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Am I Self-Sabotaging My Relationships? How Can I Stop?

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  • Am I Self-Sabotaging My Relationships? How Can I Stop?

    Have you ever sabotaged a relationship? Or maybe you've been on the receiving end of a romantic self-saboteur? Romantic self-sabotage is a real thing!

    I've sabotaged relationships and most likely, so have you. But, why do we do it? Is it for good reason or are we really ruining our chances for great relationships?

    There are so many reasons a person might play a part in romantic self-sabotage. We were so interested in why this happens that we asked a WHI Featured Writer to cover the topic from start to finish. You can find the article linked below, full of personal stories, interviews, and expert commentary. We'd love to hear YOUR thoughts and experiences with romantic self-sabotage.

    Last edited by admin; 03-06-2020, 10:15 AM.
    "Be what you're looking for."

  • I am definitely guilty of self sabotage. Years after leaving the services I am finally accepting that when things are going well I like pressing the big red button that destructs everything. I feel the most comfort in situations that are difficult. Being happy makes me feel anxious and like to press that big button when things feel too good. Which is strange because it's not in my nature whatsoever but makes it feel so more tempting because of it.

    I am new to theropy so I am learning not to do it. But when you are taught to be uncomfortable in difficult situations (it's literally what being a marine is all about) it's hard to unlearn.

    I also believe that the military should have an obligation not to take on confused angry individuals, but that ultimately is what makes a good soldier.

    I loved my time in the military too. In someways it saved me but also gave me a bunch of other issues to deal with


    • I wouldn't start a relationship with someone who I didn't think could handle what I am going through.


      • MrMr I can definitely see where being programmed to find comfort in the uncomfortable can affect relationships. It is good that you recognize it and are seeking some therapy to try to work through some of that. I think once we recognize WHAT our issue is, it becomes much easier to consciously work past it.

        For me, it is similar in that I am always waiting for the proverbial poop to hit the fan. Maybe it was growing up with an alcoholic parent who I dearly loved and respected sober and the constant emotional rollercoaster it kept me on. Maybe it was his unexpected death after I had spent my entire life worrying about him. I felt so out of control.

        Then many years later when I had finally worked MOSTLY past that waiting for things to destruct, when my partner was unexpectedly killed, the cycle started all over for me. Again, I felt so helpless and out of control. That no matter how good things are going, I AM ALWAYS waiting for them to destruct and at one point in time, I would sometimes purposely destruct them just to get it over with and so that I could feel like I was at least in control of it.

        Now...because I recognized that in myself I am able to control it. I can't control the thoughts. But I can control how I react to them and how much power I let them have over my life. I've now gotten in the habit of living with those thoughts but simultaneously resisting the urge to act on them. Eventually, I expect that at least some of those thoughts will fade. Or at least I hope they do.

        What you said about confused and angry soldiers resonates, too. It does often seem that those are the people with the fortitude to truly make it as soldiers.
        "Be what you're looking for."


        • I make a conscious effort to not self-sabotage my relationships: friendship, family and otherwise. I don't want to be lonely and realize friendships and relationships don't grow on trees: if I lose them, there is no guarantee of another. Plus, no one can replace their family. I try, try and try to keep this going and I always will. Because I want people to stick by me and be on my side: if I self-sabotage this, I'd have no-one. And that is a lonely place to be.


          • I agree with you Ashlee and MrMr. I've done it too.

            Childhood trauma creates that need in us-the need to question stability, avoid comfort and non-dramatic outcomes.
            There was a belief also, for me, that we're simply not worthy of anything good in our life. Those were the lies spewed at me by my mother. That affected relationships, careers, friendships, everything. I have challenged that belief all through my life, and while it's mostly under control, I still hear her comments from time to time, both in my head, and yeah, she's still making her ignorant comments from time to time.

            MrMr, a few years ago I did some reading on the incidence of soldiers involved in violence post-deployment. I've dated some enlisted men, and some officers that would talk about the troubles in the ranks. I live near a military base, so I kept hearing these stories on the news also. I think this brand of trauma, whether PTSD, or otherwise, requires the attention of the military as a whole. Many of these men and women are sabotaging relationships, as you describe, and doing so in sometimes violent ways. Domestic violence, alcohol and drug abuse, suicide, etc, are all happening at alarming rates. Our military need more mental health support.

            You're in UK, correct? My guess is that your services don't include this support in the capacity warranted either.

            My hat is off to you, for recognizing your need for help and getting it. Much luck to you in that healing process.


            • I think it is such a shame for a person to self-sabotage their relationships. A partner won't stick around forever they're being neglected or verbally attacked. I wouldn't stay with someone who did that myself. I realize it is not the sabotars fault entirely BUT taking responsibility and being mature should be the goal. A partner should never act in an irrational or out-of-control way. The person should act like an adult: not any other way. It is OK to be emotional and get angry sometimes, but becoming vindictive and out-of-control isn't right and the partner won't tolerate it forever.

              I am not trying to diminish anyone's opinion or experiences, but an adult should be the adult they are and talk through their emotions and just be honest about their real feelings. Playing games in a relationship results in disaster.


              • This thread came to mind a couple weeks ago. The thought crossed my mind to cut loose the man I've been involved with for most of the year. I have so much going on, I have little time for him, and I thought to just end it, and let him find someone that can dedicate more to him.

                I quickly realized, thankfully, that there's no reason for that. I don't know why I even thought that it would be beneficial to him, or necessary...like I'd be doing him a favor.
                He's never complained, never asked for more...he's always encouraging me to take more time to do whatever I need to do. He also needs a lot of time to himself, so...I've never felt that he thinks he'd like to be with someone that can hang out more. He's always encouraging my study commitments, and never seems disappointed when I say I just can't do this or that...we both just sorta roll with it. If there's rare day we have an hour to meet up for lunch, we shout it out and that's what we do. He's been amazing.
                Yet, I talked myself into this idea that he deserves better than what I can give right now.

                He's made it clear that he's happy with the way things are. I'm happy too. There's no pressures, there's no expectations and that's exactly what I need right now. And he's good with that.

                Not sure why, in a day's time, I'd convinced myself that I couldn't manage this relationship, that he deserves better than me, etc. etc. I'm doing a hell of a job managing this, in the midst of a crazy time in my life.
                Probably if I did that, other women do the same. So glad I thought this through, came to my senses before I did anything hasty. We deserve to be happy. If it ain't broke, don't fix it!


                • Well, the most detrimental things I'm aware of doing aren't the ones in the link.

                  I made poor choices about people to date and took things personally that were about them or simply a difference between us.

                  That sounds judgy or like I'm not taking blame, but I mean like just having different priorities and getting mad because I thought it had to do with his feelings about me.
                  Last edited by Pastel Yellow; 01-01-2020, 05:37 PM.


                  • Actually, I'd like more detail about some of these things. I may be defensive...



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