Updated date:

Ten Easy Ways To Destroy Any Relationship

Deborah is a writer, healer, and teacher. Her goal is to help people live their best lives every day by sharing her joy and love of life.

ten-easy-ways-to-destroy-any-relationship

What is the Real Question?

The real question asked by so many people in relationships, is, "How do I get my partner to see things from my perspective?"

The answer is simple. You can't. You cannot change anyone's perspective but your own. You can't change anyone's mind, but your own. You can't control anyone, but yourself. That's it. So begin by changing your own mind. See if you can look at your relationship differently.

There seems to be a lack of reasonable communication in relationships, among other problems. The truth of the matter is, if you can't communicate then you will never be satisfied in your relationship.

Here are the ten most common mistakes people make in relationship, and the ten biggest barriers to real communication.


What Do I Do?

I receive many messages, regarding two of my most popular articles,

Top Ten Ways Men Destroy Their Marriage

and Top 10 Things Women Do To Destroy Their Marriage.

I received the following comments in an email recently, and rather than answer the writer directly, I thought it would be helpful to create a blog response to help others in this or similar situations.

Here is the question, as asked by Robert:

Soooo. My wife sent me your post about 10 ways to lose your wife. I told her I could write the same thing and flip it around for guys. Now she is crying and says I need to love her. I said I am trying. She says I don't need you to try. I need you to do. At that point I am just done. Not sure where to go with someone who wants to try to use High School Drama Movie Scenes to argue back. 66X-X22-2X2X is a number you can text me at. I never check my email.

ten-easy-ways-to-destroy-any-relationship

Completely Self-Centered

10. Focus entirely on yourself. One of the easiest ways to destroy any relationship is to focus entirely on yourself. In recent times, it has become fashionable to talk about taking care of yourself first, of looking out for your own needs, and making sure you put your own priorities first.

This is a great idea, if you want to be alone. Successful relationships require some degree of self sacrifice. It is important to take care of yourself. But it is equally important to spend time taking care of your partner's needs. Focusing on only one or the other will surely result in an imbalance of energy.

When you focus solely on your needs, then your partner can feel alone, abandoned, and unimportant. Instead of giving yourself all of your time and attention, make sure you spend some time making your partner feel loved, important and cherished. In relationships, people want to feel safe and cared for. They don't want to feel abandoned and forgotten.


Focus on Faults

9. Point out everything they do wrong. Another way to quickly destroy a relationship is to look for all the things your partner does wrong. Once you find their faults, be sure to point them out. The more times you can bring their mistakes to their attention, the more likely you are to ruin your relationship, whether it is a romantic relationship, a friendship, or a business relationship.

Everyone makes mistakes. You are not perfect. If you are busy pointing out everyone else's flaws, you probably don't have time to notice your own mistakes. Instead of looking for what's wrong in a relationship, focus on what is working. In addition, take care of your own problems before you begin pointing out someone else's weaknesses.

If you are unhappy and your partner seems to be making you miserable, maybe you could shift your perspective. Focus on what they do right. Stop focusing on the wrongs. Give your partner and yourself a break, and work on yourself for a while.

ten-easy-ways-to-destroy-any-relationship

Stop Talking and Listen

8. Don't pay attention. When your partner talks, do your eyes glaze over? When he opens his mouth to talk about work, do you begin fantasizing about the beach? When she starts a discussion of what happened to the kids at playgroup, does your mind wander to fantasy football?

Listening is the most important part of communication, and when you don't listen, you erode your relationship. Listen without judging. Listen without thinking about the perfect response. Give your partner your full attention, if even for only a few minutes. Look at them while they speak. Try to empathize with what they are saying, even if you don't understand what they are talking about. Even if you don't agree with what your partner is saying, try to listen openly. Don't begin preparing for an argument, instead, try to hear what they are really saying.

If you want to salvage what is left of your relationship, spend some time listening to your partner and finding out what is important in their world.

