I’ve noticed a sad trend. Too many people are learning unhealthy ways of being in relationships from their family, friends, and other sources. What’s worse is that often they don’t even realize how their behavior in the relationship is driving their partner away.
Have you learned unhealthy ways of being in relationships? Are you making big mistakes that can drive your partner away? Read on to learn five of the most common mistakes I’ve seen on a day to day basis. And if you recognize a mistake that you are currently making, make sure you take action on the tips to avoid a future breakup with someone you love.
1. Putting Your Happiness In Your Partner’s Hands
When you are upset, do you handle the situation yourself or do you expect your partner to make you feel better, fix things, and help you feel happy again? Do you get upset if your partner doesn’t say or do the right things when you are not feeling happy? If yes to either, then you are putting a lot of pressure on your partner. So much pressure, in fact, that there is a good chance you will drive them away.
It’s important to remember that we are all responsible for our own emotions. We are the only ones who can talk ourselves out of a bad mood or look at things in a new and more positive way. Other people can’t do that for us. So when we expect them to try, we are setting them up to fail. Most of the time they won’t say what we want to hear or do what we want them to do, and we punish them with our sulky attitude or anger because of it. That’s simply not fair to them.
They can’t handle their emotions and yours. It’s draining for them to always have to focus on making you feel better. And, it’s draining on your relationship when you are negative towards them because they can’t make you feel better.
Moreover, your partner doesn’t want someone who depends on them to be happy. They want someone who is naturally happy and has a zest for life that inspires them and makes them feel good about being with you.
What Can You Do To Fix This?
Be aware that YOU are responsible for your happiness. Other people can help you see things differently, but you are the one who ultimately chooses to change your perception, pick yourself up, and start feeling good about yourself and your life again.
When you claim full responsibility for your happiness, you can stop wasting time looking towards your partner to make you feel better. You can start finding ways to work through problems, face issues that are happening, and see things in a more positive light all on your own.
For instance, if you lose your job, you can let yourself get down and wait for your partner to cheer you up. Or, you can ask yourself, “What about this situation is good for me?” You may find answers like:
– Now I have an opportunity to look for a job I really want to work at.
– Now I have some time off to relax and rejuvenate.
– Now I don’t have to wake up at 5am!
– Now I don’t have to drive through rush hour traffic on the way home!
Once you start finding things to be grateful for, you will start feeling better about yourself and your situation, and your partner won’t need to expend a lot of energy on helping you feel better. In fact, you may be able to help your partner see the blessing in disguise. Then, you and your partner can enjoy your time off and strengthen your relationship instead of weakening it!
2. Expecting Your Partner To Be The Same As You
This is a common relationship mistake. And it is one of those mistakes that can drive your partner away for good.
Let me remind you that you found your partner interesting in the beginning because of their differences as well as their similarities. Maybe you loved the way they cooked for you because you couldn’t cook. Or maybe you liked how organized they were because you had a hard time keeping things in order. I don’t know what it was, but I’m sure there were unique things about your partner that interested you.
Most people enjoy those differences for a while, but soon they want their partner to start being more like them and less like themselves. This is where relationship problems come in.
As your desire for them to be more like you grows, you start to criticize them for the way they do things. You tell them that they are wrong and you are right. You tell them that they are dressing wrong, eating wrong, speaking wrong, acting wrong, and even believing wrong!
In short, you are holding up a big sign that says ‘The real you is not good enough for me!’ Who wants to stay in a relationship where you are not good enough for your partner? Nobody!
What Can You Do To Fix This?
You need to understand this one vital thing – no two people in this world are the same. In fact, nobody in history or the future will be exactly like you. And nobody in history or the future will be exactly like your partner!
Everyone has slightly different ways of moving through the world and thinking, and that is what makes them an important part of this world. Their unique way of doing things can teach other people and help other people in some way (including you!) Their unique way of doing things can benefit this world in some way. When you understand that, you will start to appreciate the way they are and stop trying to change them.
This doesn’t mean you should let your partner have their way when it will affect your happiness negatively. Let your partner be who they are and appreciate your differences. Don’t tell them that they have to completely change who they are in order to be good enough for you. And when you need to, find compromises to help you feel better about the big differences that you have.
For instance, if your partner enjoys spending money as soon as they get it, and you want to save money, then you don’t have to let them be themselves and suffer financially because of that. Instead, sit down and find a way to save your money and allow them to have some spending money as well. It’s all about compromise.
3. Bringing Baggage Into Your Relationship
Is a relationship in the past affecting the way you deal with your current relationship? Do you have resentment towards your past, unresolved feelings towards your past relationships, life issues that haven’t been dealt with, or negative experiences that you just can’t let go? If yes, then you have baggage, and it will affect the way you deal with your relationship and your partner.
