3 Ways to stop sabotaging your relationships

Sep 21, 2010 at 9:48 a.m. ET

Ever wonder why each relationship you get into seems to mimic the previous ones? The same fights, the same issues, the same old drama. Sometimes, we tend to rehash old problems and create new turmoil based on our past relationships -- and wind up feeling as if we are on a relationship merry-go-round. Here are three ways to recognize this unhealthy cycle and what you can do to break it.

Woman with baggage

1Your new partner is NOT your ex.

quotation mark openThe first step to putting your past behind you is acknowledging that this new person in your life should not be punished for the sins of your ex.quotation mark close

The first step to putting your past behind you is acknowledging that this new person in your life should not be punished for the sins of your ex. For example, if your ex cheated, you can't grab your new lover's cell phone out of his hands and demand to know who he's talking. You can't act suspicious whenever you meet one of his colleagues or friends. This type of behavior will only create tension and frustration between you, inhibiting your chances for a long-lasting, healthy relationship. If you have concerns, communicate to your partner what has happened in your past and allow your new lover to express himself by showing you that he is different.


Your drama is NOT your new lover's problem.

Did your ex criticize your body, mind or spirit and create feelings of insecurity? Take back ownership of yourself. Only you can decide how to treat yourself and how others can treat you. No matter how complimentary your new partner is, no matter how supportive he may be, if you are still allowing old comments and criticisms to ring in your ear, you will never allow peace or happiness into your heart.

3STOP comparing.

Do his lovemaking techniques differ or pale in comparison to those of your previous lover? Keeping your emotions bottled inside will only lead to resentment and a lack of interest in sex. If you want or need something from your partner, ask for it. If you and your partner aren't in sync, work on getting to get a place where you are both satisfied, instead of focusing on your ex.

Stepping out of your past is the only way to truly free yourself and move forward into a healthy, happy relationship. Choosing to drop the emotional baggage and accept with open arms a new beginning will only enhance and enrich your current relationship.

Related relationship video

5 Little words that strike fear into men

"We need to talk" usually send guys running for the hills. And everyone knows that guys get freaked out at the age-old question, "How do you feel about our relationship?" Why is this? How can you talk to your man about your relationship without scaring him off? What is the right way to go about it so your relationship can stay positive? Our Love & Sex experts, Dan and Jennifer, discuss.

More on moving on: