Making mistakes in relationships is normal – it happens to all couples, all families. But making the same mistakes over and over will destroy your relationship.
Eight Mistakes Women Make In Relationships: A Woman’s Guide To Getting It Right by Tony A. Gaskins Sr. will help you identify the most common mistakes and start moving forward in your relationships.
Here’s one of my favorite quips about mistakes and relationships: “One makes mistakes; that is life. But it is never a mistake to have loved.” – Romain Rolland.
Which is why I think we should adopt a second dog! You can never have too much love in your life, and it’s almost never a mistake to embark on another relationship with a creature of the furry kind. I’m off on this tangent because we’re “trying out” a second dog this weekend, to see if she’ll fit into our household. My husband isn’t keen on getting a second dog, but I’m keening to adopt her. Maybe I should be writing about adopting a second dog, not mistakes in relationships. As you can see, dogs are on my mind :-)
5 Most Common Mistakes in Relationships
As I said, making mistakes in relationships is normal and even healthy. If you’re making mistakes, you’re probably taking risks and feeling secure enough to be yourself in your relationship.
But, there are some relationship mistakes that if unchecked will grow into bit relationship problems…
You don’t take care of your appearance. I am SO guilty of this! I’m fit and healthy, but I have to admit I dress like a hobo (as my husband puts it). The thing is, I work from home as a writer, so I rarely need to put on good clothes. We have a dog, and I walk her four times a day. Sometimes I forget to wash my face or even brush my teeth until noon – and I think this is a relationship mistake.
And the experts agree: “Every husband has seen his wife take an hour to get dressed and put her make-up on before going to a wedding or a party,” says marriage coach Mort Fertel. “Yet, what do most women do before their husband comes home? Put sweatpants on and take the make-up off! The most important person is not the acquaintance you’re going to see at a party…it’s your husband! Make yourself beautiful for him before he comes home.”
The same goes for husbands and boyfriends, of course! It’s not just about what you wear, it’s how fit and healthy you are.
You ignore money issues. It isn’t a surprise that letting financial problems get out of hand is a mistake in a relationship. But, it’s interesting to note that there is more to an average everyday “money fight” than meets the eye. “Often, when couples argue about money, it’s not money that’s the problem,” says William Harley, PhD, author of His Needs, Her Needs: Building an Affair-Proof Marriage. “Instead, the money fights are a by product of relationship neglect.”
In The Best Way to Stop Fighting About Money, I share a great tip for avoiding this mistake in relationships: get joint bank accounts.
You avoid conflict. It’s not a relationship mistake to fight; it’s a mistake to let conflict go unresolved, undiscussed, unaired. “When couples get together, one of their main jobs is reconciliation about conflict,” says researcher Ernest Harburg of the University of Michigan. “Usually nobody is trained to do this.”
His research reveals that couples who suppress anger are twice as likely to face early death as those who express it. Don’t make this mistake in relationships – make sure you learn how to express your anger, disappointment, stress, and other negative emotions.
You don’t focus on how lucky – and grateful – you are. “The #1 complaint amongst husbands is that they feel unappreciated or taken for granted,” says marriage coach Mort Fertel. “Get a journal from a stationary store and write down what you appreciated about your husband each day. What did your husband do today that was good? What quality did you notice about him? Write your observations. Then, share one with him. Don’t let a day go by without mentioning to your husband something you appreciated about him today.”
Of course, the same goes for husbands! I love this tip for avoiding mistakes in relationships because it will helps you stay positive and optimistic about life, not just your marriage.
You criticize your spouse. In my article about not having motivation to work on relationship problems, I describe how two friends are sick and tired of their marriages. I’ve known both women for several years, and have listened to their criticisms and complaints for the whole time.
It’s a mistake to let criticism, contempt, stonewalling and defensiveness creep into your relationship. “If these negative behaviors exist in a marriage, research shows that the chances are much higher for divorce,” says marriage and family therapist Lisa Brookes Kift.
Are you critical of your partner to other people? To him? Do you roll your eyes behind his back, or even to his face? These are relationship mistakes that will tear you apart.
What do you think of these common mistakes in relationships? What’s the worst relationship mistake you’ve ever made – and how did you repair it?
Here’s one of my favorite articles about relationships: Is Your Marriage Good or Bad? 3 Myths About Being Married.