Speak Up

7. Don't share yourself. This is the opposite of the previous mistake, but it is equally destructive to keep silent, as much as it is to not listen. Listening and speaking your truth are both keys to effective communication.

When you speak your truth, not only do you honor yourself, but you honor the other person. Whether it is your boss, a coworker, a friend or a romantic partner, you have to learn to speak up. Hiding your feelings, not expressing your needs and ignoring hurts will not make you a better person.

When you don't speak up, you create resentment and frustration for yourself. In addition, you prevent your partner from addressing your grievances. How can he or she help you if they don't even know there is a problem? How can you expect things to be different if you don't speak up?

To effectively destroy a relationship, keep everything bottled up inside. Don't share your feelings, your opinions or your thoughts. If you really want to sabotage your relationship, then find someone else to confide in, and begin sharing yourself with them. This is the fastest way to destroy a relationship.

How well do you communicate?

For each question, choose the best answer for you.

  1. If something is important to you, how do you let someone know?
    • I tell them it is important. If they ask, I explain my reasoning.
    • I make sure they know exactly what I want, and I demand that I get it.
    • I don't usually feel strongly. If something is important, I hope they figure it out.
    • I don't express an opinion either way. It's more important to me that the other person be happy
  2. When you feel angry or frustrated, how do you resolve the situation?
    • If I'm angry, everyone around me knows it immediately.
    • If I get angry, I like to be alone until the feeling passes.
    • I don't get angry. I get quiet.
    • If I'm feeling angry, I take a walk or do something to distract myself, and then I calmly explain my feelings.
    • I tell the other person that I am angry or frustrated, and do not want to talk about it further.
  3. What do you say when someone hurts your feelings?
    • Feelings? Screw that. No one could hurt my feelings.
    • If my feelings get hurt, I usually keep it to myself.
    • If something bothers me, I figure out why I'm upset. I say something if I need to
    • I try not to let things bother me.
  4. If you and a friend are going out to dinner, how do you decide where to go?
    • If I have a preference, I make a request.
    • I let the other person choose.
    • I pick where we go.
    • We toss a coin.
  5. When do you ignore your partner?
    • If my partner is saying something I disagree with, I ignore what they are saying.
    • I listen to everything my partner says and I take it personally.
    • I usually ignore bad behavior and praise good behavior.
    • I don't ignore people.

Scoring

For each answer you selected, add up the indicated number of points for each of the possible results. Your final result is the possibility with the greatest number of points at the end.

