring what bothers you
It’s normal to ignore what is bothering us, especially if it’s something we don’t want to deal with. We think or want to think that if we ignore it, the problem will go away on its own. But sometimes that’s not the case.
Sometimes, instead of going away the problem grows and begins to fester feelings like resentment and anger. Which eventually end up creating many other problems and arguments between you and your partner. Problems such as not talking to your problem, ignoring them, hiding things from them, lying, becoming distant, being irritable, angry, and getting upset for the smallest things.
Ignoring what bothers you also takes a toll on your health and can lead to stress-related physical and mental illness if it drags on for too long. Some of these illnesses can manifest as stomach problems, headaches, heart palpitations, anxiety, depression, and others.
If something bothers you in your relationship don’t ignore it. Doing so will cause more problems than you may be able to handle. The best thing to do is to get your feelings and thoughts straight, then sit down with your partner and talk it out calmly.
Using “I” in this conversation, being completely honest and vulnerable will help your partner connect with you and understand your feelings better. They will appreciate your vulnerability and honesty, which will prompt them to be more compassionate towards you.
2. Not communicating properly or at all
Have you ever been in an awkward situation because of miscommunication? You’re not alone. Many of us have experienced miscommunication or a plain lack of communication in a relationship before which has led to awkwardness, confusion, or even anger.
Not communicating properly could be an accident but it can also be interpreted as a lack of care because one or both of you are not listening. Communication is a core value that helps both parties come together and be more intimate. Not only that but it helps set the foundation for resolving issues or arguments in a healthy way.
According to an article on Maxim Online about relationships, “poor communication in a relationship can drive you and your significant other apart.”
“Though it sounds extreme”, the article says, “a lack of communication can bring forth conflict that may cause irreparable damage to your relationship. When there is a lack of communication, you put your relationship at risk of breeding doubt and insecurity.”
Besides driving you and your partner apart, bad communication can create potentially dangerous situations. Like when you thought you and your partner had settled that they were supposed to pick up your child after school but three hours later you get a call from the school.
You realize that neither you nor your partner went to pick up your child because both of you thought the other one would go and pick them up.
Communication is hard, but it is essential for relationships in order to function smoothly. Even if you have trouble try to put in the effort and slowly you will learn how to communicate more effectively.
3. Getting too comfortable
Do you suddenly feel bored in your relationship, like there’s nothing that excites you anymore? Maybe you’re getting too comfortable around your partner.
It could be a sign that you no longer take interest in your partner’s interests or that you are taking them for granted. Taking someone for granted is one of the major things that can destroy the relationship as it slowly turns into unappreciation and expectation that leaves the partner feeling unwanted and drained.
Passion dissipates leaving monotony in your day-to-day lives that stagnate your growth and your relationship.
One of the reasons to be in a relationship, even if it’s not the primary reason, is for both of you to grow as individuals and as a couple. If that growth is stopped or hindered in any way, it will eventually lead to the end of the relationship. Because the relationship now has become a prison instead of a fertile field where you can explore and become a better version of yourself.
4. Avoiding confrontation
Similar to ignoring what bothers you, avoiding confrontation on things that need to be addressed can cause a myriad of other problems. Avoiding confrontation comes from the fear of upsetting others and the fear of not knowing if they will react in a negative way to your boundaries or anger.
According to Healthline, in avoiding conflict you compromise your feelings and true communication with your partner. Avoiding confrontation can leave you frustrated, lonely, and depressed which can impact your health in the long run, cutting your lifespan.
It prevents you from getting closer to your partner by cutting off intimacy and driving a wedge.
5. Being passive-aggressive
Passive-aggressiveness is an indirect expression of negative feelings by someone who can’t express themselves directly, often because they are afraid of the emotion and of expressing themselves.
In an article about passive-aggressiveness, Keir Brady, a licensed marriage and family therapist explains that “since this behavior is subtle, it can be difficult to know when there are serious issues in your relationship. When you do not share your concerns openly, you can’t find a resolution”.
This people-pleasing technique tends to push anger under the surface in hopes that it goes away but it can still be felt by both parties. Brady says that “this keeps it from being openly discussed and worked through and creates a lot of tension in your relationship”.
Which makes it hard to feel closer to your partner.
6. Being Too Critical
Do you feel like you’re often blamed or told that you’re not doing good enough in a relationship? Are you beginning to feel worthless? This happens often when one partner suddenly focuses all of their attention on the negative aspects of the other partner. Criticizing, judging, and nitpicking until they have lowered the other partner’s self-esteem and even self-worth.
This is because, when you are being overly critical, you are attacking the other person’s character instead of specific habits or things that they do.
According to Jessica Higgins Ph.D., psychologist, and professional counselor, “criticism in a relationship is a behavior that can be toxic to the couple. It erodes away positive feelings over time and leads to other problematic behaviors that can destroy the connection.”
Being overly critical is often a product of a person’s childhood, especially if they had strict or very critical parents. A person who hasn’t dealt with this part of their lives and the trauma that it caused them will often do the same to their partner because it’s what they know and as a form of projection.
“While constant criticism in a relationship can easily occur”, says Higgins in an article, “it also is a major predictor of divorce according to John Gottman, a major couples researcher.”
7. Overstepping Boundaries
When we get too comfortable in a relationship one of the things that happen is that we tend to overstep our partner’s boundaries.
We feel so comfortable, we think that our partners will forgive us automatically or won’t mind if we do something that they are not comfortable with because they love us. That’s what people who love us are supposed to do, after all, forgive us.
