Relationship Advice - 5 Sure Fire Ways to Mess Things Up

1) Stay committed to your "right to be right."

Argue for your point of view, making sure you never entertain the possibility that your partner may have a valid point of view. If you ever do discover that you were wrong, make sure you don't admit it or apologize.

CoupleTips: Often in love relationships, there is a choice: you can be right or you can be happy, but not both. Choose wisely. As a friend of mine said after his first year of marriage: "I finally figured out that the sun will come up tomorrow if we do it her way."

2) Compete with your partner.

And there is so much over which to compete: who is right, who's in control, who's better at balancing the checkbook, who clicks the remote, etc.

CoupleTip: Learn the gentle art of cooperation. If you are going to compete, compete together to have the very best relationship that you can have.

3) Make it up as you go along.

Don't talk about any of the important stuff, like how you want to handle money, kids, the future, in-laws, savings, where to live, etc. Believe things will just work out.

CoupletTip: Talk about the important stuff. If you get stuck, find a relationship coach to help. Create a relationship vision by asking the question "if we could have it exactly like we want, how would it be?" Build from there.

4) Never forgive.

Hold fast to the myths about forgiveness:

>forgiving lets them off the hook
>forgiving condones what they did
>forgiving leaves me vulnerable for it to happen again.

Remain convinced that staying angry will actually help your partner change.

CoupleTip: Forgive as much or more than you would like to be forgiven. Forgiveness can release you from the pain of the offense.

5) Complain and Criticize.

A lot. Raise it to an art form. Make sure that each and every time your partner behaves like a human being and messes up, you not only throw the current issue in their face, you also bring up every mistake ever made, in detail.

CoupleTip: Celebrate what you want to see more of. Appreciation can go a long way.

Jeff Herring is a relationship coach, speaker and syndicated relationship columnist. For 100's more immediately useable CoupleTips Jeff invites you to visit

In The News:

Relationships Where More Means Less  The Wall Street Journal

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