8 Healthy Ways to Deal With Guilt After a Breakup

The breakup was the right decision, but you feel guilty about breaking up. How do you deal with breakup guilt? These tips will help you find the patience, acceptance and self-forgiveness you need to let go of guilty feelings and move forward with faith and joy.

In Escaping Toxic Guilt: Five Proven Steps to Free Yourself from Guilt for Good!, Susan Carrell shares healthy, practical tips for dealing with guilty feelings. She’ll help you recognize the difference between good guilt and toxic guilt – an important distinction! Learn how to recognize how boundaries protect you from unnecessary guilt, how to deal with disapproval after breaking up with someone everyone else loves, and how to find freedom and self-acceptance.

Learning how to deal with breakup guilt is crucial to living a life of peace, joy and bliss. You have this one life; your job is to live as fully and deeply as you can…and to avoid letting the darkness overpower your light. “This is all you have,” says therapist Laura Schlessinger. “This is not a dry run. This is your life. If you want to fritter it away with your fears, then you will fritter it away, but you won’t get it back later.” Guilt will eat you away and destroy your life if you let it continue to fester and grow.

Are you spending a great deal of time and energy feeling guilty because you broke up with someone? Your life is too precious to spend feeling guilty for doing what you think is best for you, and perhaps what was best for your ex. I know it’s easier to say “stop feeling guilty after the breakup” than it is to actually change how you feel. It takes time to change your thought patterns, especially if you’ve been thinking this way for years.

Remember that – in the long run – staying in this relationship would’ve been more destructive and painful than the breakup. The short-term heartache and pain is healthier than staying with someone you don’t belong.

How to Stop Feeling Guilty After the Breakup

On Dealing With Guilt After Your Marriage Breaks Up, a reader says she feels so guilty and bad for leaving her husband that she can’t sleep. She can’t stay in the relationship, yet she feels so guilty for breaking up her marriage.

How do you deal with feelings of guilt and regret after breaking up with someone? These ideas may help you find freedom from the heavy burden of guilty feelings.

1. Identify appropriate guilt

How to Stop Feeling Guilty After the Breakup
How to Stop Feeling Guilty After the Breakup

It’s normal and even healthy to feel guilty about the breakup if you did something wrong, such as using your boyfriend for his money or professional contacts and then breaking up with him. “Real” guilt is an appropriate and healthy response for wrongdoing. If you weren’t your best self in your relationship, then you need to make amends.

This doesn’t necessarily mean getting back together with your boyfriend or girlfriend, but it could mean apologizing for whatever you did wrong. But even if you didn’t act well or make the best choices in your relationship with your boyfriend, you still need to forgive yourself and move on. I know this is easier said than done. If you can’t forgive yourself, you might consider getting help from a counselor who can help you work through your feelings of guilt and shame.

2. Learn about inappropriate guilt

Do you feel guilty because your ex-boyfriend is manipulating your emotions with apologies, pleas, or promises for the future? Do you feel guilty because your parents or friends wish you were back together with your boyfriend?

Get help if your ex is threatening to harm him or herself. This is a difficult and scary situation to face, partly because you love him and partly because it’s so psychologically and emotionally manipulative! Your boyfriend or ex boyfriend may not even be deliberately trying to manipulate you. Get outside help if you’re dealing with this. This goes beyond “just” dealing with guilty feelings in a relationship.

3. Remember what you did right in your relationship

To stop feeling guilty after breaking up with someone, focus on the things you did well! Remind yourself of the times you were loving, attentive, generous, kind, and compassionate in your relationship. Even if you initiated the breakup, you didn’t ruin the relationship. The relationship was already ruined…you just decided to end it for good and move on. That is not something to feel guilty about.

Yes, you hurt your ex. Breakups are painful. Broken hearts hurt. But, you have to be able to be true to yourself, to listen to the still small voice inside of you that knows what you need to do. You did the best you could in this relationship, and now you need to move on.

4. Remember that the breakup happened for a reason

You had your reasons for breaking up with your ex-boyfriend. Even if your friends, family, coworkers, or ex-boyfriend don’t understand those reasons doesn’t mean the breakup less valid. To stop feeling guilty after breaking up with someone, you need to trust that you made the right decision. Listen to your gut.

There was a reason you had to let go of the relationship. Though it’s painful now, it’s the right decision in the long run.

5. Notice who or what makes you feel guilty about the breakup

Does your best friend wish you and your ex-boyfriend didn’t break up because she has a crush on his brother or best friend? Is your mother crushed that you broke up with your ex because she wants grandchildren? Is your ex making you feel guilty because you made his life sweet and easy, he walked all over you, and he misses you underneath him?

One of the best tips on how to stop feeling guilty after the breakup is to figure out who is behind your emotions. Then, you need to stand up to or stay away from that person.

“When you dare to follow your dreams, dare to suffer through the pain, sacrifice, self-doubts, and friction from the world, you will impress yourself,” says Dr Laura. Impressing yourself is more important than impressing all the ex’s, parents, friends and coworkers in the world. Do you dare to forgive yourself, to let go of the guilt?

If you can’t get rid of the breakup guilt because of the way you broke up, read How to Deal With Breakup Stress.

6. See guilt as a spiritual and emotional obstacle

feel guilt after breaking up
How to Stop Feeling Guilty After the Breakup

Whether or not you believe on God or Jesus Christ, guilt is an obstacle to your spiritual and emotional growth. Read Vickie Kraft’s thoughts on The Burden of Guilt. She says that we are cleansed and forgiven by God so we can serve Him (Hebrews 9:14).

