Making a relationship work requires effort and sacrifices from both people involved. Unfortunately, sometimes people can fall into toxic relationship habits that set them on a destructive path without even realizing it. In fact, some of these toxic habits are so common that many people would even consider them to be normal. Watch out for the following habits that can wreck a relationship.
1. Threats To End The Relationship
One of the habits that can put a serious damper on any relationship is constant threats by either party to end the relationship due to any complaint or criticism they have. In essence, this means that they are engaging in emotional blackmail and holding the relationship hostage to get their own way. This is incredibly damaging because it leads to a lot of fear and distrust. It is also very manipulative because it can cause people to suppress their true feelings out of fear.
Even minor issues can be blown completely out of proportion by threats of ending the relationship, and it will result in lots of drama that could have been avoided. For a relationship to work, it is vital that both people feel safe sharing their thoughts and feelings, even the negative ones, without it jeopardizing everything.
This doesn’t mean that people in a relationship can never get upset with each other, but it is the way in which this is handled that matters. Threats of ending the relationship will eventually tear it apart, but being able to communicate about issues without these threats can strengthen the bond.
2. Constantly Bringing Up Past Mistakes
Keeping track of whatever mistakes someone has made in the past and then bringing them up any time there is an argument is a surefire way to create resentment and animosity in a relationship. This usually occurs when someone tries to justify why they are right in an argument by telling the other person what they did wrong in the past.
Not only is it incredibly manipulative, but it also means that whatever current issue is causing problems is being deflected. Instead of trying to find a solution to a problem, both partners instead spend all of their energy blame-shifting and trying to prove the culpability of the other person. This constant bitterness and guilt that is constantly dredged up from the past is extremely bad for a relationship.
The only way to prevent this toxic relationship habit from taking root is to accept the other person for who they are and deal with problems when they occur instead of filing them away as ammunition to use in an argument. If something that happened in the past isn’t directly connected to a problem in the present, there is no reason to bring it up.
3. Buying Your Way Out Of Problems
Turning up the radio to drown out any loud, abnormal sounds a car makes is not going to solve the problem, and neither will using gifts to cover up relationship problems. Buying gifts or going on nice trips instead of dealing with major relationship conflicts is a toxic habit that only causes more problems in the long run.
The romance industry in particular is very fond of portraying expensive gifts or “make-up” trips as romantic gestures when all it does is sweep the original problem under the rug. Constantly using gifts to solve problems only means that the gift buyer doesn’t have to be accountable for wrongdoings while the gift receiver is only encouraged to look for reasons to be upset because it comes with a payoff.
Remember that there is a big difference between doing something nice for a partner and using gifts to avoid dealing with a problem directly. Making an effort to deal with problems instead of covering it up with gifts not only saves money in the long run, but it can also save the relationship.
Jealousy is another toxic relationship habit that is shown as a “positive” emotion in so many books and films that couples don’t even realize how harmful it is. It has gotten so bad that some people even confuse jealousy for displays of affection. Contrary to what many people believe, it is actually possible to be in love with somebody without flying into a jealous rage when they spend time with someone else.
If a person becomes jealous or upset over the actions of their partner and then takes it out on them, it is just another form of emotional blackmail that is aimed at controlling their behavior. Not only does it mean there is an absence of trust in the relationship, but it can also cause lots of avoidable drama. Some jealousy is natural, but when it becomes excessive and leads to controlling behaviors towards the other person, the relationship is in trouble.
For a relationship to work, both partners should be able to communicate with each other in an open and clear manner. In a loving relationship, even emotions such as insecurity and anger can be expressed in a safe manner so that it can be dealt with properly. If this is not the case, it can often result in displays of passive-aggressiveness by one or both parties.
Passive-aggressiveness in a relationship can manifest in a couple of different ways and can become serious enough to sabotage the success and well-being of the other person. Actions such as giving someone the “silent treatment” can create insecurity and are often meant to punish the other person as a way of expressing resentment or anger. A passive-aggressive person in a relationship will often agree to do things they don’t really want to do only to blame and resent the other person for “making” them do these things.
The only way to get out of this toxic habit is to ensure that both people in the relationship are able to state their desires and feelings in an open and honest manner. This way, the other person can offer their love and support without being manipulated into feeling obligated or responsible.
6. Making Your Emotional Wellbeing The Duty Of Your Partner
When people are in a relationship, they tend to make each other happy, but this doesn’t mean that either party is responsible for constantly making the other one feel better. If it becomes a habit, it can quickly result in codependent tendencies, which will foster resentment in the long run.
It is not unreasonable to feel upset if one person in the relationship had a bad day and doesn’t get the attention they need, but it should definitely not become a constant expectation.The only way to avoid this habit is for both people in the relationship to take responsibility for their own actions. Partners can still be supportive of each other without it becoming an obligation as the latter will only lead to bitterness and will quickly result in people emotionally manipulating each other and hiding their true feelings all the time.