Five negative patterns that can ruin relationships

Every relationship is unique to the people in it. There is no such thing as an 'easy' relationship where things go smoothly all of the time, both parties agree on everything, and you feel the same way about each other as you did when you first met. Therefore, it's important to regularly assess, reflect, and review your relationship so that you can make positive changes. There are certain patterns of behaviour that can have a negative impact on relationships if they are not addressed. In this article, I will be discussing five of them and, if you can relate to any of them, then it will hopefully provide you with an opportunity to make some changes.

The first negative pattern is competitiveness. This is where everything in your relationship is a competition and instead of working as a team, you are working against each other. Competitiveness can lead to stress in a relationship because when you view your partner as competition rather than your support, it may leave you both feeling alone in the relationship. To resolve this issue, consider ways in which you can be competitive outside of the relationship whilst curbing your competitiveness within it, and showing your partner that you are both on the same team.

The second negative pattern in relationship is poor communication.Poor communication is such a major issue in most relationships but some key issues include not listening or being selective about what you hear, communicating at the wrong times, being defensive whilst communicating with each other, blaming your partner for issues in the relationship, and holding back on how you really feel and then exploding when you can't suppress how you feel any longer. All of the communication issues listed and more, if not addressed, can destroy a relationship because eventually, it will create tension and could make you both feel on edge about what to say, when and how to say it, and how it will be received. There are many ways to address poor communication including reading books about communication in relationships, accessing couples therapy, reflecting on how you communicate and making some changes, and allocating set times for you both to sit down together and communicate with each other in an open and honest way.

A third pattern of behaviour that is also linked with communication is the parent/adult/child dynamic.This is where you function as a couple within this dynamic. Healthy relationships operate where both parties communicate in an adult manner when discussing issues. In relationships where one or both parties operate in a childlike manner (sulking, pouting, communicating in baby voices, throwing tantrums), or like a mother/father in relation to their spouse (nagging, being condescending, instructing, doing things for your partner when they haven't asked and when they have the ability to do it for themselves), it creates an atmosphere where one or both parties in the relationship no longer feels like they have power or that they are an equal. This can also diminish sexual attraction/chemistry, because nobody wants to view their partner as their 'mother/father' or their 'son/daughter'. A quick solution to this issue is to make a decision going forward that you will make a commitment to only operate on an adult-to-adult basis in your relationship, both in your communication and your actions.

The fourth negative pattern speaks for itself so I won't expand too much on this issue, and it is lack of support.This includes not providing support to your partner, dismissing their ideas, trying to talk them out of things, or dismissing or mocking their decisions or ideas.

The final negative pattern that can ruin relationships is A lack of physical connection and intimacy outside of the bedroom.Connection and intimacy is just as important to create outside of the bedroom as it is within the bedroom, because without a strong connection in your relationship, it will be more difficult to get through difficult times. Intimacy involves affection, hugs, kisses, sitting close to each other, loving words and sex. Many couples believe that if they have a good sex life and everything is great in the bedroom department, this will create a connection overall. However, this is not always the case and if couples neglect to work on the affection, connection and intimacy outside of sex, the relationship can become predictable, monotonous and disconnected.

Relationships involve basic, mundane tasks as well as interesting, fun stuff, and therefore having a partner who you develop a deep connection with, feel supported by, have good communication with and with whom you operate as a team, is a good foundation for you to conquer the difficulties in your relationship when they arise.

The views expressed in this article are those of the author. All articles published on Counselling Directory are reviewed by our editorial team.

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Birmingham, West Midlands, B1
Written by Marian Hanson, Counsellor & Coach
Birmingham, West Midlands, B1

I am a relationship counsellor with eight years experience of providing counselling to individuals and couples. I also have experience of providing counselling to children and women who have experienced domestic violence and I am in the process of becoming a confidence and self-worth coach and I have a passion for areas of personal development

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