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 WomanInProgress
Joined: 10/16/2005
Msg: 26
Why do we sabotage relationships....Page 2 of 4    (1, 2, 3, 4)

I am surprised nobody has yet mentioned that sometimes people sabotage relationships so that they can be the one in control of weather or not it ends or not.

Maybe a better way to say it is... Have you been dumped in the past and hated that feeling? Was that an emotional pain that made you want to never feel it again?

The original question was about abandonment - um, that's an angle on what abandonment is, actually. Anywho...

Okay...you all have REALLY opened my eyes to some things that should have been inherently very obvious to me. You're all right in a lot of ways. I am comfortable being by myself, but am incredibly unfulfilled.

Ok here I can't relate. Do you know what's causing the lack of fulfillment? Is it in fact relationship oriented or is it lack of something else?

I am definitely carrying deep feelings of abandonment from childhood...and without all the hoopla, have very distinct and powerful memories of those moments when I completely felt as though I was desperately alone and too young to know what to do...I was terrified by that and for me to sit here nearly 40 years later and admit that is not only daunting but my heart rate just went up!

Been there, done that. I know how you feel.

I guess I should be willing to talk about this to a man. There are reasons we don't. For me, at least, to bear this would just throw it out there just how defective I am and that would probably be the deal breaker for many men. However, if I look at the outcome anyway...well, it's the same isn't it? For the men I have dated that were friends first...I have had the ability to let them 'see' me - frailties, faults, quirks and defects...while we were friends - and they still stuck around. I guess having that safety net first is what enabled me to jump. I think sometimes I just fear that someone WILL discover these deep scars and they will look at me differently and that scares me.

Well...if you feel that someone will walk away no matter what, you'll choose one of two routes. Throwing tests at them from day one to get them to leave as soon as possible (which was my tactic) or fear of letting someone know your fear for fear of the realization of it (which may be more the way you're heading). Granted anyone knowing anything too soon may have a different outcome, but being honest from early on (not the first 10 minutes, but in the get to know you stage) will weed out men who are planning to walk anyway, and you'll have less attachment when they do.

I want to be vulnerable...amazingly so...and maybe that is why I am trying so hard to discover ways to overcome this fateful pattern.

See, here I can't relate. My choice in life is to never be vulnerable unless/until I know someone REALLY well, and even then I have a lid on how things affect me - but I grew up with a woman who exploited weakness, and know all too well how it feels to actually let your guard down and have it turn into a cruel joke, so I may be overcautious, but I fear what I do for good reason.

You asked what I did...the usual. I tell a man that I am really into - he's really into me...and I say - I need to take a step back. I'm not ready for this...I want to leave myself open to date other men. When that is EXACTLY THE OPPOSITE of what I really want. So...what do I do...I completely turn it off. For me...as the words spill from my lips, my brain tries to scream..."Nooooooo, she doesn't mean a word of this!!!!" Yet, I say it - it is done. It was at the moment when I realized that seeing only this guy was all I really wanted that I freaked out.

Perhaps you are more like I was than I originally thought. I'm fairly certain you did this in hopes a man would stick around and prove he was into you, all the while making sure that he knows you're not attached and can't be hurt since you're not focusing on just him.

A little story for you...I've talked to men I dated in the past who just never called again - asking "why would you just stop calling?" The response was..."honestly I'm surprised you noticed me missing from the picture." Yep - that was eye opening!

So, there you have what I did this time around...it's nearly the same thing every time...maybe different words...different reasons. At first this guy said he was cool with us taking a step back...then he said he wasn't cool with it. I then, to make matters worse, as a child would do...asked him to not call me in the future. What? I mean, those words flew off my tongue and I was practically hitting delete at the same time. Really? I mean, Really...I don't blame the guy for thinking I am a total flake...a complete B-I-O-T-C-H. And, I really am not. I have it in me to love deeply...very deeply...because I have. And, it kills me to think that I not only hurt someone else, but that I truly ruined the possibility of something wonderful...it was too soon to really know, but there was potential.

