Growing up, we were taught a whole lot, but never took an actual class on ”how not to be a shitty partner.” Sure, they taught us the biology of sex, human sexual behavior, the legitimacy of marriage, and some may have even read love stories from the 18th and 19th centuries on love. But when it comes down to the nitty- gritty of relationships, most people are clueless. Most are given advice by the same people who practice those same dysfunctional relationships. You see, women have the power to mold the relationship; our roles, and how we view real or perceived conflicts are just a few factors. Once we figure out why we make the choices we do, we can begin to change our way of thinking and choose the healthiest options. But only very few are able to do so successfully. Often times we see women who are dominant; women who are controlling and obsessive and women who don’t put into practice the wisdom they possess. The problem then becomes that it’s those very same women who subsequently don’t recognize the signs of toxic everyday behaviors.

I believe that many unhealthy relationship habits are ingrained in our culture. We all worship the romantic love that we see in movies and read in books. Men and women are brought up to objectify the relationship and each other. Many times our partners are seen as assets rather than someone with whom we share a mutual emotional connection. A lot of self-help books don’t help either when they try pitching that men and women are from different planets. We are more alike than we know (sorry John Gray). And let’s face it; most of us don’t grow up with the best examples of what healthy relationships look like (sorry mom and dad). Toxic relationships are everywhere we look. Most of the times we date toxic people; at other times we have friends, family and co-workers who are toxic. Then there are those people who fill our lives with happiness, those rare souls who don’t want anything more than to see us happy. Guru’s teach and talk about ways of protecting our energies from these toxic people, but what no one seems to talk about is the toxic behaviors that are part of everyday “normal” life. Most people actually find these behaviors part of the norm. Weird isn’t it?

Through psychological research on healthy and happy relationships in the past few decades, there are some general principles that most people are either unaware of or don’t practice. There are common tendencies that couples think are healthy and normal but are actually toxic and detrimental. Let’s take a look at some of the most common ones.

Five toxic relationship habits that most people think are normal:

  1. Keeping tabs on who does what: – I find this particular habit very disturbing and see it more than I should. It’s when one partner continuously brings up and blames you for past mistakes that you’ve made in the relationship. It turns into a scoreboard of who has done this or didn’t do that. Both parties blame each other and keep tabs on each other. “You were rude to my mother at the party in 2013; don’t do that again tonight.” And months later you are still reminded of your behavior. Or, “I always walk the dogs at least twice a day and you only walk them every so often.” Keeping tabs within the relationship is very unhealthy, what you are then doing is trying to justify your own wrongdoing by bringing up past scenarios and manipulating your partner to feel guilt for something that was done in the past. If this becomes a habit then instead of a way of dealing with the current issue as both partners use all their energy to prove who is right and who did what instead of working on the actual problem.

What to do: Take a look at yourself and your partner;