3 Reasons Why We Self-Sabotage in Relationships

Why do we cause ourselves pain? Why do we subconsciously self-sabotage relationships with the people we care most about? The answers are within us, and today we’re going to try to uncover them.

self-sabotage in relationships, healthy relationships
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3 Reasons Why We Self-Sabotage in Relationships

1- You Believe You’re Not Worthy of Love

Self-sabotaging in relationships is correlated with low self-esteem.

If you regularly tell yourself, “I don’t deserve this”, “How could they love someone like me?”, or “They must think I’m ______”, these thoughts reflect low self-worth and should not be a normal part of your life.

Self-sabotaging is a form of psychological self-harm. When we believe we are undeserving of love, we subconsciously make sure we don’t get it. We hurt our relationships to hurt ourselves.

When we believe we are unlovable, we push people away and then blame them for leaving us. We make ourselves so difficult to be around to “test” our partner’s love for us. This never ends with a positive result.

Learn more about self-love and self-acceptance in my post 4 Reasons Why Self-Love is Essential in a Healthy Relationship.

self-sabotage in relationships, healthy relationships
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2- You Don’t Trust Yourself or Others

Who watches Grey’s Anatomy?

Meredith Grey is an obvious example of self-sabotaging in relationships. She struggles to commit to Derek because she’s afraid of putting herself at risk of heartbreak and failure. She looks for reasons not to trust Derek so she can blame her non-committal issues on him.

Meredith doesn’t trust herself or others because she believes that happy endings aren’t possible for her. If you relate to Meredith, you might relate to this too.

If you don’t trust yourself:

You struggle to commit to relationships because you are afraid that one day you’ll regret your choice or do something to ruin your relationship. You feel like you’re not good enough to be in a committed relationship and look for reasons why “it won’t work”.

If you don’t trust others:

Even when your partner has never broken your trust before, you worry anyway and look for reasons not to trust them. You don’t believe that a healthy, committed relationship is actually possible for you and push your partner away.

self-sabotage in relationships, healthy relationships
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3 – You Let Your Fears Control Your Actions

If you’re like me, you like to feel in control of everything and tend to think more about what could go wrong instead of what can go right. We care so much about control because we have more anxiety and fears than most people.

We self-sabotage in relationships because we act out of fear instead of faith.

Instead of being mindful of our fears and working on dealing with them in healthy ways, we try to control and manipulate our partner to stop our fears from coming true.

When we act out of fear, we push our partner away and keep ourselves from loving freely and authentically.

If you fear rejection or abandonment:

You struggle to be vulnerable with your partner and express your needs. You are afraid of asking for what you need and expect your partner to “just know” so you don’t have to say it out loud. This repeated behavior can build resentment in your relationship and cause you to blame your partner for your unhappiness.

If you’re dating right now, a sign that you fear rejection or abandonment is that you’re not the “text first” type, you would never reveal your feelings for someone unless they did first, and you end relationships before they even begin.

If you fear change and uncertainty:

You would rather be in an unhealthy relationship that’s familiar than a healthy relationship that’s new territory. You allow your own and other’s toxic behaviors in your relationship because it’s what you’re used to. You’d rather feel in control and be unhappy than face the unknown of making healthy changes.

If you fear intimacy:

You chase relationships and love, but once your partner reciprocates, you get uncomfortable and act uninterested. When your partner gets “too close”, you get upset, act like you don’t want them, avoid them, or even try to end the relationship.

How Do I Stop Self-Sabotaging in Relationships?

How we stop making ourselves victims of our own choices? We start changing our limiting beliefs that keep us from accepting love and loving others. Read my post, How to Overcome Insecurities in a Relationship to learn more about changing unhealthy behaviors in a relationship.

Or read my post, 5 Steps to Stop Negative Thinking and Start Positive Thinking. to learn more about changing self-sabotaging thoughts!

self-sabotage in relationships, healthy relationships
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