Cheating is definitely one quick, big way to absolutely annihilate a relationship. But there are much more worse other things that can ruin a relationship, even with the ones with a stronger bond.
Some of the worse things that lead to a breakup (that aren’t cheating) started small and gradually increases, and that’s what makes them so dangerous.
- Lack of Communication: This does not comprise of not texting all day everyday, but failing to share what is bothering yourselves when it comes up, or conveniently leaving out details that you think might cause problems. All these will suddenly gets bottled up or revealed eventually, and by the time it happens, its usually unmanageable.
- Condescension: Talking down to a partner is just another way of making yourself bigger or more powerful than them, and a power imbalance is the last thing you want in a lasting, healthy relationship. Condescension is worse than cheating because it reduces your self esteem and you will still feel the damage after the relationship ends.
- Harboring Quiet Resentment: By the time resentment is expressed, the damage is already done to the relationship. It starts out quietly but becomes something big over time, which is what makes it so damaging.
- Lying to and hiding things from your partner: Even if you’re doing it out of love to protect your partner feelings, keeping little things from someone you’re dating can grow into a big problem and cause trust issues that wreck a relationship.
- Staying together because you’ve become codependent: You’re together because you’re codependent and neither of you wants to be single. Or better still, you don’t have chemistry anymore and the only reason you’re together is so you don’y have to be alone.
- Jealousy: Even without actual cheating, just the suspicion that its always happening can be much more worse.
- Staying in a relationship out of convenience: Whether its because you don’t want to disappoint your families with a breakup or because you have a big trip planned in six month, staying together just because you feel you should, only leads to bitter resentment and an inordinate amount of fighting and heartbreak. When there was a chance you might have been able to remain friendly.
- Bickering about mundane, daily issues and chores: The argument you always have about whose turn it is to take the trash out seems like no big deal now. But that’s the sort of thing that just becomes a great issue over time, and even worse, becomes ammo for bigger, more serious arguments down the road.
- Withholding any kind of affection: Whether affection means being really touchy-feely, asking each other intense questions about meaningful things, or helping each other through obstacles, being absent and un-affectionate can cause the kind of doubts in a relationship that end up being irreparable.
- Being stubborn about things or getting entrenched in certain positions: This is just another way of saying “refusing to compromise.” If you like somebody, you should be willing to compromise. Partners who can only handle things if they go a certain way (their way) are basically just in relationships with themselves.
- Manipulation: This is tricky because it’s often so subtle, and you don’t realize you’re being manipulated by your partner (or doing the manipulating) until it’s way too late.
- Presenting a false version of yourself at the beginning: This can be as simple and small as pretending to like horror movies when you actually hate them, or as big as saying you’re not looking for anything serious when, in fact, you are. It’s best to be upfront from the get to, because those little things can become huge reasons to breakup over time.