Small Mistakes Eventually Damage Relationships

Carrie Wynn

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When I was seventeen years old, my parents got divorced after thirty years of marriage. I wasn’t shocked; things had been building up for decades.

After some time passed and it felt appropriate, I asked both of my parents separately what went wrong in their opinion. To my surprise, they both shared the same sentiment.

There wasn’t a moment where everything went wrong, it was decades of small things that had eventually just gotten to be too much to tolerate.

Talking to them made me realize that the seemingly “small” issues have just as much potential to destroy your relationship as the big issues.

Here are some examples of mistakes that can cause long-term damage.

#1. Constantly bringing up what your partner did “wrong”

When my best friend moved in with her boyfriend they had a little party, and there was a couple in attendance — let’s call them Tony and Alicia.

In the middle of the party, Alicia began talking loudly about things Tony had done in the past that upset her. Loudly, she told us a story about how she had been out with some friends and he wouldn’t pick her up from the bar and she got stuck there for hours.

There were multiple examples Alicia used of things that Tony had done “wrong” and Tony was visibly uncomfortable and embarrassed.

Bringing up mistakes that your partner made is a great way to make them resent you.

#2. Telling your friends everything about your relationship

“Brice keeps talking to other girls online.”

I felt absolutely horrible for my friend. I listened as she told me all of the issues about their relationship. They hadn’t been intimate in months, she wasn’t happy, and then she found the evidence of the infidelity on his phone.

It turns out that I wasn’t the only person that my friend told. She told everyone. Brice found out through the grapevine and he was furious. They had decided to work on their relationship, but she had told every single person what he had done.

They ended up working through things but it was difficult to move on from what had happened, especially because everyone under the sun knew.

#3. Making jokes at your partner’s expense

During my second semester in college, I started dating a guy who seemed extremely nice at first. A few weeks after we had been together he began constantly made jokes about my clothes.

“Why don’t you wear more designer clothing… do you even own more than a couple of pairs of jeans?” He asked and I instantly felt self-conscious and so embarrassed.

I was in classes full-time plus working to pay for my own college and I didn’t have the newest or most fashionable clothes.

Needless to say, that put a wrench in our relationship and things fizzled out shortly after.

#4. Expecting your partner to read your mind

One night after my parent's divorce had been finalized I spent the evening with my mother. Throughout the evening she kept complaining about how my father had never done what she wanted.

“Did you ever tell Dad what you wanted?” I asked her.

She paused and looked confused. “No, but he should have known after knowing me for more than half of our lives.”

I carried this belief into my relationships for a long time until I finalized realized it was absolute insanity. How on earth can you expect another person to know exactly what you’re thinking?

Relationships almost never end being of a huge event. They end due to the small things that build up over the years.

After watching my parents I realized that I didn’t want to end up with the same fate and worked very hard to ensure that my partner and I are communicating as much as we possibly can.

My older brother and I often joke that sometimes we can learn the most when we are accidentally taught what not to do.

Relationships are delicate and we have to be aware of our actions even if they seem small.

It’s important to remember that the real damage is usually done slowly, over a lifetime, not in a single event.

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I am a writer & relationship consultant that primarily deals with narcissism, overcoming abuse & trauma, and self-love. Contact me @ Blog: carriewynn.com Instagram: carrie_wynnmusings

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