A relationship that’s falling apart is often a result of living with many bad relationship habits for years without doing anything to quit them.
The signs are there, but if you don’t quiet your mind, listen to your partner and analyze your behavior, you won’t even notice how you or your other half become toxic.
Most of the unhealthy habits in the list below are even dangerous. They can destroy love and trust and replace these with conflicts, egoism, and lies.
Let’s see what harmful relationship patterns you should avoid at any cost.
The Bad Relationship Habits You Need to Destroy to Be Happy
1. Not making sure you’re on the same page.
You and your partner might be worlds apart if you don’t communicate often, set expectations and priorities right, and ask each other questions.
Check how the other person feels. Talk about your definitions of a good relationship and finding balance in it.
You might even set goals together or discuss things to work on to make sure the relationship is strong.
2. Passive-aggressive behavior.
Plenty of people are in a relationship with a passive-aggressive person without knowing. To stay sane and save your marriage, you might want to watch out for the signs. They include:
- Silent treatment;
- Expressing hidden anger through teasing and sarcasm;
- Making you feel insecure by constant criticism;
- Avoiding responsibility and making excuses;
- Blaming you for their lack of happiness;
- Self-harm or failure to hurt you by hurting themselves;
- Causing drama;
- Making you feel guilty.
Once you’re aware of them, kick this one of the most common bad relationship habits by learning how to handle passive-aggressive people.
Usually, it’s best to avoid being the trigger, using humor when appropriate to stay positive, talking with assertiveness, and trying to understand the partner and why they do what they do.
3. Arguing over the past.
Ever wondered why couples have the same fights over and over again? Its due to bad mental patterns you were taught as a child, protecting your ego, and living in the past.
Verbally attacking your partner every time and bringing up old issues means you don’t stop to think whether you’re right at all, whether this is necessary.
Most of the times, a conflict can be avoided in a healthy way. It’s called compromising and showing understanding. That’s also an example of how you put your relationship above winning an argument.
Conflict is never easy to deal with for any of us, but when you don’t like any kind of confrontation, it can be incredibly stressful.
This leaves many people avoiding conflict altogether and hoping that the situation will defuse itself, but that can’t always be the answer. So what can be done to help you get better at standing your ground and resolving conflict in a positive way?
One thing for certain is that simply avoiding confrontation is not a healthy way of getting through life.
The stress caused by conflict increases the activity of the amygdala in the brain, which gets you into ‘fight or flight’ mode.
Being in this state for extended periods of time has been linked with brain shrinkage and depression, while it can also affect your career prospects.
There are techniques that you can use to train yourself to be better at handling conflict.
One of which is to reflect upon where your boundaries are by assessing your emotional responses to various situations. You can then start to think up potential solutions that you can use in the future, and then begin to practice with smaller confrontations.
When it comes to actually being in a conflict situation, be clear and concise and stick to the facts rather than letting emotions take over. Keep your voice calm, but also loud and firm to make sure you are getting your points across respectfully. Most important of all, don’t get into a confrontation without a clear end goal that you wish to achieve.
As well as having a desired outcome, you also need to make sure you don’t come out of the meeting with simmering resentments still on your mind. Otherwise, you will still be suffering from the effects of stress long afterward.
Get out everything that needs to be said and be careful to listen to the other person’s point of view as well so that both parties can leave the meeting feeling satisfied.
Also be cautious about your language in the discussion, avoiding any inferences about their intentions. Because you won’t be able to defuse the situation if you end up offending them. It might seem like there are many things to consider, but confrontation always requires careful handling to resolve, and the worst you can do is to ignore it or put off dealing with it.
4. Not noticing the signs of a toxic relationship.
What if you and your partner don’t even know how a toxic relationship actually looks like? What if your definition of normal is what you’ve seen so far but you never analyzed the underlying causes, your true desires and deepest fears?
An unhealthy partnership or marriage requires big changes. First, however, you need to spot the signs and work on each of the bad relationship habits individually.
A toxic relationship might be of two people who don’t rely on each other, who don’t respect or trust each other. If you’re arguing all the time, feel drained, aren’t safe, fight for control, doubt your self-worth, it might mean your partner is bringing out the worst in you.
Does that mean divorce or breakup? Not necessarily.
Start talking about all that first. Make sure you’re on the same page, stop fighting and comparing, and let honest communication rebuild your relationship.
5. Not hearing each other.
Maybe your only bad relationship habit is that one of you doesn’t listen?
Active listening is a powerful skill and it’s quite simple. However, you do need to leave your own issues behind for a moment, empty your mind, show empathy and really listen to what your partner is saying.
In addition, you need to look them in the eyes, find meaning in their words, and pay attention to body language.
Such listening requires no judgment at all and being present.
See also: How to Quit a Habit: A Beginner’s Guide to Breaking Habits
6. No compliments and acts of kindness.
Smiling to a stranger can make their day. Helping others boosts your own happiness. Appreciating people around you brings out the best in them.
Imagine how stable a relationship can be no matter the challenges if you take the time to be kind.
All other bad relationship habits you’ve adopted might go away as long as you spend time together, make compliments, surprise your other half, and thank them for being there.
Expressing unconditional love can be the one thing you do that solves all your other problems.
It could be by:
- being extra sweet to your partner when they are having a bad day;
- supporting them with their next goal in life;
- cooking a nice meal;
- giving them space when they need it;
- and being there when they need you the most.
7. Not admitting you might need therapy.
They say that couples counseling can save a marriage but only when done on time and when both people are willing to see what it can do for them.
But if you aren’t even comfortable with the idea of therapy, things might not be that effective.
Keep in mind that 44% of couples who got married tried it before they were even formally joined in marriage. 98% of them were happy with the results.
Educate yourself on the benefits of couples therapy and consider it if you think your relationship is not stable.
Now that you know 7 of the most common bad relationship habits, you can do something about each.