When Your Relationship Ends: Do You Blame Yourself?

Blaming yourself for your relationship's failure to thrive is a most painful type of regret. Beating yourself for losing someone's love is true agony.

 

People often blame themselves for breakups, believing that their insecurity is what drove their partner away.

Another thing on which people blame their breakup is their own personal defects. They believe that their lackings, inadequacies, faults or negative behaviors drove away the person they love. They feel as if they've been condemned to involuntary aloneness as a form of personal punishment for their shortcomings.

People also blame the breakup on their supposed unworthiness. They feel they are lacking enough personal power to hold a person's love. In short, their pain during the breakup is coming from feeling unlovable, that they're somehow inherently lacking some essential ingredient of personal value. Otherwise, why would someone have thrown them away?

The truth is, we are all needy -- especially when we are attempting a new relationship, and especially when the person we are attached to isn't fulfilling our basic need for trust and security.

Unless we feel a mutual love and attachment coming from the other person, we can all become insecure and exhibit behaviors that are extreme and can drive the person further away.

The first step is to accept our humanness -- neediness and insecurity are part of the human condition (even if most people don't admit to them in public). The task is to accept yourself, warts and all. Don't expect to be perfect. Don't expect other people to validate your worth. You must do that yourself, even at this painful moment when you are believing yourself unworthy of a relationship. Stop looking to your ex to accept you. You must take 100 percent responsibility to give yourself the esteem that you need (that's why it's called self-esteem). Your task is to give yourself security; it's nobody else's job -- especially not your lover's. Only you can do this. And as you do, you will become emotionally self-reliant. Write your ex a thank you note for motivating you to finally develop self-regard and self-respect. Susan Anderson is a psychotherapist and the author of Journey From Heartbreak to Connection, Journey From Abandonment to Healing and Black Swan: Twelve Lessons of Abandonment Recovery. Through her books and www.abandonment.net, she reaches out to abandonment survivors and clients from all over the world.
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