"Self-sabotage is when we say we want something and then go about making sure it doesn't happen." ~ Alyce P. Cornyn-Selby
I am blessed with some of the most incredible and amazing clients on the face of this Earth, however, sometimes some of them jump down the self-sabotaging well on a regular basis. I will tell them exactly what will happen, when and how an event will happen, and what not to do when it does happen, and these people will do the opposite of what I tell them within minutes of hanging up the phone with me.
This usually involves them destroying opportunities they have been praying for. It almost seems like they are compelled to say the words which are the most damaging to them and their happy ending (or new beginning).
I don't know a single person who hasn't experienced some conflict in their life. These conflicts (usually as children) are what mold our reactions to events and circumstances.
Karen Salmansohn wrote an article addressing this very issue calling this concept Masochistic Equilibrium.
Basically we need to learn a new way of living which involves us recognizing we deserve happiness and love and all of the bells and whistles which go with these positive emotions. We also need to live our lives knowing we are the ones who decide our own happiness, and who we will share that happiness with. Unfortunately many of us hold onto past hurts, failures and anger from our relationships which lead us to react in a negative manner when we should be at least keeping an open mind to communication.
MP was in a relationship with AB for over 3 years. She loves AB madly, however, AB has his own insecurities about love relationships. He needs a woman to constantly show him the depth of her love and devotion by demonstrating how much of a priority he is to her. With MP he wanted precedence over her children and the authority of MP's ex-husband. Toward the end of their relationship all of the arguments stemmed from MP's unwillingness to give in to his unrealistic demands which would jeopardize the cordial relationship she has with the father of her children. After much conversation MP realized this was just a symptom and not a real issue that needed to be addressed and if she gave in to his demands, AB would come up with another one afterwards to once again make her prove her love to him. So she took a step back from the relationship. Granted it was one of the most difficult decisions she ever made.
AB did not handle the break up well. In fact he went out and immediately became involved with another woman who he actually proposed to. Interestingly enough, he demanded she re-home her pet dog because he was allergic. What is so interesting about this is AB owned a dog for years.
MP was devastated by this turn of events. I explained to her he was hurt with her because she stopped allowing him to treat her the way he had been and his actions with this new woman were retaliatory and he was trying to replace her. I let MP know he does love her in his convoluted way, and that he needed to learn the depth of that love and what he needed to do to nurture and sustain it, and she needed to let him learn it on his own. I also let her know he would contact her under the premise of checking up on her when in all actuality he was seeing if the door was still open for reconciliation.
I told MP she needed to decide for herself if she could let go of the hurt and anger at AB before he contacted her, because if she couldn't, there would be no space for building a new relationship. She listened, but then she ignored my warnings. He did contact her like I told her and said the exact same things I predicted. She allowed her hurt and anger to rule her tongue and said some horrible things to him which in turn led him to say some hurtful things back to her.
MP sabotaged her opportunity. Now she's angry at herself. MP's issue here is two-fold. She wants her future with AB to be just like it was when times were good between them. She also subconsciously doesn't believe she deserves to be loved. Even my best efforts to steer her clear of this collision course of self-harm did not work.
Now these two are not done yet. I believe the Universe really wants them to get it right, however they both have to work on their own inner demons and heal themselves before they can happily build a new more satisfying relationship.
We get too caught up in our own hurts and disappointments. We want the other person to admit how they have done us wrong when in all actuality we are not accepting our responsibility for our part in the breakdown of our relationships. We need to stop pointing our finger at others and turn the spotlight on ourselves. If the same incidences keep happening over and over again with the same painful outcome then that is the wake-up call for change.
Change is difficult, but life is always changing. Morgan Freeman's character in the Shawshank Redemption says, and I'm paraphrasing here, "We have to get busy living or get busy dying." Self-sabotaging our happiness is a slow death.