You are here: HomeEntertainment2021 06 24Article 1293898

LifeStyle of Thursday, 24 June 2021


20 ways you’re sabotaging your relationship

Learn to stay away from all these in other to have a healthy relationship Learn to stay away from all these in other to have a healthy relationship

Whether it’s purposeful or not, there are several ways you could be self-sabotaging your relationship - from hiding your feelings to holding a grudge.

Here we round up 20 of the ways you could be harming a partnership, along with some advice on how to repair any damage done

Being jealous

While occasional jealousy is normal, extreme and overwhelming feelings of envy can alienate your partner and make them feel trapped or cornered, notes author Tony Robbins. One of his suggestions is to figure out what the green-eyed monster is trying to tell you.

“Instead of shutting down the jealous behaviour outright, seek to understand it first. What problem is the jealousy attempting to solve? Working backwards from there will help you get to the bottom of how to stop being jealous. By getting to the real problem, you’re able to address it and find lasting relief.”

Never opening up

A solid relationship is based on trust, and trust is built through communication and honesty. As Healthline notes, it’s important to combat the urge to shut down lest you alienate your partner. “Sitting with emotions allows you to fully experience and understand them. This deeper understanding can make it easier to understand your role in the situation.”

Letting extreme paranoia go unchecked

Experts say it’s normal to feel suspicious or excluded from time to time, but experiencing chronic paranoia to the point you spy on your partner is not. In fact, it may be a sign of severe mental illness. Dr. Carrie Barron advises those who feel like they conjure up a distorted reality about their relationship—alienating their partner and causing damage to their own self-worth. Seek professional help.

Not taking care of yourself

“Taking care of yourself is essential to your relationship health because it shows that you can show up for yourself as you can for your partner and allows you to be hopefully more present with your partner,” Jaclyn Lopez Witmer, a licensed clinical psychologist, tells Bustle. When you let yourself go, the opposite is true —you may not have the energy or motivation to engage in the partnership in a healthy way.

Continually criticizing

Think about when someone constantly criticizes your actions or nags you to complete a specific task: how does it make you feel? Probably not great. It’s important to learn how to communicate your message in a healthy way.

Relationship guru Kyle Benson says there are four parts to the task: take responsibility for your actions; express your feelings; give specific details about the source of irritation, and ask for what you need. This should then lead to a constructive—not combative—conversation with your partner.

Abusing anything

Abuse of any substance (like alcohol, for example) can breed mistrust between partners and hinder the ability to connect on an intimate level. In the worst of cases, the substance being abused can alter one’s personality and lead to verbal or physical abuse. In these instances, the solution is almost always to seek professional help. A trained therapist can help you get to the root of why you need crutches to get through a day.

Holding a grudge

Forgiveness in a relationship is key. No one is perfect and everyone makes mistakes. But how do you overcome a grudge after being hurt by your partner?

Dr. Susan Krauss Whitbourne suggests five steps in Psychology Today: be the first to seek reconciliation; recognize your own power in the situation; look for commonalities with your mate; don’t let the slight take on a life of its own; and recognize when your grudge comes out of a rational fear.

Being too busy for your partner

Relationships need nurturing, and being too busy to tend to your partner’s needs can do some serious long-term damage-—even when you justify that you’re doing something for the good of your family. “It’s important not to use this as a blanket justification for ignoring their needs in the present.

It can be difficult to repair relationships if you ignore them for too long,” Dr. Alice Boyes tells MadameNoire. Her advice is to invest in your relationship the way you invest in your career.

Expecting too much

Do you set the bar too high for your partner? Are you constantly asking them to do things or complete tasks they can never achieve? Do you expect someone to know and understand your feelings better than you do without telling them your thoughts? You may have unrealistic expectations, notes Dr. Tarra Bates-Duford to Psych Central.

