How to Stop Blaming Yourself for the Break Up

Are you playing the “blame game” after a break up – and you hate yourself for what happened? These tips on how to stop blaming yourself will help you accept the end of your relationship. I wrote this for a reader whose relationship ended in an unexpected break up. She can’t stop blaming herself, she can’t accept that her relationship is over.

break up blameIn Radical Acceptance: Embracing Your Life With the Heart of a Buddha, Tara Brach teaches the wisdom of radical acceptance. Accepting yourself – and whatever role you played in the break up – does not mean self-indulgence or passivity. Instead, it empowers genuine change: healing fear and shame and helping to build loving, authentic relationships. When we stop being at war with ourselves, we are free to live fully every precious moment of our lives.

In this article, I share four ways to stop blaming yourself after a break up. There are no easy answers, and I am 100% sure these tips won’t work for everyone! But you may find something here – a little seed of hope, support, or strength.

At the very least, you’ll see that you’re not alone.

On How to Let Go of Someone You Love, a reader said: I met a wonderful man a year ago, and from the start it was like I found my other half. But a few months back when all things were going perfect, he said something was missing. He gave me my key and left. He says he loves me but needs to be alone. I am having so much trouble letting go. With him I was so open and free. He asked me to wait for him to get his head together, but has limited his interactions with me and my kids who looked at him as a father. I need to move on but my heart is so broken I just want to cry. My kids need me to bounce back, to be an example for them with their own break ups in the future. How do I let go? How do I stop blaming myself for the break up?

4 Ways to Stop Blaming Yourself

Figure out what you did wrong. I can’t tell from the reader’s comment what she did “wrong” – and I don’t think she destroyed her relationship. She was there for her boyfriend, she did everything she could to keep the relationship open and healthy. If you blame yourself for the break up, can you identify what you did to end the relationship? If not, I don’t understand why you’re blaming yourself. Why are you carrying a burden that isn’t even yours?

If you did something morally, ethically, or legally wrong, then you have some work to do. Read How to Forgive Yourself for Having an Affair – the tips on self-forgiveness will help you stop blaming yourself if you caused the break up.

Accept that your ex is dealing with his own issues. When my sister stopped talking to me, I blamed myself. I didn’t know what I did wrong, but I was sure I must’ve been a bad sister somehow. I was selfish, rude, inconsiderate, thoughtless, unsupportive, unloving….right? Wrong. My sister cut me out of her life because of her issues, not because of anything I did wrong. It’s actually quite selfish and egotistical of me to think that everything that happens is because of my actions and choices! Sometimes other people make choices because of their own problems, which have nothing to do with us. This tip on how to stop blaming yourself for the break up is about releasing control and letting go of your ego.

Surrender. “Life is a series of natural and spontaneous changes. Don’t resist them; that only creates sorrow. Let reality be reality. Let things flow naturally forward in whatever way they like.” – Lao Tzu. I think I’ll include surrender and acceptance in every tip I write in my articles on love and relationships, because surrender and acceptance brings freedom and peace. Don’t you want freedom and peace? Of course you do. And you can have it, but you have to do the work of surrendering. Acceptance takes a surprising amount of work…until it doesn’t. It gets easy.

break up blame

How to Stop Blaming Yourself for the Break Up

Find something meaningful in your life – other than your relationship. You want to set a good example for your kids? Don’t make your relationship the focus of your life. Set your life up to revolve around something bigger, more meaningful, and more fulfilling than a man. Me, I choose God. My spiritual life is what sustained me through infertility, a schizophrenic mother, a sister who can’t be with me, and various other disappointments and losses. I don’t blame myself for my sister “breaking up” with me anymore, and I accept her for who she is.

If you can’t see past the break up, read How to Emotionally Detach From Someone You Care About.

My prayer for you as you learn how to stop blaming yourself for the break up is that you find peace and acceptance. May you connect with God, and find a meaningful presence in your life that doesn’t involve man. May you find a source of joy and passion that enhances your relationships, but allows you to remain strong, peaceful, and happy even when you lose a loved one. May you become spiritually and emotionally happy, so you can accept whatever life brings. And, may you trust God that your life is unfolding exactly the way it should.

Can you stop blaming yourself for the break up – do you even want to? Sometimes we play the blame game after a relationship ends as a way of staying attached. We don’t want to let go, so we hold on to the one thing we think we have control over.

I welcome your thoughts on how to stop blaming yourself for the break up.

Leave a Reply

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

3 thoughts on “How to Stop Blaming Yourself for the Break Up”

  1. Thank you for this article. It has been exactly 6 months since my fiancé broke up with me out of the blue and blamed everything on me. I was an absolute wreck. I was completely consumed by the break up. We went from planning our wedding to him wanting nothing to do with me. He said I took up too much of his time and he didn’t get to spend enough time doing what he wanted and that we also ate out too much and spent too much time going places. Devastated would be an understatement to describe what I felt. I took all of the blame that he placed on me and magnified it times 10. I really did not think I would get through it. I started talking to my pastor and seeing a therapist and taking anti anxiety and anti depression medicine. I’ve strengthened my relationship with God and I’m doing better but the guilt still weighs on my heart. I just wish I could completely let go, but I never thought this would happen, I thought I would be with him forever.

    1. Hi Julia,

      I just wanted to say I know how you feel. My partner left me after two years. The fourth time actually that he left when things got tough. He was not a very good communicator and rarely spoke about things he wanted to improve on or was concerned about, and I had a lot of panic attacks during the relationship. We were classic fight and flight and to have someone completely cut off from you and even get angry at you for experiencing mental health problems is damaging. I thought we had gotten through the worst but history repeated itself. It has been nearly a month for me and the anxiety, depression and self blame is debilitating. But you know what, the above article is right. You gotta have faith. I am so sorry that this trauma has occurred for you but I’d be willing to bet that anyone who felt so deeply was also someone who gave an incredible amount of love in the relationship. And I bet you never would of given up either. I hope that we both find a man who is deserving of such love. And someone who doesn’t give up and make us do all the work!

      Much love from Australia.

    2. Hi Julia!

      I just wanted to leave a few words of comfort for you. When my fiancee left me a month before the wedding I felt as if I was completely alone in what happened. And it is so not true. Things like that happen. I was devastated for months, depressed for years (it happened 9 years ago). But that one event changed me in so many ways – it in fact made me who I am today. I started dreaming bigger and following my dreams. I allowed myself to change prospective at the world and in the last 9 years I have been to a lot of fascinating places and have met a hundred very inspiring people. I discovered an artists within me and finally I feel happy and content with self. Still looking for the right man but at least I again believe he exists and one day I will meet him.

      The only thing that comforts my heart in dark times is poetry and art. They offer an incredible tool to heal from within.

      May you find peace with self and follwo your passion.

      Kindest regards from Russia,