Sometimes, the thing that’s standing between us and happiness is ourselves. Psychologists call these self-sabotaging behaviors. Broadly, it’s defined as behavior that creates problems in our own daily life and interferes with long-standing goals. Self-sabotage in relationships is when you, consciously or subconsciously, try to ruin the relationship or try to make it fall apart.
Why Do We Self-Sabotage?
Self-sabotaging behavior is typically subconscious and sometimes hard to recognize. One reason for this behavior is low self-esteem and self-worth.
Triggers can be many things, such as worry that your spouse doesn’t like you enough. Subconsciously you compensate by acting out, pushing your partner away to lessen the sting of rejections. Conversely, stirring up drama can be a way to keep your partner interested.
Signs of Self-Sabotaging Behaviors
All relationships go through highs and lows. But if you notice you’re becoming a repeat offender of certain negative actions, you could be self-sabotaging your relationship. Here are signs you might be subconsciously torpedoing your marriage.
- Picking fights.
- Sweeping negative feelings under the rug.
- You don’t talk about what you want in the bedroom.
- You’re always on your phone.
- Choosing Netflix or TV over sex.
- Telling white lies often.
- Hiding texts or emails from your spouse.
- Spending more time with other people than your spouse.
- Constantly feeling jealous or possessive over your partner.
- Always criticizing your spouse.
- Eating, drinking, or smoking excessively and overall not taking care of yourself.
- Holding grudges.
- Putting energy into everything else but your relationship.
- Having unrealistic expectations.
- Breaking promises regularly.
- Using the “silent treatment.”
- Focusing on your spouse’s imperfections.
- You take everything personally making it more about you than the relationship.
- Giving up on sex.
This list is by no means exhaustive, but it will help you start identifying areas you may be operating in this behavior.
How to Stop Self-Sabotaging the Relationship
Don’t let these behaviors torpedo your marriage. You CAN stop it and turn the relationship around. Here’s how:
- Be proud of yourself for recognizing unhealthy behavior and taking steps to fix it.
- Be patient. All of this is hard work. Use your support systems to help you through the rough times.
- Understand each other’s attachment styles so you can learn how to provide better for each other’s needs.
- Discover both you and your spouse’s love language. Knowing how you give and receive love can help improve the relationship.
- Speak openly about the problems you’re having and what the best next steps for your relationship could be.
- Seek Counseling. Counseling can be a great next step if you feel you can’t solve these issues on your own.
Eagle Family Ministries offers a wide variety of Christian marriage retreats and Christian marriage conferences for married couples of all ages. You can attend one of our scheduled events, or schedule a conference or retreat for your church. We travel all over the U.S. Let’s visit about your ideas and needs today! 479.464.4442