The reality is, the pitfalls of a relationship can come in many different forms. Couples can grow apart, they can miscommunicate, they can struggle with financial issues, and so much more. All of these things are significant to the health of relationships.
Each of these things needs to be well understood and well managed to ensure the health of your relationship.
But, there are pitfalls that a lot of people don’t discuss—which, I’m here to share with you.
And before you ask, yes, this applies to all relationship—family, friends, colleagues, and partners.
The Other People
Whether you like it or not, there are always other people in your relationships—and I don’t mean just the other person in your relationship. There are people on the sidelines.
There are people who you include, who include themselves, and some who don’t even notice but will likely interfere—whether that’s intentional or unintentional. There are people who will act kindly, or be well-meaning, and there are people who might act maliciously.
Don’t forget—the road to hell is paved with good intentions, so even if people mean well, they might not always turn out for the best of your relationship.
Who Are The Other People?
There are always going to be those who will compete for attention, affection, or loyalty—whether yours or the other person in your relationship.
There might be siblings who will make you look bad in order to make themselves look good in the eyes of the coveted parent, there could be a mother-in-law who wants to keep her child’s love all to herself, there could be friends who will undermine you to gain standing with other friends, or there could be coworkers who will steal credit for your ideas to curry favor with superiors.
Everyone falls victim to this—I know I have. There are always going to be people in your life masquerading as concerned friends or family. There are all sorts of ways for other people to get in the middle of your relationships.
Why Would Anyone Meddle in a Relationship?
There are so many reasons why people would be motivated to mess with your relationship. Maybe it’s low self-esteem, they may want to boost their own self-worth by undermining your relationship, or they might be destroying something because misery loves company. There’s always that if I can’t have it, then no one can reasoning, too.
Then again, they could be arrogant or selfish, thinking they deserve you more than your partner does. Or, they might think they’re better for you. It’s possible they’re injecting their own values onto you, regardless of what you need or want.
They may be reinforcing their own prejudices by getting you to accept those prejudices, too. They could even be casting their own dysfunctions onto you and your relationship or setting false expectations for you and your relationship.
There’s always the possibility that they may be acting to harm you because they dislike you or your relationship, hoping to damage your relationship out of spite or vengeance.
It’s All About Being Selfish
No matter what the reason, in every case, those people are putting themselves above you and your relationship, thinking that they know better than you do and know what’s best for you. Overall, they believe that they, and only they, can know what’s right for you—despite what you really need.
I think of these people as predators—they prey on others to satisfy themselves, their own needs, and their wants.
What Can You Do About Them?
The most important thing that you can do is to know for yourself what you want and need out of a relationship. From there, you need to know what the other half of your relationship needs and wants, too.
The best thing you can do is start with a healthy, solid relationship. Then, make sure you maintain, tend, and grow your relationship—don’t take it for granted and don’t get complacent.
If everyone’s needs and wants are being met and the relationship is healthy, it is that much more difficult for others to intervene, and interfere, with the relationship.
Still, be aware that those people are always there—sometimes in the shadows and sometimes right out in the open. Pay attention and be vigilant.
It’s also important that you make sure the other parties in your relationship know about this, too.
Don’t misinterpret what I’m saying—if you are in a bad relationship, one you know you should end, then do that. End it. End it on your own terms for your own reasons, not because of other people.
If the other party (or parties) in your relationship include others in your relationship and allow them to interfere with your relationship, then maybe this isn’t the relationship for you.
Relationship Pit Falls Challenge
This week’s challenge for you is to review and evaluate some of your own relationships—past and present.
Are there interlopers? Are there those who interfere— intentionally or unintentionally?
Could you have spotted them sooner? Could you have prevented them from intruding or imposing?
Don’t forget to let me know what you find – the good, the bad, and the ugly.
Good Together: Your Guide to healthy, happy relationships
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