Problem Behaviors That Undermine the Best Relationships

Checklist - AdobeStock_66767001The following checklists can help you and your partner identify possible problems and talk them over. They will also help you get to know each other better. Ask yourself and each other the following questions.

1.  Addiction or Excessive Use of Alcohol, Drugs, Etc.

Whether the problem is alcohol, drugs, gambling, or anything else, it leads to behavior that makes a person unreliable and untrustworthy. It will inevitable prevent the addict from putting the partner’s needs first. Feeding the addiction will always come first, not the partner.

  • Does my partner’s drinking/drug use/gambling make me uncomfortable?
  • Does he or she acknowledge that there is an addiction problems?
  • Is he or she now in treatment or seeking professional help to overcome this addiction?

2. Controlling or Bullying Tendencies

If you feel as if your partner tries to micromanage every detail of your relationship and your life, neither of you will feel as if you have a relationship of two independent, mature adults. If he insists on having his own way more than you think is fair or she does not respect your independence, then it won’t be long before the two of you will experience conflict.

  • Does he or she expect me to account for my whereabouts every single minute of the day? If I don’t, does he or she express annoyance or worse?
  • Does he or she try to bully me into doing things I do not want to do?
  • Does your partner fail to consult you on important decisions?

3. Dishonesty and Lying

The good relationships are built on trust. Each partner has to be able to rely on the other telling him or her the truth.

  • Does my partner ever lie to me?
  • Does my partner try to excuse his or her lying, rather than apologize for it?

4. Displays of Contempt, Condescension, and Overall Lack of Respect

If your partner treats you with contempt rather than respect and speaks sarcastically and condescendingly, it will be almost impossible to talk over your differences calmly and rationally.

  • Does my partner make fun of me in a way that hurts my feelings?
  • Does my partner make snide remarks about me? Is it apparent that he or she does not respect my skills, talents, or contributions?

5. Emotional Withdrawal

If your partner has great trouble sharing his or her emotions or demonstrating love through affection and touch, in a way that meets your own emotional needs, it will be difficult to have a mutually satisfying relationship.

  • Does my partner simply walk away or retreat when there is conflict rather than sit down and talk it through?
  • Does my partner give the warmth, physical affection, and emotional nurturance I need, or does he or she seem to withhold emotional support?

6. Excessive or Explosive Anger

When your partner’s anger seems excessive, inappropriate to the circumstances, or occurs more often than you are comfortable with, he or she may have a problem.

  • Does my partner’s anger seem out of control or frightening to me?
  • Have friends or family mentioned these outbursts to me?

7. Extreme Defensiveness or Denial that Obstructs Open Discussion

If you try to bring up problems that you see in your interactions, and your partner seems unable to listen and instead gets angry, defensive, or completely denies your feelings, it will be difficult for you both to grow in this relationship. It also makes it difficult or impossible to fix problems as they arise.

  • Does my partner refuse to calmly discuss any differences of opinion that I bring up?
  • Can my partner listen to problems I bring up? Does he or she usually deny that any such problems exist?

8. Frequent Critical or Insulting Remarks

Excessive criticism between partners is one of the most destructive behaviors in any relationship. It’s one that will most likely to lead to divorce.

If your partner repeatedly criticizes and insults you, he or she is not showing you the respect marriage partners deserve.

  • Does he or she repeatedly criticize who I am or what I do?
  • Does he or she criticize me or insult me in front of others?

9. Infidelity

Unfaithfulness is one of the most fundamental betrayals of trust. It is one that will jeopardize a marriage. If your partner is unfaithful before you get married, and you cannot agree that both of you find such actions acceptable, chances are it will happen again.

  • Does my spouse flirt or behave in any way with others that makes me unhappy or uncomfortable?
  • Has my partner ever given me reason to believe he or she might be unfaithful?

10. Intolerance or Excessive Rigidity

Someone who is intolerant of you or others, or who is excessively rigid, will not be likely to have the forgiving nature or the flexibility and resilience to roll with the ups and downs that any long-term relationship requires.

