7 ways to sabotage your relationship

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Learn the seven ways in which you sabotage your relationships and what you can do about it!


  • The 7 ways you sabotage your


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    No one will deny that in todays

    world, relationships are fraught

    with difficulty. At one time it was

    assumed that relationships led to

    marriage and that marriage was

    for life. The generation born

    during and after World War I

    showed us what it would be like

    to be married to the same

    person for 50+ years. However,

    as we enter into 2011 we see

    that there has been a breakdown

    in family life with divorce at an

    alarming rate of 50% and a

    decrease in marriages around

    the western world. Despite this,

    there are many who still desire

    to marry and settle down with a

    family, but face problems

    establishing strong relationships

    that could lead to marriage.

    One of the main reasons that people

    are unsuccessful in relationships is tied

    in to self-sabotaging behaviour. What

    is sabotage? Sabotage is defined as

    the treacherous action used to

    hinder a cause or endeavour. So,

    self-sabotage is the treacherous

    action used against ones self to

    hinder their own cause or

    endeavour. In fact, saboteurs were

    often linked to traitors, those who

    committed treacherous or treasonous

    acts against their own country.

    Therefore, we can say that a person

    who commits self sabotage is in fact,

    committing treasonous acts against


    Let us look at some of the treachery we perpetrate against ourselves in the area of relationships.

  • An insecure person will lack confidence in their own

    ability and value. Invariably, this lack of confidence in

    their value will result in a lack of trust for someone elses

    value. They may feel in a positive state, but harbour fears

    that the positive feelings are only temporary and will

    cause them loss when those feelings disappear. Insecurity

    is an emotional interpretation of oneself. Manifestations

    of insecurity may be shyness, jealousy, or perhaps

    arrogance or even bullying.

    ORIGINS: The template of insecurity has its roots in childhood. Perhaps we experienced a lack of security in the family structure, possibly by being rejected, abandoned or overlooked in some way. These insecurities have remained undetected and are now manifesting itself within the romantic relationship. Insecurities can be overcome if we want to remove it.



    Closely tied in to insecurity, is the need for individuals to control

    their relationships. Since control enables power, the one who

    controls the relationship has the most power and therefore, has

    most of their needs met. The victim serves the needs of the

    controller. Both men and women are guilty of controlling

    behavior. Some people, for example have a need to have things

    their own way. Entering into a new relationship, the controller

    will seek to impose their ideas on the new partner. There is very

    little consideration for the victims needs and desires and if the

    victim is passive in nature, the controller will push their

    manifesto through with little resistance.

    It is possible that insecure people use strong characteristics as a shield by which to hide their insecurity.

    Within the contexts of relationships, insecurity creates jealousy and erodes trust. Within the insecure

    person, issues can be fabricated from an insecure mind that has no foundation in truth. Since insecurity is

    an emotional experience, it is very difficult for the insecure person to see reason and logic when they

    believe there is a problem in the relationship.

  • ORIGINS: This need for control is also borne out of insecurities learned in childhood and can be rectified if given sufficient attention.


    The desire to help others is innate within all human

    beings. Yet to constantly desire to rescue others

    during relationships is a sure sign of self-sabotage. If

    you find that you are drawn to partners who need

    constant help and attention, then that is a sign that

    you are a martyr/rescuer.

    Perhaps you are currently with someone who has serious physical, financial and emotional problems. You

    may be playing the role of the parent, giving them parental advice. Perhaps your partner has been hurt in

    the past and you feel obligated to make it up to them. If you are a rescuer, then understand that unless

    you deal with the core issue, i.e. your need to rescue others, then all your relationships are doomed. These

    types of relationships are draining on you, but you are waiting for the big payoff, the day when your partner

    gets back on their feet again and crowns you as their champion for saving them. Of course, this will never

    happen, but you delude yourself that if you try a little bit harder, then things will work out.

    ORIGINS: This behaviour usually stems from unfinished emotional wounds from childhood. Perhaps, we ourselves were never rescued or we tried to rescue our parents, (perhaps from alcoholism) and now our lifes mission is to rescue our partners. Invariably, we will be attracted to broken individuals like ourselves. Our fixing them distracts us from the fixing that we need to do within.

    Controllers tend to have the misguided view that what they do is for the benefit of both parties when in reality, it serves their cause only.