“Guilt keeps us from serving God,” says Vickie. “Yet God can even use the sins we have committed to make us more effective in our work for Him. Only when we refuse God’s provision for forgiveness, for cleansing, and for a new beginning are we incapacitated by our past sins. That’s why it is important for us to remember that Satan wants us to be immobilized by guilt.”

If your guilty feelings are standing in the way between you and God, then the enemy wins. There is nothing good that comes from feeling guilty – even if you really did hurt the person you broke up with. The enemy’s main purpose is to stop us from loving God and living in freedom. In Scripture, Satan is called the “accuser” of believers.

7. Recognize the voice of the enemy – which will keep you trapped in guilt

“If you continue to feel guilty for forgiven sins, you are hearing the voice of the enemy, not the Holy Spirit,” writes Vickie. “Satan is a liar. Reject the fiery darts he shoots at your mind by holding up the shield of faith in the finished work of your Savior, and the devil will flee from you. If guilt is the obstacle that has kept you from growing in your spiritual life, won’t you lay down your burden at the cross? Accept God’s forgiveness. Let Him cleanse your conscience. And commit yourself to living in obedience to God’s Word and to the guidance of the Holy Spirit, who lives within you. Your burden of guilt will be lifted – once and for all.”

“Forgiveness is like faith. You have to keep reviving it.” – Mason Cooley.

8. Learn how to let go of someone you love

letting go of someone you love laurie pawlik she blossoms

In How to Let of Someone You Love: 3 Powerful Secrets (and 75 Tips!) for Healing Your Heart, I share valuable insights and comfort for women who want to learn how to stop feeling guilty after a breakup or divorce.

It’s an ebook, so it’s immediately available. It’s about much more than dealing with guilty feelings after breaking up. This ebook will help you move forward in your life.

Do you feel guilty after the breakup even though you know it’s better to be apart than together? Feel free to share your thoughts and feelings below. Or, you might go straight to Overcoming Setbacks to Healing After a Breakup.


Leave a Reply

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

81 thoughts on “8 Healthy Ways to Deal With Guilt After a Breakup”

  1. i gave my innocence to an exchange student and things went down…. later years i left a girl with a tumor, i literally left the relationship and idk why… she was amazing but i left her because she was so liberal despite the brain tumor. i went on squandered my life. i slept with many women, some women way too old for me… i broke hearts after my heart got broken so many times. now i’m in limbo and have someone for many years…. she is broken and so am i…. but its a dead life, maybe its the pills or my addictions. after the person i loved the most died, everything went to sh*t. you’re in a relationship with somebody but there’s nothing and the other person reciprocates that. i’m no longer consumed by guilt but i’m a horrible person and i’ll never be able to redeem myself, nor see the people i once used to know.

  2. This is my first time talking about this openly but I figure getting this out will make me feel better. I was with my ex for 15+ years. I was only 18 and he was 20 when we met. First things that attracted me to him immediately were his easy-going attitude, sense of humor and generosity. We quickly moved in together and became inseparable. We could trust each other with anything, laughed a lot, went out to eat, partied. I also had a great relationship with his family and he with mine. Things were going great for the first few years. But after a while I found myself frustrated with the fact how hard it was to get him to think of the future. He just never showed any effort, not even in everyday things like paying bills on time. It’s like he refused to grow up or take my opinions into consideration. Physical attraction eventually ran out as did my patience. I started going out on my own, telling him to find something else to do for the evening. I would meet other people and compare them to him, wondering if I could be happier with someone else. I tried breaking up with him a couple of times but ended up feeling guilty and coming back. He would make promises of things getting better but would only keep it up for a short while before returning to his old ways. About 3 yrs ago I unexpectedly ran into a man (now my husband) whom I was immediately and inexplicably drawn to like a magnet. I felt very guilty about being attracted to another man while in a relationship and kinda pushed him away at first, but could not resist for very long. I could not sleep, eat or function until I got to see him. We fell in love fast and hard. I eventually realized nothing will come even close to what his man and I have. When it got to the point where I had to make a choice, I stood firm and refused to come back no matter how much my ex threatened or pleaded with me. He was very angry at first, even shattered his knuckle on the window of my car. After he finally accepted the breakup, we kept in touch for a while and he would tell me about his love life, family, etc. I also helped him out with his dog when he needed me to so I bonded with his pup. But 3 months ago he suddenly stopped talking to me. I think he made this decision out of respect for his new gf or found out about me getting married which I wasn’t ready to tell him yet. Now more than ever I feel like I lost my best friend for good. I think of him often. Sometimes I feel like I let him down. I feel like a coward for running away instead of finding the strength to fight through the difficulties. I hope he can forgive me. I hope I can forgive myself too one day. I love my husband dearly and I don’t want this to ruin our marriage. I know he can sense this is still tearing me apart and not sure when his patience might run out.

  3. why do people gotta make these things gender specific?
    i have a hard time doing it in my head because sometimes its not just the pronouns.
    either way theres some good stuff in here. i had this problem hardcore and was in an on again off again with my ex gf for almost 10 years. she lost a lot of people close to her so i always felt like crap for ending it. she slowly corrupted her spirit with drugs and alcohol and even became violent i still had guilt. i wasnt nice. she broke every promise. i got even meaner. after reading this i realize it was how i ended things that made me feel the guilt. now she has someone else and though it hurt how she did it its over. im not even sure how much of the relationship i enjoyed.

