5 Relationship Killers and How to Avoid Them

By

5 Relationship Killers and How to Avoid Them
Don’t let your relationship fail! Heal the underlying fears that cause relationships to fail.

As a relationship counselor, I am constantly being asked why so many relationships fail. In the many years that I have worked with couples, I have discovered five major relationship killers:

Controlling Behavior

Most people enter a relationship with a deep fear of rejection, and this fear motivates various forms of controlling behavior. Controlling behavior falls into two major categories – overt control and covert control.

Overt control includes many forms of attack, such as blaming anger, rage, violence, judgment, criticism and ridicule.

Covert control includes compliance, enabling, withdrawal, defending, explaining, lying and denying. Often a person at the other end of attack will respond with some form of covert control in an attempt to have control over not being attacked.

Controlling behavior always results in resentment and emotional distance, bringing about the very rejection that it is meant to avoid.

Resistance

Many people enter a relationship with a deep fear of being engulfed and controlled – of losing themselves. The moment they experience their partner wanting control over them, they respond with resistance – withdrawal, unconsciousness, numbness, forgetfulness and procrastination.

When one partner is controlling and the other is resistant – which is covert attempt to have control over not being controlled - the relationship becomes immobilized. Partners in this relationship system feel frustrated, stagnant and resentful.

Neediness

Many people enter a relationship believing that it is their partner’s job to fill their emptiness, take away their aloneness, and make them feel good about themselves. When people have not learned how to take responsibility for their own feelings and needs, and to define their own self-worth, they may pull on their partner and others to fill them with the love they need.

Substance and Process Addictions

Most people who feel empty inside turn to substance and process addictions in an attempt to fill their emptiness and take away the pain of their aloneness and loneliness. Alcohol and drug abuse, food, spending, gambling, busyness, Internet sex and pornography, affairs, work, TV, accumulating things, beautifying, and so on, can all be used as ways to fill emptiness and avoid fears of failure, inadequacy, rejection and engulfment. And they are all ways of shutting out your partner.

Eyes on Partner’s Plate

This article was originally published at . Reprinted with permission.
Article contributed by
Advanced Member

Dr. Margaret Paul

Author

Margaret Paul, Ph.D. is a best-selling author of 8 books, relationship expert, and co-creator of the powerful Inner Bonding® process - featured on Oprah, and recommended by actress Lindsay Wagner and singer Alanis Morissette. Are you are ready to heal your pain and discover your joy? Take our FREE Inner Bonding course, and click here for a FREE CD/DVD relationship offer. Visit our website at innerbonding.com for more articles and help, as well as our Facebook Page. Phone and Skype sessions available. Join the thousands we have already helped and visit us now!

Location: Pacific Palisades, CA
Credentials: PhD
Specialties: Anxiety Issues, Couples/Marital Issues, Depression
Other Articles/News by Dr. Margaret Paul:

Are You Addicted To Love?

By

Have you ever felt confused about whether your feelings in a relationship were coming from a healthy place or from a wounded place? This is Mari's concern: "How would you describe the difference between obsession/addiction and devotion? When you are deeply in love and moved to be emotionally and physically intimate with someone, how can you tell ... Read more

How Do YOU Feel About That? Avoiding Projection In Relationships

By

"I think I'm an open person, but Sarah keeps telling me how closed I am. She gets furious when she wants to talk about our relationship and I don't." Matthew, in his late 20s and married to Sarah for 2 years, had consulted me due to relationship problems and was feeling a lot of confusion about their relationship system. "There ... Read more

Get Over Fights Like A Grown-Up

By

Most couples fight at times. Unless they fight unfairly—hitting below the belt and saying very hurtful things or becoming physically abusive—this is generally not a problem. Couples who engage in verbal or physical abuse need to either get help on both an individual and relationship level or leave the relationship. Ongoing verbal and physical ... Read more

See More

Ask The Experts

Have a dating or relationship question?
Visit Ask YourTango and let our experts and community answer.