I remember a weird day in middle-school where they separated the girls from the boys for an entire class, and then no one made eye contact for the rest of the day. It was the quietest bus ride home of my school career. What did they tell each group? Well,
speaking as a member of the "boy" group, I can tell you it wasn't about relationships, at least not in the conventional sense. It was about testicles. And fluids.
Understanding the most common behaviors that damage relationships can be a good first step to having a relationship that lasts.
See how many of these behaviors seem familiar, either in yourself or your partner. These behaviors can doom a relationship to failure: 1. Fear of intimacy. Maybe you want someone in your life, but you don’t want them getting too close. This is a common fear, particularly among men, but women also struggle with this relationship challenge. Eventually, your partner will become frustrated with the contrast between your need for love and your expectation of failure. 2. Poor communication habits. This can include everything from not mentioning the little things that get on your nerves to not communicating in a meaningful way on a daily basis. The quality of the communication is what ultimately determines how close you stay over the long run. *"If they cared, they'd know what was bothering me. I shouldn't have to tell them." Ever notice how many professional "psychics" are divorced? There's a reason for that. Expecting your partner to know something you haven't told them is bovine excrement. No matter how much the other person loves you, they can’t read your mind. Take responsibility for your happiness and need-fulfillment, and let your partner know what you need. *Avoidance. Many of us like to give the silent treatment when we feel annoyed or wronged. This accomplishes nothing other than escalating the situation. Your partner becomes resentful and less interested in resolving the issue.
*For the love of all that is holy, please do not fight via text message. This is a dangerous practice. We’re all a little bolder than we would normally be while texting. It’s also easy to misinterpret when you can’t hear or see the other person. Why? Because we read in the mood we're in, not in the mood our texting partner is in.
3. Insecurity. Insecurity is a relationship killer. You drive yourself and your partner crazy. While this lack of confidence may initially provoke a sense of protection or a Messiah-complex in our partner, it is ultimately unattractive and unsustainable. Your partner also eventually feels insulted.
Insecurity can manifest itself in many ways: Are you frequently jealous? This can include your partner’s close friends and previous relationships. Do you analyze everything your partner says and does for some sign that they’re losing interest? Do you need constant reassurance that everything is okay? Do you spend more time worrying about the stability of your relationship than you do enjoying it? If you have a lot of insecurity in your relationships, consider addressing your levels of self-confidence and self-esteem. It's only by being a whole person that you can have something to give to the one you love.
4. A need for control. Do you feel the need to control every aspect of your relationship? No one likes to be dominated day in and day out.
Unless that's your kink, in which case, enjoy.
Ask yourself why you feel the need to control everything about your relationship and your partner. Remember the boss who had to be involved in every little detail and didn't let you do a solitary thing on your own? Micromanaging sucks in the workplace, and it sucks even worse in the place that should be your refuge, your home. This is commonly camouflaged as nurturing to the tenth power. But caring for the other person isn’t the real purpose. The real purpose is control.
5. Assuming the role of the martyr. “Nice guys” and many women often assume this role. They mistakenly believe that if they sacrifice enough in the name of their partner’s happiness, they’ll eventually get what they need in the end. Over time, this leads to a level of resentment that can never be satisfied. And resentment is the death of marital happiness.
Say it with me: "My needs are valid, too." Take the time to express them. Tell your partner the way you'd like those needs to be met. Then, work towards fulfilling each other's needs in mutual service.
Look at your past relationships and consider how many of these behaviors were present in yourself or the other person. By avoiding these common behaviors, you can give your relationships a much better chance of surviving and thriving. Take a hard look at yourself and make the necessary adjustments. Great relationships make life an exciting and rewarding experience.