Here are some surprising, but common, behavior patterns that end a lot of relationships. This comes from psychologist Dr. Susan Heitler, who wrote the book “The Power Of Two Marriage."

  • The first behavior that can erode a relationship is being too selfless. If one of you keeps quiet about their needs and desires, and the other partner always gets what they want, it creates an imbalance of power. One person becomes a doormat and isn’t valued as much as the other. That can lead to depression and resentment. So speak up, even if you think it’s no big deal. For example, when you’d rather eat Italian than sushi, or rent a mountain cabin instead of camping at the beach, speak up. You still need to compromise, but you shouldn’t always sacrifice your wants and needs for those of your partner. 

  • Another relationship-ending behavior: Negative humor. Studies show that negativity triggers fights, breaks down trust and leads to avoidance. The problem is, it’s often couched in humor. So your partner may say, “Why can’t you be more like Joe’s girlfriend; she’s cool. Just kidding!” But saying “just kidding” doesn’t excuse negativity. So tell your partner how you feel using calm, neutral language. In other words, avoid attack-oriented “you” comments – like, “Why do you always compare me to other women?” Instead, put the focus on yourself by saying something like “When you joke around and compare me to other women, I feel disrespected.” 

  • The final behavior that ends relationships: A loss of everyday physical affection, like hugs, holding hands, and cuddling on the couch. Studies show that warm, positive, skin-to-skin contact releases the bonding chemical oxytocin, which makes physical contact significant to long-term happiness in a relationship. But when it’s not there, it can create emotional distance. The fix is easy: Make a vow to touch your partner ten times a day - maybe giving their shoulder a squeeze when you walk by.