9 Bad Behaviors That Sabotage Healthy Relationships

Randy Withers

By Emma G.


Image courtesy of Canva.

Women rarely go into a relationship with the intent to sabotage it. Unfortunately, it happens. Insecurities, fears, and other issues can get in the way of a healthy romance.

Many women might not realize their part in breakups, leaving them wondering what went wrong. It’s hard to see your own shortcomings, but once you do, you can take corrective action.

To understand if you could be your own worst enemy in relationships, here are some traits to look for:

1. Nagging

No man wants a romantic relationship with his mother, but it feels that way when you’re always “after him” to do something.

You tire of repeatedly asking your partner for help when you shouldn’t have to.

What’s the solution? You’ve probably figured out that nagging doesn’t work. It makes your partner defensive and resentful. He may tune out what you’re asking.

Is this fair? No! But it is a problem you must solve together.

Avoid criticism and briefly share your feelings. Then brainstorm together. If your partner is generally cooperative, you might be able to compromise.

2. Disrespect

Respect is key in a relationship, and there are several ways to show it. Honoring boundaries is one example. Refusing to violate their boundaries in favor of your own demonstrates that his feelings are as important as yours.

If your boundaries differ (he never wants kids, and you do, for example) that doesn’t mean you can’t move on from the relationship. Some things are non-negotiable. Moving on is respectful because it means that you are accepting an incompatibility rather than trying to force change.

Don’t trash-talk your partner, either. If you need to vent, find someone you trust. Avoid broadcasting your grievances to everyone.

3. Jealousy

A relationship cannot be healthy if there’s constant jealousy. Continuous accusations will erode a relationship. Ironically, jealousy can bring about the fear that provokes it: your partner may cheat (figuring, why not? I’m already being accused of it!) or decide to leave because they can’t handle the constant drama.

Relationships only thrive when based on trust. If you struggle with trusting a partner who has given you no reason for concern, it’s critical to resolve those feelings. Consider speaking with a therapist to explore why you feel this way.

4. Being Too Possessive or Needy

It’s normal to want to spend time with your partner and occasionally worry about your relationship.

This can cause damage if taken to an unhealthy level.

Do you need constant reassurance of your partner’s affection? Are you constantly doubting his love without reason?

Another indicator of possessiveness is needing to know where he is and what he’s doing at all times.

Do you constantly check up on him, look through his phone, or try to tag along when he goes somewhere?

These behaviors could bring about your worst fear: he will leave.

5. Disregarding The Importance of Sex

Men and women are “wired” differently, which can lead to conflicting relationship priorities. One key difference is sex.

The need for sexual fulfillment is critically important to most men. Ignoring your partner’s sexual needs will not make them go away.

If you struggle with low libido and do nothing at the expense of your partner’s happiness, your relationship will struggle. Loving your partner means you take his needs seriously, even if they are not serious to you.

Women who belittle or neglect their partner’s need for sex may find themselves without a partner.

Try your best to understand your partner’s needs. Do what you can to meet them.

6. Choosing the Wrong Partner

Some people are dishonest, disloyal, or plain mean.

So why do you keep choosing them?

Think about your past partners. Did friends and family point out character flaws or insist you could do better? Looking back, do you wonder why you bothered in the first place? Were there other unhealthy patterns?

Think about why you’re choosing unsuitable partners. Many times it’s because of familiarity.

These are patterns created early in life, but you can break them. Consider therapy to get to the root of these choices and learn to make better ones.

7. Avoiding Conflict

People rarely enjoy conflict but is a necessary part of a healthy relationship. Trying to avoid it is unrealistic. You must resolve it.

Do not shy away from problems. Face them head-on. If you are upset with your partner, tell him. Discuss issues and resolve them together.

Speak up for what you want. Always giving into your partner’s wants and desires without communicating your own is not sustainable.

It will cause resentment without ever giving your partner the chance to take part in its resolution. It is unfair to both of you.

So speak up.

8. Wearing Masks

It’s one thing to be on your best behavior with a new partner. However, it can become a problem if you head straight for a personality change.

Be who you are – that’s how connections form. Your partner deserves to know the real you (and you deserve to be yourself!). There will always be give and take in relationships. Compromise is important.

But that’s different from changing your personality for the sake of your relationship.

Hiding who you are is self-betrayal – and it won’t work. The relationship will fail because it’s not based on reality. It’s unfair.

9. Dishonesty

This is universal for all relationships. Without honesty, there is no trust. Without trust, you can’t maintain a relationship. Each lie chips away at your partner’s faith in you.

It’s not just big lies, such as covering up an affair. Little lies add up, too. If your partner is always questioning if you’re telling him the truth, he won’t stay for long.

It speaks to your character. Trust is the foundation of a relationship. If your partner cannot trust you, how can there be a solid relationship?

Final Thoughts

If you have unhealthy behaviors, you will struggle in romantic relationships. If nothing changes, then nothing changes.

But the good news is you can break these patterns. Healing is possible. It starts with self-reflection and a willingness to change.

Consider consulting a therapist. He or she can help you identify unhelpful behaviors and give you the tools to correct them.

Once you identify concerns and work on bettering yourself, your chances of a healthy relationship increase.

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Board-Certified and Licensed Clinical Mental Health Counselor and Addictions Specialist. I write about mental health, therapy, substance abuse, and recovery. All opinions are my own.

Charlotte, NC

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