Femi started off dating Priscillia in the University, and there was an understanding between them that they were going to get married when they were both ready. Unfortunately, things did not work out as they had expected.
They graduated, finished with service, and Priscillia got a job immediately, but Femi was unemployed for the next one year, until he got a fantastic job in an Investment Bank. However, that one year was a very trying time for their relationship. Left to Femi’s devices, each would have gone their separate ways.
His insecurity showed in all its fullness. He was afraid of losing her, because of the big bucks she earned, and he was unable to treat her as he would have wanted, because his parents were still supporting him. He thought about all the eligible bachelors, who were dancing around her, and promising her marriage on the spot. He knew this because she told him. When she noticed that it was like handing him the koboko, with which to beat her later, she stopped telling him, and that only compounded their problem. He felt Priscillia was hiding things from him.
Chijioke loved Ifeoma at first sight. He wanted her but he did not have the guts to walk up to her to ask her out. In his mind, she was waaaay out of his league…she did not do small boys like him. He had seen the type of men who came calling on her, and the cars these men drove. He stood no chance, not with that kind of competition.
So, he chilled. However the truth, which even Chijioke was afraid to admit to himself was that, he did not feel worthy of her. He did not think he would ever measure up. One year later, Ifeoma literally threw herself at him to get him to notice the fact that she liked him. He asked her out grudgingly. Of course she agreed, but he made no attempt to be the man in his relationship. He was always pulling back.
Needless to say, that relationship did not last another six months. She liked him, but she liked men who mastered her more, and Chijioke was not such a man. When the relationship packed up, Chijioke mourned as though he had spent an eternity with Ifeoma.
Donald is no spring chicken, even for a guy, but he acts as though he doesn’t know it. Before he became single again, he had been dumped at the altar; his bride disappeared the day before their wedding. She had developed cold feet.
Since then, Donald has become something of a player, never taking of any relationship serious. Even when the ladies involved are serious, he is always on a sampling spree,with a nonchalant attitude that says, “Take me, or leave me the way I am” many ladies have left him, and he does not seem bothered; seem, being the operative word.
In his closet, Donald often wonders why he acts toward his ladies like that, but he can’t help himself. He is still carrying the hurt over being jilted, and using it to sabotage his relationships.
In all the stories above, you will see men on a self-sabotaging spree. They might not be it doing consciously, but it is affecting them, their relationships and happiness in the most basic manner ever. However, these are not only self-sabotaging things men do in their relationships. Below are some of the other ways and how they can recover from there.
1. You would prefer to be right, rather than in love
Have you heard a man insisting on his point of view, “No Babes, things cannot be done that way! If you do it that way, this is what will happen and bla bla.” Of course, if his partner is like most women, she would probably be thinking, “When he is done, we can talk.”
Apart from such a situation, there will be times that your partner will fall short, make a mistake, or frankly, just blow the roof off everything. Even though it may seem justified or feel better in the moment, choosing a righteous response will only damage trust and create lingering resentment.
In addition, they will most likely deny, and argue their way out of another situation, rather than simply apologize and admit a mistake in the future.
You want your partner to tell you the truth all the time, stop the “I told you so” attitude. Besides, being in love means not having to say I’m sorry.
2. Everything is often about you
No, it isn’t. Not all mistakes or words are spoken to make you feel lesser of a person. The other person is also allowed to have meltdowns. Yes, so it isn’t always about you.
When you take things personally, and get your feelings hurt too easily, it closes off communication, makes conflict-solving nearly impossible, and leaves you both at risk. Instead, be open to hearing what your partner wants and needs. Look for the common ground instead of the insult.
Choose to empathize with the needs of your partner. What better way to demonstrate maturity and your own value than by acknowledging that your partner has needs that also deserve to be met? Do your best to be the one who can help them meet their needs better than anyone else.
3. There is lack of a safe feeling for your partner to speak openly, or just be themselves
There is nothing worse than being in a relationship, and feeling as though you cannot state exactly how you feel. People have a need to be seen, heard, acknowledged, and appreciated, just as they are. They don’t want to be judged, manipulated, or treated as if they are all shades of wrong and brokenness. This need is so basic, it can be likened to oxygen, but it is for the soul.
Sometimes, you partner might have certain cravings that are a no-no for you, however, step back and listen to what their heart is really saying. All they might really need is the acceptance that comes with simply hearing them out and not making them feel as though they are always wrong.
They key to remember is that as soon as you judge someone else, you lose all ability to influence them. If you are able to take people as you meet them, and love them all the same, without conditions, then you are feeding their soul, and they will be loyal to you, and love you like no one else.
4. Your focus is more on what’s wrong, rather than what’s right
There is a saying in the psychotherapy world that what you focus more on is what you see. So, if your focus is often on the negatives in your relationship, you can bet that that is all you will see.
If you believe that your relationship is headed for ruins, it probably is, and if you believe that yours is an exciting and fabulous relationship, you are also right. What you are doing is simply exercising your basic ability to build the type of relationship you want. All you need to do is focus on what you want to see.
5. Being Lazy
You might be the hardest working guy at the office, but if you slack off when it comes to your love life, you’re going to find yourself out of a job in that department fairly soon.
This does not mean that you need to make every moment with your partner like something out of a romantic movie, but rather it should be seen that you are making an obvious effort within your relationship. Freshen up before a date – shower, shave and scent. Take time out to just hold her hands, not necessarily when you want sex. Freely use the “I love yous” and please, take notice of things in your partner.
Those are the five ways you might be sabotaging your relationship without even knowing, but now, you know better, and more importantly, you know what to do.
So, cheers to a better relationship for you!
Kristine is a member of The Lovelint team. She is a down to earth person, who says it as it is. Having given relationship advice for years in a national daily, she has found out that fear is one of the main reasons holding people back from enjoying a healthy, happy relationship. She is married with kids and is willing to listen to you and help as much as you let her to.