    Another self-sabotaging technique

    is the need to be centre stage or

    needing inordinate amounts of

    attention. While it is normal for

    people to seek a sense of self-

    worth and validation, there are

    some who seem to make a virtual

    career out of attention-seeking

    behavior. Whether this is done by

    the way they dress or what they

    say or whatever drama they

    conjure up, these individuals want

    you to notice them at any cost.

    Sadly, in western society,

    attention seeking is very common

    and in large part promoted by the

    media through reality shows and

    glossy magazines. It is no longer

    desirable to be ordinary.

    Everyone now needs to feel like a

    celebrity! These types of

    individuals have the emotional

    age of a child and often do not

    understand their own motivations.

    ORIGINS: Needing a lot of attention has its roots in childhood. Without sufficient attention during this crucial time, a child is left to question their value. In adulthood they seek to create this value by drawing attention to themselves to compensate for neglect in their younger years.


    Let us consider another trait which works against us and that is the trait of neediness. In

    western society, our understanding of what love is, has been taught, not by parents or

    educators, but by movies and literature. The message of these movies and books suggest

    that people lack love in their life. In other words, if your love life is not similar to the one

    presented here in this book or movie, you do not have it and consequently, you need to go

    out and find it!

  • Based on these fallacious teachings about love

    both men and women have been duped into

    believing that, movie love is what they need to

    fulfil them. In fact, they define this as true love.

    Our whole ethos about love stems from this

    deceptive teaching and based on this premise we

    end up with a misguided need to feel fulfilled from

    someone else.

    The focus of needy people is themselves, having

    their needs satisfied and imposing penalties on

    their partners when their needs go unmet. Needy

    people are externally oriented, everything is

    wrong about the external,

    my partner is not good

    enough, they dont like me,

    no one cares about me are

    the types of expressions heard

    from these types.

    A needy person is so

    outwardly focused

    that they fail to see

    where the problem

    really lies; within

    themselves. The

    genesis of this issue

    comes from a time in

    life when there were

    a number of needs

    not met in this

    persons life and

    therefore like many

    self-sabotaging traits,

    there is an over


    dynamic playing out.


    An often overlooked area of self-sabotage has to do with

    the fear of intimacy. Intimacy is defined as a close,

    familiar,and usually affectionate or loving personal relationship with another person or

    group. A fear of intimacy displays a fear of sharing of oneself with others. This is usually done to

    hide the parts of ourselves that are defective. We perpetuate this fear by not allowing others to get

    close to us or if put, under the spotlight we shut down as a means of self-protection. We may feel

    that to open up exposes us to betrayal and therefore we have developed a self-protection

    mechanism which ultimately prevents us from getting close to anyone. At our core, we believe that we

    are unlovable or unworthy, perhaps we were the victim of rejection and abandonment and we have

    lived with this perception of betrayal and unworthiness ever since.


    To some degree, we must be realistic and understand that we all

    carry baggage. However, the thing that prevents many people from

    enjoying love and fulfillment is that they have not removed baggage

    from their previous relationships. Too often, I have observed that

    many people will break up with a partner after a three year

    relationship and then within a month, they will be involved with

    someone new! They will claim that they are over the previous

    person but in actuality they are not over the effects of that

    relationship. The fear of being alone is what drives many people to

    seek new relationships even though they have not purged

    themselves of the old one. Do you realize that there are many

    people who have never lived alone for any period of time since they

    left their parents home?

    They leave their parents and move in with their partner or get

    married. That relationship breaks down, they move in with someone

    else and so it goes on.

    There has been no time or space

    for critical analysis, no corrections

    of attitude, no lessons learned.

    Instead, they move from one

    relationship to the next, never

    realizing where things are going

    wrong. This is self sabotage at its


  • These are a few of the

    self-sabotaging traits that

    prevent people from

    enjoying harmonious

    relationships. Notice that

    most of these traits have

    their origins in childhood.

    Although there are cases

    where these traits may

    develop at a later date,

    most professionals in the

    field of


    Tony Cross (Relationship coach)

    agree that the formative years of a Childs life within the family structure as well as their environment plays a significant part in their development. These self-sabotaging traits can be overcome. Often it takes self-awareness along with concerted effort to combat these issues.

    I hope this report has been useful to you. If it has, please pass it on to your friends and acquaintances.

    My website www.datingandrelationshipissues.com provides information that is useful for anyone wanting to understand love dynamics and how to enjoy more fruitful relationships.

    Until next time,