Everyone has a couple of habits they bring into a relationship. Some of these habits are great and help improve the health of the relationship.
A good number of them aren’t particularly bad and may not destroy the relationship instantly. It is the constant repetition of it that makes it bad—slowly eating up the relationship from the inside until the relationship dies off.
Others, on the other hand, some habits are swift and deadly, and could ruin your love life within a short time.
The good news is, you can save your relationship by identifying these habits and fixing them on time. We have made a list of some bad relationship habits and how it affects your love life. Also, you will find out how to fix these habits after reading this.
22 Bad Habits That Shouldn’t Be Found In Any Relationship
1. Blame Pushing
Oscar Wilde said “It’s not whether you win or lose, it’s how you place the blame” and this is true when you look at the attribution theory. This theory, which explains blame pushing, holds that when something goes wrong, we tend to assume others are responsible for their own misfortunes, but blame external factors for our own mistakes.
On that note, constantly blaming your significant other will make them feel isolated and stir up the need to defend themselves. This builds up unaddressed issues in your relationship and over time, you will both begin to resent yourselves.
How to fix this: It is important to remember that we can be the cause of what is happening in our relationship. So instead of saying “it is your fault that we are like this”, you should both sit down, make a list of how you have both contributed to the issue and find actionable ways to resolve them.
2. Lack of Communication
Communication helps you to understand others and vice versa. For effective communication to take place, your partner should be able to understand the emotions and intentions behind what is being said — this can be verbal or non-verbal.
As such, not knowing how to express your emotions and intentions will not only bring about constant misunderstanding, it will lead to break up, eventually.
How to fix this: Some ways to fix lack of communication in your relationship include:
- Attentive listening.
- Constantly checking in to show your partner that you are thinking about them.
- Not jumping to conclusions and making accusations.
- Speaking without criticism.
- Clearly expressing your interest, feelings, or dissatisfaction respectfully
3. Ignoring Serious Problems
There is always a need to ignore problems to maintain peace, but this does more harm than good in your relationship.
For one, when you sweep issues under the carpet, you risk building up unhealthy thoughts which could escalate in the future. It could even spill over from the tiniest issue or the least expected conversation. But one thing is sure—there will certainly not be peace if you don’t address issues as they come up.
How to fix this: To fix this bad relationship habit, talk issues over with your significant other no matter how uncomfortable it seems and ensure you are both satisfied with the solutions proffered.
4. Not Making Efforts
Like a garden, a relationship should be tended.. The more effort and time you invest in your love life, the closer and stronger your bond with your partner. That is why making efforts is one of the ingredients to a long-lasting and healthy relationship.
But when you put little to no effort in nurturing that connection and leave the heavy lifting to your partner, you might wake up one day and realize the love is gone, and there is no spark left. Or you may even lose the love of your life to someone else who values them.
How do you fix this bad habit?
- Be emotionally present.
- Prioritize your partner.
- Show affection even when it seems unnecessary.
- Surprise them when you can with their favourite thing, no matter how small.
- Make time for personal moments, dates, hangouts or events that are important to your partner.
- Remember special days.
- Show support in good or bad times.
Related post: How to Surprise Your Girlfriend with a Romantic Gift
5. Extreme Idealist
Being an extreme idealist is one of the bad habits in a relationship that most people unintentionally exhibit.
It is okay to cherish or pursue noble principles, purposes, goals, etc. However, it is not okay to make your partner feel horrible or bad because they don’t subscribe to your ideology.
How to fix this bad relationship habit: To fix this problem, learn to find a balance. It is easy to get carried away in your quest to “do good and change the world” that you forget your significant other isn’t the enemy.
Accept that you are both different individuals, be open to alternative opinions and try to find a common ground in your differences.
6. Always Saying “NO”
Love is an action. While you can act intentionally, you cannot be intentional without acting. Also, there is no love without giving; physically, emotionally or otherwise.
However, when you constantly turn your partner down whenever they come to you for help, they may feel that you don’t care about them. And that is a feeling you would not want them to internalize.
How to fix this: To tackle this bad habit, become intentional in finding ways to make their lives easier. Offer to do things that are within your power before they ask.
When you cannot help them, show them you care about their struggles and give suggestions on where to find help.
P.S. If at any point of offering support you feel like they are taking advantage of you, consider talking things out and setting healthy boundaries.
7. Checking Other People Out
Experts believe that for some people, wandering eyes is simply a natural reaction to seeing something attractive—when something catches our attention as humans, we unintentionally look in its direction.
But beyond a quick glance, blatantly checking people out could signal the possibility of cheating in a relationship, according to research. The studies found that being 100 ms faster to look away or devaluing the attractiveness of your object of interest by two scale points decreases the chances of infidelity by 50%.
Besides creating room for cheating, wandering eyes is also disrespectful, offensive, and not a behaviour your partner deserves to put up with.
How to fix this: First off, you should know that there will always be someone out there who is more beautiful or handsome, curvier or manly, smarter, and richer than your spouse. If you want to fix your wandering eyes, learn to be content with the person you are with.
