7 Things You Should Stop Letting Your Partner Get Away With
No relationship is perfect. And while you may not be in an abusive relationship, there might be some small-time unhealthy habits going on that you should nip in the bud before they turn into big-time resentments. I'm talking things you should never let your partner get away with. Because sometimes a lot of little things add up to a whole pile of big things, and before you know it, you're in so deep that you don't even remember a time when you didn't perform an award-winning eye roll every time your partner texted you.
It's better, of course, to stop these patterns before they start, but hey, we all do things we normally wouldn't do when we're blinded by the blinding glitter and brain chemicals of a new relationship. I've done and seen worse as a former Domestic Violence Victim Advocate and Certified Planned Parenthood Responsible Sexuality Educator. So many couples let so much slide and swallow so much disrespect in the name of keeping the peace that they should probably be too swollen with regret to even walk. It's OK, though, because there are few problems in life that can't be solved with a little good old-fashioned communication and some healthy boundaries.
1. Making Assumptions
If you and your partner are really close, they probably do legitimately know how you'd respond to certain situations. Still, you're a member of the relationship, too, with feelings and opinions. If your partner always speaks for you, assumes you won't care if they cancel plans, takes for granted that the things you like might change over time, assumes when you want sex, or never questions if you want the same gift every anniversary, then you need to correct them. It's more about learning to be assertive than being argumentative.
2. Criticizing You
Correcting you and offering you suggestions is harmless and helpful when done in a respectful way. But if your partner always has an opinion on the way you do things, to the point that it's starting to make you feel dumb or worthless, then you need to shut that down. It could be a matter of teaching your partner a kinder way to voice an opinion. It could be that you need to set a boundary that entails letting you do things your way without interruption. Either way, you can't let that go on because it will erode your self-esteem.
Your partner actually should lie to you sometimes, about little things that don't violate trust. Like, yes, you do look beautiful in that (horrible) dress. But lies about things like money, where they went, who they saw, and other things that matter are not cool. Healthy relationships are built on trust. If you let lies slide all the time, you'll always wonder if anything your partner says is true. That's no kind of relationship. That's no way to live.
4. Taking That Tone
Oh heck no. You are a grown-ass woman and no person, whether you're dating them or not, has the right to disrespect you. Yeah, arguments and disagreements happen, and sometimes we're all jerks, but you need to let your partner know that if they can't talk to you in a way that's reasonable and respectful, they don't get to talk to you at all. You're not a child. You're an equal that your partner cares about. Shut that tone and attitude down and demonstrate how you want to be spoken to. Take some time and space if that's what it takes to get to a place where you can be nice.
5. Being Inconsiderate
Does your partner constantly interrupt you when you talk? Always show up late? Never remember your birthday? Speak up! It doesn't matter if your partner is super nice and means well. Behaviors that make you unhappy or uncomfortable are worth talking about. It's your relationship, too, and it should make you happy more often than it makes you sad or angry. Plus, your partner could just not realize that they're being inconsiderate. Talk it out each time it happens, and be sure to include expectations of what you think is more considerate behavior. You might not agree, but again, compromise.
6. Treating You Like An Assistant
I'm sorry, but it's not that far to walk to the kitchen for a drink. And I'm pretty sure that neither one of you is on the other's payroll, so it's not too much to ask that your partner occasionally get their own stuff or run their own errands. Or even fetch your drinks for you. When you let this go on too long, you could wind up in a situation where there's an imbalance of power, and that's not healthy. Or your partner could just be lazy. In either case, there's no excuse for treating you like hired help.
7. Making All The Decisions
Or none of the decisions. Making all of the decisions without consulting you is just rude and could indicate a controlling streak or a lack of trust. Not making any decisions is as unfair as it is annoying. Like, just pick a restaurant already! For the love of... Anyway, you have to get to a place where you're making decisions together, or at least work out a fair compromise. Like, flip a coin to decide who picks the restaurant. Make a budget together that you both agree on. Key word here is compromise.
You'll feel so much better once you stop swallowing your tongue every time these things happen. And if your partner won't respect how you want to be treated, text them a photo of the door.