We all desire to find the one…but what if you finally find them, and you end up driving them away because of your self-sabotaging tendencies?
Sabotaging a relationship can stem from a variety of underlying issues, such as unresolved personal trauma, insecurities, a lack of trust, or commitment and attachment issues.
To sabotage your relationship means to behave in a way that undermines the health and stability of the relationship, often resulting in its eventual failure.
Often, people sabotage their relationships unknowingly because of bad habits. In order to avoid doing the same, read more below to learn the 8 habits that are secretly sabotaging your relationships.
1) You ignore (or belittle) your partner’s interests
Ignoring, or outright belittling, your partner’s interests is a destructive behavior that can sabotage your relationship in multiple ways.
Because you’re not the same exact person, even if you have a bunch of similar interests, it’s inevitable that you will have different interests as well.
However, it can sabotage your relationship when your partner is enthusiastic about something and you just ignore them plainly or worse, make fun of them, because whatever they’re talking about is just not your “taste.”
It’s important that you show interest, even if it’s not your taste, because it will be very meaningful for your partner that the person they love values them enough to support their interests.
Even if you don’t care about the hobby, you should care enough about your partner to support them. If you don’t, they may feel like you don’t care enough about them to listen, which often leads to resentment.
Learn to prioritize your partner’s happiness and well-being by supporting their interests and hobbies. This shows them that you appreciate them greatly, even if what they’re talking about is not your cup of tea.
2) You don’t show appreciation
Expressing appreciation for your partner is important, regardless of whether the task they accomplished is big or small.
Even if it’s something small or something they’re ‘supposed’ to do, like doing the laundry or washing the dishes, you should still say thank you. It shows your partner that you’re grateful for everything they do for you, even if it’s seemingly small.
This is because showing appreciation validates your partner’s efforts, which motivates them to continue putting in effort. Failing to show appreciation, on the other hand, can lead to decreased motivation and increased conflict, ultimately sabotaging your relationship.
It might even lead to keeping count, which will eventually come out in your arguments. Your partner could enumerate everything they’ve done for you that you never showed appreciation for, which of course leads to tension, creating cracks in the relationship that are often difficult to mend.
3) You’re always jealous
Jealousy is normal in every relationship. Sometimes, it can even be healthy. However, if it becomes habitual, it can end up sabotaging your relationship.
It seems playful and innocent to say “must be your other girlfriend/boyfriend” when your partner says something they thought you said to them before, but it can actually be detrimental to the relationship because the joke is an implicit expression of jealousy.
And when you’re jealous, you often resort to controlling your partner, which can make them feel trapped and suffocated, causing them to withdraw emotionally. When your partner is so exhausted that they end up emotionally distancing themself, this can only lead to your relationship ending.
Jealousy also shows that there is a lack of trust in the relationship. If you are constantly questioning your partner’s loyalty or honesty, it can erode the foundation of trust that is essential for a healthy relationship to thrive.
4) You don’t trust them
Do you get jealous when your partner hangs out with their friends?
Do you demand them to show you their phone all the time to make sure they’re not cheating?
These all point to a lack of trust in the relationship, which obviously sabotages it.
If you are always suspicious of your partner’s actions and motives, it can create tension and stress between the two of you, which can be exhausting and draining over time.
In order to understand this feeling, try to see where the lack of trust is coming from. Was your partner unfaithful in the past? Do they have a habit of flirting with other people behind your back?
If it’s any of these two, perhaps it’s time for you to leave the relationship. If you don’t, this can lead to resentment, which often leads to nagging.
5) You nag them
If your partner has not been able to meet your needs, it often leads to nagging.
When you’re left unsatisfied in the relationship, you might find yourself unknowingly nagging your partner over something as minor as washing the dishes. You might tell them: “you never wash the dishes. Why do I always have to do the dishes? You’re so lazy and inconsiderate.”
Of course, this sabotages the relationship. Why? Because nagging leads to feelings of resentment and hostility. Your partner may start to feel like they can never do anything right and become defensive, which ends up with them withdrawing from you.
Instead of nagging, try to calmly let your partner know about your needs. Try to express your needs or concerns clearly and directly instead of resorting to nagging, which can make it difficult for the other partner to listen and respond in a productive way.
However, if they’ve never been able to meet your needs even if you communicate with them peacefully, it can lead to exhaustion and frustration that inevitably spells out the end of your relationship.
6) You don’t have a life outside of the relationship
The beginning of every relationship feels magical. The honeymoon period is when we feel so lucky to have met someone wonderful, someone who understands us and meets our every need, which is what makes it so easy to have our whole world revolve around them.
However, abandoning your life outside of your partner can actually sabotage the relationship.
This is because when all your needs are dependent on one person, it puts a lot of pressure on that person and the relationship itself. Instead of a healthy partnership, you and your partner end up being codependent, which is never a good thing.
Expecting your partner to do everything for you can often lead to disappointment. You should never expect them to fulfill every single one of your needs, because they’re only one person, and we need different people for different needs. At the end of the day, you still need the support of your friends and family in order to have a healthy well-being.
Moreover, when you don’t have a life outside of your relationship, you might start to get bored with your partner because of a lack of variety. You see them all the time, nothing ever changes in your dynamic, and it’s all starting to feel mundane.
Having new interests and hobbies, which you often adapt from other people, can bring novelty and excitement into your life, which can then be shared with your partner.
7) You don’t keep your promises
Keeping your promises, both small and big, is an important part of every relationship. If you promise to call a certain time, even if it seems minor, it can hurt your partner’s feelings if you don’t follow through.
When you fail to keep your promises, it can undermine your partner’s trust in you and create a sense of uncertainty or instability in the relationship. Your partner may begin to doubt your commitment to the relationship or question your reliability and honesty, because you constantly make promises you don’t keep.
If you know you can’t keep a promise, simply don’t make it. Tell your partner you will try, but there are no promises. This shows that you’re putting in the effort, but you’re also not making promises you won’t be able to follow through on.
8) You keep thinking about what could go wrong
Have you ever heard of the quote: “you are your own worst enemy”?
Well, if you keep thinking about what could go wrong in the relationship, you’re becoming your own nemesis.
It’s valid to fear what could go wrong in the relationship, and it can actually show how much you love and value your partner because you’re terrified of losing them, but at some point, when it becomes habitual, it just becomes unhealthy.
This is because constantly worrying about the potential problems in your relationship can create unnecessary anxiety. Being angry at your partner for something you only imagined can make them feel confused, because you’re mad at them for something they didn’t even do.
Moreover, over-analyzing your partner’s words and actions often leads to misinterpretation. If your partner says no for a request, for example, it could convince you that they don’t love you anymore, which is often far from the truth. Sometimes, they just don’t have the energy and need to rest, which is something you should afford them as their partner.
When you keep worrying about potential problems in the relationship, sometimes you unknowingly start to create those problems yourself. Your anxieties can create a negative atmosphere in your relationship, which can eventually lead to the problems you were worried about, essentially turning your fears into self-fulfilling prophecies.
Instead of worrying about the future, try to live in the present. Cherish the fact that you’ve met someone wonderful, and enjoy every moment with them. We’re only given a short time on Earth—it’s better to spend every second happy than fearful.