22 Bad Habits That Ruin A Relationship

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Updated On: August 26, 2022
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In a relationship, both partners are expected to accept each other’s good qualities as well as flaws, wholeheartedly. Without such acceptance, a relationship will not be able to survive successfully. However, there are certain bad relationship habits that one of the partners might develop in due course of time which have the potential to damage their dynamic. These are the bad habits that cannot be accommodated in a relationship and need to be addressed as soon as possible.

According to this study, there’s a long line of research that associates marriage with reducing unhealthy habits such as smoking, and promoting better health habits such as regular checkups. However, new research is emerging that suggests married straight couples and cohabiting gay and lesbian couples in long-term intimate relationships may pick up each other’s unhealthy habits in a relationship as well.

Corinne Reczek, a UC assistant professor of sociology, reports, “Individuals converge in health habits across the course of their relationship, because one individual’s unhealthy habits directly promotes the other’s unhealthy habits in a relationship.” 

Why Are Relationships Fragile?

Before we move on to list the bad habits that ruin a relationship, it is essential that we understand why relationships these days have become so fragile. Managing a romantic relationship has become a difficult task for people who are busy tackling professional responsibilities and other personal commitments. If you fail to give priority to your relationship, then you will soon see the signs your partner is taking the relationship for granted.

Some of them are not ready to make compromises and serious commitments when they are in a relationship. Some partners are even selfish and emotionally manipulate their significant others to their own advantage. These are bad habits in a relationship that lead to severe effect on mental health of the individuals too.

Instead of communicating face-to-face with their partners, people prefer to leave a text message or call them, which usually creates unwanted barriers and misunderstandings. Many people stop nurturing their relationships and do not have the courage to deal with the problems which accompany relationships, while there are some people who just seek adventure, so the idea of spending their life with one person does not attract them.

Related Reading: 8 People Share What Ruined Their Marriage

We all have gathered unhealthy relationship habits. The true bond and connectivity in relationships is missing nowadays. A majority of the people seek pleasure and external charms of a relationship, because of which relationships have lost their depth and love. Such a grim picture of relationships has to be changed and one has to put in efforts to ensure that their relationship survives the test of time. Remember, a relationship is a blessing which needs to be fulfilling and enriching for both the partners.

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22 Bad Habits That Ruin A Relationship And Need To Be Addressed

Since relationships these days are fragile, they require constant attention and encouragement. One bad move on your part can cause irreparable damage to your bond with your partner. Therefore, it is your responsibility to make sure that you acknowledge if you have certain habits that ruin relationships and do everything in your power to get rid of them. Here is a quick rundown of 22 bad habits that ruin a relationship.

1. Constantly nagging your partner

In the beginning, your partner might find your nagging and interference cute. However, in the long run, it will become annoying, especially if it is constant. You must set boundaries to make your relationship stronger and respect the private space and time of your partner.

2. Avoiding direct confrontations

It is possible that you avoid direct confrontations because passive aggression is deeply rooted in your nature. But then this kind of behavior will cause more harm to your relationship. It is important that you be honest with your partner and let them know what is wrong instead of keeping everything bottled up. But don’t turn your conflicts into things that kill relationships. There is a ‘way’ to have a conflict too, as elaborated ahead.

Amy Rauer says in this study, “…couples that were married longer tended to report fewer arguments overall — but when they do argue, they tend to argue in productive ways, focusing on things that can be solved, and emphasizing solutions rather than just venting. Being able to successfully differentiate between issues that need to be resolved versus those that can be laid aside for now may be one of the keys to a long-lasting, happy relationship.”

3. Saying negative things about your partner’s family/friends

You have to be very careful and avoid saying anything negative about your partner’s friends and family. Your partner might vent in front of you about their loved ones. However, they will obviously not appreciate negative views about them from you.

