You met a new person and dated happily for a while. The connection is very good, there is a chemical reaction, and sex is very interesting. You start to spend more and more time together, and you start to think about becoming a couple.
However, you immediately stopped replying to their text messages. The date of your cancellation. You avoid talking about taking things to the next level. Your partner expresses frustration, disappointment, and even anger at your behavior. It didn’t take long before the other party broke up.
Does this sound like something that happened to you? If so, you may be self-destroying your relationships.
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The specific reasons why someone might self-destroy a relationship are context-specific. Everyone has a different past: parenting, childhood, adolescence, and the first serious relationship all affect the way we behave now.
One of the main reasons that people disrupt interpersonal relationships is the fear of intimacy. When people are afraid of emotional or physical intimacy with others, they are afraid of intimacy.
everyone want to and need close. However, in people with certain experiences, intimacy may be related to negative rather than positive experiences, leading to “push-pull” behaviors, and ultimately to the breakdown or avoidance of the relationship.
Fear of intimacy usually comes from difficult or abusive parental relationships and childhood trauma (physical, sexual, or emotional). The deep-rooted belief of people who are afraid of being close is: “The people I’m close to are untrustworthy.”
Because the early trust relationship with parents or caregivers was destroyed by abuse, people who are afraid of close believe that those who love them will inevitably hurt them. As children, they cannot escape from these relationships; however, as adults, they have the right to end or leave them, even if they are not naturally abusive.
This fear manifests itself in two types: fear of being abandoned and fear of being swallowed. First, people worry that their loved ones will leave them when they are most vulnerable.
Second, people worry that they will lose their identity or the ability to make decisions for themselves. These two fears usually exist at the same time, leading to “push and pull” behavior, which is a typical manifestation of those who are deeply afraid of intimacy.
There are many signs that even in the best relationships, you may have a tendency to self-sabotage. The following are some of the most common.
Looking for exit
You avoid anything that leads to greater commitment: seeing your parents, living together, etc. You always want to know, “How can I easily get out of this relationship if something goes wrong?”
Because promises reduce your ability to leave a relationship without financial or emotional consequences, you tend to avoid it.
You may start to withdraw from the relationship or start to become alienated. In some cases, you may start to avoid spending time with others.
Gaslighting is a form of emotional abuse whose purpose is to deny the reality or experience of others. For example, if your partner says: “You canceled our date, I’m really angry”, you will respond like this: “You are not really upset. It is your fault that I canceled, you just want to blame me for it. ”
Gaslighting is a sign that you don’t really believe that your partner’s feelings are valid or real (even if they do).
Your friends often ask why you often break up with potential partners, or regret that you never seem to “settle down” with anyone. You will break up with your partner because of the slightest problem, then immediately start dating another person, and then repeat the cycle. You don’t want to be considered a “player”, but you can’t seem to find someone you can promise.
You always worry that your partner might see other people behind you. You demand control of all aspects of their lives, and you need constant contact. When they spend time with other people without you, you will be annoyed, texting constantly, experiencing jealousy, and demanding proof that they are loyal. They broke up with you because they found you were in control.
You are constantly looking for perfection in your partner, even if you know that perfection is impossible. You will be picky about every little thing they do, from the way they cook to the clothes they wear. You can’t please you, your partner eventually gives up trying and breaks up with you.
You spend a lot of time trying to convince yourself that this relationship is perfect, if not. When your partner wants to solve a problem, you will avoid the topic, or just say: “I don’t think we have a problem; it will disappear.” Your partner feels dissatisfied with your inability to face the problem together and leaves.
Holding a grudge against your partner means that your anger will never really go away. It takes a lot of energy to stay crazy. No matter what your partner does, you will always return to those resentments. This is a way to protect yourself by pushing others away. As long as you are crazy, no one can really approach you.
Although in some cases it is okay to have sex with other people when both parties agree to be non-monogamous, in general, encountering an affair from the outside may be a sign of self-destruction. You are doing one of the most hurtful things you can do to a romantic partner, and hope they will find and leave you.
