Friday, 27 February 2015


There are no perfect relationships, but that doesn't mean you shouldn't expereince a measure of peace with your partner.

However, a lot of relationships end abruptly even when it could have been prevented, but because the couple are too immersed in their anger, they can't find a permanent solution to their problems.

There are some characteristics that either you or your partner may possess, that could ultimately ruin your relationship.

Criticism: Relationship expert John Gottman, who wrote The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work, is known for determining the success of a marriage within five minutes of meeting the couple. One of the deciding factors is evidence of criticism. Gottman knows couples will complain in their relationships, but he differentiates complaining from criticism. Criticism is more 'global' because it attacks the person and not their behaviour. So, how do we know if criticism has crept in? An example would be, "The reason you didn't pick up the kids is not because you forgot. It's because you are a terrible father." Know how to spot criticism, because it could be killing your relationship.

Mind reading: The easiest way to set a relationship on a death spiral is to play armchair psychic. Mind reading takes a posture of assumption instead of listening, judgment instead of compassion. When we try and read the thoughts, motives, and intentions of another person, their voice is taken away. It dehumanizes the partner and does not give them room for explanation. We all struggle with this one because it's easier to play 'mind reader' than listen to your partner. If you say, "I know why you did this…" there's a possibility mind reading has entered the relationship.

Unrealistic expectations: When you begin a relationship, there are certain underlying expectations. These boundaries get wrapped up in behavior and action. This might be particular chores around the house, how money is spent, or how children are disciplined. Problems emerge when these expectations become unrealistic and the partner feels crushed under the weight of their failing behaviour. Most likely this will lead to an unhealthy relationship.

Control: The desire to control your partner, according to is rooted in fear and insecurity. A controlling attitude has more to do with us, and less with the partner. When control enters a relationship, an underlying fear is buzzing behind the surface. It may be fear of not knowing the future. Fear of abandonment. Fear of being seen as a terrible spouse. Until we get a handle on our own insecurities the partner will suffer. If we constantly say "Don't do that," or "Stop doing this," we might be a control freak.

Comparison: Comparing your current partner with a former relationship is a guaranteed disaster. The comparison is unfair. No one person is the standard for all relationships. If they were so great why did the relationship not work out? Testing your current relationship, based on a prior one, is a good way to kill your relationship before it begins. Relationships are complex because of timing, maturity of the partner, and emotional stability. These factors change over time.

Routine: All relationships get stale. When partners get comfortable with one another they stop doing the little things. Eventually, boredom and disinterest set in. But this is normal. It just means we need to mix it up. Maybe we need a new routine. A date night every Friday night. A vacation to an exotic locale. Taking up a hobby together. Or finding different ways to communicate with one another. Routine doesn't need to have the last say in a relationship. Identify it. Mix it up. Watch your relationship come back to life.

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