The number of potential hazards that can ruin your relationship is astounding, though some of them are completely preventable. Most of the red flags listed below have a specific cause and effect and we exercise at least a portion of these deadly errors. Still, you can make a conscious effort towards preventing them from becoming a lifestyle that will undoubtedly ruin your relationship.
Resentment. This is a poison that starts from something small. For instance, he/she didn’t get a new roll of toilet paper or he/she doesn’t wash dishes after eating and it builds up into something big. Resentment is dangerous because it often flies under our radar, so that we don’t even notice that have it and our partner doesn’t realize that there is anything wrong. If you ever notice yourself having resentment, you need to address it immediately, before it gets worse. Cut it off while it is small.
There are two good ways to deal with resentment: (1) breathe, and just let it go, accept your partner for who he/she is, faults and all; none of us is perfect; or (2) talk to your partner about it if you cannot accept it and try to come up with a solution that works for both of you (not just for you); try to talk to them in a non-confrontational way, but in a manner that expresses how you feel without being accusatory.
Jealousy. It is hard to control jealousy. It seems to happen by itself, out of our control, unbidden and unwanted. However, jealousy, like resentment, is poison to a relationship. A little jealousy is fine, but when it gets to a certain level, it turns into a need to control your partner which subsequently leads to unnecessary fights and makes both parties unhappy. If you have problems with jealousy, instead of trying to control them it is important that you examine and deal with the root issue which is usually insecurity which might be tied to your childhood (abandonment by a parent, for example), in a past relationship where you got hurt, or in an incident or incidents in the past of your current relationship.
Unrealistic expectations. Often we have an idea of what our partner should be like. We might expect them to be considerate, always think of us first, to surprise us, support us, always have a smile, to work hard and not be lazy. Having some expectations is fine, we should expect our partner to be faithful, for example. But sometimes, without realizing it ourselves, we have expectations that are too high to meet. Our partner isn’t perfect like everyone else including you. Don’t expect them to be cheerful and loving every minute of the day everyone has their moods. We can’t expect them to always think of us, as they will obviously think of themselves or others sometimes too. Don’t expect your partner to be exactly as you are, as everyone is different.
High expectations lead to disappointment and frustration, especially if you do not communicate these expectations. How can you expect your partner to meet these expectations if they don’t know about them? The remedy is to lower your expectations and allow your partner to be himself/herself, accept and love them for that.
Not making time. This is a problem with couples who have kids, who get caught up with work or hobbies or friends and family or other passions. Couples who don’t spend time alone together will drift apart. Though spending time together with the kids or other friends and family is a good thing, it is also important that you spend time alone with your lover. Get a babysitter, drop some commitments, put off work for a day and go on a date. It doesn’t have to be an expensive date you can exercise together, watch a DVD or have a home-cooked dinner. Most importantly, when you are together, make an effort to connect, not just be together.
Lack of communication. Good communication is the cornerstone of a good relationship. If you have resentment, you must talk it out rather than let it grow. If you are jealous, you must communicate in an open and honest manner to address your insecurities. If you have expectations of your partner, you must communicate with them. If there are any problems whatsoever, you must work on them. Communication doesn’t just mean talking or arguing, good communication is honest without being attacking or blaming. Communicate your feelings of being hurt, frustrated, sorry, scared, sad, happy rather than criticising. Communicate a desire to work out a solution that works for you both, a compromise, rather than a need for the other person to change.
Ingratitude. Sometimes there are no real problems in a relationship, such as resentment or jealousy or unrealistic expectations, but there is no expression of the good things about your partner. This lack of gratitude and appreciation is just as bad as the aforementioned problems, because without it your partner will feel like he or she is being taken for granted. Every person wants to be appreciated for all they do. And while you might have some problems with what your partner does, you should also realise that he/she does good things too. Does she wash your dishes or cook you something you like? Does he support you in your job? Take the time to say thank you, and give a hug and kiss. This little expression can go a long way to sustain your relationship.
Lack of affection. Everything else can be alright including the expression of gratitude, but if there is no affection between a couple then there is serious trouble. In effect, the relationship is drifting towards a platonic status. This might sound better than many relationships that have serious problems, but it is not a good thing. Affection is important and everyone needs some of it, especially from someone we love. Take the time, every single day, to show affection to your partner. Greet him/her when he/she comes home from work with a tight hug. Wake he/she up with a passionate kiss (who cares about morning breath). Sneak up behind him/her and kiss them on the neck. Make out in the movie theater like teenagers. Caress his/her back and neck while watching television. Smile at your partner often.
Stubbornness. Every relationship will have problems and arguments, but it is important that you learn to work out these problems after cooling down a bit. Unfortunately, many of us are too stubborn to even talk about things. Perhaps, we always want to be right. Most of us are not only disagreeable, but are stubborn to the point where we never make compromises. Keep in mind that faltering doesn’t show weakness or make your relationship flimsy. Instead, it shows that you are willing to trust the other person and meet them halfway.
What is really stubborn is how detrimental this habit is to your relationship. Maybe you never want to admit that you made a mistake. Perhaps, you don’t like to say sorry or you don’t like to compromise. Learn to put away your ego and say I am sorry. Talk about the problem and work it out. Don’t be afraid to be the first to apologise. Then move past it to better things.