3 Sneaky, Hidden Relationship Traps You Don't
Want to Fall Into
If there's one thing that can create havoc in your
relationships, it's falling into hidden
And if you stay in those traps for long periods
of time or just keep falling in them and you can't
figure out why or how...
Your relationship can end up feeling empty and
could even end.
We were reminded of these sneaky, hidden
relationship traps as we watched the 2010 Winter
Olympics over the past two weeks.
During one downhill skiing competition, there
was one place in the course that seemed to cause
several of the competitors to get off balance, lose
time and some fell.
It was a problem for many skiers because this
irregular rut (as some commentators called it) in
the course came up by surprise.
They weren't aware of it until it was too late.
What was clear was that those who skied the best
times in this event, had completely avoided this
area during their run.
So it is with those sneaky, hidden relationship
The couples who don't fall into them have
happier relationships than those who do.
These traps are sneaky and hidden because like
the problem on the ski slope, we don't see them
coming before we fall right into them.
And then while we're in these traps, we often
can't even see that we're in them, let alone find a
way to get out.
Usually something happens to bring us out-- but
Sometimes the issues never get resolved. We just
get busy with something else and the issue is
buried, only to come back up at a later time.
Now, of course, we all fall into these traps
every now and then because we're human (and they
can be different for everyone).
But the happiest couples don't stay there when
they do and they figure out ways to not fall in
them very often.
For them, quickly getting out of these traps
becomes a habit---or avoiding them altogether.
So what are these traps?
Here are 3 common sneaky, hidden relationship
traps that we've certainly fallen into and we're
guessing you or your partner have too...
1. The "Defending" Trap. Defending comes so
natural and easy to so many of us when we
- we haven't been treated fairly
- we haven't been understood
- we're afraid we won't get our way
- we're not appreciated
- someone thinks differently than we
- we think we're right and the other person is
Defense rises inside us so quickly we don't even
have time to recognize it before we've said or done
something that pushes the other person further
That's why we call it sneaky and hidden.
Our defending seems to come from someplace deep
inside and we don't in any way feel in control of
If defending is a pattern for you and you want
to stop it (or at least slow it down), start
recognizing what you do when you get hooked and
It might mean that your stomach, jaw or neck
tightens, you feel yourself want to fight or the
opposite--run away, and you may stop breathing.
Taking a breath will allow some space for
conscious action instead of unconscious action from
2. The "Blame" Trap. How easy it is to blame the
other person for something you see as a
And if we don't blame the other person, we blame
ourselves--and continue to blame ourselves.
The Blame Trap is sneaky because, again, we can
fall into it easily, automatically and without
We easily fall into it because it's usually such
an old pattern inside us that we don't even know
we've fallen into it even after we have.
An example of the Blame Trap is when you find
yourself saying "you never..." or "you
Instead of "you never" or "you always," you
might use a phrase like "I'm wondering if you'd be
willing to talk about_____?"-- even after you've
caught yourself in the blame trap.
3. The "Taking Your Partner for Granted" Trap.
This trap is an easy one to fall into after you've
been together for awhile.
It's sneaky and hidden because many of us slide
right into it without thinking.
It's easy to say things to your partner that you
would never say to anyone else because the other
person would be "hurt" and maybe take it wrong--and
your partner supposedly wouldn't.
Somehow, there's a rationalization that after
you've committed to one another, you can speak to
each other any way you want or ignore what your
partner does that's "right" in favor of pointing
out what's wrong.
When you fall into this trap--and it becomes a
habit--your connection, love and respect for one
another starts to erode.
If you've seen yourself fall into this trap,
make a conscious effort to turn it around and act
in ways that build your relationship instead of
tearing it down.
The point is to see where and how you fall into
any of these traps, as well as when the situation
Then take a deep breath to stop you from
automatically reacting in old ways.
Give yourself the space to make another, more
You can learn to avoid these hidden relationship
If you want more love in your life and
relationships, this week, we invite you to
experiment with some of these ideas.
& Otto Collins
Other Relationship Issues,
and Otto Collins are spiritual and life partners
who are committed to helping others create
outstanding relationships of all kinds. They
regularly write, speak and conduct workshops and
seminars on love, relationships and personal and
spiritual growth to audiences all across the USA.
They are the creators of the "Relationship Toolkit"
which has helped people in over a dozen countries
improve their relationships. It includes a video
Partnerships plus two
and Relationship Success
Relationship Quotes Worth a Million
Dollars! You can also
read more articles like these and subscribe to
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by visiting their web site at www.collinspartners.com
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Go? has just been released and is now available
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