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10 Devastating Behaviors That Can Destroy Your Relationship

10 Devastating Behaviors That Can Destroy Your Relationship

While many of us commit ourselves fully to the relationships that we enter into, these good intentions do not always guarantee success. In fact, our devotion to a loved one can blind us to the relationship mistakes that we all make from time to time, which in turn have the potential to irreparably damage even the most secure of unions.

Many of us make these mistakes unknowingly, while also ignoring the potentially damaging behaviour of our partners. Given this and the impact of these mistakes, it is crucial that we make an effort to understand the issues and tackle them before they begin to take root within a relationship.

10 Relationship Mistakes that Can Have Devastating Impacts

With this in mind, here are some universal mistakes that can undermine your relationship and errode the trust that exists betwen two people: –

1. Being Financially Irresponsible

The topic of money can make or break relationship, especially if your issues stem from a reckless attitude to spending or an unwillingness to save. Problems can also arise if only assume financial responsibility for your self, as this creates a divide within the relationship and shows a lack of consideration. To avoid this, adopt a financially responsible attitude that reassures your partner that you have a future together, while also planning your expenditure to account for the needs of a loved one.

2. Having no other Interests outside of your relationship

At the other end of the behavioural spectrum, it is just as debilitating to be completely and utterly consumed by your love for somebody else. This can cause you to adopt a rigid, single-minded focus on your partner, which in turn prevents you from having any other interests outside of the relationship. Such an attitude can prevent you from developing as a person, while also bringing out negative emotions such as fear, anxiety and paranoia.

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According to Dr. Seth Myers, the best way to negate this is to make a list of how and when you used to spend your free time when you were single. This provides a handy reminder of your interests, while it also offers some inspiration outside of the relationship and will allow your partner to breathe.

3. Creating a Co-dependent Relationship

This leads us neatly onto the topic of co-dependency, which can often evolve in relationships where one or both individuals have few outside interests. This type of relationship is defined by a pattern of behaviour in which you become dependent on your partner for your confidence and self-worth, meaning that you spend the majority of your time seeking validation.

Of course, interdependences can have an incredibly positive impact in fields such as art, sport and business, while the entire concept of a relationship is built on the idea of two lives joining as one. It is crucial that you maintain a sense of self-worth and your own unique identity, however, this prevents you from becoming too reliant on your partner to fulfil your emotional needs.

4. Acting like you are single

While we have touched on the dangers of co-dependency, it is important to remember that a loving relationship is defined by two people who love, support and interact positively with one another. Balance is therefore key, as while you should avoid the pitfalls of a co-dependent relationship you must also remember not to behave as though you are single.

When you act like you are single without the consent of your partner, you behave in a way that marginalises them and disrespects your feelings. Always keep in mind that you are part of a loving union and be willing to compromise on your single lifestyle, using the attributes that attracted you to your partner in the first place as inspiration.

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5. Acting in an Insecure and Overly Sensitive Way

We all have periods during which we feel sad, unworthy or depressed, and this can have a negative impact on our outlooks and behaviours. Such feelings can also wreak havoc within a relationship, as they negatively affect your partner and trigger emotions such as insecurity and jealously. No matter how much your partner loves you, they cannot be expected to constantly deal with your own insecurities or lack of self-worth, particularly if their conduct does not warrant such emotions.

Feeling of this type are likely to be rooted in past relationship failures, but it is crucial that you recognise this and strive to break past patterns. By realising that the problem lies with you and evaluating your relationship objectively, you can begin to live in the present rather than being haunted by the ghosts of the past.

6. Showing a Lack of Affection

Not all people are created equal, and while some of us are extremely affectionate others struggle to display their feelings through physical intimacy or touch. While most relationships can tolerate this difference to some degree, there needs to be some compromise and you must make an effort to show affection in any way that you can. Without this your relationship can become stale and drift into friendship, while your partner can begin to feel unloved or undervalued.

