Do you like your relationship? 8 things you should avoid

Keeping your relationship fun can sometimes be quite a challenge. In any case, it is better to avoid these things.

1. Do not put your partner at the bottom of your schedule

Because you have work stress. Too busy with the kids. You still need to visit your parents, call a friend, or do the housework. “The moment the other person gets the impression that work, studies, sports, family and friends come first, he feels taken for granted and not important enough to make an effort,” says love expert and applied psychologist Wendy van Voskuilen from The MatchMaker. .
Result: there is separation between you, the other person can complain, withdraw, please or – in the worst case – pull the plug on the relationship. Wendy: “Honest self-reflection is extremely important. Is the other person lower on your priority list because there are temporarily no other options in the situation? Or do you know deep down that you may be less committed to your relationship? And are you willing to work on the latter because, for example, you see a pattern in previous relationships, or does it say that the other is not the one? ”
Of course, you are not always aware that you are letting your partner dangle a little too much. “Have a mature conversation with your partner if you draw attention to it. Discover why your behavior affects the other person so much and what desires he / she has in this. Is your regular boyfriend night on Tuesday really that sacred, or could you also meet up with your partner to do something fun because the rest of the week does not fit your agendas? “
Tip: Look at your calendar from the last few weeks and count the time you have spent quality time together. Watching TV together, sleeping and being with the kids does not count! Research shows that couples have a total of seven minutes of quality time a day. How can you have a wonderful relationship with each other when you are really connected in such a short time? See where you can have more time for each other: a regular date night, play tennis together … And: put the phone aside!

2. Keep your (pure) mother out of your relationship

There is nothing more unattractive than the child of an (extreme) mother, or a man who does not take sides with you in difficult situations with his mother. But it is also possible the other way around: What is it like for your partner if your mother comes to clean every week, or you eat together three times a week? Or that your annoyances and quarrels know her in detail and that she shows it too? Of course, this can also apply to the relationship with your father, or with both parents.
Wendy: “It’s not okay to let you or his mother be the third person in your relationship. No matter how close you are to your mother, it is not healthy for the trust and security of your relationship. Think about why you involve your mother so much in your relationship. Do you say things to her that you do not say to your partner? Why not? Instead of gossiping or running empty about your partner, start the conversation with him. “Of course, temporary intensive contact with your mother is sometimes simply necessary. For example, because she is ill or your father has just passed away. Keep in touch with your partner about this, says Wendy. “It does not have to be very comprehensive every time, it can also be an easy check. ‘My mother has been here ix weeks now, how are you doing with it?’ If it is difficult for your partner, who by the way is not inferior to the understanding that you want to be there for your mother, you can consider sleeping with her a few nights a week and then reduce this.Or ask other family members or neighbors if they can help more. ”
If it’s not a temporary situation, but you’re always so close to your mother, then maybe it’s time to start a conversation with her. You do not have to be her best friend, you are her daughter. Wendy: “Encourage her to do new things, find new hobbies, and then let go lovingly.”

Economy does not come by itself

No, you do not have to have a conversation about all the financial things every week, but talking about money is super important in a relationship. It ensures openness and equality. If you keep quiet about the subject, the opposite will inevitably happen. Check: how many women end up in trouble after a divorce because they had no idea what her fixed costs were during the relationship and how much income was actually needed on her part? The other way around, of course, happens too. Just as you do not decide a world tour or large-scale renovation without consultation without consultation, you should also consult about finances.
Wendy: “Make firm money agreements and review them with all the major events of your life. My husband and I both had our own bank accounts and our own expenses when we started living together. When we moved in together, we chose a joint account. , where we both deposited the same amount per month (of course it does not have to be the same amount if the incomes are very different), and from which we paid our fixed costs and joint trips and vacations.And later again when we entered into a housing association agreement and bought our first house, we immediately had our entire salary put into the joint account.All costs related to our children are also paid from the joint account.We have our own bank accounts at our own cost, for example clothes, dinners or drinks where the other person is not present and subscribes to our own mobile phones. ” Something different can work for any relationship, but never think that the economy will run by itself.