  1. If something is important to you, how do you let someone know?
    • I tell them it is important. If they ask, I explain my reasoning.
      • Clear Communicator: +5
      • Might is Right: +1
      • Wall Flower: 0
    • I make sure they know exactly what I want, and I demand that I get it.
      • Clear Communicator: +2
      • Might is Right: +5
      • Wall Flower: 0
    • I don't usually feel strongly. If something is important, I hope they figure it out.
      • Clear Communicator: 0
      • Might is Right: 0
      • Wall Flower: +5
    • I don't express an opinion either way. It's more important to me that the other person be happy
      • Clear Communicator: +1
      • Might is Right: 0
      • Wall Flower: +5
  2. When you feel angry or frustrated, how do you resolve the situation?
    • If I'm angry, everyone around me knows it immediately.
      • Clear Communicator: 0
      • Might is Right: +5
      • Wall Flower: 0
    • If I get angry, I like to be alone until the feeling passes.
      • Clear Communicator: +1
      • Might is Right: 0
      • Wall Flower: +5
    • I don't get angry. I get quiet.
      • Clear Communicator: 0
      • Might is Right: 0
      • Wall Flower: +5
    • If I'm feeling angry, I take a walk or do something to distract myself, and then I calmly explain my feelings.
      • Clear Communicator: 0
      • Might is Right: 0
      • Wall Flower: 0
    • I tell the other person that I am angry or frustrated, and do not want to talk about it further.
      • Clear Communicator: +3
      • Might is Right: +1
      • Wall Flower: 0
  3. What do you say when someone hurts your feelings?
    • Feelings? Screw that. No one could hurt my feelings.
      • Clear Communicator: 0
      • Might is Right: +5
      • Wall Flower: 0
    • If my feelings get hurt, I usually keep it to myself.
      • Clear Communicator: +1
      • Might is Right: 0
      • Wall Flower: +5
    • If something bothers me, I figure out why I'm upset. I say something if I need to
      • Clear Communicator: +5
      • Might is Right: 0
      • Wall Flower: 0
    • I try not to let things bother me.
      • Clear Communicator: +3
      • Might is Right: +3
      • Wall Flower: +3
  4. If you and a friend are going out to dinner, how do you decide where to go?
    • If I have a preference, I make a request.
      • Clear Communicator: +5
      • Might is Right: +2
      • Wall Flower: +2
    • I let the other person choose.
      • Clear Communicator: +1
      • Might is Right: 0
      • Wall Flower: +5
    • I pick where we go.
      • Clear Communicator: +1
      • Might is Right: +5
      • Wall Flower: 0
    • We toss a coin.
      • Clear Communicator: +2
      • Might is Right: 0
      • Wall Flower: +4
  5. When do you ignore your partner?
    • If my partner is saying something I disagree with, I ignore what they are saying.
      • Clear Communicator: 0
      • Might is Right: +5
      • Wall Flower: 0
    • I listen to everything my partner says and I take it personally.
      • Clear Communicator: 0
      • Might is Right: 0
      • Wall Flower: +5
    • I usually ignore bad behavior and praise good behavior.
      • Clear Communicator: +5
      • Might is Right: +3
      • Wall Flower: 0
    • I don't ignore people.
      • Clear Communicator: +3
      • Might is Right: +3
      • Wall Flower: +1

This table shows the meaning of each possible result:

Clear Communicator

You are able to speak your truth clearly and honestly. Even when the conversation is a difficult one, you are able to express yourself. You give your partner an equal opportunity to speak, and you listen without judging what the other person is saying. You have a very clear communication style.

Might is Right

You speak your truth loudly. You believe that your opinion is the most important. Although other's may express thoughts, ideas or opinions, you rarely listen. You know your ideas are the best ones, and your opinion is the one that matters.

Wall Flower

You rarely say what you think. As a result, your feelings are often hurt, because you are afraid to speak your own truth. Your relationships suffer because you never speak up, and people never know what you really want.

ten-easy-ways-to-destroy-any-relationship

Martyr, Pout and Whine

6. Put yourself last, and complain loudly about how no one takes care of you. There is nothing worse for a relationship than whining, complaining, pouting and acting like a martyr. If you want to do something nice, then do it. But don't complain about it later. The complaining and whining negates every nice thing you do.

Trying to make those around you feel bad or guilty for the nice things you do won't strengthen your relationship. Your pouting and complaining only embitters your partner. If you want to do something for your friend or your partner, then do it. Do it without any expectation of their reaction. Do it for you. If you put conditions on your kindness, then perhaps you should rethink your own motives.

It all comes back to effective communication. If you want to do something, then do it, without expectation of the other person's response or reaction. If you don't want to do something, then speak up. Don't do it. Martyr's find themselves doing things they don't want to do, and then complaining bitterly about it. Just be honest about what you actually want.


It Is Not Always About You

Qtip

5. Quit Taking It Personally. Taking things personally leads to destruction in a relationship. Not everything is about you. What your partner says and does is about them. It is not about you. When you make everything about yourself, you give your power away. You choose to be a victim, and the other person, whether they want it or not, gains control.

Stop it! Let it go. It is not about you. You do you. Let him do him. Let her do her. What other people say and do is a reflection of who they are. It has nothing to do with who you are. This is a difficult lesson, to be sure, but it is important to remember. It is not about you.


