When my client Sandra came to me she was desperate. She thought her boyfriend was going to break up with her soon and she didn’t know what to do. She was an extremely beautiful girl, yet she felt insecure and worried constantly that her partner would cheat.
Her man was super loving, loyal and devoted to her. Her heart knew this, but her brain didn’t. She couldn’t shake the constant anxiety that he would leave her.
When she came to me, she told me that she couldn’t stop picking fights with her boyfriend. She wanted to stop and stop fast because she knew she was pushing him to his limit. They were so in love when they first met, but the fighting was driving a wedge between them and causing him to want to spend less and less time with her.
Why couldn’t she stop fighting with her boyfriend and just accept his love and devotion? Why couldn’t she be happy with what she had? These questions, along with the fear of him leaving, kept her up night after night.
When we dug deep we discovered the root cause: she was no longer happy with herself or with her life. She felt unworthy of his love.
When they first started dating, Sandra was a vibrant and alive woman. But as the relationship progressed, she started to abandon herself. She stopped being who she was when they first met and she let the fear of losing him warp her into someone who she didn’t like being. The less she liked herself, the more she worried that he would no longer like her.
As she started to lose interest in herself and her own life and focus exclusively on the relationship, everything started to unravel.
As she stopped pursuing her own interests, she felt increasingly jealous of him for pursuing his. This caused her to lash out at him and attack him when he spent time on doing what he loved instead of spending time with her.
As she stopped spending time doing what she loved and stopped seeing friends and family as much, she felt increasingly empty and alone. This caused her to cling to her boyfriend as her only support and become extremely demanding of his time and energy.
As she stopped doing the things that made her feel good, she started feeling good only when she was with her boyfriend. This made her extremely needy because when she wasn’t with him she felt like crap.
As she stopped doing the things that made her happy, it was impossible for her boyfriend to make her happy because her well was so low.
By the time we started working together, she was spending most of her days in bed in a state of constant anxiety. She would wake up and immediately check his facebook and instagram profiles to look for evidence that he was interested in other girls. Even though she didn’t find it, she wouldn’t stop.
She was caught in a vicious cycle of relationship sabotage. It goes something like this:
- The more you abandon yourself in a relationship, the worse you feel about yourself (this can be on a subconscious level).
- The more you abandon yourself, the angrier you feel at your partner for living his/her life when you aren’t living yours.
- The angrier you feel, the more you pick fights or sabotage.
- The more you sabotage, the worse you feel about yourself.
- The worse you feel about yourself, the harder it is to believe that your partner loves you.
- The harder it is for you to believe that your partner loves you, the more you start questioning their love.
- The more you question their love, the more you start testing it in unhealthy ways and the more desperate you become.
- The more desperate you become to keep their love, the more you push them away.
- The more you push them away, the more fearful you become.
- The more fearful you become, the worse you feel about yourself.
It all starts with feeling bad about yourself and leads you to keep feeling bad about yourself.
The only cure for sabotaging relationships is to become the person you want to be. To feel so good about yourself and who you are that it’s easy for you to believe that your partner really does love you (and you don’t have to test it anymore).
And that’s exactly what Sandra did while working with me.
-She started meditating in the morning instead of going on her computer and as a result she felt more calm and centered.
-She started practicing pausing and taking a breath when she got triggered by her boyfriend and this allowed her the space to respond in a loving way rather than react with anger.
-She started following her passions and became more interested in her own life.
-She came alive again.
The result: she stopped fighting with her boyfriend. After months and months of nonstop fighting, they were now able to enjoy peaceful and loving time together.
If you’re sabotaging your realationship right now like Sandra was, here are some tips to get you back on track.
1. Connect with yourself daily, first thing in the morning (via mediation, working out, deep breathing, journaling etc). Make sure you spend some time in your own energy first. Feel what it feels like to just be YOU, not you + them.
2. Find at least three things that make you feel good (besides spending time with your partner) and do them on a regular basis.
3. Reflect on the question: What kind of partner and person I want to be? Notice how you are being that right now and how you aren’t. What do you need to do to fill in the gaps? Start taking the actions that your future self takes and you will become your future self quicker than you realize.
Nicole Moore, Love & Relationship Coach and founder of Love Works, helps women unlock their hearts and create lasting love. Nicole coaches women to break free from their romantic fears so they can love with an open heart. www.loveworksmethod.com