  4. Thank you for this. I have been single longer than most, so I was thrilled to finally be in any relationship. This feeling soon wore off as I realized that I would have to give up several dreams in order to make the relationship last. My girlfriend was so kind and sweet, but we just had different interests and I was honestly finding myself guilty for not liking her as much as she liked me. I have been dumped by dates in the past, but nothing could prepare me for the type of pain and guilt I felt knowing that I really hurt her by breaking things off. I felt like a complete jerk, mutual friends had set us up and my family adored her and they were now angry at me. I have also felt like I blew my one shot to ever get married and maybe I should’ve just “settled”. But, I keep reminding myself that she deserves someone who is crazy about her and that I’ve freed her so that she can meet him. The part about Satan being an “accuser” of Christians really hit home for me. She told me that I was the first guy who ever treated her right and so I know I have nothing to be ashamed of.

  5. Thank you for sharing your thoughts on how to stop feeling guilty after a breakup. It takes courage and insight to realize when a relationship isn’t working, and strength to actually move on! Your honesty – by commenting here – will help others move forward, and find freedom from guilt and shame after breaking up with someone.

    Here’s another article that may help:

    And if you’re on Facebook, join our “She Blossoms” group! I post a gorgeous flower and inspiration every day. We’re an encouraging, friendly, and happy bouquet of freedom :-)


  6. I broke up with my so called boyfriend because we have been 15 years on and off without ever establishing we were in a committed relationship. He would always say he knew where his heart was and he saw much potential in me. I kept allowing him to come in and out of my life with this so called relationship. I realized my worth and valued my life and felt he was a huge stumbling block everytime he would come visit. He also made me depressed and I could not be myself with him because I wanted to please him and be the woman he wanted. After 25 nothing has changed years I decided I was done and sent him a text ending this so called relationship he controlled me in. I felt like a building had been lifted off of my shoulders and I was very happy. Later on I started to feel bad and felt I should not have done him that way, but I could not take it anymore.

  7. I broke up with my ex gf Bc after an argument she called the police and made up lies Bc she didn’t get her way. She has a lot of unforgivness in her heart from her past. I asked her so many times to forgive and let go of it but she said she couldn’t. It had been like a black cloud over our relationship towards the end. We argued about it and she called the cops and they made her leave. She had no where too go but I couldn’t allow someone to hurt me and threaten me like that. Then too make matters worse she told the same lies on Facebook but still has pictures of us together and still stating we are in a relationship. I haven’t tried contacting her nor will I try too. I begged her the morning of all this to let’s sit down and talk. She refused and just jumped all over me yelling and screaming and made a fool of herself in front of my family and the cops. She left some personal things at my house while the police let her get her stuff. I feel guilt in my heart Bc I wanted too help her and did not want it too end like this. She says GOD gives her discernment about a lot of things but the things she knew was Bc she was snooping through my personal stuff. It seems all her relationships have never been healthy and looking back at her social media she did the same thing to the last guy she dated. I need this off my heart. I’m not perfect but also I do care for people and don’t want to hurt anyone. Any advice would help

  8. If you’re endlessly searching for ways to stop feeling guilty after the breakup, you may need to learn how to forgive yourself. You need to own up to the choices you’ve made and aren’t making. You made decisions in the past, and you have to let them go. You did what you could, and now it’s time to move forward.

    Learn how to forgive yourself, and you will learn how to stop feeling guilty.

    7 Practical Ways to Forgive Yourself for Past Mistakes

    Take a deep breath, and know that sometimes we let ourselves down. But we don’t have to stay down – we can go where the life is. Find ways to clear noise and clutter of unhealthy attachments, bad relationships, unhappy people. Listen to the still small voice of God – of divine wisdom and power! Be quiet so you can hear.

    And, take care of yourself. Listen for that still small voice – for you are smarter, stronger, and braver than you know. Trust your intuition, and know that you are healing and growing…even if it doesn’t feel like it.

    Grieve. Heal. Know that you can choose life, self-forgiveness, and love. Listen to your heart, hear what’s broken and what needs to be healed, and get to work healing and growing. That is the work you need to do, and only you can do it.

    Choose a life-giving path. What does this mean to you?

    In peace and passion,

  9. Hi,
    I’ve been in a relationship with my ex for 3 years and I broke him up a year ago. I was 17 when we got committed. He is my cousin. My mom was interested in making us a couple. That’s where I fell. I come from a traditional Indian hindu family where love is forbidden. Since he’s my cousin, I thought it would be easier for me to make my dad understand our love. We were doing well unless I went to college.
    I studied in a girl’s School. So I don’t have any experience with guys, (I think that’s why I fell for him easily) whereas my college is a different environment. I got to know about a lot of guys. I started having good friendship with them and one of them is my best friend. My ex didn’t like me talking with my best friend.
    I tried to patch and adjust my relationship with my ex even though I didn’t like him. That’s when my so called best friend proposed me (in the sense informed me that he likes me). At first I ignored and gave him productive advice to forget me. We continued to be best friends. Later, I started liking him and at the same time I was in a weak relationship with my ex. I started liking my best friend more than a friend and he become my everything. I didn’t tell him though.
    To be frank, I just loved my ex for my mother and for a future. (I regret this right now) I was true to him only for about first six months in our 3 years relationship where I spent the other 2 and half years thinking how to dump him. (Funny isn’t it?) As I said earlier, in India this is a very big issue. People will judge you if you dump someone. And being a girl, it’s even harder
    Then one day, I took a brave decision and broke up with my ex through phone. He was devastated. He tried to get back to me again and again. I refused. Then after 4 months, I met him in person and explained him why am not comfortable with him. (Breaking up in phone is not a good manner it seems) After that also, he didn’t understand. He is feeling sad and grieving very badly. He’s refusing to marry other girl. I’m feeling bad for him.
    Is this normal to love someone else when you are in a relationship? (Like my best friend eventually turning into my boy friend)
    I feel very bad about my character for breaking up with my ex and having a relationship with my best friend then boy friend. Please help me

