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Seven Toxic Relationship Habits That Need to Be Broken Today

Nagging vs. Respecting

If you have a set way of looking at the world or doing things that are 180-degrees different from your partner’s, don’t nag them to change how they do things; respect the differences that exist and let yourself off the hook for being the “expert” in everything. 

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IDEA EXTRACTED FROM:

Seven Toxic Relationship Habits That Need to Be Broken Today

Seven Toxic Relationship Habits That Need to Be Broken Today

https://www.psychologytoday.com/intl/blog/lifetime-connections/201706/seven-toxic-relationship-habits-need-be-broken-today

psychologytoday.com

7

Key Ideas

Criticizing or Listening

Do you tend to hear your partner out when she’s sharing his or her perspective or do you jump in quickly to point out the problems with their views? 

Try listening and giving your partner space to share their opinions—it’s easier to find a compromise or the best solution when everyone has a chance to share their thoughts.

Blaming vs. Supporting

When things go wrong for your partner—on the job, with friends, or personally—do you tend to identify the faults in them that may have led to their difficulties or do you offer support and a willing ear? 

Tearing down your partner when the world is doing a good job of this already does no good for your relationship.

Complaining or Encouraging

If your partner is taking on a new challenge or trying to solve a problem or fix something that’s broken, do you complain about their success and pace or do you offer encouragement and act as a cheerleader? 

Improve your partner’s chance of success by giving them space and positive encouragement. You should view yourselves as a team, not as rivals.

Nagging vs. Respecting

If you have a set way of looking at the world or doing things that are 180-degrees different from your partner’s, don’t nag them to change how they do things; respect the differences that exist and let yourself off the hook for being the “expert” in everything. 

Threatening or Trusting

If a partner needs to work late, do you threaten them that they’d better be back on time, or that they’d better be telling the truth about their plans? 

Learning to trust your partner’s commitment can ease a relationship’s path. 

Punishing or Accepting

If your partner forgets to pick up groceries on the way home from work or forgets to set the alarm on a Monday morning, do you tend to insult or belittle them? 

Learn to accept the imperfection of others, as you expect others to accept in yourself.

Bribing or Negotiating

When you want to convince your partner to do something your way, do you try to bribe them with promises of giving in to their requests later? 

Healthy adult relationships don’t function well when disagreements feel more like payoffs than negotiations or mediations. 

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Pointless Criticism

In the context of poor communication, criticizing is when you knock someone down for the wrong reasons: to hurt someone, to vent your frustrations or to boost your ego.

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Blaming

When you blame someone, you take any responsibility off of yourself and put it on them. 

It’s understandable that you want to express your dissatisfaction with something. But sometimes you need to express it in order to find a solution, not to point singers.

Ineffective Complaining

Complaining is exhausting because it puts pressure on the other person. 

Complaining often results in the other person feeling as if they should somehow “fix” the problem or else just get away from the complaining. 

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Go to bed at the same time

Happy couples resist the temptation to go to bed at different times. 

They go to bed at the same time, even if one partner wakes up later to do things while their partner sleeps.

Cultivate common interests

Don’t minimize the importance of activities you can do together that you both enjoy. If common interests are not present, happy couples develop them. 

At the same time, be sure to cultivate interests of your own; this will make you more interesting to your mate and prevents you from appearing too dependent.

Trust and forgiveness

If and when they have a disagreement or argument, and if they can’t resolve it, happy couples default to trusting and forgiving rather than distrusting and begrudging.

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Codependency

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Signs of Codependency

Ask yourself these questions:

  • Does your sense of purpose involve making extreme sacrifices to satisfy your partner's needs?
  • Is it difficult to say no when your partner makes demands on your time and energy?
  • Do you cover your partner’s problems with drugs, alcohol, or the law?
  • Do you constantly worry about others’ opinions of you?
  • Do you feel trapped in your relationship?
  • Do you keep quiet to avoid arguments?
The Development of Codependency

When a child grows up in a dysfunctional home with unavailable parents, the child takes on the role of caretaker, learn to put the parents need first, and repress and disregard their own needs.

As the child becomes an adult, he or she repeats the same dynamic in their adult relationships.

Resentment builds when you don’t recognize your own needs and wants. A common behavioral tendency is to overreact or lash out when your partner lets you down.

