As a professional psychotherapist I’ve had the pleasure of working intimately with couples from all walks of life for over 15 years. I’ve seen great acts of kindness in couples and I’ve witnessed some terrible lows. Through the years I’ve seen many patterns and themes emerge that repeat across the many kinds of marriages that exist in today’s modern world.
From my observation and experience I have created my own list of marriage killers and what needs to be done to stop these playing out in relationships. The good news is that doing the right thing to enhance your attachment is simple and consistency pays off. Avoiding these relationship killers can help transform your relationship!
1. Enter the home without saying hello and leaving without a solid goodbye.
Always leave the house and kiss your partner goodbye. It shows you care when you remind them to have a good day and let them know you will be thinking of them. If your partner has something significant happening that day it is really important to acknowledge it or give words of support.
When you come home make sure you embrace your partner and really hold them for a solid 30 seconds to a minute or two if you can. Watch this set a positive tone for the rest of the evening - it really works. Author of Wired For Love, Stan Tatkin recommends this highly. Simple acts like these reinforce that you care and bolster attachment so make them a habit.
2. Ignore your partner and not responding to phone calls, texts and attempts to make contact.
Always reply to your partner’s efforts to connect. It’s OK to say I am mad at you right now or I am thinking things through. Not responding can make a partner anxious and can damage the connection. Remind them you will get over it or that you’re really busy right now and offer a time you will call back.
3. Share information with another person about you or the state of your relationship without your partner knowing first.
Your partner should always be the one you talk to first about what you are feeling or experiencing and don’t talk your partner down to other people. Let your partner try to fix it or make things right again. If you do feel isolated in the relationship and need outside help sometimes you do need to go to a friend or therapist but ultimately running your partner down could do damage that is hard to correct.
4. Threaten to end a marriage because you don’t like something or want change.
Such acts do harm. Our brains are wired for attachment and being loved. Connection is a paramount experience that we all need to feel to be secure. Talk to your partner if you are unhappy and think about seeing a couple’s therapist. Tell your partner how serious things feel for you but never threaten to end a marriage in a heated argument or to manipulate.
5. Share details with other’s about your partner and posting things on social media for friends to comment on.
Social media sites should never be seen as a stand in therapy space and social media platforms are not places to share your intimate feelings and frustrations. Your partner can get very hurt or feel ashamed if you post problems or intimate details about your relationship on social media sites. Do talk to you your partner and if things can’t be resolved seek help from a professional couple therapist.
6. Putting your partner down when talking to others.
Putdowns can erode self-esteem and a partner whose self-esteem is low is not going to be a partner you can easily feel connected to. Talk it out and respectfully share with your partner things that are bothering you. It’s also important to be positive. Always express positive things when you see or notice positive things about your partner or when you feel the positive impact of what your partner does well. Everybody needs to feel good about themselves. Feeling good encourages us to want to connect.
7. Taking your partner for granted.
Couples need to acknowledge each other even if only for a few minutes a day. Romantic connection needs to happen daily for a relationship to have the “glue” required to stick together. Kiss that little bit longer, look into your partners eyes, listen to what your partner may be saying and take the time to do something kind. These things can take only minutes but go a very long way in helping your partner feel special and loved. You will reap the rewards if you are consistent!
8. You stop touching.
Many people are deprived of touch. While we may be able to live without it, the impact of what it can do for a relationship is immeasurable. Touch each other and that doesn’t always mean it has to be sexual. You can touch by holding hands, embracing, massage and sitting or lying really close while watching TV. Of course add the delicious feelings of sexual touch and you will encourage a solid connection.
By Melissa Ferrari
For more tips and information about love, relationships and happiness visit my Facebook page Love, Life, Relationships & Transformation