Do your relationships always end? Have you been through more than one divorce? Have you ever wondered if you are destroying your own happiness?
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Why would you destroy your own happiness?
I don’t think anyone would intentionally destroy their own happiness. In fact, I don’t honestly believe that someone would sabotage their own relationships on purpose, at least not consciously.
But I do have to consider the relationships that I have been in over the past. I’ve been in several happy long term relationships that I eventually ended. I’ve also been through two divorces, one was a happy marriage, the second one not so much. In both cases, I was the one that chose to end the relationships.
Was I destroying my happiness?
Considering all my break-ups and the fact the relationships were mostly happy but I ended them anyway, I have to look at the common denominator in all of them. ME!
I am the common denominator in all of my relationships! And I am the one that caused the break-ups. So I have to ask myself if I was destroying my happiness? If so, then why?
Self-Reflection can be helpful
Self-reflection is a process by which you grow your understanding of who you are, what your values are, and why you think and act the way you do. It is a form of personal analysis that allows you to bring your life into alignment with what you wish it to be.https://www.aconsciousrethink.com/10258/self-reflection/
Growing up and even throughout adulthood, I’ve always been confident and secure in who I am as a person. I’ve never been a gorgeous woman but I never thought of myself as ugly. I’ve never been boastful or egotistical, yet I tend to be aware of my self-worth. I make friends easily and never had problems finding a date.
You could even say for the most part that I felt lucky in love. It’s never been difficult for me to enter a relationship. Even maintaining a relationship doesn’t seem to be the problem. Yet for some reason, I always end the relationship.
The journey into self-love and self-acceptance must begin with self-examination. Until you take the journey of self-reflection, it is almost impossible to grow or learn in life.– Iyanla Vanzant
Self-Reflection is important
Self-reflection – also called introspection – is a means to observe and analyze oneself in order to grow as a person. That growth is the reason why it is so important to spend time in personal reflection. By understanding who you are now and who you’d like to become, you help identify the steps you need to take on that journey. Reflecting upon how you behave and what thoughts enter your mind in response to events in the world around you allows you to see what you need to work on.https://www.aconsciousrethink.com/10258/self-reflection/
After 20 years of being single, believe me when I say that I’ve had plenty of time for self-reflection.
I’ve had a good life. Overall I’m happy with 3 wonderful adult children and 3 amazing grandchildren. I love my life and I even like myself, most of the time. ha-ha.
There is still something missing in my life. As I’m rapidly nearing sixty years old it has become a little daunting to be growing old alone, living by myself. Yet I continue to prefer being single. Sounds a little fickled I know.
As I look back on my past relationships there is always the same question I keep asking myself. “Why are you always destroying your happiness?”
Reasons for destroying your happiness
Let’s look at some reasons people may subconsciously self-sabotage relationships or end up destroying their happiness.
- PTSD from repeated traumas– if you grew up in a stressful environment or live with anxiety. Always waiting for the other shoe to drop, then once you’re in a really good relationship you may start feeling like it’s too good to be true. You may start to feel uncomfortable, even feel like danger is coming so you feel like you must “get out” or get away from the danger. So you end it or start doing things to make your partner want to end it.
- A Childhood Full of Fighting and Chaos– therefore you are most comfortable with chaos, so when you end up in a good relationship without fighting and chaos you can’t seem to cope. You are no longer comfortable and you end up sabotaging the relationship.
- Painful Feelings of Low Self Worth-If you don’t love yourself, then how can anyone else love you? If you find yourself in a great relationship but you don’t feel worthy or feel that you deserve it, then you will find ways to sabotage it. Again proving to yourself you were right and you weren’t worthy because the relationship ended. It’s a vicious cycle. Learn to love yourself! You are worthy!
- Fear of Abandonment– Perhaps as a child or early in life you lost someone close to you through death or maybe your parents divorced. Even a bad break-up with a long term relationship early in life can cause a fear of abandonment. You may not realize it but in future relationships, you may always fear that person will abandon you too. So you always leave first so it’s your decision and on your terms rather than you getting abandoned again.