Hand-holding, cuddling and hugging are simple ways to showcase affection without compromising your physical boundaries. Even if you do not like public displays of affection, you can at least make the effort to do these things in private and behind closed doors.

7. Excessive Criticism and Nagging

Excessive nagging or criticism of a partner can drag any relationship down, no matter how long two people have known or cared for one another. There are many reasons for this, but the primary issue is that it drives negative reinforcement and focuses on what an individual is not doing rather than their positive contributions to a relationship. It can also trigger feelings of resentment, both in adult relationships and those between parents and children.

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Over time, this can also create a breakdown in communication where one person constantly makes requests and the other simply ignores them. It is therefore important to tackle this dynamic before it takes hold of the relationship and becomes ingrained, so try to address this by using positive enforcement when asking for things to be done (or done better). It is also important to show empathy and allow your partner time to respond.

8. Display a lack of Attention or Communication skills

Before, we mentioned that a sustained lack of affection can hinder your relationship. The same principle applies in instances where one partner does not pay attention to the other, or at least fail to communicate their interest in their thoughts, words or achievements. Our obsession with technology has made this a more prominent issue in the modern age, as couple spend a great deal of their time immersed in social and digital media rather than conversing with one another.

Fortunately, recognising this issue is the main step towards resolving it. From here, you can make a concerted effort to spend time together without technology or distractions, as you instead talk to one another and commit fully to the conversation. Technology should be discarded at meal times, as this provides a great opportunity for loved ones to talk and connect with one another.

9. Being Dishonest

It is suggested that we all lie at one point in time or another, either to create a false belief or hide the evidence of a wrong-doing. In most instances these are small, insignificant fabrications, but it is important to remember that lying is a compulsive behaviour that can quickly escalate out of control and cause huge damage to a relationship. Whether this manifests itself in infidelity or a series of small, related lies that gradually begin to take hold, this behaviour creates mistrust and destroys the fabric of any relationship.

The only answer to this is to be honest, and trust in the bond that you have with your partner. A loved one is far more likely to forgive transgressions if you are courageous and honest with them, so this is always the preferred course of action if you are serious about enjoying a long and fruitful relationship. If you are incapable of this, you are not ready to be in a relationship or prioritise the needs of others ahead of your own.

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10. Following Impulses and Compulsions

Unfortunately, lying is just one of the many compulsive behaviours that can ruin your relationship. These can offer occur as a result of unhappiness or resentment within a relationship, as we indulge in a particular action to find comfort and solace. This can manifest itself in numerous ways, from shopping and gambling to over-eating.

These behaviours also show scant regard for your partner and your relationship, particularly as it suggests that you are unable to share the innermost feelings that are causing such conduct. You must therefore become open to being vulnerable and communicate your emotions to your loved one, as you work together to resolve the underlying issues and become stronger as a couple.

Only then, and by heeding the other warnings here, can you avoid these relationship mistakes and look forward to a long and happy union!

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Last Updated on August 19, 2019

How to Be True to Yourself and Live the Life You Want

How to Be True to Yourself and Live the Life You Want

We live in a world that constantly tells us what to do, how to act, what to be. Knowing how to be true to yourself and live the life you want can be a challenge.

When someone asks how we are, we assume that the person does not mean the question sincerely, for it would lead to an in depth conversation. So telling them that you are good or fine, even if you’re not, is the usual answer.

In an ideal world, we would stop and truly listen. We wouldn’t be afraid to be ourselves. Instead, when we answer about how we are doing, our mask, the persona we show the world, tightens. Sometimes even more so than it might have been before. Eventually, it becomes hard to take off, even when you’re alone.

Imagine a world where we asked how someone was doing and they really told us. Imagine a world where there were no masks, only transparency when we talked to one another.

If you want to live in a world that celebrates who you are, mistakes and all, take off the mask. It doesn’t mean you have to be positive or fine all the time.

