How to Destroy a Relationship
Let’s not kid ourselves; I am confident that you are wondering why I would seemingly be giving advice on how to end a relationship, rather than repair it. Interestingly, I find that we can learn a tremendous amount about relationships, by studying and scrutinizing what makes them thrive and collapse. Simply put, there are connection-engendering actions and connection-destroying actions.
1.Play victim or be righteously indignant.
I have professional theories that stand far apart from the traditional interpersonal relationship expert community. Typically, the support rushes towards the town crier, the person that always voices alarm, in the relationship. The victim is always on guard, looking for something that their partner has done or is doing that hurts their feelings. The righteously indignant is always on guard, waiting to point the finger, in an authoritative fashion. The indignant is the relationship police officer. It is common for each partner to play one of these roles (predominantly). The basis of these roles is the same, although it is externalized in a much different fashion.
What few question is, that, this person excuses 100% of their behavior, due to the actions of their partner. You will find that this propensity to find fault in others, and act on it, is devoid of personal responsibility. There is nothing factually controversial about anything I have said, thus far. However, we find the vast majority of individuals supporting this behavior. Relationships operate differently than a traffic stop or courtroom does, yet our interactions between partners resemble them, very closely. Empirically, we observe connection suffer when this behavior is present.
“If you don’t do this, I’m leaving you!”
Now, much of what is on this list is not advised by any relationship expert. This tends to be on the list of professional advice, especially when it comes to affairs. At the heart of this communication, technique is an exertion of power. What we rarely consider is how the person on the receiving end will feel. We tend to focus on getting what we want, ignorant of the negative externalities. This is a tactic that absolutely can work, but it comes at the risk of leaving the counterparty forced into action, rather than doing it authentically, with their own drive. It takes a very strong person to listen to a demand and analyze it objectively. This means that, this recipient can look at the situation, and internalize the pros and cons of the situation at hand. The result is then authentically self-derived. Much of my relationship advice stems from a need to be able to do this, and this is for dozens of reasons.
Still, empirically, we witness a distinct lack of connection, when ultimatums are employed.
3.The cold shoulder.
This tends to fall along the lines of a communication no-no. The cold shoulder is a very destructive behavior, as it is, literally, a method that is used to push others away. It is employed by those that become upset and feel that they must refuse the gifts of love from their partner, but also to refuse to give love, at the same time. It usually only ends when the recipient of the behavior has suffered and begged enough. Individuals learn (in one way) by condition. When one is constantly turned away, they eventually learn to stop approaching. It quickly becomes a situation that has both partners turning their backs to one another. At the heart of this relationship, killer is reverse psychology.
4.Live in the past.
The one that lives in the past will never let the relationship move on. It could be one perceived offense or years worth of them. Either way, this person will constantly remind their partner that they need to suffer for what has been done. The true goal in life is to live one of mindfulness. Mindfulness is just being in the present moment, and being engrossed doing so. Any relationship crime that was committed will always be wrong. However, no relationship has ever thrived when the past is summoned into the present. To that, we have to face an obvious, but uncomfortable truth (to some). There is no problem in the present moment. Imagine you are sitting apart from your partner right now. What is the problem right now? There is only a barrier that is imposed by conscious awareness of the past. All partners have to do is be loving to each other in the present moment.
5.Hold the relationship hostage.
The hostage-taker is the one that turns away from the relationship, and must be rescued, every single time. It doesn’t matter what the issue was, this person will not come to the table until their partner eats some crow. The hostage-taker doesn’t let their partner be upset (invalidation) at them. At the heart of this propensity, is a refusal to look inward. Doing so would cause emotional distress for this person. Instead, they do whatever they can to get the present issues to be shifted away from the hostage-taker. Another way a relationship is taken hostage, is when one partner refuses to forgive the perceived relationship criminal.
6.Avoid relationship talks.
The best relationships are those that know how to communicate. There is a great misunderstanding as to what causes relationships to fail. It isn’t cheating. It isn’t finances. It isn’t children. It isn’t a lack of sex. That is symptomatic reasoning. The basis to all relationship strife is an inability to communicate. No relationship has ever thrived by arguing with one-another. We might win temporary victories, but lose the war, which means that connection is lost with every argument.
Great relationships minimize the damage that is done when partners are upset. They can call time-outs, and are capable of listening to a distraught lover. Counter-intuitively, the best time to talk is when cool heads are prevailing. However, individuals avoid bringing up things, for fear of ruining the moment. Now you know why relationship problems remain relationship problems.
Take it home.
I am very aware how “right” a lot of these actions feel, either in the moment or in all moments. There is a lot of rationalizing behind the employment of these actions. One might agree with me, and then go on to use one or all of these actions, just because their partner is doing it or some other negative action. Regardless of what the partner is doing, these actions are connection-destroying. You might be left wondering what to do, instead of these actions. Stay tuned.