  • Is he or she accepting of attitudes I possess that differ from his or her own?
  • Does my partner refuse to speak to me or others if he or she is angry?

11. Laziness and Unwillingness to Do His or Her Share

Once two partners agree on what they find to be a fair distribution of chores around the house, it is not acceptable for one of the partners to repeatedly slack off without discussing it thoroughly with the other.

  • Does my partner refuse to pitch in and leave the lion’s share of the work to me, even though we agreed to split things equitably?

12. Rudeness or Bad Manners

If your partner is repeatedly rude to you or others, or if his or her bad manners make you feel as if you would not want to be seen in public with him or her, your relationship cannot possibly become great without some major alternations in behavior.

  • Am I embarrassed by my partner’s manners?
  • When I ask my partner to modify his or her behavior, is he or she able to change? Does the behavior persist?

13. Selfishness or Inability to Show Kindness, Caring, and Support

Be careful if your partner puts his or her interests above yours on a fairly regular basis. Such behavior is likely to encourage you to behave in a similar fashion, if only to protect your interests. When two people behave selfishly, they will likely grow farther apart over time.

  • Do I feel as if my partner is pulling his or her share in the relationship?
  • Does my partner think about what I want and need as much as his or her own interests?

14. Violence or Verbal Abuse

Physical violence and verbal abuse are never acceptable in any relationship. With counseling, some individuals may be able to overcome this behavior. But if the person is unwilling to seek outside counseling, you shouldn’t expect to see significant change.

  • Does my partner use abusive language, profanity, or cruel and insulting remarks directed at me that I find hurtful?
  • Has my partner ever hit me or threatened to hurt me —even once?

— ALSO —

For additional information on this issue please read the following Crosswalk.com article:

12 Traits of An Abusive Relationship

Though psychological and emotional problems may not be fatal flaws, they are conditions you must be aware of before you marry. If your partner is suffering from conditions such as depression, anxiety, obsessive fears, or other worrisome emotional issues, he or she should receive professional help before you make any decision about marrying. Of course, he or she should continue with that help, if necessary, after the marriage, should you decide to go ahead with it.

It can be very difficult to look honestly at the person we think we love. We may feel we’ll spoil the romance, or discover things we wish we didn’t know. But the reverse is more likely to be true. Having honest discussions —many of them —about religion, money, sex, children, recreation, and acceptable behavior can be a great way to discover how much you really have in common.

It will also build trust and a strong foundation for your future life together. If you don’t agree at first, this discussion offers a chance to learn what you need to continue working on. If you still aren’t able to agree on all of these six basic issues, you will find it much wiser and less painful in the long run to part ways so that you can begin, with optimism, your new search for the right person for you.

The above article can be found in the book Wonderful Marriage: A Guide to Building a Great Relationship That Will Last a Lifetime, written by Lilo and Gerard Leeds, published by Benbella Books. You will find many helpful marriage tips and insights, which the Lilo and Gerard shared from their 57+ years together, passing along to their readers what they have learned in making a marriage wonderful. It can also be enjoyed by those who are considering marriage. We highly recommend Wonderful Marriage, even though it isn’t written to a Christian audience. We only found two quotes we objected to in the entire book, but the rest of it lines up fine scripturally. As with ANY resource, other than the Bible, it’s important to prayerfully read with an objective eye.

— ALSO —

An additional problem you truly need to examine is that of pornography. Many think this isn’t really a “problem” or it is one that will go away after marriage, but you need to reconsider that stance. Many, many marriages are crippled because of this behavior. Please click onto the Boundlessline.org link below to read more about it:

ASKING THE SCARY QUESTIONS

If you have additional tips you can share to help others in this area of marriage, or you want to share requests for prayer and/or ask others for advice, please “Join the Discussion” by adding your comments below.

