happy couple

Regardless of what you may think, no relationship is indestructible. Yes, there are great, epic romances out there, but even the most solid relationships will have some form of kryptonite. It's not always a tragic, humiliating betrayal. Affairs aren't the only things that can cause a union to self-destruct. In fact, I think most romances fail because of seemingly innocuous, everyday annoyances that build up over months, years, or even decades. But all hope is not lost. Here are five sneaky relationship wreckers to avoid:

  1. Low self-esteem. Women have a habit of being self-deprecating. We constantly complain about all of our flaws to friends, family, and worse, the man we love. Sometimes it's an attempt to solicit a compliment (i.e., "No babe, you don't look fat" or "You are just as beautiful as when we met"). But for a lot of us, it goes beyond fishing for compliments. We can't stop obsessing about our weight or wrinkles and that is very unattractive to a man. You don't want him to change the way he sees you -- and this has nothing to do with that number on the scale. He didn't just fall for your looks, he was also lured by your coolness and confidence.
  2. Nag, nag, nag. Yes, you have a right to complain about things. He may not take out the trash like he's supposed to or ever replace the toilet paper roll, but resist the urge to hound him all the time. It's hard, I know. But complaining about it every day will only make the both of you miserable. Where's the fun in coming home to a night full of nagging. Yes, those little annoyances will still be there, but don't harp on them every day.
  3. Too much sex. That's right. Too much sex can be an issue if you don't have something else in common. I know couples that solve every argument with sex. Sure, it's fun, but there has to be something else that grounds the relationship. And it can't always take the place of talking things out.
  4. Meddling in-laws. The relationship is just between you and your man even though it doesn't always feel like it. Despite your mother-in-law's so called best intentions, her advice and suggestions can really overstep bounds. It can be the source of endless arguments if you start becoming angry and resentful of the unsolicited input. Try to set some boundaries -- tell the in-laws where their advice is appreciated and when it's best that you and your hubby handle things. Hopefully they listen. If not, move and don't leave a forwarding address.
  5. Kids. I'd argue that this is an even bigger stressor on a relationship than financial problems. Children are a ton of work and no one really understands just how much until they have little ones of their own. Fights about who does the most and who does more are inevitable. Try to work out a division of labor plan. Of course you will still carry the lion's share, but he should have clear responsibilities too and be prepared to give you a much needed break. 

What other things can hurt solid relationships?

 

Image via Angelo Gonzalez/Flickr