Of course, I thought that he was ridiculous – this was a big huge truck and, really, how could little old me cause it any damage. We fought about it all the time.
What I have realized, in retrospect, is that me not closing the truck door with such force made him feel ignored and disrespected. He loved that truck and wanted to take care of it and he felt like my slamming the door was going to harm it.
I pushed back every time but instead, I wished I would have recognized that this was important to him and done everything I could to try to remember to close it more softly. That would have been respecting what was important to him and that might have made a big difference in our relationship.
Is there something that your partner does that they love but seems absolutely ridiculous to you? If there is, accepting it instead of pushing back on it could make a huge difference for your relationship.
One of the most difficult things, for me, about my ex was that he was a different person in different situations.
When he was with me he was wonderful, open, honest and kind. When he was with his family and his friends he was a totally different person. He laser-focused on people and then talked about them behind their back. He said things that were patently untrue to make them like him more. He chose not to talk to me but instead to mingle with everyone. He was always the last one to leave a party, no matter what I wanted, because he didn’t want anyone to think he wasn’t cool.
Are you the kind of person who is a chameleon in your life? Do you act differently in social situations and perhaps treat your partner differently as well?
Doing this is one of the major things that can hurt a healthy relationship. So, pay attention to how you are in social situations and do your best to change your behaviors.
5. TV cheating.
This is a new one but a biggie.
In this era of binge-watching TV shows, cheating on your partner by watching ahead is not ok! Period.
I had a partner with whom I was watching Sons of Anarchy. I told him it was very important to me that he not watch it without me because I wanted to share the excitement of it all.
And then I went away for a week. And what did he do? He watched it all.
I told him how upset I was about it but I truly never got over it. I wanted to share this show with him and that he disregarded my feelings was a huge thing.
I know it seems silly but, for whatever reason, it’s not.
So, don’t underestimate the importance of not watching ahead on you and your partner’s favorite shows. It could be the end of your relationship if you do.
Understanding what things can hurt a healthy relationship is a proactive way to keep it happy.
The 1000 little cuts can make a difference in the health of relationships probably more than overt things like leaving your underwear on the floor.
So, pay attention. Don’t lie, follow-through, respect what is important, be consistent and make sure you are careful with your TV watching. You will be glad you did!
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