  10. I just (as in, like an hour ago) broke up with my boyfriend of almost 2 years. We’re currently long distance, so I had to do it over the phone, which I felt terrible about. The relationship was barely functional for months before now – hardly ever talking, etc. – and it’s largely because I’m going through a lot of personal things that make it difficult for me to focus on another person the way I’d need to in a relationship. Also, I simply had realized I didn’t want to be with him years down the road. So I tried to just do the right thing and end it so we both could be free and able to better ourselves, since we weren’t bettering each other through our relationship anymore.

    I’ve never had to be the dumper before. It’s so awful. Knowing you’re doing the right thing in the long run but also knowing you’re hurting this person you’ve cared about for so long – it’s terrible. I honestly told him I was sorry, and that I wished I hadn’t come to this conclusion. I don’t know if that was a bad idea or not, but I just wanted to make sure he knew I do wish him well. I just don’t think I’m good for him anymore, or he for me.

    In one way, I feel relieved – I’ve been worrying about this for months, and now it’s finally done. But on the other hand, I know now he’s starting his own whole process of difficult emotions. (I have been dumped, so I know how hard it is to be the one broken up with.) It’s a weird state where I want to make him feel better, but I know I can’t because I’m the one who caused it.

    Ultimately, he’s the one who gets to be more hurt, I think, since he was the one who was dumped. And in no way do I want to invalidate his pain, anger, or sadness. But it’s also so hard to be on this side of things. I never want to hurt anyone, in any context, so this is just awful. I don’t want to be the bad guy in the scenario, but I know I am. It’s just all so miserable.

    I know time heals all, etc. so I know in time I’ll be okay, as will he, I hope. But right now it just feels horrible.

  11. I was dating this girl for 3 years, and I feel so guilty for breaking up with her. She was the first girl I really cared about. We were together in our masters and therefore were almost living together for two years(not sleeping). We would enjoy college events together, would go for movies, would enjoy after dinner parks. Our relationshop was very playful, me being the extrovert and talkative and she the calm one. I would do stupid stuff and she would correct me. I liked being stupid and childish around her and I know she liked that stuff too.
    Then I had to leave. My final posting was in my hometown and luckily she got posted just 50 KM away from my place.
    But these 50 KM were major distance, we could not meet regularly. I started to get irritated. I would try and make plans but she was always (genuine reasons), over time I started to get angry. Now I know this is not a reason for getting angry, but when I was living it I was really frustrated.
    Then me, her and 3 common friends went for a trip.
    During that trip, I really clicked with one of her friends very well. We got together, I broke up with my girlfriend. That’s why I feel guilty. Then out of nowhere her ex came back, apologized and they got back together (They are married now, I really am happy for her).
    After few months, I started dating again, now this new new girl is adventurous, outgoing and extremely funny. I am dating her from last 1 and half years. Between these years, I have broken up with her two times.
    All two times because I would get into sudden guilt that “this girl loved me unconditionally for three years and my shallow thinking led me to break up with her. Am i this shallow? So I started feeling guilty for the breakup.
    In these two times I have broken up with the second new girl, both of the time I have started relationship with my ex, first time for few days and second time for few weeks. Both times, I found myself again in that position, that I am not feeling that excitement, she is right fr me on paper but I just cant love her back..i just cant. I went back to my current gf because she makes me feel good. I feel excited and challenged with her.
    Even now, every now and then, I keep feeling guilty for breaking up with her, even spoke to my current girlfriend about it. I need to stop thinking like that I know. Now I feel guilt for not only the first time we broke up, but also the other two times. The loop is never ending sometime it feels.

  12. How do I stop feeling guilty after this breakup? I was with my boyfriend 2 years and 2 months, he lied and cheated, and left me a few times for the mother of his kids “Excuse he missed his kids and only way he could see them is if he would be with her” the last time he left things went really bad with the mother of his kids and 2 weeks into him trying it out for his kids he looked for me and said sorry and that he loved me and that he will just go to court for his kids which he did. after that time he felt he lost me and decided to finally give me and my son “not his kid” a home, we lived together and I helped him buy a truck for his business he is building, we lasted 1 year living together and the time we lived together I found still small things with girls, such as having ex’s as friends and talking to them as friends but hiding it from me, talked to one girl he messed with and would tell her he loved her, he followed a lot of girls in social media which would pose in small bathing suits and at times I would find xrated on his phone history, I felt at time after all I forgave plus relationship got abusive he never thought I was enough no matter how much I forgave and did for him and his small business, he would be nice at times, he would try his best to look out for my son and me.
    there was lack of attention love and affection, I turned bitter , remorseful, jealous and I would question him even when he was working that he was cheating , that he didn’t go to work to cheat and he wouldn’t answer phone I would get anxious and assume he left me he wasn’t coming back , but that persona in me came out because all the things he put me through and even went he wasn’t doing anything but trying to be good and change he will get mad because of my accusations , but yet he would still hide things..
    I FINALLY SAID NO YOU CANT COME BACK HOME, you can pick up your stuff and drop off my truck , and NOW he hates me because he lost his transportation to continue driving to his job site (construction) and because I didn’t allow him to come back., WAS I WRONG TO NOT LET HIM COME BACK? Was I wrong taking the truck away? But I got him the truck for our family that we were building and I prefer him having a transportation than my self and he did this to me, (i gave him a home, car , and did all i could to support him and start his small business and after all that all he said was OKAY BYE TO ME YOUR DEAD.. I feel guilt at time because i ask my self what if i would of shut up and just let him come back, i miss him every day and the house feels empty ,lonely but i felt i couldn’t deal with lies and etc any longer. SHOULD I FEEL GUILTY FOR ENDING IT??? i need opinion to get this guilt out of me.

