Breakup Guilt: How To Get Over Breakup Anxiety And Move On?

 / 

,
breakup guilt get over breakup anxiety and move on

When thinking about life, remember this: no amount of guilt can solve the past and no amount of anxiety can change the future. Breakups are similar. Relationships end for many reasons. But the feeling of being responsible for your partner’s well-being makes it difficult for you to get over the breakup anxiety and move on.

When your head says you need to break up a relationship or you have broken up a relationship but your heart is pulling you back and flooding you with guilt over it.

I hear this a lot, especially from people who have been in relationships that are dysfunctional and/or abusive relationships. Their head tells them this relationship is not good for them, but they just can’t shake off the feelings of guilt.

It’s complex.
It may be guilt over the fact that “I’ve failed”.
I failed to fix that relationship.
I did everything I could but nothing fixed that relationship.

It’s guilt over: I couldn’t rescue my partner.

Often in relationships like this, the emotionally abusive or dysfunctional partner has deep childhood wounds and difficult past relationships or whatever it is they tell you is the cause of their pain and insecurity.

You see them and feel: I can be enough for both of us. If I love them enough, I can show them they’re worthy of love. I can love them more than anyone has ever loved them ever before.

So when it breaks down, you feel guilt over the fact you’ve failed. Your love wasn’t enough to save them. You also feel guilt you’ve failed your children because you couldn’t keep the family together.

Anxiety Over A Breakup And Guilt

Breakup guilt and anxiety

There is a lot of deep-seated anxiety over leaving that relationship. But it goes even deeper than that. Often when we’re in these dysfunctional relationships, we’re spending most of the time trying to fix them and save the relationship.

We are so full of empathy and care for their needs at the expense of our own. We take on more responsibility for that relationship than we should. We become their mother, their therapist, and their shoulder to cry on.

And that’s not what a healthy relationship is about.

A narcissist will manipulate this too in a codependent relationship. It’s convenient for them to have you take on most of the burden of the relationship. That way they can blame you when things go wrong.

Read How A Narcissist Plays You And How Their Cycle Of Abuse Works

They tell you they’re going to get help and change as a means to get you back and once they have, it all goes out the window. You’ll get blamed for not being ‘supportive enough’. If you’re their therapist and that therapy doesn’t work, then it’s your fault.

You just can’t win.

So, quite often this breakup guilt is tied up with the role you’ve been playing. This feeling of guilt you’ve failed to make that relationship work.

Why are you a failure?

You’re not responsible for another adult’s moods and behavior or for their happiness.
You are not their parent.
They are an adult.
You are not their therapist.
You are not responsible.

Neither are you to blame even if it’s convenient for them to put that responsibility onto you so they don’t have to take action or be accountable for their behavior.

Now it goes even deeper than this.

Related video:

Codependent Relationships

We often go into dysfunctional relationships so that we can play the role of rescuer, fixer, and savior. We deny all our own needs in favor of theirs. But this can be an avoidance technique.

A way to numb ourselves from seeing that actually, it’s us that needs rescuing and saving.

Bear with me here … I’ll try to explain this.

Read Codependent Relationships: Takers and Caretakers

While I thought my ex was needier and more damaged than I even realized I was, I was able to convince myself there was nothing wrong with me. But I was codependent and my happiness depended on him and that relationship. When I couldn’t fix him, save our relationship, or keep our family together, I felt a huge sense of guilt.

If your self-worth and sense of self-esteem are tied up to that relationship and the rescue of it, then there’s a deep sense of shame and failure attached to when you can’t. But by going into a relationship with a very damaged, needy, and emotionally unavailable person, from the beginning you’re setting yourself up to fail.

So, it’s worth looking at your role in dysfunctional relationships as well. I promise I’m not victim-blaming here. Yes, they’re to blame if there’s coercive control and abuse involved. Yes, you are a victim if there is. But there are also things about us that we can take responsibility for.

I found that quite liberating because once I realized I couldn’t change him or save the relationship, it followed that what was within my grasp was that I could change me.

That was far less exhausting. And also possible.

I had to look hard at the role I had played. There was a part of me that went into that relationship with someone needy and damaged because I felt I could have some control. When I was playing the role of his therapist and savior it made me feel wanted, needed, and loved. I felt secure.

But the more this revealed weakness in him, the more insecure he would feel. He needed to gain control over me again. The more he suppressed and controlled me, the more powerful he’d feel. But then it would tip over the edge into abuse and physical violence and he’d fear he was about to lose me.

I stepped back into the role of therapist and tried to help him, as he vowed to change. Subconsciously I thought that if I am with someone who’s needy and damaged and be the one who healed his wounds, he’ll never leave me.