I know all too well what it's like to watch yourself do things like you're watching a movie where you have no control of it. It's like your channeling someone else. I wish I could say I have no idea what that's like, but I can't. Sucks.

I will take your great advice...and, not just take it slowly but really put my fear out there and let someone know my pattern and ask for their help in overcoming it. The right man will stick around I suppose....

That's right. The ones who don't you'll want to know about as soon as possible, so don't see the ones who don't as a downside. Consider it a bullet dodged.

thanks for all your great help...I truly, TRULY, appreciate it!

Best of luck!
 OutMind
Joined: 2/13/2007
Msg: 27
Why do we sabotage relationships....
Posted: 6/20/2011 12:41:58 PM

I am comfortable being by myself, but am incredibly unfulfilled. I am definitely carrying deep feelings of abandonment from childhood...and without all the hoopla, have very distinct and powerful memories of those moments when I completely felt as though I was desperately alone and too young to know what to do.


I think the key to your issues is right here. How is it that you feel unfulfilled? May I ask who is the one that made you feel abandoned, was it mother or father? Divorce? Or absenteeism? Or assuming one of their roles?
 ladyc4
Joined: 2/14/2006
Msg: 28
Why do we sabotage relationships....
Posted: 6/20/2011 12:49:56 PM
Just to throw in a devils' advocate suggestion?
Are you SURE it's "sabotage" and not something in your gut telling you to not go down this road with this particular guy?
You mention that your best success in building a LTR comes out of a period of platonic acquaintance...and this is not necessarily a bad thing...because both you and he see each other in your "natural state", so to speak.
Obviously even with platonic friends we do try to present a good impression, but maybe not so much as we do when we are trying to be attractive to a potential Significant Other? So starting out on a platonic friendship level may feel much safer for you,and is that necessarily always a bad thing? Is there some timetable or deadline you are racing against? Or THINK you're racing against?
Just something else I wanted to toss into this "food for thought" food fight,LOL.
Cindy O
 abelian
Joined: 1/12/2008
Msg: 29
Why do we sabotage relationships....
Posted: 6/20/2011 1:27:33 PM

I am comfortable being by myself, but am incredibly unfulfilled.

A relationship is not going to fulfill you. That, you have to do on your own before you get into a relationship.
 SunnyGirlFL
Joined: 6/3/2010
Msg: 30
Why do we sabotage relationships....
Posted: 6/20/2011 1:34:11 PM
Abelian...I will expound. I am very fulfilled - my career...my home...my fur family...my friends...I am so INCREDIBLY BLESSED. I am fortunate in so very many ways in my life. I am very unfulfilled intimately...the only way to fill that is to have someone in my life with whom we share our intimate thoughts, dreams, hopes and fears. I long for that and yet, that is the thing I fear the most.

So...while I understand what you are saying...I think it's more dimensional than just a one dimensional fulfillment. We, as animals, require fulfillment in many ways to truly live our lives to the fullest. One of the most basic and necessary is companionship. If it weren't...so many of us would not be searching so for it:)
 abelian
Joined: 1/12/2008
Msg: 31
Why do we sabotage relationships....
Posted: 6/20/2011 1:46:34 PM

I am very unfulfilled intimately...the only way to fill that is to have someone in my life with whom we share our intimate thoughts, dreams, hopes and fears. I long for that and yet, that is the thing I fear the most.

Then let me put it this way. I've been single my entire life and when I was younger, I thought like you did - that I needed to have a relationship to be fulfilled. When I reached 40, I realized I was happy not being in a relationship. Once I got to that point and was content with the way things were, 5 years later, I met someone from here and felt like I could get married without feeling like I should get married. This is the first time in my life I've gotten as far as buying an engagement ring despite having been in a number of relationships, three of which were live together relationships with one of those lasting 6 years. I personally think the reason I found someone was that I didn't need her to feel fulfilled (and vice-versa - she swore she'd never get married again and was here for talk/email with no intentions of dating.)

