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You Often Sabotage Your Relationships by Projecting Onto Your Partner Traits You Deny in Yourself

April 20, 2012 | Comments: 0 | Views: 179

If you find yourself in unsatisfying relationships over and over again, or without a partner, the reason might well be that you sabotage yourself without even knowing that you do. One way might be, to project onto your partner traits, emotions and behaviors you deny in yourself. When these are being expressed in the relationship and cause conflicts, arguments and anger, you blame your partner for possessing these and refuse to take responsibility.

Becoming aware of your denials and taking responsibility for your traits and behaviors enables you to take the necessary steps vital for developing a successful intimacy.

1. Denying your anger

If, for example, you don't allow yourself to express anger, you reject your partner's claims that you harbor much anger in you. Whenever anger outbursts happen between the two of you, you identify anger in your partner and deny the possibility that you too are an angry person. You might even accuse your partner of "making you angry".

2. Denying your meanness and stinginess

Suppose, for example, that after dating for quite some time your partner hasn't yet invited you for a weekend out of town. To make things worse, sometimes, when you go to a movie or out for dinner, he suggests that you pay a part of the outing. Does he have no shame, you complain. Shouldn't he be paying it all? What kind of man doesn't pay for his girlfriend?

You are convinced that you are not stingy. You simply think that the man should pay for everything. You are angry with your partner because he doesn't agree with you.


If you deny and reject a trait in yourself, such as stinginess, you are liable to accuse your partner and get angry at him for being "tainted" with stinginess. You might even resort to justifying yourself by stating socially-accepted codes of behavior, such as: "a man should always pay".

3. Denying your unconscious thoughts of jealousy and unfaithfulness

Suppose that you accuse your partner of cheating on you. And if she isn't being unfaithful, you are sure she has "thoughts" about your best friend. When your partner gets home late, you immediately claim that she must have met him or someone else.

No matter how much your partner tells you that it is absolutely not true, that she loves you and doesn't want anyone else; that you should know that she's faithful to you - nothing helps. You are insistent: if she isn't cheating on you, what other reasons could there be to come home late?


When you have a desire to cheat but deny it and don't accept in yourself, you are liable to project it onto your partners. In fact you are saying: "I'm free of these desires. I don't want to be unfaithful, but you are not free of them". You suspect your partner of cheating; you lose your faith in him/her, and you see any unusual behavior (such as arriving late for a date or staying late at work) as an indication that he/she is being unfaithful. You are also sure that you are right and you are not ready to accept any expression of innocence.

4. Denying your need for control

You feel sick and tired of your partner's need to control you! You are fed up with her instructions! You can't stand her telling you what to do any more! You feel that taking some time away from her wouldn't hurt you. Why did you ever get into such a relationship in the first place, while all you wanted was someone calm and serene?


When you are not aware of our need for control, you are liable to perceive yourself as flexible and compromising. At the same time, you are liable to interpret your partner's behavior - even his/her innocent comments and suggestions - as attempts to control you, and you accuse him/her of being dominating and aggressive.

How to stop projecting onto your partner and maintain a satisfying relationship

The way to stop projecting onto your partner traits, emotions and behaviors which are part of you and cause repeated arguments, anger, conflicts and frustration, is by becoming aware of them, acknowledge and accept the fact that you possess them. You can then take responsibility for your traits and emotions, see how they are being expressed in your reactions and behaviors, stop projecting them onto your partner and become able to maintain a satisfying intimacy.

Doron Gil, Ph.D., a Self-Awareness and Relationships Expert, is a university teacher, workshop leader, counsellor and consultant is a. He is the author of many articles on the subject and of ""The Self-Awareness Guide to a Successful Intimate Relationship. Information on Dr. Gil's book:

To read any one of the many articles Dr. Gil has written on the subject:

Source: EzineArticles
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