According to a Danish psychologist, Svend Brinkman, we expect each other to be happy and fine every second, and we expect it of ourselves. And that “has a dark side.”[1] Positive psychology can have its perks but not at the expense at hiding how you truly feel in order to remain seemingly positive to others.

No one can feel positive all the time and yet, that is what our culture teaches us to embrace. We have to unlearn this. That said, telling others you are ‘“fine”’ all the time is actually detrimental to your wellbeing, because it stops you from being assertive, from being authentic or your truest self.

When you acknowledge a feeling, it leads you to the problem that’s causing that feeling; and once you identify the problem, you can find a solution to it. When you hide that feeling, you stuff it way down so no one can help you.You can’t even help yourself.

Feelings are there for one reason: to be felt. That doesn’t mean you have to act on that feeling. It just means that you start the process of problem solving so you can live the life you want.

1. Embrace Your Vulnerability

When you are your true self, you can better self-advocate or stand up for what you need. Your self-expression matters, and you should value your voice. It’s okay to need things, it’s okay to speak up, and it’s okay not to be okay.

Telling someone you are simply “fine” when you are not, does your story and your journey a great disservice. Being true to yourself entails embracing all aspects of your existence.

When you bring your whole self to the table, there is nothing that you can’t beat. Here’re 7 benefits of being vulnerable you should learn.

Can you take off the mask? This is the toughest thing anyone can do. We have learned to wait until we are safe before we start to be authentic.

In relationships especially, this can be hard. Some people avoid vulnerability at any cost. And in our relationship with ourselves, we can look in the mirror and immediately put on the mask.

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It all starts with your story. You have been on your own unique journey. That journey has led you here, to the person you are today. You have to be unafraid, and embrace all aspects of that journey.

You should seek to thrive, not just survive. That means you do not have to compete or compare yourself with anyone.

Authenticity means you are enough. It’s enough to be who you are to get what you want.

What if for the first time ever, you were real? What if you said what you wanted to say, did what you wanted to do, and didn’t apologize for it?

You were assertive, forthcoming in your opinions or actions to stand for what is right for you, (rather than being passive or aggressive) in doing so. You didn’t let things get to you. You knew you had something special to offer.

That’s where we all should be.

So, answer me this:

How are you, really?

And know that no matter the answer, you should still be accepted.

Bravery is in the understanding that you still may not be accepted for your truth.

Bravery is knowing you matter even when others say that you do not.

Bravery is believing in yourself when all evidence counters doing so (i.e. past failures or losses)

Bravery is in being vulnerable while knowing vulnerability is a sign of strength.

It’s taking control.

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2. Choose Your Attitude in Adversity

You can take control of your destiny and live the life you want by being true to yourself. You can start anytime. You can start today.

You can start with one day at a time, just facing what happens that day. Most of us get overwhelmed when faced with the prospect of a big change. Even if the only thing we change is our attitude.

In one instant, you can become a different person with a change of attitude. When you take control of your attitude, you become able to better understand what is around you. This allows you to move forward.

Originally, you may have had a life plan. It could have started when you were little; you were hoping to become a mermaid, doctor, astronaut or all three when you grew up. You were hoping to be someone. You were hoping to be remembered.

You can still dream those dreams, but eventually reality sets in. Obstacles and struggles arise. You set on a different path when the last one didn’t work out. You think of all the “shoulds” in your life in living the life you want. You should be doing this…should be doing that…

Clayton Barbeau, psychologist, coined the term “shoulding yourself.’[2] When we are set on one path and find ourselves doing something different. It becomes all the things you should be doing rather than seeing the opportunities right in front of you.

But in all this disarray, did you lose sight of the real you?

It may be in our perceived failures and blunders that we lose sight of who we are, because we try to maintain position and status.

In being who we really are and achieving what we really want, we need to be resilient: How to Build Resilience to Face What Life Throws at You

It means that we do not see all possibilities of what might happen, but must trust ourselves to begin again, and continue to build the life we want. In the face of adversity, you must choose your attitude.

