8 Common Relationship Mistakes
These eight mistakes can damage a healthy relationship. Pay attention now before you fall into a common pattern.
Whether you are newlyweds or married for a while, these eight mistakes can damage a healthy relationship. Pay attention now before you fall into a common pattern.
1. Public Shaming
Sitting at a restaurant meal with a bunch of couples is not the place to tell your spouse that it’s time to take off those extra 5 pounds. An embarrassing story should never be repeated without your spouse’s permission beforehand. Ditto for announcing belittling comments like “Why would my husband show up on time?”, or “Nobody spends like my wife.”
If you’re having a disagreement, don’t seek audience participation. And also be careful about sharing your spats at family gatherings.
There is no place for unkindness in a relationship, and shaming in public adds fuel to the fire and makes it even more difficult to repair.
2. Disagreeing by Text and WhatsApp
All couples have differences of opinion at some point. How we find resolution is the key to a successful relationship.
I recently met a couple who showed me their thread of conversation on their phones. They were responding to each other by fighting and arguing online. What a waste of time and emotion. How much unnecessary chaos added to the equation.
Nuances are lost when we text. Eyes speak. Talking together can never be replaced with a glass screen. The argument gets dragged out through the day. Things get misinterpreted.
Don’t fall into the trap of bickering by text. If you need to have an important conversation, make the time to talk together privately. Be sure to watch tone. Think before uttering your words. Seek solutions. Remember that you are on the same team. And once the conversation is resolved don’t keep bringing up the issue. Even if it’s just a short text or ‘cute’ emoji.
3. Getting Too Comfortable
Dating brings out our best. We care how we look, what we wear and the impression that we make when we want the relationship to thrive. We work on conversation and try to listen well.
But with time, we can get too comfortable. We start to take one another and the relationship for granted. Some ignore their hygiene. Others save their stained clothing for home. We stop giving compliments. We don’t express thankfulness. We carelessly turn thoughtless. It becomes easy to ignore each other. Somehow we save our smiles and laughter for others. It hurts to hear grumpiness except while your spouse is talking to friends on the phone.
Without realizing, love seems to fade.
Feeling comfortable with the one you love should not become a recipe for living alone together. Don’t stop listening. Remember to ask questions, to share dreams and emotions. We all change and grow with time. Pause for a moment to really look at your spouse and think about what they are experiencing. Be careful not to grow lazy as time passes. Maintain physical and emotional contact. Infuse a little bit of love into your everyday.
4. Making Big Things from Everything
Life is full of enough drama. Remember that not everything needs a response. How often do we have a big blowout and then can’t even remember how the whole argument started?
Growing up, my father gave me a great response if I was feeling upset. “Hashem gave you two ears. Let it go in one and out the other. Hashem gave you two eyes. Open one and close the other. You don’t have to hear everything. You don’t have to see everything.”
Let it go. Don’t live reactively.
5. Not Taking Your Partner Seriously
When your spouse asks you to try and come home early, help out more, or to take your financial situation more seriously, do you?
If your spouse expresses an emotion of being overwhelmed or hurt do you hear their pain?
A great part of feeling loved is recognizing that one is being listened to. Thinking that it is useless to make a request or that one’s heart is being ignored brings a relationship to a dead-end.
We all want to know that we are in a safe place; a place of understanding. Even if you cannot accommodate your spouse, acknowledge their words and feelings. Try to find a compromise, meet them half way, or voice their frustrations to show that you are listening.
Some people tend to laugh away a spouse’s concerns as if it is not important. That pushes a person away. The least we can do is show that even if we cannot make it happen we take their words seriously.
6. Expecting Your Partner to Read Your Mind
“Why are you so quiet? Are you upset?”
Silence. You’re thinking-he should know why I’m upset. Instead you shrug your shoulders. “I’m not upset.” you respond.
“Do you want to go to my mother for the weekend?”
“Fine. Whatever.” You’re thinking, why would I want to go to your mother for the weekend? Are you kidding?
Say what you mean and mean what you say. Don’t expect your partner to know what you are feeling. If you say “I don’t care” then don’t blame your spouse. That means you really don’t care. Otherwise don’t say it. You will only grow resentful with time.
7. Spending More Time Online Than With Each Other
Are you on your laptop in your free time? Do you keep your phone on the table when you go out to dinner with your spouse? This culture has brought us into the age of disconnect. Instead of speaking, husbands and wives sit side by side in silence, distracted. In middle of the night we wake up and check our phones. Before greeting each other in the morning, we look at our screens. How many spouses speak to each other while looking down?
We need to take back our relationships.
Create sacred times and sacred spaces. There is no one in the world more important than the people we love. If we want to journey through life together we must maintain our relationship. Put down your phone.
8. Lacking Empathy
It’s easy to say “Just get over it,” or “Stop being so sensitive.” This display of non-understanding creates a distance between husband and wife.
Communicating empathy shows that we are sensitive to each other’s needs. Perhaps we don’t always get one another but we can display compassion. When we feel misunderstood, there is a chill in the air. Instead of seeming emotionless respond with an empathetic word. Don’t be afraid to apologize for hurt feelings.
Love grows when responsiveness is nurtured.
Relationships offer us the opportunity to find friendship, deep love and joy. Let’s avoid making mistakes that isolate us and instead concentrate on strengthening bonds for a beautiful life together.