The 10 HABITS of highly ineffective relationships!

There’s a lot of advice around to improve our relationships. Boring isn’t it…all that self-improvement! Instead here are some GREAT ideas to help you develop habits that will really mess them up… in reverse order…

#10. Don’t do more than the absolute MINIMUM
Your mantra should be “I’ll do my bit if you do yours” and of course your partner will never measure up so you’ll be justified in withdrawing your support. If you are put in a position where you’re forced to do something then go for the easy, quick fix option which is bound to fail.

#9. Ignore any issues – BIG or small
Whatever you do sweep all potential issues under the proverbial carpet. If anyone tries to persuade you to face up to something just ignore them, whether it’s your partner or a well-intentioned friend (they are not well intentioned, just a busybody or misguided!) IF anyone in the relationship needs to change make sure it’s NOT you.

#8. Master the art of POOR communication
Just don’t do it! If your partner insists on talking keep your responses to the minimum or at least superficial. For longer chats choose your words carefully; words that are bound to inflame your partner are things like “you NEVER…” “You ALWAYS…” “I’m sorry, BUT…” and the killer is “why can’t YOU be more like…!” These kinds of things usually end in arguments so you’ll have an excuse to walk away. There are times when your partner may want to REALLY talk and a good ploy is to try walking away mid sentence or even interrupting them. Criticising them works a treat too. If that fails then keep texting or looking at your mobile phone so that you don’t have to fully concentrate on what they are saying (in fact your mobile phone should be your best friend). If by any chance your partner corners you for a talk always think the worst.

#7. Manage your spending habits your way
Wildly different spending habits can really drive couples apart. Try not to be pinned down to budgets or sharing bank accounts, anything that could bring about agreement or sensible habits.  Signing up to lots of store cards and spending to the limit will almost certainly get you in to financial trouble and probably put a lot of strain on your relationship (especially if you avoid talking about it).

#6. Avoid spending too much time together
Make sure you spend your time where it really counts: at work, shopping, in the pub or your favourite coffee hangout, at the health club,  playing computer games etc. If your partner wants to DO stuff together make sure you have a list of excuses at hand: “the boss needs…” “I need time out to…” If you are a male; avoid anything that could count as romantic e.g. picnics on the beach. If you’re female; avoid anything that could be classed as an adventure or going to watch sporting events together.

#5. Sex – let it fizzle!
All physical contact should be avoided if you want to starve your relationship of love and affection; kissing, cuddling, holding hands are out. If your partner insists on having sex then make sure the bedroom routine becomes boring and lacks any kind of passion or fun. Another idea is just don’t wash very often! After a while your partner will lose interest.

#4. Ignore emotional needs
If you don’t know what an emotional need is then you’re probably a natural so just keep doing what you’re doing and your partner will feel more and more lonely and isolated over time.

#3. Don’t risk resolving conflict
You must avoid any situation which might resolve any lurking problems. Let’s face it resolving conflict could be slightly painful and you might end up losing! There are two good ploys; either pretend nothing is wrong and refuse to talk about it or rant and rave until your partner backs down. If you want to start a difficult discussion then it’s best to pick a good time … after 10pm will do the trick, especially if you’re partner has had a bad day or has something important going on the next day.

#2. Be unfaithful
Love affairs are only one option (and what your partner doesn’t know won’t hurt them). Pornography does count as unfaithfulness and experts are warning about its harm but at least you won’t catch any STDs! You could find more subtle forms of unfaithfulness… the career affair… the hobby affair…the shopping affair. In fact anything that fulfils you OUTSIDE of the relationship could potentially be turned in to an affair if you work at it. You can even hide behind your kids!

#1. Be selfish
Whatever you do make sure you look after number one first! Don’t worry about stepping on other people’s toes (especially if it’s your partner – they need to toughen up). An expert in this area will be able to build him or herself up in public whilst criticising their partner at the same time. Indulge yourself… do what feels good for you and hang the consequences. If you’re not happy then don’t do it! If your partner can’t live with this then let them leave (plenty more fish in the sea).

If you have any other ideas of how to ruin a relationship then we’d love to hear them.
And should you want to work on developing some good habits then why not attend A Day Together for couples. But be warned: these days have been known to help relationships go from good to great.

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