I had one friend who was cheated on by one boyfriend. She couldn’t get over it and she carried that baggage into every relationship she got into. She would plague her boyfriend with accusations about what he was doing with his free time. She would accuse him of cheating on her when she couldn’t get him on the phone. She would constantly ask him questions that clearly showed him that she didn’t trust him. And, eventually, he would pack up his stuff and leave. And why not? If she couldn’t trust him, then what kind of relationship did they have?
Baggage will affect the core aspects of your relationship, such as trust, intimacy, communication, and relationship habits. You will label your partner unfairly. You will treat your partner unfairly. And, eventually, they will not want to be in a relationship with you and your past experiences and partners. They will not want to be blamed for stuff that they didn’t do simply because you haven’t dealt with your hurt or anger from your past.
What Can You Do To Fix This?
You need to deal with your past. All those experiences that you are holding on to need to be let go.
For instance, if someone cheated on you, then you need to accept that it happened. Often we try to pretend that it didn’t really happen to us or try to stop it from happening (which is impossible). Then you need to figure out why it happened. Was your ex not ready for a relationship? Did you not have a healthy relationship with them? Did they not have the compassion or ethics to stay faithful to you? And once you figure out the answers, take your lessons and move on.
Then you need to start fresh. Your new partner is different. (Remember, everyone is unique!) And your relationship with them is different. You have a chance to move forward and create a happier relationship knowing what you know now.
4. Not Allowing True Honesty In Your Relationship
Why is being dishonest one of the biggest mistakes that can drive your partner away? Because honesty is not only powerful in an intimate relationship, it is expected. Your partner expects you to be the one person who doesn’t lie to them. Your partner expects you to be your real self and share yourself.
When you lie, even if it is a small lie, you create a wave of distrust in the relationship. The more waves you create, the harder it is to keep the relationship steady. Eventually, if you create enough waves, your relationship will tip over and your partner will leave you to find a steadier relationship.
I had one person tell me that they didn’t want to look bad in their partner’s eyes, so that’s why they lied to them. That’s a bunch of crap. The truth is that your partner knows you are not perfect because they are not perfect. They have signed up for a crazy thing called ‘life’ where failures are made, mistakes happen, and imperfections are common. And they have signed up to share that life with you! If you can’t be honest with them about your failures, mistakes, and imperfections, then they will feel like something is off, and it could cost you your relationship.
In addition, when you don’t allow your partner to be honest, they don’t feel connected to you. They don’t feel like they can be honest with you. They don’t feel like you are someone who has their back no matter how they feel, what they do, or what they want.
What Can You Do To Fix This?
Make honesty the way of life in your relationship. Allow your partner to see your imperfections. Share your fears, mistakes, and worries with your partner. Don’t hide anything from your partner. This is easy to do once you start doing it. And you will find that your partner will accept you for who you are and understand you better because you are being completely honest with them.
And, allow your partner to be honest with you. Don’t make them feel bad for being honest with you. Don’t try to tell them how they really feel or what really happened. Allow them to explain things as they see it and show them appreciation for being so honest with you.
For example, if your partner tells you that you hurt them, don’t tell them that you didn’t hurt them or that they are stupid for feeling like that. Appreciate their honesty, understand where they are coming from, and then deal with the situation in a way that makes you both feel better. Your relationship happiness will soar when you have this kind of honesty in it!
5. Not Sharing In The Decision Making
Lastly, this is a common mistake that couples make, but I don’t see many people talking about how negatively this can affect a relationship. I’m not sure why because it is an important relationship concept to understand.
When one person makes all of the decisions in a relationship – or the majority of the decisions – the other person can feel left out. Remember, they are unique and have their own desires in life. And, if someone else is making all the big decisions for them, they are unable to fully express themselves or realize their desires. Eventually, that will make them resent the other person, and that’s when the relationship could end.
Moreover, the person making the decisions can grow tired of always having to decide. They can start to view their partner as more of a child than an intimate partner. That can affect how they talk to them and treat them, which can affect the relationship negatively even further.
The bottom line is that if you choose to share your life with someone, you also have to compromise on things, including your home, finances, vacations, food, kids, TV, and a million other things!
What Can You Do To Fix This?
Use your honesty to share your wants and needs and understand your partner’s wants and needs, and then find a way to make everyone happy when it comes to decisions. The more you understand about each other, the easier this will be.
It’s important to note that sometimes your differences will be so big that one person will have to give in and let the other person have the decision. For instance, if one person wants Indian food and the other wants Italian, obviously a decision that makes one person happy is going to have to be made. When this happens, agree that the next decision on food will be up to the other person. This will create a balance that will make both of you happy.