Why do we have the tendency to sabotage a good thing in our Love lives?
It could be our subconscious telling us that we will inevitably destroy whatever good comes into our life. We might be blind to the fact that we continually rob ourselves of happiness simply by worrying over losing it. This becomes a chain of reactions that ultimately lead a decent, happy relationship down a destructive path.
It is also likely a cycle – in many, if not all relationships – while you may not even see it. These may be tactics that seem normal and natural to you. You may even frequently find yourself asking, “What am I doing wrong?”
Since I am speaking for those who never intentionally want to sabotage their relationships, I know you mean well and have good intentions at heart. What you may not see is that you can be holding on a little too tight. I found these to be key tips to avoid sabotaging your relationships, and can help you understand what changes in your Love life should follow.
10 TIPS TO AVOID
SABOTAGING YOUR RELATIONSHIP
REFRAIN FROM OVERTHINKING EVERYTHING
From someone who deals with anxiety, I know this is asking a lot. My life is surrounded by my overthinking. If you are someone who tends to take everything personal or always feels like you fall victim in your relationships – it’s crucial to start changing that mindset.
I’m telling you – here and now – that overthinking isn’t always the right thinking. From the paranoia of whether or not he likes you – hell, loves you – to worrying about everything you or your partner says, does, feels, implies and thinks.
Sure, Love isn’t always black and white – those gray areas are sometimes questionable – but we need to be more entrusting of the black and white. In doing so, there needs to be more trust in your gut instinct and an aim for clarity instead of stewing in our own assumptions.
DON’T MAKE ASSUMPTIONS
To tie in with above, we must stop forming assumptions about our partner. Can you read his mind? No, but I do understand that we can easily gather a hypothesis based on his emotions and choice of words and actions.
Doesn’t mean it’s accurate.
Would you want your partner to assume that because you are sad or angry (from something they said or did, or something entirely irrelevant) that you have broken off the relationship? If that was never the intention, of course not.
We must stop assuming our partner’s intentions, as well as how they feel and think. Both parties need to communicate thoroughly through words, actions and intentions, as well as getting clarity on any confusion in order to remain on the same page.
Bottom line is: if it bothers you inside, you need to talk it out (no matter how silly and awkward) before it consumes you – meaning, yes, you turn into a crazy person in his eyes.
HOLD YOURSELF ACCOUNTABLE
Be very aware of the part you play in the relationship – positively and negatively. Whether that be in your expectations, wrong doings, emotions, conflict and boundaries set within the relationship. In other words, be able to admit and surface wrong doings and negative behaviors you contribute or enable.
Be able to recognize your own relationship insecurities – such as when you begin to feel jealous when your partner spends time with friends. If we become more self aware of behaviors that are toxic in our relationships, we have a better handle on improving them.
QUIT PLAYING TIT-FOR-TAT
I talk about tit-for-tat quite a bit if you have read any of my other posts on TML. I think it’s because this consumed one of my previous long term relationships, as well as having experienced the nature of this toxic behavior in my upbringing. It was a common occurrence between my parents. Young and still learning my worth, instead of leaving that relationship entirely, I did what I thought would prove a point.
It wasn’t right, by any means. It became a continuous, vicious, never-ending cycle of constantly inflicting insult or emotional pain on one another. The relationship became tiresome, and soon a void filled with nothing but resentment and anger.
Both parties must be willing to recognize this toxic behavior, but the name of the game is someone has to be willing to surrender – to put an end to it. Otherwise, this constant emotional battle will negatively effect your ability to maintain a healthy relationship.
You won’t put out the fire using fire – plain and simple.
YOU’RE IN A PARTNERSHIP, NOT A DICTATORSHIP
Should he make you a gracious part of his life, and want you in it? Absolutely he should. Again, the key word is “part“. You being a part of his life – not all of it. This doesn’t mean you get to control every and all aspect of it. Such as what time he needs to be home for dinner each night, how often he sees his mother and what he can and can’t do with his friends.