Can attitude overcome adversity? It certainly helps. While seeking to be true to yourself and live the life you want, you will have to face a fact:

Change will happen.

Whether that change is good or bad is unique to each person and their perspective.

You might have to start over, once, twice, a few times. It doesn’t mean that everything will be okay, but that you will be okay. What remains or should remain is the true you. When you’ve lost sight of that, you’ve lost sight of everything.

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And then, you rebuild. Moment after moment, day after day. We all have a choice, and in this moment, that matters.

You can choose to have a positive attitude, seeing the silver lining in each situation and, where there is none, the potential for one. Maybe that silver lining is you and what you will do with the situation. How will you use it for something good?

That’s how you can tap into yourself and your power. Sometimes it happens by accident, sometimes on purpose. It can happen when we aren’t even looking for it, or it can be your only focus. Everyone gets there differently.

You can rise, or you can remain. Your choice.

When the worst happens, you can rely on your authenticity to pull you through. That’s because Self Advocacy, speaking up to let others know what you need, is part of finding the real you.

There is nothing wrong with asking for help. Or sometimes, helping others can help us deal with the pain of a hurtful situation. You decide how you’re going to help others, and suddenly, you become your best self.

3. Do What Makes You Happy When No One’s Looking

Being the best version of you has nothing to do with your success or your status. It has everything to do with your Character, what you do when no one’s looking.

In order to create the life you want, you have to be the person you want to be. Faking it till you make it is just a way to white knuckle it through your journey. You have the fire inside of you to make things right, to put the pieces together, to live authentically. And Character is how you get there.

If you fall down and you help another up while you’re down there, it’s like you rise twice.

Along with attitude, your character is about the choices you make rather than what happens to you.

Yes, it’s about doing the right thing even when obstacles seem insurmountable.  It’s about using that mountain you’ve been given to show others it can be moved.  It’s about being unapologetically you, taking control, choosing your attitude in adversity and being the best version of you to create the life you want.

How do you know what you really want? Is it truly status or success?

Unfortunately, these things do not always bring happiness. And aspects of our image or “performance driven existence” may not achieve satisfaction. Materialism is part of our refusal to accept ourselves as enough. All the things we use to repress our true selves are about being enough.

“Enoughness” is what we truly seek, but ego gets in the way.

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Ego is the perception of self as outer worth. It’s not REAL self worth.

Ego represses our true self with a new self— the self of chasing ‘“Am I ever enough?”’ questions. And instead of filling our true selves with self-love and acceptance, when we “should ourselves” and chase “enoughness,” we feed the ego or our image.

It’s important to realize YOU ARE ENOUGH, without all the material trappings.

Stanford psychologist Meagan O’Reilly describes the damage of not thinking we are enough. One of her tactics for combating this is to complete the sentence,[3]

“If I believed I were already enough, I’d ____”

What would you do if you felt you were enough?

By believing you are enough, you can live the life you want.

So many fake it to try to get there, and they end up losing themselves when they lose more and more touch with their Authenticity.

Final Thoughts

By being yourself, you are being brave. By acknowledging all you can be, you tell the universe that you can until you believe it too. The steps are easy, and you are worth it. All of it is about the purpose you are leading and the passion that is your fuel.

Being true to yourself is all about mastering how to live life authentically rather than faking or forcing it. Having the life you want (and deserve) is about being trusting in yourself and the purpose you are living for. Both need passion behind it, fueling it each second, or you will experience burn out.

When you are authentic, you can call the road you walk your own. When you live your life for you and not just the results of all your actions (faking it till you make it), you can let go of what you don’t need. This clarifies and pushes purpose to you, living for something that is greater than you.

You will find that making decisions based on what will actually achieve your goals, will help you attain the life you want, and your success with each step, will allow you to enjoy the process. Good luck!

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Featured photo credit: Ariana Prestes via unsplash.com

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