“Just when everything seems to be perfect in our relationship, he picks a fight with me and threatens to leave. I don’t know what to do because I don’t feel safe to even bring up my own feelings.” She began to weep over the horror stories her partner told her about his alcoholic father and enabling mother. I saw the parallel jump out at me as I saw his fear of becoming like his father dominating the relationship.
“Your partner is sabotaging your relationship and it is not good. He will keep doing this as long as he feels out of control and tied down.” And with that, their relationship ended after she found out that he had been cheating on a woman with much lesser qualities (because for some people being in a relationship with accountability is way too difficult).
The pressure for a healthy relationship is difficult for everyone. For the saboteur, however, it is a subconscious project of deconstruction. The saboteur usually has unresolved emotional waste that is toxifying the relationship in many different ways. Little undermining behaviors here and there, defensiveness, and secrecy are the power tools that they use to unbolt the framework that was so carefully laid. The Saboteur is never wrong, and oftentimes plays the victim in relationships using their past infractions and life troubles as an excuse. The Saboteur is so afraid of being outside of his or her comfort zone that they restructure their relationships based on what they know and understand: dysfunction.
The challenge for the Saboteur is becoming aware of his own game. He may not know why he makes grievous errors like cheating. All he may know is that in his mind he has to make himself feel like “Savvy Bravo” and attain women’s attention to feel like a man at any cost. He is at the mercy of his insecurity and his unresolved emotions. Fear is another major factor in sabotaging a relationship. This is why it is so important to sit down with a counselor and deal with childhood trauma before it turns into the inability to function in adulthood so that commitment doesn’t feel like a big juggernaut.
If you are in a relationship with The Saboteur, you might have noticed that your meaningful connection is lost when you are not able to connect with the many masks that your saboteur wears. You have to carefully measure your love so as not to scare your partner, and save yourself from heartache. When your partner shuts down, just walk away and give space. If you have a problem with your feelings not being well received, write them down in a loving manner so that you both feel safe to address them without verbal dialogue. If you notice that your partner is gone a lot, more and more secretive, and uninterested in the goings on at home, the wrecking ball may have already hit the relationship. It is very important that you do not become accusatory at this time. Remain observant and address the issue when there are no other major issues present that need your immediate attention. Don’t ever forget to recognize your worth and keep your boundaries strong. Make sure that your own baggage is carefully stowed so that there is continued mutual growth and appreciation as you both learn that you are in the relationship to love one another.