There are times in your relationship when you do things and you are unaware of the consequences of your actions. You may not know how doing these things will affect your relationship until the damage is already done, especially if you do not know the things that can add pressure or damage your partner’s feelings for you unless these things are brought to your attention.
For example, I was dating this guy, years ago. Whenever he told me “no” I would pout and even ask a million and one questions as to why I could not have my way. He later told me that that was a turn off for him and it sent a red flag waving in his mind so he broke things off with me. I had no idea this was a “bad” thing. I just really wanted what I wanted, which was to spend as much time with him as possible.
This happens and the other person has to move on and you are left wondering what could you have done in order to be aware of some signs that you could be secretly sabotaging your relationship. The signs below will help you for future reference that you are actually sabotaging your relationship whether you realize it or not.
1. You are overly critical
Ask yourself, do you or does your partner say that you can be overly critical? Do they consistently ask you this question? Do you often hear them say they feel like they cannot do anything right in your eyes? Maybe you are overly critical with the things that they do, the things that they say and anything in between. Do you find yourself constantly complaining about just about anything? Does it seem as though your mission is to make their life a living hell on earth? Like you are never satisfied. You may be an overly critical person who is unhappy with yourself but you take your frustrations out on your partner instead of placing the blame on the person or situation that is really at the root of your dissatisfaction. Being overly critical kills the love and heightens the frustration between you and your partner.
How often are you blaming your spouse versus taking responsibility for how you are showing up along with the things that you can control? Do you find yourself blaming your spouse for everything that is going wrong within your relationship? Blaming is where you are taking the easy way out. Instead of you taking a long look at yourself, you often look at your partner as the scapegoat. You never take responsibility for how things are working out or the part you played in your life. Therefore it is not delivering the outcome you envisioned because it is 100 percent, always, your partner’s fault. Intellectually, you know this is not true but in your reality this is what is said and how you view your life situations.
3. You constantly pick fights
Maybe you are constantly picking fights for one reason or another. Now your partner avoids you, avoids conversations with you and even avoids being in the same room with you because every time he comes into the room, you are constantly picking a fight about the smallest things. Why pick a fight? Why not ask about the things that really frustrate you and ask how this thing can be resolved? When you constantly pick fights your partner sees you as a troublemaker and starts to lose the love for you slowly. He will find ways not to be around you in order to keep his peace. Think about it. When we feel good being around a person, we want to be in their space. However, when someone makes you feel guilty, ashamed or constantly finding ways to argue, this is a turn off and we find excuses to not be in their presence. Your partner is no different.
What about withdrawing? Have you heard that you withdraw too much or too often? You seem to be anywhere but with your partner and family. You are checked out, even though you are physically in the room you are not really there because your mind is occupied with something else. So, do you withdraw from your partner and the relationship? Do you find that your partner has to beg you for your attention for you to return back to the conversation or for you to actively be present in the relationship or for you to open back up to him or to her? Withdrawal creates a sense of distance between the two of you and can create insecurities within your relationship. It also prevents your relationship from moving forward.
5. Addictive or Recurring behaviors.
Maybe you have addictive or recurring behaviors. Now what does this actually mean? The behaviors you constantly repeat that reoccur in your relationship which distract you from addressing the real issues. Like, you looking at your phone while your partner is trying to have a serious conversation with you or not turning away from the television to fully engage in what is being brought to your attention. The main problem never gets solved because your focus is being shifted to this new problem. This is also why these behaviors are distracting because now you are focusing on this new thing and the original issue does not get the full attention it deserves. This moves you further away from a resolution. You can only go so far in a relationship like this before you are ready to throw in the towel because you are constantly stuck in this cycle, in the same place over and over and over again.
6. You have distrust
Maybe there is a lack of trust in your relationship. Yes, distrust. This happens because of past behaviors from an ex, from a friend or from a family member who found a way to break the trust before and now you are pretty much punishing your partner because of those past issues of trust. Now you question your partner about everything that he does. This lack of trust will surely lead you down the road of sabotage. This distrust comes from the baggage you never took care of prior to you getting into this relationship. Now it is keeping you stuck on this merry-go-round and you cannot find your way off of it. A few ways to build your trust is to check to see if your partner is true to his word. Also, check to see how honest he is and you are being with yourself. Finally, be open about your feelings and show that you care.
All six of these are signs that you are sabotaging your relationship, even if you are unaware that this is what you are doing. A lot of these behaviors can be corrected by you taking a long look in the mirror and asking yourself the hard questions. You may be wondering where to start this process of healing and showing up better in your relationship. I suggest you check out my book You Can Get Over Your Ex: The Women’s Healing Hournal to Say Goodbye for Good and Mean It. As you know, my mission is to decrease the divorce rate, while simultaneously increasing the marriage rate. One way to do that is to provide you with some tools to help you overcome areas that are holding you back.
All the best,