Most of us don’t sabotage relationships consciously – we do it unconsciously.
Deep in our hearts we all want to experience healthy relationships with unconditional love. If we didn’t receive that growing up though, we most likely don’t know how to create it in our adult lives. To survive the pain of abandonment, neglect, abuse, or smothering, we developed coping mechanisms to carry us through childhood. Those same behaviors which once distracted us from the life we were trapped in now create similar dysfunctional relationships.
With awareness, we can notice when we slip into unhealthy coping mechanisms and choose healthier behaviors. Here are some core issues that need to be healed in order to stop sabotaging relationships.
Abandonment. If your parents were physically absent through your childhood or there in body, but not present emotionally due to mental illness or addiction, abandonment may be your core issue. In order to cope, you may have learned to ‘go it alone’ in order to feel secure on your own. This can result in distancing in close relationships for fear of being abandoned again. Or you may subconsciously choose friends and partners who have a fear of commitment or a tendency to be absent in relationships.
Neglect. Similar to abandonment, being raised by parents who were not emotionally present or who ignored important needs for attention, affection and love, results in a distorted self-image and unhealthy coping mechanisms. You may feel unworthy of love and attention and therefore attract self-absorbed friends and neglectful partners into your life. In your personal life you might compensate by over eating, spending or other excessive behaviors, or swing to the opposite side and neglect your basic needs.
Abuse. Abuse is not just physical or sexual, it can also be emotional, mental or spiritual. Being raised with constant criticism is a form of emotional and mental abuse. Not recognizing a child’s spiritual gifts or belittling their sensitivity to energy could be a form of spiritual abuse. Any form of abuse is painful and can result in a difficulty trusting oneself and life. It may lead to further forms of abuse through self-punishment or dysfunctional relationships.
Smothering. Being suffocated by a parent’s constant attention, control or insecurities can result in a reluctance to stand up for your own needs or even know what it is you want. You may attract a domineering partner or flee in the opposite direction and distance from others.
These are a few of the main underlying reasons people sabotage relationships. If you relate to any of them, it may be time to heal childhood wounds so you can let go of unhealthy coping mechanisms and find healthier ways to love yourself and others.
Do you have any questions or anything else to add on the underlying reasons people sabotage relationships? Please share below.