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Am I Sabotaging all of my Relationships?

Today on Dear Sybersue I answer Emily’s question: Am I Sabotaging all of my Relationships?

Dear Sybersue,

I have difficulty opening up in my partnerships. I guess you could say that I’m not very comfortable in my own skin and I am often emotionally shut down. The first few months seem to go by OK in most of my relationships but as I get to know them more it makes me revert inward each time!

Am I sabotaging all of my relationships out of fear?

My childhood was lonely and it wasn’t very loving. I am wondering if that is a big part of my problem? I really do want to stop this annoying pattern I seem to be repeating with each new guy, What can I do to change things so I can eventually have a wonderful long-term partnership?

Thank you so much for your help, Emily

Dear Emily,

When you shut down in a relationship it automatically shuts your partner out. They will eventually start to pull back because they are feeling a disconnect from you. This can cause all sorts of uncertainties and insecurities between you as a couple if it is ignored for a long period.

The fact that you see there is an unhealthy pattern happening in all your relationships is the first step to changing up your behavior.

Yes, I do agree that you may be sabotaging your partnerships but I don’t feel that it is intentional. I am not a psychologist but I think that maybe you don’t feel worthy of having love in your life or that you really don’t know what being in a loving environment entails. You probably learned to shut off your emotions growing up due to the lack of affection and love you received as a young girl.

In the early stages of a new relationship you are having fun and slowly getting to know each other. It is more of a surface connection with a little sexual chemistry thrown in. Once there starts to be more of a committed scenario with these men you are dating it becomes an unfamiliar territory for you. Your upbringing at home was void of this type of communication so it may be uncomfortable for you to move forward into sharing a deeper bond with someone.

When you aren’t shown love as a child this can cause you to become emotionally introverted so your heart doesn’t get involved. You revert inward as a protective shield to keep you from being hurt and allowing yourself to become vulnerable to anyone. (I understand this very well as I had a similar experience in my own childhood. It can be a tough pattern to break.)

It is very important to figure this out as soon as possible before it becomes an even bigger issue over time. Running away from every relationship after 2-3 months is eventually going to take a toll on your self-esteem and present some even bigger trust issues. It might be worth talking to your siblings or your parents about what transpired at home and see if you can come to terms with it or at least gain some better understanding.

I would really suggest that you talk to a therapist about your fears so that you can get to the bottom of why you are pushing your partners away each time. I think you will be so happy that you did!

You already know there is likely a connection between your relationship fears and the loneliness you felt in your younger years, so talking to a professional about it can help alleviate some of those feelings. You want to eventually be able to tell your partner about your childhood memories and feel safe enough to do so.

We all have internal dialogue that holds us back in our lives but being aware of your thoughts and behavioral patterns will definitely help you get through those tough times a lot faster. Being in denial or stuck in a repetitive place that isn’t working for you will keep you from finding the happiness you truly deserve. It’s time to fix this so that you can be in a loving partnership.

Please keep me posted and let me know how you are things are going for you.

Sybersue xo <3

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