What Did My Mom Say?

4. Put everyone else ahead of your partner. When you are in a relationship, it is important to value the input of your partner. You don't have to agree with everything they say, but you do have to value their opinion and trust them.

When you put the opinion of your parents, your friends, or anyone else before your partner, you are setting your relationship up for disaster. You run around seeking everyone's opinion, without listening to what your partner needs; when you do this, your partner feels unneeded, unnecessary, and unvalued.

People want to feel valuable, respected, and understood. If you disagree with your partner, then go to your mom to get approval for your side of the argument, then you are undermining your relationship. It's okay to get other opinions. It's okay to talk to other people. What causes damage is taking those opinions and presenting them as more important that what your partner wants.

You can respectfully disagree with your partner. But throwing things in his or her face like, "Well, my mom said you're an idiot and I never should have married you," is damaging. Even if your mom did say that, you don't need to throw it into the mix. It will only cause problems and make everyone uncomfortable.


ten-easy-ways-to-destroy-any-relationship

Liar, Liar, Pants on Fire

3. Don't tell the truth. You might think you are sparing someone's feelings. You might think the truth is hard to hear. You might think a lie will keep you out of trouble. Whatever you're thinking when you lie, you are wrong.

You owe it to yourself and to your partner to tell the truth. If you can't tell the truth, then perhaps you should be doing something else. If you can't be honest with yourself and your partner, then what is the point of being in a relationship?

Sure, people tell little white lies, to spare other's feelings. "No honey, those pants look great on you." Or, "I didn't spend any money shopping." The truth is better than trying to remember which lies you told.

Lying in any relationship serves no purpose. If you can't tell the truth, then get out of the relationship. No one wants to be lied to.

Drama

2. Bring drama into every situation. No one likes drama. Sure, sometimes life is hard, but you can deal with what comes along, without playing games and adding a bunch of dramatic nonsense.

Maybe you don't know what drama looks like. Here's the basics: Crying, screaming, name calling, throwing things, breaking things, calling your friends, her friends, his friends, or family members and talking badly about your partner, seeking attention by throwing a fit, or just plain acting badly. It's all drama. News Flash! No one likes it. And to honest, if you are a drama queen, you probably don't like it either. Sure, you get some attention, but are the negative repercussions really worth the commotion?

Don't Show Up

1. Don't bring your best self into the relationship. The biggest thing you can do to destroy a relationship is nothing at all. Don't show up. Don't do your best. Don't care.

If you really want to be in a relationship, whether you are working, loving, or playing, then act like it. Show up with your "A" Game. Do what needs to be done. You know what it takes to do your best, so just do it.

Stop making excuses. Stop denying your truth. Stop playing the game half-way. Show up and do your best. Everyone gets tired. Everyone gets bored. Everyone wants something new. Show up and bring the excitement, the fun, the challenge with you.

Do the things you know need to be done. Be kind. Be helpful. Be loving. These are simple ways to show up to your life. Do the things that make your heart sing, and bring joy to your relationship.

Show up. Just do it.

Comments

Deborah Reno (author) from First Wyoming, then THE WORLD on September 27, 2020:

Cherrie,

It sounds like you are in a difficult situation, and one much like my former marriage. My ex did those same things. "I never said or did that!"

It's really hard to endure, when you know, KNOW what happened and they outright deny it

I'd suggest you find someone other than your husband to talk to. Maybe a close friend, a pastor, or even a life coach or therapist. The therapist would probably be best in terms of giving you good guidance for moving forward with your own life. A friend is handy to just vent.

It depends on what you are looking for.

I wish you all the best.

