18 Things That Will Ruin Your Relationships

By David Small •  Updated: 06/21/16 •  20 min read


Relationships refer to interactions between individuals and love is often involved. Some romantic relationships continue to grow and blossom while other couples need to make major changes to avoid the ruin of their relationships.

The root cause of ruin in a relationship is the selfishness of one or both partners. Once selfishness enters a relationship, the love factor diminishes over time causing the relationship to be ruined.

No relationship is perfect, despite the length of time the partners have been involved with each other. While some couples work hard at improving their relationships, others opt for separation or divorce. Separation is not an accidental occurrence, individuals make a conscious decision to separate. Estrangement builds up slowly when people tend to avoid things that matter most. Studies reveal that the divorce rate has increased tremendously around the world. But why relationships are falling apart? Let us find out the top reasons that are causing relationships to be ruined. Here are 18 factors that contribute to the ruin of relationships:

  1. Taking your Partner for Granted

Relationships are ruined when one or both partners take each for granted. It is all too easy for even happy and contented relationships to become stale, however, if you begin to take your partner for granted and fail to appreciate the qualities that you initially fell in love with all those years ago. For relationships to remain healthy and satisfying, you must continue to prove your love and appreciation throughout the duration of your time together.

When you put your children, parents, best friends, talents, or careers before your partner, you send a clear message to him or her that they are unimportant. Imagine having that message sent to you every day for many years. What would that do to your self-esteem?

Putting your wife, husband, or partner first sometimes seems counterintuitive and counterproductive; I think you’d be amazed to find that it’s often the key to the greatest happiness in marriage. So many couples get divorced these days because they neglect to care for and love and put each other first.

Always remember why you love that special someone. Showing gratitude and being attentive to that good person by your side will only make your relationships stronger.

  1. Communication

Many relationships fail because couples fail to communicate with each other. Sharing your feelings with each other and just talking with each other allows couples to develop closer bonds. In the initial days of a relationship, people spend most of the time with their partners but eventually over time, people start giving priorities to their other businesses which cause a communication gap.

Married couple experience similar problems in their relationships. After a few years of marriage, the trips, romantic dates, sightseeing trips, etc dissolve into their daily chores. Even having their meals together becomes a hardship. The opportunities to communicate with each other become less and less as the responsibilities grow.

A lack of communication often evolves into Beginning with the small fights to fights over small things and then fighting with their own selves to drag the relation which ultimately dies out becomes the future of a relationship in this case.

Not in the area of phone calling or text messages though also important but specifically in the awareness of things to do or how to do them. Both parties must be kept abreast of what’s coming. Make your moves, schedules, work or some family related details clear to your partner. Always keeping them in the dark brings about uncertainties that could cause regular misunderstanding in a relationship.

  1. Personal Time

Try to keep your dependence and independence in balance. It’s important for you to spend time with your partner and share an interest but allowing some personal time is equally important to your relationship. This time away from each other helps to maintain harmony by giving you a sense of individuality.

However, do not abuse your personal time by hanging out with your friends more than with your partner; it will definitely wear down your relationship. Often times, being irresponsible, you have the tendency to abuse your personal time for the wrong reasons.

For example; coming home late, never keep your partner informed of your whereabouts and eventually forgetting and neglecting your partner who is anxiously waiting and worrying for you at home. This irresponsible behavior will soon cause a lot of conflicts and affect the harmony in your relationship.

The truth is, irresponsibility is so detrimental and may destroy a relationship. Hence, couples who wish to have and maintain a happy relationship are advised to learn how to fix a relationship by avoiding all the irresponsible behavior to their best ability.

  1. Criticism

We all have our own unique standards in life, and in an ideal world, we would find a mate who shared these as closely as possible. This is not always possible, however, meaning that we must occasionally compromise on these ideas if a relationship to be successful. If you do find yourself in this position, it is also crucial that you refrain from being too critical of a partner who has less than exacting standards.

The differences between two individuals must be embraced in a successful relationship, rather than being picked upon and criticized. Criticism will wear your relationship down without you noticing.

Relationship expert John Gottman and Nan Silver, who wrote The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work, is known for determining the success of a marriage within five minutes of meeting the couple. One of the deciding factors is evidence of criticism.

Gottman and Nan Silver know couples will complain in their relationships. But he differentiates complaining from criticism. Criticism is more global “because it attacks the person and not their behavior.

