Unless you were lucky enough to have had parents who also had a great relationship, and made a point of teaching and showing you the tricks of the trade, you most likely have had to go at it alone. However, just “winging it” is almost always the least effective way to learn something as important and potentially life-changing as good relationship skills.
In This Article
There are several common behaviors many couples adopt in their relationships as they appear to be effective initially, but are not in the end. In fact, many relationship experts would tell you that these common behaviors are actually very bad relationship moves couples think are acceptable.
These relationship moves create the illusion of relief initially but, end up hurting the quality and longevity of that relationship in the end. They serve the purpose of making you feel better in the short-term, at the expense of the lifespan of your relationship.
So, I have compiled a list of the six most common bad relationship moves and mistakes couples typically make which you must avoid.
1. Using gifts as band-aid
Some people’s so-called “love language” is receiving gifts, but this isn’t what we’re talking about here. Using gifts as a form of expression of the love or appreciation you have for your partner, is completely fine. In fact, it’s encouraged.
However, using gifts like a Band-Aid to cover up or remedy mistakes, transgressions, or deceit, is not.
Taking your partner on a tropical vacation because you were caught cheating will only hurt your relationship more. Allowing him to sleep with you because he was mad at you for allowing your mother to move in without a discussion will only cause more problems in the end.
The truth is that covering up relationship issues with money, exciting diversions, or sexual favors doesn’t last. The same problem comes back eventually, only a little stronger next time.
2. Relying on hints as an effective form of communication
It’s ironic that for all the talking about how important “communication” is in relationships, many couples are really bad at it. What’s even more interesting, in my experience, is that rather than learning effective communication strategies to get what they want, couples opt for the least effective ones, like hinting.
Look, sometimes, your partner won’t get the message for whatever reason, and that’s fine. But, what isn’t helpful ever, are you dropping hints instead of stating your desires directly. Take responsibility for your wants and needs and state them clearly. That way, you’re much more likely to get your needs met.
3. Threatening the relationship
This is extremely common and also extremely toxic to any relationship. Only the most insecure people would tolerate this tactic for long.
When you threaten the relationship as a way of getting what you want, you destabilize the relationship. It puts the other person on notice that they can’t do anything wrong without the possibility of you leaving them.
Using drama to get your way only increases the intensity and frequency of drama in the overall relationship. You might get your way in the short-term, but there is a huge price to pay.
4. Passive-aggressive behavior
This is another form of dropping hints, only the hint is less clear, and you’re punishing the other person in the process. Be considerate and assertive enough to tell your partner what you want. Punishing your partner under the radar is never as successfully as you think and you’re most likely to receive the same treatment in the near future.
5. Tit for tat
You’re familiar with this one. You screwed up by not attending his last work function, so he uses that as an excuse to skip out on the barbecue with your family. Listen, whenever you’re using past negative events committed by your partner as an excuse to behave poorly yourself, resentment is always the result.
The converse is also true. Keeping track of your own good deeds and refusing to do anything else for your partner until they’ve evened the score doesn’t create an environment that fosters relationship growth, only resentment.
Also watch: How to Avoid Common Relationship Mistakes
6. Failing to take responsibility for your own happiness
If you feel disconnected or frustrated about the state of your marriage but want to avoid separation and/or divorce, the marriage.com course meant for married couples is an excellent resource to help you overcome the most challenging aspects of being married.
Gideon Hanekom is known as 'The Relationship Guy New Zealand' and creator of GideonHanekom.com – a top dating and relationship advice blog. He is a trained professional counselor and relationship coach, one of New Zealand’s top dating, relationship, and marriage bloggers and coaches.