After you’ve been in a relationship for a while, things might start getting comfortable. Which is a good thing! However, sometimes you and your partner may fall into some not-so-cool habits—especially during fights—that can actually damage your relationship over time. If you catch yourself doing any of the following (and most of us do a number of these at least once in a while!) try to make an effort to curb these behaviors ASAP.
Passive aggressive behavior
Instead of asking a direct question, like, “Could you please take out the trash?” you might say something like, “Aren’t you going to take out the trash?” While you might not mean to come off as threatening, this kind of passive aggressive questioning comes off as combative.
Making up after a fight by buying a gift
Of course, if your partner sends you flowers after a big argument, this gesture can be really sweet. Unless, of course, you guys didn’t actually resolve the issue at hand. In that case, the flowers are merely a band-aid and the root cause of the conflict remains festering underneath. Instead of throwing money at a problem, it’s better to talk it out.
Verbally questioning the relationship
Talk about blowing things out of proportion! You’re arguing about whose parents you should visit over the holidays and all of a sudden you’re saying things like, “maybe we should have never gotten married.” Obviously, we all think this at some point (usually when we’re really mad at our partners) but constantly saying something hurtful like this could end up being a self-fulfilling prophecy.
Bringing up past mistakes
Once you forgive your partner for something, really forgive him. Don’t bring up whatever he did every time you fight. And refrain from mentioning past conflicts during your current argument. Airing each other’s dirty laundry isn’t productive and it will only prolong the fight.
Talking in absolutes
Telling your partner he “always” does something negative or “never” does something positive is not only pretty mean, but it gives him no incentive to actually try to do what you want him to. In your eyes, whatever he’s doing isn’t enough. While it’s easy to see things in black and white when you’re fighting, force yourself to see the gray—talking in absolutes won’t get you anywhere.
Comparing your partner to other people
Sure, maybe your ex was better about apologizing than your current partner. And perhaps your sister’s husband is better about checking in while he’s away on vacation. But bringing up these facts, in order to show your partner where he’s lacking, is downright cruel. First of all, he won’t be inspired by these other guys, he’ll just be majorly offended you’re comparing him to them. Plus, by highlighting what he’s doing wrong, you’re discounting about all the things he does right—and better—than other partners you’ve had and other people’s other halves. Remember, to compare is to despair.