Namaste

Cherrie Rene from United States on July 21, 2020:

I agree and understand about not bringing others into ones relationship however i do have a question as to what to do. My hubs has and is very aware of memory prob due to not wearing c-pap mask. So when we have an argument he usually tells me im lying that this or that never happened and im playing games. Well its a never ending battle and he refuses to see dr so my only defense and proof im not lying is to involve someone who was witness to the situation. If i am wrong for doing so i would absolutley love to hear and welcome any suggestions you may have. One more question when things are rough and your spouse refuses to communicate but you need to talk, vent, just get things out who do you talk to? Oh and therapy is also out hubs refuses... Help!! Thank you in advance

Deborah Reno (author) from First Wyoming, then THE WORLD on October 04, 2017:

Mubina, Thanks for taking the time to read the article and comment on it. I do agree, what we give to others is what we get back in life. And everyone wants love, respect, attention and sacrifice. If we offer it to our partner, then we certainly hope to get it back.

Thanks again for reading.

Namaste

Mubina Hafeez from Pakistan on October 03, 2017:

Your advises are helpful and good guidelines for a female to strengthen her relationship with her partner, but you know every woman want attention, love and sacrifice back for herself. If she gave something to her partner than obviously she has a desire to get that thing back for her, and she deserve it same as her partner deserve respect, good attitude and so on. Hope you would agree with me.

Deborah Reno (author) from First Wyoming, then THE WORLD on April 27, 2017:

Thanks for your input Matty, and thank you for reading and commenting. I appreciate you stopping by.

Namaste

Matty Navarro from New Jersey on April 25, 2017:

Great hub!

I think selfish desires should be #1.

Deborah Reno (author) from First Wyoming, then THE WORLD on March 30, 2017:

I agree Caroline, selfish people often end up alone.

Thanks for reading and commenting.

Namaste

Deborah Reno (author) from First Wyoming, then THE WORLD on March 30, 2017:

Thanks for reading and commenting. I agree. Just be yourself. Great advice for life!

Namaste

Ruby Jean Richert from Southern Illinois on March 29, 2017:

Your suggestions are really good. I think just being yourself is the most important aspect in any relationship. Thanks for sharing...

Carolyn Fields from South Dakota, USA on March 29, 2017:

You are so right about not being selfish. I see so many people break up because they don't "get their own way."

Deborah Reno (author) from First Wyoming, then THE WORLD on March 29, 2017:

Thank you MsDora, for reading and commenting. I appreciate your input.

Namaste

Deborah Reno (author) from First Wyoming, then THE WORLD on March 29, 2017:

@dashingscorpio,

You are so wise. Thanks for taking the time to read and comment. I truly appreciate your insight and wisdom.

Namaste

dashingscorpio from Chicago on March 28, 2017:

"The real question asked by so many people in relationships, is how do I get my partner to see things from my perspective? The answer is simple. You can't." - Very true!

The goal is to find someone who shares your same values, wants the same things for the relationship that you do, naturally agrees with you on how to obtain those things, and last but not least have a mutual depth of love and desire for one another.

Compatibility trumps compromise!

There is no amount of "work" or "communication" that can overcome being with someone who simply does not want what you want.

Like attracts like and opposites attract divorce attorneys!

In any relationship there will be times when you don't see eye to eye but those times should be rare and seldom if ever over core values or things one holds dear. This is why it's so important to have a "mate selection process" that is based around finding the "right person" for yourself.

Generally speaking people don't change unless (they) are unhappy. We all have our own ideas of what love is supposed to "look like", "feel like", and how people "in love" should "act like". Therefore if someone doesn't love us (the way we want) then we don't (feel loved) no matter what's in (their heart).

Trying to change how someone loves or expresses their love for you is a uphill battle. Essentially the goal is to find someone who (naturally loves and expresses love the way you want).

Couples "in love" want each other to be happy.

Needless to say it's not about having things "your way" but rather "our way". Once again "compatibility" is the key.

Life is too short to be trying to "change water into wine!"

Each of us (chooses) our own friends, lovers, and spouse.

Choose wisely!

Dora Weithers from The Caribbean on March 28, 2017:

Your points are very helpful. Thank you for these wise, practical suggestions.

Related Articles