top of page

Five Signs You Are Sabotaging Your Relationship

It seems strange that some people go out of their way to ruin their own lives. They may undermine themselves, cross their own boundaries, or avoid the necessary actions to reach their long term goals. Some might even make harmful decisions that affect their life, well-being, or relationships negatively. Self-sabotage occurs when someone hinders their ability to achieve success, and it can come in many forms.

Why Do People Self-Sabotage in Their Relationships?

In significant relationships, self-sabotage can occur when one partner subconsciously feels they aren’t worthy of love. Due to low self-esteem they may go out their way to ruin the relationship, without even knowing. Past relationship experiences, childhood trauma, and insecurities may peak through in the form of self-sabotage.

For example, if you had a past relationship where your partner didn’t fulfill your needs or they constantly put you down, this may leech into your current relationship. Even if your new partner is amazing, you may find yourself not treating them with the respect they deserve. You could be self-sabotaging because you do not feel as though you are worthy of an amazing relationship. Or you fear getting hurt again, so you are hurting them first.

Signs You Are Self-Sabotaging Your Relationship

From the outside, self-sabotage is easy to spot. But, if you are in the midst of a pattern of self-sabotage you might not be aware of it. Without outside perspective, your actions may feel just. You may not even realize what you are doing. If any of the following signs seem like you, it may be time to take a look into your past and work on your self-worth.

You Focus on the Imperfections

Let’s be honest – no relationship is perfect. But, if you find yourself focusing primarily on the imperfections of yourself or your partner you may be self-sabotaging. This may turn into being overly critical of your partner. If you just can’t seem to find the positive attributes of your partner you might be trying to break it off without even knowing.

You Hold Grudges or Use the Silent Treatment Instead of Working Through Arguments

Relationships are bound to have disagreements, but self-sabotage comes in when you don’t work through them in a healthy way. This can present itself in grudges or using the silent treatment as a way to punish your partner. Both of these are ways not communicating effectively. This can lead to miscommunications, delayed anger, or fighting which can hurt the relationship. You could be using these tactics to avoid talking to your partner about your true feelings.

You Avoid Your Negative Emotions

If you are having negative emotions about your partner or relationship, you should be expressing them and talking through them. If you refuse to do this, it shows that you aren’t really interested in nurturing the relationship or fixing the issues at hand.

You Avoid Plans That Lead to Commitment

Meeting someone's parents or friend group is a significant milestone in any relationship. It also means that you are committed to them in a way that is more than just casual. If you display this behavior, you could be trying to pull away from your partner and self-sabotage.

You Display Jealousy or You Try to Get Your Partner Jealous

If you constantly worry about your partner seeing someone else, even with no evidence you are demanding control of their life. Requiring constant contact can put intense pressure on any relationship and could result in a break up via self-sabotage. This can also go the other way, where you try to make your partner jealous in order to prove their love to you. Either way, this does not allow for a thriving relationship.

How Do You Stop Self-Sabotaging in Your Relationship?

Generally, self-sabotage comes from deep-seated insecurities. To change these behaviors it takes some serious self reflection! Here are some suggestions to try and rid yourself of sabotage:

  • Speak with a professional – this will allow you to work through old feelings and experiences so they no longer affect your relationships.

  • Learn your triggers

  • Communicate openly

  • Be kind to yourself as you work through this!


bottom of page