A lot of articles, online and in magazines, inform us ladies about all the things we should and shouldn’t do when it comes to men. The arbitrariness of such distinctions becomes apparent when there’s so much similar content out there, but what about behaviour that is considered not only bad, but downright unacceptable in relationships? Throughout this article, we’re talking about the 15 things that women – some women, not all, and some who are guilty of a few, but not every – do to men in relationships that are unacceptable. If this were flipped around, we can guarantee you that every single entry would be the same, because appropriate, respectful, and loving behaviour isn’t limited to a gender.
If you’ve ever wondered what signifies an unhealthy relationship, these 15 items are it. If you’re guilty of doing these things, stop it, or else leave your SO because from the sounds of it, things are already beyond repair. If you’re on the receiving end, putting your foot down and getting out is the strongest thing you can do because, as a wise woman once said, ain’t nobody got time for that!
15 Be Rude To His Family & Friends
When you get together with someone with any sense of seriousness, you probably want to get in good with their family and friends. Now, we know that you may not always see eye-to-eye with your SO’s inner circle (and vice-versa), but that doesn’t mean you should be outrightly rude to them! Insulting, fighting, or just being a B-word isn’t okay. It might be a bitter pill to swallow, but sometimes you have to be the bigger person, keep your mouth zipped, and act civil. You’re dating the guy you love, not their entire family and friends.
Rudeness – or not making any effort to get to know these people better – can be a killer on your relationship and your SO shouldn’t tolerate it from you. If you care about them, you’ll at least give this whole “get in good with the parents” thing a shot!
14 Not Support His Dreams
When the world is constantly beating him down, he’s gonna come to you for emotional support. Being each other’s cheerleader is part of a happy relationship, and if you’re refusing to support his dreams – or actively stomping all over them º that’s not okay.
Look, we’re not saying you have to be by his side when he has some outlandish and unfeasible plan, like playing video games all day and becoming a millionaire, but if he wants to take a risk career-wise – and has made a solid plan for how everything should go – you should do your best to let him know you’re in his corner. He might fail, sure, but you should be invested in his success and happiness rather than rooting fore (or expecting) his downfall. Have his back and he’ll have yours.
13 Refuse To Forgive Him
People make mistakes. When you’re in a relationship, you’re probably hoping to grow together, as people and as a couple, and in that journey, mistakes can be made. If they’re small mistakes, or a genuine error on his part that holds no malice or manipulation, you should do yourself and him a favour and just let it go. Talk about it, see a therapist (together or apart), whatever you need to do.
If we’re talking about a bigger mistake, then you need to see how it affects your relationship as a whole. If it’s something you can’t forgive, then it might be a deal-breaker. If, however, you’ve said that you will forgive him and instead use every opportunity to throw it back in his face, you’re doing a disservice to yourself and your relationship, and neither are acceptable.
12 Give Him An Ultimatum
Look, ultimatums don’t work. If you have to force someone to do something, it’s because they probably don’t want to do it in the first place, and so, even if they begrudgingly agree to your terms, you’re building on shaky foundation and the whole thing is likely to fall apart.
When you’re getting serious with someone, it’s normal to start discussing future plans like kids, marriage, and buying a house. If your feelings don’t match up, that’s fine, but don’t expect him to change his mind down the road, simply because you want those things. Setting a date he needs to decide on something or threatening to end the relationship because of it is majorly uncool. Issuing an ultimatum is an unhealthy way to handle conflict and not acceptable in a stable relationship.
11 Try To Change Him
While we evolve and grow as people, much of our core stays the same. When you get involved with your guy, you fall in love with all of him, even his bad habits, his messy hair, his geeky hobbies, his funny way of getting dressed in the morning. In the throes of early love, it’s all adorable and endearing.
However, as a relationship progresses and the honeymoon phase dims, don’t be tempted to change your guy. If he’s a jerk now and he was a jerk then, then cut him loose and don’t feel bad for it! If, though, you’re trying to make him fit some arbitrary mold that you’ve decided you now need, that’s not cool. (Obviously, there is an exception to this rule, which is trying to change the behaviours of a guy that might be life-threatening or otherwise dangerous.)
10 Freeze Him Out
You know what one of the main ingredients in a successful relationship is? Communication! And no, we’re not just talking about texting or DM-ing him, when so much can get lost in translation. We mean real, face-to-face conversations –where you can see each others’ expressions and hear your tones of voice – about what’s bothering you or what you took issue with. Clearing the air is so important, and when you freeze your guy out for untold lengths of time, you’re really screwing over the both of you.
We understand that sometimes, it’s necessary to have some alone time to collect your thoughts and prevent yourself from blurting out something stupid or hurtful, but days of the silent treatment are a power-play, and manipulation in a relationship is a definite no-no.
9 Take Him For Granted
Your SO is not your butler, bartender, chef, or chauffeur. He is not there to clean your place or cook you meals or drive you places. You do not pay him for this service, thus you do not get to ask it of him and then get huffy if he (quite rightly) refuses.
Taking your guy for granted is an insidious thing that can wear away at a relationship over time. It may seem to you like you’re just asking him to run a couple errands since he’s already out, but failing to issue a thank you or behave in other girlfriend-appropriate ways can decimate the romance in your relationship. A relationship requires two people to make it work, and that means two people shouldering the burden of responsibility. If he’s at your beck and call (and obviously not happy about it), that’s unacceptable behaviour.