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33 responses to “Problem Behaviors That Undermine the Best Relationships

  1. (USA)  In this “Problem Behaviors That Undermine the Best Relationships” check list, how many of these problems if answered negatively, will ultimately destroy a relationship?

  2. (AUSTRALIA)  I believe this list is and excellent basis to identify issues that may arise so they can be resolved early rather than be ongoing behaviors that eventually wear away at a relationship or even impact on one’s health. I have been marriage for over 25 years and knew there was underlying fundamental issues after a few years of marriage. I became concerned when my wife wanted to continue to go to counsellors to generally complain yet not really resolve any specifics. My wife would continually complain about things or reverse agreement on things we decided together without any discussion. We had both agreed on those decisions together either months or years earlier and changing some of those decisions would significantly affect the family. E.g. Change our children’s school.

    As a couple we found it hard to agree or find a common ground or compromise in an amicable manner. After going to several counsellors in the early years of marriage with no real decrease in conflict I then said I would only see an accredited Psychologist and preferred a female so that she was more comfortable seeing the Psychologist together. We then went together to a psychologist for several years.

    Three years ago in my early 50’s I collapsed from a massive heart attack. I was given CPR by someone who had just done a CPR refresher the week earlier. I lay in Hospital in an induced comma for several days. Doctors told my family that they may need to turn off my life support machine. They found I had major blockages in several arteries of my heart but were very concerned I had brain damage as I had myoclonic jerks. My family and friends prayed for me constantly. I truly believe the Lord Jesus healed me and a subsequent MRI scan of my brain was normal. Neurologists were amazed that the MRI was normal.

    The following year was a tough recovery, I had bypass surgery which was delayed due myoclonic jerks, a collapsed lung along with broken ribs. Not only did I have to tackle the physical recovery but I was totally perplexed why this all occurred. I considered myself a healthy person with normal cholesterol and blood pressure etc. My Doctor was also shocked as it appeared I had no known risk factors. All I knew was I had to change my lifestyle.

    In late 2008 my wife told me that the Psychologist we had seeing for past few years had picked up that she had Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD). She also told me she had been diagnosed with this as an adolescent in her early teens although now denies this early diagnosis. I have found this extremely difficult as I was not told this earlier, my wife thought I heard it from the psychologist and said this is a confidentiality issue. I would have much preferred to know before we were married as I believe this goes to the heart of trust in a relationship.

    When my wife told me she had OCD, the jigsaw puzzle was beginning to come together. I felt like it was as if being knocked down again when I had the heart attack a year earlier or as if like a bus had run over me when I had a heart attack and while I was trying to get up from that event the same bus had reversed over me. I was totally shocked and almost became depressed. I now know that my responses to my wife Obsessive disorder or anxiety disorder prior to my heart attack were inappropriate. I responded by being annoyed and arguing with her as I did not feel I was being heard.

    As I looked back the early years of our marriage my wife was continually focused on anxiety concerns she had in life that most people quickly get over. At no time during our 20 months of courting and engagement did any symptoms show up. In our marriage, the behavior of my wife gradually changed to focusing her obsessive behaviour on me and attacking my character, name calling, blame, judgmental, anger etc. There were times when I would threaten to leave her but did not want this as it would impact on our young children.

    I now know it is very important not to get caught up in any argument with her and when she loses her temper or begins the name calling, blame etc. I now immediately disengage from the conversation and get up and leave the room. Then she has no one to argue with except she tends to now hound the kids so I have to take a lead when this occurs. I have found talking to close friends alone and journaling daily the issues extremely helpful and keeps things in perspective.

    I encourage other couples who are having significant issues to seek professional help as it impacts on our lives far more than we often realise. Currently my wife won’t let me see or talk with her psychologist so don’t really know how to help her or what I am exactly dealing with. I also feel that the basis of a relationship is trust and if I my wife can’t be honest with what the psychologist is dealing with then I don’t know how to not aggravate her condition or help her. I frequently wonder about my wife’s issues as she shows symptoms of paranoia personality disorder and often totally loses when stressed. This occurs if I ask her a simple question.

