7 ways you’re unintentionally sabotaging your relationship

Relationships are not always about being together and super close

Umnia Shahid March 27, 2015
Don't strain your relation with your other half by trying too hard. PHOTO: EHarmony

A relationship can’t be successful without both parties putting in some effort - what’s annoying is that by trying to advance your bond you might actually be creating a few habits that can crack your connection, leaving both of you less fulfilled.

Here are a few seemingly good relationship actions you’ll want to take out of rotation. As compiled by Women’s Health magazine, lose these habits and rebuild your bond.


1. Thinking your partner is your best friend

PHOTO: Cutely Poisoned

It may seem like your partner being your BFF is the ultimate relationship goal, but it can actually make you both miserable. More common in girls, it is especially true when you’re trying to relate to him in a way you normally would with your best girlfriend. “When you expect your partner to always be naturally empathetic and know the right thing to say, you’re ignoring that men’s and women's processes are very different,” says relationship expert Rachel Sussman. So, while venting to him about an annoying co-worker, you might just want a best friend who will simply just listen. Your guy, on the other hand is more likely to go into fix-it mode, which can lead to you becoming frustrated, him getting defensive, and a huge blow-up in the end. If you must discuss an issue with him, make sure you keep it brief and mild.


2. Going overboard on the surprises

PHOTO: Preschoolers

Many a times, surprising your partner is the most elating and exciting thing to do, whether it’s bringing home a pie of his favourite pizza and dessert or scoring her front-row tickets to her favourite ghazal night concert. But too much of this too often can make your partner feel highly smothered, especially in the beginning of a new relationship. “It’s always nice to think about and surprise your partner, but it shouldn’t be over and over and over again," suggest relationship counsellors. "It feels over the top and might lead them to feel like they just can’t keep up.” Stop sabotaging your bond with this seemingly innocent habit and keep the surprises for very special occasions.


 3. Encouraging your partner for a promotion

PHOTO: The Nest

If your partner is aiming to mount up the corporate ladder, then by all means, encourage them and be optimistic towards their ventures. Sadly though, you might also be tempted to help your other half dapper up their life even if they’re totally content with it, and that could upset your partner. “A lot of women can in fact focus too much on a few things that are wrong with someone instead of everything that’s right. Men can sometimes do the same too,” says Sussman. It’s a really skinny line between encouraging your partner to be and do better and making them feel they don’t measure up to your standards. Be cautious to not cross the line beyond cheering for them.


4. Bad-mouthing their family

PHOTO: Pk Urdu

We see it on television family dramas all the time and sadly, there’s a lot of that drama enveloping our lives. The good news is, you're not alone in this one. No doubt, in-laws can be difficult and tricky to deal with but that said, even if they are daytime-talk-show material kind of folks, it's time to tame your tongue and zip that lip when it comes to discussing them with your partner (who is in fact a part of ‘them’). Complain to your bestie, whine about them to your therapist or mother, but don't ever complain to your other half. Even if they agree with every word you say against their family, it's bound to cause anxiety and stress, plus your partner might end up resenting you for it.


5. Spending all your time together

PHOTO: We Heart It

Sure, it’s super sweet and cosy to become so entwined with your partner that you can almost complete each other’s patent phrases. Shockingly, it can also prove to be potentially disparaging. When you let one part of your life be so over powering, it’s only natural that other aspects of your life will take a backseat. “You might be ignoring other parts of your life and yourself," says Sussman. "You won’t be as interesting to each other, and it might get boring," suggests the relationship expert. Also, practically speaking, casing up your entire identity in someone who, for whatever reason, might not always be there is pretty hazardous. “Relationships should be interdependent, not co-dependent,” says Sussman.


6. You fight dirty

PHOTO: Cartoonstock

To be brutally honest, every couple argues and fights. Those who say they don’t are probably lying. But some couples know the art of doing it without smashing up their relationship and doing irreplaceable damage. If you're the type that hits below the belt (like name calling or throwing your partner’s past blunders on their face), it's time to cut it out immediately. Relationship therapists believe that hitting below the belt and vicious remarks hurled when you’re angry can permanently scar relationships, even if everything appears to be unaffected on the surface. If you’re upset with your better half, go for a walk, clear your head and come back when you're calm to carry on the delicate discussion.


7. Getting super close to his mother

PHOTO: LinkedIn

This one’s especially dedicated to the ladies! While it’s great to form strong ties with his pals and family, don’t mistake camaraderie with his mum or other family members for an invitation to reveal details on things he'd rather you keep under wraps. The faux pas comes in sharing too much information. Even though it’s nice to form a strong link with the other most important lady in his life, be cautious. If your partner, for example, just invested in a pricey gadget, steer clear from complaining about him or his spendthrift habit to his mother, unless you want to be in his bad books, because his mum most definitely will speak to him about it. Keep in mind, boundaries are crucial.


Epicurus | 6 years ago | Reply There is an element of misogyny in this article.
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