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10 Surefire Ways to Kill a Relationship

Jun 14, 2008
Every action we take either pulls our partners closer to us or pushes them further away. Relationships end when so much distance is created that there is not enough motivation to bring them back together.
Relationship coaches recommend avoiding these 10 behaviors if you want to have a great relationship:

1. Blaming your partner. Although we can often rightly say that our partner's actions are bad in some way, blaming neither undoes their behaviors nor encourages them to change. It helps us not to feel responsible at the cost of emotional closeness.

2. Constantly disagreeing and debating. While everyone has differences, we primarily need to be supportive of our partners and look for points that we do agree with. In healthy relationships, partners work as a team.

3. Criticizing and nagging. People often criticize and nag in order to badger their partner into some kind of behavior change. Even when this works, the increased resentment pushes the couple further apart.

4. Not listening. We all need to feel important--especially to those we love. When they stop listening, we start to feel like we no longer matter to them. Early love relationships are characterized by a lot of talking about even very small things.

5. Trying to change your partner's physical appearance. This sends the message that they are not acceptable to you as they are. Even when your partner agrees with you that the change would be good, healthy, etc., it increases their feelings of rejection and lowers self-esteem.

6. Having an unbalanced personal life. When we are unhappy with aspects of our life other than our intimate relationship, it creates a greater burden on our partner to compensate. For example, if we have no friends, there is a greater burden on our partners to socialize with us more or to spend less time with their friends.

7. Keeping silent rather than talking about problems. Keeping silent when there are problems is a short term way to avoid conflict. But, by not talking, what was a small problem will become a bigger and bigger problem until damage is done. Sometimes irreparable damage.

8. Only working on the relationship when there is a problem. Relationships need daily nurturing and adjustments constantly need to be made as couples continue to mature. When partners have a good working relationship, they can prevent many of the problems that would otherwise occur.

9. Talking badly about your partner to your children or parents. Sometimes people like to feel a closer bond with a parent or child by siding against their partner. This can only serve to alienate your partner. Even in a divorce situation this behavior is inappropriate.

10. Making your job more important than your relationship. Your partner needs to know that when there is a conflict of interest, that they come first. Whatever you make number one in your life will be there for you years later. Whatever is number two will often be gone. The best relationship advice for singles who want their career to be priority is to wait before committing to a long term relationship.
Relationships can be successful and long lasting.

Four out of five businesses fail due to mismanagement. Don't let your relationship fail the same way. Recognizing your mistakes is a great start. Your next step may be working with a good relationship coach or counselor to help you to operate in success mode rather than relationship self-destruct mode.
About the Author
Jack Ito PhD is a licensed psychologist and relationship coach. Download his Free Guide to Great Relationships at
http://www.GreatRelationshipCoach.org.
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