Most people think that poor communication is the reason why so many relationships end, but it’s actually the way we learn to think about our partners and our problems that kills trust, erodes intimacy, and cripples communication. When you’re married or in a long-term relationship, there are plenty of things best left unsaid. Negative thoughts can be just as harmful. Below, marriage therapists share six of the most damaging thoughts you can have about your relationship or your spouse.
Below are the nine toxic thought patterns that exist in virtually every relationship. Don’t let these distorted, negative, exaggerated thoughts can poison your love and end your union.
1. I Don’t Thinks He Loves Me Anymore.
It’s common for people to worry if their partners have become less invested in the relationship over time. But wondering if your S.O. loves you can create a cycle of negativity, especially if you ask them about it, said Pepper Schwartz, a professor of sociology at the University of Washington.
2. She Is Always Late
Your spouse’s lack of interest in sex, their seeming inability to load the dishwater. What matters is that you’re being unnecessarily critical of your spouse and using generalizations, said Greg Cason, a psychologist based in Los Angeles. And judgemental thoughts are very likely to end in contemptuous behavior.
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3. If Only He Was More Like So And So
We default to criticism as a way to punish our partner and try to get them to act differently in the future,” he said. “It’s better to zero in on a single behavior and express your feelings about it. For instance, ‘You’re late and that upsets me’ or ‘I’m disappointed because I was hoping to get physically closer to you.
4. I Wonder What So And So Is Like In Bed
If there are qualities or traits that you admire in someone else, then let your partner know you wish they did more of that and find out if it’s something they are willing or want to change,” she said. Of course, nothing breeds discontent more than fantasizing about being with someone else, said Kurt Smith, a therapist who specializes in counseling men.
5. I Should’nt Have To Tell Her This. She Should Just Now.
It’s completely unfair to expect your spouse to know exactly why you’re reacting so negatively to something they’ve done. And even if you don’t say anything about your expectations, your silent treatment and eye rolling likely speaks volumes.
6. What Happened To Us?
Sometimes I’ll look back and ruefully say to my husband, ‘Remember when we…?’ or ‘Remember how great that was…?’” she said. “He’ll smile and say, ‘Yeah. Wasn’t that great?’ He doesn’t say, ‘Yeah. Why don’t we have that anymore?’ or ‘It sure was. What happened to you or us?
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7. The All-or-Nothing Trap
You see your partner as either always doing the wrong thing, or never doing the right thing.
8. The Blame Game
You unfairly, and irrationally, blame your partner for relationship issues, or bigger issues.
9. Emotional Short Circuits
Emotional short circuits occur when one partner becomes convinced that his or her partner’s emotions can’t be handled.