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Stand together
Don’t let outsiders run your relationship for you. If you’re having an issue with your partner, work it out with THEM and no one else.  
The relationship is unique

Don’t compare your relationship to anyone else’s – not your parent’s, friend’s, coworker’s, or that random couple whose relationship seems perfect.  Keep in mind that all relationships have their ups and downs.

Focus on what you two share, and make your unique bond the best it can be.

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Responding To Urgency

Stay-in-love couples are authentic, open, and self-reliant, but they also urgently need one another at times. They trust each other won’t take advantage of their availability but know&n...

Dealing Constructively With Control

Stay-in-love partners know that the need to feel in control at times is natural and that it offers an opportunity for learning and helping each other. Partners have confidence in their own autonomy to not react defensively or take it personally. 

Parenting Each Other

As relationships mature, many begin to feel less willing to give that kind of unconditional nurturing, and might not be as available. 

Stay-in-love couples understand the importance of not letting those special “sweet spots” die. They know that their partner sometimes needs to feel that guaranteed comfort and safety, and are more than willing to act as the good parent when asked. 

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Unresolved conflicts

The idea that couples must communicate and resolve all of their problems is a myth. The truth is, trying to resolve a conflict can sometimes create more problems than it fixes.

Being honest

The last person you should ever have to censor yourself with is the person you love.

It’s important to make something more important in your relationship than merely making each other feel good all of the time. The feel-good stuff happens when you get the other stuff right.

Being willing to end it

Romantic sacrifice is idealized in our culture. 

Sometimes the only thing that can make a relationship successful is ending it at the appropriate time, before it becomes too damaging. And the willingness to do that allows us to establish the necessary boundaries to help ourselves and our partner grow together.

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Good Relationships Take Work
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Your Partner’s Flaws

Loving your partner's flaws is not always realistic. Some people have habits that are slightly disgusting and impossible to "love." 

Simply accepting them and learning how to shrug them off and minimize their importance is much more realistic.

Going To Bed Angry

The context might be such that you just can’t solve a problem before bed. Be realistic and settle for an agreement to never go to bed without at least deciding when to continue the discussion or argument.

Also, some people actually need to cool down before they can continue a productive discussion, so taking a break could be wise.

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The Negativity Bias
The Negativity Bias
... or the Negativity Effect is a tendency most of us have to respond more strongly to negative events and emotions than to positive ones.
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Magnified Faults

The Negativity Effect magnifies and distorts your partner's faults, whether real or imaginary.

The partner starts to wonder why isn't there any appreciation for all the good that is being done, and why the focus is only on the one bad thing.

Going Downhill

Relationships, especially long-term ones, don't get better with time but are kept intact by avoiding decline.

Married couples find contentment in other sources and remain satisfied with each other, and if not so, then the marriage breaks down.

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The Relationship Scorecard

This is when you and your partner continue to blame each other for past mistakes made in the relationship instead of solving the current problem.

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Dropping “Hints”

It shows that you two are not comfortable communicating openly and clearly with one another. 

State your feelings and desires openly. And make it clear that the other person is not necessarily responsible or obligated to them but that you’d love to have their support.

Holding the Relationship Hostage

For example, if someone feels like you’ve been cold to them, instead of saying, “I feel like you’re being cold sometimes,” they will say, “I can’t date someone who is cold to me." 

It’s crucial for both people in a relationship to know that negative thoughts and feelings can be communicated safely to one another without it threatening the relationship itself. 

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A “power imbalance” in a relationship

Power in relationships is the ability of each person in the relationship to influence each other and direct the relationship.

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Negative relationship dynamics

  • The demand-withdrawal dynamic. One partner seeks change, discussion and a resolution to issues within the relationship, while the other partner is withdrawn, and tries to avoid the issues.
  • The distancer-pursuer dynamic. One person tries to achieve a certain degree of intimacy with their partner, while the other considers this affection to be "smothering."
  • The fear-shame dynamic. The fear and insecurity of one partner would bring out the shame and avoidance in the other. 

Positive power struggle

Not all power struggles are destructive. Some types of power struggles allow growth within the relationship and encourage a deeper understanding and respect for each other.

While it is still a struggle, by the end of it, you have reached an understanding about which lines can be crossed, which not, and how much each partner is able to compromise.

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