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Table 1 List of themes and proposed items for the Relationship Sabotage Scale

From: The relationship sabotage scale: an evaluation of factor analyses and constructive validity


Proposed items

Partner attack

1. I often criticise my partner

2. I tend to focus on the things my partner does not do well

3. When I think about my partner, I focus on the things that attracted me in the first place

4. I communicate well with my partner

5. Fights with my partner often end with yelling and name calling

Partner pursue

6. I like to know what my partner is doing when we are not together

7. I understand if my partner does not reply to my text or phone call straight away

8. I get upset about how much time my partner spends with their friends

9. I get anxious when I think about my partner breaking up with me

10. I check-in with my partner after arguments to see if we are still okay

11. I like to check if my partner still loves me

Partner withdraw

12. I sometimes hide my emotions from my partner

13. I prefer to avoid fighting with my partner as I do not like conflict

14. I try not to get too intensely involved in romantic relationships

15. I like to discuss issues in the relationship with my partner

16. Sometimes I feel that distancing myself from the relationship is the best approach

17. Sometimes I spend time with my friends or go online to have a break from the relationship


18. I get blamed unfairly for issues in my relationship

19. I often feel misunderstood by my partner

20. I have valid reasons for when things go wrong in the relationship

21. I feel like I am unlucky in romantic relationships

22. I feel like I am always being tested in my relationships as to whether or not I am a good partner

23. I constantly feel criticised by my partner


24. The way my partner behaves sometimes makes me feel embarrassed

25. I feel like my partner is ashamed of me

26. When I notice that my partner is upset, I try to put myself in their shoes so I can understand where they are coming from

27. I feel respected by my partner

28. My partner makes me feel a lesser person

Self-esteem issues

29. I feel like I always fail at relationships

30. I am the reason why there are issues in my relationships

31. The success of my romantic relationships reflects how I feel about myself

32. I would do a lot better in my relationships if I just tried harder

33. I feel that I am not worthy of my partner

Controlling tendency

34. I like to have control over my partner’s spending

35. I would respect my partner’s decision to leave me if that is what they want

36. I sometimes pretend I am sick to prevent my partner from getting upset with me

37. I believe that to keep my partner safe I need to know where my partner is

38. When it comes to my relationship with my partner I know best

Lack of relationship skills

39. I believe that I do not have to change how I am in relationships

40. I am open to finding solutions and working out issues in the relationship

41. I will admit to my partner if I know I am wrong about something

42. I am open to my partner telling me about things I should do to improve our relationship

Trust difficulty

43. I find it difficult to trust my romantic partners

44. I often get jealous of my partner

45. I sometimes check my partner’s social media profiles

46. I do not always believe when my partner tells me where they have been or who they have been with

Destructive tendency

47. I like to spoil myself more than I should

48. I enjoy partying and I am always looking to have a good time

49. My partner often complains about how much money I spend

50. My partner often complains I drink too much

Attitude to affairs

51. I would forgive my partner if I found out they had an affair

52. I believe having affairs is part of being in a romantic relationship

53. My partner should forgive me if I have affairs

54. If I have an affair it will be because my partner neglects me

Relationship belief

55. If my relationship is not working, I will end it and look for another one

56. I do not waste time in relationships that are not working

57. I believe someday I will have a great romantic relationship with someone

58. I believe that some relationships are doomed from the start

59. I am happy when I feel like my relationship is just meant to be

60. A successful relationship takes hard work and perseverance

  1. Reverse questions—3, 4, 7, 15, 26, 27, 35, 40, 41, 42, 57, 60