    1. Do not feel guilty, you have done the right thing. ALWAYS know this! You will be far better off without him. You will now have time to heal from this self centered man. Don’t every feel guilty as he won’t give you a thought as he is chatting to all his other conquests. Take care of you.

    2. Hi carla,
      I understand what you have gone through because I have gone through something similar. I had a boyfriend who cheated on me with his best friend (although it was just a kiss) but he didnt gather the guts to tell me about it, later after 3 years I found out from the girl itself and I was shocked and didnt know what to do. He tried a lot to make things work, even came to meet me but things didnt work. you know why? relationships are tied down by this thread of faith and trust we have on our partner which once broken can never be mend again. We fail to realize this soon, we try to fix things but what’s deep down inside you will always bother you. In your case and in my case, tied down to the same person we would have always been in accusations, doubts and threat of being cheated on again. It’s not your fault if you felt this way, its the fault of your partner who made you feel that way. Every person is different, for some this is okay but for some it is not. So, when you know that is not what you want and living each day with that person felt like struggling with your thoughts, why not just end it and live peacefully ?
      I know we being the good soul, will feel guilty but understand that sometimes in life you need to shut the doors that constantly stress you and make you even more sad. I am not saying its easy to live by yourself with a kid, but at least now you are sure of yourself and not dependent on someone, you doubt to rely. Who knows, maybe someday you will find a guy who is actually worthy of you. :) keep being positive and stay true to yourself.

  13. I really want to break up with my boyfriend of 2 years. He cheats, he lies, he tells me about all the things he did and places he would go with his ex’s. I know it’s over. I still love him but I’m not in love with him. The only thing that stops me is that we have a son together and they have an awesome relationship. I feel guilty over my child, and I don’t know how I’ll stop feeling guilty after the breakup.

  14. Its a shame this article and the majority I read are for women only. Yes I can replace the words to suit me but then a little voice in my head says “this article is only for girls so it’s not relevant to you”. I left my ex girlfriend after 9 years, over a year ago. I feel so, so guilty. I cared for her emotionally, financially and I loved her more than myself. I don’t understand why I did it anymore, I’m so stuck and feel so alone. I still cry over her. The first 4 years she would beat me up when she was drunk. 5 years later my gut screamed for fteedom, to experience life alone and to explore sexual desires. To break free from my awful job and to do what I want to do and when. But I gave up true love, such a wonderful bond where we helped each other to get over our deepest issues. I miss her so much but she is with someone else now. I have always been very fond of another women who is now a good friend and helps me with my low self esteem. I just wish I could have seen past my selfish desires and realised that love is too beautiful to let go. Or was I conditioned into looking after a needy girl and was I just scared of breaking up with her for all those years? I’ve taken so many drugs now that all I do is think about this .. I’ve tried lots of things: sport, travel, safe sex, lots of talking thwrapy , reading, eating healthy but I relapse constantly because I don’t know how to think for myself or rather I’m scared to because I’m holding on in hope that she will come back to me. She rang me the other day to say she still loves me and now Im lost again. When I ended it with her she took a major overdose, since then I’ve cried nearly everyday. I’m sorry to be a sobby guy but I feel so stuck. Any thoughts are welcome but please try to keep things as open minded as possible. Peace

  15. It’s normal and even healthy to feel regret and even a little guilty after a breakup because you loved her! Even though your relationship didn’t work out in the end, of course you still have feelings for her.

    In fact, you’d be a little weird if you could just break up and not feel anything. I don’t know what’s up with your ex girlfriend, but it really isn’t healthy to move on so quickly.

    You mentioned she was your first love, and I remembered this article:

    Why You Can’t Let Go of Your First Love – and What to Do

    Give yourself time. Trust God. Your heart is broken, but the pain and “breakup feelings” will subside.

    Have faith that He is in control, and your life is unfolding according to His great plan. He is working together all things for your good, and you can trust that God loves you and knows what He is doing!

    In Christ,

  16. I broke up with my first love after a year and one month in March. Kinda. We kinda agreed it was a break but we both knew it really wasn’t. In my opinion, she was extremely controlling and didn’t respect me. Did I overreact sometimes? Absolutely and maybe that’s why I feel this guilt. But I just can’t stop thinking about how happy I was..towards the beginning. Towards the end I was fed up and really annoyed and I was hurt. The night before we broke up, I was like “tomorrow when we hang out we need to talk” and I kept praying the whole day after “God give me a sign to where this doesn’t need to happen or whether it does. I need something.” He gave me a sign. I get in her car and she says “you look ugly”. She was insensitive and she was really rude. All my friends and family says its best we broke up. And I’ll be honest. For the first couple of weeks? Yeah I was down. But I felt better. I went on dates. I did this, did that. But idk. One day it was like “wow I miss my ex” and I text her like an idiot saying how I felt. She turned me down saying I didn’t really talk to her on the break or gave her the time of day. She moved on. Which shocks me. A week later? She’s in a relationship with him. I go to the same church with her and I feel regret seeing how happy she is and I feel like I screwed up and I just need advice and someone to talk too. I really wanted to break up, why do I regret it?!

