Learning ‘How to Have a Healthy Relationship’ is perhaps one of the most important life lessons we were never taught in school, which is quite unfortunate because relationships form the very core of our lives.
Relationships are like delicate plants; they require care, attention, and the right environment to thrive. Yet, sometimes, we can be the obstacle affecting our relationships’ growth without even realizing it.
Sabotaging your relationships refers to a person engaging in behaviors or actions undermining their romantic relationship’s health, stability, and happiness. It’s like you’re refraining from watering a plant, leaving it to die slowly.
In this article, we will explore why people sabotage their relationships and cover the signs indicating that you might sabotage your relationship.
Table of Contents
4. You are irrational
You know those moments when you and your partner have a disagreement? They’re probably trying to talk calmly and reasonably, focusing on the facts. But you find yourself getting caught up in your emotions, which can be a bit tricky.
When emotions take the lead, it can lead to misunderstandings and unnecessary conflicts. It’s like trying to navigate through a foggy path without a map. Trust and clear communication are key elements in every relationship to ensure its success.
Licensed therapist and blogger Daniela Marin suggested that one of the ways to decrease interpersonal conflicts in relationships is by getting to the root of interpersonal thoughts, which lead to “irrational expectations.
5. You don’t have any empathy
Imagine having a conversation with someone whose facial expressions and body language don’t align with their words. It can leave you feeling disconnected and misunderstood.
Empathy is not just about saying the right words; it’s about understanding the emotions behind them. It’s about picking up on subtle cues, like micro-expressions or shifts in tone of voice, that reveal a person’s true feelings.
Empathy is important in a relationship; it shows that you care about more than just words – you care about their feelings and experiences. So, take the time to truly listen and understand.
6. You are moody or difficult to get along with
It’s clear that your mood swings can be quite unpredictable, making it challenging for those around you to know what to expect.
This constant shift from cheerfulness to irritability or anger can create a tense atmosphere, making it harder for both you and your partner to feel at ease and supported.
If your partner is always on edge, uncertain of when your mood might take a turn, it can become exhausting for them to navigate.
7. You are withdrawn
When someone withdraws in a relationship, it can manifest in various ways. They might physically create distance, choose not to engage in conversations, or withhold emotional affection altogether. Sometimes, it’s a combination of all three.
This can create a sense of detachment and loneliness for both partners, undermining the vitality of the relationship. For a relationship to flourish, active participation from both parties is crucial.
However, there are times when withdrawal in a relationship can be necessary for personal space or reflection. Elevated Life Counselling says “space and individual development is completely healthy and to be encouraged within relationships, but be aware of the intention behind the need to take space.” It’s important to differentiate between healthy solitude and prolonged emotional detachment.
8. You are overly aggressive and can’t control your temper
This manifests in various ways, from intense facial expressions to forceful body language and a communication style dominated by hostility. Such patterns of behavior deviate from what is considered normal and healthy interaction.
People who struggle with anger management issues may exhibit a tone of voice that is consistently sharp, even in situations where open-ended questions or a calm approach would be more appropriate.
Their smiles, if present, may often be perceived as forced or insincere, lacking the warmth of a genuine smile.
This type of behavior not only disrupts the natural flow of communication but can also lead to an environment of tension and discomfort.
9. You don’t communicate your feelings or needs calmly
When expressing your feelings or needs, avoid being overly aggressive or allowing your temper to take control. Not being able to calmly communicate your feelings or needs often stems from underlying issues related to communication style and behavior patterns.
Instead of being aggressive and having your temper take over, you should calm down and not communicate with your partner until you control your feelings.
- Learn to take slow, deep breaths to calm your nervous system and regain control
- Take a walk, do some light exercise, or engage in activities to ease tension
- Replace negative or aggressive thoughts with positive affirmations
- Understand the specific situations, topics, or behaviors that trigger your aggressive tendencies so you can prepare and respond more calmly in the future
10. You constantly criticize your partner
Criticizing your partner, expressing disapproval, or fault-finding in a way that undermines their self-esteem creates a negative atmosphere.
It’s true that people can really get on your nerves sometimes. We all have our quirks and habits. But you can’t force people to change. They’ll only do it if they genuinely want to.
So, if you keep picking at your partner, whether it’s about their looks, actions, words, or what they don’t do, they’re going to get fed up pretty fast and probably start feeling upset with you.
11. You are jealous and needy
Feeling jealous and needy can be a challenging aspect of any relationship. It’s important to remember that these emotions often stem from deeper fears or insecurities.
While it’s normal to desire attention and reassurance from your partner, finding a healthy balance is equally crucial. Constantly seeking validation or becoming overly possessive can strain the relationship.
It’s beneficial to acknowledge and work through these feelings, perhaps with the support of a mental health professional or through open conversations with your partner.
How to Stop Sabotaging Your Relationship
If you’ve read through this list and thought, “Dang, I am really sabotaging my relationship!” Well, here are some things you can do:
Be more self-aware
Get to know yourself better. Take a moment to think about how you’ve acted in the past. What triggered those behaviors? It might feel weird initially, but it’s a big step toward better communication with your partner.
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Practice Effective Communication
Effective communication is like the secret sauce for a strong relationship. You need to be open, honest, and respectful when you talk. That’s how you build something that lasts. Learn to talk it out with your partner rather than engage in behaviors that will negatively affect your relationship.
Relationships have their ups and downs, just like life. Embrace that you and your partner are humans, with your strengths and weaknesses. Be real with the expectations you set for the relationship.
Empathy is Key
Put yourself in your partner’s shoes and learn to see things from their perspective. This deepens your bond and builds trust. According to Brides, when you’re empathetic toward your partner, you make them feel seen, heard, and understood, so you provide a safe space for them to be open and vulnerable.
Let go of Past Baggage
Holding onto old grudges can weigh down your relationship.
Give your current partner a fair shot to build something new and positive with you. Let go of the ghosts of the past.
Celebrate Each Other
It’s the little things that make life beautiful.
Celebrate small victories and appreciate the small gestures of care and love. Endeavor to always acknowledge and celebrate each other’s achievements, even if it is just by saying ‘thank you for..’ ‘ well done, you did great today’ etc.
Take Care of Yourself
You’ve got to look out for yourself, physically and emotionally.
When you are well physically and mentally, you can bring your best self to the relationship. Make sure your needs are met. Spend time on things that recharge you.
Learn to be Thankful
They say grateful people are happier, healthier, and tend to have stronger relationships.
Expressing gratitude for your partner’s presence and contributions shows appreciation.
Julie Baumgardner says “gratitude leads to positive behaviors toward your spouse and others. The feeling of gratitude motivates responsiveness to a spouse’s needs.”
Building strong relationships is a journey that requires self-reflection, growth, and open dialogue. it’s important to acknowledge that sabotaging behaviors in relationships can be subtle yet harmful. These behaviors are often rooted in past experiences, and deep-seated fears can affect the stability of any relationship.
If you want your relationship to thrive, you must learn to take the necessary steps to deal with such behaviors and cultivate healthier ones that pave the way for a more loving, harmonious, and fulfilling relationship.