Cheating is often considered one of most unfathomable ways to break down the trust between two partners and their unique, intimate bond. Whether it’s physical or emotional, the discovery of an affair can often lead to the point of no return for so many in relationships.
Yet, while cheating can shatter the cornerstones of a happy relationship, there are a number of things that can actually do more harm than infidelity. Many attribute this by underestimating certain conflicts, which start out small and undetectable — but that’s what makes them dangerous.
Taking extreme measures to solve happiness
When a relationship starts to get sour and both partners are unhappy, some try to create a bandage to safeguard the veneers of their life together by taking extreme measures. Yet, in no universe should you ever take a “save-cation” together, buy a brand new home, and have a baby to repair any conflicts or create happiness. Not only can such actions do more harm than good as studies report, but these ‘Hail Marys’ only enhance problems for couples. As licensed marriage and family therapist, Melissa Risso tells us, a couple who can’t address relationship anguish often times find themselves tackling anger, hurt and lies in other areas of their dynamic.
Everyone lies at some point, in some way. A University of Massachusetts study discovered 60 percent of adults can’t have a 10-minute conversation without lying, averaging three lies per every session. But even if you’re a liar out of love and want to protect their feelings, withholding things can grow into big problems and an avalanche of trust issues. If you’re in a good relationship, no discussion is ever off limits. Think about it — if you have to hide something because it will hurt your partner, you probably shouldn’t have done it in the first place.
When you have kids in the picture, it can be hard to be romantic with your partner — let alone, get quiet time for you two in the bedroom. But whether affection means sex, a discussion about your day or just helping each other, being absent or unaffectionate can lead to the kind of fears that end up being permanent. Remember to communicate what you both need because some people really need it and others don’t function well without it.
Lack of communication
An incredible number of issues could be fixed if couples just took the time to really express how they feel. As the root of every relationship problem, communication is essential for a couple to function and love effectively. But if you can’t be open with your partner about your thoughts, start evaluating the relationship. When you bottle it up, it’s usually revealed in the ugliest of ways and can lead to a slow burning resentment. Seen as an insidious factor in relationships, this bitterness ultimately lead to further damage and are usually unmanageable.
Staying for convenience
A study from the University of Toronto found those who feared being alone were more likely to prioritize being in a relationship over the actual quality, driving them to settle. But staying in a relationship out of convenience, familiarity or because you don’t want to disappoint anyone’s families leads to depression and unhappiness — two factors that fester in an already insecure relationship. Not only does this co-dependence create resentment, but an inordinate amount of uncivil behavior.
Being fake around your significant other
One of the biggest causes of relationship breakdown is pretending to be someone you’re not. You can try to hide things about yourself just to make the dynamic work, but eventually these things become a bother and head into bigger reasons for a breakup. Are you more of a social body and they aren’t? Do either of you want kids? Do you expect more sex in a relationship and they don’t? Being passive-aggressive and just agreeing to avoid arguments isn’t healthy, and definitely doesn’t help anyone.
Money and financial control
Reported as one of the top predicators of divorce, researchers at Kansas State University found a steady correlation on all levels between financial arguments and a decreased relationship satisfaction. Additionally, if one partner is controlling finances and bills, experts suggest this leads to a power struggle at home — especially for the one earning less, who sees it as being a serf of sorts. Ugly and hard to forgive, financial arguments take longer to recover from than any other kind and usually involve more ‘colorful’ language.