Trust me, I’ve witnessed it all.
Do I think there should be a healthy balance of consideration and respect for one another? Yes. My point is that you are still individuals and need to implement that respect for space and individuality. In a loving, trusting relationship there is no such thing as control or possession of one another.
START EVERY RELATIONSHIP WITH A BLANK CANVAS
It’s unfortunate – the previous guy you dated did the unthinkable. He cheated, lied, used and took advantage of you.
This doesn’t mean the next guy should have to pay for what the previous one did. We may be able to justify it in any way we please, but by entering into every new relationship guarded you are only adding salt to the wound and making the wall unreachable for him to climb.
What chance does he have at making you happy to begin with?
Sure, your trust may have been shot in the past but that doesn’t mean the next person should have to work from -30 instead of ground 0. Stop generalizing, and heal completely in order for you to treat every new relationship like a blank canvas.
I get it – it’s not that simple, you say. I know that I may be speaking to the person who has been cheated on. Well, then it’s time to start making your deal breakers concrete.
Meaning, is this something unforgivable or beyond repair? If so, it’s time to move on.
Because let’s not forget: simply choosing to stay in the relationship is not forgiveness. The purpose of forgiving is to heal yourself of the pain from any wrong doing upon you, whether that means allowing the person who betrayed you to be in your life or not.
Forgiveness does not free the person who hurt you.
The point is we need to practice forgiveness (even for the little things) in our relationships, rather than holding grudges. Those who have a more difficult time forgiving will be the ones paying an emotional price – such as frequent anger or bitterness toward others, the inability to enjoy the present, difficulties connecting and lacking feelings of purpose.
GET RID OF THE SCORE CARD
I did this in high school. It wasn’t healthy then, and it isn’t now.
As adults, I think this is a much more slippery slope when dealing with schedules, division of responsibilities and unequal efforts during times of stress. I’m aware – we might get the score card confused with our Love banks.
My husband and I have learned that it helps to unify our efforts by splitting up daily tasks and responsibilities. For example, I do the cooking while my husband takes out and brings in the trash every week.
Sure, there are times when I’ve been the one cooking and doing the dishes all week, and it can be difficult not to take my husband’s lack of initiation to help into account. Instead of pulling out the score card (which honestly does nothing more than point out problems without a solution), I need to be more realistic with my needs (as well as empathetic to his own).
Meaning, when I am agitated that my husband has not initiated doing the dishes all week, I need to simply ask him for help. More times than not he is more than willing.
The playing field isn’t always going to be equal in relationships. You may be required to take one for the team, and vice versa. This IS called a relationship – it isn’t always going to be 50/50.
KNOW YOUR WORTH
It’s no surprise, really. I once dated someone with very, very low self esteem – it didn’t last long at all. For one thing, it’s self sabotaging – for both parties. I was getting really frustrated having to always be this person’s primary source for validation. I dreaded certain conversations, and I also felt I had to belittle my own self esteem just to match his.
I do understand that low self esteem is not uncommon in today’s world, but the reality is that it doesn’t just affect the person experiencing it.
It isn’t just about self esteem, but also recognizing your own worth in relationships. Meaning, being more than capable of deciding right from wrong, to choose someone who treats you with decency and acknowledging that you are deserving of happiness.
What you allow in your relationships is what will continue – remember that.
DON’T PUT ALL YOUR EGGS INTO ONE BASKET
I’m not saying to keep your options open. But girl, I see you.
You’re cancelling plans, pushing back girls night for the Nth time and constantly putting the rest of your life on hold for him (hello, you left your job and moved across the state with him after 3 months). All I’m saying is be careful not to tread in those depths for too long. When you start sacrificing more than one should in a relationship, you run the risk of losing more than you gain.
Don’t allow a relationship to get to a point where you lose sight of yourself and your own needs, desires, wants and dreams.