But good news — you can fix it.
A lot of things can contribute to the decline of a relationship. Loss of trust, lack of communication, or maybe someone cheated.
"Parentalizing" your partner is one of the worst things you can do.
Parentalizing is the act of "trying to get our unmet childhood needs met by this new person," says Neil Strauss, author of The Truth: An Uncomfortable Book About Relationships to Tech Insider. Strauss says that we often fall for people who have our parents' best and worst traits, because our first experience with love is through our parents.
"That sets the template for how we see love and what we want out of love," he said in the interview with Tech Insider. For example, men who saw their mothers as "naggy" as teenagers would find this very same trait in their own partner, even if they're actually not naggy.
Strauss narrates a story about his wife texting him to come home immediately because a film crew, who had arranged to meet with him, had already arrived. She added that he was being rude for not meeting them there. For a moment, he compared his wife to his mother.
"I started making up a whole story, because my mom always nagged, like that she's controlling, just let me live my life, and who are you to call me rude?” he said.
People with absent parents might see their partners' busy-ness as a form of neglect. So, if you find yourself parentalizing your partner, it’s OK. Just like with many relationship problems, you can fix it.
Strauss says taking a moment to stop and recognize why your partner upset you allows a deeper understanding of your own behavior. Like Strauss, constantly doing this will allow you to see the signs of your parentalizing.