When a Saboteur Enters our Relationships

I let him go. I had never been loved this much by anyone in my life, and yet I let him go. I had no choice. My nervous system was having a way harder time than I desired, and the longer we were together, the less relaxed I felt about our relationship.

Was it me? Was this then the final conclusion I’m not suited for non-monogamy or any way of relating for that matter? Was I an overly dramatic woman unable to deal with anxiety issues?

Was it him? Was he lacking in stepping up? Did he need to grow balls and become a real man, able to love a wild woman?

It’s Always Two Playing that Game

When it comes to situations that trigger some kind of discomfort in our relationships, there are two unhelpful ways of dealing with that: the first is to blame ourselves. The second to blame others. Both are a way of resisting the emotions that are there and disabling us from taking a step back and looking at what actually is happening: a dynamic.

Look at a seesaw. The only way that works, either in still balance or fluid movement, is when both ends carry similar weight (or for the mathematicians, when the momentum on both ends of the pivoting point, which consists of [mass * gravity] * length of the arm, is the same). In a relationship that means that any behavior of one partner must find it’s equal on the other side of the pivoting point.

Anxiously attached people attract avoidantly attached people. No narcissist can act the narcissistic part without an echoist to hold the counterpart. Without the game, there’s nothing to play.

Living with Limiting Beliefs

When we grow up, we get hurt. Even with the most amazing parents, there will be moments where their love feels conditionally. May it be when we have a tantrum in front of the candy aisle in a supermarket when we are in the so-maniest fight with our sibling, or complain about the greens in the dinner our parents spent so much effort on.

You get the picture: there are moments, even unintentionally, when the love from our parents feels conditional and dependent on certain behavior that we expose. It might not have anything to do with us, yet, any child under the age of six is incapable of realizing that a response from our surroundings may not be their fault, and will take everything personally.

And so we create limiting beliefs that start to run our experiences of human interactions. We might believe we are unlovable when we had the experience of our parents abandoning us emotionally – or for real. We might believe that we’re not good enough when we have been corrected. We might believe we are too much when our parents experienced overwhelm around us (and as a parent of three I can share that this happens, even when I feel good).

How do you know which limiting beliefs you have?

Check your reality.

What are you creating?

How do your current and past relationships look?

(Do you want to dive deeper? Book a session with me where I help you find your limiting beliefs or sign up for the newsletter for the upcoming online course about eliminating limiting beliefs and improving your relationships).

We all Sabotage

As long as we have limiting beliefs, and most of us do, we will sabotage our reality, just for the sake of proving our beliefs.

Because when you look at the depths of who we are, letting go of our saboteurs means letting go of our limiting beliefs, something that can feel as letting go of who we are – some will call it our ego. And letting go of the core of what we think we are, will go hand in hand with Big Changes.

So nourishing our saboteurs and continuing the dance with them is the safer option. We might be able to stick with the job, the partner or the house we have, continuing this life where we feel comfortable perhaps, but definitely not flourishing into our full extends.

Will the real saboteur please stand up?

So if we all have a saboteur in us, can we not recognize them in each other and just stop sabotaging?

It’s not that easy. All of our saboteurs look different, and mostly they are undercover agents. They might actually look and feel appealing. And what is a sabotaging in you, might be a genuine ally in another person. Your introvert-version might be a saboteur in action preventing you from connecting with others, as any connection implies the risk of being rejected. So not interacting is the safer route for your saboteur, creating a feeling of loneliness and not being accepted, and so proving that you are unlovable before even taking the risk of being loved. For another person, the introvert-version might be an ally taking care of them running out of energy spent in chit-chat. You might even have both behaviors in your personal range, that can shift from sabotaging behavior into ally-behavior.

Still with me?

Another possibility is that you can tell that it’s not you who’s sabotaging, but clearly your partner. Now that might be true, this part where your partner sabotages. It probably is.

Remember the seesaw?

Your partner can only sabotage your relationship to an equal extent as you are. Just one of your behaviors might be more visible.

For many years I was with someone who had a saboteur acting out as making himself bigger than me. It was frustrating me deeply as I felt repressed, taken for granted and plainly used. Until I realized that his making bigger was perfectly balancing my inner saboteur who was making myself smaller. The limiting belief my saboteur ‘proved’: I’m too much.

Then I was with someone who had a saboteur running from an inner belief of not being good enough to be with a powerful woman (by now I wasn’t acting on the ‘too much’ belief anymore and experienced an amazing period of growth, both personally as in business), resulting in being untrustworthy, proving to himself that, indeed, he wasn’t good enough as I felt unsafe in our relationship. Again, it was easier to see his saboteur than mine. Diving deep into my patterns I realized the limiting belief I had been proving to myself in this relationship, and others before: love and relationships hurt. By finding a partner with a saboteur who was a perfect match for mine, I did an excellent job in proving this reality.

The Third Way: the Helpful Way of Dealing with Saboteurs

A game can only work as long as players are playing. When one person steps off the seesaw, the balance is gone.

You will notice there is a saboteur at play when you notice you are creating a reality you actually don’t like, especially when the same topics come back one relationship after the other. Instead of blaming yourself or your partner, there is a third way. It consists of taking responsibility for your reality, getting to know your saboteurs and limiting beliefs, and consciously deciding to take action.

Taking Responsibility for your Reality

Your reality is what you create. This is not a spiritual concept, but a simple realization that comes when you allow the idea that everything around you is a consequence of a decision you once made. And with that, also your limiting beliefs and saboteurs, including all their derivatives, are consequences of your decisions. Even if you were not aware of making those decisions, for example, because you were too young to even understand what was going on.

Taking responsibility for your reality means an embodied knowledge of the possibility that you can actually change this reality, and will support you reclaiming your power.

Getting to Know Your Saboteurs and Limiting Beliefs

This can be tricky. Our saboteurs are often in our blind spots. They might have been around so long that we’re not even aware of them (like, did you consciously see the tip of your nose while reading this before this sentence?).

Two ways of getting to know them once you take responsibility for your reality:

  • Ask for help. Find a coach, therapist or capable friend who can help you reflect on your life, and give you feedback on your behavior.
  • Do a reality check: what does your reality really look like? How come you created the parts you actually don’t like?

Consciously Decide to Take Action

This third step can be the scary part, as this is the moment where consequences will happen. When your saboteur acts out in your relationship, you stopping to do this tight-dance with your partners’ saboteur will most probably trigger the freak out of them. Or make them feel relieved that they, too, don’t have to play this game anymore. Your relationship will likely either get much better or break up completely.

In the first relationship I used as an example before, we started having massive fights when I refused to let my saboteur make me smaller, and his one felt threatened. We broke up. In the second example ,he decided that he wasn’t the partner I was looking for. We decided we both needed to turn elsewhere for our next steps in growth. We broke up, too.

But the breakups weren’t the only consequences of letting go of the saboteurs of being too much, or that love hurts. After releasing the first one, my business grew 400% in three months time, I started traveling and felt happier in my body than ever before. After releasing the second one, I feel more love pouring into my life in more ways than I ever have expected or imagined possible, deepening connections with amazing people, and establishing new co-creations.

Soon I’ll release new online courses on releasing limiting beliefs, and improving your human relationships! Sign up for my newsletter to be the first to know when they are released!

Do you want me to support you in your processes? Book your session with me, online or in person!

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