There are recurring difficulties in all relationships; you try to avoid them, ignore them, procrastinate solving them, but you simply cannot fix them. And then one day you wake up and realize they poisoned your relationship so much, that there is no way out.
Let’s get into it!
Talking negatively about your SO
The first warning sign of things going downhill that you don’t even realize. The early stages of resentment when you forget about your long term goals and only think about winning small victories, just to be right this one time. What happens next? You’re happy that you were right, but have made a huge damage in the process. Was it worth it? You’re patronizing – because it makes you angry that they don’t understand what you’re saying, or not acting the way you’d expect – instead of changing your communication. You keep behaving resentfully until you’ve pushed away your partner so far, there is no one left to make you feel better.
Criticism always puts the other person in instant defense mode, making them nervous, alert, and ready to explode. If you’re constantly reinforcing that your SO is not good enough, has made many mistakes, could improve themselves; why would they want to be with you? I’m sure you have good intentions, but you’re doing it in the worst way possible. Try to realize that all failures, however small or big, are part of your partner, who, like everyone else, has a history and faces many inner challenges. They never wanted to mess up, they never wanted to get into a fight.
Defense mechanisms: reacting to problems by counterattacking, or throwing a tantrum. I understand; these are completely natural reactions when facing criticism, like stated before; but it’s impossible to tackle challenges this way. If you think about yourself as a victim, do not expect others to do differently. Criticism can be a very good thing in relationships, if you learn two fundamental rules: it’s important who the information is coming from and what intentions they have. Your partner will never want anything bad for you, but they have to let you know when something is not working. Accept the criticism, think about it, and tell them that in the future you are going to make sure not to make the same mistake again. Isn’t it ridiculously simple? Isn’t it better than fighting and draining each other for weeks or not talking to each other?! Your relationship is not going to be successful because you do everything perfectly. Make mistakes, make bad decisions, be wrong, but react well, when it’s very important to do so! Take steps and actions that others are not willing to take. A relationship is hard work, but opens up opportunities and feelings you have never dreamt of. TBC