Hey there, this is Clay Andrews with Modern Love.life where we help you get the relationship that you want without having to play mind games or playing hard to get or put on any sort of act or pretend to be somebody or something that you are not.
Today, we’re talking about how to stop sabotaging your relationships out of fear, insecurity and anxiety.
In situations like this, it is important to look at what is going on when it comes to self-sabotage.
Anyway, what’s happening here is that there are these unknowns in our experience when it comes to a relationship or dating situation.
Let’s just say that you’re a woman and you noticed your partner— let’s just say he’s a man— he goes to the bathroom or something like that and you noticed that his phone is on the couch next to you and it starts buzzing and oh, look, there’s a message from a woman.
You ask yourself what that could mean, right? And so, your mind rushes to fill in this, “What does this mean? Who is this woman? What does she want him? What’s going on?”
It rushes to fill in this unknown in your experience and it’s going to do this based on— in many cases, your own anxieties, fears, insecurities, self-doubt, limiting beliefs, and so on and so forth.
You might see the text message on his phone, you might say to yourself:
“Who’s that woman?”
“Oh, it’s somebody that he’s cheating on me with,”
“Oh, it’s somebody that he is flirting with or something…”
…something like that, right? And it’s really easy to do this.
Before we go any further, let’s just make sure that we understand that this does not necessarily mean that these fears, anxieties and doubts, and all that stuff are false.
They can absolutely be true.
But if we’re jumping to conclusions and assuming these thoughts are true without any hard concrete evidence, we actually can end up in a situation where we end up sabotaging our relationship, sabotaging something that is actually very good for us.
Maybe he actually has very good intentions and maybe this is just a co-worker or maybe this is his sister or something like that, right?
Maybe it’s a platonic friend or someone that he has absolutely no attraction towards whatsoever.
If we assume the worst, then it sets us up for really bad negative results in the long run.
How exactly does this work?
Take a step back and look at how this works in the big picture. Now, you’re obviously going through your day and you have these thoughts and beliefs, and all that, right?
So, going back to our example, something happens in the outside world, you know the phone rings, the phone buzzes. You look at his phone and it’s some woman sending him a text message.
Maybe it just says something like, “Hey, how are you?”
And you think, “What does that mean?” right?
So your mind is creating this thought, “What does it mean that this woman is sending him a text message? Who is this woman?”
Then you start to have this emotional experience because your thoughts cause your emotions and you start to have this emotional experience that says:
“Oh, what if this is somebody who he’s cheating on me with? What if he doesn’t like me? What if he’s falling in love with somebody else? What if he has, like, another girl on the side or something like that?”
As you start to have these thoughts, you start to trigger an emotion of fear, anxiety, scarcity, anger, even frustration, whatever it might be, right?
Your actions are caused by your emotions. We don’t just act blindly out there, right?
We act because we have some sort of emotional drive to do that, whether that is you know wanting to stop somebody from hurting us emotionally, whether that is wanting to defend ourselves, whether that is trying to get love, whether that is trying to be right, whether that is trying to avoid something that happened in the past, whatever it might be.
And if you are having thoughts that are causing you to feel a negative way— let’s just say fear or anxiety and then you are going to act based off of that fear or anxiety by maybe confronting him about it or chewing him out or preemptively breaking up with him or whatever it might be, then your actions are going to lead to the results that you get or don’t get.
And, if you don’t understand your actions will lead to results, then we have a lot of work to do together.
But, so you see how the string works here, right?
Thoughts cause feelings, feelings cause you to act, and of course, your actions cause you to get results or not get results.
This is how the understanding the processing works beneath the surface is we are having thoughts that are about this unknown in our experience.
These thoughts are often projections of our own insecurities, fears, and anxieties that are most likely caused by previous experiences– either in relationships or life in general.
If you have abandonment issues, trust issues or something like that, it’s easy to project those fears, insecurities, and anxieties into those unknowns that are showing up in your life— like who is sending the text message or who is that new person that he or she has been following on social media.
Our emotions are going to cause us to act or behave in certain ways. This is how oftentimes, we tend to recreate the same emotions over and over again and with how we tend to recreate the same patterns over and over again.
This can lead to sabotaging an otherwise great relationship.
For example, if the guy has perfectly fine intentions— maybe this is a co-worker, his sister or something like that and he’s just texting her for some reason. Maybe she’s coming to visit soon, maybe he’s trying to plan a birthday party for their other sibling or parent.
