Dr. Seth Meyers, from “The Dr. Drew Show,” “The Doctors,” “Good Morning America,” and “The Early Show,” sheds light on the five self-destructive things people do that end their relationships. As a Licensed Clinical Psychologist, Psychology Today Blogger, and Best-Selling Author of the book, “Dr. Seth’s Love Prescription: Overcome Relationship Repetition Syndrome and Find the Love You Deserve” – he identifies what NOT to do and how to fix common relationship problems.
According to Dr. Seth, the number one action to end a relationship is Over-Reaction to something negative your partner says or does. “When your partner says or does something that makes you feel angry, sad or insecure, try telling yourself not to overreact and to hear your partner out without interruption,” says Dr. Seth. He recommends going to separate corners to reflect alone – creating physical space may help determine whether what was said is accurate or was said impulsively without much meaning.
Dr. Seth identifies Nagging as another surefire relationship killer. “Choose your battles with your partner – acting like a nagging mother or harping on an issue will not fix a situation and bring you closer, it will only push your partner further away.” Dr. Seth proposes polling a few close friends or relatives on the issue: if everyone agrees it’s a problem, then asking the partner to change it is justified. Another effective tactic is to ask your partner whether they think you nag them: if they say “yes,” apologize for past nagging and consciously work on changing that behavior. Also, check yourself by paying extra attention to the way you talk to your partner over the next week – if you catch yourself nagging, apologize immediately and distract yourself by engaging in another activity.
Insecurity can also lead to a breakup. “Men and women both want the same thing, someone confident and strong, not someone they need to reassure like a toddler,” says Dr. Seth. He warns that negative insecurities often don’t reflect how your partner sees you in reality. “No one wants a patient for a partner, so don’t turn your partner into your therapist – you’ll burn them out and they will start to detach from you,” cautions Dr. Seth. Instead, he suggests “coming out of the Insecurities Closet” by making a list of your primary insecurities, such as weight/body issues or fears of loss of attraction, and reviewing it together. He also finds journaling goals to self-heal the insecurities or seeking a trained psychotherapist extremely helpful.
Many relationships end due to Codependency. In a push to fuse with their partner, some people will forget about their own interests, hobbies and goals –things that may have attracted their partners in the first place. To break codependency’s false bond, Dr. Seth finds making a list of how and with whom you spent your free time prior to your relationship a worthwhile exercise. “Try monitoring the amount of alone time you have, as no couple should be spending all their free time together,” says Dr. Seth. He suggests pursuing an activity on your own, such as going to the gym or taking a fun class at your local community college.
Lastly, Dr. Seth classifies Compulsive Behaviors in the top five reasons why relationships end. “An increase in frequency of substance use, shopping, impulsive purchases, or going out will often make the grounded partner very anxious, destabilizing the relationship and causing it to end.” Potentially dangerous, Dr. Seth advises that compulsive behaviors should be addressed immediately. “Own up to your excessive behavior, tell your partner you are taking steps to put a stop to it, and ask your partner how your actions have impacted them to validate their feelings,” says Dr. Seth.