There are few things as important as maintaining your relationship with your spouse or significant other. However, anyone who has ever been in a relationship knows that maintaining one is easier said than done. Sometimes people with good intentions make simple mistakes that can jeopardize their relationship or end it altogether.
If you want to have a successful relationship, identifying and avoiding these mistakes is essential. It is important that you recognize some of these problems so you can take steps toward becoming a better partner and protecting your relationship.
Here are five common mistakes people make in their relationships:
1. Taking Your Partner for Granted
When you have been in a relationship for a while, you can easily grow so accustomed to the flow that you forget to take the time to savor it. Instead of appreciating your spouse’s contributions, you might grow accustomed to these actions or stop noticing them altogether. If you find your spouse complaining frequently or expecting you to do nice things for them, you might be taking your spouse for granted.
It is important to show your significant other that you truly value their actions. Do not fall into a routine where everything your partner does becomes an expectation. If you do, your partner may grow resentful, pushing the two of you apart. In a healthy relationship, both individuals show and communicate appreciation for one another. You can accomplish this in many ways:
Take the time to say “thank you” or send an appreciation text to help your partner recognize their value in your life.
Express how your partner’s thoughtfulness makes you feel
Acknowledge your significant other’s contributions, and be sure to make contributions as well
When both of you feel valued, your relationship will be stronger.
2. Bottling Up Emotions
Many people believe their relationships are healthy because they never fight with their partner. However, avoiding confrontation can devastate a relationship. It is always better to share your emotions than to hold them inside.
When people bottle up their emotions, their negative feelings will only build. This will cause the small problems plaguing the relationship to develop into major issues that are harder to solve. This is toxic, and it can lead to angry outbursts, resentment, and emotional pain.
If you have a tendency to bottle up your emotions, there are steps you can take to change. Be honest about your feelings, and communicate with your partner when something is bothering you. If your spouse does something to upset you, let them know before your anger begins to fester. Fostering regular, healthy communication can help you strengthen your relationship and avoid serious problems.
If you are having trouble communicating with your partner, you should consider going to couples counseling. Having a professional, third-party present can make it easier for you to express your feelings with your spouse.
3. Playing the Blame Game
Placing blame on your partner for all of the problems in your relationship is unhealthy and unfair. One mistake that people make in relationships is refusing to admit fault for their part of a problem. When you point fingers at someone else, you prevent yourself from seeing how you contribute to conflicts in your relationship. Take the time to reflect on your own actions before you try to assign blame.
When you blame your partner for mistakes, it is easy for one small slight to spiral out of control. Instead of listening to your partner and addressing an issue together, you immediately make you spouse the enemy. In doing so, you rob yourself of the opportunity to show compassion and grace to your significant other.
If you constantly assign blame, you will start to see your partner in a negative light, which will harm your relationship.
4. Keeping Score
If you relentlessly track all of your partner’s mistakes or your sacrifices, you are not doing your relationship any favors. Keeping score is one of the easiest ways to kill a relationship. Avoid bringing up resolved issues from the past when you argue. This is unfair to your partner, and it prevents you from ever truly solving problems.
When your spouse apologizes for something, and you accept the apology, leave it in the past. Do not bring the issue back up in the future. It may help you “win” an argument, but it will ultimately make you lose your partner’s trust.
Additionally, you should also stop keeping a mental list of every single sacrifice you have made for your partner. Understand and accept that there will be times when each of you has to pull more weight than the other in the relationship. Keeping score will only make you feel bitter, and this will take a toll on your relationship.
5. Neglecting to Listen to Your Partner
Communication goes two ways. In addition to being able to express your feelings, good communication requires responsive listening. When people in a relationship feel unheard, the relationship will not grow. Practice active listening and make it a priority. If you need help with this, attending marriage counseling can help you develop your active listening skills.
When you are in an argument, listen to your partner’s side of the story. Make sure you truly seek to understand how your spouse feels about the situation. If you want to improve your relationship, you should focus on making sure your significant other always feels heard and respected.
Visit our couples counseling page at https://www.wakecounseling.com/couples-counseling/
Call us at 919-647-4600