Related Reading: 15 Signs Your Husband Resents Your Side Of The Family

4. Trying to initiate changes in your partner

According to research on bad habits that impact your relationship, one primary way in which romantic partners strive to resolve conflict and improve their relationships is by asking each other to change dissatisfying behaviors or characteristics (i.e., partner regulation). Though successful partner-requested changes have the potential to improve personal and relational outcomes, these changes are difficult to make and may instead threaten relationship quality.

So how do we prevent these habits that ruin relationships from persisting? The researcher, Natalie Sisson, suggests two ways that a partner can alter their perspective to better adapt to the change request:

  • Self-growth: Choose to reinterpret a request for change as a signal that your partner wants to help you grow and become a better version of yourself by letting go of the unhealthy relationship habits
  • Growth of the relationship: Don’t see these requests for change as things that ruin relationships, but as a sign of your partner’s commitment to you and to improving the relationship. This may be more motivating and less upsetting

Remember, your partner might not be the perfect person you always wanted, but then it is essential that you accept them completely. Do not have any unrealistic expectations and do not force them out of their comfort zone. You should not initiate any kind of radical changes in your partner.

5. Comparing your partner to others

Don’t fall into the comparison trap! Whether you do it consciously or unconsciously, you have to stop comparing your partner to the other people around you. Appreciating your partner is extremely important. You need to respect your partner and encourage them to be a better person, instead of constantly comparing and putting them down.

6. Spending time with electronics

Technology has become a part and parcel of your life. But your relationship should be your priority and not watching endless series or having all-day video chats with friends. You must give time to your partner when you are at home. Avoid using your mobile phone and laptop when your partner is around. This way, you can connect with your partner in a deeper way.

Phubbing and phone addiction are the things that ruin relationships for sure. According to research, “What we discovered was that when someone perceived that their partner phubbed them, this created conflict and led to lower levels of reported relationship satisfaction. These lower levels of relationship satisfaction, in turn, led to lower levels of life satisfaction and, ultimately, higher levels of depression.”

7. Overly criticizing your partner

If you notice that you criticize your partner a little too much and that too on a regular basis, then you must stop. Avoid making any harsh comments on their appearance or saying anything negative about their profession. Learn to give feedback in a positive manner so that it can be accepted in a good light.

8. Keeping track of past mistakes of your partner

We asked our reader, Tucker, a finance consultant from San Diego: What are the bad habits that impact your relationship or what are the general things that kill relationships? He was ready with his answer, “My partner brings up my past mistakes, not just while we are having a conflict but even when things are settled and we’re having a peaceful day. He does it casually, and it clearly shows that the issue is alive and well inside his head, and that we didn’t really resolve it and move forward.

“He won’t share the issue with me when he should. I get to know he’s still hurt in the least expected moments. I believe this is a bad habit that destroys most relationships.” Yes, you must learn to forgive your partner when they commit a mistake and forget about it as well. If you happen to keep track of your partner’s past mistakes and mention these during arguments and fights, then it will have a negative impact on your relationship that you won’t be able to repair.

bad habits in a relationship
Don’t make your partner feel like a bad person by constantly bringing up the past

9. Being way too complacent

No doubt, over a period of time, you will become comfortable with your partner and feel content and happy. But then you have to ensure that your partner is comfortable too. If you become way too complacent and take your partner for granted, then it will be a very big mistake on your part. This is how most couples end up saying: I don’t feel loved in my relationship.

10. Maintaining low levels of hygiene

This is definitely one of the bad habits in a relationship and a huge turn-off. Keeping yourself clean and tidy is not only important during the time of dating a partner. You have to keep high levels of hygiene even when you’re single, and even when you move in with your partner or marry them. Lack of hygiene will create a bad impression about you. Hygiene levels reflect your character and upbringing.

Related Reading: His Wife Had Bad Hygiene Habits That Led To A Divorce

11. Arguing with your partner in public

If you have the habit of arguing with your partner in front of your relatives, friends, or in public places, then it is really bad habit indeed. Such a situation will become embarrassing for the people around you and also for your partner. It is always better to sort out issues in private.

