Relationship sabotage comes from one place: insecurity. It manifests as jealousy, gossip, fighting, and unforgiveness. If you see your relationships falling apart repeatedly, then it is possible that you are the one sabotaging your own success. This applies to relationships in business, family, marriage, neighbors, and friendships. Take a look at the major complaint that you have in your relationships. What is the one thing that you find yourself saying over and over again? Do you find yourself saying,” They don’t really love me,” or “They are going to betray me,” or “They are unfair with me.” Notice that your expectancy concerning the relationship is centered around what you want to receive. Your expectations are self-centered rather than “other-centered.” Your ultimate goal should be focused on being relationship centered. In other words, what is the healthy choice for the benefit of the relationship? What does the other person need from the relationship? What would a healthy relationship look like? A successful relationship depends solely on overcoming your insecurity and contributing to the relationship rather than taking from it. You do have something to offer! Make a plan to avoid the following pitfalls and overcome the symptoms of insecurity and incorporate healthy patterns of communicating!
Fighting destabilizes your relationships and breaks the bonds of intimacy. When disagreements escalate into a fight, then you have maneuvered yourself into a position to fight for your point of view rather than negotiating for an outcome that is mutually beneficial. It is possible to engage in a friendly debate, however, if you allow your communication to become defensive of your position, then you will break down the bonds of a healthy relationship.
Holding a grudge is a like carrying around a 50lb weight on your shoulders. The act of forgiveness means moving beyond the pain and releasing the other party from responsibility. Forgiveness does not excuse the injustice. Forgiveness only allows you to move forward. Once there was a young bride who asked her grandmother the secret to a long marriage. Her grandmother thought for a moment then she slowly spoke, “Before I married your grandfather, I decided on a list of twenty things I would automatically forgive if your grandfather did them. The problem was, I never wrote them down. So, each time he was offensive I would think over my list and it seemed to me that most things were on that list. But I may never know for sure. What I do know, is that overlooking the small things helped us when we encountered the big things.” Keep in mind that forgiveness does not apply in circumstances of abuse. Don’t allow the old pain of the past to impose itself on our new healthy relationships. It will act like a poison to destroy what you have.
Jealousy occurs when you feel threatened by either another individual or something else. Are you jealous about the amount of time your wife spends at the office? Or are you jealous of the time your husband spends on the golf course? Ask yourself, why are you insecure? Is the threat real or imagined? Don’t allow yourself to dream up worst case scenarios. Jealousy will drive you to act in ways that are possessive to protect your interests or it will drive you to be defensive because you are feeling threatened. Being suspicious all the time is exhausting work. The hypervigilance toward any threats will make you cranky and difficult to be around. Think about it this way, if you really can’t trust the other person – perhaps there is a deeper issue that needs to be addressed. Either you need some healthy confrontation or the relationship needs to be terminated. Jealousy is only a defensive response for someone who feels powerless – and you are not powerless!
Keeping score will undermine the success of your relationship. If you keep score, then logically, someone is a winner and someone is a loser. Your goal should be to have a thriving partnership and eliminating competitiveness will go a long way to establishing a safe environment for personal growth. If you find that you always need to be right or have the last word, then you are driving the relationship into the ground and contributing to the failure of the relationship. If this is an issue for you, look at why you are unwilling to give your partner the freedom to fail.
Finding fault is like picking apart your house piece by piece. Eventually it will fall down around you. Whether you justify it by claiming you are a perfectionist or you are helping your partner improve – the results are the same – you are destroying the relationship. Think about when someone has constantly found fault with you – how did you feel? The effects are devastating on a relationship. Acceptance of your partner is the goal. Any habits that are “deal breakers” should be addressed directly and negotiated.
Controlling every situation is another relationship-destroyer. You may want to ask why you are not more comfortable with allowing others to be themselves. Inflexibility and unwillingness to negotiate is the sign of insecurity. I realize that not being in control can make you feel vulnerable however, there are legitimate areas for you to control and illegitimate areas of control. If the relationship is abusive and creating a toxic environment for children, then exercising a supreme amount of control is warranted in order to ensure safety. Micromanaging another person is out of bounds if you want a thriving relationship. No one is ever going to do things exactly the way that you do! Lighten up and give your partner space to express themselves.
A victim mentality will suck the energy out of your relationships and selfishly divert the spotlight onto yourself. I have found a unique attribute of 100% of people with a victim mentality. Surprise! 100% of them have been victimized. Yes, victim mentality actually comes from being subjected to injustice and trauma. And this can take many forms. Trauma can be violent or more subtle. Divorce is an emotional trauma that can make it difficult to trust or move forward in healthy relationships. The goal for overcoming victim mentality is to take the focus off of yourself. Is victim mentality self-centered and self-serving? Absolutely. If you think about it, a victim mentality is in place to prevent you from being victimized. Unfortunately, however, this hyper-vigilance to protect yourself maintains the focus on you. The health of any relationship depends on being other-focused. If you allow the pain of your past relationships to influence your current relationships, then you are bringing that past poison into the present. My suggestion? Leave that poison in the past.
Passive-aggressive behavior is meant to punish or wound someone else without having to directly confront the individual. It is used by those who are either unwilling or unable to creatively engage in a constructive dialog. Slamming doors, the “silent treatment”, an averted gaze, or a curt tone are examples of passive aggression. Simply put, it is a mechanism for avoiding confrontation. It is possible that you are afraid of confrontation because your experience has taught you that confrontation is ugly and violent. Perhaps, you lack confrontation skills and you are afraid that any confrontation will escalate into a fight that you cannot win. If you approach confrontation from the standpoint of opening up communication on a specific subject and learning what you can about the other person’s perspective, then you will have the right attitude. From there, you can practice and learn how you can move beyond passive aggressive punishment and open a clear path for communication.
Gossiping about your partner’s flaws will break down trust. Ultimately, getting someone to take your side, will not contribute to a strong relationship. Consequently, gossip is the precursor to the total breakdown and destruction of intimacy. Sharing your frustration will not gain sympathy or make you look superior. Loyalty and building a bond are essential components to moving forward with a successful relationship.
Running at the first sign of trouble ….. or serious commitment possibilities – is the sign of insecurity. The insecurity exists because you may lack the conviction to stick it out through the difficult times, or you may fear the consequences of a more permanent commitment. Are you afraid of commitment? Are you afraid of abandonment? Evaluate the insecurities that prompt you to abandon your relationships prematurely.
Finally, honestly assess how insecurity has sabotaged your relationships. How does it manifest and what can you do to stop the cycle of dysfunction? Randi Gunther, PhD,Relationship Saboteurs: Overcoming the Ten Behaviors that Undermine Love, states: “Relationship saboteurs do not set out to fail in their love relationships. More often, they don’t even realize how behaviors that may have once been seen as attractive now push their partners away. When the relationship ends, the relationship saboteur often feels blind-sided without ever understanding why.”
As always thank you for reading, this topic comes with a lot of research. Self-sabotage is a silent killer of amazing relationships. I am thankful that I researched it and was able to start rethinking my actions. You see I have been in a relationship for just over 3 months now. She is amazing frankly an awesome fit for me. Sadly, I was sub consciously allowing mental blocks from my past to attempt to sabotage our relationship. Now I have new knowledge and some tools to prevent that from happening. So, to Self-sabotage I say NOT TODAY SATAN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I am still looking for a story from a female’s perspective so please write one and send it to me. You can stay anonymous I will only disclose your name if you want me to.
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