San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

Look within to avoid relationship busters

The success or failure of your relationship, for the most part, is directly affected by your personal behavior. Sadly, partners can often become the greatest source of each other’s unhappiness and victims of each other’s abusive behavior. Such behavior can destroy the love two people have for one another.

The most common “relationship busters” fall into five categories:

Hasani Pettiford

Hasani Pettiford

Selfish demands. Demands are requests that are made in a very obnoxious, controlling and threatening way. Unfortunately, people who make demands don’t seem to care how others feel. They think only of their own needs. This is usually the first stage of verbal abuse that ultimately leads to fights within a relationship.

Disrespectful judgments. Disrespectful judgments are used to force our partners to give us what we want in a very clever way. Rather than making outright demands, we highlight a partner’s shortcomings as the cause of our problems. It’s also an attempt to impose a system of values and beliefs on another. But it doesn’t work, and we’re often perceived as being threatening, arrogant, rude and disrespectful.

Angry outbursts. We often use anger as a form of punishment. But when you become angry with your partner, you threaten their safety and security because you fail to provide protection. Your partner then rises to the challenge and retaliates. When anger wins, everyone and everything loses, including the relationship.

Annoying habits. Annoying habits are not a sign of personality deficiencies, but they can easily drive another person crazy. It’s not just the behavior itself, but the idea that you just don’t seem to care. Unfortunately, every annoying habit has the potential of driving a wedge between you and your partner, creating and sustaining incompatibility.

Independent behavior. Independent behavior is the conduct of one partner who ignores the feelings and interests of the other. If your decisions are not made with each other’s interests in mind, you risk destroying the love you have for each other. It’s a problem in most relationships because we are all tempted to do whatever makes us happy, even when it makes our spouse unhappy. We don’t feel the pain our spouse feels when we are inconsiderate.

Unfortunately, too many of these behaviors lie deep within us. But if we can learn to take an introspective look at ourselves, acknowledge our flaws and work on them constantly, our relationships can be restored.

Hasani Pettiford is an award-winning author, media personality and speaker who has addressed more than 1,000 audiences throughout the U.S., Latin America and Africa. His organization, Touch & Agree Family Network, offers coaching, seminars and educational materials to enhance relationships.

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