taking responsibility in a breakup
November 12, 2013 10:56 AM Subscribe
How do you manage healing from a breakup when you contributed a lot to the problem?
posted by anonymous to Human Relations (18 answers total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
My girlfriend broke up with me last week. We were both struggling in a relationship where we dearly loved each other but had needs the other could not fulfil. This got us in unhealthy cycles and despite our best efforts it still didn't work.
She made the decision after a bad blowup where both of us were unkind to each other. I think she made the right call, but I didn't get the chance to tell her that. Even at the very end she told me she cared about me and wants to be friends someday but that time isn't now.
It took me a couple of days to realize how I was unkind to her at the very end leading up to the breakup. I can see why I did what I did (in terms of my mental and emotional state) but I'm not proud of throwing away all our hard work and regressing to patterns that didn't work. She regressed too and from what I can tell does feel some remorse, but I think she realised her actions before I did.
We're not in contact currently. I know that I don't have an opportunity to apologize or make amends anytime soon unless she indicates that she's open to talk (which may be a while, if ever). Trying to send a letter or anything of the sort (which some have suggested) would be an incredibly bad idea now.
I'm doing my best to work on myself, and I'm receiving a lot of support - which feels awkward, because I'm not innocent in the breakdown of the relationship. There were many things I did right in the relationship overall, and while I hope she can remember that I don't expect her to remember anything else but the last impression I gave her.
I've had mixed experiences with breakups - usually they've been cordial and friendships happen. She's only ever been with abusive exes (she keeps telling me I'm her first functional relationship) and this is the first breakup she's had where she still expressed care for the other person.
How do I balance self-acceptance and self-love without excusing myself for my behavior? I've learnt a lot about myself the past week and don't want to lose sight of that. Yet I feel weird when I have moments of calm acceptance of the situation because I feel like I'm being complacent ("oh well, too bad"). I know I'm not likely to ve able to make it up to her, unless we follow through on the desire for friendship, but how do I deal with myself while holding myself accountable? What do I do with the remorse? People tell me we fuck up and that's ok, but I hurt someone I love and I can't accept what I did as ok.
(I'm in therapy)