So, how do we know if criticism has crept in? An example would be, “The reason you didn’t pick up the kids is not that you forgot. It’s because you are a terrible father.” Know how to spot criticism, because it could be killing your relationship.

  1. Unrealistic expectations

When you begin a relationship there are certain underlying expectations. These boundaries get wrapped up in behavior and action. This might be particular chores around the house, how money is spent, or how children are disciplined.

Problems emerge when these expectations become unrealistic and the partner feels crushed under the weight of their failing behavior. Most likely this will lead to an unhealthy relationship.

Setting unrealistic rules on a spouse or partner is guaranteed to build distrust into the relationship and finally wear it down. Healthy and agreed-upon rules and boundaries should free the other person, not enslave them. They should allow the partner to flourish, not flounder.

It should be clear by now that a lack of communication is pivotal to the majority of most relationship issues, and this also applies to a failure to understand your partners’ expectations. Life goals vary according to each individual, as while some desire nothing more than to start a family others have more career-orientated aspirations. While there may be room for both in the modern family, it is crucial that every individual understands the needs of their partner and works together in a bid to achieve them.

  1. Comparison

With the ease of staying in touch with past relationships through Facebook, text messages, and other social media, the temptation of comparison is great and it can wear any relationship more than anything else.

Comparing your current partner with a former relationship is a guaranteed disaster. The comparison is unfair and no one person is the standard for all relationships. If they were so great why did the relationship not work out?

Testing your current relationship, based on a prior one, is a good way to kill your relationship before it begins. Relationships are complex because of timing, the maturity of the partner, and emotional stability. These factors change over time.

If you find yourself searching Facebook or daydreaming about past partners you might need to address this relationship killer.

  1. Trying to change your partner

If you can’t stand a behavior and attitude that is not similar to yours, you might want to change your partner’s personality and make it as close to yours. Sometimes it is necessary to ask whether you are too egotistical. Are you a person who is not prepared to compromise?

The best you can do is to accept partner as it is, with all shortcomings and virtues, because no one is perfect. If you can’t do that, consider the whole idea of staying with someone whose behavior is so disturbing to you.

If you can’t seem to accept each other how you are, flaws and all, then maybe you aren’t right for each other. Yes, people do change sometimes, but it has to be because they want to, not because you forced them into it with tiny insults, and pushy “well meaning” suggestions.

  1. Infidelity

Among all the reasons that can wear a relationship, infidelity (the state of being sexually unfaithful) marks an important place. Lack of the fulfillment of sexual desire with own partner leads to unfaithfulness in the relation. Sleeping with another person secretly brings guilt to a person and he/she then finds it difficult to continue the relationship with the same vigor. And once this gets revealed, then the end of that relationship becomes quite obvious. Relations are based on trust and once this trust is broken, there is nothing left in the relationship to continue with.

Infidelity is one of the most common reasons for divorce and breakdown in relationships. Even after years, the world has not forgotten the illicit affair of Prince Charles with Camilla that wrecked Princess Diana’s marriage with him. There are many such men and women who indulge in infidelity and wreck their own marriages. When partners become unfaithful to one another, divorce becomes the only solution.

  1. Money matters

The never ending needs of people in order to move neck to neck with the world come in between their personal relations and tend to destroy them. Instead of curbing their own needs people blame each other for over spending and ultimately the relationship comes to an end.

Women should show sincere appreciation and respect to your husband by carefully following a budget and making the most of what you have. Be wise about your finances. Constantly complaining about not having enough to fulfill your lavish desires or racking up astronomical amounts of debt on your credit card is a poor way of saying “thank you” to a faithful spouse who works hard every day to provide for the family.

Yes, you may not have enough to buy that Kate Spade bag you’ve had your eyes on for months, but your husband will love and appreciate the fact that you honor him and are grateful for what he provides.

Money either can make your life better or can make it worse. There is no middle ground when it comes to money. Disagreements over financial responsibilities or monetary investments can cause much stress in a relationship often leading it to divorce.

Though it may not be a primary cause of separation, it is certainly a significant contributor of things that can wear a relationship down. It is recommended that you manage your funds with mutual understanding, fairness, and a tiny dose of compromise.

  1. Grudges and Complaint

Say, your girlfriend is having an important meeting and you really want to rant about a new colleague of yours. You call her countless times and force her to talk to you, simply because you’re in a bad mood and you deserve her attention. Hey, Bro, we know you’re angry, but is your anger worth your girlfriend’s career?