    I don’t know what the future holds but I know the Lord Jesus is with me, along with my friends, as I continue to take one day at a time in life. I also strongly encourage couples who are courting to ensure they have compatibility testing as this may identify any differences before getting into a serious relationship and marrying. Perhaps I have my expectations set too high for our marriage but live in hope that we can one day have honesty, respect, and open communication, etc that a strong relationship should be based on.

  3. (US)  I agree I wish I had had this list before I married. Furthermore, I wish my pastors had known these things to warn me. My husband showed signs of nervousness and I thought it was cute. He also was overly attentive to all my needs. After 14 years of marriage we are now getting a divorce. He is verbally and emotionally abusive. I believe he suffers from extreme anxiety and may be bipolar too. He is extremely sweet and then blind sides me with some offense over a minor thing.

    I’m exhausted. We have had counseling for over 2 years. He denies that he has any problems; everything is all my fault. He is unwilling to change –so even though I do love him I’m divorcing him for my own health and sanity. I can no longer live on the roller coaster. I’m a Christian and he has also stopped going to church and is very angry with God. I love God and I want to get on with my life and serve Him.

    1. (US) Ok, but remember… “stay separated and DO NOT remarry anyone else” or “reconcile with him again,” according to scripture.

        1. Hmmm, but it is OK for a man to take another wife? Sorry but one should NOT take the Bible so literal… after all it HAS been manipulated by man and I don’t think a good and great GOD would want a woman to suffer and not ever feel love again in her life.

          1. AT, What you say here makes perfect human sense. But God’s ways are not our ways. We can’t suppose what He would tell Stephenie, unless it lines up scripturally. I’m reminded of the scripture that says “Who has the mind of the Lord, or who has been His counselor?” (Romans 11:34) And also, what we’re told in 1 Corinthians 2:14-16, “The natural person does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are folly to him, and he is not able to understand them because they are spiritually discerned. The spiritual person judges all things, but is himself to be judged by no one. ‘For who has understood the mind of the Lord so as to instruct him?’ But we have the mind of Christ.”

            What I’m saying here is, to let Stephenie talk to God about marriage, divorce, and remarriage. We are not to manipulate what she is to do (as you are saying that man has manipulated the Bible). This is a decision between her and God. As she reads the scriptures, and prays, and truly seeks what she is to do (not just what makes human sense, but godly sense), she will eventually know how to proceed.

            Everything that makes sense to us as human beings does not necessarily mean that God would have it be that way. Just as a child doesn’t understand the reasoning behind much of what his or her parents say should be done, that does not negate the wisdom behind it. We aren’t on the same level of understanding as God. He sees all; we see some. He knows all; we see some. Please be careful here about imposing what you believe a “good and great GOD” would do. It may be very different than what you (or what I) believe should be done… I’m just saying.

          2. What is this moral compass you base your opinions on about God or what is right if not from the Bible? You’re a Christian. Our tenants of faith are from the Bible!

          3. And where did you get the idea from that a man can take another wife but she cannot? The New Testament clearly says this command for both the husband and the wife.

      1. In a marriage you made a promise to be together forever. Gays do it? Why did you make that promise? Because we have a lot invested in a relationship thats why, material things, houses, kids, trust. Unless your a phsiciatrist and have analyzed your partner as being a luney, then it’s probabaly you that is the problem, accidentally triggering certain behaviors.

        And in those moments, when you think your partner flares up, and if you really are the more stable one, you’re also the stronger one in the relationship, then it’s your cross to bear. Someone made a promise to support the other. Was it both of you? Who really is the stronger and who really is the weaker? The one that runs away?

        Why we do this is a mystery. We all make this promise because we really mean it when we’re intoxicated with love, but when we’re not, we want to run away. Like I said, unless you have qualified that the other person is a luny, it’s probably you that is the problem, and the other one is the stronger and is carrying you. A marriage is like having an autistic child. You make the room in your life and you support the the promise you made, originally. Unless the other person is the retatrded one – of course.

