How Self-Sabotaging Destroys Relationships


Nobody wants to admit they’re a self-sabotager. I think many people fall victim to the self-sabotage mindset and may not even know it. Maybe you’re one of them? Think about it: has someone ever loved you “too much”? Do you find yourself thinking, “if they only knew the truth, then they wouldn’t love me…” Or maybe you don’t deal with these overt lies, but rather find yourself running away from success or from deep relationships? I had no idea this was something operating in my life until someone loved me way beyond what I knew what do with, and the experience revealed so much to me about how my lid of success in life was something that I was perpetuating myself.  


In 1999 Kathy and I experienced a terrible financial crisis. We lost our four businesses, the home we built, and most of our worldly possessions. To make matters worse, we were left with a $1.8 million debt! That same year a man we didn’t know gave us $30,000. We found out who the mystery man was and sent him a nice thank you card. But then something strange happened…

For the next 6 months I completely avoided him. Then, one day I encountered him in a restroom, and I ran out of the building like a man on fire. As I ran out of the building I suddenly realized that there was something seriously wrong with me. This was ridiculous! Somebody once said, “Adversity introduces a man to himself,” and I certainly just got introduced to myself. What I mean is this experience was revealing something about me that was deeper than what I had bargained for, and I knew I needed to work it out.

That night, I lay in bed awake until the wee hours of the morning. Finally, in desperation I cried out to God. “Jesus, I think there is something wrong with me. Do you know what it is?” “Yes,” He replied immediately. “What is it?” I inquired. “Do you really want to know?” He asked. To be honest, I wasn’t sure if I really wanted to know because denial is a beautiful thing. Finally I said, “Yes, I do.” Jesus replied, “The man gave you $30,000. You don’t love yourself $30,000 worth and you are afraid that if he gets to know you, he will be sorry he gave you the gift.” I was stunned! “What should I do?” I pressed. “Try loving yourself as much as I do, then you will never sabotage your prosperity,” He responded.



I realized that night that my love had a lid. I had been given $1,000 many times in my life, and I never avoided the people who gave it to me. But this experience showed me that I had literally put a value on my life. I began to see that every time someone loved me beyond my own ability to love myself, I destroyed my relationship with them. I’d avoid them, even to the point of running out of church like a man on fire to get away!



I realized that self-sabotaging plays out in so many different areas of life if you don’t value yourself. Yes, it can play out in your success, career and even finances, but it also very much affects relationships. I think it’s why people who are dating often get to a place in their relationship where they start building cases against the one who loves them. It’s true that love covers a multitude of sins; it’s also true that fear exposes and magnifies flaws in others (as a way of self-protection). When people date and they begin to grow in intimacy (which can be defined as “in to me you see”), they often begin to fear that their lover will see in them the flaws they see in themselves. This often results in one or both parties sabotaging their relationship by building a case against each other.

Of course as the years pass this is usually articulated as, “I haven’t found the right one yet.” The truth is, as long as your love has a lid, your relationships are vulnerable to destruction.



If this rings a bell for you then I want to reiterate what the Lord said to me the night I had this revelation. He said, “Try loving yourself as much as I do, then you will never sabotage your prosperity.

Do yourself a massive favor and let God love the hell out of you. Take some time and sit in His presence, and invite His love into every nook and cranny of your soul. Bear your insecurities, fears, and the parts of yourself that you consider “ugly” before Him, and let Him show your why you’re so incredibly lovely in every way. Then, love yourself as much as He does. Let love silence the lies that keep you out of deep relationships and real success. It will change your life forever.


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