Just like the shopping list of girls, their complaints too never end. This stereotype gave to girls also goes for boys as well that can lead to harsh results. This is to say that, complaints till the time welcomed with a light mood are fine but at certain times they become an irritating issue. Too many grudges and complaints about little things can make the relationship wear down and at the end, a person is left just with a resentment and crying over a dead relation.

Complaining to a guy, especially about something he can’t change is extremely frustrating to him. When a woman complains to a guy that he has to like her more, it’s really something he can’t just make happen. He can’t make himself love you more, he has to feel it. He has no control over this. When a woman complains to a guy that he has to make changes to something he has no control over, he’ll get annoyed, upset, and start thinking about leaving you. Let’s be cautious about complaining to him about things he has no control over.

  1. Respect for your partner

Giving less respect to your partner will wear any relationship down more than anything else. Undoubtedly love in a relationship is very important but respecting your partner is in no way less significant. A person may shower immense love on his partner but ignore the factor of respect and this is where differences occur.

Insulting your partner or not giving much respect, especially in public spheres may hurt a person’s self-respect. It doesn’t matter how much you love your soul mate behind the curtains but getting respect is also expected.

This goes not only for a girlfriend-boyfriend relationship but also with the married couples. Many times we observe husbands treating their wives as their property and as a result disrespecting them which sometimes lead to the killing of their relationship.

  1. Lies

Well, this cannot be overstretched, it still remains one thing that slowly wears any relationship down. The more you lie to your partner, the lesser he/she trust you, and when trust is gone in a relationship, that’s trouble!

Why is a small lie just as dangerous as a big lie? Well, it’s because they both have the same impact on intimacy. Honesty in marriage is like the chain that holds you together. Removing one link or ten links does the same thing – it causes separation. If you’ve made mistakes in your relationship or have been hiding things from your spouse, now is the time to seek truth and confession; because a relationship riddled with dishonesty, is no relationship at all.

Lying is by all means not a good thing for any kind of relationship. Hiding the truth certainly, brings a lot of problems to many couples as a great part of people could not accept such kind of betrayal from their partner.

So, the next time you decide to hide the truth, remember that hurting the feelings of the other person is just one of the things that you will experience. Honesty is not so popular nowadays, so you need to appreciate it and to give the same to your partner unless you want to lose this person for good.

  1. Jealousy

According to the English dictionary, jealousy is resentment against a rival, mental uneasiness from fear or suspicion of the unfaithfulness of a lover. More often than not, it is the unpleasant experience in life that brings out this ugly emotion out of us. For example a cheating ex, an ex who dumped you by text, an ex who used you for monetary gain, and millions of other terrible things that a human being can inflict on another.

According to Derek Kim, writer of overcoming jealousy, Jealousy issues can be divided largely into two groups, one that stems from an experience of abandonment and the second from rejection. Generally speaking, jealousy usually triggers the feeling of insecurity and that’s when things get way out of control.

Overcoming jealousy and insecurity issues will not happen overnight. In fact, I have to warn you that this process is a long healing journey. But once you overcome it, you will be rewarded generously with many good things to come in life. If you fail to overcome it, subsequently you will lose many people and opportunities that will come your way.

To overcome jealousy, you should first learn to treat people as individuals and you have to stop grouping people into stereotypes that you are familiar with. People see what they want to see in people and how you feel about someone does not define a person’s character. You know when they say things like, “I’m a good judge of character”, well people like that are usually full of it.

  1. Controlling your partner

Controlling behavior is another thing that wears a relationship and it finally leads to a breakup. For example when a guy wants to go out with his buddies for a boys’ night out. Suddenly, his woman tries to control his social calendar and tells him when he can go out and when he can’t. Can you imagine how shameful your man will feel when he has to call his buddies one by one and tell them that he has to miss the boys’ night out because his woman said so? We really don’t want that. We want our men to only have good, loving, warm thoughts when they think about us, not resentment or annoyance. So, let’s try to ditch the controlling behavior now.

Control issues may include: one partner making all the decisions without consulting the other; manipulation; controlling the money and requiring that the other partner ask them when cash is needed; requiring that one’s partner check-in or ask for permission before going out with family or friends.
Controlling behavior always results in resentment and emotional distance, bringing about the very rejection that it is meant to avoid. Let’s face it people hate to have their freedoms limited by another person or persons. This idea has caused many violent revolutions and wars. So before you try to control someone else’s behavior, get a grip of your own first.

