How to Stop Self-Sabotaging in Relationships in Three Steps

Three Things You Need

to Know to Stop Self-Sabotaging in Relationships

Listen to the audio version of this article 

Are you one of those women who accomplish so much, but when it comes to your love life, you wind up confused? Is self-sabotaging in relationships a part of your ways of managing anxiousness?

Imagine meeting a man who makes the process of dating and relationship easier for you and doesn’t leave you guessing and wondering where you stand. All you need to do is yield to the experience of feeling cherished, appreciated, or desired. He is eager to get to know you, your family, your background, what makes you tick, and what makes you frustrated. Your idiosyncrasies, those things you may be afraid to show to the world, are the exact things he adores about you.  

Oh that’s possible. I take this back. It’s not only possible, but completely probable if you know what you want and how to get it. But there is one caveat. 

Most anxious love seekers self-sabotage their chances of having a happy relationship.

Why do we self-sabotage in our relationships?

We can talk about why they do that and write a book, but simply put, we use various strategies to keep ourselves from being hurt. We develop these strategies as a consequence of emotional trauma. These strategies help us survive the tough environments. So what happens when we start a romantic relationship? Our old emotional trauma becomes triggered and we often wind up sabotaging this relationship.

Potential of intimacy in a relationship is one of the most triggering. Depending on your attachment style, but if you have an anxious attachment style, fear of pain and abandonment will most likely cause you to consciously or unconsciously start sabotaging your relationship.

People with avoidant attachment will be triggered by a fear of losing their independence, and that will cause them to sabotage their relationships. Basically the underlying potential reason why we wind up self-sabotaging relationships is quite often low self-esteem and fear.

Thus, when there is a chance of romance developing, our attachment trauma automations start firing. This is usually driven by trauma beliefs that block us from enjoying a healthy relationship.  Potential underlying beliefs are:

  • I'm not worthy of happiness
  • Being in a relationship takes too much energy
  • Nothing comes easy to me
  • Good things don't happen to me
  • Relationships always wind up hurting me

These are just some examples, and there are many other creative ways in which our minds trick us, but what matters is that you become aware of your triggers and your behavioral patterns that wind up sabotaging your relationships. This awareness is an important aspect of relationship skills I teach in my program.

Examples of self-sabotaging behaviors in relationships

What does self-sabotaging look like? These are some of the examples:

  • Being  instantly repelled by people who are ready to get to know you and potentially love you
  • Neglecting personal interests and friends as soon as you start seeing someone
  • Fixating on someone even when you don’t know them yet
  • Passively aggressively hinting on your needs, wants and desires instead of openly assertively expressing them
  • Threatening to leave when things don’t work out in the ways you want

The problem is that most anxious love seekers don’t understand that they are guided by their trauma automations which cause them to self-sabotage in relationships. How to prevent this is what I teach women utilizing my Self-Sabotage Liberation guide, the first step of my Secure Love Creator program. I help them understand where their limiting beliefs about self and love come from without negative self-judgment.

When women finish this first step, they are able to pause trauma automations and avoid reacting in triggering situations. The relationship skills you gain from this process stays with you for life. They are not only useful in managing romantic relationship issues, but they help you in all relationships.

The consequences of self-sabotaging in relationships

If you are not aware of self-sabotaging your relationships, it's gonna be hard to be happy in your love life. Even if you manage to fall in love and have a committed relationship, it can be hard to maintain harmony and good communication if you don't develop awareness of your self-sabotaging. This can result in arguments, frustration, and it can even end the relationship with your partner.

When people sabotage their relationships, their partners often feel exhausted and helpless. They feel there is nothing they can do to make the relationship better. This is because the lack of the awareness of relationship self-sabotage doesn't allow you to address the main cause, those trauma beliefs. No amount of your partner's reassurance of their love can make the difference. Even the best of relationships can't survive this. This is why it's essential that you learn to become aware when you experience a sign of self-sabotage. Only then can you stop damaging your relationships.

self-sabotaging relationships

How to stop sabotage

The first step in my Secure Love Creator Framework is Self-Sabotage Liberation. The clients that complete this are aware where their limiting beliefs about love come from without negative self-judgement. This allows them to learn the skills to prevent self-sabotage. There are three actions that I recommend. Let's explain them.

Identify self-sabotaging trauma beliefs and triggers

This first step will allow you to become aware of limiting untrue beliefs. We already mentioned a few, but here are some that are more specific to anxious love seekers.

There will be many when you just start dating. What are some of those?

  • I’m not worthy of love
  • All men are the same
  • Finding love is like winning a lottery, only for the lucky ones. I’m not that lucky
  • I need to work hard for everything in life

You see, these can be various, and they affect our love life in different ways. Now, let’s see how you identify these so you don’t let them keep sabotaging your love life. When something triggering happens, you will feel a rush of various emotions, such as anger, fear, a sense of worthlessness, and so on. You need to pause and ask yourself if this triggering event is so strong that it is causing you all these emotions, or is there some old pain being triggered here?

