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The Top 25 Things Sabotaging Your Relationship: Are You Contributing?

Updated on September 19, 2017

The Inside and Outside Factors Hurting Your Relationships

While most people dream of finding true love and living happily ever after, few people dream of a relationship tainted by complications. In the beginning of the relationship, few people see the faults of their partners. As time goes on and couples become familiar. Family members enter the picture, and people start taking one another for granted. While no one sets out to sabotage a relationship, members of couples may fall into destructive patterns of toxic learned behaviors, the past may come to haunt couples, or people with bad intentions may negatively influence the relationship.

Emotionally advanced individuals can recognize these unhealthy patterns and steer the relationship in a more healthy direction. While not all factors that destroy a relationship are obvious, some are easier to recognize. By addressing pitfalls as they arise, couples may enjoy a harmonious relationship and live happily ever after.

Withholding affection can hurt a relationship.
Withholding affection can hurt a relationship.
Can inlaws hurt your relationship?
Can inlaws hurt your relationship?
Can your depression affect your relationship?
Can your depression affect your relationship?
Vices can hurt relationships.
Vices can hurt relationships.
Do you nag your partner?
Do you nag your partner?
Self love is healthy, but narcissism hurts relationships.
Self love is healthy, but narcissism hurts relationships.
A controlling partner may have low self esteem.
A controlling partner may have low self esteem.

The Factors

25. The Past- Whether one person in the relationship is stuck on someone else, holding a grudge, or clinging to the past; the failure to move forward will damage a relationship.

24. The Differences Between Men and Women- Everyone knows men and women are different physically; however they are quite different psychologically. When it comes to communication, men are not as expressive as females. In areas of sex, men are more visually driven than females. In thought process, females are more emotional than logical. Not understanding the basic differences in men and women on a psychological level can strain a relationship.

23. Selfishness- When one person in a relationship puts value on her own needs over another, the other partner may become resentful. In a relationship where one person is superior to the other, there may be a destructive imbalance.

22. Untreated Mental Health Disorders- A great majority of the population suffers from a mental health disorder. Depression and personality disorders are common in society. If one person suffers from a condition such as mood swings, anti-social tendencies, anger, or narcissism, it is important to get treatment. A successful relationship depends on both parties contributing to a healthy environment.

21. Sarcasm- Many a truth is told in jest. The user of sarcasm may think they are “lightening the mood” with their jabs, but sarcasm can impede a relationship on many levels. These witty little darts are filled with disguised truths and observations that can hurt feelings, alienate a loved one, and hurt conversation.

20. Control Issues- People often tend to try to control others out of a deep sense of insecurity. People who do this don’t feel they are worthy of their loved one and do all they can to restrict the other so they don’t leave. In the end, the control issues are usually what drive the other in the relationship away.

19. Technology- In a world full of gadgets and instant information, many relationships are put on the backburner. When communicating by methods such as text messages, couples are unable to rely on physical cues and tone in a conversation. Misunderstandings may occur and intimacy may be compromised. In other cases, couples may experience communication breakdowns when distracted by mobile devices.

18. Negativity- Everyone has a bad day now and then, but in a relationship, chronic negativity can be like a wet blanket that dampens the bond between two people. It zaps happiness and makes people feel drained. Once it invades a relationship, one person may start to wonder what they saw in the other in the first place.

17. Defensiveness- Low self esteem or a need to create a diversion from the truth may make a person in a relationship defensive. This is a sign of weakness in a relationship between both members. Instead of discussing issues, one person may feel as if they are being attacked by the other and shut down all communication. Couples should evaluate whether they are too aggressive in their communication styles. If not, a defensive person may have something to hide.

16. Lying- From white lies to whoppers, once one person is caught lying in a relationship, it casts a shadow of doubt over what they say and do.

15. Withholding Sex and Affection- When one person in a relationship uses sex and affection as a weapon, the relationship suffers. Sadly, in times of conflict, affection can go a long way to heal wounds.

14. Losing the Magic- Everyone knows that when a relationship first begins, the world is a magical realm of gifts, love letters, and long hours gazing into each other’s eyes. When relationships get familiar, couples stop doing these magical things. If things get stale, consider writing a love letter or planning a surprise get-away!

