Signs You’re Sabotaging Your Relationship and What to Do about It

Building a relationship is kind of like building a house.

You start with the foundation – basic connection, chemistry, and all that other stuff that makes you like someone in the first place, and from there you work your way up until you have not just a house, but a home.

You build and build and build until your relationship is stable, safe, and even makes you happy.

But what you are unknowingly sabotaging your love life?

What if you think you’re building a house, but in reality, you’re building a mobile home? What if you think you’re building a mansion, but the foundation is garbage?

Most people do not consciously sabotage themselves or their relationships.

Self-sabotage is caused by deep psychological problems, and in this article, were going to talk about what causes self-sabotage, a few signs that you are self-sabotaging, and what you can do about a self-sabotaging problem.

Let’s get started.

What Does It Mean to “Sabotage Your Relationship”?

My experience with self-sabotage is more extensive than I like to admit.

Usually, I would self-sabotage in past relationships because though I had strong feelings for the person I was seeing, I was too scared of the reality of a serious relationship.

This led me to self-sabotage my relationship through a series of toxic behaviors.

Essentially, sabotaging your relationship is the process of creating a disconnection between you and your partner through a series of unhealthy behaviors.

However, it’s a little more complicated than this, because sometimes, people are sabotaging relationships and they don’t even know it.

What Causes Self-Sabotage?

Self-sabotage can have many causes, but they all seem to fall under a similar umbrella of trauma, mental health problems, and low self-esteem.

In terms of a job, self-sabotage would be something like showing up late for work every day, even though you know you have a lot to get done or you know that it makes your boss angry.

Procrastination is a form of self-sabotage.

In terms of a fitness goal, compulsive binge eating is a form of self-sabotage.

At the end of the day, most self-sabotage stems from negative self-talk, unaddressed mental blocks, and even in some cases an intense desire for something.

You can want something so bad that when you get close to it, you will push it away. You might value the chase more than the actual achievement of the thing that you’re after.

This seems like a losing battle that you’ll never be able to win, but there’s hope.

Because of the commonality in the various causes of self-sabotage, the treatment for someone who struggles with self-sabotage falls under one similar umbrella category. This is good, but still, self-sabotage is hard to diagnose.

The hardest person to diagnose self-sabotage in is yourself because people always make excuses for their behavior.

Signs You’re Sabotaging Your Relationship

Here are a few telltale signs of self-sabotage, plus what you can do when you run into these issues.

1. You Are Living a Groundhog Day

The biggest sign of self-sabotage is not that your relationships don’t work out.

The biggest sign of self-sabotage is that your relationships do not work out consistently, for similar reasons.

Maybe you can’t date someone for longer than 6 months. Maybe you can’t get past the “honeymoon phase”. You consistently fail at the same point in your relationships without improvement, despite your desire to improve.

If you keep running into the same problem despite the fact that all the variables have changed, you are most likely the problem. The only common variable in every relationship you have is you. You have to improve yourself first before attempting to build a relationship.

Solution: To Break Free From Groundhog Day, Be Alone For a While

If you keep living in the same bad movie, maybe it’s time to turn off the TV.

Maybe you need to get away from that problematic main character and figure out how you can be happy by yourself. Do this before you decide to date someone long-term. Do this before you decide to risk running yourself into the ground.

The worst part of self-sabotage isn’t always the negative results that come with it. The worst part of self-sabotage is the exhausting realization that you are going to continue to fail, despite your best efforts.

If you sabotage relationships, you are in an active battle with the devil on your shoulder, and he is winning.

Take some time and work on yourself – for real. Do not date. Do not have serious romantic relationships.

Find internal peace to create healthy external relationships.

2. You Are a Constant Critic

At first, you might worship the ground that your partner walks on. You might see her as a Goddess or as the most beautiful woman you’ve ever seen.

You might even think she’s perfect. But over time, you probably start noticing flaws. This is actually normal and healthy behavior.

You may start noticing that the way she chews her food is weird or that how much she worries about her hair is excessive. You might see these things, and they might bug you a bit.

“Everyone has flaws,” you think, and you’re probably self-aware enough to know that you aren’t exactly perfect yourself, but that doesn’t matter. The seed has been planted, and before you know it, those flaws become defining characteristics of her.

Before you know it, everything about her bugs you. Before you know it, you’re looking for things about her that bug you. You looking for a reason to leave. You analyze her with your escape in mind. You’re trying to find that one fatal flaw that will finally make you free from the cycle of dating that person who was once perfect.

This cycle of thought is the route to the destruction of romantic relationships.

Solution: Challenge Your Thoughts

Your thoughts about people are not always right.

You might not like the way that a potential love interest texts you or the way that they go about making plans.

However, just because it bugs you does not mean that it’s bad.

You have to decide if these “flaws” are dealbreakers, or if your mind is looking for an escape from that dreaded relationship anxiety.

If you’re reading this article, you’re probably on the right track, because you are becoming aware of your tendency to self-sabotage or over-analyze in a relationship. The next step is to learn to apply the behaviors of a non-anxious person in your daily life.

