In most cases, it is not major catastrophes that kill the passion, but small bad habits and negative tendencies that creep in and weaken the relationship. Letting things slide, learning not to say or do things that offend your partner, over time impoverishes expressiveness, creates a climate of lack of freedom, generates resentment, all the ingredients of a malaise that finds no outlet but feeds on itself over time. If you are currently experiencing a period of ups and downs in your relationship, or if you are simply interested in improving your relationship with your partner, I invite you to read the following paragraphs. These are behaviours that, if repeated over time, will lead to relationship breakdown!
If you want to break up an argument, start by pointing out everything that the other person says, even repeatedly, making sure that you never let him or her have the last word, specifying every concept or emotion he or she expresses. Then remember to list his faults, his mistakes as if he were on trial and had to defend himself against an accusation but, above all, don’t forget to rebuke what you have always done or do for him/her.
What to do: next time you find yourself in an argument, pay attention to your communication and see which of these traps you usually fall into
Routine exists, but often not enough is done to counteract it. Why is this? Over time, a lazy attitude tends to develop, which leads to taking people and feelings for granted, thinking that there is no need or time to make that romantic gesture, to seduce, to pay special attention or to make space to be together… But love does not tolerate indifference.
What to do: establish a routine that is good for the couple, even if it takes a little effort.
To a certain extent it can even be a symptom of the couple’s health, but more often it becomes a destructive urge, rooted in the insecurity and fear of abandonment of those who feel it, which breaks down trust between partners. Retroactive jealousy, the jealousy one feels towards one’s partner’s ex-girlfriends, is the main killer.
What to do: Clearly assess the situation. If he/she is with you and not with her/him, there will be a reason: it did not work out.
At first, you want to spend a lot of time together, no matter what. As well as annoying your friends, who can only see you when you are ‘accompanied’, you run the risk of getting used to a symbiotic relationship in which there is no individual space… and sooner or later you will feel suffocated! In addition, the lack of individual space leads to losing sight of oneself and one’s personal goals, with the result that the partner gradually ceases to see the person he or she has fallen in love with.
What to do: Make an effort to take time for yourself, to cultivate your interests and friendships. Besides, as you know, being alone sometimes keeps the desire alive!
Lack of honesty
Lying to your partner, whether big or small, or not being honest about your own desires, thoughts, needs and feelings. In the first case, when lies are uncovered, a hole is made in the fabric of trust and it is easy for it to stretch and tear. In the second case, you risk finding yourself in a relationship you do not want.
What to do: look inside yourself; think before you act and ask yourself whether your actions will lead you to lie.
Always avoid conflict
Sometimes we turn a blind eye to our partner’s attitudes and behaviour that upset or hurt us. But if you don’t bring it up for fear of a fight, you risk exploding like a pressure cooker and causing more damage.
What to do: Learn to argue calmly and turn conflict into an opportunity for growth by using the strategies of intelligent argument.
Point out your partner’s faults and demand change
There is no greater disrespect than trying to change a person. Besides, who says that what a person considers a fault is really a fault? Let us start from this first consideration to change our point of view. Instead of saying ‘faults’, let us say ‘behaviours that bother us’. This phrase should make us realise that the fact that something bothers us is our problem before it is someone else’s problem.
What to do: Before asking the other person to change for us, we should commit ourselves to overcoming our own difficulties. Love is a meeting and, by definition, should get us halfway through any situation.
If your life as a couple is not the way you want it to be, complaining to friends or, worse still, your family is not going to make things better. Unless you need to seek help for a serious problem (abuse, mistreatment, psychological violence, health problems), which I urge you to do immediately, avoid talking about what is wrong in your relationship outside the couple. Complaining, which we use as an outlet and think will make us feel better, actually only serves to crystallise situations, exaggerate them and make us feel frustrated, powerless and lacking in energy.
What to do: Try for a week not to comment on your partner’s faults and shortcomings to those around you, and you will find that you feel less despondent, tired and discouraged than usual. This does not mean that you have to gloss over everything and refrain from pointing out what is wrong with your partner. Functioning couples do not avoid telling each other what is wrong and expressing their wants and needs; they have simply learned to do it in the right way, and that makes all the difference.