And that felt good. Because, I know now, I secretly had a fear of abandonment. I was terrified of that.

So why not pick a guy who’s got issues of his own? He won’t abandon me because he needs me so much as his rescuer and therapist. But that’s not the path to lasting happiness. I always say that painful emotions are messengers to teach us about ourselves.

Read 8 Ways Your Fear and Insecurity Is Sabotaging Your Relationship

So, ask yourself, why are these feelings of guilt stirring inside of me? Could it be that you feel: I’m not good enough. I’m wasn’t lovable enough for them to change for me.

The fact is, they might never change and that has nothing to do with you.

Because they’re like an empty bucket with holes inside. If they’re depending on you, leaning on you to make them happy and fulfill all their needs, you can’t and you never will. The more you try to prove to them, the more your efforts will just keep draining out of those holes.

And if you do the same as I did, which is to focus on fixing them to avoid being still within yourself, you’ll never heal. It might be an uncomfortable truth to face that deep down you don’t feel good enough. You don’t feel worthy or lovable enough to have a relationship with someone who is emotionally available to you. I didn’t.

My fear of abandonment was so great, that when I found a man like this it terrified me. I couldn’t control him. He didn’t have the need for my fixing or rescuing him. I couldn’t cope with that, so I tried to push him away.

Emotional availability revealed my vulnerability.

Subconsciously I thought: what if he sees the real me who is unlovable and unworthy? He’ll run a mile and I will be abandoned, which is my greatest fear. So, I’m gonna push him away first before he breaks up with me and hurts me.

It’s a really complex lot of emotions and feelings that get bundled up in this breakup guilt. Another thing is a desperate need for closure.

You get pulled back because you want closure and for them to admit you are lovable and that everything you did for them was in their best interests and out of love.

But again I ask: why do you need that?
Because chances are you’re looking to outside sources to validate you and give you approval. In a way, you too are like an empty bucket with holes in.

Read Why You Don’t Need Closure To Move On

How To Let Go Of Breakup Guilt

You need to find that happiness and sense of security from within instead of looking to them for it. Especially someone who is incapable of giving you this.

Self-esteem, self-worth, and self-acceptance are key. The bottom line is, you haven’t failed. You have nothing to be blamed for or feel guilty about. Sometimes, you just have to accept that you can’t fix another person or a relationship.

And if they’re not willing to put the years of hard work into it well then ask yourself:

Are they good enough for you anyway?
Are you projecting onto them?
Are you stopping yourself from moving forward and on with your life because you’re clinging onto the hope that one day they’re going to mean it when they say I’m going to change?

If that’s the case I’d ask yourself this: what does unconditional love mean? It means loving somebody for exactly who they are right now.

Do you love them AND like them just the way they are?
Are you happy to be in that relationship if they never, ever change?
Will you accept them for who they are and one day look back on that relationship with no regrets?

If you’re wasting your life waiting and hoping for the day this fantasy person might come. You know, not the one they are now, but the person they might one day become in the future if you can just prove to them you love them enough.

You could be waiting for a lifetime. Life’s too short and precious. Don’t waste it hoping for closure that may never come.

Codependency Recovery

Dysfunctional relationships and abusive relationships are not normal healthy relationships. I’m sure you know that deep down. Listen to your gut.

Is this relationship good enough for you or not? If it’s not and you’ve made that decision to leave already then let go of that guilt. It’s a self-limiting belief. You have no need for it.

Replace this with positive affirmations and the belief that you are worthy. You are good enough. You’re more than good enough to deserve a healthy, loving, lasting relationship.

A companionship that enriches you and enhances your life into old age. This is what I have now. Well, not quite into old age yet, but middle-age! And it feels great. If I had clung to that fantasy and guilt for failing to fix my past abusive relationship, I would have missed out on the incredible opportunities, relationship, and life I have now.

Let go of breakup guilt. Forget closure you may never get. Keep moving forward and never look back.

Related: Motivation Such an Aggravation: Affirmations and How to Take Them


Written by Vivian Mc Grath
Originally appeared on VivianMcGrath.com
Breakup Guilt Get Over Move On pin
breakup guilt get over breakup anxiety and move on pin
Ads

— Share —

— About the Author —

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *



Up Next

6 Worst Types Of Breakups Hard To Get Over: Heartbreak Hall Of Fame

Worst Types Of Breakups: The Heartbreak Hall Of Fame

Welcome to the land of breakups, where we put a magnifying glass on the most chaotic and worst types of breakups that can make even the strongest hearts feel a whole lotta pain. Being in love is a beautiful experience, isn’t it? However, there’s always a risk of things not working out, but that’s the risk you take when you fall for someone, right?