One of the most basic and necessary is companionship. If it weren't...so many of us would not be searching so for it:)

Meh. I'd say that having sex regularly is nice, but that doesn't require a relationship.
 cortview
Joined: 4/5/2010
Msg: 32
Why do we sabotage relationships....
Posted: 6/20/2011 1:55:26 PM
why has the lord given me abused women, i don't know, maybe his plan's are better than mine. why are so many women our age unhappy?, Ray
 Pingshooter
Joined: 3/15/2009
Msg: 33
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History
Why do we sabotage relationships....
Posted: 6/20/2011 2:05:52 PM

We have the instinct to recreate what is familiar, even when it is unpleasant, because we don't know any other way to be... and then push away our own creation, because it is unpleasant.


While I sympathize with the OP in her predicament, I have the flip side argument..I keep looking for what I had, and keep getting disappointed. I keep looking for a relationship that simply may not exist from what I had..but, wutdahell, I will keep trying..sigh..

OP..you're not alone in your quest..there are others like you, and opposite you..who are wondering the same thing.

Mirror mirror..sigh..
 ThatGuy1082
Joined: 8/23/2010
Msg: 34
Why do we sabotage relationships....
Posted: 6/20/2011 2:09:46 PM
That's surely a negetive way to view things. Did you actually push him away or did you begin a series of disqualifications? I mean, did you begin to see things over time you ignored in the beginning? Sure looks, personality and all your other criteria you hold may have been welling up inside you. Point blank, did you or do you love the guy?
 abelian
Joined: 1/12/2008
Msg: 35
Why do we sabotage relationships....
Posted: 6/20/2011 2:16:10 PM

While I sympathize with the OP in her predicament, I have the flip side argument..I keep looking for what I had, and keep getting disappointed.

And you always will be because no other woman is your wife. In my opinion, you should be expecting someone to be completely different from your wife because (1) she will be, because she is not your wife; and (2) you never want to try to compare people with whom you've been in relationships. I've been in enough of them to know that everyone is completely different and that trying to find what you had before is not being fair to the next person you try to date. The next person will have qualities your wife did not and vice-versa.
 karma1160
Joined: 6/10/2008
Msg: 36
Why do we sabotage relationships....
Posted: 6/20/2011 2:26:46 PM
People go through different stages in their life.
What you have is a anxiety, so what I would say to you is : if you find someone you like give it 2 weeks, after that 2 weeks are up and things are going well, give it another two weeks .
While you are doing this tell yourself you are free to go anytime you want, but choose to stay...........
If you have a problem keeping your mouth shut, I grew up in a family where the f-word and other choice variables were common.
My father was a detective that dealt with people who were jerks, so during this time in his life he vented in this way.
So as a result I found myself venting at myself forgeting to do something or while driving in nasty traffic.
On the job I can get fired for this! lol
So what I have done is every time certain words come out of my mouth, I pinch myself in the stomach or some place where it hurts. I am training myself to know that the pain is comming if I proceed forward. It's not subjective pain, it is certain physical pain, I don't have to wonder if it is comming it is. Whenever you feel the need to purge yourself in this way ......excuse yourself, go to the bathroom pinch yourself or at least
take time to talk yourself out of it.
The physical pain works because eventually your brain will train your habitual emotional side to avoid pain also.
I would also seek treatment for anxiety....there are a few great books out there.
One I can recommend is "Dancing with Fear", by Paul Foxman, phD
 *Just Jim*
Joined: 7/6/2007
Msg: 37
Why do we sabotage relationships....
Posted: 6/20/2011 3:17:22 PM

The ones that never overcome something choose that option because they are getting something out of their current situation that they are not willing to give up.


Because??

imo and this does not reflect on the op or anyone here, I have found those people,men or women who live & are in this survival mode,equals a very self-fish person.
You may not know this in your conscious, but other will get that drift if a affairs of the heart is open or not.

And when I feel this from the other, that's ok,we might be friends, but nothing more.

Nothing can change a closed heart,& that's ok, cuz it's what is is for them, & in their lifestyle.

