When it comes to relationships, we are often faced with a barrage of do’s and don’ts and what’s right and wrong and it can all seem a little overwhelming. In reality, I believe there are just a few key areas that need our focus when dating and they form the basis of what is just simply NOT acceptable in a relationship. From areas that can be worked on and improved with some directed communication to some more serious aspects of behaviour that need professional attention, if you feel something is not quite as it should be in your relationship check out our guide of what shouldn’t be tolerated;
Sometimes when people have been in a relationship for a while they’re under the impression that the hard work is done and that things are secure with their beloved, when in fact the opposite is true. Complacency is a huge relationship killer because one person in the relationship is under the false pretence that things are ok. You need to consider if both of you are still exhibiting some of the behaviours you did in the early days (still making an effort to look good/passing compliments etc) and if you’re still making an effort. Sure, relationships can get comfortable and there is nothing wrong with that, in fact feeling comfortable with your partner is crucial to being able to be your true self and therefore have a successful relationship, but there is a danger that if we don’t appreciate that we’ve attained that ‘comfort’ level then it can end up overtaking the romance side of the relationship and result in the relationships downfall. Don’t ignore the signs that something might be missing from the comfortable existence or mistake your comfortable routine for actual happiness.
Dishonestly can do huge damage to a relationship. One of the most crucial foundations successful relationships are built on is openness and honesty. People tend to think that they can justify their dishonesty, but the truth of the matter is that there is no way to justify dishonesty. Even little lies can lead to a more complex web of lies. Dishonesty shouldn’t be ignored, it needs to be dealt with as the long term effects can be devastating to the emotional health of the person who is the recipient of the lie. Many people cause their mates unnecessary pain and disappointment because of their inability to be honest at all costs. The bond of trust that one establishes in the beginning of the relationship is weakened and can ultimately end up totally severed. Honesty is at the very core of great relationships and without it, couples will do nothing more than limp along.
Relationship infidelity is a very common occurrence and if you haven’t experienced it yet, there’s a good chance you eventually will. These days especially so many of our contemporaries take such a cavalier attitude to relationships that cheating seems to be increasingly prevalent and, with relationship boundaries being so blurred (‘kind of’ seeing each other!) there is plenty of wriggle room to excuse an infidelity. At the end of the day though cheating is the ultimate betrayal which brings a whole world of hurt and humiliation with it and it should never be regarded as acceptable under any circumstances of a relationship. There are no clear stats on how successfully relationships can be fixed post infidelity but the best predict of future behaviour is relevant past behaviour. If you find yourself in a cheating situation, use this to help make predictions as to the future of your relationship.
A relationship killer, jealousy can lead to all sorts of conflicts in a relationship, can be problematic and can get controlling. We’re not talking about a small amount of the green eyed monster, which can in fact be a good thing and can actually add to the passion of a relationship, no we’re talking the kind of extreme jealousy that can leave even the most dedicated and devoted partner feeling hurt, anxious and angry that they’re not trusted. Jealousy of this nature is often a sign of deep seated insecurity and may be fuelled by unrealistic ideas and expectations of relationships. These ideas can be affected by past experiences and relationships and once this is understood, steps can be taken to resolve and overcome the jealousy by communicating more effectively.
Being under the control of a partner is a serious issue in a relationship. The warnings signs can present themselves even in the early days but are often ignored during heady days where possessiveness can be mistaken as your partner just being so into you that they want you all to themselves etc. The problem is that controlling behaviour will only get worse and will overshadow the positives in a relationship. If your partner is being controlling with money or quizzing you about who you see and where you go then the chances are that he or she has some issues that need addressing and hopefully if you open up a dialogue based on how you feel then they will be keen to change things.
It’s a common mistake to think that physical violence is the only form of abuse in a relationship – emotional abuse is a no less common or serious problem and leave you feeling scared and intimidated by the very person who is supposed to love you. This kind of abuse is commonly ignored and excused but over time if left unchallenged will in time destroy your confidence and may leave you feeling anxious and depressed. If you feel your partner belittles you, shouts at you and often blames their unreasonable behaviour on you then you need to give some serious consideration to staying in the relationship.
Sometimes a person that seems like a kind and loving partner can turn into someone who hurts, controls or scares you. Relationship violence is a pattern of behaviours that a person uses to maintain power and control over another person and includes physical, sexual and emotional abuse. Relationship violence happens to people of all races, genders, sexual orientations, classes, ages and abilities so you’re not alone. While it’s not always possible to prevent relationship violence, there are steps you can take to try to protect yourself. If you think your partner might be controlling or abusive, you should trust your feelings – If something doesn’t seem right, take it seriously and get help – talk to people who are experts in relationship violence. Remember, controlling or violent relationships usually get worse over time. If your partner might be controlling or abusive, it’s better to get help now than to wait.
Share this advice so your friends can all have the relationships they deserve.