When you feel the need to check out other people, remember that your partner deserves some respect and the person you are checking out might feel uncomfortable. Also, when you get to know the hottie, you might find out that they don’t hold a candle to your partner in traits that matter.
Lying is the fastest way to break trust and ruin your relationship. The moment you take the easy way out of a problem by lying to your significant other, it causes 3 things to happen:
- It becomes a habit and the only way out for you.
- You unconsciously start to build a wall between you and your partner where you no longer tell them things the way they are. In turn, you become distant.
- Real issues or concerns will never get resolved.
All these 3 things spell DOOM to a relationship in the long term.
How to fix this: All it takes to fix this bad relationship habit is simple honesty and transparency. No more, no less.
9. Always in Need
Abusing the love your partner has for you by always bombarding them with requests and demands is a really bad habit to possess. When you become too demanding — emotionally, financially or otherwise, your partner begins to feel drained and overtime, starts to avoid you.
How to fix this: One way to fix this is by learning to do things yourself. Yes, you can ask your partner for support in some cases but try not to depend on them for your every need.
In all of the bad habits in a relationship, abuse remains the worst of them all because the effect is long lasting. When you abuse your partner physically, emotionally, verbally or sexually, you send a clear message that you don’t love, value, or respect them.
Your partner might give you a chance to repent by staying in the relationship for a while but overtime, they and everyone else who could have loved you genuinely would leave you.
How to fix this: Seek professional help from therapists to address your abusive tendencies and other underlying issues.
11. Not listening
The fastest way to make your partner feel unimportant and rejected is by not paying attention to their thoughts and feelings. It gives the impression that you don’t care about their opinion. The end result? They will drift away, start withholding information, and would eventually leave the relationship.
How to fix this:If you want to stop this negative habit in your relationship, you have to start listening attentively and actively. Here is how:
- When having a face-to-face conversation, maintain eye contact. Watch their body language and ask what the problem might be if you see they are upset but are reluctant to express themselves. If it is over the phone, stop everything that could distract you and give them your attention.
- Don’t be defensive, take your time to understand the message they are trying to pass across. Take note of the conversation and how you could have handled it differently.
- Give feedback without criticism or pushing all the blame to them. Accept the role you played and proffer solutions that are satisfactory to both of you.
- Don’t interrupt. When they are done, give an appropriate response. Saying “Alright” won’t cut it, give responses that will not only clear their doubt but will also address the issue being discussed.
Work alcoholism has lots of negative impact on your relationship. For one, when you are overworked, you become stressed and lack strength or motivation to do anything else but rest. This makes it difficult for you to connect with your partner or give the same effort.
Overworking could also make you:
- Get easily irritated and moody, making it difficult for your partner to be around you.
- Withdraw from your partner and your loved ones because you have no strength for anything else.
All these can create emotional distance between you and your partner.
How to fix this bad relationship habit: Finding the right balance is key. Communicate your tight schedules and work challenges with your partner, and sneak in a call or text at specific times of the day.
When you are free, give your partner your undivided attention and ask them if they need anything. And most importantly, take a break or periodic vacations and spend it with your partner, your family and friends.
Mild jealousy is actually a sign of love but it becomes toxic when the frequency and intensity increases. At this point, you become more scared of losing them, suspicious and then controlling—this can be very suffocating.
This habit won’t show them you love them. Instead, it will build up resentment and scare them away.
How to fix this: To deal with jealousy, you have to communicate clearly and calmly when you feel threatened. Take note of your triggers, talk it out with your partner, and give them the benefit of doubt that they won’t hurt you.
Finally, set boundaries to protect your relationship and your heart.
“To err is human and to forgive is divine”
Do you hold grudges over every little offence? Maybe you still remember and give them hell over that one time they refused to help you with something? Or the day they made a mistake that ruined your favorite shirt? Carrying all that weight around will give nothing but bitterness.
Don’t get me wrong, there are other issues like infidelity or abuse that could take years or an eternity to forgive. But trying to maintain a loving relationship while you are holding on to the past or trying to work through these issues futilely is like fighting an uphill battle. Soon, it will create an emotional distance in your relationship which if left unaddressed, could mean the end.
How to fix this: It is very important that you learn how to forgive. To do this, you have to always discuss issues, keep an open mind, acknowledge how you feel, how it affects your behaviour and let it go after it has been discussed.
If it is a serious issue but you still want to fight for your relationship, try seeing a professional to help you work through your feelings. Creating some physical distance might also help you see things clearer. And if you find out that you cannot fully get past it, leaving the relationship might be better for the both of you.
15. Trying to Fix the Person
It is unhealthy to go into a relationship where you see your partner as someone that needs “fixing”. You are not a therapist and your partner is not a broken toy that needs fixing— even if something was wrong, you can only encourage change, not fix them.
Also, when you try to “fix” them, you push them away and cause yourself unnecessary frustration, drain yourself of positive energy and eventually end the relationship.
