Relationships are hard work. It seems there are more reasons that a relationship will fail than succeed. However, there are plenty of successful relationships, so it’s not impossible to make it work. No one is perfect, so that no relationship will be perfect. One of the critical things to do in a relationship is to recognize relationship killers and fix them before they get out of control. When both people in the relationship are willing to do their part, success is inevitable.
Here are ten relationship killers that couples should never ignore.
1. Poor Communication
Bad communication is one of the top reasons that relationships fail. It doesn’t matter if it’s one person or both people that are bad at communicating. Eventually, things will crumble.
Bad communication can come in several forms. It could be that one person isn’t letting the other person in on their feelings. It may be that body language says something different than what comes out of a person’s mouth. It could even be assuming that you know how your partner is feeling without actually talking to them about it.
It’s normal to have some communication issues. However, if you can recognize these issues and work on them, you can save the relationship. Don’t ignore them because they’ll only get worse if you do.
2. Unwillingness to Cooperate or Compromise
A relationship is a partnership. It takes two to tango, and the dance isn’t going to go well if you don’t work together. Both people must be willing to give as much as they take.
While your relationship may seem like a match made in heaven, you must remember that you’re two different people. You’re not going to do everything precisely alike, so you need to be willing to compromise. There can be no cooperation without a bit of compromise.
If one or both people won’t compromise and cooperate to make the relationship go smoothly, this is a sign that the relationship is not going to work out in the long run. If you care about each other, you should try to identify the root cause of the lack of cooperation and fix it before it becomes a big problem.
Some people think jealousy means that your partner cares about them. After all, you can’t be jealous over something you don’t care about, right? Unfortunately, this is far from the truth.
Any good relationship should build from trust and respect. A jealous partner could be insecure and emotionally needy. The jealousy has absolutely nothing to do with whether they care about you or not. As the insecurity builds, so does the negativity. The relationship could turn verbally or physically abusive.
Jealousy is often a result of some underlying issues that the person has. If they genuinely want the relationship to work, they’ll get help in discovering and fixing those underlying issues. If they don’t get help, it’s going to be a relationship killer.
4. Lack of Intimacy
Sex isn’t an essential part of a relationship, but that doesn’t mean it’s not important. The desire to fulfill intimate needs is normal and natural. When your partner is not fulfilling this need, you’ll begin to feel like you’re missing something or worse, that you’re not what your partner wants.
Intimacy doesn’t only mean sex. It encompasses those private, meaningful moments that you share with your special someone. It’s what distinguishes a romantic relationship from a friendship.
If there is a lack of intimacy in your relationship, you need to find out why immediately. There are a plethora of reasons that this could be happening, and not all of them are as bad as you may think. However, the issue does need to be addressed before one or both partners lose interest in the relationship.
If your partner is unfaithful, this is a clear, unmistakable sign that your relationship is headed down a dangerous path. Despite this being obvious, many people try to sweep it under the rug and pretend it didn’t happen. This never works.
Cheating changes a relationship. The trust is broken, confidence is shaken, and the love between the two of you is questioned. The person who was cheated on will be hurt deeply, and even if they pretend to be over it, they usually aren’t.
Cheating doesn’t have to be the end of a relationship, but it will take a lot of hard work to save it. The cheater must be willing to go to extraordinary lengths to prove that they won’t cheat again.
Codependency during a relationship is when someone dedicates themselves to making their partner happy, and the partner enables this behavior. It’s more than being clingy or really in tune with their partner. One person finds no joy in life other than doing any and everything to please their partner while the other soaks it all up with no cares that their partner has no life. In other words, one person needs someone, and the other person needs to be required.
It may seem that if both partners are okay with this behavior, then it would work out. However, this isn’t the case because codependency is a mental health condition that usually stems from some past childhood trauma.
According to psychotherapist Linda Esposito, LCSW, codependency is created when someone had unreliable or unavailable parents when they were a child. The child grows up constantly suppressing their needs and desires and continues the behavior into adulthood.
It’s a behavior that can lead to an abusive relationship. It can become extremely dangerous because, over time, the partners’ mental state can become more and more unstable.
The bad thing about codependency is that it often takes someone outside of the relationship to recognize it. Once it has been pointed out, you and your partner will have to move mountains to fix this problem. You’ll likely need a lot of therapy.
7. Lack of Goals
If both partners have no goals, then maybe it won’t be a problem. They can both be happy settling for less, provided they can at least pay their rent and not be homeless. However, if one partner has goals that their pursuing, being in a relationship with someone who doesn’t have any plans isn’t going to work.
The reason for this is that a partner with no goals can become more of a burden as you rise and achieve success. They’ll be someone you’re towing along for the ride. They may even hinder your success.
Suddenly your relationship is not a partnership, and you may find that you don’t have much in common anymore. Your partner may begin to feel like they aren’t good enough for you, and you may start feeling that way also. The only way to fix this problem is for your partner to have their own set of goals their working towards. You don’t have to have the same goals, but they need to be at least similar for the relationship to work out.
No one likes a lazy person. Lazy people hinder progress, don’t get things done, and cause more problems than they’re worth. They aren’t dependable, and they’re not any fun.
Lazy people may have problems at work. They won’t get raises or promotions. Indeed, they may have trouble keeping a job in the first place. This affects the finances of the relationship, and money is one of the significant relationship killers.
If your partner is lazy, you need to nip that in the bud immediately. You may be tolerating it now, but in the long run, it will ruin the relationship.
9. Holding Grudges
Everyone makes mistakes, but those mistakes shouldn’t be held against you forever. Perhaps you did something in the past to upset your partner. Your partner has probably concerned you also. However, at some point, you must let it go.
Holding grudges, especially if they’re minor, will only keep the drama going in the relationship. It kills trust, creates negativity, and causes passive-aggressive behavior. This negativity leads to a whole host of other problems.
Unfortunately, holding grudges is one of the typical relationship killers. If you or your partner are holding grudges against each other, talk it out and let it go. If you need to get professional help, do it to save your relationship.
10. Unrealistic Expectations
You can’t go into a relationship with your idea of a perfect relationship already preformed. You must let the relationship develop on its own, the way it’s going to develop. Psychologist Bernard Golden, Ph.D., says that clinging on to unrealistic expectations in a relationship can “foster an adversarial posture that undermines a greater commitment to the relationship.”
Unfortunately, a lot of people’s unrealistic expectations become fast relationship killers.
You can’t predict the personality of the person you’ll fall for any more than you can predict the lottery. Sure, you may know of some qualities you prefer, but people are much more complicated than a few superficial qualities.
This is an easy problem to fix. Simply open your mind up to the possibilities. The same goes for your partner. Stop “expecting” and experience instead.
There isn’t one perfect relationship in the world, but that doesn’t mean you should ignore major relationship killers. It’s okay to have standards and to stick by them. Without these standards, your relationship is headed nowhere fast.
If you recognize any relationship killers in your relationship, the first thing you need to do is have a serious conversation with your partner. You should both be willing to put in the effort to fix the problems. Successful relationships are hard work, but the happiness that comes from them is worth it.