To love another is beyond words, but to have it you have to give of something in return.
 ladyc4
Joined: 2/14/2006
Msg: 38
Why do we sabotage relationships....
Posted: 6/20/2011 3:42:57 PM
Ping
man, do I hear you on that!

Abelian, it's NOT looking for a carbon copy of one's deceased spouse. It's more about the nature and the quality of connection, a feeling of rightness,along with knowing that this person is not likely to become a black hole sucking away energy, happiness, resources because of who they are or the choices they've made. (No one can guarantee that a SO won't become ill and require energy and resources to care for-that's not what I'm talking about anyway-but I figured I'd better make that disclaimer.)

Perhaps it just isn't possible-and I do not mean this in any derogatory or disrespectful way to anyone here!-to relate the exact nature of what is sought to those who haven't had the experience of a very long-term and highly functional relationship that is ended by the death of the partner.
But I don't believe it's about looking for a carbon copy of the one that has been lost, or a carbon copy of that relationship. Its' about the type of feeling, the certainty, the security
of a relationship that one has no doubts, fears,concerns, 2nd thoughts, reservations about.
I KNOW that is a very tall order to fill, and that is why I have opened my mind to consider a relationship that is less intertwined-or even just staying essentially single.
The thing that I'm speaking of is not something that can be MADE to happen, it just does, if it is meant to happen.
Cindy O
 Pingshooter
Joined: 3/15/2009
Msg: 39
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Why do we sabotage relationships....
Posted: 6/20/2011 4:45:25 PM
abelian,

You make valid points, thank you.

It's not that I am looking for someone just like her, it's that I am looking for the feeling, the companionship, that was there. I know I can't replace my late SO, that wouldn't be fair to her, me. or someone else to even compare them. I am acutely aware of that.

It's..hard to explain, but, I want the "feelings" that were there.

Perhaps wanting that to soon? Yeah, I'd say that was my problem.
Trying to hard?

Again, we desire what we liked, were comfortable with, had grown accustomed to..(shrugging shoulders).
 IgorFrankensteen
Joined: 6/29/2009
Msg: 40
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Why do we sabotage relationships....
Posted: 6/20/2011 5:48:35 PM
You will gain the greatest insights, from the words that snap out of you with the least thought behind them.

Your description here " At first this guy said he was cool with us taking a step back...then he said he wasn't cool with it. I then, to make matters worse, as a child would do...asked him to not call me in the future. What? I mean, those words flew off my tongue and I was practically hitting delete at the same time" is a great example of this.

My "instant analysis" of your pattern, is that it's all about punishment, transferred from one man to the next. As soon as a guy CLAIMS that he wants to be with you solidly, it triggers your "oh yeah? LIAR!" response, based on your unresolved anger at who ever you feel abandoned you long ago.
The reason you still feel the sting of that, and the anger about it, and why no amount of punishing other men resolves it, is that you have yet to have forgiven YOURSELF for what happened. You WANT it to have been the guy's fault, but you have been terrified so far, that if you really closely examine that past situation, that your adult self will conclude that that child version of you WAS to blame for being left. There isn't anything more frightening than thinking that you have to blame a child for something that bad, and to have that child also be you, makes it that much worse.
The thing is, that a child CAN'T see things clearly enough to deal with something like that. They just can't. Many grown ups can't even face it rationally. So even if you DID screw thing up as a child, it STILL wasn't your responsibility. You were SUPPOSED to be the child. The GROWN UP was supposed to be responsible.
Thus, as usual, you are trying to punish the guys, yes, and get revenge for yourself ("you want me? well, then you can't have me!") But more than that, you are punishing yourself as well. You are sending the guy you like away, to punish yourself for MAYBE driving that first one away.

