My wife and I were discussing some of the silent relationship killers that we have observed recently.
The big things are easy to spot…. abuse, infidelity, raging, name-calling, etc. Those are no-brainers. Any relationship would be endangered where these are present and it would be obvious.
But what about the silent killers? Things such as, but not limited to…
- Taking for granted
- Mild, repeated criticisms
- Letting attractiveness go
- Cutting sarcasm
- Subtle control
Do things like this not sneak in under the radar and lodge themselves into our relationships and slowly kill them? Or at very least make them perpetually painful?
Do these not become well-rehearsed habits of behaviour that get woven into our patterns of interaction and tangle themselves to intricately that we don’t see them until years of damage is done?
How do we prevent these from happening?
In my experience, it starts with an awareness that these kinds of things can sneak in on anyone’s relationship. I am not just talking marriage. I am talking siblings, parenting, friendships, workplace, etc.
Next, I believe a good dose of humility and some brutally honest feedback can help a great deal.
In my experience, it is not a matter of IF some silent killers will try to make their way in, it is WHEN.
Forewarned is forearmed. Silent killers helped destroy my last marriage. My wife’s too. We are taking every precaution to remain aware this time around.