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Imparted Wisdom Blog

Personal Growth and Development

How to stop sabotaging a relationship…

March 9, 2021 /By: Erin Mixon

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In a previous post, we explored self-sabotaging in relationships (romantic/non-romantic).  We talked about the various reasons why we engage in these self-defeating patterns.  In the process of doing the work and overcoming, it is important to not only receive tools to do better going forward, but to also understand the “why” behind what we do.

Once the why is understood and processed, we can then begin the process of doing the work and learning how to stop sabotaging a relationship.

Here are 4 solutions to how to stop sabotaging a relationship:

1) The 5 Second Rule

The five second rule is a technique developed by author, television host and motivational speaker, Mel Robbins.  It came about when she began struggling to get up in the morning due to being overwhelmed by the trials and obstacles another day would surely bring.  This pattern began affecting her ability to do everyday menial tasks such as getting her kids to school on time.  After many days and weeks of watching her life spiral and get out of balance due to this self-defeating behavior, Mel knew she had to do something.

The 5 minute rule was invented out of this desperate need to end this negative pattern.

The main concept is to  pause and count backwards from 5 (5,4,3,2,1).   In this pause… you are giving yourself  the time and space to pause and think.  In that time, you are able to take action or make a better choice and decision.

In this time we can decide, do I really need to :

  • Say that?
  • Do that?
  • Act this way?

How will this action make  the other person feel?

What will the repercussions of my actions be?

Taking the time think before your act will do wonders for your relationship.  It could actually make or break a relationship.  Click here to find out more about the five second rule.


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A couple holding hands in nature contemplating how to stop sabotaging a relationship.
Begin the process to fix a relationship and end self-sabotaging behaviors today.

2) Take Some Time to Reflect In-Between Relationships

Many of us have developed the habit of jumping from one relationship to the next.  This can apply to romantic, as well as non-romantic relationships.  Oftentimes, we fear actually feeling the hurt, pain, sadness, anger or depression and dealing with it, so we just jump into the next situation as a way to avoid it.

But, this avoidance and  failure to confront and deal with our pain and issues is a defense mechanism that leads to even more pain in the end.  It only gets worse the longer you continue to not deal with it.

But when you take a moment to stop and think about your past relationship and to think about what went wrong and why….

When you take a moment to think about the part you played in the problems that occurred in the relationship and begin to think about how you contributed to the issues…

This is when real breakthrough can occur.

3) Get Tools For Better Communication and Interaction

Once you’ve identified the self-sabotaging behavior and have taken some time to reflect, it’s time to get some tools to help you do better going forward.

What are you going to do when you want to:

  • Throw a temper tantrum?
  • Hurl insults?
  • Walk away (instead of working through an issue)?
  • Act out with violence?

Getting tools for better communication and interaction will give will enable you to have to have the answer to these questions before you are even in the midst of these situations.  You must be prepared and equipped beforehand with the right tools so that you can make a different choice rather than impulsively acting out when confronted with an uncomfortable situation.

You can get these tools for better communication and interaction within relationships by seeking counseling, therapy, or life-coaching.  You can also receive many tools through books like Relationship Rescue by  renowned psychologist, author and television host, Dr. Phil McGraw (Dr. Phil).

4) Do Some Healing Work to Stop Sabotaging a Relationship

The healing work consists of daily exercises and techniques and practices that not only help you to forget and get over the trauma of past relationships, but to also heal.

This way you can emerge a truly healed and strong person.

Healing work includes:

  • prayer
  • meditation
  • journal reflections
  • self-accountability acknowledgement

In order for you to continue to heal, grow, and continue to thrive, these practices as well as others should be done on an on-going basis.


It is time to end the destructive pattern of self sabotaging in relationships.


So vow to end self-sabotaging behaviors today so you can keep and maintain long lasting relationships that fulfill you, help you grow, and make you happy!


Comment down below how you plan to do this…


More resources (related article) to how to stop sabotaging a relationship:

Are you Sabotaging Your Relationships?



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