Don’t be a lousy partner
We have books on sex, marriage and love giving us a context of how they should be. But when it comes to actually handling the nitty-gritty of real life relationships there are no helping hands to show us the way. Relationships are like a lifelong trial-and-error project, and if you are like most normal people then you too might be doing a few things wrong in handling them. We worship the popular notion of romantic love and there lies the problem. It’s a problem because the popular notion of ‘romantic love’ comes with many unhealthy relationship habits that were culturally ingrained into us since forever. You know the irrational, discriminating and objectifying love that we were told is normal and rather endearing. The idea of ‘romantic love’ that makes us break the vase into the wall in a fit of angry tears says it’s okay to manipulate the partner because that doesn’t align with your sense of practicality. As a result, more often than not we tend to behave in ugly ways in the relationship, that we think are normal or romantic, but in reality its killing the partnership bit by bit.
Here are the top 5 most common toxic relationship practices:
1. Stop keeping score
OK, so he acted like an insensitive little moron at your friend’s birthday party 3 years back, but was it really that big a life shattering, heart wrenching event to remind him of that every week since then? Then perhaps one day he sees one of your flirtatious text messages that immediately evokes your right to be mad at him because now he is going to bring that up at every silly little fight to manipulate you too.
Do you see the problem? Keeping score at relationships makes every argument a battle that you try to win by digging the past mistakes. You must stop doing it now!
2. Stop emotional blackmailing
If you are someone who tends to look at every relationship problem as a commitment crisis and brings unnecessary drama then you must take a good look at what you are doing to your partner. I’m not saying you shouldn’t communicate negative thoughts or concerns to them, but don’t resort to emotional blackmailing to counter every little criticism and complain. Express honestly why you are feeling upset without judgement and threats. It’s a human feeling, no need to bring melodrama in it.
Related reading: What are the signs that you are in an abusive relationship?
3. Stop holding the other responsible for your emotional state
So you have had a pathetic day at work and all you want to do is come back home and cuddle with your partner. But they have made plans with friends and have gone out. Now, you have not exactly told your partner what you were expecting or feeling, yet assumed that they will magically read your state of mind and will be super-sympathetic to fix your mood. So the blame game starts. Your partner is not responsible for how you feel all the time and vice versa. It’s a classic example of being in a co-dependent relationship and even all the crappy self-help books say it’s very toxic to be in one.
4. Stop displaying jealousy as an act of loving
When in a grown-up relationship start acting like a grown-up and realize that jealousy is really not that cute after all. When your partner talks to, smiles at, touches lightly or even sneezes at any opposite sex and you lash out to them to control the behaviour, it doesn’t show the intensity of your love. It just makes you a crazy person who doesn’t have enough trust in the relationship and likes to invite unnecessary fights to manipulate the other-half.
Related reading: How jealousy killed the love which no conspiracy or distance could
5. Stop compensating relationship problems with materialistic happiness
If you tend to make up for a nasty fight by indulging in shopping extravaganza or taking an expensive trip together etc. then you must stop it right now. In real world, real relationship problems cannot be compensated with superficial pleasures. Sure an over-the-top gift makes us happy – for like 10 minutes. If it’s a big solitaire then maybe for an hour. But what thereafter? Covering the real issue under the rug doesn’t make the problem go away. Talk it out, instead. Deal with the problem head on and work towards rebuilding the relationship.
So if you think you are doing one or more of these toxic things in your relationship, it’s time to stop doing it before the poison spreads too far.
How does the abuser operate in an abusive relationship?
Why do people stay in abusive relationships?