The only way to break this sort of thing IS to integrate the child of long ago with the adult now. They have to adopt each other as the flawed, but valuable beings you each are. Forgive the child you for not understanding, and for being so angry. It's not easy, and can require some key insight you don't yet have, to accomplish it.
 SunnyGirlFL
Joined: 6/3/2010
Msg: 41
Why do we sabotage relationships....
Posted: 6/21/2011 5:14:56 AM
Wow, Igor...I have to say that your post REALLY hit home. I think that your perspective is one that I have NEVER even considered but it truly struck something within me and I will ponder this notion and really attempt to resolve this past hurt. It is so true...I have yet to really go back into my life experiences - I have tried in the past but failed. Thank you...
 lovehandle64
Joined: 7/27/2009
Msg: 42
Why do we sabotage relationships....
Posted: 6/21/2011 5:25:11 AM
its an issue of trust. you start pushing when you see behaviour that you have found unacceptable in the past. my only advice is to try to see it when it is happening. Is it really unacceptable? or is it something that you think will lead to unacceptable? And then deal with it head on! Approach your partner...you may need to explain past problems.....i think you just need to build up trust again. Its hard!
 OutMind
Joined: 2/13/2007
Msg: 43
Why do we sabotage relationships....
Posted: 6/21/2011 5:47:35 AM

My "instant analysis" of your pattern, is that it's all about punishment, transferred from one man to the next. As soon as a guy CLAIMS that he wants to be with you solidly, it triggers your "oh yeah? LIAR!" response, based on your unresolved anger at who ever you feel abandoned you long ago.


Wow, Igor. Interesting observation. I was going to post about this before, but I felt, that it would be better to see how it relates to the OPs reality.

Now, how do you go back and search for these clues? This can be very hard, since we tend to suppress bad memories. In part because they may tend to hold us back, in other because we may just want to not blame any one. And we feel that we are responsible for our own lives. And yes to all those reason, yet once you know what the trigers are, you may be able to set yourself free.
 WomanInProgress
Joined: 10/16/2005
Msg: 44
Why do we sabotage relationships....
Posted: 6/21/2011 9:44:10 AM
Igor is right - with me it was a combo of a grandfather who died when I was 5 and adults that told me he left because they didn't know how to explain death to me, and my dad coming around only once or twice when I was 7 and not coming back. My mom wasn't the best remedy for what was missing in my life, either.

In my case it's just inevitable that people (men especially) will move on - and that family doesn't mean safety. When and how leaving happens is inconsequential to the fact that it will. What matters is: will I be caught off guard, or ready for it? It's really that simple. So yes, when a guy says "I'm here" - I believe HE believes he will be, so I nod and smile, but with the knowledge that I know better than he does that it won't hold true.

No matter how much you understand that it's not about you as an adult - it's VERY hard to explain that to the child within that still just fears or dreads being left by someone they are attached to and depend on. The natural instinct is to just avoid dependency, and even to a small extent, keep your guard up.

Over time, though - it does get less painful once you realize it's under your control, learn there are a couple good people out there and realize people may leave but it's not always about (or because of) you.
 Janet_Always
Joined: 12/7/2010
Msg: 45
Why do we sabotage relationships....
Posted: 6/21/2011 9:49:14 AM

Abelian's so wrong when he says "You aren't defined by what happens to you early in life."

Actually I agree with him. While you may be effected by a difficult childhood, as an adult you are responsible for your behavior. Too many times I see people using their past as an excuse... and not everyone who was molested/raped, beaten or raised by alcoholics (or other dysfunctional types) does this, so obviously it is at some point a *choice*.

Playing the victim card can be a powerful tool to avoid doing the hard things in life.
 Skotch
Joined: 5/12/2010
Msg: 46
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History
Why do we sabotage relationships....
Posted: 6/21/2011 10:31:36 AM
Lots of good advice in there. I'm looking at this from the guy's perspective and, yah, if you say something like "don't call me again" well I'll leave it at that. So hopefully the advice will get you working so it doesn't come to that.

However, don't expect that road to not be rocky and I want to reiterate, communicate that you've had issues with blurting out things that you don't mean about the relationship. I'd hope that most guys are at least a little like me and are simple creatures. If you say you're not interested that's what I believe, however if you've said that this was gunna happen, then a strong man is going to come back the next day and ask you if you need a hug and want to talk about what was said.

