5 Relationship-Destroying Mistakes to Avoid at All Costs

Love is a beautiful thing, but it doesn’t always last forever. And the harsh truth is sometimes you’re the one to blame for the demise of your relationship. You may be sabotaging a perfectly good pairing by practicing destructive behaviors, and you may not even be aware of what you’re doing. Here are some relationship killers to steer clear of at all costs.

1. Jealousy

Man on phone while woman is suspicious

Jealousy can cause a huge rift in your relationship. | iStock.com

Do you feel uneasy every time your partner receives a text message or phone call? You’ll need to learn how to relax and trust your partner if you want your relationship to move forward. Constantly acting suspicious is not attractive. Furthermore, if you’re accusing your partner of cheating, and you happen to be wrong, this behavior could have a negative outcome. Your lack of trust could eventually push him or her into the arms of someone else.

Managing jealousy

adult couple has privacy problems

Learn to gain control of your jealousy. | iStock.com/nicoletaionescu

Jealousy is harmful to you and your relationship. It’s important to get to the bottom of why you’re jealous so you can deal with it more effectively. Psychologist Robert L. Leahy says jealousy is partly a result of anger and insecurity.

“Jealousy is angry, agitated worry. When we are jealous we worry that our partner might find someone else more appealing and we fear that he or she will reject us. … Jealousy seldom makes relationships more secure. Practicing effective relationship behaviors is often a much better alternative,” Leahy writes in Psychology Today.

2. Negativity

couple arguing

Constantly being negative can put a cloud over your relationship. | iStock.com

Avoid trying to find the worst in every situation. If you’re always looking for the negative, you will eventually look up and realize no one wants to be around you. Having a positive attitude will not only make you feel better, but others will want to be around you, too. How can you expect your partner to want to spend time with you if you never have anything positive to say? Most people want to spend time with someone who makes them feel good.

Managing negative emotions

couple relaxing on a sofa at home

Learn to relax instead of switching to negative thoughts. | iStock.com/AntonioGuillem

Don’t let a negative attitude be your default setting. It’s not attractive and will drive good people in your life away. Dating and relationship expert Matthew Hussey says negative behavior will dampen the passion in your relationship. He uses the example of people immediately complaining when asked how they’re doing. “They’ll say, ‘Oh, well this happened today, and that happened today … I’m tired and I haven’t gotten enough sleep.’ … You have to be someone who really enjoys their life,” Hussey said.

3. Comparison

A man whistling at a woman

Never compare your significant other to another person. | iStock.com

Don’t compare your partner to others. Sure, you may see an attractive person and admire his or her looks, but you should never tell your partner you wished he or she looked like that person. It is rude and one of the quickest ways to destroy your partner’s self-esteem and the relationship. Be kind to each other and celebrate your uniqueness.

Resisting the urge to compare

Couple drinking coffee

Take opportunities to refuel each other instead of tearing each other down. | iStock.com/ArthurHidden

Dr. Tim Kimmel, founder and executive director of Family Matters, says comparison can be poisonous to your relationship. “I’ve seen couples miss the chance to refuel each other’s sense of security by carping about physical issues that aren’t in that person’s control. Criticism about your spouse’s body type drains their sense of security almost every time. … Comparison doesn’t help a spouse feel secure either,” Kimmel writes in Grace Filled Marriage.

4. Laziness

a heterosexual couple lie on their stomachs in bed while they have a discussion

Take time to strengthen your relationship. | iStock.com

Relationships take work. If you want your partnership to thrive, you’ll have to invest the time and energy needed to nurture your union. Don’t rely on yesterday’s deposits into your partner’s love bank. Each day offers a new opportunity to show how much you care for and appreciate each other.

Working on your relationship

young couple in the morning

Relationships take work, so put the effort in. | iStock.com/Ivanko_Brnjakovic

Successful relationships require both partners to put in a little elbow grease. Don’t give into the temptation to just phone it in. Success coach Dan Maxwell Jr. warns against putting your relationship on autopilot. “It may be tempting to put your romantic relationship on autopilot while you focus on children or your job,” Maxwell writes in a blog post. “However, this can have a serious long-term impact on your love. Couples often assume their relationship can continue while they ignore each other. However, they’re wrong. It’s important to keep your relationship in mind and take action each day to strengthen it.”

5. Selfishness

man playing video games

Relationships require give and take. | iStock.com/nazarovsergey

Relationships involve give and take. It might not always be 50-50 on either side, but one person shouldn’t always reap the benefits while the other works hard to keep the relationship afloat. After a while, the individual who is always giving will become resentful and angry. If you’re the one taking and your partner is usually the one giving, it’s time to take a step back and reevaluate your ways. How would you feel if the tables were turned?

Learning to be less selfish

couple watching TV and eating pizza together

Appreciate your partner so they feel loved. | iStock.com/monkeybusinessimages

Whenever you need to make a decision that affects both you and your partner, make an effort to see things from your partner’s point of view. Taking his or her needs into account will help your partner feel loved and appreciated. Marcus, a blogger for relationship site Our Peaceful Marriage, had this to say: “Before marriage, I was always thinking about how I would survive until we got married. And then I had to change that mentally to how we will survive. It was not an easy shift; it took me a while to adjust to married life and this new way of thinking.”

Remember you and your partner are a team. Think in terms of “us” instead of “me.”

Follow Sheiresa on Twitter @SheiresaNgo