by Zara Mohammed, Lifestyle Columnist
Published in Lifestyle on 6th September, 2019
When we are at the beginning of a new relationship everything is brand new, fun and exciting. This is a time of discovery, self-expression, and new love. All of these positive emotions make us feel good.
We don't want to lose those wonderful feelings though, and so it is common for many of us to develop fear because of this. The fear presents itself in a variety of destructive ways, for example, insecurity, distrust and possessiveness.
In this article we will explore the different ways that fear manifests itself in relationships, causing them to eventually fail. Hopefully we can then learn to recognise and avoid these things in the future.
Incompatibility in relationships comes in many forms. People are different because of our personalities and the ways in which we were brought up by parents.
Our experiences and role models from early years help to shape who we are, how we think and feel about things, and ultimately what we want from our lives. It is understandable therefore that clashes between people are likely to happen, especially in relationships when people share so much of their lives with each other.
It can be difficult to recognise or acknowledge incompatibility when we are so emotionally close to someone and invested in a relationship.
Here are some of the ways in which you might recognise incompatibility in your own relationships.
Different Expectations - Having differing expectations is such a common form of incompatibility in relationships. When you both have different expectations not only of each other but also of yourselves within the relationship, you are essentially both living on completely different pages.
This can cause so many conflicts, and make you feel like you don't understand each other.
Different Priorities - We all place a different level of importance on certain things in life. It can be very frustrating if the person you share your life with has different priorities to you, as it can make you feel like you are fighting a losing battle.
Different Beliefs - People in relationships often discover that they have different political perspectives, different religious beliefs, or different ideas when it comes to bringing up children.
These are all things that can put strain on relationships, especially if we are not able to understand, accept, and respect these differences.
Moving Through Life At Different Speeds - We all move through our lives at different speeds. Some of us need to keep up a faster pace in order to feel productive and alive, whereas other may need to slow down in order to feel more connected to themselves and their lives.
If you are in a relationship with someone who moves through life at a very different pace to you this can cause a lot of stress and conflict.
Insecurity can be a real killer within relationships. It can make us feel and behave in ways that are irrational and unfair to our partners. Unfortunately insecurity is very powerful and it can be difficult to control the negative impact it has on relationships.
Here are some of the most common and destructive ways in which you may recognise insecurity manifesting itself in your relationship.
Trust Issues - If we find it difficult to trust a partner then the relationship is going to suffer badly. Sometimes this lack of trust is warranted.
Perhaps we have had experience with a current or previous partner who has been unfaithful or deceitful to us or someone else in the past.
Perhaps our partner is very selfish and isn't able to communicate successfully, which leaves us feeling uncertain in the relationship. If there is no trust between you and your loves one, it can be very difficult to grow together and form a strong and lasting bond.
Jealousy - Unfortunately jealousy is extremely common when someone in a relationship feels insecure. This can lead to unfair behaviour, accusations being thrown around, and severe damage to the relationship in the long run.
Possessiveness - Occasionally a possessive nature may find its way into a relationship and cause it to quickly become unhealthy. This happens when one person feels that the other belongs to them.
They can end up feeling the need to control certain aspects of the relationship and the person that they are sharing a life with. The relationship lacks equality, mutual respect, and freedom, which can cause unhappiness and unease.
Neediness - This is perhaps one of the most common ways in which insecurity presents itself in relationships. Unfortunately being needy is a sure way to make yourself very unattractive to a partner.
It can be easy to forget that a partner was once attracted to your independence, and individual, quirky personality. Insecurities and fear of losing something that makes us happy can make us try to change ourselves, and also try to change our partners.
Poor communication is at the core of so much unnecessary misunderstanding between the two people in a relationship. Listening and communicating well with loved ones is a skill that we take for granted, but that needs conscious effort.
You may think that you talk and listen to your partner, but if your partner doesn't feel like they are able to express themselves fully and genuinely be heard, understood and acknowledged it can very quickly cause resentment. Then repetitive destructive patterns start to occur in the relationship.
The problem is that people can be very self-absorbed when it comes to how we feel about things. This can make it difficult to be open to alternative perspectives and we don't always see that ways in which our partners are being affected too.
This self-absorption can overtake everything the more we feel our own personal needs are not being met.
Abuse in relationships is not always as visible as you might think. When we talk about abusive relationships the first thing that comes to mind is domestic violence, but abuse can take more subtle, but equally destructive forms.
Mental abuse is very common and can go unnoticed by both the giver and receiver. In fact some of us may even be guilty of mentally abusing our partners without even realising it or meaning to.
Here are some signs of mental and emotional abuse to watch out for in your relationship.
Constant Criticism - Small negative comments and a general lack of appreciation over time can grind away at a person's self esteem, making them feel like they are not good enough.
When we genuinely love a person, we don't treat them in this way. We don't want someone we love to feel bad about the person they are. Instead we want to help to boost their confidence and inner glow so that they can flourish and blossom into the best and most attractive version of themselves.
A healthy relationship is supportive and encouraging, and doesn't chip away at a person's identity, breaking them down bit by bit.
Intimidation and Threats - Shouting or threatening to leave is a common method that people can use to intimidate partners into submission in relationships.
By using threats and intimidation it is possible to prevent a person from standing up for themselves, and this makes it much easier for someone to control situations or get what they want.
Undermining - Undermining your partner can be as simple as not taking into account their thoughts and opinions. When you dismiss what a person says it makes them feel worthless.
Guilt-Tripping - Forcing someone to feel guilty is a very common form of manipulation within relationships. It can range from typical sulking behaviours and silent treatments to full-blown emotional blackmail, for example having emotional outbursts or threatening to harm oneself.
Controlling Finances - Some people use money to control partners in relationships. This can take the form of withholding money or controlling how money is spent.
It can also go as far as preventing a partner from having a job and earning their own money. When you take away a person's financial independence they become wholly reliant on the other person in the relationship for everything, and this gives that person an incredible amount of power to abuse.
Being Bossy - A more explicit form of abuse is outright telling a person what they can and cannot do. This kind of control can extend to deciding who a partner's friends are, if they can even have any close friends, and what they wear or how they do their hair.
Relationships fail for so many different reasons, and we have not even touched on some of them in this article. For example, money and stress often have a significant destructive impact on relationships.
People's jobs can impact on quality time being spent with the family too. Sometimes relationships fail because people outgrow each other. We all grow and change in our lives and sometimes this means that we grow apart from the people we once loved.
All we can do is try to be aware of the problems that cause relationships to fail so that we can analyse our own experiences. Only then do we have the power to make positive changes in our lives.
Also read "Signs Of Codependence In Your Relationship".