13. Bad Mouthing- In some relationships, one member of the couple may turn to a friend or relative to complain about the other member. A woman may call her mother to complain endlessly about her husband’s latest antics. This energy could be better used by sitting down with the husband and addressing the concerns with him directly. In most cases, the member of the couple doing this seeks outside validation that they are the victim in the relationship. Instead of taking responsibility for their contributions to the problems, they feed off of this validation that receive from the outside party. This hurts the relationship because the bad mouthing partner talks bad about their spouse behind their back and avoids fixing the real problems.

12. Poor Listening Skills- In relationships, some people hear their partner, but they don’t listen to their partner. Tuning out your partner sabotages a relationship.

11. Friends- If either person in a couple has friends that don’t support the relationship, they can become a negative influence. Couples need to keep healthy boundaries with their friends or they may interfere with the relationship.

Are you distracted by your cell phone?
Are you distracted by your cell phone?
Is your bucket empty? No one else can fill it but you.
Is your bucket empty? No one else can fill it but you.
Children and stepchildren can harm a relationship.
Children and stepchildren can harm a relationship.
Women are twice as likely to be addicted to Facebook.
Women are twice as likely to be addicted to Facebook.
Jealousy can lead to resentment and hurt your relationship.
Jealousy can lead to resentment and hurt your relationship.

10. Children and Step-Children- Couples with children or step children must make an effort to schedule romantic time alone. Those who fail to put their relationship first may loose touch. Also, if the couple disagrees on parenting styles, behavior, and values, conflicts could arise. Couples should set healthy boundaries with children and step children and abide by them.

9. Independence- If two members of a couple have conflicting needs for personal space, one could feel smothered while the other feels neglected. Couples who report the greatest happiness are those who have their own interests outside of the relationship.

8. The Empty Bucket Syndrome- Sometimes people enter relationships for the wrong reasons. Due to feelings of emptiness, some people seek out a relationship to make them feel like they have a purpose. People who are unhappy may think that another person can give them a sense of fulfillment. Later they become disappointed when the other person doesn’t meet this need. Healthy relationships start when each member of the couple comes to the relationship with a strong sense of self identity. No relationship will fill the empty bucket that one person may trying to fill.

7. Criticism, Nagging, Nitpicking- You may love your partner, but if criticism, nagging, and nitpicking are issues, you may not like your partner for very long. When one partner constantly criticizes the other partner, he or she may stop trying to contribute to avoid the inevitable barrage of complaints. Eventually, the criticized partner may avoid the other. Instead of criticizing your partner for the small things, make a concerted effort to appreciate the things they do well.

6. Debauchery- When one partner in a relationship has an extreme addiction to self indulgence, the relationship may be sabotaged. This compulsion for sensuality may lead to debaucheries such as infidelity, drug use, and addictions to pornography. The affected partner is easily seduced from any sense of commitment when a feel-good opportunity presents itself. While the activities themselves are damaging to the relationship, the problem presents a myriad of other complications. If shared income is used to fund the wayward partner’s activities, such as the purchase of hotel rooms, prostitutes, private cell phones, pornography, gifts, or drugs, the couple may fight over the missing funds.

5. Jealousy- This green-eyed monster is born from a deep sense of insecurity in a partner in a relationship. Whether it is justified or not, jealousy may lead to turbulence in a relationship if the other partner acts on their insecurities.

4. In Laws- So you think you have found the love of your life, then- you meet the rest of the family. While many relatives support a relationship, those with ill-intentions can sabotage a couple’s happiness. If a significant other comes from a dysfunctional family with unhealthy relationship boundaries, it could eventually spell trouble for a couple. Couples must enforce healthy boundaries with their families in matters of the relationship.

3. Vices- If one partner in the couple succumbs to a vice during the course of a relationship, it can have damaging consequences for the relationship. From alcoholism to gambling, a vice may be expensive, dangerous, or irritating. In other cases, people enter relationships with expectations that the other partner will give up the vice.

2. Cheating- For many reasons, cheating is one of the most destructive experience a couple can endure. Once trust between two people is compromised, it rarely ever returns. Cheating destroys intimacy and the victimized partner may become depressed, vindictive or obsessed with their partners whereabouts.

1. Money- The leading saboteur of relationships is money. Couples who don’t agree on spending, investing, saving, may have relationship difficulties. If couples are unwilling to compromise, money issues may divide them.

Fed up with rude behavior?
Fed up with rude behavior?

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