The problem is that when you overstep boundaries you being to lose trust and respect until there comes a time when the situation becomes too damaged to be fixed or forgiven. Inevitably leading to the end of the relationship due to the disrespect experienced.
8. Not taking your partner seriously
Imagine that you suffer from anxiety. Every time you have to do something that triggers your anxiety, like say, visit your parents you get stomach aches and have to run to the bathroom. Then you are sick for several hours or days.
This happens every single time and every time it does, your partner just rolls your eyes. They tell you that you’re overreacting and accuse you of always doing this at the most inopportune times. When you try to explain your condition, they either tell you to get over it or ignore you completely choosing to attack you personally instead.
Whether it is something “small” or something “big” like a mental illness, if your partner is not taking you seriously it may mean that they do not respect you. This negative treatment not only makes you feel bad and diminishes you but also dissolves the intimacy between you.
You can’t share your worries, thoughts, or beliefs with a person that might criticize, ignore you or not take you seriously. The trust is gone. Besides love, trust and respect are two of the most important backbones of a relationship. Which keeps said relationship going. Without them, the relationship won’t last.
9. Unrealistic expectations
Have you ever thought about being with someone only to find out they are not what you expected? You may have had unrealistic expectations or you may have had fantasized about what they were like without actually knowing them well.
While fantasies are great on books and movies, it doesn’t necessarily work in real life. Although having expectations is not a bad thing at all when those expectations do not match your partner’s expectations or what they can humanly do or are capable of then those expectations become unrealistic.
And they can cause problems such as unnecessary pressure, criticism, arguments, etc. Unrealistic expectations are mostly caused by bad communication or the idolization of the other person.
When it comes to light that your partner doesn’t match your image of them, the problems start. This is why it is very important to communicate, listen, and do not assume things about others without confirming first.
10. Keeping your partner at a distance
Does your partner have trouble talking about themselves or doesn’t seem like they want to intertwine their lives with you? They may be keeping you at a distance.
Intimacy, which plays a vital part in all relationships, usually starts slowly but eventually it does come to a point where all parties involved share things like an apartment, a pet, vacations, outings, etc. If your partner tends to avoid doing any of these things or even talking much about themselves that is a red flag.
It doesn’t mean they are a bad person, but it definitely points to them not being ready for a relationship. This habit can make you feel insecure about yourself and wonder why they are keeping you at arm’s length. What is something you did or say? Can you do anything to help them open up? Is there a way you can better?
If you take this route then eventually you might find yourself trying to people-please and could be prey for manipulation or scare your partner away.
Not everyone does this, instead opting to keep being themselves. Regardless, it is recommended that you sit down with your partner and have a heart-to-heart to get to the source of the problem.
Addiction is hard for everyone. Because the afflicted person has only one thought in mind, obtaining and consuming drugs or alcohol, connecting to this person and maintaining a relationship can be next to impossible.
According to the American Addiction Centers, this one-track state of mind leads to secrecy, trust issues, anger, abuse, codependency, and other issues that can destroy a relationship. When in a relationship with an addicted person, the partner may end up making excuses for their significant other, try to cover for them, suffer abuse, and fall into a bad state of mind.
If both parties, especially the one afflicted with addiction, don’t seek help the relationship is most likely to end. Unfortunately, these types of relationships don’t end on good terms, and many times one or both people perish.
If you have an addicted partner or you are addicted yourself, there is hope. Please reach out to your nearest mental health professional, institution, or help center for help and recovery.
12. Not fighting fair
Do you fight fair in your relationship? Many people don’t, which is why many relationships fail in the end.
If you are personally attacking your partner, using words as weapons, ambushing them when they don’t expect it, fight over topics not related to the problem, bring other people into your fights, or using the past against them you are not fighting fair.
Instead, you are trying to get the upper hand by taking down your partner emotionally and mentally with pressure and manipulation.
Fights and arguments are inevitable but there are fair ways to have difficult conversations with respect and keeping your privacy. So, if you find yourself in an unfair argument try to calm yourself and keep the argument respectful.
Seek help from a mental health professional for ways to keep arguments fair and respectful.
13. Asking for help and doing it yourself or not asking for help and overworking yourself
Have you ever asked your partner for help on something but ended up doing it yourself because you thought that they were taking too long? Conversely, have you neglected to ask for help and ended up overworking yourself?
These habits can push your partner away. When you ask for a favor but do it yourself instead you are telling your partner that you don’t trust them and that you don’t have patience. Or that you don’t need them which makes them reevaluate their role in the relationship.
If you end up overworking yourself and not delegating, your partner may feel left out. Not only that, but you are taking away a chance for both of you to become closer and a chance to become appreciative for your partner for the work they do for you.
Not having these little acts of intimacy and service to the other will drive a wedge between you as your partner does not feel needed or useful. And if they don’t feel needed or useful then there is no reason for them to stay in the relationship.
Do you resonate with any of the points mentioned? What do you think? Leave us your thoughts and comments below. And thank you for reading.
Bert. (2020, April 7). How to fix a lack of communication in your relationship. Maxim Online. Retrieved from https://maximonline.com/sex-and-dating/how-to-fix-a-lack-of-communication-in-your-relationship/.
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Pace, R. (2021, February 18). 30 signs you’re getting too comfortable in a relationship. Marriage Advice – Expert Marriage Tips & Advice. Retrieved from https://www.marriage.com/advice/relationship/signs-you-are-getting-too-comfortable-in-a-relationship/.
Patterson, E. (2021, July 15). Drug addiction hurts relationships: Drug abuse & treatment. DrugAbuse.com. Retrieved from https://drugabuse.com/guide-for-families/addiction-hurts-relationships/.