Despite truly wanting to have happy and harmonious committed relationships or marriages, many people inadvertently stress and even destroy theirs by injecting them with steady doses of interpersonal poison.
Unlike blatant acts of abuse, deceit, or infidelity, the major problem with these destructive behaviors is that they are so insidious and subtle that by the time their ill effects are noticed, the damage has already been done. Similar to a drop of water, that by itself is of little consequence, but over time can erode solid rock or corrode thick iron, the steady drip, drip, drip of these toxic habits can destroy even a once-strong relationship.
Here’s a list of 7 poisons in a relationship:
1. Stop snooping.
That’s right. You need to stop snooping. Insecurity will kill a relationship faster than anything else.
Don’t read your girlfriend’s email.
Don’t check your boyfriend’s phone.
Don’t go through your lover’s search history.
Quit looking at what pictures they favorited on Instagram.
And don’t go through a woman’s purse.
If it’s not yours, there’s a simple rule to follow: Leave. It. Alone.
Insecurity breeds insecurity.
If you’re in a relationship, trust the person you’re with. If you think they’re screwing around or if you don’t trust them, the only things you need to be looking into are your motivations for staying and your trust issues. Don’t punish your significant other for whatever your exes did.
Stop snooping. It’s unhealthy and it will only create distrust.
2. Stop being jealous.
They’re with you, right?
If you’re jealous every time your significant other wants to go have a night out with friends or lunch with a co-worker, you’re only gonna shut down any kind of meaningful communication if someone else ever does come along.
Let’s say his boss hits on him, but you’ve been acting crazy. You think he’s going to tell you and risk you coming to his job to block and cause a scene?
Or what if that guy friend of hers who just broke up with his girlfriend and keeps wanting to have lunch with her actually DOES make a move, but you’ve already been accusing her of running around? Do you think she’s gonna confide in you?
Seriously. Calm down.
Keep your insecurities in check. If you’re jealous, try this: SAY THAT YOU ARE JEALOUS AND EXPLAIN WHY. You’d be surprised at how well communication can work in a relationship.
3. Stop treating your fights like wars: Be careful when you argue.
Never, ever betray your intimacy in a fight by getting personal.
You know each other’s weaknesses. You know each other’s secrets.
It’s easy to get caught up in anger and say things you don’t mean in the heat of the moment, but that doesn’t make it okay.
Try to understand the issue; try to understand each other. Fight the problem together.
You know each other’s vulnerabilities.
You have the power to hurt your significant other. Don’t ever use it.
It’s a huge violation of trust that will cause damage that you will not be able to repair.
On that note…
4. Stop bringing up past fights and old injuries.
Is bringing up what they said three months ago when you were both angry going to solve whatever you’re going through right now? No, it won’t.
Is telling them that you’re still pissed that they were inconsiderately late for your grandfather’s birthday dinner last year going to serve any constructive purpose? No, it won’t.
Holding onto a litany of things you’re angry about so that you can use them as ammunition later isn’t just unhealthy — it’s positively toxic. Don’t bring up past fights.
Let that stuff go.
5. Stop making threats and ultimatums just to control your significant other’s actions.
Engaging in emotional terrorism is never a good idea. Don’t hold your significant other hostage with threats of breaking up, divorcing, throwing all their stuff out into the yard, suicide, homicide, telling all your mutual friends how evil they are, or anything else that even remotely resembles any of these things.
Just don’t do it.
And if it’s done to you, don’t tolerate it. Walk away.
6. Stop airing your dirty laundry on social media.
There’s really no need to subtweet about how “some people should probably start locking their phones” or leaving some silly passive-aggressive status update about how love is pain and life isn’t fair or whatever.
Everyone knows who you’re talking about, including who you’re talking about.
If you have a grievance, say it to the person you’re upset with.
For that matter, stop airing your clean laundry. Spend your energy showing your love to the person you love, not telling the fickle Internet.
7. Stop thinking that one person can be everything someone needs.
It’s a wonderful idea. It’s very romantic. It’s beautiful, poetic, and if it were true, it would be completely disastrous because it would hinge the entirety of one’s happiness on the most fragile vessel possible: another human being.
Couples must take care to not drown each other or in each other. Predicating all of your happiness on someone else isn’t just unrealistic, it’s dangerous and unfair: That is a huge burden to place on another person.
Have outside interests and separate lives. You don’t have to love the same things. Why would you? You can appreciate someone’s love for something without having to participate in it.
While it’s important to have shared interests and passions, you don’t have to do every single thing together. Be your own complete person: that’s what your partner fell in love with.