How To Stop Subconsciously Sabotaging Relationships

Few of us are ever consciously HOPING a relationship will end, right? If we’ve gotten to that point, then we’re probably figuring out how to introduce a serious conversation.

But it’s not uncommon for us to subconsciously sabotage relationships that we actually don’t want to end.

We do this when we allow unconscious beliefs and expectations to erode a relationship overtime. We drive our relationship towards a cliff even if we don’t want to.

For a healthy long-term relationship, it’s crucial to figure out how to keep yourself from going down this road.

Projecting Negative Outcomes

One of the most common ways that we sabotage out relationships is by projecting negative outcomes onto our guy.

This means that, when we experience something negative in connection with our partner, we associate that negativity with him and blame him for it in some way.

Say you go on a trip with your guy, and it doesn’t turn out quite the way you had planned.

Maybe he booked the room at a place that turned out not to be as nice as it looked on the site, or the weather was hotter than expected and you both packed the wrong clothes.

Like any one of us, he will make mistakes and certainly has some shortcomings.

It’s not a rare occurrence to be slightly wrong about a place before visiting it.

But, if we project the negative outcome fully onto him, we might come to the conclusion that he didn’t do enough research about the trip because he was lazy or didn’t care enough about our experience.

We’re suddenly taking an isolated event or shortcoming and catastrophizing it into a character- or relationship-defining flaw.

Childhood Patterns

We learn early in life to play this kind of blame game.

Siblings and even friends try to transfer blame all the time, and some parents do very little to counteract the behavior.

Often, we observed the projection dynamic between adults, like our parents. Maybe dad took the family camping and didn’t pack enough food, and mom never let him hear the end of it.

Maybe mom broke an expensive item in a store by accident and dad acted like it was a sign that she was regularly a careless, clumsy, or reckless person.

This blaming or catastrophizing behavior, demonstrated to us and practiced by us, becomes a habit, an automatic reaction that we don’t consciously clock.

So, it can be hard to acknowledge when we’re slipping into this pattern.

Signs You May Be Projecting Negative Outcomes

Obsessive thinking: This is one of the early stages of this kind of reaction. Obsessive thinking means that you are focusing over and over again on a negative outcome, letting it recolor anything positive that you might have focused on instead. When you do this, the negative event gains more significance than it should in relation to other events in your life and relationship.

Being critical : You should never avoid discussing hard topics or feelings with your man. But if you notice that you keep addressing hard topics as a way to correct him, complain about his behavior, or tell him what he’s doing wrong, that’s a good indicator that you’re reverting to the blame game in times of discomfort.

Poor/toxic communication or the silent treatment: If you find it hard to convey your feelings or thoughts when you are unhappy or uncomfortable and you resort to non-communication, you are setting yourself up for failure. The silent treatment is never a way of working through a problem; it is only a form of punishment.

3 Ways to Become Aware of and Break the Pattern

Understand your attachment style and patterns: Getting to know yourself is the best way to understand why you truly feel unhappy or uncomfortable in certain situations.

Often those feelings arise not because of our present reality but because of how the present triggers some memory or sensation from a past, more traumatic event.

Practicing honesty and vulnerability: Once you better understand what is going on inside you, you will be set up to communicate your needs and feelings more clearly. Now, you just have to allow yourself to open up and share in a vulnerable and truthful way that focuses on your experience rather than the other person’s behavior.

Building consistency and patience: It’s often noted that kindness is the key to a successful long-term relationship, but I think we can further break that down into consistency and patience.

Consistency is about finding an even and open place from which to love and accept yourself and him. Rather than rushing to an emotional reaction, consistency allows you to listen and process.

Patience is part of the processing. You must be patient enough to process feelings and reactions fully before trying to describe them.

By doing so, you’ll be showing kindness to both yourself and to him.

These are just a few ways to begin your journey towards a healthier relationship, and each one of these has many parts.

If you feel like it’s time to explore this work more deeply, join my waitlist for the upcoming Attract Him Forever self study + live coaching program. 

With Love,

Jen

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