Jun 092015 9 Responses

Five Ways to Ruin a Good Relationship

Good relationships are often hard to find. Whether a long-lasting marriage or a new dating relationship which shows tremendous potential, when you find a good relationship you should do everything in your power to keep it good.

Unfortunately, while a good relationship is hard to find, it is easy destroy. As a pastor, I’m often amazed at how easily people ruin something that is good. On a regular basis I sit and listen to people who desperately want a good relationship. Sometimes they want it so bad, they foolishly get into a bad relationship because their desire for a relationship outweighs their wisdom.

So while some are jumping into bad relationships or longing to be in a good relationships, others are carelessly throwing away great situations because of their poor decision-making.

Here are five ways to ruin a good relationship:

1. Feel as though you deserve your partner (or someone better).

Entitlement is deadly. The moment we think we deserve our partner, we are on a slippery slope toward justifying both inaction and inappropriate behavior. A good relationship should give birth to gratitude (and gratitude often gives birth to a good relationship). (See: A Simple Way to Better Your Day)

While we shouldn’t believe our partner is better than us or out of our league, we should only be in a relationship with someone we deeply respect which should prevent us from believing we are better than our partner.

2. Make the relationship all about you.

Some people are more in love with the idea of love than an actual person. The greatest sign that is the case is when one person makes the whole relationship about them. They want all the privileges of being a boyfriend/girlfriend or husband/wife, but they don’t want any of the responsibilities of those roles.

The last place a selfish person needs to be is in a relationship with another person. If you can’t submit your dreams and desires to another person, you have no ability to be in a healthy relationship. A relationship should always be about “us,” and never about “me.” (See: Love a Person, Not the Idea of Love)

3. Only do what you feel like doing.

Feelings come and go. Whatever you feel today, you likely won’t feel the exact same thing tomorrow. In bad relationships, people only do what they feel like doing. If they don’t feel in love, they don’t act loving. If they don’t feel forgiving, they don’t forgive. If they don’t feel like being nice, they aren’t nice.

A healthy relationship requires discipline—doing what is right even when you don’t feel like it. Without discipline, a couple will be tossed back and forth by whatever one party is feeling in the moment. Volatile relationships are rarely good relationships.

4. Ignore your current season of life.

Life has seasons. You don’t wear a swimsuit in the winter and you don’t need a heavy coat in the summer. In the same way, a young couple in a good high school relationship shouldn’t act married and a long-time married couple shouldn’t act like they are fifteen.

When a couple ignores the season of life, they ignore the responsibilities of that season. Just because a relationship is good, don’t rush it to the next stage. Just because your marriage is happy, don’t fight against the advancement of time. Act your age, live your stage, and a good relationship can become better. Ignore your current season of life, and you will ruin a good relationship.

5.  Assume that because your relationship is good today, it will be good to tomorrow.

Good relationships are made. They happen for specific reasons. They don’t just occur without any effort. Show me a great relationship which looks easy and I’ll show you two people who have put a good deal of effort into making that relationship good. (See: I May Not Be Married Tomorrow)

Most assumptions are dangerous, but few assumptions are more dangerous than thinking we have a relationship figured out. We never have it all figured out. Every good couple is in a continual pursuit of more knowledge, understanding, and ability. The moment you think you have arrived, you are starting to die.

I know a lot of people who long for a good relationship. If you are one of the lucky ones who is currently in a relationship with a good guy or good girl, don’t be foolish. Recognize your good fortune and do the work necessary to keep the relationship good.

9 Responses to Five Ways to Ruin a Good Relationship
  1. Susan Reply

    So glad you posted this this morning. One of my friends really needs this…and I do too! Thank you

  2. David Justin Bibby Reply

    I’m definitely guilty of a couple of these at one time or another. I know a sense of entitlement (#1 on your list) was definitely in play.

    I think most couples have an fantasized notion that when they get married everything will be perfect and things will just work effortlessly. The husband expects that there to be more loving, more intimacy, more fun, etc… and finds that he has more RESPONSIBILITY then ever before. The wife expects more affection, more romance, more dating, more fun, etc and what she finds is more LACK of these things because both partners are super busy trying to survive and thrive.

    Yet, they want these things to just BE THERE (Entitlement) in the marriage and blame their partners for what’s missing.

  3. Randy Haney / British Columbia , Canada Reply

    Thank you so much for so many interesting and pertinent articles on marriage. Your stories motivate me to Healthy pause and introspection regarding How and what I doing within my own marriage. Certainly after 24 years of marraige I see Much truth in what you are saying and greatly appreciate your dedication and fine work for such a Noble cause . Strengthening these most important of all relationships is vital both to family and country.

  4. […] Healthy relationships are vital to a meaningful life. When we fail to mend broken relationships, we ... kevinathompson.com/fixing-broken-friendships
  5. Jim K Reply

    Awesome…awesome!!
    Very good and important points you make here. In my past, I had the tendency to get lax…comfortable… complacent! Putting in the work necessary to continue a good relationship is well worth it. As you’ve said in past blogs…we have to be intentional!!
    Thanks, Kevin!!

  6. […] Awareness of the signs can prevent death. When an individual or couple identifies any of these chara... kevinathompson.com/5-signs-your-relationship-is-dying

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