How to fix this: Positive changes are not forced. Once your partner wants to be with you, they will make a conscious effort to be a better person.
Instead of constantly trying to make them act in a certain way or become another person, focus on the best qualities they have and encourage them when they are not being the best version of themselves.
Finding a common ground or mutual solution to a problem is necessary in any healthy relationship. However, when you seem to be the only person giving up important things and adjusting your values or goals to accommodate your partner, then you are over-compromising and that is not healthy. Why?
When a relationship runs on one person’s sacrifice, you risk resenting your partner when you give up your life for them while they live theirs fully. Worse of all, your partner will stop to see your value because you have lost what attracted them to you from years of bending over for them.
How to fix this bad relationship habit: To stop over-compromising, be assertive about your values, goals or what you feel is taking away who you truly are. Also, set boundaries and discuss consequences for breaking any of them. This will reinforce positive outcomes and reduce repetition of negative behaviour.
Comparing your partner to other people creates dissatisfaction and self doubt. If this doesn’t drive your partner away immediately, they start losing their self esteem.
You are not left out of the damage because you would also lose the better part of them. Why continue with a habit that robs you of happiness?
How to fix this: There are two ways to stop this:
- Acceptance: You have to accept that everyone is not the same and as such, cannot act or love you the same way.
- Have a greater understanding of yourself: Oftentimes, the traits we project onto our partner are traits that we lack and desire within ourselves. When you understand yourself better, you will be able to relate to your partner and who they truly are.
Your relationship can become better once you stop projecting, start relating to your partner rather than focusing on shallow ideas of who you want them to be.
18. Being Unappreciative
Ingratitude is never a good habit, both in a relationship and in our personal lives. When your partner feels underappreciated, they feel they are not valued and are likely to leave the relationship.
Whereas, appreciation brings positivity. According to a study, expressing gratitude helps us see our partner in the positive light and increases comfort in voicing out concerns. This could be because expressing appreciation makes you realise what they have done for you and the length they went.
How to fix being unappreciative: Understanding what it might have cost your partner to give you something will help you appreciate whatever they have offered — this could be monetary or emotional.
Once you have an understanding of what they might have sacrificed to give you whatever it is, ensure you find satisfaction in it no matter how little or inconsequential it might seem and then express that satisfaction.
There is a thin line between communicating your needs and complaining. Complaints are always self-focused, come off as criticism or painting your partner in a negative light and only adds to the problem with no solution in sight.
On the other hand, communicating your needs is solution-focused. You communicate your hurts without negative criticism and offer a long-term solution to issues.
It goes without saying that when you constantly complain, your partner begins to disconnect because they no longer feel safe or at peace.
How to fix this: If you wish to fix this bad relationship habit, you have to mind how you say what you say. Instead of using negative words, use positive ones and focus on specifics. So instead of saying “You never call back”, you could say “I was hoping to get a call back from you but got sad when you didn’t. I wanted to tell you that…”
Tone is something else you need to watch, take a few minutes to calm yourself if you are angry and remember that the idea is to address an issue, not talk down on your partner.
Also, reflect on your needs and never bring up an issue you have no intention of fixing. Adjust your expectations and try to understand your partner’s situation as this will help you know the time and way to approach them.
20. Keeping Secrets
A relationship thrives on honesty and transparency. When you start keeping secrets, it creates an emotional distance and a sense of betrayal. Thus, the more secrets you keep, the higher the chances you will lose your spouse the moment they find out.
How to fix this: The only way to fix this is to come clean without the fear of being judged. Avoid doing things that would not sit well with your spouse, tell them when you have done something that would hurt them and remember that for every action, there are consequences.
“Two wrongs don’t make a right”
You hear people say “Revenge is best served cold” but you forget that “the greatest form of revenge is forgiveness”. Forgiveness sets you free from the overwhelming weight of bitterness and gives your partner a chance to do better if they do not want to lose you.
Payback, on the other hand, plunges the relationship into a vicious circle of vengeance that will only end up hurting both parties greater than they can ever imagine.
How to fix this: Once you realize that you are not able to forgive your partner and want payback instead, you should both seek help. Couples therapy will help you both let go of your anger and hurt.
Where therapy doesn’t seem to work then you should know that it is time to walk away to heal.
In a recent study on Quest Journal, researchers found that silent treatment can affect four fundamental human needs — belonging, self esteem, control and meaningful existence.
Going silent on your partner, instead of addressing issues to the satisfaction of both parties, will not only frustrate your partner, but could push them away.
How to fix this: Most times, people who feel unheard use the silent treatment to pass their hurt and this is usually counterproductive. If you want to fix this bad habit, it is best to point out to your significant other why what you are saying is important to you.
When you love someone, there is the need to ensure they are happy. Pointing out why your partner should look into what you have constantly talked about will help them see things clearly from your perspective.
Finding ways to fix bad habits in a relationship is a good way to show your partner how much you care about them. If you possess any of these 22 bad habits, we hope you try your best to drop them before it is too late to save your relationship and yourself.