  1. Neglecting to Take Care of your Appearance

While this may sound superficial, the level of pride that you take in your appearance often reflects your inherent values and the attitude that you have towards your relationship.

Those who neglect to take care of themselves are essentially revealing a lack of drive or hunger for self-improvement, while also underlining the fact that they are not prepared to make an effort to look nice for their partner.

This can slowly wear down the foundations of a relationship, especially if your partner is extremely motivated to keep fit and take care of the image that they present.

Yes, your spouse cares about your appearance, but perhaps not in the way you think. Your appearance is more about how you take care of and carry yourself, not your size. Yes, size does matter, but it matters less when you are clean, tidy, smelling good, and have the confidence to boot! Your partner wants to feel proud of you because you help him look good.

Examine all parts of your appearance: size, physical exercise, overall cleanliness, and tidiness. If you feel MOSTLY bad about your appearance overall, chances are your partner does, too. He won’t admit it, but he does want you to fix yourself up and show more confidence in the way you look and feel about yourself.

  1. Silence

Silence is definitely not gold. If silence has entered into your relationship, then it’s a warning bell. It will kill your relationship, for sure. Please open up and let your partner know about you. If you are silently taking up all that comes your way, then you are just inviting differences between both of you.

If you are doubtful about your partner’s reception of your problem, then just think of the ways of how you can put forth it. But, please do not choose to stay mute and keep your partner ignorant of what you are going through.

There is nothing good or bad about making your intentions clear to your partner. Instead, this will result in a mutual understanding between you two. This will help your relationship to grow and flourish.

If you start being mute, for the fear of acceptance, from your partner, you have chosen the wrong path. So, please sit together, and share your feelings about all that is happening to you. Have a listening ear too. This will strengthen your relationship.

17. Accusation

Simply put, one of the absolute kisses of death in a relationship is the tendency to assign blame or make accusations toward your partner especially when you don’t know all the facts. It’s as fundamental as asking a question rather than making a statement or worse — an accusation. It’s about asking, “Honey, did you make a purchase I don’t know about?” rather than saying “The account is overdrawn again. What did you buy this time?”

If you want to have a quality, loving relationship, learn to give your spouse the benefit of the doubt and always assume the best, rather than the worst. When you’re a graceful person who treats others fairly and respectfully, even when they occasionally make a mistake, it creates a desire in them to be even better and to justify your faith. People will often rise or fall to the exact level of your expectations, so it’s a great idea to check in on these if you see a problem

If you keep blaming your partner for everything that’s wrong in your relationship, it will wear down slowly and finally lead to a breakup. When you see more of his/her faults, there will always be something to complain about and the more the complaints the more the relationship would lose its value.

  1. Not saying Sorry when you are wrong

Not saying sorry when you are wrong wears relationships down fast. Not even the most loving relationship can survive without a certain amount of mutual respect. This can be shown in various ways, but one of the most obvious is the willingness to apologize and show remorse when you are in the wrong.

This shows a keen sense of maturity and integrity, as you are happy to accept when you have made a mistake and offended your partner. If sorry is the hardest word for you to say, however, this stubborn and short-sighted outlook may well end up costing you your relationship.

Sometimes you may catch yourself saying hurtful things to the one you love without even meaning to make him feel hurt or upset. People often don’t realize that the things they say may be misinterpreted as offensive or rude.

If you hurt your boyfriend’s feelings, take responsibility for your actions and apologize to him as soon as possible. If he let you know you hurt his feelings, he is taking a big step as a man, because many would rather hide their pain. In this case, it’s time for you to apologize to him.


A perfect relationship will require work from both of you. Sometimes, everything may be going well in your relationships, However, on other occasions there will be challenges that will affect the relationship; there will be times when the both on you might feel as though the relationship is dying.

Sometimes external factors will contribute to the demise of a relationship, but on other occasions both of you are the leading cause for the failing relationship. Here are some signs that you are contributing to the death of your relationships.

The way out is to develop a loving adult self who knows how to take full responsibility for your own feelings and needs. You will move beyond controlling, needy and addictive behavior only when you learn how to fill yourself with love and define your own inner worth.

When you are willing to take your eyes off your partner’s plate and turn your eyes fully on yourself, you can begin to do the inner healing work necessary to heal yourself and your relationships.

Remember you lay in the bed you make.

David Small

is the founder and editor of relationshiptips4u. He is a dating, marriage & relationship coach, speaker, and author. Learn more about him here and connect with him on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.

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