Being in a romantic relationship sounds like a good thing, but relationships are not always rosy. Along the way, the two lovebirds are bound to disagree on issues, develop anger towards each other due to something that one partner may have done or not done and even accuse each other of things that they may find fault with.
We always want our partners to be the best they can be when we are in a relationship, but here is where you might be going wrong – when you try to give your partner helpful advice, it may come out differently than you intended.
Perhaps your tone can be a little aggressive, or you bring it up at the wrong time. Even though you thought you were helping your partner, your innocent intentions take a toll on you and turn into belittling your partner.
Belittling your partner in one way or the other may threaten your relationship and even result in the collapse of your union. Allan Lawrence, relationship coach and author says partners in a relationship can belittle each other in various ways, including comparing them to other people or even their previous romantic relationships.
“The goal of every person in a relationship is to feel secure and make other people jealous of their relationship, but not them being jealous of other people’s relationships.
Comparing your partner to others will tend to make them bitter since they will feel they are much tolerated and not celebrated. Everyone wants to be celebrated and appreciated in their uniqueness,” says Allan.
“Talking about your partner depicts a lack of patience and a high sense of disrespect for them since you don’t value them and their opinion doesn’t matter to you.
As partners in a relationship set-up, you are there to validate each other’s dreams and be a great support system, but when you question your partner, it only means that you are doubting them and do not believe in their vision, hence belittling them,” he adds.
Belittling can manifest as judging, humiliating, criticising, trivialising or telling hurtful jokes. Other ways partners may belittle each other include; not bending some plans or compromising some standards to allow them to fit in your space or on your agenda, which makes one feel they are not important and don’t matter at all in your life, making your partner feel they are not a priority in your life, but just an option, which makes them feel unwanted and kills their morale and not taking their thoughts and opinions seriously, which shows that you don’t value and appreciate them.
“There is a need for partners to celebrate and value each other in the relationship. By observing this, there will be no case of belittling each other. You will see each other as equal partners in the relationship for mutual co-existence,” explains Allan.
“It is also important to cultivate the art of friendship between the two of you to the point of not seeing anyone as competition, but instead as partners who are there to cheer each other up and grow as an entity.
Be sensitive to the language and culture you create in the relationship since there are some things, which if you tolerate, you will be telling the world how it should treat you,” adds the expert.
In a relationship, it is also important to be open and speak about what you feel as this will help your partner know how to handle you and check on their demeanour in the relationship.
“The two of you need to put in the effort to ensure that the relationship works and sees the light of the day. Accept correction, be willing to listen and turn the leaf. Most important,
Criticism: Comments or criticisms that make you feel insecure, focusing on the negative and designed to create self-doubt.
Condescension: Shaming, embarrassing language: this is meant to make you feel foolish, self-conscious, flustered or humiliated.
Discounting: Bringing up past mistakes or failures: will keep you stuck and unable to move forward or improve. It is negative and disempowering.
Undermining: Questions about someone’s judgment or competency: This is a way to discredit or attack your faculties and make you feel inferior or incompetent.