  17. It takes courage to be honest about breaking up with someone and feeling guilty afterward. Thank you for being here – your story will help others cope with their own breakups.

    Here’s another article that may help:

    6 Proven Ways to Find Peace After a Breakup

    May you find healthy, good ways to deal with any negativity or guilt you feel. Know that each new day will bring more healing and light to your life.

  18. My 14 year relationship ended today and I’m feeling rather numb.

    I have been feeling as if my relationship was one sided for many years. Everything revolves around her family, etc.

    I met her when I was 32 and she was 39. We both had kids and like every new relationship it was incredible.

    About 5 years ago we started to fade to the point where we both sought comfort elsewhere, however we worked it out or what I thought we did and moved forward. I have been living a life for almost 5 years with constant vigilance on her part. Where are you, why didn’t you call me, what time are you coming home”…. This was my daily life.

    I do take responsibility for making her feel insecure but she put me in the same situation however I never questioned her like she did to me.

    About 7 months ago I went to see a therapist because I was feeling worn down. I talked to him about my situation and he said that some time away might be good even for a mental break.

    We both agreed so I moved in with my parents for two weeks but during that time it was ” when are you coming home”, “why don’t you call me”… Etc, so I went back home.

    I was a shell of myself, feeling pushed back to a life that was not a happy one for me.

    Fast forwards to March of this year and we agreed on couples counseling and some time away. This time for the first month we had minimal contact and I found myself missing her but also enjoying my alone time. I focused on my work and reading countless hours on the net as to how to make a relationship better.

    In this time I came to the realization that the counseling might not work and that I might have to find my own place so I wrote some info down.

    Well this morning while at the gym she looked through my car and saw the apartment listings.

    Aside of the therapy sessions i would spend hours each day researching how to break up, etc, because I didn’t want to hurt her.

    I found that we cannot control how others feel or think about us and once I came to a full understanding of that I was ok.

    I’m sorry that I hurt her and this will affect extended family, co workers, etc but I do feel a sense of relief which has been on my shoulders for close to a year.

    This note my be long winded but it feels good to provide some input which hopefully can help someone else stop feeling guilty about a breakup.

    This is still fresh and I’m hurting but I also know that tomorrow is a new day and beyond.

    Good luck, it’s ok to do things for yourself.

  19. Hi my name is roshan,i m in a deep love with one malay girl.we met online in random chats…the first meet was on 10.11.2015 night…she afraids of dark n she was in her aunt house dat time.her aunt did a light off n she couldnt sleep she thought to hangout in random chats…n i was having a holiday got bored just dat day at that time after meeting two indians male i found her..n i asked her are u seriously a female haha…sounds funny na…she give me my name silly…n she turned to lily…a nick name given in a fun…after dat we have a hangout,skype,wechat….i know she has a ex n to get rid of that pain may be she on random chats ….i begin to love her…i m flighted away by her smiles…when she talks abt her ex it makes me feel too bad…i cant show her from here…coz long distance relatonship really hurts you know…we one day suddenly got broke she said nothing gonna happen..her mom dont want us to be in future…i dont know y she says suddenly like this…may be she get some positive feelings wid her ex again …n she doesnt need me more to console her…i cried those days a lot…i texted her like i m too embrassing…i m such a person who doesnt have a control over emotions…i brust into tears easily even being a guy…by looking my pleading she says me we could be frend…may be dat time i must be strong enough to say that i cant be ur fren i wanna be ur man…i agreed..coz in long distance you cant do nothing na….after that day we again laughed…some time when she talks about her ex i again felt bad….one day when we are just having a normal days wid fun n talks…but after dat we only texted on hangout and skype…i miss the we chat features of sending a sound clip….dat day i went wid my cousion broda for drink…i said i think i drink a lil more…but actually i m still concious wat i m texting coz i return on bike i was still ok…then she suddenly text she hates me when i drinks…after that she never replied me…

  20. I feel guilty after I broke up with my boyfriend of 5 years. He made me everything that I am, a new person. He developed me, and I did the same for him. He saw me through my darkest days and supported me through the toughest times. We are the very, very best of friends. At the beginning I kissed another guy, once. At that time I didnt think it was a big deal. Then it happened again. I felt bad however I accepted I was in my 20s and a narcissist. I have searched through diary entries and found that I had been having problems in my relationship for years, however, the 2 of us were still partners in crime. We see the world the same, we belly laugh around each other- we are truly 2 bits of the same person. We stopped being physical with one another very early on- I was the problem, I didnt want to. He had visions of a future with kids etc- the thought of having children with him and marrying him terrified me. He didnt seem as ambitious as me- even though he is- but that irked me. However this in itself I cannot now defend as a good reason to break up with him as a: he is younger than me, and b: I know he is going to be a massive success, he just needs to get there himself and he is in the process of doing it, bettering himself, educating himself more and more. This guy is sweet, kind, generous- he is like a ball of light shining in the world that is literally too good to exist on the same plane as the rest of us. And he’s 6 ft 3″ and a former rugby player, well turned out, well dressed etc etc. But I just.didnt.fancy him anymore. I had even begun to think I was asexual. Then I started to find everything attractive- celebs etc which I had never had any mind of before. Long story short I ended up meeting a guy I real chemistry with- yep I cheated, and I broke up with my boyfriend. He was heartbroken, he cant understand why I think we dont work. And the guilt, the shame and the guilt of what I have done is overwhelming. I have no excuse. I was a coward who was unable to be honest at the beginning (I kept thinking it was stress, this or that). My ex wants me in his life, I want him in mine, he is like family. I cant believe I have done this to him. But sweet god I cant be with him now after this. Anyone who reads this- the second you suspect something is wrong, address it. If you love and respect your partner, don’t string them along, even if you are unsure. It’s not fair to anyone.

