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Are You Sabotaging Your Relationships?

I’ll have to admit I’ve done this myself. In fact, it is probably safe to say that at some point we have all inadvertently sabotaged a relationship or two. You may have purposefully dated someone you know is bad for you or entered into a relationship you know is destined to fail. Or maybe you just have a habit of picking the wrong guys.

Do you blame failed relationships on other people? Don’t think there’s a spark and walk away? Find reasons this guy just couldn’t be THE guy?

Some women are just attracted to bad boys the way I love chocolate; in other words, they can’t keep their hands off the merchandise. And, since relationships with bad boys are destined for failure, it’s nothing more than setting yourself up for heartbreak and an ocean of tears.

For some reason we think we’re going to change these guys or they are going to change for US. But, it doesn’t happen. You know it won’t happen, and still you hope.

I remember a scene in “The Holiday” when Iris is explaining to her new friend why he’s attracted to bad girls. She speaks from the heart and an unfortunate experience:

“Because you’re hoping you’re wrong. And every time she does something that tells you she’s no good, you ignore it. And every time she comes through and surprises you, she wins you over, and you lose that argument with yourself, that she’s not for you.”

Have you been there? Felt those feelings? Knew you were exactly where you shouldn’t be, but couldn’t turn away?

That’s just ONE way we sabotage our future. And there are more.

The reasons why we do these things are related to the way we do them. Psychologist say the reason some women are not attracted to the good guys is because in the end they don’t want to be attached, tied down or exclusive.  It takes a bit of work to go through bad boy recovery, but if you truly want a stable and monogamous relationship, it’s doable.

You are listening to the silent screams of your subconscious telling your conscious mind you’ll never be successful, find happiness or connect with a life partner. Instead, you need to be changing the conversation going on in your head between what you want and what you BELIEVE you deserve.

Being attracted to bad boys, or otherwise sabotaging your relationships, is just your way to stay safe. If the other person is at fault, then you haven’t failed a relationship. When, in point of fact, we all fail. That doesn’t mean the whole relationship is doomed, just that we will make a mistake at some point.

It isn’t IF you’ll make a mistake, but what will you do when it happens?

What are some of the other ways you might be ensuring your current relationship won’t be successful?

  1. Avoid the Pain.

Let’s face it – love hurts. If you couldn’t be hurt by the people with whom you’re in relationship, then you didn’t love them. The same is true of your children – you love them and they can hurt you. But, without love, life is boring. Unfortunately, many believe that once love is found they’ll live a less complicated and easy life.

Once you experience the tip of emotional intimacy, you may be tempted to pull back – after all, it’s easier than being hurt by the guy. When you get close to someone it is powerful and poignant and frightening. In order to allow this relationship to be successful you’ll have to face deeper scars, recognize ways you’ve been hurt and commit to changing behavior that has been influenced by past hurts.

How it’s expressed: You may be tempted to focus on what’s wrong in your relationships and not what’s right. You’d rather be right than in love with the guy, and you’ll take things personally – making them about you and not about how you might learn from the experience.

  1. Individuality

When you are joined to someone you love, you must remain two people who are drawn to each other and NOT one unit. When you present yourself to the world as a unit, it’s a fantasy world and those break pretty quickly.

If you don’t express your own individuality and accept your partner’s quirks and idiosyncrasies then the fantasy disappears. The illusion is safety and security while the reality is so much better. Passion is replaced by the routine and no one feels threatened – but no one experiences deep joy and passion either.

You may believe you’re experiencing security, but instead your world is narrowing creating a hotbed of resentment, friction and a distance from an emotionally intimate relationship. Maintain your own sense of self – and be proud of it.

How it’s expressed: You might expect your partner to act, feel and think just like you about politics, parenting, money and every other aspect of life. Unfortunately, that may lead you to also lose respect for your partner as well.

  1. Protection

One of your basic intuitive responses is to protect yourself. In all circumstances, most people protect themselves. Except mothers who are more likely to protect their children first and them self second.

You have a wall of psychological defenses you’ve built up since you were born. As an adult you get to choose when you take them down and when you use them. Unfortunately, you may not be AWARE of what you’re doing until you can trace your actions back to hurts you felt when you were younger. Whether from childhood friends, parents, relatives or teachers – everyone has had an impact on your psychological development.

And YOU have a choice you can make as an adult – do you discover these hurts and work past them or let them control your life?

  1. YOU, your biggest critic.

You talk to yourself all day long – everyone does. And the things you tell yourself are important. Years ago I used to jokingly tell my sister, “I’m stupid.” She would yell at me over and over again. I couldn’t understand how something I said as a joke would really impact my overall success.

But it did – and it does for you too. The language you use about yourself, your relationships, your children and even your pets makes a difference in how you relate to them, and a difference in the results you experience. It’s time to change what you think, what you say to yourself and how you represent yourself to others.

Whether it’s to experience deeper relationships, or greater personal success, it is something you have to address.

How it’s expressed: Unfortunately, this makes it difficult for you to make a safe place for your partner to talk with you openly and you focus more on yourself than on satisfying your partner.

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