Getty Images
Domestic Economy Family & Kids Featured Joy Mfon Essien Life Notes

Top signs that you’re the problem in your relationship

It’s very easy to find fault in others, seeing their mistakes and things they’re not doing. Sometimes it’s not them; it’s us. Many people haven’t learned to look themselves in the mirror and tell themselves the truth. I have been in situations where I listened to people complain about their relationships and a few things I picked about their personalities pointed to the fact they were the ones with the problem.

A guy complaining about his partner never listening to him or doing what he says is simply a control freak. Another one who never hesitates to throw their partner under the bus has self-esteem issues.
This brings us to our topic today. Let’s call it a time for introspection.

Have you ever for once considered that you probably could be the cause of your relationship woes? In a chat with a senior friend many months ago, we were discussing narcissism and he shocked me with this next question. “Have you ever thought to take the narcissism test?” This knocked me off balance for a few seconds cos this was one of the few people who really knew me well and could speak to me honestly. “Did he pick anything about my nature?” With anxiety and trepidation, I took the test. I came out good but when I went back to ask why he told me to do it, his answer was simple. “Many people are quick to find faults in others. We should always check ourselves first to be sure we are not the problem.”

Here are some things to look out for. If you find yourself in this web, you have a lot of work to do.


  1. Perfection. He spoke from a place of perfection like he had no share in the blame. He blamed her for practically everything that went wrong. She did this. She said that… etc I had to pause him at some point to ask, “So she’s wrong all the time, always wrong and you have never done anything wrong? How is it even remotely possible for one person to always take the blame first for everything?” I had to ask cos I listened to him blame her for everything while excusing himself from obvious faults. This to me is a very serious character defect and only honesty and integrity can deliver one from it.
  2. Never Agreeing to a Compromise. Relationships are about ‘give and take’ and one thing that sets a relationship up for success is when both parties commit to making all the necessary adjustments from a place of understanding to accommodate each other. The problem then ensues when it’s only one person demanding compromise all the time and constantly expecting the other party to make all the adjustments and sacrifices while they do nothing. A very frustrating place to be. Sometimes, it may not make sense to you but the fact that certain actions will mean a lot to the other person should always be considered.
  3. A bad listener. I have listened to some people talk and one thing that stood out was a very bad line of communication. We always stress the importance of communication in relationships. In this particular case, one was a very good communicator, but the other was a bad listener. It was sad to see them come out of a conversation saying entirely different things. One person says something and the other hears a different thing. Sometimes, the second person quotes the other to have said something they never said. Other times, it’s the response after a clear line of communication. The responses that follow, come across as insensitive, distracted or unintelligent. This can be very frustrating. Being a bad listener can cost you your relationship. This is a very serious problem. Bad listeners are also never emotionally available. And this brings us to our next item.
  4. Emotionally Unavailable. Being emotionally unavailable means your partner’s thoughts and feelings will never be considered. They will always be exposed and vulnerable and you will never see anything wrong with it or understand why they complain, withdraw or become unbearable or difficult to relate with. This case often leads to emotional abuse which is just as bad as physical abuse so be very mindful. Check yourself.
  5. Some things that the ones who portray themselves as the ‘perfect’ partner have in common are playing the victim and never taking responsibility and as a result, they most likely never commit to fixing or building the relationship. There’s something some friends say, and I’ve found this to be quite true. They maintain that the one who runs around reporting, crying out to the world, is almost always never the victim. The victim is usually silent, quietly enduring and putting up appearances. That time and effort used to run around; garnering sympathy is never thought to be invested in building the relationship.

Ponder, introspect and be sure you’re not the one behind all your relationship woes.

  • Joy Mfon Essien is an Entrepreneur and the CEO, of Discover Essence Media, Millionaire Woman Soapworks and Delicioso Foods. Writer, TV presenter and producer, Wellness Coach and mom of two.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.