Maintaining long term relationships can be challenging, because we adopt some habits we continuously repeat without realizing how destructive they may be. Habits have power. We try something, it brings some kind of satisfaction, so we repeat it. If we repeat it often enough, the behavior becomes comfortable to us…a default.
The danger is, what may be comfortable for us may be extremely uncomfortable for our partner.
For example, let’s say a situation occurs…maybe our partner forgot something that we saw as important. We pointed it out, they apologized. The next time it happened, we again pointed it out, only this time we added some critical jab. They apologized.
Over the course of time this pattern repeats, and instead of just reminding them, we’ve gotten into the destructive habit of adding criticism too. So, instead of just getting past the situation, our criticism builds up in our partner and they feel attacked and unappreciated.
What started out as a passing ‘mistake’ in handling a situation becomes a destructive wedge between the couple over time.
Criticism is only one of 10 things we may find ourselves doing that can erode a relationship. I found a very enlightening article with a well thought out list of 10 destructive habits from that brings all 10 clearly in focus.
I used this list of 10 as a check-list for my own relationship. I’m for sure paying attention to #1 (Giving Your Partner Your Partial Attention), and #5 (Talking More Than Listening).
Here’s the list of things couples need to stop doing that I found on the website lifehack.com that I hope will be useful to you too:
1. Giving Your Partner Your Partial Attention
2. Skimping on the Compliments
3. Keeping Score
4. Not Being a Person of Your Word
5. Talking More Than Listening
6. Listening Passively Only
7. Making the Relationship Lower on the Priority Scale
8. Offering Criticism
9. Nagging One Another
10. Trying to Change Each Other
As you read this list and make mental notes about your own relationship, if you think of any other ‘bad’ habits that couples get into, please share in the comment section below. Wellness Pursuits is a site where we can learn, enjoy and share our life experiences with one another.
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