Relationships are tricky and take work to maintain. Though it’s natural to blame the other person, typically both parties have contributed to a relationship’s demise. Because it’s often hard to stay objective after—or during— massive heartbreak, here are five missteps you may have made (we certainly have):
Criticizing your partner: There’s a difference between airing a grievance and attacking his character—fighting dirty is never a good idea.
Avoiding confrontation: You’re not helping your relationship by avoiding the issues.Starting up the conversation may seem scary and leave you vulnerable, but it will be worth it in the end.
Ignoring the distance: We all get caught up in our own lives sometimes and can forget to pay special attention to our loved ones. Planning a fun night in to catch up can make all the difference.
Keeping score: A little competition is okay, unless you’re arguing, then it’s dangerous. Instead of trying to prove that you’re right and he’s wrong, try to collaborate. By leaving the need to win on the tennis court, you might both get what you want.
Lashing out: According to Dr. John Gottman, cofounder of the Gottman Institute, couples who have five positive interactions to every one negative are happy and fulfilled. Before you lash out, do the math.