Six Little Things That Could Make or Break Your Relationship

When you first fall in love, relationship wellness is a breeze; all you have to worry about is your next big date or the best cutsie nicknames to choose. However, once you get married or live together, even the smallest things can get in the way of family wellness. I bet you never thought your wellbeing would be so tested by a pile of washing up in the kitchen! Let’s take a look at six little everyday things that can actually make or break your relationship.


1. Household chores: If you’re always battling it out over who’s turn it is to take out the bins or empty the dishwasher, you may be clashing due to your different personality types. According to Dr. Karyn Gordon, a relationship, marriage, and family expert, there are 16 personality types, only half of which are focused on organisation, structure, and cleanliness. The problem is that opposites often attract, so you may be a neat freak living with an absolute slob! If that sounds all-too familiar, Dr. Gordon advises, ‘Explain that cleanliness is important to you, and you understand that it may not be that important to them.’ It may be second nature to you, but your partner needs to know why neatness is something you prioritise.


2. Always Choosing the Restaurant: Dr. Gordon admits, ‘Some people are much better at picking movies and restaurants than other people, so it might be that one person just has a better skill set.’ However, wellness writer Lauren Le Vine warns that if one partner does always seem to be dominating the decisions, ‘it could be more of a red flag that reveals certain control issues. You’ll never know until you say something, though. It could just be a blind spot for the person who likes to choose where to go.’


3. Always Doing What You/He Wants: Making individual plans all the time can leave the other person in the relationship feeling insignificant and slighted. Le Vine notes, ‘It’s important to be direct with one another and explain why you feel slighted by the other person’s choices. Otherwise, it can lead to passive-aggressive behaviour and resentment.’ Dr. Gordon explains, ‘Partners need to feel significant. When they’re feeling threatened and insignificant, people get very clingy and desperate.’


4. Forgetting Important Dates: Often, it’s not a case of your partner forgetting the occasion; it’s more likely that you were raised differently, and so have different expectations of how much of an effort to make. That said, this doesn’t mean that your partner can get away with making less of an important occasion. Dr. Gordon asserts that remembering and celebrating important dates is ‘a skill you can learn with practice and by communicating your expectations.’ Le Vine adds, ‘It also helps to have a shared calendar where you can notify each other of important events in advance.’


5. Not Saying Hello or Goodbye: Le Vine argues that many couples ‘manage to lose the greeting and hug/kiss habit over time if they’re distracted by things like checking their email on their phone when they come home from work.’ It may also be a case of you copying how your parents did things, but you need to reprogramme yourselves. Dr. Gordon urges, ‘When you walk in the door, you’ve gotta shift gears to home. These attentive, affectionate qualities are important for both you and your kids.’


6. Not Showing Enough Affection: Le Vine recommends, ‘If you want more affection from your partner, start encouraging him or her in little ways. Hold hands while you watch TV or when you’re walking somewhere. If you’re also feeling disconnected in other ways; however, a lack of affection could be a sign of something deeper, and that should be addressed.’

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