For a second I had some great insight on how we should be more like dogs but the whole way it related to this topic has escaped me. Argh, good luck.
 Exjrsygrl
Joined: 4/11/2010
Msg: 47
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Why do we sabotage relationships....
Posted: 6/21/2011 11:50:49 AM
I honestly think that you push men away that have "red flags." You may be very sensitive to these flags but they are there never the less.
When you feel yourself backing off stop and think why. Put a name to the emotions that are making you step back and pull away. Keep a journal, after a while you will figure out how to change your behavior or if you even want to.
 CrazyCanuck_1969
Joined: 6/12/2011
Msg: 48
Why do we sabotage relationships....
Posted: 6/21/2011 11:55:32 AM
Actually I agree with him. While you may be effected by a difficult childhood, as an adult you are responsible for your behavior. Too many times I see people using their past as an excuse... and not everyone who was molested/raped, beaten or raised by alcoholics (or other dysfunctional types) does this, so obviously it is at some point a *choice*.

Playing the victim card can be a powerful tool to avoid doing the hard things in life.


I agree also. I have been through a lot of crap yet I don't do this kind of thing any longer. It's an excuse. If you have a problem like this then stop dating and get therapy.

Here's a clue she said


I want to be vulnerable


I guess it's the samething as I want to be a victim? Seriously how can I person help themself if they want to be a victim. You can only become a victim when you let yourself be one.


I am very fulfilled - my career...my home...my fur family...my friends...I am so INCREDIBLY BLESSED.

Those are external things. Seeking external things will rarely make you happy. I can assure you I been through more crap. I don't have many friends, a home, my family is still screwed up. Yet I am probably more happy than you will be here why...


.and, I sit there asking myself 'why - again?'


I don't ask why questions why things don't work out. I ask how questions. Example: How can I find a trust worthy meaingful relationship? It is difficult to find compatible person, it's like finding a needle and hay stack.

I learned to look at the past of something something I learn and grow. I surely wouldn't the person I am if I didn't go through those things. I don't even regret what has happened in my childhood, I would do it all over again. I asked questions, How can I learn from those situations? How can I grow this?
You can either see the glass as half full or half empty. It's your choice. You're the one in control, nobody else.
 Exjrsygrl
Joined: 4/11/2010
Msg: 49
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Why do we sabotage relationships....
Posted: 6/21/2011 11:59:41 AM
You are so right crazy,
Our past is a reason that we act the way we do. NOT an excuse to keep acting that way!
 SunnyGirlFL
Joined: 6/3/2010
Msg: 50
Why do we sabotage relationships....
Posted: 6/21/2011 1:24:41 PM
Mr. Canuck...I just want to say that I am in no way, shape or form playing the victim. If anything, I am overly aware that I have been the person of which my actions claimed a victim and do not feel victimized. It is wrong and I do know it. I'm not out there doing this as a daily occurance. I've only dated 2 men in 6 years...and both I pushed away...however, one was kind enough to allow me to explain my issues and let him know that I just wasn't ready and to this day we are still friends. It was so much easier to let my guard down and talk to him knowing he wanted a friendship. For some reason, though, and back to my original post...when I feel the slightest twinge that my heart may be on the line - I completely freeze up...I find every reason to walk away, to push the man away and it is terribly, terribly wrong. I posted to see if I could get good advice in attempting to overcome this fear. And, luckily, there are those that offered wonderful advice and attempts at helping me understanding the reason I do this. Your on the other hand...not sure why you felt compelled to write a derogatory post...maybe you've been treated the way I have treated men and you are angry with me about that in some way...and, for that I apologize.

We are all so complicated. Our hearts...our minds...our wills and our desires, they feel, see, think, hope and entertain our needs in ways that sometimes we simply do not understand. I am attempting to understand so that one day...hopefully in the not too distant future, I can learn to enjoy the vulnerability in love that I know exists and want for myself.
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