*Quick Disclaimer: “Stephanie’s Dilemma” is a fictional story created by me to give you a better understanding of how certain behavior’s can destroy a relationship.*
Stephanie and her husband, Frank, have been married for two years. When they first met back in college, they were inseparable. They decided to get married right after they graduated. Life was perfect for them.
It wasn’t until a year into their marriage when things began to get a bit rocky. See, Stephanie is what people would call an introvert. She’s a homebody who enjoys quiet time, books, and all things self-care. Frank, on the other hand, was an all-out extrovert. He loves having friends over and going out whenever the chance came. Their personality differences clashed one evening at a friend’s party.
The party was going well. Stephanie found herself conversing with people she knew, laughing at jokes told by others, and overall having a wonderful time. Feeling a bit overwhelmed, she went outside on the balcony to recharge for a moment. She smiled and waved at the other partygoers who were out there, taking what looks like a break as well. All of a sudden, Frank comes outside with a confused look on his face.
“Why are you out here? It would be best if you were inside where everyone else is!” Frank exclaimed. Those who were out in the balcony turned to where they were to see what was happening.
“I came out here to catch a breeze. The party is great. I’m just a bit exhausted from it all. I’m fine, though.” explained Stephanie.
“No, it’s not a good look if you’re out there. People may think you’re not enjoying the party. How do you expect to meet anyone, or gain friends, if you’re not talking to people? Get back inside.”, demanded Frank.
Frank was all about image. He made sure that he was the life of the party when he went out and expected Stephanie to be the same way. While being the center of attention is significant in some settings, Stephanie felt fine socializing when need be and stepping away to catch her breath when necessary.
Embarrassed, Stephanie put on a brave face and went back inside.
Later on that evening, she couldn’t get what happened to her out of her mind. Instead of confronting Frank about what he did, she decided to hold onto it.
“Why say anything? He’ll say I’m making excuses.”, Stephanie thought to herself. What Frank didn’t see was a whole two hours of her mingling with the partygoers—conversing with all who would oblige. All Frank saw was her being on the balcony, by herself, and assumed she was avoiding the party.
After that incident, Stephanie would feel an insane amount of anxiety when it came to social events with her husband. Whenever they would go out, she made sure he was in her line of sight to make sure he saw her speaking with other people. Being embarrassed by Frank was something she didn’t want to experience ever again.
The problem(s) in the story above was quite clear. One, Frank was too quick to jump to conclusions. As Stephanie mentioned in the story, he didn’t see her interacting with almost a room full of people for hours. Frank was too busy entertaining his friends. Instead of trusting that she was enjoying herself and putting herself out there, he assumed she avoided the party by being out on the balcony the entire time (which wasn’t true).
Another major problem was Stephanie not speaking up. When they got home from the party that evening, Stephanie should’ve confronted Frank on his behavior towards her at the party. By her not standing up for herself, she’s opening the door for that type of scene to happen again.
The story above is a small example of how destructive habits can hinder a relationship. I’m writing this post to inform you of some of the practices you may be doing that could be slowly destroying your relationship. I want to, also, explain some ways to rid yourself of those habits.
Unhealthy behaviors to quit NOW
If a healthy, long-lasting relationship is what you’re striving for, these are the behaviors you should get rid of now!
1. Poor Communication
I will be honest; communication is something that I’ve been working on improving for a while now. I’ve never been the best at speaking up for myself or explaining how I feel. I’ve always been one to keep everything inside. Seeing that a lack of communication causes so many problems, I decided to make the change. No, I’m not perfect in my communication. But, I’m far from where I used to be.
Being in a relationship requires you to be open and honest. If you’re having a challenging time communicating, figure out why. Why is it that you don’t feel comfortable opening up? Communication is a significant part of any relationship, so, if it’s a problem, please work on it TODAY!
2. False Accusations
If you don’t have the facts, you can’t accuse anyone of anything. Like in the story above, Frank accused Stephanie of avoiding the party when, in fact, she was enjoying herself for hours before retreating for a break. Instead of Frank having faith in her ability to hold her own, he assumed she didn’t want to be there. Accusations can, and will, destroy a relationship.
Before you go on and accuse your partner of anything, have some facts to back it up.
3. Putting Your Needs Before Your Partner’s Needs
No one’s needs are more important than others. If you feel that your needs aren’t being met, SPEAK UP! COMMUNICATE! The last thing you want to do is have your needs be swept under the rug while you’re doing your best to meet your partner’s needs. You’re going to end up burnt out while your partner is full of joy.
4. Harboring Resentment
If what your partner did or said to you is still bothering you, you should sit down with them and have a heart-to-heart conversation about it. In that conversation, explain to them how what they did or said made you feel, and why it’s still bothering you. After that conversation, there should be a resolution. Once both of you have come up with a reasonable solution, move on with your life! Your relationship is more important than something that happened last year.
5. Lack of Intimacy
A lack of intimacy in a romantic relationship is one to be addressed immediately. Why aren’t you as touchy as you once were? What’s changed? If intimacy is lacking in your relationship, have a conversation about it.
Intimacy is not just sex! Intimacy is cuddling on the couch while watching a movie together. Taking a warm shower together while listening to some slow jams. Cooking dinner together while making jokes. Sex. Intimacy is deep, passionate conversations. Holding each other while the moonlight covers you in a soft, white glow. Know what turns your partner on, what excites them.
A healthy relationship requires intimacy. Do more of it and see lots of results.
A healthy, thriving relationship takes work
Never become complacent in your relationship. Always want to be learning your partner. Trust me, doing a little digging or observing will uncover some things about your loved one that you probably never knew. Don’t be afraid to ask if there’s something that you can be doing better within the relationship. Growing and learning new habits will ensure a long, loving, and thriving relationship.
I’ll be honest and say that I had to learn how to be more open with my husband. It was second nature for me to be closed off with others that I didn’t know that it would affect my marriage. So, opening up and being honest about how I was feeling was a couple of things I had to learn to do to help make our relationship better.
What are some habits that you had to unlearn to make your relationship better? Comment down below!