There could be a thousand different explanations for his behavior. But if you jump to the worst-case scenario conclusion that he’s cheating on you and worse— if you start to act on that, that can cause you to really sabotage your relationship, right?
So he might start to think, “Whoa! You clearly have some sort of issues with abandonment or trust or something like that.”
That can cause the budding new relationship to experience a rocky start or possibly even lead to a breakup when really, there wasn’t anything fundamentally wrong.
It was just an unknown situation that you projected your own fears and insecurities and anxieties into.
This is often how people end up sabotaging relationships based out of their fear or insecurity.
Again, this is not to say that if he gets a text message from a mysterious woman that he’s not cheating on you. He absolutely could be.
But if we’re going to jump to the worst-case scenario here, then we are really setting ourselves up for self-sabotage. OK?
What we need to do here is really balance our thoughts before we jump to conclusions. And so what do I mean by balance our thoughts?
Oftentimes, people will say, “Well, you know, you’ve got to be realistic. He’s a guy and if a woman is texting, he’s obviously cheating on you,” right?
How do you know that’s realistic? A lot of times, people use this term “realistic” when really what they mean is “pessimistic,” right?
If you are going to assume the worst in any situation, that is obviously pessimism. That’s not realism.
Realism is based off what has the most evidence to support it.
In our hypothetical situation— he gets a text message from a mysterious woman and you happen to see the notification on his phone, what is the evidence that you have that he’s cheating on you?
Sure, that is probably something that would happen if he was cheating on you with her. But it’s also something would happen if he was planning a birthday party for you and it was a surprise secret. Or if he was just chatting about something with a co-worker who happened to be a woman, right?
I don’t want you to be pessimistic or cynical or jaded when it comes to dating or love life because that can set you up to sabotage your relationship like we just talked about. But I want you to be realistic.
I want you to actually look at what is going on, look at what actually has the most evidence to support it.
If there is actual evidence there that he’s cheating, not just like a “gut feeling” on your part but actual, concrete, third-party verifiable evidence that you could bring to a judge in a courtroom and they could look at it and say you know, “Yeah, he’s totally guilty,”— it’s not a strong hunch.
You can’t convict somebody of murder because you have a very strong hunch that they did it, right?
You need actual evidence like, “Here’s the bloody knife,” or whatever it might be, right?
You want to look for actual evidence of something that happened or didn’t happen when it comes to these relationship fears and insecurities.
You want to say to yourself, “what are the other alternatives that could potentially be causing this,” right?
We already talked about some in our hypothetical example. But you might want to look at some other alternatives that could explain what happened or didn’t happen in your particular situation that might be causing you to sabotage your relationship or your dating life or whatever is going on with you.
If you still don’t have any concrete evidence he’s cheating on you one way or the other, then it’s important to say, “OK. Well, I don’t have any evidence that he’s cheating. I don’t have any evidence that this mysterious text message is really about something else. I don’t have any evidence that it’s a co-worker or not a co-worker. I don’t have any evidence that it’s his sister or his friend or some person at a store who’s he’s trying to arrange a secret surprise for me for. There’s an endless string of possibilities.”
If you don’t have any actual evidence, you don’t want to jump to any conclusion one way or the other. Let that unknown exist in your mind without trying to fill it in.
What you can simply do is try to gather more evidence about what’s going on, right?
Maybe when he gets back from the bathroom in this hypothetical situation, you very calmly say, “Hey, I heard your phone buzzed and I saw there was a woman who texted you. Who is that?”
You don’t have to attack him or anything like that or assume the worst, but just simply ask out of curiosity and he might tell you something and then you have more information.
Of course, he could be lying or he could be telling the truth.
If you are kind of new and you don’t know him very well yet, you don’t know what he’s doing. But that’s just more feedback.
Of course, if he is lying and cheating on you, then you know that he’s a liar and a cheat on top of it. But if he’s telling the truth, then he’s telling the truth and you just have to gather more evidence, right?
As you start to do this, you will start to gather more and more evidence and something will start to appear as the most realistic outcome in this case, right?
Again, I’m not saying that you want to ignore obvious red flags that are popping up around you left and right.
But I want you to actually notice if you have any real, tangible evidence before you jump to conclusions and before you take actions that could potentially sabotage something that maybe you really want in your love life.
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