Have you been struggling to find love and meaningful connection? Does it seem as if you are always striking out, and don’t know why? It may be that you sabotage your relationships. If you recognize how you do this, then it’s possible to make sure it doesn’t happen again.

What Do You Mean by “Sabotage Relationships?”

Does the phrase “shooting yourself in the foot” sound familiar? You don’t intend to do it, but you wind up hurting yourself anyway. Self-sabotage can happen either dramatically, because of one incident, or over an extended period of time involving lots of little mistakes. Ultimately, you make the same mistakes over and over again which damages your relationships.

How Men Sabotage Relationships #1:  Lying

Not being truthful with your partner is a sure-fire way to sabotage your relationship! Lying can be two-fold:

  1. Deliberately not telling the truth to someone else.
  2. Lying by omission.

Number one is self-explanatory. Number two involves hiding behavior or not coming forward with the truth, but you are not being challenged to do so either. Either way, lying is terribly damaging. This is because the foundation of any healthy relationship is based on trust. If your partner can’t trust you, how can they really love you?

How Men Sabotage Relationships #2:  Lack of Respect

Another guaranteed way to sabotage relationships is disrespecting your partner. You do this by:sabotage relationships

  • Not valuing your partner’s opinions or insights
  • Using insults and name-calling towards your partner
  • Not giving priority to their needs, wants, or requests
  • Not prioritizing your partner

No one likes being disrespected. In the long-term, it’s a recipe for relationship disaster.

How Men Sabotage Relationships #3:  Gas-Lighting

Gaslighting occurs when someone provides information to another that makes them question their own memory or perception. In turn, they feel less able to trust their own instincts and judgment. This is more than simply lying, although lying is part of gas-lighting. It’s a manipulation tool that creates an unbalanced power dynamic between two people.  

How Men Sabotage Relationships #4:  Lack of Follow-Through

You tell your partner that you will get the leaves raked, the light replaced, and run those errands. Yet you never do. This is more than an inconvenience. Not following through with your commitments goes back to establishing trust in the relationship. If your partner can’t trust you to do what you say you’ll do, it doesn’t bode well for the long term. It may be that you aren’t that invested in doing those tasks, but your partner might be. Having the ability to follow-through shows that you care and that you are willing to invest the time necessary to support the partnership and the household.

How Men Sabotage Relationships #5:  Distraction

Distraction means that you are not present and aware. Rather, your mind is off thinking about something else. Perhaps it’s the big game on this weekend, your job, or a TV show you want to watch. Even worse, you visibly show demonstrate your distraction by keeping your eyes and attention glued to your phone. The smartphone has become a key culprit by which men sabotage relationships.  You signal that you are not here, that you are not giving your partner priority, and even that you don’t care. 

You may not intend to sabotage relationships, but in the end, that’s what’s happening.  It can be painful, but doing some soul-searching and reflection is helpful to better understand what you are doing and how to avoid those behaviors in the future. If you need help, a therapist who specializes in relationship counseling for men can help. That way you can break the cycle, preserve valuable relationships, and not make those mistakes again!  For additional information on men and relationships, visit the Relationship Counseling for Men page or call Philip at 813-651-1221.