Opinion: Common Long-Term Relationship Mistakes

Stacy Ann

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Last week my partner had one of his good friends over for dinner whose wife had abruptly left him for another man.

Something he said stuck with me long after he had left. “I guess… I guess that at times I just took her for granted… Do you know? I could have really appreciated her more.”

The truth is that we can be in a relationship and be completely unaware of the small errors we are making. Even the smallest of errors can evolve into huge issues if they slowly build up over time.

It’s important to constantly be checking in with ourselves and our partner to ensure that we aren’t doing little things that could be eroding at our relationship’s health and well-being.

#1. Expecting your partner to make you whole

When we are in a relationship we can expect to find comfort, stability, love, happiness, sadness, the whole gauntlet of we can receive when we invest our time and love in another human.

However, there is one expectation that we need to get rid of because it is sabotaging our relationship, including the one we have with ourselves.

It is the belief that someone else can make us whole.

When you go looking for your “other half” who you think is going to magically complete you, what you are doing is denying your own potential of being an already whole, functional, and happy human being. You are attempting to give them power that only you can give to yourself.- Thought Catalog

When I was younger I dove into every relationship with a romantic mindset that my life would fall into place when I met “the one” and instead, it set me up for unrealistic expectations and many a broken heart.

#2. Becoming complacent while your partner picks up the slack

I can’t tell you how many times a guy would cook for me in the beginning stages of our relationship and once we became “official” or “serious” they never lifted a finger again.

It’s easy to become conditioned over time to believe that we don’t have to contribute as much to the relationship and to become well, lazy.

Sometimes you will get lucky and your partner will sit you down and be honest with you about how you aren’t pulling your weight.

Sometimes you won’t be as lucky and your partner will suffer in silence and hit their breaking point one day. I fell into this category as I would suffer in silence and eventually lose it because I felt like I was picking up 99% of my partner’s slack.

Remember… you can’t expect someone to put effort into your relationship if you aren’t meeting them halfway.

#3. Neglecting them during social events

A few years ago I was in a relationship with someone that would completely ignore me at social events.

We would literally walk into a room and he would not say another word to me until we left together, even if I didn’t know anyone else at the event.

Fast forward to my current relationship and I realized that in the beginning, I would dread going to social events with my partner because I was worried he was going to completely ignore me based on my previous partner’s behavior.

You don’t need to spend every second with your partner, but make sure that you know how you expect/want the other person to act when you are out in public.

Because I had such a bad experience with my ex, I explained to my partner that I appreciate it when he checks in with me every hour or so when we are at a social event, and that’s all I need to be aware that he is present and there with me.

#4. Providing too much “feedback”

Recently I asked my partner if he had an example of a mistake that he had made in a past relationship that didn’t seem like a big deal but then evolved into something bigger.

He told me that he had a girlfriend that would provide constant “feedback” that ranged from the way he ate a strawberry to how he should/shouldn’t style his hair, to how his books were “boring business books.”

“Criticism in close relationships starts out, in most cases, on a low key and escalates over time, forming a downward spiral with increasing resentment.” Psychology Today

It’s okay to provide your partner feedback but at a certain point, it turns into criticisms and no one wants to hear that all of the time.

#5. Constantly picking fights over the small stuff

It’s important to communicate when your partner and to speak up when something is truly bothering you to prevent resentment from building up.

However, someone is going to become worn-down emotionally if you are constantly nitpicking at them over everything that pops into your head.

Also, if you frequently get upset over everything your partner isn’t going to be able to tell if it’s a “normal” level of angry or if it’s something that truly bothers you. After a certain amount of time, they will just start tuning you out completely.

Before exploding over how your partner has annoyed you, try to take a few hours before confronting them.

If it’s still top of mind you will be able to approach them in a rational/constructive manner and often you will most likely decide it wasn’t a big deal after all.

If you find yourself engaging in any of these…

Please know that it is never too late to turn things around and reshape your behaviors.

When I first started dating my partner I wasn’t in the best place and found that I was engaging in all of these behaviors. Although at the time they weren’t dealbreakers, I quickly realized that over time they would become the demise of our relationship.

Most relationships don’t end in a bang. They end slowly throughout all of the subtle things that build up over time.

If you are with someone that you want to be with long-term, ensure that you are giving them the respect and consideration you would want to receive, and don’t be afraid to speak up if you aren’t getting it in return.



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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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