        1. Do you keep every other promise that you make? Why is the promise to stay married do or die when a promise to get the milk from the store or be at the restaurant by 6 is of lesser value and easily broken and forgiven?

  4. (UGANDA) My wife left three years ago, and I am still standing waiting for the Lord to act about my future. However, for my sister’s case you need to ask Jesus whether God is trying to build you to help someone in future who may not stand this kind of situation like yours. Maybe after you overcome and have victory, you will be able to save someone’s life through your testimony and even help restore her marriage/relationship. Please be strong in the Lord and wait upon His salvation. Exodus 14:13. May God be your help.

  5. I have been seeking a man for 16 years. He has led, cheated, begged me successfully to come back. Then lied and cheated again. He seems to be BPD, NPD, Bipolar, OCD, and most of all commitment phobic. He is 18 years older than me. He didn’t think about that when I was 43 and he was 61. It was okay then. Now, he’s too old for me, he says, and I’m supposed to find some younger. He’s almost ready to retire, from his own business, and wants to travel. I have to work. He used to say he could afford to support me, and has. But now I have to work. That’s okay with me, but not him. He says I shouldn’t have gotten a full time job. Well, if I’m going to pay for my living expenses (I don’t live with him), I can’t do it on last time pay. I don’t make that much now. Is there any hope for us? He seems angry all the time! Please help.

    1. If you’re not married then he has no obligation to stay with you or commit to you. Also, you seem to have labeled him with a plethora of “complexes” and acronyms… that might be why he won’t commit to you.

  6. That was, on part time pay. Oh, and whenever he did something where I would break up with him, like seeing another woman, he would come begging back, with gifts, like money to help pay for rent or something. Now, he’s done, and I am so dependent and bitter. I spent my money being with him. I’m actually looking like the sick one. Which I am now, too. I say hurtful things, I don’t mean. I’m not a fighter. I’m just drained. I guess I’ve been trying to change him. He can’t commit to, and he can’t commit not to! When he breaks up, he comes back. I broke up with him this time, it’s for good. And every therapist that saw us/him, eventually wanted to see only him. When he was done, he’d say they told him he does not have to come back. I don’t understand!

    1. I just came across this forum since I’m considering breaking up with my boyfriend– WHY are you still with him? Cheating on you more than once should have persuaded you from returning?? Then I don’t know if he has all these other conditions, but if he does….what the heck? Sounds like you are used to the drama and being treated like crap. Write us when you leave him and practice some self-care and love and see a counselor. You are worth it!!!

  7. How do I tell if my spouse is uncaring, and how do I handle the second chance, when we have gotten back together? Better still, how do I tame my girlfriend who is rude, but still willing to recieve gifts, presents and time from me. How do I reverse the situation or better still, how do I move on with my life, since I may have to make that dreadful decision of leaving. Please help.

    1. This is a good rule to live by that if I had taken to heart 6 years ago I would not be married to my wife right now and much happier. The rule is called “the second date rule”…basically, if she displays behavior that would prevent you from going on a second date with her after the initial…then it unacceptable behavior and she is not right for you. You say your girlfriend is rude…would you have went on a second date with her and tolerated this attitude if she displayed it on your first date?

  8. Hi, I’ve been married for nearly 10 yrs, and my husband has never liked attending public events. Over the past 10 yrs, including our own marriage, he ends up displaying some side of unacceptable behaviour. Earlier in our marriage, he wouldn’t accept it and say he did it because I had done something that irritated him and he had retaliated thus and so on. But these days, he’s immediately sorry.

    We think our marriage is going on smooth roads when something like this hits me, when I’m least expecting it. I wouldn’t dare take him to an especially important (to me) gathering, because I don’t know when he would misbehave. It’s not too much, just wanting to leave before it’s over and making it apparent to all around that he hates being there, or making be-littling comments to people who are trying to be nice, putting me down by snide statements made regarding something I had said (sometimes totally untrue or quoted under different circumstances) or acting very important and as if this a waste of time.

