7 signs you're a bad partner even if you think you aren't

insider@insider.com (Julia Naftulin)
fighting couple
fighting couple

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  • It's possible that your actions and the words you use with your partner could be putting your relationship in jeopardy without you even realizing it.

  • Spending too much time on your phone, doing everything with your partner, or being overly picky could lead to problems in your relationship. 

  • It's possible to change your bad relationship habits, but first you have to recognize them.

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Once you're in a relationship, getting into the flow of things may cause you to overlook some of your own behaviors, including how you treat your partner.

If not realized or addressed, it's possible some of your actions or words could alienate your partner or cause them to feel resentment toward you.

Spending all of your free time with your spouse, for example, could indicate you're codependent and smothering them, and being on your phone constantly could mean you're not giving your relationship the attention it needs to thrive.

"Awareness is the first step in making any sort of change," relationship expert Susan Winter previously told Elite Daily. "Once we're able to be honest with ourselves and admit our shortcomings, then we're one step closer to our recovery of wholeness and emotional health."

Here are some signs you may not be as good of a partner as you think you are, and how your actions could affect your relationship.

You can't help but point out all the little things your partner says or does "wrong."

Being critical about inconsequential things shows insecurity, not love.
Being critical about inconsequential things shows insecurity, not love.

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In every relationship, each partner has at least one habit that ticks the other off. Although it's normal to not see everything eye to eye, if you find yourself annoyed about everything your S.O. says or does — and feel the need to tell them so — it could mean you're accidentally sabotaging your relationship.

"Needing to control our partner's identity, actions, and thoughts is the opposite of love," Winter told Elite Daily. "It's about safety. It's a one-sided obsession to guarantee conformity, which equals safety. It has nothing to do with love or intimacy."

Masking your criticisms as "jokes" can also be a sign that you're resentful, not helpful, Lisa Marie Bobby, a psychologist and marriage and family therapist, previously told INSIDER. 

You keep your feelings to yourself when you're upset with your partner.

Bottling up your emotions won't end well.
Bottling up your emotions won't end well.

Roman Kosolapov/Shutterstock

While constantly critiquing inconsequential issues like cucumber-slicing technique is problematic, so too is keeping mum about things that really matter, like your emotions when your partner says or does something that upsets you.

But bottling up your emotions likely means the problem will happen again, creating pent-up negative feelings and even resentment. Even if you think your partner knows you well enough to pick up on how you're feeling, it's not their job to play psychic medium, relationship coach David Bennett of Double Trust Dating previously told INSIDER.

"In strong relationships, partners are honest and assertive about expressing their needs, and their partners are the same way," Bennett said. 

Read more: 6 questions to ask yourself before telling your partner you cheated on them

The next time you don't feel quite right about something in your relationship, speak up about it rather than waiting for your partner to come to you.

You always tag along when your partner is with friends.

Alone time is a good thing.
Alone time is a good thing.

iStock

On a surface level, being attached to your partner at the hip makes it seem like you love each other so much you can't stand to be apart. In reality, however, spending every possible moment together could be a sign you're codependent.

"Codependency is excessive emotional or psychological reliance on a partner," clinical psychologist Jennifer Rhodes previously told INSIDER.

Although codependency is good to an extent because it fosters trust and an intimate bond in your relationship, doing nearly everything together could ultimately lead to relationship problems because you might overwhelm your partner and lower your own self-esteem.

 

You like to have the last word during arguments.

Compromise is essential in healthy relationships.
Compromise is essential in healthy relationships.

ABC

If every time you and your partner get into an argument, you find yourself trying to "win" or have things your way, it could mean you're viewing the relationship completely wrong.

According to Winter, a person who constantly has to have the last word views their relationship as a "conquest" or a test of desirability. 

She also told Elite Daily that, if you act this way, "relationships are just one more way for you to feel your own sense of power."

The next time you catch yourself trying to come out on top of a disagreement with your boo, consider why that is and try to compromise instead.

Read more: 10 signs you're growing apart from your partner

You've suggested breaking up during more than one argument.

Sad couple
Sad couple

Adene Sanchez/Getty Images

Similar to having the last word, threatening to break up during an argument with your partner could mean you're trying to manipulate the situation to get your way.

That's because defaulting to the break-up conversation regularly suggests if you don't "win" the argument, you'll leave your partner.

"People use threats as a way to get their partner in line," Stan Tatkin, a psychologist and developer of A Psychological Approach to Couple Therapy (PACT), told Reader's Digest. "People should never threaten the relationship unless they intend to get out. It's only valid if you mean it and do it, otherwise it just damages the safety and security of the relationship."

 

When your partner is having a bad day, you tell them to get over it.

Your approach isn't as uplifting as you may think.
Your approach isn't as uplifting as you may think.

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If, on your partner's off days, you tell them to cheer up and get over it, you could be hurting your relationship in the long run.

Your intentions may be to help them move on and be happy again, but being unwilling to console your partner when they're going through a rough patch suggests you're not really available for their needs and want them to bounce back and be ready for your needs instead.

"We have no right to tell them what they should feel," Winter told Elite Daily. "Doing so is indicative of control issues, and ones designed for our comfort."

You're always on your phone, even when you're together.

Being physically together doesn't cut it.
Being physically together doesn't cut it.

Shutterstock

It's impossible to completely escape smartphones these days, but there are times when taking a social media break is vital. One of those times is when you're on a date with your partner.

Whether you're simply watching a movie together or out at a restaurant, being physically together isn't enough to sustain a strong relationship. Giving your Twitter feed more attention than your partner is major no-no, regardless of how long you've been together.

"If you find that you're never actively engaging together — you're together, alone, doing your own thing — that's an indication there's disconnection, or a lack of connection," relationship therapist Megan Fleming told Redbook.

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