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  • Writer's pictureHRC

Conscious Connections: 10 Habits That Can Damage Your Relationship

When it comes to relationships, conflict and challenges are inevitable. Our individual experiences, attachment styles, and communication dynamics significantly influence how we perceive our relationship and interact with our partner. These things can lead to habits that can impact our relationship and the connection we have with our partner. Let's take a closer look at 10 of the most common habits that can damage your relationship.

Ignoring Problems

Avoiding or ignoring issues instead of confronting them can create a sense of disconnection and tension within a relationship. This behavior often leads to a breakdown in communication between partners, resulting in more misunderstandings, misinterpretations, and unresolved conflicts over time. When couples fail to address relationship issues together, it undermines trust, intimacy, and emotional bonds, making it difficult for partners to express themselves openly, resolve problems effectively, and collaborate to improve their relationship.

Turning Away from Bids for Connection

When your partner makes a bid for connection, they’re essentially saying, “I want to connect with you.” How you respond to these bids can make or break your relationship. When one partner consistently dismisses or ignores the attempts of the other to connect or share experiences, it creates a sense of rejection and loneliness. This behaviour communicates a lack of interest or investment in the relationship, leaving the seeking partner feeling unimportant. Over time, repeated instances of turning away erodes the bond between partners due to the absence of mutual engagement. This can lead to feelings of resentment and insecurity, as the seeking partner may interpret the lack of reciprocity and responsiveness as a sign of disinterest or indifference.

Not Prioritising the Relationship

When one or both partners consistently place other commitments or interests above the relationship, it sends a message of neglect and disinterest. This can lead to feelings of loneliness, frustration, and resentment as the neglected partner feels undervalued and unimportant. Over time, this can create a sense of instability and insecurity as the relationship becomes overshadowed by other concerns. Ultimately, not prioritising the relationship undermines the foundation of mutual care and investment necessary for a healthy and fulfilling partnership.

Keeping Score

When one partner mentally tallies perceived wrongdoings or grievances committed by the other, it can lead to resentment and imbalance. This behaviour creates a toxic environment where trust and emotional connection erode over time, making it challenging to resolve conflicts or move forward. Score-keeping is a habit that undermines the foundation of trust, respect, and mutual support essential for a healthy and thriving relationship, and can potentially lead to long-term damage.


Being dishonest or deceitful, whether it's about small matters or more significant ones, is one of the fastest ways to damage a relationship, as it can undermine trust and intimacy. While we sometimes tell "white lies" or withhold information to avoid hurting someone's feelings, it's important to remember that trust is at the core of all healthy relationships. It's not always easy to tell the truth, but it's even harder to rebuild trust once it has been destroyed.


When one partner shuts down emotionally and refuses to engage in communication or address concerns, it creates a profound sense of disconnection and frustration. This behaviour effectively blocks any opportunity for resolution or understanding, leaving the other partner feeling unheard and invalidated. Over time, stonewalling erodes trust and intimacy, as it prevents the healthy expression of emotions and needs within the relationship. Moreover, it can exacerbate conflicts and lead to resentment, as unresolved issues continue to fester beneath the surface. Ultimately, stonewalling undermines the foundation of mutual respect and communication necessary for a thriving partnership, jeopardizing the long-term health and happiness of the relationship.

Being Overly Critical or Negative

Constant criticism or negativity creates an environment of tension and dissatisfaction, where even small issues can escalate into bigger conflicts. Over time, this erodes the foundation of trust and respect, leading to feelings of resentment and disconnection. When one or both partners consistently focus on the negatives or their partners perceived shortcomings, it becomes challenging to appreciate the positives and nurture a healthy, supportive relationship. This habit stifles communication, diminishes intimacy, and can have detrimental impacts on the emotional well-being of both partners.

Passive-Aggressive Behaviour

Instead of openly addressing concerns or conflicts, individuals may express their frustrations indirectly through subtle remarks, sarcasm, or withholding affection. This approach creates an atmosphere of tension and confusion, as partners struggle to decipher underlying messages and intentions. Over time, passive-aggressive behaviour erodes trust and communication, making it difficult to address issues constructively and resolve conflicts effectively. Moreover, it undermines the emotional safety and intimacy essential for a healthy relationship, fostering resentment and distance between partners. Ultimately, this habit stifles genuine connection and undermines the overall well-being of the relationship.

Refusing to Compromise

When one or both partners are unwilling to consider the needs and desires of the other, it creates a dynamic of power struggles and resentment. This behaviour can lead to ongoing conflicts and dissatisfaction as neither partner feels important, heard or valued. Over time, the refusal to compromise erodes mutual respect and cooperation, making it difficult to find common ground and work together to resolve issues. This can lead to feelings of frustration and disillusionment as the relationship becomes characterised by a lack of flexibility and understanding.

Being Unsupportive

When one partner fails to offer encouragement, understanding, or assistance during challenging times, it creates a sense of isolation and emotional distance. The lack of support, empathy, and mutual care erodes the foundation of trust and dependability. This often leads to feelings of abandonment, neglect, insecurity and inadequacy for the unsupported partner as they are left to navigate difficulties alone. When the lack of support is ongoing, it can exacerbate existing issues and lead to resentment and disconnect as it impacts the mutual respect and solidarity required for a healthy and long-lasting relationship.

To foster healthier relationships, it's crucial to recognise and let go of negative habits and harmful patterns of behaviour. While conflict is inevitable, we can still cultivate skills to manage it, strengthening our bonds and communication in the process. It's about embracing growth and learning how to navigate challenges together. By prioritising understanding and connection, we pave the way for more fulfilling and resilient relationships. This can be difficult to navigate alone, especially if these behaviours are deeply ingrained. This is where working with a relationship counsellor can help, as you will learn new skills and ways of thinking that can help you to make meaningful change in your life and relationship.



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