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  • Your Relationship Is Doomed If Your Partner Does This, Experts Say

    No relationship is perfect. In fact, being able to successfully navigate the ups and downs and overcome challenges as a team is a huge part of what makes being in a relationship such a meaningful experience. However, while disagreements, frustrations, and disappointments are inevitable in even the strongest and most loving relationships, the way you and your partner behave in those difficult situations says a ton about the strength—or in this case, weakness—of your relationship. With that, if you notice your partner doing any of the following things, your relationship is probably doomed to fail. And for more dating dilemmas, this is The No. 1 Reason Your New Relationship Isn't Working. 1 They withdraw during arguments. While confrontation is often unpleasant, occasional arguments with your partner are a normal and healthy part of being in a relationship. But if your partner shuts down every time you raise an issue that is bothering you, that's a sign of larger problems.In his 2015 research published in the journal Psychological Assessment, Keith Sanford, PhD, a psychology professor at Baylor University, found that partners who admitted that they withdrew often during arguments reported being unhappier and more apathetic about the relationship overall."Withdrawal is the most problematic for relationships," Sanford said in a statement. "It's a defense tactic that people use when they feel they are being attacked, and there's a direct association between withdrawal and lower satisfaction overall with the relationship." And for more relationship red flags, check out 17 Relationship Trouble Signs You Should Never Ignore. 2 And they never apologize.Along with shutting down in the face of conflict, if your partner simply refuses to apologize, no matter what they did or said, then you are in a toxic relationship. It shouldn't take a big fight or pleading on your part to get your partner to say a simple "I'm sorry" for doing something that upset or hurt you."In an unhealthy relationship, partners usually have to come to some conflict place in order to get an apology or even awareness of an issue," Michele M. Paiva, a licensed psychotherapist, recently told Bustle. And for more on the other side of the forgiveness spectrum, here are 15 Signs That You Apologize Too Much, According to Experts. 3 They hold grudges.All relationships are going to have challenges, and both of you are going to make mistakes. But if your partner still harbors anger towards you about something you had thought the two of you had resolved and moved forward from, this is a bad sign."Holding a grudge, feeling irritated with your partner, and passive aggression are often signs of resentment," says Cody Mitts, LPC, founder of Ipseity Counseling Clinic in Denver, Colorado. "Resentment prevents you from healing and moving forward in your life. It prevents you from reconciliation with your partner and keeps conflict alive." 4 They are constantly looking at their phone. To be fair, we all look at our phones too much, so this one can be tricky to interpret. But, if there is also a breakdown of communication or palpable tension between the two of you, that means trouble. Your partner may even be using their phone as a passive-aggressive way of "getting back" at you for something or to avoid a more difficult conversation, Paiva told Bustle. And for relationship tips and more helpful information delivered to your inbox, sign up for our daily newsletter.

  • Couples Who Do This One Thing Are 40 Percent Less Likely to Divorce

    The relationship that comes before you tie the knot sets the precedent for what married life will be like, and there are quite a few things you can do before getting hitched to ensure that your union is built on a solid foundation. Engaging in in-depth discussions on everything from having children to combining finances helps you ensure you're with a compatible partner, but while these moments should be checked off the list pre-nuptials, they take time. That may be why a 2014 study found that couples who dated for at least three years before getting engaged were 39 percent less likely to get divorced than couples who dated less than a year before getting engaged. Read on to learn why dating longer can help your marriage, and for another divorce determinant to avoid, The More Money You Spend on This, the More Likely You Are to Divorce.According to the study, published in Social Science Research Network, couples who dated for one to two years before their engagement were 20 percent less likely to divorce than couples who dated under a year. This number shoots up to 39 percent when you tack on another year of dating.This finding should be a warning to all those eager to jump into marriage moments after meeting each other. The years preceding your marriage are when you get to really know someone. Without that time forming a bond and gaining a deep understanding of your partner, experts say you could be marrying someone that's not truly right for you. And that often doesn't end well.Marriage and family therapist and author Sharon Gilchrest O'Neill says in her experience, couples who only dated briefly before marriage "were more likely in therapy to admit that they had not known each other well enough to have made such a serious commitment."Gilchrest O'Neill explains that these couples "come to realize how they idealized their partner in the beginning of getting to know each other, yet didn't allow themselves to acknowledge the unlovable behaviors/characteristics of their partners." She agrees that three years is generally a good amount of time to gain a deep understanding of your partner, which allows you to make an informed decision when choosing to get married.RELATED: For more up-to-date information, sign up for our daily newsletter."The benefits to a few years of dating before marriage is learning about any warning signs. Eventually, the honeymoon phase wears off, and the true colors shine through," says relationship expert Lauren Peacock, the author of Female. Likes Cheese. Comes with Dog.: Stories About Divorce, Dating, and Saying "I Do." "It also can be a benefit because you can prepare yourself and take baby steps with the bigger, more exciting events, like moving in together or buying a house."There's no question that getting married can be a life-changing thrill, but it's also one of the biggest decisions you can make. With that in mind, it may be worth taking a little extra time to build up to that moment so that you're confident in the partner you're choosing. And for more reasons marriages end prematurely, Women Focused on This One Thing Are 60 Percent More Likely to Get Divorced.

