Portland Relationship Counselor: Stop Undermining Your Relationship

July 30, 2014 by

Do you have any relationship bad habits? By “bad habits” I don’t just mean leaving the cap off the toothpaste or forgetting when it’s your night to make dinner—I’m talking about the type of habits that promote serious conflicts and damage the trust and intimacy between partners. Those habits might include:

Engaging in black-and-white thinking. When you get in this mindset, there’s only right and wrong, and if you and your partner get into a disagreement, you can’t accept your partner’s way of thinking.

Being in competition with your partner. There’s nothing wrong with a little friendly competition, such as playing board games or bowling on your date night, but a competitive attitude becomes problematic when you start “keeping score” in your relationship and trying to one-up your partner in everyday life.

Failing to work on your relationship. Any long term relationship requires work, from making the time to listen to your partner to supporting your partner during a difficult time. If you’re unwilling to put in that work and prioritize other people or things ahead of your partner, you may be sabotaging your relationship.

Looking at the glass half empty. All couples have disagreements and hit rough patches sometimes, but if you dwell on the negative and forget to think about all the things you love about your partner—and communicate those positive things to them—you risk losing that relationship.

Expecting things to always stay the same. Personalities are dynamic, and people are changed by their experiences, so your partner isn’t going to be exactly the same person they were 5 or 10 years ago. Couples who are able to make their relationships last are the ones who are willing to grow and change with their partner.

How to Break Bad Relationship Habits

If you notice yourself falling into any of the above habits, or doing anything else that’s negatively affecting you and your partner, you shouldn’t necessarily give up your relationship as a lost cause. The best thing that you can do is be aware of your bad habits and be willing to work on making a change.

A large part of breaking those bad habits is learning to be more open. If you let yourself be more open to new experiences, open to what your partner has to say, and open to different ways of thinking, you’ll be better prepared to end any negative behavior and grow in your relationship. Of course, change can be daunting, and if you’re wondering where to start, you and your partner should consider meeting with a Portland relationship counselor.