Not all flaws in a relationship are created equal – some things are easier to surmount than others. In fact, there are a handful of particular flaws – the Seven Deadly Sins of a Relationship – that are especially lethal.
Sin One: Jealousy
The green-eyed monster is perhaps never more present than in a relationship. When you love someone, you want them to love you back and when you fear they don’t, envy rears its ugly head. Naturally, drama ensues.
If you are jealous of your boyfriend’s co-worker, you will do things like check his email or show up at his work under false pretenses (“I just wanted to bring by this pencil in case you run out!”).
In your mind, there’s nothing wrong with this. If you find proof that he and his coworker are flirting (or worse), your suspicions are validated. If you find no proof, your insecurity is lessened.
But he sees your actions very differently.
To him, your jealously is proof that you don’t trust him or respect his privacy. It also leaves him wondering when your paranoia will stop and assuming, probably quite accurately, that it won’t.
Sin Two: Judgment
A relationship is no place for judgment, and continually focusing on the flaws of another will leave them walking out the door rather than into your arms. This is true, even if your heart’s in the right place.
You may want to improve your boyfriend and mold him into the “perfect man”. But that’s not your job. Your job is to love him for who he is. Any attempt to change him will do much more harm than good.
He’ll wonder why this relationship is making him feel so bad, like he's not ever enough for you. He’ll wonder why you’re even with him. And he’ll wonder if there’s someone who will accept him, “bad” traits and all.
Sin Three: Neediness
It’s pretty easy to tell whether or not you’re needy. Do you pout when your boyfriend goes out without you? Do you expect him to consistently put you before his career? Do you sulk when he disagrees with you?
Doing all of this – or any of it – will leave him thinking of you in terms of a child rather than a girlfriend. He’ll grow exhausted and frustrated until he decides he’s ready for a grown up relationship and not a girlfriend who needs to be babysat.
Sin Four: Selfishness
Putting yourself first every once in a while isn’t a bad thing, but putting yourself first all of the time is extremely damaging. If you’re a “my way or the highway” sort; if you ignore your boyfriend’s interests; if you expect him to do you favors but never do them for him; if you’d rather gaze into a mirror than your partner’s eyes, then you have a problem.
Selfishness turns a relationship into a one-way street, which will only ever lead to a dead end.
Sin Five: Cheating
Perhaps the most deadly of all the sins, cheating on your boyfriend can take a variety of forms. It can range from actually sleeping with another, to simply flirting with someone (or even engaging in an emotional affair online). But all of it is damaging.
If your boyfriend finds out you’ve been unfaithful, he’ll label you as an untrustworthy, hurtful, potentially STD-ridden liar. He’ll also believe in the old adage – once a cheater, always a cheater.
Sin Six: Being Distant
You may have a sense of mystery to you, and that in small doses can be a good thing. But mystery and overt distance are very different. It’s not that you need to be an open book, pouring your heart out every chance you get, but ignoring your boyfriend and never telling him how you feel is the type of relationship that thrives in seventh grade, not adulthood.
Too much mystery will also leave your boyfriend feeling as though he’s not in a real union – he’ll assume you’re no longer attracted to him or interested in him. And guess what's next? He'll go searching for someone who is.
Sin Seven: Control
Boyfriends aren’t junkyard dogs – they don’t need to be controlled. Telling him where he can go; changing his words to fit your agenda; demanding that he puts you above his friends and family (at all times); and guilt tripping him when you don’t get your way are all forms of emotional abuse.
The way this will make him feel is the same way you would feel if the shoe was on the other foot – it’ll make him feel suffocated and disrespected; it’ll make him feel like you’re the boss and he’s the employee; and it’ll make him feel – correctly – that your relationship is so unhealthy it’s only a matter of time until it limps off and dies.
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This article was originally posted on Yourtango.