You always talk about yourself in a self-deprecating way: “I am not as smart as you.” “I’m just an idiot, why should you be with me?” “You are with me only because you pity me,” and so on.
This is an expression of low self-esteem, and most people don’t like to be told that they love a worthless person. Although they constantly promise you that you are a good person, they may give up and break up when you keep letting yourself down.
These are just a few examples of how people who are afraid of being close can disrupt their relationships. Note that many of them are abusive: behaviors like gas lights, paranoia, and control can hurt the other person. People with these patterns usually have childhood trauma and don’t know what to do.
Why this is a problem
Even if you find signs of self-sabotage in your relationships, you may not want to stop these problematic behaviors at first. This model allows you to exit the relationship when you need it-this is where the problem lies. You want to go out to avoid the intimacy you are afraid of in the short term, but such behavior may cause difficulties that bother you in the long term.
Why is it important that you want to keep ending your relationship even if things go well? Some potential long-term consequences include:
- Lack of intimacy. Over time, you may find yourself longing for an intimate, safe, and long-term relationship. Self-destructive behavior makes any type of commitment difficult to find and maintain.
- Lonely. Lack of intimacy can make people feel isolated. You may find yourself eager to make connections that you cannot make or maintain.
- Lack of children and families. Although not everyone desires to have children, some people may find that they wish they have a partner who can live with their family.
- Unbearable to be close. Ending your relationship repeatedly before establishing true intimacy will bring you closer to your future partner. Even when you get closer and closer to a person, you may find yourself constantly suppressing a part of yourself for fear of being too attached and getting burned.
To end self-sabotage, you first need to carefully examine yourself and your behavior patterns. Unless you are willing to be honest with yourself and face all the ways you might abuse or hurt others because of fear of intimacy, you are destined to repeat the same mistakes.
Treatment is the first step for many people to end their self-destructive mode. Professionals can help you identify your behavior, unearth the root cause of the problem, and find new and healthier behaviors.
Generally speaking, there are some important things that need to be discovered when ending self-sabotage.
Dealing with your attachment style
Attachment theory is a framework that can explain the behavioral patterns of being intimate with others. The ideal type of attachment is “safe”: when people feel they can trust others and maintain a unique personality, even in intimate relationships.
However, childhood experiences can lead to anxiety, avoidance, or disordered attachment styles. These are the reasons why adults try to develop strong relationships and family problems.
The good news: You can work with a therapist to develop a safer style by facing your fears and eliminating false beliefs about relationships.
In order to overcome self-sabotage in relationships, you need to be able to acknowledge your role in disrupting relationships. No relationship is perfect, but if you keep failing yourself and your partner, you will always be disappointed. Solving these problems means that you need to be willing to become vulnerable and recognize your problems by giving up and rejecting them.
Know your triggers
Fears of intimacy and self-sabotage can stay dormant until triggers wake them up. It may be words, actions, or even locations. Knowing what triggers your fears will help you avoid them or resolve them so they won’t trigger you again.
One of the main problems of self-destruction is that we behave now as if the current situation is the same as the past. It can be childhood or past adult relationships. Learning to say “that’s the past and the present is now” can help you make decisions based on the present, rather than blindly reacting to what happened in the past.
One of the signs of self-sabotage and fear of intimacy is the inability to talk about your feelings and your problems. You avoid talking about these things, because talking means feeling, and you want to avoid feeling these things at all costs.
Expressing your emotions, your fears, and your needs can not only help you find problems, but also help others understand you better.
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The reasons for people’s self-sabotage are understandable, so it’s important to treat yourself well. Remember, you can ask for help. Seeking treatment or just a kind and friendly ear is the first step to getting rid of self-destructive behavior in relationships.
It is also important to work with your partners. It’s not easy to become vulnerable and let the other person know this side of you, but letting them in can help break deep-rooted patterns of self-destruction.