Most couples develop some bad habits over time that can wreak havoc on the relationship. Here are 10 things every couple needs to stop doing before they damage their relationship.
1. Giving Your Partner Your Partial Attention
Checking email, texting, or watching TV while your partner is in the same room doesn’t constitute quality time together. However, many people have difficulty unplugging and giving their partner their undivided attention long enough to hold a real conversation. Give your partner your full attention so you can truly connect with one another.
2. Skimping on the Compliments
You can never give too many compliments. However, as a relationship matures, compliments often begin to dwindle. Give your partner plenty of encouragement. Offer praise and genuine words of encouragement to help your partner navigate each day with confidence.
3. Keeping Score
Keeping score and trying to ensure that everything is fair can make couples argue more like siblings. Everything doesn’t have to be fair in your romantic relationship. Trying to keep a tally of who has done the most or who has earned something will only damage your relationship. Focus on giving to your partner rather than worrying about what you’re getting.
4. Not Being a Person of Your Word
Your partner needs to know you are trustworthy. Make promises that you’ll follow through with. Don’t say things that you don’t mean and don’t make promises you don’t intend to keep. Building trust, loyalty, and security in the relationship means that your partner needs to know you are a person of your word.
5. Talking More Than Listening
Communication should involve listening more than you speak. However, most people focus more on getting their point across rather than truly trying to understand what their partner has to say. Focus on listening to your partner and developing an understanding of your partner’s point of view before trying to express your opinion. Listening to your partner can reduce a lot of conflict caused by misunderstandings.
6. Listening Passively Only
Listening should be an active process. However, many people treat it like a passive activity. Not talking doesn’t constitute listening. In order to actively listen to someone, you should ask questions, nod your head, and seek clarification when you don’t understand. Get rid of other distractions and focus on what your partner has to say by showing you are actively trying to understand what is being said.
7. Making the Relationship Lower on the Priority Scale
Relationships often top the priority scale in the beginning but over time, a relationship can slip down the priority list slowly. Kids, jobs, extended family, and friends can all take precedence over the relationship if you’re not careful. The lower the relationship falls on the priority scale, the more likely the relationship will suffer.
8. Offering Criticism
Giving too much criticism can break down a relationship quickly. Offering your opinion about what your partner doesn’t do right or should be doing differently can create a wedge in the relationship. Offer feedback in a way that is tactful and diplomatic and make sure you are giving more positive feedback than negative.
9. Nagging One Another
Nagging is an annoying habit that can make a relationship become more painful than joyful. It’s okay to ask your partner to do something but avoid nagging if the job doesn’t get done according to your time frame. Treat your partner like a responsible adult, not a child who needs parenting.
10. Trying to Change Each Other
Trying to change your partner will only backfire on you in the long-run. You can change yourself only. Focus on changing your own behavior and it may or may not lead your partner to change. Accept that you can’t force your partner to change and accept that your partner does not have to do what you want.