Not only is criticism flat-out destructive to a relationship, it often doesn’t budge an issue. Most behaviors never change—because most relationship problems are unresolvable. Gottman calculates that 69 percent of all marital problems are immutable, arising from basic personality differences between partners.
9: Lack of Fairness
One irony is that couples that try to slice all responsibilities down the middle wind up the least happy. Research indicates that’s because in trying to be scrupulously fair, they spend all their time measuring, comparing, and arguing over where the dividing line falls.
8: Personality Conflict
Much irritation can be avoided just by understanding the differences between you and your partner—and accepting that it’s OK, even inevitable, to be different.
7: Flirting with others
Feeling a lack of closeness often manifests itself in flirting with others. The flirting may be innocent in that it doesn’t lead anywhere, but it can be hurtful and humiliating to a partner.
6: Lack of sex
It helps to just fondle each other instead of fighting over what you’re stressed over (like a hard day at school or work).
5: Feeling controlled
This one doesn’t take much thought, no one wants to feel like they can’t do anything (like eating cereal at five pm) without approval.
4: Feeling unappreciated
“It’s up to each of us to communicate what it takes to make us feel appreciated,” says Sollee. “You can’t assume your partner knows what to do.”
3: Feeling unloved
“We need that connection, that praise, the understanding; we need to have somebody who is going to be there and not run. That’s how you break somebody’s pattern.”
In every relationship there’s someone who is messier, but there should be an understanding of this.
1. Deliberate actions
Many of the things people do without noticing are usually the number one cause of a break up; couples who really love each other will learn to love these perks (perhaps snoring reminds you that they are sleeping next to you, and their taking so much time to get ready reminds you that they care about looking good for you.)
Anyone who talks to me about relationships knows that I think the way that we conceptualize “true love” is really dangerous. This article backs up this idea in a really fascinating way.