    1. All through, i felt that i was reading my own words. Im so sorry you have to go through this. I hope you find the strength to get okay after this.

  21. So I broke up with my 4 year boyfriend and it damn hurts. The first 2 years of the relationship is awesome. He was sweet, caring, kind and very gentle but as the years passed he became less of what he is. He started acting trashy and took me for granted. I did the cheezy and effortful stuff and he was there, chilling and whatsoever. He gradually started to lie though he told me those were white lies and just all for my sake. White lies began to cloud our relationship and he started being tactless towards me in front of his friends. I couldn’t leave the relationship because I was so attached by what he used to be ages but I dont know maybe I got hit by a ball in the head or something that I decided to break up with him, many times. But damn, he makes all these freakin butterflies in my stomach wild and heart skip everytime he asked me to stay so yes, I did stay and then base one he got sweet and so gentle again then months later he’ll become trashy, again. Then I’ll break up with him, again. Then he will plead me to stay, again. And the cycle goes on. And oh, he even cried a lot of times in front of me pleading not to leave. Don’t know if it’s sincere tho. He was my first serious relationship. But yeah maybe I’ve had enough of he’s tactlessness and split personality whenever he is around his friends that I broke up with him which I seriously did meant. Yes, I do admit that I’m loud, clumsy, moody, and boyish (meaning I have lots of male friends) and usually hit someone unconsciously when excited. But- that is never a license to treat me like poop, right? He pleaded and cried to me for days asking me to stay but I’ve had enough. I’m saving my heart this time. He’s college roomate started texting me that my ex had started acting broken saying that he drinks abnormally at night just to sleep through the pain of breaking up. And oh, my ex even texted me on midnights asking me why did it hurt him so much. So now, here I am, sad and guilty. Its just too difficult. I mean, I get too attached to his friends and environment that I started losing friends in my school and dormitory and now we’ve broke up. I don’t know how to spend my time anymore. So, am I the bad person here? Should I be with him, again? I miss him. Really. I even had dreams about him but whenever I remember every single Valentines Day that he never showed up, I feel less guilty. But damn, I’m sad.

  22. I’ve just been reading through comments left. And I have to say I have been in a similar situation.

    I found myself feeling miserable, and more lonely with my x-boyfriend than ever I did on my own. I can honestly say that for the most part of the relationship I was fighting my self to wake up and smell the coffee.

    He had said we should break up out of the blue more than once. He had messaged other women (I looked on his Facebook messages – yes its wrong but something nagged at me to look). Not just one but a few… This was all in the first few months of our relationship. Always I begged him not to end it, and I said how much I loved him and that I would move on from what I’d seen in the messages.

    As if this wasn’t enough strain emotionally I had other women message me. Women in the plural, more than one!! That is devastating enough as it is, as well as all the stuff beforehand that had happened.

    I hate to be an idealist but actually it would of been ideal had he not done any of that and thought about me and only me as I did him.

    I feel guilty because I wasn’t honest with myself at the time, and therefore, I’ve actually ended up hurting him because I should of walked away. But I couldn’t.

    Hes upset now, I haven’t had contact with him – except a few texts the other day. But I’ve realised and I hate the phrase, what goes around comes around. It’s been painful to walk away but it was more painful and hurtful to myself to stay.

    Focus on your dreams girls, and fight for your happiness.

  23. Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen

    Dear Jane,

    Thank you for being here, and sharing your struggle with feeling guilty after breaking up with your boyfriend. It takes time to heal after a breakup, especially when we have other issues from our past. I hear your pain, and I wish I had magic words to make things better.

    Yes, I think getting emotional support is a great idea. Find a counselor you trust, and work on healing your wounds. I was in counseling for a year, and it changed my life! In all good ways :-)

    Also, you might find this helpful:

    How to Stop Loving Someone

    And, here is a list of national resources and hotlines that provide anonymous, confidential information to callers. They can answer questions and perhaps even give you advice.

    Phone Number: 800-442-HOPE (4673)

    Mental Health America – For a referral to specific mental health service or support program in your community
    Phone Number: 800-969-NMHA (6642)

    National Alliance on Mental Illness – Provides support, information, and referrals
    Phone Number: 800-950-NAMI (6264)

    National Domestic Violence Hotline
    Phone Number: 800-799-SAFE (7233)

    National Sexual Assault Hotline
    Phone Number: 800-656-HOPE (4673)

    National Suicide Prevention Hotline
    Phone Number: 800-273-TALK (8255)

    Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance
    Phone Number: 800-826-3632

    I hope one of these organizations is able to give you the help you’re looking for. May you find peace, courage, strength, and healing as you move forward.

    Please do come back anytime, and tell me how you’re doing! I’d love to hear from you again.


