In my office building, there is a poster of four cyclists in the 1920 Tour de France. Two of them are smoking and one is leaning over to give a fellow cyclist a few puffs of his cigarette. None are wearing helmets.
They are fit, lean and in it to win it. They have trained long and hard for this arduous competition. They have no idea that they are putting themselves in danger of invisible concussion brain injury or lung cancer. They have no idea that smoking is putting a deathly black coat on the lungs that they need to function at maximum capacity. They have no clue that they are unintentionally obstructing the very thing they want most.
This is one example, but there are many. People who have been going to the gym all their life only to discover now that the old way of working out is actually injuring and weakening certain muscles. People who sprawled on the beach soaked in baby oil to get that 'healthy' sun-tanned glow only to find out it was a death sentence. At one time Heroin was put in cough syrup and touted to cure coughs, colds and general irritation, which I'm sure it did! Until the discovery that it also messed with brain chemistry in a life-threatening sort of way.
My point is that there are many examples of times when we believe we are doing something good for ourselves but in actuality we are doing something destructive. I, as well as others, have called this sabotage. However, as a client accurately pointed out recently, sabotage is a military term referring to the deliberate destruction or obstruction of a designed outcome. The way I use it in relationships it is definitely destructive and obstructing what we really want, but it is not deliberate. It is unconscious, unintentional and reflexive. It is a blind habit rather than a calculated plan. So I am dubbing this "habotage."
Habotage is rampant in relationships. I see it everywhere. There are so many of us (all of us actually) who think we are doing what's good for ourselves and our family but instead we end up exactly where we did not want to be. We throw up our hands in frustration, despair and bewilderment without any clue about how we ourselves have participated in obstructing the very thing that we claim to want most.
It's hard to figure this out on our own sometimes. If you notice yourself thinking "what just happened? How did I end up here again? Why is she so mad at me when I was only trying to help? Why does he say or do that for no reason? Why do I always find myself feeling hurt, lost, misunderstood, inadequate, awkward, wrong, sad or angry in relationships?" then you may be habotaging. And if you can't quite put the pieces together by yourself, call me.
I can help.