Here’s how you’re hurting your relationship
I decided to spice this relationship blog up a bit and explain to you the ways that you can damage your relationship.
Instead of writing about what not to do, now you get to hear about what CAN HURT your relationship.
Go through the following list and see what things you might be doing that could damage the bond in your relationship.
- Dateless days: Relationships are like flowers; they need the frequent care of water, nutrients in the soil, and daily sunlight. Similarly, relationships can’t grow without frequent care and one-on-one time, such as date nights. Time where the couple is focused on one another, creating an emotional connection and building a stronger bond in the relationship is essential. Don’t forget to water the relationship with dates!
- Computer love: Electronics are becoming more and more a part of the American routine; however, the technology of text messaging and the internet can create a wall between two people when they are together. I often see couples out to dinner, sitting side-by-side, and yet they have disappeared into their own individual electronic worlds. Technology is getting in the way and distracting them from their partner and the relationship.
- Friendship Focal Points: For social butterflies, socializing is key and very significant for maintaining relationships. The problem for couples is when either one or both people put more emphasis on friendships and don’t create a healthy balance. When friendship is the main focal point, then the relationship shifts to the periphery.
- No Check-ins: Quite frequently, partners may hear different messages than what their partner is actually meaning to say. The problem is that the simple step of checking in is overlooked and then reactions take over, starting the communication war.
- Back Burner Choices: When life gets tough, substance (such as drinking, shopping, eating, etc.) is used to help alleviate stress and take away the emotional pain. Unfortunately, these choices automatically put the other partner on the back burner … creating the feeling as if they aren’t willing to navigate through the rough times by their partner’s side.
- Unsafe Zones: Safety is knowing your partner can rely on you, get comfort from you, and vice versa. When someone you care about criticizes you, gets angry quickly, speaks down to you, or overlooks your emotional needs, it can create the sense of “it isn’t safe and my needs won’t be met.” This tends to push away partners and force them get comfort on their own or look for it in other ways.
- Avoiding Tough Topics: Many people avoid tough discussions with their partner as a way to keep the relationship tightly connected; however it doesn’t the create space required to resolve issues. The partner on the receiving end may feel as you “go away” or “don’t care,” making them feel as if they need to hold on tighter, cling, and get you to open up … which can actually push you further away.
- Email Snooping: An insecurely attached relationship can feel terrible, with fear and concern over what the other person is doing consuming your thoughts. Some partners take it upon themselves to do the investigation and search through emails to either confirm or deny their worst fears … a way to get comfort for their worry. The problem is, the insecure attachment does not get resolved through email snooping, more issues may be uncovered, and the distress in the relationship becomes magnified.
- Holding on Too Tight: When the attachment is not secure, it can create a terrible feeling of fear of losing the relationship. Some people may want to feel secure and take away the discomfort by holding on very tightly and squeezing their partner extremely hard that they can’t breathe. When the holding is too tight, the partner on the receiving end will need to take a breath of air by pulling away….and the cycle of keeping the relationship insecurely attached continues.
- No Follow Through: Many people tell their partner one thing, and then do something different. For example, saying that you will be home by 6:00 p.m. and then not arriving until 7:00 p.m., and not following up to let your partner know you may be late. No follow through shows your partner that they can’t rely on you.
- Infidelity: An affair on the side WILL damage your relationship … duh.
If you want to work on creating a healthy attachment in your relationship, give me a call. Please visit my main San Diego Therapy site to schedule an appointment.
About Jennine Estes, MFT
Think of me as your relationship consultant, I'm your neutral third party that can help you untangle the emotions and help you figure out what's really going on. I am a Marriage and Family Therapist in San Diego, CA. Certified in Emotionally Focused Therapy for Couples. Supervisor. I write relationship and self growth advice for my column Relationships in the Raw. Creator of #BeingLOVEDIs campaign. MFC#47653