4. Do not let sex go down

If you have almost eaten each other’s cravings during the first two years of falling in love, once busy jobs and children come along, sex is often one of the first things that goes wrong. A shame, says Wendy, because sex is one of the ways to (continue) to feel connected to each other. Lack of sex can lead to removal. The solution, according to her: to prioritize. “If you know that you usually drop out after ten o’clock in the evening, change something in your pattern. Do not watch that movie together first, but go earlier in the bedroom so you know you can still keep your eyes open. Are you not a night person at all? So see where you can create opportunity in the morning. The child factor does not have to make this impossible, although it is quite dependent on the age and sleep pattern of your offspring. Maybe you have homework the same day, and you can seduce each other somewhere during the day when the kids are in school or daycare. It requires a bit of deliberate coordination, because it is also not the intention to attend video meetings too late. ” In short: see where you can be creative.

5. Do not call him father

Yes, of course to the kids. But “Dad, do you want to go for a walk with the dog?” when the kids are in bed, it is certainly not a warm-up for an exciting evening. Unless you’re really asking your dad, of course – and you and the husband have some quality time. In the chaos of family, work, sports and social contacts, you can almost forget that you are partners, rather than a company that happens to be called Family. Call him honey, darling or just by his name: all right. But the title “father” is reserved for your children when it comes to your partner (and who is also their father). Do you get hot when he calls you “mom” during a romantic dinner together? Okay then.

6. Do not constantly criticize your partner

It sometimes drives you crazy if he again misses his pickup from the kids, forgets to put the trash outside or gets stuck in football for the third time that week and comes home drunk. Still, it’s a relationship killer, warns Wendy, who always judges, criticizes everything, grumbles instead of asking what you need. “‘You mess in the house, you never listen, you’re so terribly stubborn / selfish / lazy / jealous.’ It’s all negative communication and the way to send your relationship into a negative spiral. You can not have a real conversation if you put someone else’s back against the wall, which makes constructive communication impossible. Speak from the I-form, tell your feelings , stay constructive (avoid words like ‘always’ and ‘never’), and tell how you like it or what you need. ”
One danger in continuation of this relationship killer is the ‘scale’, she says: everything you are willing to give to the other person on a scale is related to what the other person is willing to do for you. “A general sense of equality, making an effort for each other, helping each other and doing something that makes the other happy is important. But with true love, you do not need anything in return, do you? ”

7. Never lose interest in the other person’s experience

Do you know your partner’s dreams, goals and worries? What does he or she enjoy, what gives him stress, what are his beliefs and desires? Do you know what the most beautiful and ugly life events in each other’s lives are? To keep your relationship strong, it’s important to go deep, Wendy says. “So not that you know what his favorite leisure activities are, but if your other half likes art, you know who his favorite painter is. You know the names of valued and annoying colleagues at work. Being so familiar with each other’s (experience) world requires effort. Occasionally proactively start a good conversation with a life question and take the time each day to inquire into each other’s day. The more you know and understand each other, the easier it is to keep in touch. ” Also, don’t forget to express your love and admiration every now and then, she says. “Research shows that people in an unhappy relationship only notice half of the positive interactions that actually happened. What qualities, personality traits and actions do you value in your partner? And are you letting him know at the moment? For example, when he made your favorite dish? ” It is important to regularly remind yourself of the other person’s good qualities, especially when struggling with the other person’s shortcomings. In this way, it remains with an irritation and prevents a deeper growing removal.

8. Do not bury him in your emotional baggage

Everyone has a past with them, and everyone has fear or insecurity. It is not a bad thing if you manage it yourself, discuss it openly and do not project it onto your partner. If you do the latter, it can be catastrophic for your relationship, Wendy warns. “Fear of attachment and / or separation can, for example, manifest itself in all possible ways. By attracting and repelling, for example, something that can make the other person feel not only insecure but also worthless or even scared. In power games. In jealousy or testing of your partner: How does he cope when you flirt with someone else? Refrain!”
Consider first: to what extent does this behavior say something about your self-esteem, insecurity, something you still need to clear up in terms of emotional baggage? Then tell your partner honestly, ask him to help you with this and seek professional help if necessary. No partner should pay for what others have done to you in the past.

Text: Jorinde Benner
Thanks to: applied psychologist and love expert Wendy van Voskuilen,
Photo: Getty Images

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