Many couples struggle to maintain a ‘happy relationship,’ but their marriages still falls apart. Here are 11 bad habits they likely left un-addressed that slowly but surely eroded love and connection between them:
1. Neglecting each other. Blowing each other off, forgetting to follow through on things promised, failing to pay attention. Neither of you necessarily meant to make other things more important than your spouse, but you did.
2. Letting disconnect become the norm. This is when couples start to say things like “I love you, but I am no longer ‘in love’ with you.”
3. Not being on the same page with each other. Often couples lack alignment on the things that matter most, and feel like their own personal goals/feelings are the most important ones to focus on.
4. Allowing intimacy to dwindle. The affection, connection and tenderness you once shared dries up from lack of effort, leaving you merely roommates.
5. Not meeting each other’s needs. Every person has unique needs they hope their partner will fulfill. But often couples fail to speak up about those needs or presume their partner’s needs are the same as their own.
6. Criticizing each other. When you nitpick each other in your minds and out loud, soon you only see your partner’s faults. After awhile, complaining and criticizing become a comfortable habit which compromises your willingness to communicate and interact in a compassionate, supportive way.
7. Harboring resentment for each other. Unspoken or unresolved resentment festers and severely poisons a once healthy relationship. One partner (or even both) can think: You did this thing to me, and I can’t get over it.8
8. Not dealing with things head on. You know things are off, but it’s easier to do nothing about it. You avoid facing the truth or handling the real issues in your marriage.
9. Turning your attention (and affection) elsewhere. Whether by having an affair or pouring all of your attention into the kids, one or both of you checked out and sought attention and affection elsewhere. After that, it’s easy to completely give up.
10. Letting stress control your lives. Life is hectic and many couples accidently let stress (big and small) come between them. But once stress takes over and shared togetherness fractures, it can feel incredibly difficult (if not impossible) to get it back.
11. Fighting to win. When you’re more focused on ‘being right’ than truly connecting, attempts to ‘talk about it’ usually make things worse.
The longer the above issues remain unresolved in ANY marriage, the more these habits intertwine, intensify and steadily reduce the flow of love and connection in your life. Each day, love dwindles and stress builds until even formerly happy couples reach their breaking point.