The health of your relationship is up to you and your partner. No one person can destroy it, and no one person can fix it. That's why it's important to recognize the signs you're failing at your relationship. If you are letting important things slide, it may be more than time you pick up the slack, so to speak, and put in a little more effort.
While it may not be fun to own up to all the ways you're contributing to the problems in your relationship, it's 100 percent necessary if you want things to get better. "The tricky thing about relationships is that they never stay stagnant. They are always growing closer and getting better, or getting worse, so what you do on a daily basis matters," author and lifestyle coach Jaya Jaya Myra tells Bustle. "Relationships can be one of the most amazing things you'll experience in life, if you put in the effort to make them work."
So take a second and evaluate your current situation. Are you listening to your partner, or are you ignoring them? Are you keeping them at arm's length, or being too clingy? All of these things can derail your relationship, and might even cause it to fail. Read on for some more mistakes you'll want to avoid, if you'd like a healthier relationship.
1. You Don't Speak Up When Something's Bothering You
Healthy communication is the number one thing you need for a relationship to last. If you don't have it, or consistently keep your worries to yourself, don't be surprised if things start to fall apart. "If you do not talk about it right away and clear the air, you may end up dwelling on it," says speaker and spiritual counselor Davida Rappaport. "In time, you and/or your partner may become unhappy and your relationship could suffer because of unresolved issues."
2. You Aren't Bothering To Make Time For Your Partner
If you're failing to set aside time for your partner, it will lead to problems down the road. "You and partner may be building your careers, but it is important to spend quality time together," Rappaport says. "If you don’t take the time to be together and nurture your relationship, it will start to fall apart." It may be a tricky juggling act at first, but sharing your time is necessary for the health of your relationship.
3. You Don't Have Their Best Interests At Heart
While you may not mean to put your partner at the bottom of your list, it is important to realize when/if you've no longer got their best interests at heart. As relationship expert Weena Cullins, LCMFT tells me, if one or both of you feels like you don't have each other's back, then it won't be long before your relationship is in critical condition.
4. You Avoid Your SO And Don't Return Their Calls
One of the biggest signs a relationship is falling apart? If one or both partners suddenly doesn't give AF. "If you find yourself avoiding your partner (not returning texts, calls, or emails) or not wanting to make plans to see them, that is a sign that your relationship might be failing," says relationship expert Beth Sonnenberg, LCSW. While that may seem obvious, this bad habit can sneak up on you and build over time. Be sure you don't let that happen.
5. You Don't Pay Attention To Their "Love Language"
You've probably heard about love languages, and how each person has different ways of giving and receiving their love. Since each type can truly impact a relationship, it's important to pay attention to your partner's style. "We're all different," Myra says. "We all relate to and process life in different ways. If you fail to understand and work towards cultivating the primary way your [partner] feels loved, you are missing the mark. "
6. You Vent Without Considering Your Partner
When it comes to talking with your SO, timing is everything. That's why, if you have something important to say, you might want to avoid discussing certain things when the timing isn't right. "Maybe you try to communicate important concepts at the end of a long work day, so you can get things off your chest, and your [partner] doesn't respond in the way you want him or her to," Myra says. If this sounds familiar, it may be time to change your ways.
7. You Aren't Paying Enough Attention To Yourself
Finding a happy middle ground between couple time and "me" time is important not only for your sake, but for the sake of your relationship. As relationship expert Jennie Lynn tells me, it's tough to love someone else if you don't love yourself. That's why, if you go into this thing and forget to take care of yourself, it's bound to fail.
8. You Aren't Making Any Attempt To Salvage Your Sex Life
Even if you've been with your partner for forever, it's not a good sign if you've let your sex life totally die. Of course it takes two people to put in the effort, but take note if you, personally, aren't making any attempts to salvage things. As NYC-based therapist Kimberly Hershenson, LMSW says, "If you find yourself making excuses to not have sex or you're getting bored in the bedroom, this may be a sign something is up with your relationship."
9. You're Officially Unwilling To Compromise
While it can be difficult to let go of the idea that you get to call 100 percent of the shots, this is something you'll have to do if you want your relationship to continue. If you're failing to do so, Hershenson tells me you might struggle with compromise or freak out when you don't get your way. If this habit sounds familiar, it may soon spell the end of your relationship.
10. You Make Plans Without Considering Your Partner
Again, being in a partnership means being a partner, which is why you shouldn't ignore all those times you surged forth with plans without considering your SO. "Whether it's short term plans or plans for the future, if you’re intentionally (or even subconsciously) not wanting your partner to participate in your plans, it may be time for you to reevaluate your relationship," Hershenson says.
11. Your Body Language Is All Sorts Of Negative
When things aren't going well, it's going to show in your body. So watch out for signs of negativity in the way you carry yourself. "Is there eye rolling, head shaking, arms crossed, teeth clenched? These can be signs of contempt," says licensed marriage and family therapist Julie Ingenohl. These gestures also show you aren't communicating properly, which is yet another sign of failure.
There is good news, though. If you notice these signs, and want to turn things around, you totally can. Talking with your partner and making small changes — like learning how to listen — can be a great place to start.
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