You think that things are going great with your partner one moment and the next you find out that your relationship is over. Sounds sadly familiar?
This happens to way too many and way too often than you ever imagined. Something was going on in the mind of your partner that you were not aware of.
There is nothing worse than being dumped and not knowing the reason. You are caught unawares and feel blindsided.
When a man ends a relationship all of a sudden saying he doesn’t love you any more or is not happy in the relationship any longer, it comes as a rude shock to the partner. It is like a sucker punch.
Maybe he was a bit quiet and moody for the past week or so. Other than this, there was no indication that there was anything wrong.
This is a classic case of self-sabotaging behavior. When your partner suffers from it, there is not much that you can do about it. All that you can do if you had an inkling of his affliction is to prepare yourself for the eventuality. It may lessen the trauma for you.
This article takes a look at the self-sabotaging behavior in men, especially when it comes to relationships. You find here the whys, hows, and whats of this problem that can severely affect the partner.
What are self-sabotaging relationships?
When one of the partners does something to cause harm to the relationship or bring it down, it can be termed self-sabotage. The actions of the partner may be intentional or unmindful. As long as the stability and health of the relationship are affected, intentions behind the actions become immaterial.
Often when a partner self-sabotages the relationship, the other partner is not aware of what is going on. The whole sequence of events is so one-sided that when the news breaks, they are taken by complete surprise.
The reasons for self-sabotaging love relationships are many and usually remain hidden in the hearts of the partner who did it. However, there are subtle indications that something is up and the relationship is not in the pink of health. By looking out for these signs, you can brace yourself for the bad news or walk out of the relationship before it comes out.
The root cause of self-sabotaging behavior is fear of some kind and the unconscious attempt to protect themselves. Some of the common reasons for self-sabotaging behavior in men are:
- Fear of rejection or abandonment
- Fear of proximity or intimacy
- Fear of being deluged by the relationship
In many instances, this self-harming behavior remains unknown to the partner who is indulging it. That is the saddest of all situations. They may be outwardly happy, loving, and content in the relationship. But inwardly he must be feeling nervous and unable to handle the pressure of commitment.
If this is the case, his mind will be subconsciously searching for a way out of the relationship. This makes him look out for flaws and defects in the partner and the relationship. He would make half-hearted attempts to bring this up in the conversations, resulting in skirmishes and small arguments. You just thought that he had a bad day.
Intentionally sabotaging the relationship happens mostly when one of the partners is a narcissist. This can also happen when you are in some form of a toxic relationship.
Signs of him sabotaging the relationship
There are obvious signs that your partner is sabotaging your relationship. All you need to do is to take off the blindfold and see what is happening. Some signs of sabotaging are listed here for easy reference.
- Unhealthy levels of possessiveness
- Inability to trust you completely
- Paranoid about your behavior and actions
- Relationship anxiety
- Jealousy and controlling behavior
- Unnecessary and frivolous arguments
- Ignoring or stonewalling you
- Unusually silent and withdrawn
- Becoming emotionally unavailable
- Cheating and infidelity
- Searching for a flaw in you
- Unrealistic expectations
- Inconsistent behavior
- Unwilling to commit
Examples of self-sabotaging dating and relationships
“He is highly critical of your behavior”.
He often upsets you with his rude and reckless comments and actions. Often, he regrets his words and actions, unfortunately, by then, the damage is already done. This behavior of his is a direct result of his lack of trust and confidence in you.
“He wants to be right all the time”.
Even at the cost of the relationship. Every time there is a difference of opinion, he would argue his case until you accept it. Or else, he will come up with wild allegations at you or try to discredit you in some way or the other. He just can’t accept failure.
“He digs up past mistakes to put you down”.
Every time he is angry at you and wants to score a point against you, he digs up your old misdeeds. When it happened, you apologized for your behavior and he accepted. You consider the episode over. However, it is obviously not so for him. To gain upper hand in the argument, he will use anything he can get hold of.
“He is unable to be happy for your success”.
Maybe it is jealousy at work. Or his own anxieties, stresses, and failures that are compounding it. Inability to feel happiness for the partner’s success is self-sabotaging behavior. Instead of supporting you and being happy for you, he sulks and feels insecure and envious.
What to do when someone is sabotaging the relationship?
As mentioned earlier, men may sabotage the relationship intentionally or unawares. Intentional sabotaging is much easier to know as the person will clearly display narcissistic behavior. Or the relationship will show all visible signs of being toxic.
However, sabotaging a relationship subconsciously is harder to identify and resolve as your partner himself is not aware of what he is doing and the consequences of his actions. Fear is at the root of the unconscious sabotaging acts. He is merely trying to protect himself from some harm he has conjured up in his mind.
However, this doesn’t absolve him of the wrongdoing. He has to be still held accountable for his rude, untrusting, and unsupportive behavior. The best choice for you is to talk it out with him. Bear in mind that he did not mean any harm and it is fear that is making him do hurtful things.
When you confront him about his hurtful behavior, try to stay out of his emotional rollercoaster. He may try to convince you that what he feels is real and try to draw you in. See things for what they are and do not get involved in his make-believe scenario.
A relationship with someone having self-sabotaging behavior is not a walkover. Even your talk with him may not be productive. Then it is time for you to make the decision. Whether you want to continue in the relationship or not. The trials and tribulations you are facing now may get worse. Are you up for the challenge?
If he is willing to apologize for his unbecoming behavior and promises not to repeat them, then it is up to you to accept the apology and continue the relationship.
The story may not always have a happy ending. He seeks forgiveness and you readily forgive and forget to live happily ever after.
He may not accept his mistakes. You may not be willing to accept his apology or feel that the relationship is too taxing and is not good for your mental health. Even when both of you agree to forgive, forget, and move on, you may not be able to get him to act normal despite your best efforts. Then, maybe it is time to let go.
When it comes to your relationship, please look at these red flags of unhealthy relationships and determine if this is the right time to end things.
- 7 Signs of Signs of Self-Sabotaging Behavior
- What to Do When Someone You Love Hurts You Deeply?
- How to Stop Self-Destructive Behaviors?
- How to make relationship strong with boyfriend?
- Self-Destructive Behaviour in Relationships
- Early Warning Signs of a Toxic Relationship
- Signs He Wants You to Chase Him