Relationships start out so beautifully and optimistically, but the end comes is rarely pleasant.

The pain might be doubly worse if you feel like there were plenty of places along the way to keep the relationship from falling apart, places where you felt you made mistake and missteps.

Sadly, we often don’t recognize those missteps until we’ve taken them, sometimes until we’ve taken a lot of them. So, let’s review common ones and keep you from taking them in the first place.

Here Are Some Classic Ones To Be Aware Of:

Ongoing criticism: Once the bloom is off the rose, so to speak, most couples begin showing who they really are. There are many issues that can come up: you might start needing their own space, you realize you don’t like each other’s friends, you recognize certain habits as annoying.

Any or all of these things can cause ongoing criticism. It might seem like you’ve phrased it well, as a passing remark said in a joking tone. But, if you’re honest with yourself you know when you’re trying to influence your partners behavior through negativity, whether it’s passive aggressive or downright confrontational.

And when criticism is frequent it starts to build a sense of disconnection. You build the sense that you tolerate each other’s company rather than enjoy it. It’s very toxic over time.

Lying: It doesn’t matter if it was a tiny white lie or a substantial one. A lie has the power to completely destroy a relationship. Even if the lie was told in panic or accidentally, once you’ve chosen to lie it’s easier to do so again, and the trust is broken. It’s already hard to build a foundation of trust and honesty, don’t start undermining it with lies.

Cheating: Everyone interprets cheating in different ways. The ground rules for this need to be discussed at the beginning of the relationship so pitfalls can be avoided.

A lot of times, cheating is tied to a physical relationship or interaction outside of the partnership, but emotional cheating can have devastating effects as well. Sometimes you turn to someone else when your confidence is low and your partner is busy or seems too distant. You want to feel needed, or attractive, or powerful. But that’s a superficial fix that will only wear away at your relationship.

You need to find a way of communicating your needs with the one you’re building a life with.

Snooping: If you’re suspicious that your partner is doing something wrong or something that you won’t like, it’s still not a good idea to spy and snoop on them. Like lying, this undermines the foundation of trust between you.

Instead, confront your partner with how you’re feeling and try to talk about what may be causing your feelings.

Intense jealousy: If there’s an overabundance of jealousy and possessiveness, it can smother your partner and suck all the life out of the relationship.

Remember, your partner wasn’t born to be yours. You are each individuals finding your way through your lives and choosing to share this time together. If you treat a person like a possession, they will begin to resent you.

If you grasp sand too tightly, it will slip through your fingers.

Referring to past relationships: This is a big one because if you keep talking about your ex, whether it’s flattering or insulting; your current partner is going to get tired of feeling like they’re constantly being compared.

People want to be loved and seen for who they are not for who they remind you of. So, concentrate on the present and don’t make them feel like you’re just adding them to a list of people you’ve spent time with.

Communication blocks: Effective communication is vital to the success of a relationship. If you keep something bottled up instead of talking about it, things will only get worse. Talking is necessary to work through any issues.

That said, there are more and less helpful ways of communicating. It’s often unhelpful to start with a lot of sentence that begin with “You…” “You spend too much time at work.” “You don’t cook enough.” Concentrate instead on how you’re feeling, and let the other person ask you about what might trigger those feelings.

Taking each other for granted: This just happens when couples have been together for a while. It’s easy to fall into. But set occasions to check in with yourself and look at how your treating your partner.

Remind yourself that you can’t assume your partner will always be there. Appreciate that time you have together.

Dull routines: Routines can be both good and bad. You’ve got to find the balance between a routine and a sense of fun and adventure.

Every so often, give in to a spontaneous impulse, or go with an impulse your partner has, even if you’re feeling a little tired. Free yourself of other stresses and commitment for an evening to do something one of you wants to try.

Sexual issues: Two years seems to be the make or break point in the sex life of relationships. You both have to work at finding ways to keep excitement in the relationship so that it doesn’t simply fade away.

You can look at more emotional ways of connecting in bed, or you can try some new physical things. This kind of fits in the routine category. Routine sex is fine some of the time, but you also have ot spice it up every so often.

When you look at this list, it may occur to you that most of the problems are related. In fact, if you manage to solve one of the problems, it’s interesting how many others simply vanish. In the end, it’s not as much work as you might think…

In her new Siren School, Rori Raye and her coaches work with clients to help them avoid and recover from a lot of these pitfalls. Her methods and strategies are so helpful, and will seem like second nature once you practice them. I recommend you Check It Out.

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