6 emotionally draining habits that can sabotage your relationship

It’s hard work to make a relationship work. I just look at my parents, who have been married for almost 40 years, and despite the occasional disagreement, they still put time and effort into little things, so they never feel taken for granted. 

Romantic relationships require compromise, and that usually comes easy when you respect one another. But when things become constrained, and you find that it’s hard to communicate or connect, what are you doing to work on your partnership? 

You know what I’m talking about, and that’s why you’re here. 

Sometimes, we aren’t even aware of what we do or say, which negatively affects our partners and the health of our relationships. 

So today, I’m sharing 6 emotionally draining habits that can sabotage your relationship and what you should do about it before someone calls it quits. 

1) You withhold physical affection. 

I can speak from personal experience when I say that the last thing you want to do when you’re angry or annoyed with your partner is show affection. But it’s not exactly fair on them. 

Some of us get upset about a rough day we’ve had, we don’t communicate this, and become extremely one-sided, and then intimacy goes out the door.  This simply leaves your significant other feeling confused and rejected, creating tension and strain. 

Another scenario is having an argument with your spouse, boyfriend, or girlfriend, and despite coming to a consensus, you can’t let go.

Once things have settled and they think that you’re ready to move on, you flinch or keep your physical distance because you don’t want to show any type of affection.  All you’re doing is trying to punish them. 

Whether it’s intentional or not, very few people will be patient and understanding when given the cold shoulder. 

If you cannot ease your heart after a disagreement or conflict, the best way forward is to tell them how you feel or that you just need some time to cool off and figure your thoughts out. 

It’s true that clear communication is the answer to any successful relationship. 

2) You hide how you really feel. 

You want to be honest with your partner, but sometimes, you’re unsure of how your message will be received. Other times, you’re just tired and frustrated at having to repeat or explain yourself, so you don’t say anything at all. 

The problem with hiding your true feelings is that it builds up like a pressure cooker. You become angry, frustrated, and even resentful, and before you know it, you’re exploding over small things that make no sense to the other person. 

In a romantic relationship, oftentimes, we want our partners to know how we feel or what we’re thinking, but this simply isn’t realistic or fair. 

What if I told you it was about trust? 

Trust allows us to communicate our thoughts and emotions without fear. When you don’t have trust, you find it hard to tell them what you’re feeling or thinking because you know that what you say won’t be well received. 

Remember that healthy relationships are built on respect for one another, which makes it easy to be patient and mindful. 

Maybe it’s easier said than done, but if you keep holding back, it will only be to your detriment and theirs. 

If you’re fearful about how they’ll react or that you’ll upset them if you’re honest think about the way you say something. Your tone and choice of words can deliver a completely different message. 

No one should tell you how to feel, but to avoid sabotaging your relationship by lashing out or coming across as dishonest, it’s best to be transparent about your feelings. 

3) You fail to prioritize your partner. 

There’s nothing worse than feeling like you aren’t a priority in the life of the person you love. 

I’ve been in situations where my partner would make time for their family, and they’d happily have extended conversations with friends and colleagues, but when it came to me, I was put on the back burner. 

It’s not a good feeling and leaves you questioning whether the other person actually cares about you. 

If you’re guilty of this, pay close attention. 

Sometimes, we get stuck in our ways, and when we’ve been with the same person for some time, we tend to take them for granted

Even if your significant other doesn’t always bring this behavior to your attention, it doesn’t mean that they don’t sense what’s happening. 

They might try subtle ways of getting your attention, try to hold a conversation or plan activities together. They might even be upfront and call you out by questioning whether you love them or are invested in the relationship

You think they’re crazy or imagining things, and nothing gets resolved. 

When you don’t prioritize your relationship and your partner feels like you put everyone and everything before them, they question your loyalty and commitment. 

By the time you decide to pay attention to their feelings, it might be too late. Thinking that you’re less important creates distance between two people, and with enough time, there might be nothing left to repair. 

4) You find it hard to accept blame. 

pic1767 6 emotionally draining habits that can sabotage your relationship

This is such an emotionally draining habit in any relationship. I know that we’re all different, and some of us have bad days where we just can’t take on any more emotional baggage, but denying your part in a situation is never a good thing. 

Honesty is expected in a relationship, but when you fail to take responsibility for what you said or did, you’re sending a completely different message to the other person. 

Let’s say that you get into an argument. 

Do you avoid conflict by apologizing, even if it is not your fault, or do you shift the blame? 

If you’re the one on the receiving end, it’s time to have a chat with your partner because you could be stuck in a toxic relationship. If you’re the one casting shade and rarely being accountable, you could share this habit with an emotional manipulator

Manipulators tend to deny all blame and flip arguments onto their partners because they never want to feel or look like the guilty party. It can make anyone feel like they’re losing their mind. 

You might not be aware of the fact that constant denial and blame-shifting create confusion and self-doubt in the other person. Owning up is the only way forward, and most importantly, you can avoid anger and resentment by being accountable. 

5) You’re always defensive. 

Relationships are not all rainbows and roses, and in reality, they shouldn’t be. Disagreements help us figure out what we like or don’t like, and at the same time, we learn how to resolve our differences. 

If you get defensive every time you’re confronted with a problem, there’s no way to build healthy communication or better understand what your partner expects from you. 

It’s taxing because you never get anywhere. 

Both parties feel angry and hurt without being able to resolve the conflict because you just can’t get past the criticism or concern. 

I’m not saying that it’s easy to hear when a loved one has a problem with something you’ve done or said, but rushing to your own defense each time they try to communicate with you is not helpful. 

We get defensive because we want to protect ourselves, but in doing so, we prevent the other person from explaining themselves or feeling heard, and it creates a vicious cycle of anger and resentment. 

So, what can you do if you tend to get defensive? 

Listen to what they have to say, even if you disagree with them. Refrain from jumping to conclusions and trying to rebut because all you’ll be doing is sabotaging your relationship

Look, it’s natural to feel like you need to defend yourself when you think you’re under personal attack. The difference is when your partner in an intimate relationship is trying to resolve an issue, and you keep cutting them off by insisting that what they feel or perceive is wrong. 

Practicing mindfulness and trying to understand where they’re coming from are the first steps to calming the issue. 

If, on the other hand, your spouse or partner is belittling you or they’re demeaning when they talk to you, point this out by opening the channels of communication so they’re aware of their behavior. 

6) You don’t listen. 

A sure way to sabotage your relationship is to fail to listen to your significant other. 

Think about how you’d feel trying to express yourself and the person you’re talking to is not making eye contact; they’re disengaged and clearly not listening to you. 

It’s hurtful and creates mistrust. 

Constantly having to ask someone if they’re listening to you is infuriating. It makes you think that the other person just doesn’t care, and it becomes emotionally draining. 

When your partner wants to talk, put your phone aside or whatever might be distracting you and show them your support by paying attention. 

We all want to feel validated, and something as simple as listening can go a long way toward building trust. 

There’s no question that relationships take work, and that requires effort from both people. 

But sometimes relationships are one-sided, and that’s when the cracks really start to show. 

You could be sabotaging your relationship without even realizing it. Emotionally draining habits like getting defensive all the time and taking your partner for granted simply create a wedge that can’t always be resolved. 

Before you ruin something good, some self-reflection never hurts and can help you understand your part in building or breaking the relationship. 

Also read: 6 behaviors you didn’t realize were driving a wedge in your relationship

Picture of Marcel Deer

Marcel Deer

Marcel is a journalist, gamer, and entrepreneur. When not obsessing over his man cave or the latest tech, he’s failing helplessly at training his obnoxious rescue dog ‘Boogies’.

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