Breakups are never pleasant, and they always hurt. But, but, but. There’re 6 types of painful breakups that just knock the wind out of you, and these are probably the worst types of breakups, in my humble opinion.

In this article, we will look at some of the worst t



Up Next

3 Ways That Grudge Dumping Destroys Relationships

Ways That Grudge Dumping Destroys Relationships

Dealing with frustration in a relationship is sometimes a very normal thing to experience. But some people let their frustration get the better of themselves, and end up grudge dumping their partner. This article is going to talk about experiencing frustration in relationships, and how grudge dumping destroys relationships.

KEY POINTS

Frustration is a natural part of any intimate relationship; grudge dumping isn’t.

Pent-up frustration can lead to temper tantrums, explosive arguments, and words designed to produce maximum hurt.

Healthy ways to process frustration in a relationship includ



Up Next

Feeling Alone In The Season of Togetherness? 5 Tips To Cope With Loneliness On Holidays

Feeling Loneliness On Holidays? Tips To Brighten Your Days

Winter celebrations like Christmas, Hanukkah, or Kwanzaa are all about having fun with friends and family. But sometimes, even with all the happiness around, you might get the feeling of loneliness on holidays.

If you’re dealing with bouts of loneliness, it’s important to know that you’re not the only one, and there are ways to deal with it. Dealing with long-lasting loneliness might need some special help. But there are also simple things you can do when you’re feeling lonely during the holidays.

This guide is here to help you understand and handle holiday loneliness. We’ll give you easy tips to feel better and enjoy the festive season more. Let’s beat those holiday blues together with simple steps and support. Happy holidays!



Up Next

Can You Be Friends With Your Ex? Exploring The Complexities of Post-Breakup Relationships

Can You Be Friends With Your Ex? Expert Tips To Consider

Breaking up with someone you once loved and cared deeply for is never easy. It often leaves us feeling confused, hurt, and uncertain about the future. In the aftermath of a breakup, one question that frequently arises is, “Can you be friends with your ex?” 

It’s a topic that sparks curiosity, debate, and even skepticism. Let’s explore the complexities of maintaining a friendship with an ex-partner, examining both the potential benefits and challenges that come with this unique dynamic.

Can You Be Friends with Your Ex?

The short answer is yes! It’s possible to be friends with your



Up Next

4 Zodiac Signs Who Fall Out Of Love In October 2023

Zodiac Signs Who Fall Out Of Love And Breakup In October

October is often associated with positivity and good fortune, it can also be a month of endings and heartbreak. Here are 4 zodiac signs who fall out of love this month!

But remember, sometimes you have to go through the dark to appreciate the light that’s on the horizon.

This October, zodiac signs that fall out of love easily will have to face the end of their relationships, and interestingly, they may have sensed it coming. Astrologically speaking, October is marked by significant planetary movements that affect our love lives, including the influence of Lilith, known for its disruptive impact.



Up Next

Unpacking Parentification Trauma: The Burden of Growing Up Too Soon

What Is Parentification Trauma? Seven Types, Effects and Healing

The excitement of childhood is beautiful, when your biggest worry was whether your favorite cartoon was on TV. Some kids don’t have a childhood as carefree. Parentification trauma becomes a real issue when a child is thrust into the shoes of a grown-up.

The child takes on responsibilities beyond their years. It’s like playing a role in a movie you didn’t audition for. This is the reality for those who’ve experienced the issue – a lesser-known yet impactful challenge that shapes lives in unexpected ways.

What is Parentification Trauma?

It might be your question, though–what is parentification trauma? The trauma occurs when a child is placed in a role that reverses their expected position within the family dynamic.



Up Next

Celebrity Breakup Lessons: Six Things To Learn From Celebrity Breakups

Six Celebrity Breakup Lessons You Must Know

Celebrity marriages, no matter how passionate and glamorous, face their own challenges, as they too must navigate the realities of day-to-day life together. Celebrity breakups are very common nowadays and hence here are some celebrity breakup lessons you can learn.

The intense scrutiny of Hollywood and constant paparazzi presence can exact a significant toll. Additionally, the dynamics can shift over time, especially for female movie stars, given the industry’s emphasis on youth.

Similarly, high net-worth couples may encounter similar issues, with the pressure to maintain a certain image. In such cases, there is a tendency for the concept of a “trophy wife” to come into play, where appearances play a significant role in the relationship.

For example, According to People Magazine, a source close t