Below are the remaining five most common ways people sabotage their relationships. If you’re unhappy in your relationship and you’re doing any of the things on the list below, then part of your relationship problems are on your side. Clean them up and see what happens.
1. Be negative. Constantly complaining about what’s off, not working or less than perfect is a downer to be around. Be a bright light in the lives of others, not the dark cloud.
2. Be unappreciative. Don’t expect loved ones to just “do”—it’s not their job to constantly do for you and get nothing in return. Show appreciation—and—give back. It gets really old really quickly to be constantly doing everything for others and getting very little in return. Return the favor on your end and be thankful for what they’re giving on theirs.
3. Be defensive. There are few things more frustrating than having your partner constantly become defensive when you try to address something about their behavior that is upsetting to you. Defensiveness sabotages relationships. Constantly rationalizing, justifying or defending your bad behavior or, even worse, spinning your partner’s upset around so it looks like they’re the one who did something wrong is crazy-making and toxic. Learn to be accountable
4. Be self-centered. Doing what you want, when you want and how you want despite the wants and needs of your spouse, is selfish. Sitting on the couch while your spouse cooks, cleans, takes care of the kids, etc., is selfish. If you want to do what you want, despite the needs of those around you, don’t get married. Ignoring the needs and wants of your loved ones and paying hyper attention to your own is no fun to be around and gets old fast.
5. Be dishonest. Saying what you need to say to get your partner off your back, keeping secrets, telling half truths and mastering the art of lies of omission breaks trust and squashes connection. If you need to hide it then you shouldn’t be doing it. Act with integrity, not secrecy.
Great relationships are a two-way street that require mutual support, kindness and accountability. If you want a great relationship, you have to be great in it. Are you?
Challenge: Look at the list above and if you are doing any of these things, fix it. You can’t have a great relationship and sabotage it at the same time. All of the above behaviors sabotage—don’t do them.