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Jude's avatar

What's the deal with me sabotaging relationships?

Asked by Jude (31993 points ) December 15th, 2008

My girlfriend and I (I’m a girl, as well) are “putting things on hold for awhile”. She said that she needs time to see whether she wants to be in a relationship. Here’s the thing; I’m the one who messed it up. Not by doing one big thing, but, a bunch of little things. This is a l/d relationship that has been going on for about a year (we’ve known each other for 4 years). We see each other about once every couple of months for two weeks at a time. The idea was that in about a year, I was going to move to where she is (Texas). The last time that I went to visit her (a few weeks ago); I did a few stupid things and said a few stupid things. I’m not going to go into detail, but, basically it left her feeling that maybe, I didn’t think that she was the one for me. Which is so not true. I’m wondering if me saying these hurtful things (not intentionally, though) was because I fear that things aren’t going to work out in the long, so, I sabatoge things? It ends up being a self-fulling prophecy sort of thing. I end up messing up the relationship.

I guess that probably should say some of things that I did. I was sick with the stomach flu and we were sitting on the sofa watching a movie, I got up and said that I was going to bed, but, she didn’t have to come with me. I told her to watch the movie, if she wanted to. She insisted on coming with me and I proceeded to tell her (big mistake!) that we don’t have to be on top of each other all of the time. Yikes.

We went out to a bar; she was dancing with a friend and I was talking to a couple of guys. She was hurt that I wasn’t dancing with her. When I was Austin, I went ahead and made plans with a new friend. She’s straight and we were getting together for lunch. I didn’t tell my g/f until the day of that we were getting together. My g/f was going to be at work and I thought it would be fun to go for lunch with this friend (who I have no interest in). My g/f never met her and I kind’ve sprung it on her that this girl and I were going to for lunch. She was upset by that. I told her afterwards how sorry I was and that I ‘get why she was upset’. When I was drunk, I made a stupid remark about a paper cigar ring. I said that it will probably last as long as our relationship. I said it jokingly at the time. But, why would I say that????

To tell you the truth, I felt closer to her this time around (of getting together). I truly love her and I don’t get why I did/said these things. She also has an ex who still cares for her that I worry about. The ex lives there and I live 1000s of miles away.

Any help/advice would be appreciated.

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10 Answers

DrasticDreamer's avatar

It definitely sounds to me like some part of you is trying to sabotage the relationship. Why is too hard to say because there could be many, many reasons. If you really value what you have with her though, a sincere apology is due to her. Tell her you said a lot of stupid things before you even thought of how it might sound and then tell her why you care so much about her. And you can’t just say something like, ”... Because I really, really care about you…”. Give her actual reasons. Then, go into why you think you might say them. Trust is the biggest part of any relationship. Opening up to her about your fears will only make the bond you already have even stronger. Let yourself be vulnerable and see where it takes you.

RandomMrdan's avatar

all you can do is apologize and explain how you feel about her and hope she forgives you. If it doesn’t work out, maybe it was time to move on. I’m sure there will more women for you to meet, perhaps closer to where you live so you don’t have that extra stress in the equation.

wundayatta's avatar

I feel a bit like a broken record, but let me recommend trying to improve your communication. From the way you describe it, I feel like both of you are being extremely sensitive. This suggests you don’t know each other well enough to be able to trust the other. I mean, what’s the big deal with having a lunch with a straight friend? Unless of course you are known to have lunch with a girl and then have the girl for dessert. But if that’s the case, surely the relationship would be over by now?

You don’t say how you met, and how you got into a long distance relationship. However, ldrs seem to me to be very difficult, especially when you are younger. You might call every night or day, and stay in touch, but if you obsess over each other, then you can start imagining all kinds of horrible things in the times between your talks. And what if someone doesn’t answer the phone when they should? And what if they aren’t home on a weekend night, and you know they went to a bar with friends?

All these things can play in your mind, I guess, and then when you see each other, you have to almost rebuild the relationship from scratch. A voice or an email are not at all like being with a person. So you have two weeks, and maybe you’ve just gotten to an almost comfortable place and you have to leave. The stress must be enormous. I hate leaving someone when I’m uncertain about how they feel about me. I practically go ballistic with uncertainty.

Anyway, if this is what it’s like, the key thing is constant communication, and reassurance. Although, if you’re like me, not even reassurance works, but then, I’m a particularly bad case when it comes to self-esteem. I always imagine there is someone better out there waiting to knock me out of my lover’s affections. Or I did, until I met my wife. That was the first time I felt secure, and that was the fourth relationship I had. Of course that turned into a difficult thing later, but that was ten years in.

I hate to say this, but I think that sometimes when you’re young, and relatively new to relationships, you blow it a lot, and that’s sad and hurtful. Eventually you pick up and try again, sadder, but wiser.

You’ve got to put these feelings on the table. You’ve got to talk to her about them, and not from a weak position, just as a matter of fact. You’re not begging for anything. You just want to see if you can work it out. If you guys are honest, maybe you can come to reassure each other. Be prepared to listen as well as bring up your concerns. You have to not be defensive, either of you. Defensiveness kills communication. Listen and understand. Both of you.

If you both honestly discuss your insecurities, maybe you can negotiate a better way to be together that helps you both feel more secure. If you don’t do this, the relationship won’t last long, but that’s not a bad thing. Pick up the pieces, learn from your mistakes, and go on, more hopeful.

dynamicduo's avatar

LDRs are very tough for many reasons. But regardless of the type of relationship, I think this type of issue (sabotaging one’s relationships) is something that a therapist can help with greatly. Especially if you are saying and doing things and you don’t know why you do them. This tells me the issue is really deep, and while us internet folk can throw our guesses out like throwing noodles on a wall some might stick but mostly you’ll end up with a very messy floor, this is a case where I’d call in the professionals.

jessturtle23's avatar

Sounds to me that you were saying things to her to get a certain response that you wanted to hear. My only suggestion is to grow up and don’t say things you don’t mean to get a reaction out of someone. Eventually, you will date someone that realizes that’s what you are doing and you are going to be embarrased and have your feeling hurt.

Jude's avatar

With me I think that it’s trust issues. I’ve been burned pretty bad in the past and with the distance and us really just getting to know each other (how we work in relationships); I didn’t know if I could truly trust her. She has a crazy ex who has been interfering the last few months and even though my g/f reassured me that there was nothing to worry about; in the back of mind my I was concerned. I’m here and they’re there. The ex has gone out of her way to contact me in the past trying to stir things up with my g/f. The ex who claims to still love my g/f (despite treating her terribly numerous times in the past) is now trying to make things better between the two and get back in her good graces, which for me is hard to hear (although, I shouldn’t be surprised) I should also point out that my g/f has trust issues, as well. And we’re not all that young either -36 and 30.

augustlan's avatar

Trust and communication go hand in hand in any relationship. Sounds like you could both use some work in these areas. Be completely honest, as you have been here, and let her know you think you might have been trying to sabatouge the relationship before you got hurt. Apologize sincerely, and determine together how to proceed from here. Therapy would probably help you sort it out. Best of luck to you!

wundayatta's avatar

Sorry jmah. I got that one wrong.

[daloon goes to find a bucket of water in which to place his face before it bursts into flame]

Jude's avatar

Ah, daloon, it was me, I neglected to add further (rather important) info. ;-)

Ducky's avatar

Self sabotoging; ruining everything that goes good for yourself. As humans we fear sucess therfore we want to distroy anything that leads to sucsseding. ( I can’t spell right now, sorry.)

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