1. Allowing Boundaries to Be Violated
Plain and simple.
If you set a boundary and make it known (e.g. you state it explicitly) and then your partner violates it, you are unwittingly allowing for the long term deterioriation of your relationship.
For example, if you work from home and tell your partner,
“From 10 am until 4 pm, I’m ‘at the office’. Please don’t interrupt me or distract me during this time unless it’s really urgent” and then your partner consistently barges into your office, stealing your productive time and preventing you from pursuing the professional success you desire…it is your duty to make it clear that a boundary has been violated.
Explicitly reiterate your boundary and tell them that under no circumstances are they to distract you with non-urgent matters (and state what those matters would be).
If you aren’t willing to have these types of hard conversations, you will eventually resent your partner and a break is all but inevitable.
2. Offering Unrequited Support, Especially Financial
You can and should support your partner. That’s your job, actually.
Whether it’s emotional support, physical support, or financial support, you should 100% do your best to empower your partner to live the life they want to live.
But when your support goes unacknowledged and is not returned, it’s a huge red flag.
During my last relationship, I would regularly give my partner several hundred dollars a month to pay for certain bills so she would have less stress and be able to go all in on her professional ambitions.
This support was rarely acknowledged and eventually, taken completely for granted until the relationship began to morph into a sugar daddy/baby relationship.
And as a result, it ended.
When your support is not reciprocated, you need to make it clear that 1) You feel used and unappreciated and 2) You will not continue to support that person unless they are willing to reciprocate that support (even if their support takes a different form than yours).
3. Ineffective Communication
At the heart of almost all relationship problems lies ineffective communication.
Whether you aren’t communicating your needs, boundaries, emotions, insecurities doubts, etc, ineffective communication is the fastest and easiest way to burn a relationship to the ground.
For a relationship to last, you must commit yourself whole heartedly to telling the truth, all the time, without exception.
Even if the truth hurts.
4. Disparate Expectations
Another common pitfall in relationships is having disparate expectations.
Here’s what I mean…
You expect certain things from your partner as they expect certain things from you. But most couples never take the time to sit down and make their expectations explicitly known.
For example, if you agree that one person will shoulder the financial responsibilities of your partnership and the other will handle the administrative (e.g. keeping the house clean, paying the bills, buying groceries etc) but you do not make the extent of your expectations known…chances are, one partner will fail to meet the expectations of the other and resentment and anger will slowly fester until the relationship breaks.
5. Emotional Codependence
Say it with me…
“I am not responsible for my partner’s emotions.”
You may influence your partner’s emotional state, but it is not your responsibility.
If, for example, you make it clear that you need at least one day a week for guys/girls night out and your partner becomes jealous, possessive, and needy on those days, trying to make you feel guilty for your needs and telling you that you are “Making me feel so insecure/bad/unloved”…this emotion is not your responsibility.
You have made a reasonable request and stated an understandable need. And if they can’t handle this, that’s on them.
It’s not your responsibility to stay home and assuage their insecurity.
It’s their responsibility to grow up and realize that you are another human being with your own life, your own friends, and your own needs.
6. Failing to Prioritize Yourself
“If I don’t love me, who will?”
Too often, it’s easy to make your partner the center of your world.
To abandon your old friends, passions, and hobbies to make them happy.
But this will always, without exception, spell the death of your relationship.
For a relationship to last, you must prioritize yourself and your own needs.
Whether this means having alone time every morning to read, workout, and journal. Or going out with your own friends a few times a week, you MUST prioritize and take care of yourself.
If you don’t, you will slowly start to resent the person you’re with and see them as the cause of your anxiety, unhappiness, and misery.
7. Picking the Wrong Partner
The #1 reason relationships fail is because you were blinded by beauty/lust and failed to realize that the person you’re with is a bad match for your life.
“Love” is great. But it isn’t enough.
For a relationship to last you and your partner must have shared values, a shared vision, and complimentary character traits.
Without these things, you will fail. Spectacularly.
When you spend time on the front end filtering out bad partners, getting clear on what you need from your lover, and making sure the person you’re with is right for you…everything becomes easier later on.
Hope this helps.
Andrew – Knowledge For Men