Every relationship has its struggles, but what if your habits are causing the same issues again and again and again? 


Below are five behaviors that have proven toxic to relationships- as well as some tactics to overcome them! Do any look familiar?



1. Domineering Behavior

Often the need to control a relationship stems from fear of rejection. These behaviors may be overbearing and obvious or cleverly disguised.  A partner with a critical eye that often resorts to accusations, frustration, animosity, or even violence is exhibiting overt control. However, isolating, defending, and misleading may be covert tactics to manipulate a situation as well. Whether blatant or hidden, a relationship characterized by a need for control is bound for bitterness and detachment.

Rather than resorting to domineering behaviors, consider the fear fueling them, have an honest conversation with your significant other, and take steps to relinquish that control. 



2. Defiant Behavior

For those that aren’t as afraid of rejection as they are of losing their identity, any amount of controlling behavior will be met with resistance. Ultimately, intentional disconnection and defiance to exert independence does little but exasperate an ongoing problem. Relationships caught in cycles of controlling behaviors and defiant responses ultimately become contentious and stagnant.  

Acknowledge your desire to remain autonomous and explain that need to your loved one. Brainstorm ways to balance your independence with a healthy reliance on one another.



3. Clingy Behavior

While a healthy partnership does involve two people trusting and relying upon one another, it becomes problematic when one person is fully dependent on the other for validation, emotional stability, and happiness. This often occurs when somebody struggles with self-worth, emotional regulation, and taking ownership of his/her needs. Placing those demands completely on a significant other is too heavy a burden to bear long-term, and it can lead to tension and resentment. 

Take time to examine yourself, begin to remedy the cracks in your self-esteem, and practice both acknowledging and meeting your own emotional and physical needs. 



4. Addictive Behavior

Be it substance abuse or process addiction, such as gambling, it is difficult to carry on a healthy relationship with unhealthy habits sapping your energy and attention. Attempting to patch an emotional hole with harmful substances or habits will place great strains on you and your relationships.

After recognizing the problem at hand and confiding in your partner, consider seeking outside assistance for tactics and support to overcome the struggles of addiction.



5. Hypercritical Behavior

While most people are aware of their significant other’s shortcomings, a greater focus on self-examination is critical to a relationship. Concentrating solely on your partner’s faults and compelling him/her to make adjustments will cause nothing but frustration and friction. 

Take the energy ordinarily spent stewing over your partner’s flaws and be productive. Find areas where you might want to grow and take steps toward self-improvement. 


Domineering, defiant, clingy, addictive, and hypercritical behaviors will bring about ever-mounting resentment, tension, and withdrawal in your relationship. However, you have the power to address the root causes of these behaviors today and begin working toward a happier, healthier relationship for your tomorrow!


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