DIVORCE
12/03/2013 12:00 pm ET | Updated Jan 23, 2014

5 Ways You May Be Sabotaging Your Relationship

By Jasbina Ahluwalia for YourTango.com

Do you find yourself fighting with your partner often or wondering why you don’t feel satisfied in your relationship? Have you tried to think of everything possible to help your partner change, all so you can have the relationship that you want or feel you deserve? And have you been disappointed in your partner when that didn't work? The answer may not lie with your partner but with you. While unhealthy conflict is due to the mistakes of both parties, if dissatisfaction is the primary feeling, it is possible that you are sabotaging your chances of having the relationship of your dreams.

1. You Look For Mistakes
Do you watch as your partner unloads the dishwasher, expecting them to put the pot on the wrong shelf? If you look for mistakes in your partner, all you will find are errors. You will miss the things that your partner does well, giving you a skewed view of your relationship. In addition, your partner most likely can tell you don't trust them, and in return they will feel more defensive and less likely to work with you to create the loving relationship you want.

2. You Back Down To Avoid Conflict
Conflict and arguments are natural and normal part of any relationship. Regularly giving in to avoid arguing can result in built up resentment that will come out in another way later. You are also more likely to develop depression as a result of keeping your feelings hidden. When you are resentful or depressed, you're less likely to give your partner what they need — and you're also less accurate about what you need. This actually creates a cycle of feeling consistently dissatisfied.

3. You Always Want To Be Right
Asserting that you are right may feel satisfying in the moment, but by insisting it, you create a sense of powerlessness for your partner. It sends a message to your partner that being right is more important than their experience or opinion and also more important than resolving the conflict. This will make your partner feel undervalued or defensive and less likely to be open to giving you what you need in the relationship because the relationship may feel one-sided.

4. You Expect Your Partner To Be A Mind Reader
No person on this earth can be 100 percent correct in guessing what you need — not even your mother. Often, when partners expect the other to know what they want without explicitly stating it, they put their partner in a situation where they're likely to fail. No person likes to be set up to under-perform and they may become upset or resentful toward you for not helping them succeed instead.

5. You Ignore Your Partner's Needs
Simply put, you will get out what you put in. If you are not invested in the relationship, not listening to your partner's needs or not prioritizing giving them what they want, it is difficult for them to do the same back. Often this is the case when partners don't trust each other very much and want to see the other take the first step before they follow suit. Couples then get into a stalemate on who should act first. If distrust runs rampant in your relationship, make the first move to give your partner what he/she wants, and believe that he or she will do the same back.

If you are dissatisfied in your relationship and don't know how to get what you need, look at yourself first and see if you are stepping on some of these minefields; they guarantee your relationship won't be what you want it to. Change has to come from both people to improve a relationship, but you are only in control of yourself. If you make the necessary changes to improve yourself, you may be surprised at how your relationship starts to reflect those changes in a positive way!

Article contributor MySahana, meaning my "patience" or "fortitude" in Sanskrit, is a nonprofit organization dedicated to spreading awareness about mental health issues as they pertain to the South Asian community. By providing culturally-sensitive and relevant information, they aim to correct misinformation, remove stigma and begin a dialogue about mental health and healthy living. They believe it is from these dialogues that South Asians will feel more comfortable seeking services and making the necessary changes to live a healthier life. For more information, please visit their website , follow them at @MySahana on Twitter and connect with them on Facebook.

More Stories From YourTango:

Subscribe to the Lifestyle email.
We’re basically your best friend... with better advice.

CONVERSATIONS