When you do more exploration most likely you will realize that your reaction to the current event is much larger than it warrants. Then identify your emotions and explore the past events when you felt like this. You will usually find that these emotions come from old emotional trauma. To identify the trauma beliefs, you can ask yourself: “What does this tell me about myself, men, love, relationships, world, and so on. When you identify these beliefs, it will be easier to avoid self-sabotaging in relationships because awareness will help you pause and make informed instead of automated choices on how to react to certain situations. 

Learn how to re-parent your younger wounded parts

There is a moment in life when you realize that nobody can care as much as you do. When you get to this point in life, you can actually start the healing process. One of the very effective methods is to address your young wounded parts that are harboring these limiting beliefs because those beliefs helped them survive at some point. Now, those young parts need to get a memo that you are a grown successful woman who can protect her heart and all those young parts that need to feel loved, protected, seen.

In other words, you will learn how to manage the triggers and replace your trauma beliefs and automations with positive accurate beliefs that are more aligned with your goals of finding love and creating a healthy, secure relationship. Doing this will also help you pause trauma mental automations and become more mindful. A big part of this you’ve already done by identifying your trauma beliefs.

The next step is showing yourself compassion and curiosity. Remember these two words, compassion and curiosity. Imagine you are talking to a young child, your daughter or niece. 

What would you say? Something like, “You stupid thing. Why do you care if he calls you?” Well, no. This is usually how we talk to ourselves. If we talked to a child, we would say something like, “I know it’s upsetting that he didn’t call you, but him not calling you doesn’t mean you are not attractive. 

You can expand this to your current relationship and remember that both you and your partner have younger wounded parts. With this awareness, your communication can be much more effective.

This is just a small example of re-parenting our younger parts, but you can understand how this step can help you stop self-sabotaging in relationships. I will teach more about it in my upcoming coaching program.

Reframe your old love story

We all have some difficult moments in life even if you come from a nice family. All good and hard times help us create a love story. It's usually based on how family and society treats us and then what kinds of beliefs we create based on that treatment. We can choose to willow in feeling victimized or we can decide to learn from the past experiences and decisions we made. Most importantly, you have the power. This takes a lot of exploration and it's built upon the above two steps, identifying self-sabotaging beliefs, and learning how to re-parent your younger wounded parts.

Now we can reframe our story. Instead of yielding to those limiting beliefs and deciding that you will never be happy in love because you haven't been so far, you can learn from it. For instance, you realize now that your ex isn’t the right man for you. But, you also see the reason why you fell for him. Many anxious love seekers fall for someone who’s similar to their emotionally unavailable parent. In this instance, you can decide to be aware of your tendencies to be attracted to these kinds of people.

In other words, you will learn how to manage the triggers and replace your trauma beliefs and automations with positive accurate beliefs that are more aligned with your goals of finding love and creating a healthy, secure relationship. Doing this will also help you pause trauma mental automations and become more mindful. A big part of this you’ve already done by identifying your trauma beliefs.

The next step is showing yourself compassion and curiosity. Remember these two words, compassion and curiosity. Imagine you are talking to a young child, your daughter or niece. 

What would you say? Something like, “You stupid thing. Why do you care if he calls you?” Well, no. This is usually how we talk to ourselves. If we talked to a child, we would say something like, “I know it’s upsetting that he didn’t call you, but him not calling you doesn’t mean you are not attractive. 

You can expand this to your current relationship and remember that both you and your partner have younger wounded parts. With this awareness, your communication can be much more effective.

This is just a small example of re-parenting our younger parts, but you can understand how this step can help you stop self-sabotaging in relationships. I will teach more about it in my upcoming coaching program.

When you meet someone, you may also decide to take your time and see if they are truly emotionally unavailable like your parents, or it is only your fear because of the past experiences. It doesn't mean you will end up miserable if you are dating an emotionally unavailable person. Most importantly you know now that you don’t want to give your heart just because there is strong chemistry between you two. So you reframed your love story. Instead of feeling like a victim or the one who is unlucky in love, to someone who knows that she can learn from these past experiences. With this new sense of power, you don't have to unconsciously keep self-sabotaging in relationships.

These are just a few tips that I teach in my Self-Sabotage Liberation guide. You can use these to start applying small changes that can yield great results. 

If you want to build powerful attraction with quality men or improve the relationship with your partner join my Secure Love Creator Club.

Is relationship coaching right for you? 

I offer online relationship coaching for high achieving women interested in sincere high quality men, men ready to give you their heart. 



Get exclusive access to my best tips about love, dating, and relationships in the free Academy Resource Hub and download The Accidental Singledom Checklist: Are You Standing in Your Own Way?

You will also get two bonus courses:

Challenge Your Accidental Singledom AssumptionsLearn how to change your limiting beliefs and get the love you want

Reach His Heart- Communicate with your partner, so he never has to feel attacked

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About the Author

I'm dedicated to guiding women from feeling confused and frustrated to feeling competent and joyful when it comes to matters of love and romance.

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