    Of late, this has started affecting me quite a bit. I wonder why a person cannot make this small effort for someone else who does so much for him. It’s not as if we attend such events very regularly, it’s almost only once a year, and if there is need, he does act proper even during these events. (Proper does happen – only when he needs my help (things which he cannot do) in the near future, or he has exhibited such behaviour very recently and is still reeling from the effects of my ‘blowing up’ -sometimes even when I’ve warned him prior to the event and he has promised to behave himself, he has done this.

    These days, I’m not even ‘blowing up’, I feel let down so much that I don’t want to subject myself to this anymore. You think you have moved a long way in your marriage with the Lord’s help and out of the blue, this comes – he immediately (these days) attributes it to the devil and is sorry. I feel totally let down. Given the same circumstances, I feel he would have behaved himself a lot better, if there was some imminent requirement of mine that was there round the corner – so is it the devil or is it sheer selfishness.

    1. Sounds like you married what’s called a “man-child”…good luck with that if you decide to tough it out with him.

  9. Ok folks, I think I messed up and I need help. Here is the situation: I asked a woman to marry me an she said yes. We’ve been engaged about 3 months. Things in general are cool. She has had long term relationships but none that lead to the alter. We’re both over the age of 40 and nether never married.

    So one night I was at my office, and while at office, I had spoken to my fiancé all day through text or phone calls. My last conversation with her was 8:30 that evening. Now at 8:50 my boy calls me and asks me to help him with a project at his house. So I told him yes, and left the office. An hour later my fiancé text me and asked me what I am up to? I text her back saying I’m with my boy, going to help him with a project and because it’s a long project, due the next day I’ll be spending the night at his spot.

    At that moment, she says, “how is it we spoke up to 8:30 and you never mentioned it and now you send it through a text message? I told her that is was a last minute deal. She then in a calm tone instructs me to just go home to avoid a real issue brewing. I tell her no, that I can’t leave him in this spot. She again politely, but stern says go home. I again tell her no… so she says “let me speak to him”, I’ll ask him to take you home.

    At this point, I’m getting a little upset because I grew up with a demanding Dad and the tone noted conflict coming. So, I told her that I would call her back and never did. However, throughout the night she called and I never answered the phone. I didn’t want to hear arguing… she is calm but she gets really upset. Were my actions inappropriate?

    1. Yep! I think so. You cut off her voice. Yes, you have a voice too. But if you’re both going to marry your lives together, which also includes listening to each other’s opinions and finding ways to bridge differing opinions and decisions, this isn’t the way to proceed. That would be true if she cut off your voice too. This isn’t a BIG deal (unless she thinks so). I believe you can do a back up, by apologizing profusely, because you really blew it when you turned your back on her. She needed you to work this out together in some way (without one person making the ultimate decision for both of you, unless you’re in agreement that this is the way it should be).

      NOW is the time to start working out these kinds of differences. Use this “bad” experience to grow from and improve upon, going forth, finding ways to bridge your communication differences. We have a lot of Communication Tools, and articles you can read on this web site (and USE), which can help you as you make this journey towards marriage. I hope you will learn through this, not just live through it, without making progress in communicating and making decisions in healthier ways.

    2. Sounds like a warning signal to me to run. Unless you don’t mind putting up with the insecurity and what comes with it, jealousy, the need to control. It’s your son and for the love of you she ought to have trusted you and understood. Perhaps it was a test. With God’s help hope you make the right decision.

    3. No. What you did was right. That’s your boy…she’s just the fiancé, not even your wife or the mother of your child. She became way to controlling and bossy and had no right to demand that of you. You told her no…she wouldn’t listen, so you ignored her calls the rest of the night. After 3 times of telling her no and her not listening I would have done the same thing to my own wife.

