Are You Sabotaging Your Relationship? Watch Out for These Common Behaviours

Consider seeking professional help if you struggle with self-sabotaging behaviours that impact your relationship. (Image: Shutterstock)

Consider seeking professional help if you struggle with self-sabotaging behaviours that impact your relationship. (Image: Shutterstock)

Remember, a successful relationship is a journey that requires patience, love, and understanding.

Maintaining a healthy and successful relationship is a complex process that requires effort, dedication, and a willingness to work through challenges. However, some behaviours can unknowingly sabotage the relationship, leading to tension, misunderstandings, and even breakups. The good part is that once you identify these behaviours, you can work to address them and avoid further damage.

Psychotherapist Sadaf Siddiqi explained some of the most common ways we sabotage our relationships. Sadaf suggested that individuals should assess their boundaries and adjust their behaviour accordingly, particularly in regard to behaviours that they find unacceptable. She also recommended sharing the consequences that may arise if these boundaries are not respected. Sadaf identified five specific behaviours that can potentially harm the relationship.

According to Sadaf Siddiqi, here are some behaviours that can sabotage your relationship:

  • Agreeing to things when you actually disagree and holding resentment silently.
  • Not seeking assistance but still anticipating help from your partner.
  • Concealing mental health struggles by pretending to be okay or fine, instead of being authentic and vulnerable.
  • Habitually using “You-statements” that feel like attacks or blame with your partner, while still expecting them to provide emotional safety.
  • Establishing boundaries that are either too strict or too lenient, such as ignoring your partner’s problems or justifying hurtful actions like lying.

Things you can do to control sabotaging your relationship:

  1. Practice clear communication:
    One of the most crucial aspects of any healthy relationship is open and honest communication. Express your needs, thoughts, and feelings to your partner clearly and respectfully.
  2. Practice self-awareness:
    Be mindful of your own behaviour and how it may impact your relationship. Recognise when you are engaging in behaviours that may be self-sabotaging, such as passive-aggressiveness, stonewalling, or blaming your partner.
  3. Set boundaries:
    Establish boundaries that reflect your values and needs in your relationship. Communicate them clearly to your partner and hold yourself accountable for upholding them.
  4. Practice forgiveness:
    Forgive yourself and your partner for mistakes and misunderstandings. Avoid holding grudges, which can lead to resentment and relationship breakdown.
  5. Seek therapy or counselling:
    Consider seeking professional help if you struggle with self-sabotaging behaviours that impact your relationship. A therapist can help you identify underlying issues and provide tools for managing and overcoming them.
  6. Focus on the positive:
    Cultivate a positive outlook in your relationship. Practice gratitude, express appreciation for your partner, and focus on the good in your relationship rather than dwelling on the negative.

When Should You Seek Professional Help?

If self-sabotage becomes severe enough to impact an individual’s mental health and daily functioning, it can be classified as a form of self-harm. Seeking help from a professional therapist can be beneficial in such cases. However, self-sabotage can also present itself subtly, primarily affecting self-esteem and not leading to self-harm. In such scenarios, self-help books can be an excellent starting point for self-improvement.

If you notice any of these behaviours in your relationship, it becomes essential to address them promptly and work towards building a healthy and happy relationship.

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