This isn’t easy and it takes practice, but in time, you can learn to recognize whether something is a red flag or if you are just experiencing anxiety.

Luckily, both real flaws and anxiety-induced flaws can be addressed through healthy communication and self-awareness.

3. You Are Holding Grudges

Forgiveness is a very important part of love and forming deep personal relationships.

If you don’t trust someone, it is impossible to build a lasting relationship. Relationships are built on trust and communication. If those pillars begin to fall, the relationship will soon go as well.

Holding a grudge is an example of a lack of trust.

Maybe, you think that they’re going to cheat on you. Maybe they did, and you can’t forgive them. Maybe you cheated on them, and they can’t forgive you.

Maybe you can’t forgive yourself.

Grudges are the antithesis of healthy relationships. You cannot have a relationship that is built on hatred instead of love. That is the textbook definition of toxicity.

Holding grudges destroys any chance at deep love for the grudge holder, and it leaves the other party feeling strung out and inadequate.

Solution: Decisiveness

Notice that I didn’t choose “forgiveness” as the solution to a grudge-holding problem.

The solution to holding grudges is not forgiving all inexcusable behavior that you might encounter. The solution to holding grudges is determining which behavior you can forgive, and which you cannot.

The solution to holding grudges is establishing a strong sense of morality and following through with your core beliefs.

Some behaviors are unforgivable, but some are not. You must decide for yourself what those are because we all have different thresholds for what we can “put up with”. I can’t tell you exactly what is right for you, but I can give you a guide that will help:

If something gives you a funny feeling, you should trust your gut.

“There is more wisdom in your body than in your deepest philosophy.” ― Friedrich Nietzsche

4. You Are Extremely Paranoid

If your partner is being sketchy (or if you have a history of traumatic relationships), it’s normal to feel anxious around your partner.

It’s even normal to question their behavior sometimes. You’re human, and anxiety is a natural emotion for human beings.

However, if you have extreme relationship anxiety, this is a sign that you may be on a slippery slope to relationship sabotage.

Like a plant requires water and sunlight, relationships require trust and communication to grow. Paranoia is the antithesis of trust and communication because paranoia destroys trust and makes communication impossible.

The problem with paranoia is not the paranoia itself. The problem with paranoia is that over time, paranoia can evolve to the point where the sufferer of the paranoia believes in nothing except their paranoid delusions.

When this happens, all hopes of developing a healthy relationship are off.

Solution: Become As Mindful As Possible

One of the most important things I’ve ever done in my life is developing the ability to recognize which of my thoughts are “real” and which have been created from my anxieties.

I’ve had bad relationships too, you know.

I felt like the problem was me, that I was “ruining everything”, and that I had no control over the fact that I was destined for a lifetime of bad relationships.

However, over time, I was able to create a perception of myself that is not anxiety-induced. One simple way that you can do this is to challenge your paranoid thoughts.

Start simple. Start with paranoid thoughts that aren’t life or death, like feeling insecure about how someone looked at you at work or the tone they used when talking to you.

When you can challenge these little thoughts and develop the understanding that your anxiety is not reality, you are heading in the right direction toward beating the paranoia that damages your serious relationships, once and for all.

All it takes is time, practice, hard work, and maybe a little bit of support.

5. You’ve Stopped Acting Like Yourself

We talk a lot on this blog about how to build yourself into the type of man that someone would want to date.

We talk about how important it is to improve yourself so that you are able to form healthier relationships and date higher-quality humans.

Let’s face it: not all partners are created equal.

Some people are better to date than others.

When you start seeing someone, you’re not allowed to just quit all the behaviors that have made you the person that you are today. You aren’t meant to change into someone undesirable just because you have found someone to spend your weekends and evenings with. This is a surefire path to making yourself less desirable in the long run.

The worst part of this self-destruction is that it is not done because you’re “settling”.

It’s done because a part of you is trying to destroy the castle you have built. This could be because of fear, anxiety, or trauma, but the cause does not change what comes next.

No matter what, you have to fight to protect what you have built.

Solution: Overcome Yourself

In order to overcome any of these signs of self-sabotage, you have to have the self-awareness to recognize that self-sabotage is a problem for you.

If you’re reading this article, you’ve already accomplished the first step.

However, the next step is the hard one.

You have to do the work. You have to rebuild the good habits that made you into a desirable man in the first place. You have to get yourself in shape (physically and mentally), and you have to overcome yourself.

This is not easy, but when it comes to saving your relationships, I can’t think of anything more worth it.

The Takeaway

Self-sabotage plays a role in the demise of nearly every relationship.

This is because people have an unhealthy relationship with their flaws. They either overthink in regards to their flaws, or they don’t think about them at all.

You have to be different. You have to surround yourself with people who make you the best version of yourself. You have to surround yourself with people who will not allow you to sabotage yourself.

This isn’t easy, but it’s the best decision you will ever make.

I can help you do it.

Are you ready to triumph over self-sabotage once and for all? Are you ready to see what you’re really capable of, without limits?

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