Do you sabotage your relationships?
Perhaps you have been hurt and haven’t healed properly. As a way of protecting yourself, you may end up being afraid of emotional intimacy, commitment, or abandonment; you unconsciously say or do things to drive a partner away. It is sometimes just easier to give up and walk away before things start to go wrong and you are hurt again.
In order to figure out how you are unconsciously sabotaging your relationships, look at the history of each relationship you had. Focus on the behaviour that was not conducive. Make a list of everything you did that did not build the partnership. What was your part in it? Could you have done things differently to prevent the break-up?
Can you identify underlying fears or concerns that you may have acted upon by betraying your dating partner’s trust, or scaring him / her off with inappropriate behaviour?
Unreasonable expectations can and will lead to a permanent feeling of disappointment, frustration and dissatisfaction for both of you. Do you really love your partner or do you love what you think she / he should be? Do you want to be accepted and loved for who you are and can you therefore do the same for them?
Fighting is unhealthy. If disagreements are escalating in this way, you need to make some changes. Keep things at a lively debate-level, respect each other’s ideas even if you don’t agree, and be mature enough to let go of something if you just can’t agree on something. Agree to disagree.
Decide what is more important. Your relationship or winning an argument? Having different beliefs and accepting it is much better than hating each other.
Forgive but never forget is like carrying a old wound around with you and ripping it open every now and then, just to remind you that it is still there. Ask yourself if you are really healing and growing in this relationship? Can you accept that your partner is not the same person he was and that he realised that he made a mistake, grew from it and moved on?
Are you using old pain to protect yourself from future hurts? What do you need to do in order to heal and trust again? Counselling, psychotherapy, EFT, hypnotherapy and many more therapies are out there to help you heal. Choose the one that suits you best!
Unwarranted jealousy is a manifestation of your own insecurities. You are feeling that you are not (good, pretty, interesting, sexy) enough to keep your partner’s undivided attention. Do you understand that the problem is with you and not with your partner?
You need to restore your sense of self-worth to a level where you are a pleasure to be with. If you really can’t trust your partner, leave the relationship. Do not get caught up in a never-ending downward spiral of insecurities. If you can help each other heal within the relationship, open up the discussions and really learn to reveal yourself to your partner. Intimate revelations can be sexy!
Keeping score and one-upmanship can turn any relationship into a minefield. It can strip away the feeling of being safe, trusted and respected. Winning means that the person that you care for must be a loser. Make a distinction between partnership and competitiveness.
What is more important? A healthy partnership or being right/better?
Finding fault by constantly focusing on your partner’s imperfections and flaws instead of finding quality and value can drastically sabotage your relationship. You need to find the source of this problem in order to solve it. Instead of focusing on your partner, query yourself.
Do you feel safer, stronger, more powerful or better about yourself when you put your partner down? Do you use criticism as a means to control? Why do you need to feel safe? What will happen if you accept your partner, faults and all?
My way or the highway is an unhealthy expression of a need to control. Spending your energy on keeping everything, especially your partner just right keeps you busy enough not to face your real insecurity issues. Controlling is sometimes easier that confronting your insecurities.
Do you really want to spend your time and energy on being right? Try to identify your insecurities. What caused them in the first place? What do you need to change in yourself to feel more secure?
Becoming a victim by giving up, accepting that you can’t change your circumstances and that pain will always be a part of your life can be very damaging to you. This sometimes happens when a person has repeatedly being hurt and had no way to escape or heal from the pain. You can become so isolated, lonely, cynical, negative and so separated from your self-sustaining core that you start believe that there is no way out.
Make sure you have a good support network to sustain and guide you. This is not something you can deal with on your own although the “rational” folk among us often believe they can – which simply causes more separateness when in fact intimacy is about togetherness and revealing vulnerabilities, and working them through safely together. Seek good professional help and stick to it, even if it seems difficult and too hard. Keep on reaching towards the light. Never give up!
Passive aggression is a way of using sulking, silence and keeping quiet to impose control over their partner. By withholding your energy and failing to contribution to your relationship you are not only hurting yourself and your partner, but also your relationship.
You may get what you want in the end by being underhandedly manipulative, but you are not really winning anything. Clearly stating your wants and needs, learning to communicate effectively and developing healthy techniques to deal with conflict will take you so much further.
Gossiping to other people about your partner’s irritating habits, his flaws and your hard life with him is just plain silly. You are creating a culture of “us” against “him: the big bad wolf in my life.” Will getting other people’s sympathy and making yourself look better, help your relationship?
Ask yourself if you are in a loyal and contributing partnership of two, or in a partnership that is the playfield of everyone with an opinion? Learn how to deal with problem in a healthy, mature way between the two of you.
Being too sure … of yourself and your relationship can cause unhealthy stagnation and boredom. If you are failing to infuse new energy and oomph into your relationship you are undermining your partnership. You aren’t contributing, you aren’t stimulating, and you aren’t energizing.
What are you doing to build your relationship? What are you doing to make your partner feel special and appreciated? Are you fun to be with? What can you do to bring the romance back?
Keeping the backdoor open just in case things don’t work out means never having to commit to working on your relationship. You will never give your complete attention to fully getting to know someone or fully exploring the intricacies of a relationship with that person. If you tend to move on to someone new every time you see the first signs of things going wrong, how will you ever learn how to deal with relationship problems and overcome them?
You are keeping yourself from developing a deep, nurturing, healthy connection by jumping from partner to partner, by judging people only superficially. Try to open yourself up, accept that every relationship will have some problems, but allow yourself to learn, grow and become closer to your partner in the whole process. See problems as opportunities to learn, not as endings.
Run … at the first sign of trouble. Are you telling yourself that things weren’t meant to be at the first sign of trouble? Are you breaking up before you (maybe) get hurt? Sometimes the idea of being hurt is so intolerable that you rather sabotage your relationship than actually work at it. How can this problem be solved?
Surround yourself with a network of support so that you never feel you are alone and without any support. Keep on asking yourself if you are dealing with your relationship in a healthy, well balanced way. Make rational, healthy decisions, not emotional, self protective decisions.
Relationship sabotage can keep you from finding and keeping love. Learn from your mistakes, grow from it. It is possible to end your cycle of relationship sabotage!
Recommended reading: “Getting the Love you Want”, by Harville Hendrix, ISBN: 9780743495929