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Artículo 7 ways to ruin your relationship without realising it Articles


7 ways to ruin your relationship without realising it



Antonio J. Rodríguez

18 Enero 2017 11:28

Small mistakes that can have catastrophic consequences.

The first suggestion made by Google’s autocomplete when you type in ‘why relationships...’ is, depressingly, ‘why relationships fail’. Pretty cold, huh? If nothing else, it serves as a sober reminder of the biggest fear that plagues most couples.

Because the sad truth is that most relationships come to an end, sooner or later. It’s hard to make love endure, even though it might feel, at first, like it will last forever.

But ‘forever’ is not real. Real-life relationships crash and burn because one, or both, of you makes a series of small, often barely perceptible, mistakes. Almost unconscious missteps that can have catastrophic consequences.

To help you understand what to look out for, here’s a guide to the seven most common mistakes that we make in our relationships, according to psychologists. Oh, and we’ll also tell you how to avoid making the mistakes in the first place, so that your romance doesn’t turn into tragedy.

1. Growing distant from your partner

Seems obvious, doesn’t it? When you distance yourself from your partner it means something is not going well. We often do this as a self-defence mechanism: cutting emotional ties with our partner to avoid being hurt. But don’t just take it from us: this study carried out by psychologists from the University of Tennessee says the same. The research found that a lethal cocktail of two factors predict dissatisfaction in a relationship: sensitivity to rejection, and the tendency to cut emotional ties with a partner.

When we’re afraid of getting hurt, we distance ourselves from our partners and end up provoking what we were most afraid of in the first place: an unsatisfactory relationship with poor communication. But don’t fret: the answer is simple. Just open your heart to your partner, tell them your worries and fears, and work together to find a solution to your concerns.

2. Hiding what you spend your money on from your partner

Otherwise known as financial infidelity. It might not seem as serious as sexual infidelity, but in the long term it can lead to something just as bad.

According to one survey, two in every five Americans admits to having lied to their partners about money. Doing so can lead to arguments, a loss of trust, and even divorce. Because it’s not just about money: if you don’t trust your partner with money, then sooner or later you’ll stop trusting him or her altogether. And that’s when things can really turn ugly.

3. The dreaded fantasy bond

Psychologist Robert Firestone coined the term ‘fantasy bond’ to describe an imaginary connection between partners, in which the illusion of connection replaces real feelings of love and passion. Everyday routines are used to replace genuine emotional intimacy. People may sacrifice their independence and individuality and have a sort of parasitic relationship with their partner.

If any of this sounds a bit too close for comfort, then perhaps you and your partner have developed a fantasy bond. But take heart because psychologists have a very simple solution for you: talk to your partner about your separation fears. Work together to create a system of communication that doesn’t just consist in going everywhere together like you’re joined at the hip. Don’t let yourselves fall into the trap of letting tedious routine take the place of a genuinely happy and healthy relationship.

4. Saying no to new experiences

You’ve turned into an old couple whose idea of a wild night is channel-hopping and eating the almost-past-its-sell-by-date yoghurt in the fridge for dessert. Well, perhaps it’s time to shake things up. Recent studies have found that couples who try new things together are happier in their relationships.

Psychologist Lisa Firestone warns that when couples shut themselves off from the idea of developing new shared interests it can damage the relationship even more than an adulterous affair.

So, grab your partner and get out of the house. Go to a new restaurant, book a last-minute flight, or change your weekly movie night from Wednesdays to Saturdays. Anything to break with routine. You might just start to feel happier.

5. Feeling contempt for your partner

This is more than a warning sign: it’s a flashing neon light. A lighthouse beacon guiding you to A PLACE YOU SHOULD NEVER GO.

According to Erin Brodwin in Business Insider, relationships between couples who display contempt towards each other are more likely to end badly. If you see your partner as being inferior, your relationship is not going to last long.

The first step towards resolving this problem is simple: cultivate an appreciation and respect for your partner. And, from there, find more positive, less toxic ways of interacting with your partner. Easy, right?

6. Text messages: good or bad?

One study found that while women tend to be happier the more messages they send and receive. With men, it’s the opposite.

According to the study, for men, sending messages is a way of ‘withdrawing’ from the relationship. In fact, sometimes WhatsApp can be the worst means of communication. If you have something important or awkward to say, it’s much better to do so face to face. Use text messages or chat apps for more banal matters. If you’re texting and you can see that the conversation is turning serious, it’s better to arrange to meet your partner to conclude things face to face. It will be much easier that way. And if not, then at least you can give your partner a piece of your mind in person.

7. Greet problems with silence

Sometimes we just don’t feel like arguing. And while our partner lists all the things we’ve supposedly done wrong, we switch off and nod along without saying a word. Silence can be one way of avoiding conflict. The problem starts when silence becomes our go-to way of dealing with such situations. This study found that couples in which one partner commonly responds to conflict with silence are usually less happy in their relationships.

But the habit can be very difficult to break, because each person believes that the other is at fault. Experts recommend analysing which individual behaviours have contributed to the problem and then using conflict resolution strategies which are respectful of the other person.