The trouble with even the most grounded relationships is people can start taking one another for granted. The connection, once as secure as anchor cables on moored ships, can fray, then the vessels drift apart, off into the sunset. Metaphorical pictures aside, there are also song lyrics about not appreciating something until it’s gone. With relationships, this is so pertinent.

Whether you first got together on a popular dating site, or after an encounter at a social event, even the strongest connections can falter. Sometimes this occurs over a lengthy period; on other occasions, some flashpoint will deliver the fatal blow. But there are typical ways a perfectly good relationship can be ruined. Here are five of the most obvious.

Lack of support

One of the cornerstones of a successful relationship is a mutual understanding between the parties. It is so important to appreciate your other half will always be there for you to provide support. This can cover a range of activities, from the relatively trivial to situations which are far more crucial. For any number of reasons, one of the partners might decide, consciously or unconsciously, to withdraw that unconditional support. Whether this is through laziness or they simply don’t appreciate how important something is to their partner, this will seriously undermine the relationship.

Overt criticism

In the early stages of a relationship, it can be common for one or other of the parties to be prepared to cut some slack when it comes to disagreement. For the sake of keeping things on an even keel, there will be a tendency to rein in criticism. With time, it’s actually very healthy for a certain amount of constructive criticism to be given and accepted in the spirit of positivity. But this can reach a point where the criticism is not constructive at all but becomes something far more personal. When this becomes a habit it will lead to resentment.

Failure to engage

Another important aspect of any couple’s happiness is when both parties take it as a given that they will engage with one another. This can cover a diverse range of activities but it is particularly valuable to a relationship when one of the parties is prepared to make sacrifices to make the other happy. There can be a serious problem when despondency enters into the equation and neither is prepared to give the same level of commitment.

Overly friendly with exes

Jealousy will always have a negative impact on any relationship. It is a wholly unnecessary emotion, and while it is fair to say it is an aspect of human nature which can sometimes be difficult to avoid, it will only lead to acrimony if it is left to fester. But jealousy can sometimes be warranted, which is where we enter a grey area. It is perfectly natural to maintain an amicable relationship with ex-partners, although too much attention being lavished on someone out with the partnership will only cause resentment.

Keeping secrets

The cornerstone of any relationship is honesty. There may be a time and a place for keeping secrets, particularly in the early stages of a relationship. When everything is still fresh there is no point in blurting out home truths about, say, a recent stint in rehab, or a particularly messy relationship break up. Everyone has skeletons in the cupboard and you need to earn each other’s trust before divulging potentially off-putting details. The key aspect here is you should be honest and aboveboard – when the time is right. If you never reveal these, you run the risk of ruining your relationship by destroying trust.

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