8 Lie To Him
Yes, we all tell a few white lies here and there, but when you start pulling out some big whoppers to avoid telling him the truth, that’s so not okay. You wouldn’t want him making up stories about where he was and what he was doing if the shoe was on the other foot, would you?
Frequent lies told to your partner can become a habit, and what they’re really doing is deflecting responsibility in an attempt to save your own skin. By most standards, lies that are told easily and often are one of the biggest indicators of a doomed relationship. If you want you and your partner to endure beyond a premature expiry date, telling the truth is the way to go. It may be rough and uncomfortable, but it’s better that sowing seeds of deceit.
7 Control Him
A major complaint from people who’ve managed to get out from under a bad relationship? Their partner was too controlling. If you want to know where your guy is, that’s fine, and is more about concern than control, but if you start setting limits on who he can and can’t see, who he can and can’t talk to, what time he has to be home, where he can go after work (if he can go anywhere), and how prominently he should display you in his social media presence, then there’s a big problem.
You might think you’re being a protective girlfriend/fiancée/wife, but what you’re really being is emotionally abusive. Your controlling ways don’t symbolize compassion – it’s all about possession for you, and placing unreasonable limits on your dude’s free time is as unacceptable as if it were the other way around.
6 Put Him Down
Many relationships can have some playful banter and teasing, and it’s all in good fun, because the two of you are friends as well as partners. However, if those teasing jabs start to become more personal and point towards real issues you have with your guy, that’s when the fun stops.
Putting your guy down all the time is unacceptable behaviour in a relationship, plain and simple. You might think it’s cute to bug him about that birthmark on his cheek, but you also know he’s super self-conscious about it, and some things are off-limits. If you’ve gone past the point of teasing and you know it but do it anyway, you are actively trying to derail his self-esteem, which is another abuse tactic. Making him feel less about himself doesn’t make you seem any better – it just makes you a jerk.
5 Always Put Yourself First
Successful relationships operate as a two-way street. There’s give and there’s take, and there might be periods where one of you is taking more than you give and vice-versa. It’s part of the natural ebb and flow of a relationship as it progresses. The issue only comes around if you are always, incessantly, putting yourself first, even if the situation doesn’t call for it.
A healthy relationship can’t run on one person’s needs alone, but that’s what you’re asking for. He may have his grandmother’s funeral to go to, but you just go tickets to this concert and refuse to be there for him. Whatever he has going on, your deal is what’s more important, always. Does this sound reasonable or acceptable to you? Yeah, we didn’t think so.
4 Pressure Him
Thanks to stuff like Facebook and Instagram, we’re inundated with the stories of all our BFFs and the lives they’re leading, which always seem so much better than ours. One girl and her husband bought a house, another is one baby number two, and yet another just had her dream wedding. It can leave you feeling a little itchy, but if you’re pressuring your guy to do something he’s not ready for, it’s just going to drive a wedge between the two of you.
Not unlike ultimatums, pressuring your man into doing something he doesn’t want to do is unacceptable. Even if it’s not a major life event, but something you’re dying to try in the bedroom that he’s just not cool with, it’s not okay to turn up the heat to get your way. It’s controlling, aggressive, and manipulative – three characteristics that don’t belong in a relationship.
3 Lead Him On
You might’ve been done with the relationship ages ago, but for whatever reason – low self-esteem, boredom, holiday plans – you’ve decided to string him along. As your one-sided relationship progresses, he may begin catching feelings, while you’re just sitting back, watching him walk into the trap you’ve laid, while you search for better options. No one likes to be lead on, and so if you’ve checked out of your relationship, you need to woman up and have the courage to end things before he gets hurt anymore than he already has been.
Truthfully, leading someone on is one of the most selfish things you can do in a relationship. Sure, it’s easier and more comfortable than going through all the mess of a breakup, but is it better? No, no it most certainly is not.
2 Cheat On Him
Easily one of the biggest examples of unacceptable behaviour in a relationship, we have cheating. If you’re in a committed, monogamous relationship, this is just not okay – even if he’s cheated on you, cut your losses and leave him. Infidelity is a deal-breaker for almost everyone, and women can be just as guilty of it as men.
If you’re unclear on what constitutes cheating, sit down with your guy and talk about it to determine some lines that should never be crossed. Is a passing flirtatious remark to a coworker okay, or no? Where does flirty texting fall in the scope of things? Being faithful to your guy signifies the amount of respect you have for him and your relationship, and if you’re trashing that, you probably shouldn’t be with him at all.
1 Hit Him
This might seem like a no-brainer, but hitting in a relationship is never okay, full stop. Cases of domestic violence where the man is the victim go vastly underreported on account of the shame a guy will feel about admitting that his SO is the perpetrator of violence against him.
We all get angry sometimes, but it’s about channeling that anger in a healthy way and not turning it into physical aggression towards your guy. This is absolutely unacceptable behaviour – just as it would be if the roles were reversed – and if you’re a man experiencing an abusive partner, take this as your sign to get out because no one deserves that kind of treatment from someone who purports to love them. It’s not normal, it’s not okay, and it’s not something that happens to healthy couples.