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Dealing with blaming yourself after a breakup


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Hi,

 

Just over a week ago my ex boyfriend broke up with me over the phone. We both met at uni- he was the year below me. We had been together for 8 months which isn’t too long but I felt like things were going really well. I had been on holiday with his family and we had plans for the future. I had fallen head over heels for him to the point where I thought about him all the time and I just wanted to do anything I could to make him happy.

 

For the first six months, things were great! He made me feel so special and confident about things I had insecurities over. However, this year I completed my undergraduate degree, and over the last month I had started to feel a bit lost and had began to have anxiety about the future. I have begun a masters degree at the same uni but it has been very slow to start and I feel like I’m undergoing a massive change. This has triggered me to become very anxious and I began to feel like there was a change in our relationship. Whenever I tried to discuss these insecurities about my worries and lack of self-confidence he didn’t seem to want to talk about it and told me that ‘I’d be fine’. I had so much free time while he was really busy with the start of his final year at uni. I tried my best to keep myself occupied but he seemed to become more and more withdrawn and started to prioritise his spare time to be spent with friends. I started to panic that maybe I was too keen and apologised to him multiple times if I ever came off ‘too intense’.

 

One night last week I got really drunk and ended up drunkenly telling him that I didn’t think he was as into me as I was into him and that I felt like our relationship had changed. He was disgusted with me the next morning, and made me feel as if I’d done something terrible like cheat on him. I gave him some space and then that afternoon he phoned me to ‘talk’ where I apologised and told him that I wanted to make things work and find some solutions to how we had been feeling lately but he wouldn’t listen and broke up with me over the phone.

 

I don’t know how to get past these feelings that I am to blame. I keep convincing myself that my poor mental health over the last month has ruined our relationship and that if I’d not started that argument this wouldn’t have happened. I don’t know how to get out of this cycle of blame. Rationally I know if this was going to work long term he would have been willing to try and supported me through my confidence issues. But I just can’t understand how after so many happy moments he could dump me in the way he did so out of the blue :( how do I get away from all this self blame?

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I think you are under a lot of stress in your life and that has naturally affected your relationship. It’s normal to sometimes feel anxious and uncertain in your relationship. The important thing is how you communicate that your partner. Ranting to him over a drunken phone call is obviously inappropriate and not conducive. However, after giving him space, he should have listened to your concerns and provided support, if that’s what you needed. Instead he is dismissing your feelings. A relationship is about supporting each other even during hard times. To me, it seems he buckled under pressure and looked for the easy way out.

 

You seem more invested in this than he is. You should reflect on this imbalance.

 

Self blame isn’t productive, especially if it simply boils down to emotional incompatibility. He may not be able to give you the kind of support you require. Find some ways to manage or ease your anxiety. Maybe talk to a professional who can help you during this turmoil. Take this time to focus on your needs.

 

Best of luck!

Edited by Chloee1988
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Hi,

 

Just over a week ago my ex boyfriend broke up with me over the phone. We both met at uni- he was the year below me. We had been together for 8 months which isn’t too long but I felt like things were going really well. I had been on holiday with his family and we had plans for the future. I had fallen head over heels for him to the point where I thought about him all the time and I just wanted to do anything I could to make him happy.

 

For the first six months, things were great! He made me feel so special and confident about things I had insecurities over. However, this year I completed my undergraduate degree, and over the last month I had started to feel a bit lost and had began to have anxiety about the future. I have begun a masters degree at the same uni but it has been very slow to start and I feel like I’m undergoing a massive change. This has triggered me to become very anxious and I began to feel like there was a change in our relationship. Whenever I tried to discuss these insecurities about my worries and lack of self-confidence he didn’t seem to want to talk about it and told me that ‘I’d be fine’. I had so much free time while he was really busy with the start of his final year at uni. I tried my best to keep myself occupied but he seemed to become more and more withdrawn and started to prioritise his spare time to be spent with friends. I started to panic that maybe I was too keen and apologised to him multiple times if I ever came off ‘too intense’.

 

One night last week I got really drunk and ended up drunkenly telling him that I didn’t think he was as into me as I was into him and that I felt like our relationship had changed. He was disgusted with me the next morning, and made me feel as if I’d done something terrible like cheat on him. I gave him some space and then that afternoon he phoned me to ‘talk’ where I apologised and told him that I wanted to make things work and find some solutions to how we had been feeling lately but he wouldn’t listen and broke up with me over the phone.

 

I don’t know how to get past these feelings that I am to blame. I keep convincing myself that my poor mental health over the last month has ruined our relationship and that if I’d not started that argument this wouldn’t have happened. I don’t know how to get out of this cycle of blame. Rationally I know if this was going to work long term he would have been willing to try and supported me through my confidence issues. But I just can’t understand how after so many happy moments he could dump me in the way he did so out of the blue :( how do I get away from all this self blame?

 

I have been through something like your scenario fairly recently, but from the guy's perspective.

 

Firstly I'll point out the obvious that I highlighted in bold. They scream out "insecure, clingy, needy".

 

No matter how wonderful your SO seems, you should not put him on a pedestal and you should not live your life around his wants and desires. (You decided to do a Master's course at your uni just to stay around for another year didn't you?) The moment you do that, you lose your power in your relationship and your partner loses some respect for you. "Doing everything you can to make him happy" will not make him love you or appreciate you, at best it just feels nice and boosts his ego, but over time he will take you for granted and whatever comes easily is not valued and treasured.

 

Think about it, if your man was cripplingly insecure, clingy, emotional, needy, indecisive etc... would you have found him attractive? The only reason anyone puts up with such a partner is if they are also suffering from similar issues, and the two form a toxic co-dependent relationship that breaks down as soon as one party moves beyond their shackles.

 

In my case, I was drawn to my ex because of her radiant beauty, positivity and kindness. I was thrilled that she liked me too, I genuinely felt that she was out of my league at the start of our relationship. However, to cut a very long story short, once we were in a relationship, and as I started to make personal progress in life, I realized that she was very co-dependent and clingy... I loved her, I truly did, so I tried very hard to make things work, but eventually it took an emotional toll, I felt exhausted trying to support her all the time and I became increasingly resentful that it felt like she was holding me back. The more she clung on to hold onto a flagging relationship, the more suffocating it became for me, until it became unbearable, and I had to end things before she smothered me with kindness and love. It was a very difficult process and agonizing over it is what brought me to this forum, but I do not regret it.

 

Aside from my core point above, I just want to add, you should be aware that literally 90%+ of university relationships do not survive the end of university. It is a very unique transitional period in peoples' lives, where you are usually living independently for the first time with young people around your age... a lot of people just want to have a good time and experience new things, new people... Not a lot of people are seriously looking for life partners at that stage in their lives.

 

Your relationship is over, chalk it up as a life lesson and move on. Work on yourself, focus on your education and career, develop your social life, hobbies etc... your confidence should naturally improve, if it remains a serious issue, seek therapy to understand why you suffer with low self-esteem and co-dependent tendencies. Make yourself a fuller, healthier, wiser and more interesting individual, then the guys will come naturally, and unlike with this guy, you might then have the substance to keep him interested and thrilled to have you in his life. You should not settle for any less.

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