How to stop the self-sabotaging cycle
Like all habits that you want to break, you must first identify the action you want to stop repeating. Once you have identified the action then you need to understand what triggers you to take that action.
In other words, if you want to stop destroying your happiness then you must try and understand why you do that to yourself. When you are in a good relationship what triggers you to end it?
On the surface, it would simply seem that you just don’t want to be happy. Maybe deep down you don’t want to be in a relationship. There must be more to it. This is why you need to do more than scratch the surface. Self-reflection is important for you to explore what’s going on under the surface.
Are you destroying your happiness?
Do you feel as if you have been destroying your happiness? I now know that I was throughout my adult life.
Have you tried self-reflection? If not, I urge you to do so. I’ve done a lot of self-help challenges and read quite a few self-help books. But during this past year of living alone, I have done a lot more self-reflection. Being retired and living alone with two dogs I tend to talk to the dogs and myself a whole lot!
The pugs, Buster and Daisy tend to agree that I need my alone time. We’ve decided that I require my space and don’t play well with others on a long term basis.
Although, if I’m left totally alone for too long of a time then I tend to get cranky. I even go to a self-pity party feeling like nobody cares. That is part of my living with clinical depression. So I meet a friend for lunch and I’m good for a while. Sometimes I message one of my daughters to whine or spend time with the grandkids.
Luckily my kids and my friends totally “get” me! They even know when I talk about not wanting to be alone that I really mean I just don’t want to be alone that day or at that moment. This too shall pass!
What my self-reflection has revealed
Above I just explained some reasons why I am happier alone instead of in a relationship. Now I want to share more of what I’ve learned through my self-reflection. I’d like to share with you the reasons I believe I have always sabotaged my own happiness and relationships.
I had a genuinely terrific childhood. Comparable to a Norman Rockwell portrait. Yet still, I believe that I was destroying my happiness for one of two reasons. Or possibly a combination of these two reasons.
- Out of fear of abandonment
- I felt I didn’t deserve to be happy
Now let me try to explain why I felt either of those things. Growing up with a near-perfect childhood, I was never abandoned. I was a teenager when my Granny died and although that was hard on me, I was old enough to understand.
No, it wasn’t anything traumatic as a child, it was during my senior year of high school. I was dating a guy who was very dear to me. At the time I wouldn’t have said we were in love. I mean what do 16-17-year-olds really know about love?
Then another guy whom I’d always liked asked me out on a date. Being the young care-free teenager that I was at the time, I broke up with the first guy and went out with the second. I really cared for this second guy. I thought maybe I did know what love was at that age. So I became pregnant and he basically dumped me. You can read about that situation in my previous post I Got One Thing Right. This I believe is where my fear of abandonment started. So later when relationships felt happy and right, I’d end them first before the guy could dump me.
Back to the first guy, I was dating in high school, the one I broke up with to go out with the second one. At the time I did not know or realize just how deeply it hurt him when I broke up with him. When I later found out just how badly he was hurt by my actions I felt like a total piece of crap. There’s more to that story but it doesn’t really belong in this post. Feeling so crappy for how I treated him, then being dumped while pregnant I felt like maybe I deserved being dumped and didn’t deserve to be happy. So that explains my reasoning behind me feeling like I never deserved happiness.
That is how I believe my cycle of destroying my happiness began. You can read about how it continued in another post titled When My Life Became 7-year trainwreck.
If you are destroying your happiness, I hope this may have helped you.
Often times it is very difficult to look inward to our own thoughts and actions. Our subconscious works to help protect us from past traumas or hurts that we aren’t willing to face consciously.
I urge you to practice self-awareness and self-love. You deserve it! You are worthy and deserve to be happy.
Seek counseling, there is no shame in needing help. Talking to someone, especially a professional who is non-bias and doesn’t know you personally is very helpful, even a relief.
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Until next time,