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  • This Is the Worst Thing You Could Say to Someone in Bed

    Sex is a healthy part of an intimate relationship—but it's also a highly vulnerable experience. Whether you're in a long-term monogamous relationship with your partner, you're just getting to know each other, or you know right off the bat it's going to be a one-night stand, you need to communicate sensitively when you're both laid so—ahem—bare. That doesn't mean not being honest for the sake of pleasing or impressing your partner, but it does mean steering clear of words that can really leave wounds, whether intentionally or unintentionally. For guidance, we asked relationship, communication, and mental health professionals for their takes on the top pitfalls to avoid. So, what's the worst thing you can say in bed, according to the experts? "You're doing it wrong." Find out what you should say instead, and for more factors that play a role in your bedroom activity, science says Men With These Personality Traits Have the Most Sex.Sure, maybe you're not getting the satisfaction you had hoped from the experience. After all, you deserve pleasure, and it's empowering to speak up for it. But phrasing it this way can only make matters worse, for both of you. "This statement can make everything go wrong as soon as you spit it out of your mouth," says relationship expert Amy Olson. "I don't mean you can't communicate your needs or what you would like better. But don't tell him or her that they are doing it wrong. It will make them feel embarrassed. Instead, just say, 'Can you do it like this?'"Want to know what else to avoid when you're getting to know someone intimately? Read on for more tips from the pros about what you should never say to someone in bed. And for another phrase that should never leave your lips, This Is the Worst Thing You Could Say to Someone Who Just Got Divorced. Calling someone by the wrong name.Certainly using the wrong name is a big no-no that would be deeply awkward for both of you, and also likely leave lasting scars. "Sex is an intimate experience and many people have insecurities related to it," explains psychologist Thomas DiBlasi, PhD. "Saying anything that refers to the person as being inadequate in bed would hurt."Besides, if you're still pining for an ex, you might have some more work to do before you can move on healthily with a new partner anyway. Worried that could be you? Here are the Signs You're Not Ready to Date Again, According to Dating Experts. "Have you been tested?"To be clear, asking about a partner's sexual health history is important and fully justifiable. You should ask if your partner has been tested, and you are entitled to a straightforward answer. But this is a question you should ask far earlier. "This is a before discussion," author and life coach Aidan Park says plainly. "Not an after discussion." And for other questions to avoid in less vulnerable situations, here's The One Question You Always Ask That Can Kill a Conversation. "I've had better."Comparing your partner to any others from your past can trigger lasting insecurity. "Saying something that undermines their security or sense of self is hurtful and damaging," explains Cassandra LeClair, PhD, senior lecturer in the department of communication studies at Texas State University. "This type of comment reinforces feelings of self doubt and may lead them to question themselves in relationships going forward."So, while this might not be the partner for you, it's not necessary to shatter their confidence for a future partner who might be a better match. And if you're doing it less these days, here is The No. 1 Reason You're Having Less Sex in Your Relationship, Study Says. "Do you mind brushing your teeth?"Of course good hygiene is important, and you'd hope your partner adheres to a similarly high standard as you do. But halitosis isn't necessarily a sign of bad hygiene. "Bad breath [can be] a symptom of digestive problems," says Sandra Glavan, the founder of Super Sensitive Sandi, a website for helping people reduce and manage anxiety. "Even if the person brushes their teeth five times a day, they can still have bad breath in the morning. Most people who suffer from bad breath know it and feel very conscious about it. [Confronting them] can cause problems with their confidence, intimacy, and sex life." And for other ways you may be offending people in your life, here are the Rude Things You Didn't Realize You're Doing Every Day.

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  • Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Ethical Non-Monogamy

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