If you truly want to be happy in a relationship, let go of these 9 toxic habits

In any relationship, happiness is key. And sometimes, what stands between you and true joy is a set of toxic habits you’ve unknowingly adopted.

Letting go of these habits can make all the difference in your relationship. It’s about choosing to cultivate healthier patterns that nurture your connection, rather than erode it.

In this article, I’m going to share with you 9 toxic habits that you need to let go of if you truly want to be happy in a relationship.

Let’s dive in.

1) Playing the blame game

In any relationship, there’s bound to be disagreements and conflicts. It’s part of sharing a life with another person. However, how we handle these conflicts can make all the difference.

A common toxic habit we fall into is the blame game. It’s easy to point fingers and lay the responsibility of the conflict on your partner. It’s much harder to take a step back and accept that we may have contributed to the issue as well.

The blame game can create a cycle of resentment and anger in a relationship. It shifts the focus from resolving the issue at hand to defending oneself, which isn’t productive nor healthy.

Stop and reflect. Look at how you may have contributed to the situation and what you can do differently next time. Remember, it takes two to tango.

Letting go of this habit not only leads to healthier communication but also fosters mutual respect and understanding in your relationship.

2) Keeping score

I’ll be the first to admit, I’ve been guilty of this in my own relationships. Keeping score is a toxic habit where you constantly tally up who’s done what in the relationship. It could be anything from who last did the dishes to who was the first to apologize after an argument.

I remember how it used to feel like a never-ending game of tit-for-tat. It was as if my partner and I were on opposing teams, instead of being on the same side.

But here’s the thing I’ve learned: true love doesn’t keep score. Instead, it’s about being generous and forgiving without expecting anything in return.

I made a conscious decision to stop keeping score. And let me tell you, it wasn’t easy but it was truly liberating. It allowed us to focus on supporting each other rather than competing.

It might be time to put away the tally board and start fostering a spirit of teamwork instead. Trust me, it’s worth it.

3) Trying to change your partner

It’s a natural human tendency to want to influence those around us, especially our partners. However, there’s a fine line between encouraging growth and attempting to change someone fundamentally.

Consider this: according to relationship expert Dr. John Gottman, 69% of problems in a relationship are unsolvable, meaning they’re based on fundamental differences in personalities or needs. These differences aren’t necessarily bad. It’s about managing them and finding common ground.

Attempting to change your partner can lead to resentment and frustration on both sides. It sends a message that you don’t accept them as they are, which can be very damaging to their self-esteem and the overall health of the relationship.

Instead of trying to mold your partner into your ideal version of them, focus on celebrating their unique qualities and quirks. After all, those are the things that made you fall in love with them in the first place.

4) Keeping secrets

Trust is the bedrock of any relationship. And one surefire way to erode that trust is by keeping secrets. Whether it’s about your past, your feelings, or your fears, hiding things from your partner can create a wall between you two.

Now, I’m not saying you have to share every single thought that crosses your mind. But when it comes to major issues and feelings that directly impact the relationship, honesty is always the best policy.

Keeping secrets can lead to anxiety, guilt, and even more deception down the line. It can also make your partner feel betrayed and hurt when they eventually find out.

Consider opening up to your partner. It’s not always easy, but the relief and closeness you feel afterwards make it well worth it.

5) Neglecting your own needs

In a relationship, it’s common to put your partner’s needs above your own. You want to make them happy, after all. But constantly neglecting your own needs is a toxic habit that can lead to resentment and burnout.

Self-care isn’t selfish, it’s essential. You can’t pour from an empty cup. It’s important to take time for yourself, pursue your own interests, and ensure your needs are being met.

Don’t lose yourself in the process of loving someone else. Don’t forget, a healthy relationship involves two whole individuals who complement each other, not complete each other.

Take care of yourself. Your relationship will be better for it.

6) Holding onto grudges

toxic relationship is ruining your life If you truly want to be happy in a relationship, let go of these 9 toxic habits

We’ve all been there. A hurtful comment, an unfulfilled promise, or a thoughtless action by your partner can sting. And sometimes, it’s hard to let go of that pain.

But holding onto grudges is like carrying a heavy weight around your heart. It’s exhausting, and it can poison your relationship over time.

Forgiveness isn’t about forgetting or condoning the hurt caused. It’s about choosing to release the burden for your own peace and the health of your relationship.

It’s not easy. It takes time, understanding, and a lot of patience. But releasing grudges can bring a sense of peace and freedom you may not have thought possible.

7) Avoiding difficult conversations

Conflicts and disagreements can be uncomfortable. I’ve experienced how tempting it is to sweep things under the rug, hoping they’ll just disappear on their own. But avoiding difficult conversations doesn’t solve anything—it just allows the issue to fester and grow.

Once I started embracing uncomfortable discussions, I noticed a positive shift in my relationships. These conversations allowed for better understanding, growth, and deeper connection.

Facing issues head-on may be challenging, but it’s crucial for the health of the relationship. It fosters open communication and builds trust, showing that you’re committed to resolving issues together.

Don’t shy away from difficult conversations. They might just be the key to stronger, more authentic connections with your partner.

8) Comparing your relationship to others

In today’s world of social media, it’s easy to fall into the trap of comparing your relationship to others. We see the highlight reels of other couples’ lives and start to question if our relationship measures up.

Here’s the truth: every relationship is unique, with its own set of strengths and challenges. What works for one couple may not work for another.

Comparison can rob you of the joy in your own relationship. It shifts your focus from appreciating what you have to longing for what you perceive others have.

Real life isn’t always as picture-perfect as it appears online. Focus on building your own unique love story instead.

9) Forgetting to show appreciation

At the heart of every thriving relationship is a sense of appreciation. It’s the simple “thank you” after dinner, the acknowledgment of effort, the recognition of your partner’s qualities.

Sadly, as time goes by, we often forget to express this appreciation. We take our partners for granted and assume they know how we feel.

But words of appreciation, no matter how small, can make a big difference. They make your partner feel valued and loved.

Make it a habit to express your appreciation regularly. It’s a small act with a big impact.

Ultimately, it’s about love

The heart of the matter is, relationships are complex, filled with nuances and intricacies. And at the core of all healthy relationships is a fundamental principle: love.

Love encompasses so much more than just romantic sentiments. It’s about respect, understanding, patience, and empathy. It’s about accepting your partner for who they are, while also taking care of your own needs.

Letting go of toxic habits is not easy but it’s a journey worth embarking on. It’s about choosing to love better, to communicate better, and to treat each other better every single day.

So reflect on these habits. Are they present in your relationship? If they are, it’s never too late to start making changes.

Picture of Isabella Chase

Isabella Chase

Isabella Chase, a New York City native, writes about the complexities of modern life and relationships. Her articles draw from her experiences navigating the vibrant and diverse social landscape of the city. Isabella’s insights are about finding harmony in the chaos and building strong, authentic connections in a fast-paced world.

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