A lot of couples break-up because they don’t do the work to develop healthy habits in the beginning stages of their relationship. Let’s be honest… relationships don’t stay strong by accident. Couples that stay together do so because they actively engage in specific behaviors that allow their relationship to thrive. This is the #1 reason why Tatiana and I have been able to create such a strong relationship. We make it a priority to do the work. This ensures that we are always growing together.
In his research, Dr. John Gottman observed that happy couples turn towards their partners approximately twenty times more than couples in distress during every day non-conflict discussions. He talks about the importance of building an emotional connection in a relationship, which he calls “the emotional bid.” Healthy relationships are built through a process of making and receiving bids, which ranges from subtle gestures to more intimate forms of communication.
If you are currently in a relationship, it’s important to make sure that you are aware of potentially toxic habits. When things get tough, breaking up is the easy way out. I promise that there are solutions to every relationship problem if you and your partner are willing to find them. Here are 5 toxic habits that will destroy your relationship if you aren’t careful.
1. Not Meeting Your Partner’s Needs
A relationship is a two-way street. A lot of relationships fall apart because one or both partners don’t get their needs met. If you are currently experiencing problems in your relationship it could be because you are giving your partner what you think he or she needs, but it may not be correct. If you can pinpoint what your partner’s needs are and identify where you are falling short, you will strengthen your bond with one another.
We all want and deserve to have our needs met in a relationship. If you are banking on mind-reading to get your needs met, think again. Unfortunately, your partner cannot read your mind, nor can you read theirs. As Matthew McKay, Patrick Fanning and Kim Paleg say in their book,, “You have a right to ask for the things you need in a relationship, as does your partner. In fact, you have a responsibility to yourself and your partner to be clear about your needs. You are the expert on yourself. No one else, not even your partner, can read your mind and know what you need.”
Commit to finding creative ways to show up for your partner on a daily basis. The best way to do this is to tune into what your partner is lacking. For example, if your partner is experiencing a lot of stress at work, think about how can you give to him or her in a way that provides a feeling of comfort. Maybe this means that you cook dinner or run a bath. Oftentimes, it’s the small things that mean the most in a relationship.
Tatiana and I have a relationship journal, which involves us going through Tony Robbins’ list of core human needs together (certainty, significance, love, connection, growth, and contribution). We determine what level each of us are currently at, on a scale from 1-10. If Tatiana’s needs are sitting at an 8 or lower, then I know that I need to level up my game. I want to make sure that we are both at level 10.
When you and your partner are able to meet each other’s needs at a high level, you create a strong and healthy relationship that can withstand any challenge. Don’t forget that you matter too! Make sure that you are always fulfilling your own needs. If you don’t fill yourself up first, you will not be able to show up for your partner in a way that makes he or she feel seen and heard.
2. Not Mastering Your Emotional State
The quality of your relationship is determined by the quality of your emotional state. Relationships fall apart when two people are unable to master their emotions. For example, if one partner is always depressed, that state of being is going to negatively influence and affect the other partner, and therefore the relationship. On the other hand, couples that are both happy and positive on a daily basis have a strong relationship.
What are you bringing to your relationship? How you show up and live your life affects your partner, whether you are aware of it or not. We all experience bad days. However, if your emotional state is consistently negative and you don’t do the work to change it, it will only hurt your relationship.
The best way to put yourself into an empowered state is to create a daily morning ritual. I’ve been doing this since I was 17 years old. Every morning I do something nourishing for my mind, body, and spirit; whether that’s exercise, affirmations, yoga, or asking myself questions. By giving myself what I need, I am able to be at my best. As a result, I am better able to show up in my relationship. There is no greater gift for you and your partner.
3. Not Living In Your Nature
Every couple dreads the “friend zone.” This doesn’t mean that two people don’t love each other anymore. However, somewhere along the way the romance and passion dwindled. If you are currently experiencing this, there is hope. It simply means that your relationship is lacking in sexual polarity. Romance and passion are integral components of a healthy relationship.
Regardless of sex, all of us have both masculine and feminine energy. However, one of them is our predominant nature. My true nature is masculine. When I am aligned with that energy, not only am I going to feel good about myself, but I’m also going to be able to create more sexual polarity with Tatiana. Her true nature is feminine energy. When this happens, we become a magnet for one another. When you don’t live in your nature, you don’t feel as in tune with yourself or your partner.
This is when couples experience a feeling of disconnect with one another, which may manifest itself as a lack of physical touch. This is why it is imperative that you engage in activities on a daily basis that allows you to bring out your true nature. When you do, you will be better able to reignite the spark in your relationship.
4. Not Growing As A Couple
Anything that is not growing, dies. A lot of couples get too comfortable with one another and they stop prioritizing their relationship. When this happens, breaking up feels like the only option. Before you can grow your relationship, you need to commit to growing and improving yourself. I want to be the best that I can be for Tatiana.
She deserves a man that is growing, progressing and evolving. This is what she finds attractive in me, and vice versa. Don’t let yourself go, to the point where you become lazy. Just because you are in a committed relationship doesn’t mean that you stop being the best that you can be.
Tatiana and I are constantly growing, both on an individual level and as a couple. That is how we ensure that we never grow apart. If one person is growing but the other person isn’t, there will be a misalignment. Help lift one another up! You and your partner are a team.
5. Not Expressing Gratitude
As relationships grow, so too can complacency. Some couples fall into the trap of assuming that their special someone will always be there. As a result, they may stop putting effort into the relationship. Don’t ever take your partner for granted. Make it a priority to be grateful for him or her on a daily basis. Consistency is key.
I believe that gratitude for your partner is one of the hallmarks of a healthy and loving relationship. A study found that feeling appreciated and believing that your spouse values you directly influences how you feel about your marriage, how committed you are to it, and your belief that it will last. Love is a choice that two people make to show up for one another every single day.
Toxic habits will destroy your relationship.
Do not underestimate or ignore toxic habits or behaviors. They have the power to destroy your relationship. By changing your actions and ways of thinking, you and your partner can grow your connection with one another in ways that you never thought were possible. Make it a priority to invest in your relationship. It deserves your love and attention.
What toxic habit will you commit to shifting in your relationship?
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