The 5 Biggest Relationship Killers and Their Solutions

By Jennifer Elizabeth Masters

Updated 9.12.15 9:48 PM PST


‘In every marriage more than a week old, there are grounds for divorce. The trick is to find, and continue to find, grounds for marriage.’ ~ Robert Anderson


Our greatest gift is love. When we are in a loving nurturing relationship, we feel amazing. We feel we are capable of doing anything. Everything improves when our relationships are operating on all cylinders. When issues arise, and they will, we can feel just as passionately about our differences. How can we overcome the challenges when they present themselves so that we can move back into feeling the love?


Our purpose is to love and be loved. We can’t allow love in when we judge, criticize or beat up our loved ones. Moving beyond negativity can be a challenge when we focus on another’s faults. Here are the biggest issues that we create from our lack of acceptance of self and others. The solution follows as well.

1. Judgement. When we judge another, we create separation rather than Oneness. The truth is that we are all one. Thinking that others are separate from us, rather than part of us creates more separation. Judging another comes from our small selves (ego). When we focus on how different someone is from us, wanting them to be like us, we are in non-acceptance. Our ego may say something like, “That’s not how I would do this! I know I could do it better!” We are not feeling the energy of love. Put yourself in the other’s shoes. See how you would feel if you experienced the events in your life that your partner has. Feel compassion for them, rather than judgment. Compassion will shift you into a loving feeling quickly. Give gratitude for the way that your partner has shown you another facet of yourself to heal and love more. 
2. Fusion. (Enmeshment) A fused system is where the parties of a relationship are fused together or enmeshed, getting all their needs met from those inside the system. Fusion is also called enmeshment. It is an unhealthy relationship. There is no “I,” only “WE.” In this type of system, the neediest or most anxious members of the system will create pressure on the others to conform or sacrifice for the other. Distinct personalities may be banished, instead of both parties being the same. In this fused system, your options for getting your needs met by outsiders, friends, or outside activities are restricted. 
The biggest issue with a fused system is the amount of time spent together doing mundane activities. The excitement and adventure are removed. When everything is done together, there is no time apart to live and experience amazing education, or events, to bring back to the partnership.
The more co-dependent the couple is the more boredom that ensues. Excitement diminishes, and sex may become a distant memory. Having a life outside of the relationship is healthy and brings more new energy into the relationship. Fusion or enmeshment requires both parties to become separate individuals or to grow up.  
Often this leads to one person expecting the other to be exactly like them. Codependency is putting the relationship before your own personal needs. You may give up fitness, time for meditation, time with your friends so that you and your partner can spend time together. All this togetherness creates the energy of being siblings. Soon sex will go out the window because you will not want to have sex with a sibling.

Take time for yourself outside of the relationship. Meditate. Workout regularly. Spend time with your friends. All of these activities you did before the relationship need to continue. I have seen too many relationships ends up in the divorce court because the couple had no outside interests than each other. Often one or both will feel that they have lost themselves. Be authentic. Do what you love so that you will be happy with you. Don’t give up all the activities that kept you feeling grounded and confident for the other person. 
3. No Fair Fighting. Issues are sure to come up in relationships. It is impossible for two people to live together without disagreements permanently. Rather than blaming another for what is going on, take responsibility for your part. Look inside to see what you could have done differently? Is there a pattern coming up for you that reflects something in your childhood?

Name-calling, abusive language, bringing up issues from the past or keeping score, bringing other people into the argument (“My mother said _________________ about you.”) Triangulating is a huge issue. Telling your child something negative about your partner might make you feel better, but it damages your relationship with your child and your partner’s relationship with you.

When discussing a hot topic use, “I feel that……” statements rather than “You make me feel……” Blaming another for how you feel is making you a victim. You are not a victim. No one can MAKE you feel anything. You choose to feel or allow your emotions to run wild.
If one person attacks the other consistently in your arguments, and the other withdraws you will find yourself at a standstill. Typically, one person is the stronger of the two and may take the position of aggressor while the other withdraws. The person who withdraws is probably too afraid to express their feelings for fear of retribution. There will be no settling of issues in this imbalance. We need to listen and be heard to communicate lovingly. Running away is a childish act. A lot of us developed our communication styles from our family of origin. For some of us, this was not the best place to learn communication. 

