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Relationships take work. It’s unlikely you’ll enjoy a happy, healthy union if you never put in any effort. In addition to rolling up your sleeves and doing the heavy lifting required to make your relationship work, you’ll also need to avoid engaging in some specific behaviors that could derail your marriage or dating relationship.
Here are the seven deadly sins of relationships.
Don’t let pride keep you from doing everything you can to ensure the health of your relationship. One thing pride can prevent is the admission of wrongdoing during a disagreement. Winning an argument isn’t worth losing your relationship. According to pastor Rick Warren, author of The Purpose Driven Life, pride destroys relationships. It’s difficult to put the needs of your partner first when all you’re thinking about is how you can maintain your perceived power. In his column, Warren says humility helps dissolve pride:
Pride destroys relationships. It shows up in a lot of different ways, like criticism, competition, stubbornness, and superficiality. The problem with pride is it’s self-deceiving. Everybody else can see it in us but us. When you have a problem with pride, you don’t see it in your life … Pride destroys relationships, but humility is the antidote to pride. Humility builds relationships.
There’s nothing wrong with being angry, but when this emotion is not handled carefully, it can drive a wedge between you and your partner. Uncontrolled anger could also lead to abusive behavior. If your anger has gotten so out of control that you routinely scream at, hit, or berate your partner, it’s time to immediately seek professional counseling. In her column for Good Therapy, therapist Irene Hansen Savarese advises resisting the urge to blame others for your anger, and instead take complete ownership for your emotions and any actions that may have resulted from the anger:
Own your anger. Remind yourself that your anger belongs to you and that it is telling you something about yourself. Anger is often directed at your partner, but it’s always more about you than about your partner. You can have valid complaints about your partner’s actions, but the emotion is yours.
A relationship should be a healthy balance of give and take. It’s unfair to your significant other, and selfish, to always be on the receiving end of the relationship benefits. There will come a point when your partner gets tired of being the one who always gives. If you don’t change your ways, don’t be shocked if you come home one day to find empty closets and a “Dear John” (or Jane) letter on your pillow.
More isn’t always better, especially when it comes to romantic partners. Unless you and your significant other agreed to an open relationship, don’t try to have several other relationships on the side. That’s cheating. Instead of having an affair, either work things out or leave.
If you find yourself staring just a little too hard at the next-door neighbor, it’s time to exercise a bit of self-control. Lusting after other people, whether it’s a neighbor, a co-worker, or an in-law, could not only tempt you to cheat but also cause you to neglect your partner. You might also start comparing your crush to your loved one. If you’re burning with passion and it’s just too much to bear, you might want to consider ending the relationship.
Do you often watch other couples and wish you could have what they have? Be careful what you wish for. It’s hard to tell what another couple’s relationship is really like unless you live with them. Behind closed doors, very different personalities could emerge. Also, the time you spend envying another couple could be spent working on your own relationship.
It’s easy to get too comfortable in a relationship. Although there’s a point where you won’t feel the need to do as much to impress your partner, is not OK to get lazy. Don’t let your appearance get sloppy and make an effort to put energy into maintaining your relationship.
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