10 Signs You’re Self-Sabotaging Your Relationship (Why And How To Stop)
Sometimes, the only roadblock in your relationship and its happiness is you. Sometimes, it’s your behavior and the actions that hold you back from having a fulfilling relationship. Many experts define this behavior as self-sabotage, a behavior that causes you to create problems in your own life that might interfere with your happiness.
These self-sabotaging behaviors in relationships can mean when you actively engage in behaviors – either subconsciously or consciously – that ruin your relationships. For some people, it can be hard to even see this pattern in relationships.
Self-sabotage in relationships can include pushing your partner away or creating reasons to end the relationship. Such self-sabotaging behaviors can stem from past negative experiences, childhood trauma, and poor relationship skills.
If this pattern sounds familiar to you, then you’re at the right place. In this blog, we’ll be exploring ways in which you are self-sabotaging your relationships and how to stop them.
Why Do You Self-Sabotage Relationships?
While self-sabotaging behavior can often be subconscious, there are many reasons that you might engage in self-sabotaging behavior. One of the reasons is your low self-esteem and self-worth. When you’re worried about your worth in your partner’s eyes, you might subconsciously push your partner away so when they reject you, it hurts less.
Another reason can be a fear of commitment. When you’re afraid of committing to one person or when you fear for your independence, you may engage in self-sabotaging behaviors to ruin the relationship. You push your partner away to keep your sense of freedom.
Your attachment style can also play a role in your self-sabotaging behavior. Your attachment style is the way you connect with your partner in a relationship and it is learned from your childhood experiences. Childhood trauma can also play a role in your self-sabotaging behavior. You may self-sabotage your relationship with your partner subconsciously by repeating the patterns you learned when you were a child. You do it because it feels familiar.
Ways You’re Self-Sabotaging Relationships
Here are some signs you’re sabotaging your relationship:
1. You Have Unavailable Partners
One way you self-sabotage your relationships is when you keep finding unavailable partners to date. This pattern is so often repeated that you believe that there are no available partners for you to be with. The truth is that you keep choosing partners because they offer a convenient way to avoid emotional intimacy.
2. You Don’t Let Anyone Close
You want a relationship but you don’t let anyone close to you. You keep your feelings on lockdown to keep people away from you. This is a very common defense mechanism and is engaged because you’ve been hurt and disappointed by your loved ones in the past and want to avoid it. You find that letting people close means setting yourself up for disappointment and heartache.
3. You Don’t Trust Others
Another way you self-sabotage your relationships is when you don’t trust others. It’s nothing to do with your partner but your abuse of trust in the past. You might also be interested in people who you can’t trust because it’s familiar. You find yourself choosing partners who are not trustworthy and there might be a betrayal from your past that may drive this behavior.
4. You Frequently Pick Fights
When your self-esteem is low, you don’t treat yourself well and are always critical of yourself. When you have low self-esteem, you may pick fights with your partner and frequently challenge your partner which may cause them to pull away from you. If you don’t have high self-esteem, you treat yourself well and you don’t constantly look for security.
5. You Keep Looking For Exits
Another way or sign you self-sabotage your relationship is when you keep looking for exits in your relationship. You avoid commitments, meeting the parents, moving in together, and all the big next steps that often come when you begin dating someone. You begin to pull back from the relationship and become distant.
6. You Engage In Gaslighting
Gaslighting is another sign that you’re self-sabotaging your relationship. When your partner expresses their feelings, you might respond with something that dismisses their feelings. Gaslighting is a subtle manipulation tactic that says you don’t believe in your partner’s feelings and imply that their feelings are not real.
7. You Are Always Jealous
Another sign of you engaging in self-sabotaging behavior is that you’re always jealous. You worry that your partner might be cheating on you and that prompts you to demand control over their life. You want to remain in constant contact with your partner and fight with them if they talk to others. You express your jealousy and want evidence of their faithfulness. This controlling behavior can make your partner break up with you.
8. You Avoid Relationship Problems
Another way you self-sabotage relationships is when you convince yourself that the relationship is flawless. You ignore the problems in your relationship and when your partner asks for your attention on those problems, you avoid the issue or change the topic. This can make your partner grow resentful and eventually leave the relationship.
9. You Focus On Your Partner’s Fault
Another sign you’re sabotaging your relationship is when you focus on your partner’s imperfections and faults rather than their strengths. You can’t see the good side of your partner or the relationship and focus only on the small infractions. This maladaptive pattern can be a sign that you’re trying to sabotage your relationship.
10. You Are Critical Towards Your Partner
We love constructive criticism but if you keep being critical towards your partner over the smallest actions, then it can be a sign you’re self-sabotaging your relationship. Criticizing your partner even when they don’t deserve it can be a subconscious act of self-sabotaging relationships.
How To Stop This Behavior?
1. Work On Your Attachment Style
Insecure attachment styles can keep you from developing healthy relationships and being intimate with others. When you’re insecure, you can’t trust others and keep a distance from them, not allowing them close to you. With the help of a therapist, you can work on developing secure attachment styles and stopping self-sabotaging your relationships.
2. Acknowledge Your Behavior
To stop self-sabotaging relationships, you need to be aware of your behaviors. Learn to acknowledge your self-sabotaging behaviors. Keep in mind that no relationship is perfect and that you’ll feel disappointed if you keep setting yourself up for failure. Accepting your problems means you’re willing to work on them and address the trauma that causes these behaviors.
3. Learn To Let Go
Another problem when you self-sabotage your relationships is when you believe that your current situation is the same as your past one. It could mean childhood and adulthood experiences. Learn to let go of your past because once you do that you’ll be better able to make decisions based on your present than the past. It’s only fair to your current relationship, right?
4. Talk About Your Problems
Another way you can stop self-sabotaging relationships is by talking about them. You need to open up about your fears and problems with your partner or a therapist. You avoid certain things and feelings because you’re afraid of confronting them. Express your concerns, your fears, and your needs – talking about them will help others understand you and do right by you.
Self-sabotaging relationships are common when you have heavy trauma riding your shoulders. Addressing those past issues can help you get past them and focus on developing better and healthier relationships. Treat yourself with the kindness you deserve and seek help when needed.
Talking to your partner about your vulnerabilities and while baring your vulnerabilities with another can be hard, you need to let them in if you want to break the negative pattern of self-sabotaging relationships.
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