In my family, for example, my father would get angry and walk or drive away. His energy would get big and scary, which shut my mother up. She would then become passive aggressive, poking at him with her words, further pissing him off. They would often go for weeks without speaking. 

Avoidance of issues never serves the relationship but will lead to festering of the problem by pushing it down and avoiding it. Avoidance does not resolve anything. These issues are better discussed – even if your partner gets angry. Let them. You can’t move forward with a huge elephant hanging around in your room. Talk about the issue, rather than trying to pretend nothing happened.

Don’t go to bed angry. Always commit to resolving your issues before nightfall. This way you don’t climb into bed angry, no sleeping on the couch either. If this is occurring, two children are showing up in the relationship, rather than adults. You are reacting to what is being said, rather than listening.

When both parties attack each other issues, escalate quickly. Attacking is like throwing gasoline onto a burning fire. Nothing

good comes out of two people attacking each other. 

No one is heard of understood during a battle. Words can be spoken in the heat of the moment that may be forgiven, but not forgotten. Both parties need to cool down before they can discuss without the fire. Two parties attacking each other is like throwing gasoline on a burning fire. It only gets more heated. Nothing is resolved, and feelings will be hurt. Agree to take a break.  Reconvene when your anger has diminished.

Anger is natural. How you deal with anger is up to you. Deciding to breathe, get some space to cool down may be the best way so that your perspective can be more balanced. Anger tends to make us irrational. An irrational person often hurts the person they feel is posing a threat, even if it is just perceived. 

Remember wounded people hurt others.

Anger as an emotion tells you something about yourself. Perhaps this situation reminds you of something you experienced as a child. When anger arises, it could be boundaries being crossed. This is a good time to look and see where you cross other’s boundaries. If our partner has boundary issues, so do we. Always look within to find the source of your anger. The other person may push your buttons, but you are the one that chooses how you react. Yelling, calling the other names, telling the other what a poor excuse for a human they are does nothing to further your relationship. Instead, stop and feel inside. Where have you had this feeling before? 

No one can make you feel what you don’t allow. 

4. Blame. If we have been traumatized as children, we often continue to feel like a victim into adulthood. This can be healed with coaching. I used to blame everyone for my life, for my feelings and the way things went in my relationships. Blame is obstructive. It is not true. You are not a victim. We have to take responsibility for our own actions, emotions, and thoughts. Blaming anyone is destructive it won’t get you to love – ever. 

You have to do deep forgiveness for the past. You have to heal the old hurts. Get your energy cleared. Get your patterns cleared. I work with my clients to reprogram the unconscious mind. I even do spiritual reparenting which shifts your perception about how loved you were as a child. 

When we didn’t get our needs met as children, we continue to perpetuate old patterns of withdrawing, running away and blaming. Book a session with me, it is completely painless and I am so connected, the guidance I receive is spot on!

5. Self Abandonment. The number one cause of relationship breakups and divorce is self-abandonment. This comes from being a people pleaser, trying to please everyone and giving up your personal truth. You may tell your boyfriend early on that you love football because he does, to win his favor. You might tell your girlfriend that you love country and western music because she does when you hate it. Abandoning your self is never good. It leads to mistrust and creates resentment. 

Be true to yourself. Be authentic. The more authentic you are, the happier you will be. When you are happy with you, your relationships are healthier and more balanced. 

I know about this one, as I had a husband lie to me about loving Led Zeplin and pretending to be mellow. Instead, he was a rageaholic, not mellow at all. He spoke in a sexy lay-back kind of way feigning how relaxed he was. He faked who he was to win me. I have done it too before I loved myself. I would be the chameleon to win the

favor of whoever I was with. Eventually, I felt angry and resentful because I gave up who I was. Was it their fault? Absolutely not! Being true to yourself, is the way to go. Be the best you that you can be, but be authentic.

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