Am I Hurting My Partner 8 Small Ways You Could Be

Most of us know if we're being straight-up mean to our partners. But there are smaller that might be less obvious. Usually, when we first start dating someone, we're trying hard to impress them, so we're extra nice and polite. A good rule of thumb, then, is to ask ourselves how we'd treat our partners if we had just started dating. We probably wouldn't, for example, make someone else do our dishes if it were our first time at their house, though we might do that once we and are. The good news is that if we make more of an effort to make our partners happy, they'll put in more effort to please us as well. Here are some common ways you might be disrespecting, hurting, or bothering your partner without realizing it. With so many of us glued to our phones and computers, dividing our attention between our gadgets and our partners can come to seem normal.

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But even if our partners accept this behavior (or engage in it themselves), they may start to feel neglected. Active listening involves making eye contact with the person you're speaking with, therapist Shamyra Howard-Blackburn, LCSW tells Bustle. If your eyes are looking at your phone, you're probably not paying that much attention to what your partner is saying. More broadly, many of us focus on our jobs, kids, or other parts of our lives to the point that we barely acknowledge our partners.

It's generally not accepted behavior to, so it shouldn't be considered acceptable to ghost our partners, even if the ghosting is temporary. If you don't have time to respond or want to wait until you can talk something over in person, at least let them know so they're not waiting on you. We often talk to our partners with far less politeness than we'd show a stranger. You should pay close attention to how you speak to your partner, especially around other people, therapist tells Bustle.

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Do you put them down? Point out their flaws consistently? Lowering the bar for how it's OK to talk to your partner can slowly wear away at your respect for each other. You don't have to keep score, but you and your partner should be devoting about the same amount of attention to each other, says Hershenson.

Saying you'll be at a place at a certain time and constantly running late is an indication you do not value others' time, says Hershenson. If you're running late for something, at least let your partner know in advance. And in the future, overestimate how long you'll take so your partner will be pleasantly surprised instead of disappointed. It's OK to ask your partner to change a behavior that's bothersome to you, but it's not OK to ask them to change the things that define them, like their friends or their values.

You need to learn to accept your partner for who they are or move on if you want them to be someone they are not, says Hershenson. You're entitled to point out things your partner's done to hurt you, but if you lash out at them in these situations or get mad at them when they didn't actually do anything wrong, that's on you. If your anger is always because they 'did something wrong' or you wouldn't fight so much 'if only they didn't act this way, ' these are signs you need to find other ways to cope instead of using your partner as a punching bag, says Hershenson. It's common for couples to fall into these traps, but that makes it all the more important that we keep an eye on ourselves to make sure it doesn't happen.

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