Her advice is simple: communicate. “Expecting something out of the relationship that the other is either ignorant of, unwilling to provide, or simply unable to provide, can be emotionally damaging for both partners involved and unhealthy for the relationship. […] Do not keep your likes and dislikes, dreams and fears, achievements and mistakes, or anything else to yourself. If it is important to you, share it with your partner for the sake of your relationship.”

Breaking promises

It’s only fair that when you say you’ll do something, you do it—that includes things for your partner. When promises start to get broken, so too does the trust between a couple. Dr. Randi Gunther tells Psychology Today those who can’t stay true to their word need to learn how to apologize, then rebuild trust. They also need to figure out how to make promises they can keep.

Refusing to discuss intimacy

Many people feel topics like intimate relations are taboo, even with their partner. But maintaining open communication when it comes to your comfort level with romps in the sack or even how, when, and where you get it on is key to building a satisfying and healthy relationship.

So, do what you need to do to find the courage to talk about intimacy issues with your partner, Dr. David Ludden tells Psychology Today. That could involve reading self-help books or getting professional help.


Giving your partner the “silent treatment” is toxic on so many levels, and is considered one of the most destructive relationship tendencies. The key is to learn how to talk to your partner when things get heated and then to cool down before following up.

Looking for an exit

When a relationship moves to the next level of commitment, some people may subconsciously look for a way out because they’re nervous or fear settling down. The simplest way to overcome these concerns is to talk to your partner. Get candid about your fear of commitment, and embrace being vulnerable.

Refusing to commit

Have a wandering eye? That could mean flirting with someone or blatantly checking someone out, depending on your definition. How do you know when you’ve crossed the line? Ask yourself whether your partner would be happy knowing what you’ve been thinking/doing. If the answer is no, you may break your partner’s trust—and the relationship.

Constantly comparing

Comparing anyone against another is a surefire way to erode trust and intimacy in a relationship. “The first step to changing any behaviour is to recognize when it occurs,” Natalie Dickinson, an Ottawa-based couples therapist and registered social worker, tells Canadian Living. “If seeing another’s relationship brings up serious questions about your own, it’s important to find time to talk about your concerns with your significant other.”

Sweeping problems under the rug

If you find yourself justifying your partner’s behaviours or wishing away circumstances that make you unhappy instead of addressing them with your partner, you could be walking into a situation where you end up alone. As with most relationship issues, this one can be solved with a little introspection and open communication. First, figure out what’s making you unhappy, then tackle the issue with your mate instead of trying to sweep it under the rug.

Taking things personally

When you take everything personally, you make everything about you instead of the relationship. As Dr. Abigail Brenner tells Psychology Today, instead of reacting when someone pushes your buttons, you should take a step back and evaluate what’s really happening. Put yourself in your partner’s shoes, don’t jump to conclusions, create some space between you and your reactions, and respond in due course.

This will ensure you have the clarity of mind to hear what your partner is truly saying (something that’s key to any healthy relationship) and that you react respectfully to their thoughts and opinions.

Playing the victim

If you constantly feel like a victim or martyr or blame your partner for just about any negative aspect of your life, you may alienate your love and create a situation where perception becomes reality, Vicki Botnick, a licensed marriage and family therapist in California, tells Healthline.

Why? Because blaming others may show your partner you have little interest in trying to make constructive change.

Being too quick to control

Wanting to control someone is a surefire way to sabotage your partner’s relationship satisfaction, and will no doubt push them away if the behaviour goes unchecked for an extended period of time. Counsellor and psychotherapist Sharon Martin notes that many use control tactics in an effort to manage their own anxiety, even though it always backfires. Her advice? Remind yourself you can’t control your partner and focus on making positive change for yourself.

Living in the past

You and your partner have likely been through a lot, especially if you’ve been together for a long time. But living in the past and constantly bringing up arguments related to a current disagreement or expressing hurt over things that should have long been forgiven will likely show your beloved you aren’t truly ready to move forward with them.

The way to cope? According to Dr. Annie Ready Coffey, it could be as simple as asking your partner to call you out when you bring up past issues, helping you realize when you do it and why.