It takes an incredibly self-aware woman to admit she has made a mistake.
I know for me, when I realize I've been doing something wrong, I get frustrated with myself and all I want to do is hibernate and binge-watch a Netflix series.
As a professional matchmaker, every day I date coach women who have an epiphany moment when they come to the realization their actions might be a major reason their relationships fail.
Although painful to recognize, through admitting your problematic actions, you will take the first step to positive change. It takes two to make a bad relationship, but you can single-handedly sabotage your relationship without even knowing it.
However, you can implement definitive solutions to fix these issues so that you can start to see your relationships thrive.
In "Sex and the City," Miranda and Steve's marriage reveals how a woman who's always right can catalyze the demise of her relationship.
Married to a power woman, Steve tries to spend time with Miranda, but she fails to make time for him. Between client calls and changing diapers, Miranda loses sight of the importance of cultivating their marriage. Steve finds solace in the arms of another woman.
A little disclaimer here: Cheating is always wrong, and if a man cheats, it is ALWAYS his fault. But women do have the power to tear a man down to a place where he wants to feel validated by another woman to feel like a man again.
When I am matchmaking a woman, I see the danger signs of relationship breakdowns all the time. Avoid the following behaviors, and you can ensure you do everything in your power to stop being the problem, and start being the solution.
1. You put your client before your man.
If you have gotten to the point of an exclusive relationship with your man, you should both reexamine your priorities. Make a list separately, and then come together to number them.
This may encourage you to curb workaholic tendencies, and see if your actions match your values. While you should still treasure your friendships, you both may have to sacrifice some time with friends to put toward your relationship.
Also, if you have children, of course it's easy to let their demands come before your relationship. But as Toula's auntie reminds her in "My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2," "You were a girlfriend before you were a mother."
2. Your closest relationship is with your phone.
Quality time, two or three times a week while dating and engaged, will enable your relationship to flourish at a steady rate. Give your man your undivided attention, and ask the same from him.
Take your phones off the dinner table… forever. Some couples spend every waking moment together, but I would recommend quality time over quantity; you need some time to answer your texts!
In addition, Beverly Hills Psychologist Dr. Lucy Papillon recommends reserving Saturday night for your date night, regardless of if you have children. A definite night out a week saved for your man will help you to plan the rest of your time accordingly.
3. You trash talk him in front of your friends.
Speak positively of his career and refuse to belittle him, especially in front of others. Sometimes couples become too comfortable with each other and take the playful jokes too far.
Frequently men tie their identity to their jobs, and an easy way to insult him includes making jabs at his career. Know the boundaries of topics that you can joke about and ones that are sacred to him.
4. You take him for granted.
Men love compliments just as much as women, but different kinds of them. As Dr. John Gray illustrates in "Mars and Venus on a Date," while women want men to notice their beautiful appearance and personal qualities, those words tend to make men feel uncomfortable and too much in the spotlight, especially in the beginning of a relationship.
However, men do love when you appreciate aspects of your experience, for instance the food or the ambiance at the restaurant that he chose.
He feels best when he knows he makes you happy. In that same vein, continue to show your appreciation for the acts of service that he does for you -- even the small tasks, like holding the door open for you.
If he thinks that you take him for granted, he may stop doing those sweet acts and get resentful. On the other hand, when he knows you appreciate him, he will feel on top of the world.
5. You blow up at him for forgetting to text you.
Try to avoid ragging on him for forgetting to text you during the day or needing a few days of cave time without contacting you, unless you have a scheduled call.
Men hate to feel like you want to police or control them. As every woman has said at least once in her life, you want him to contact you because he wants to talk to you. You want him to communicate naturally and sincerely.
Watch HBO's "Summer Heights High" to witness Ja'mie's genius six texts a day minimum quota for her year-seven boyfriend. #RelationshipGoals.
Instead, when he DOES text you, let him know how you love his witty little texts and that they make you so happy. Positive affirmations go a long way in the dating game.
Of course, a relationship is a two-way street; you can do your part, and he needs to as well to prevent a breakdown. Although you may have perpetrated some of these actions in the past, the more you know, the better chances of your relationship working out in the long run.
Most likely, your previous relationship-sabotaging actions were unintentional, but now you can match your pure intentions with relationship-building actions.