7 Unexpected Things to Never Do When Your Relationship Gets Rough If You Want To Stay Together
After the honeymoon phase of a relationship ends and you begin to hit a rough patch, it might become difficult handling all the issues that come up in your relationship. Whether you've only started dating your partner or you have been together for years, you'll want to steer clear of common causes of breakups in relationships when things get a bit tough. Every couple has different ways of figuring their issues out, but some things you'll just want to avoid — or your relationship will likely suffer.
"In loving relationships, disagreements get worked out as they occur or shortly after," psychologist and relationship coach Dr. Sue Mandel tells Bustle. "When you stay angry, silently fume, or pretend that everything is fine when it’s not, authentic communication can’t exist. In maintaining emotional distance for the sake of self-protection, you lose the opportunity to repair hurt feelings and restore a safe and intimate connection."
Some habits to avoid are obvious — don't call your partner names, and refrain from violence, threatening them — but others can seem harmless, but may end up causing a greater rift between you and your significant other. Here are seven unexpected things experts say you should never do when your relationship gets rough if you want to stay together.
1. Agree To Do Something You Really Don't Want To Do
It's important not to say "yes" to something when you don't really mean it. "You can never win anyone over by being a 'partner pleaser,'" dating and relationship coach Fran Greene, LCSWR tells Bustle. "It's not good for your self-esteem, and it's damaging for your relationship. Your true feelings will always spill out," and this may lead to trust issues.
2. Vent To All Your Family And Friends
It's tempting to run to all your friends and family to talk out your issues, but be careful how much you divulge. "Although its normal to want to share with your family or friends, your relationship should remain off limits," relationship expert and psychologist Dr. Venessa Marie Perry tells Bustle. "Conflict is a normal part of a relationship, but once you’ve moved on, your friends and family [may not] forget so easily and will have bad feelings towards your partner."
3. Shut-Off Communication
It's OK to want to give your partner time and space, but that doesn't mean you should become cold and distant. "Some people will back off in a way that is out of resentment or their own defense mechanism," dating and relationship coach Mary Sambrosky tells Bustle. "The energy of that is all wrong. Your partner will sense it even if you don't express it, and it will create distance."
4. Not Give Your Partner Any Space
On the flip side, you don't to overdo it with your partner and make them feel like they have no space. "The worst thing you can do when you are feeling that your relationship is in trouble is to [act] clingy and want to do anything and everything for your partner," says Greene. Be supportive of their space while you let them know you care.
5. Cutting Out Sex For The Wrong Reasons
Withholding sex as a punishment is not a good tactic if you hope to stay together. "Sex is important in an exclusive relationship," psychologist and relationship counselor Dr. Paulette Sherman tells Bustle. "Clearly you don't have to say yes to sex all the time if you do not want it, but choosing to take it away altogether as punishment can cause issues to your already estranged relationship. This should be discussed and worked on." Of course when it comes to sex, both partners must give consent and feel comfortable, but if the frequency of sex is being controlled by one partner's manipulation tactics, that is not healthy for the relationship.
6. Change Your Usual Routine
It's important to keep up on your usual habits like going to the gym or getting together with a friend. "You may love your partner, but you also love ... socializing with friends, or going to your book club," says Mandel. "If you get into a funk, you might give up other parts of your life that feel good, and make you who you are." Always be sure to take care of what you need while taking care of the relationship.
7. Change Your Routine As A Couple
"Never stop doing the little things that are part of your 'couple' routine, like having a glass of wine together at the end of the day," says Mandel. "Although it might not feel the same, it’s important to keep the structure that says, 'We may be fighting, but we’re still a couple.'
It's hard to figure out exactly how to fix your relationship, but by staying away from these habits, experts say you can help ensure your relationship makes it through a rough patch.