There are things we do in relationships that seem harmless. After all, how bad could holding back your feelings be? Some actions that we think are healthy are actually very toxic for a relationship, and instead of strengthening it we can destroy it bit by bit.
Author Mark Manson is a former dating coach who writes about life’s most important topics, including happiness, self-knowledge, habits and relationships. In one of his posts, he talks about toxic relationship habits.
Here are habits that many of us do without truly knowing the damage we can make.
1. You keep a list of all your partner’s wrongs.
If one or both of you are continuing to blame the other one for mistakes that were made in the past, you’re not in the present and you’re not dealing with problems as they come up. All these wrong doings add up, and it becomes a battle of who ‘s committed the most wrongs over the months or years, and whose turn is it to make things even.
It’s as if you’re storing up the hurt and pain from the action to use against your partner at a later date, and when you finally use all that bad energy, it’s difficult for a relationship to recover from the emotional toll it takes. Deal with issues as they come up, separately, unless they’re naturally connected (like a cheating partner).
2. You expect your significant other to read your mind.
If you or your partner refuse to say exactly what you want and depend on the other person to know what it is, that’s not only stupid — it’s pointless. It’s particularly bad if you think of it as some kind of test. “Well, if he really loved me, he’d know…”
If what you’re feeling is sadness, and instead of letting your significant other know how you feel you do a bunch of things to piss them off to make yourself feel better, this kind of behavior shows that you’re not communicating openly and honestly with each other. Couples need to feel that they can state their feelings and desires without being shut down.
3. You commit emotional blackmail.
This happens when one person has a problem and blackmails the other by threatening the commitment of the relationship as a whole. For example, if someone feels like they were completely ignored at a social event, instead of saying, “I felt as if you were ignoring me at Steve’s party,” they say, “I can’t be with someone who doesn’t think I’m fun at parties.”
If every small relationship issue erupts into a major relationship threat, that’s a big problem. It not only creates a whole bunch of drama, but makes people afraid to share their feelings and cause a breakup.
4. You blame your partner for your emotions.
You’re having a sucky day and your partner is too wrapped up in their own crap to show you the level of support or sympathy you need. Instead of making yourself feel better, you attack your partner for not being at the ready to service your every need — no matter what they were in the middle of.
Blaming your partner for how you feel is selfish and an example of honoring personal boundaries. Both parties in a relationship should be supportive but not obligated to their partners.
5. You act like an insanely jealous person.
There’s a belief that when a person loses their sh*t with jealousy, they’re really showing their love. Intense jealous behavior is controlling and creates not only a lot of unnecessary drama, but can erode trust. A little jealousy is fine, but excessive jealousy isn’t. Trusting in each other will work better in the long run.
6. You compensate by buying gifts.
When there’s conflict, instead of dealing with it, one or both partner will buy something expensive or book a trip, so the excitement hides the problem. Here’s the thing: the problem hasn’t gone away and will rear its ugly, negative head again. Deal with it when it comes up … and then go to the Bahamas to celebrate.