12. Stalking and keeping an eye on your partner

We asked Dyllan, a 30-year-old corporate recruiter: What are the habits that ruin relationships? They say, “If you ask me, bad habits that destroy most relationships are rooted in a constant tendency to mistrust your partner. It’s not as simple as infidelity, no. For example, if your partner couldn’t spend time with you one day, you shouldn’t immediately jump to the conclusion that they don’t love you or value their friends more than you. Trust your partner when they say they love you.”

Trust should become the main foundation of your relationship. You must respect your partner’s privacy. Do not turn into a creepy stalker and keep an eye on your partner 24*7. And absolutely avoid going through your partner’s emails, text messages, etc. These are the habits that ruin relationships.

Related Reading: His Wife Refuses To Allow Him Space And Follows Him Everywhere

13. Ignoring healthy feedback from your partner

Obviously, you will not like it if your partner criticizes you. But then, if your partner is giving you some healthy feedback, you must listen to it. Your partner wants the best for you and thus will criticize you only to help you improve. So ignoring such feedback will do you more harm than good.

14. Not talking about your sex life with your partner

Until and unless you express your sexual desires and pleasures, your partner will not be able to satisfy you. Thus, you need to be open to your partner and let them know what you want. Talking about your sexual needs and about experimenting in bed with your partner should be a normal thing for you.

15. Divulging too much personal information to family and friends

The relationship you share with your partner is sacred. The issues you have with each other should be kept private. If you constantly divulge information about your private life to your friends and family, then one day it will create major issues in your relationship. Therefore, keep your family and friends out of the relationship you share with your loved one.

16. Breaking promises regularly

Your significant other expects you to keep a promise when you make one. Maybe the first time you break a promise, your partner will let it go. But if you keep breaking promises regularly, then you will only further disappoint your partner. So make a promise only when you know you can follow through. Never use future faking to control your partner’s emotions.

17. Being jealous and over-possessive

A little jealousy from your side might give assurance to your partner that you truly love and cherish them. However, if you become over-jealous and overly possessive, then it is one of those bad relationship habits that can become suffocating for your loved one.

Stories on couple dynamics

18. Forgetting relationship milestones

Relationship milestones are a way to celebrate the memories you both have spent together over the years. If you keep forgetting them, then it means that you do not value your partner and the moments spent with them.

19. Thinking negatively about things

In your life, you will face ups and downs. But this does not mean that you keep harboring negative thoughts and fail to appreciate the good things in life. If you continue to think negatively, then it will be exhausting not only for you, but also for your partner.

Related Reading: 40 Relationship Affirmations To Use For Your Love Life

20. Indulging in PDA

There is no harm in holding hands and kissing your partner once in a while in public. However, constant PDA is bound to make them uncomfortable and awkward at some point. You have to stop being insensitive to your partner’s feelings as well as the people around you both.

21. Hiding things with the use of white lies

White lies are trivial and harmless. But if you get into the habit of using white lies on a regular basis to hide things from your partner, it will ruin your relationship. The trust your partner has in you will break when they are faced with the mountain of your lies. A compulsive liar can’t nurture a relationship, so check that habit of lying in order to salvage your romance.

22. Keeping emotions pent up

This can harm your relationship in the worst possible manner. If you do not talk about your emotions and feelings, then your partner will not be able to understand and comfort you. You both will not be able to connect with each other emotionally. Do not blame your partner for not meeting your needs when you are unable to express them.

Key Pointers

  • Not only do we threaten a relationship by continuing to indulge in individual bad habits, but partners pick up bad habits from each other as well
  • Partners, nowadays, don’t know how to resolve conflicts amicably and face to face, they manipulate each other’s emotions, and take each other for granted
  • Some of the bad habits that can ruin relationships are too much criticism, avoidance of healthy conflict, raking up past mistakes, not being emotionally intimate, breaking promises regularly, and too much insecurity

These bad habits may not seem that dangerous to you, but with time, these have the potential to become extremely destructive and can end your relationship. Therefore, you must make the efforts to improve yourself and break the bad habits before these shatter your relationship beyond repair.

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