  10. I’m a 60 year old man dating a 56 year old woman for a year. Great communications, symphathetic, and emphathetic when required. Spent as much time together as possible, we live 60 miles apart, we both work, and she has a teenage son in high school. A couple of months ago several relatively small incidents occurred that from her point of view weren’t small and has changed our relationship from flourishing to non-existent.

    Some friends invited me to go on an afternoon outing one Saturday morning, I had on several occasions in the past found reasons not to go, however this Saturday I went. The next incident happened a month later, we were to attend a birthday party for one of her childhood and college friends that evening. That very morning my vehicle broke down on the highway it took AAA two hours to pick me up and tow me to a garage. About 5 PM that evening I was back on the road. I was so emotionally drained from the events of the morning and afternoon I told her I wasn’t going to attend. I thought she would understand, however she didn’t.

    Her behavior over the next few weeks went from loving and kind to very passive aggressive, and eventually became sarcastic and insulting. We basically stopped seeing each other, although she said a couple of occasions she didn’t want us to break up but her actions have proven otherwise. We have yet to be able to talk through this matter rationally. Any advice you can provide will be greatly appreciated, I still love her and want us to marry. I can’t explain how we got this way. Thank you.

  11. I feel like this is important but what I find shocking is that many of these habits could be prevented during childhood. Having a living environment built on the foundation or respect and compassion begets another generation of families with the same moral imperative. If you view your choices and spouse as a gift you treat them with compassion. I find many married couples in their mid 30’s warning us about having children and how terrible it is. To me this is selfishness. My parents would agree that yes raising children isn’t easy but they would never warn me not to.

    What I find is that too many people live life with an unrealistic impression of perfection. Instead, live life where beauty is the goal. Beauty excepts flaws with grace. If you think that having the perfect life is what will make you happy then you are chasing a ghost. Many people destroy themselves and others trying to reach this ideal they have in their mind that doesn’t exist.

    When you discover that the person you have married lacks a skill or has a flaw, instead of abandoning them or classifying them as damaged goods, maybe consider that you are their missing piece. If you fill each other’s missing parts you can become a stronger unit. If you tear each other down you will destroy anything good that could have existed. No one is perfect. Just remember when you point out ones flaw that many people have a flaw of yours that they can point out as well.

    Also remember that your partner needs help at times. Sometimes when a spouse is fixating or complaining the best solution is a hug. I happen to accept that I habitually fixate over detail and that I have bad habits from a past relationship. My husband is an amazing man who pays attention to me because instead of getting upset he holds me. I realize instantly how ridiculous I may be acting but without the guilt or arguing. Because we respect each other we have learned ways to communicate well. If you can’t discuss something important sitting together at a table holding each other’s hands then you should consider how you are communicating.

    If you break connection you are rejecting the other persons ideas. If you can disagree and maintain contact with them you have compassion. If you have to raise your voice or swear then you are basing the decision on power. Power based relationships are manipulative and a cheap and easy way of arguing. It takes no talent to bully but it take a lot of intelligence to have a logical conversation.

    1. But in those moments DO YOU CHANGE? I hug my wife all the time when she gets irrational but what I find is she goes back to her baseline and doesn’t try to come up with a way to not let the unacceptable behavior happen again.

  12. My husband makes sexual comments to me all through the day, everyday. I’ve told him that it makes me feel uncomfortable, but it doesn’t matter; he continues to do it. He is 56 and I am 53. I am also going through menopause, I have anxiety & depression issues, sleep issues, self-esteem issues, among many other issues. I’m constantly sad. I just don’t know what to do!

    1. Wow! My wife would kill for me to give her sexual comments all day. She’s just so unruly and undignified in public that it has killed all of my sexual attraction for her. Married 5 years and regret it every day.

  13. After having lunch with my daughter’s future in-laws today we were at home when my husband asked me if, after speaking with my daughter on the phone if she liked my ‘performance’ at lunch today. When I asked him what he meant he told me not to get my panties in a wad and then denied he made the comment at all. It disgusted me. Am I wrong to feel this way?