If you wonder what causes people to break up, you might say money, lying, or cheating. And that is true. But there are even more insidious everyday habits that kill relationships too. A long term study of critical patterns in marriage and divorce, romance and relationships shows that the small stuff really is a big deal. To create a truly happy, healthy relationship, every couple should take the most overlooked and under discussed relationship killers to heart. It’s vital to understand that everyday bad habits can destroy relationships over time. With simple solutions to address the most overlooked relationship killers, you can continue to sustain a long-term happy, healthy relationship. Here are the most overlooked relationship killers and solutions to those bad habits.
Skipping “me time”. Many couples say that giving each other plenty of time for themselves is the single most important reason they think their relationship survived. Too much space or long separation isn’t good, but partners who pursue their own hobbies, interests, and friends tend to be happier than those who depend on each other for everything. The solution to this is to talk to your partner about the benefits of “me time,” and emphasize that you still want couple time, too. Don’t keep secrets, and share with your partner some of the fun or interesting things that happened when you were on your own.
Assuming you know each other. Couples who have been together for many years sometimes believe that they know everything about their partner. Unlike when they were first dating, they stop asking each other questions and learning more about each other. Such loss of curiosity can be lethal. To stay happy in a relationship, partners need to talk to each other every single day, for at least ten minutes, about anything other than the home, kids, work, or their relationship. A side benefit of getting to know one another again is an increase in passion and excitement.
Staying mum about minor annoyances. A lot of couples sweep little annoyances and pet peeves under the rug. Over time, these small everyday irritations can add up and put a relationship on life support. Contrary to popular belief, couples need to sweat the small stuff in their relationship to be happy together over the long haul. Bring up your grievances in a constructive way, pick the right time and situation, ditch all other distractions, and have a constructive discussion.
Waiting for special occasions to express love. Many couples make the mistake of waiting for special occasions, such as birthdays or anniversaries to express loving feelings to one another. When husbands do not receive frequent affection from their wives, that couple is two times more likely to divorce. The solution to this is to say or do something every day to show your partner that they are valued and noticed. Sometimes a goodbye peck on the cheek or a thoughtful compliment is all it takes to make a partner feel loved and appreciated.
Seeing the glass half-empty. Many couples only talk about what’s going wrong in their relationship. They end up focusing on the negative aspects of their relationship. Couples who also concentrate on what’s working well are much happier over time than those who purely try to fix their problems. Focusing on what’s working motivates you both to move forward in the relationship. Make a list of the top five things that are going well in your relationship and work on strengthening those positive aspects. Also, an optimistic approach will rub off on your partner.