  24. Hi,

    Thank you for this post.
    I’m trying my best to break up with my boyfriend but I just feel too guilty to
    the reality is, I’ve caught him messaging other women in the beginning, which I thought once he had seen me upset he would realise and take this relationship serious.
    Then 8 months down the line I caught him with pictures of my friends and his friends girlfriends saved into a secret folder on his phone that he’d taken from Facebook, along with naked pictures of women that they have sent him.
    I woke up sad and lonely after sending him home and I got him to come round, to where I forgive him again.
    I genuinely thought he would never hurt me again…
    We went on our first holiday together after 2 years of being together. We got on with other couples great and he described it as ‘the best time of his life’. We got back, and a week later one of men of a couple we got to know briefly messaged me with a picture of my boyfriends number with him messaging his girlfriend (she wasn’t interested and he hunted her number down from her companies website!)
    I broke up with him. I tried my best! He kept ringing and crying.
    He was going away on tour (he’s in the army) for 6 month so a week after he got caught out I gave in and seen him because I knew he was off away for 6 month. I fell back in love with him but hate what he has done to me.
    I want to get out because I feel so worthless but I know deep down that it will break him. I feel even more guilty because he’s now away on tour and I know he’ll be lonely without me to talk to. I just feel so pathetic and weak. I never thought I’d be the one to settle for this type of relationship, but I now feel I have a scar and I’ll never trust another man again.
    I had a hard childhood with abuse which stemmed from my father Had an affair for years behind my mothers back, and she was therefore physically abusive to us children when he was there and when he left us and we didn’t see him for 6 years. Could this be part of the reason that I’d put up with this?
    Id appreciate a few comments to help? Do I need physiological help?

  25. Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen

    Dear Kimberly,

    Thank you for sharing your experience with breaking up with your boyfriend. It sounds like you’re not only feeling guilty and bad about the breakup, but you’re also stuck in the grieving process.

    Have you talked to a counselor or trusted mentor-type person about how you feel? There may be some emotional issues that are holding you back from moving forward.

    You broke up with him for a reason. You thought it was the right thing to do at the time. What changed your mind – was there anything different about you or him? Sometimes our sadness at what we lost makes us want to go back…but it’s just grief we feel. It’s not that we really should go back to the way things were.

    How would your relationship be different now, if you were back together with him?

    1. My job made the distance between us all the more apparent. He works during the day and I work nights. Our main form of communication was texting. And even then, it all seemed so routine, the same exact format for a couple of nights. I told him I wanted things to be different, and he said that he would try. But I really didn’t give him much of a chance. I was feeling torn about school and work and I didn’t want to shut him out. So I let him go, saying that I wain’t doing it because I didn’t love him, but because I was tired and needed to work things out. I even said that I wanted abother chance once I was straightened out, but I wanted him to make the first move so that I would know that he wanted the relationship to work.

      I feel like now that I am free again and have more resources, I could be attentive again. But I waited too long, and he moved on. And I feel like I have no right to talk to him anymore because I broke up with him.

      I’ve tried to speak to people about it. I’m tired of burdening my friends and family with the same issues. My family feels that I should’ve moved on months ago. I just don’t know how to feel about things anymore.

  26. I broke up with my boyfriend last year, and I can never forgive myself. I loved him with all my heart, and he loved me, at least to a certain degree. But I was stressed out, and we never saw each other as often as I would like. I was in nursing school and would constantly be studying, and he would work almost every day at the mall. We tried to at least text every night. It was perfect at first. We were both easy-going and liked how simple things were. But after awhile, I felt like I wanted a little more in the relationship. I tried to hint at it without sounding too needy. But he could never get the message. After 4 years, I was starting a new school and a new job. I was so afraid that I would have even less time to spend with him. And he wasn’t exactly jumping to spend a lot of time with me. I always visited him, but he didn’t come over as much. I guess he got accustomed to us being a long-distance relationship. I got so frustrated with work and school and dating that I needed to cut one out. So I told him that I was breaking up with him, that I never wanted to, and that I wanted a second chance once I got my life together.

    I was so stupid. I thought I could just walk away and be fine, that we could eventually work things out. But other than one talk, we didn’t ever speak again. Months later, I broke down and told him I was still in love. He shot me down, saying he wanted to just stay single, but that he cared a lot about me and didn’t want me hurt. I found out later that he and a friend of ours had started dating a few months after we broke up. I felt crushed. I thought he could’ve at least told me so that I wouldn’t feel hopeful. But I have no one to blame but myself. I have no right to know anything anymore.

    Everyone comments that I’m not the same person anymore. I don’t smile as much, I cry a lot at night, I can’t listen to romance songs or see any rom-coms. I just feel so bitter about everything. My family thinks I’m being silly, saying that my boyfriend wasn’t that great anyway. They didn’t know him very well, even after 4 years. But I still think we had a lot of potential, but now I’ll never know because he doesn’t love me anymore. And if I hadn’t broken up with him, maybe we would’ve been together and happy still.

    Someone please help me

    1. It is very tough. I am reliving a relationship from 1992 in which I broke up with my girlfriend because I wanted to move out west and be single. I regretted it from the start, tried to get back to together, and in the end don’t know if I tried too hard or too little. I was able to let it ago after 7 years of torture, but for some reason it has come back hard in the last few days. I wish you the best.

  27. So right after breaking up with him, he starts liking this other girl, and he starts hanging out with her friends and stuff. He still doesn’t realize I lied to him about my mom finding out. But we’re still friends, and I start texting him about how he likes Isabella. And he’s all like ‘I love her’ in my face, which I find surprising because last time I checked, he liked me, not her.

    Back to the point. I start feeling guilty for lying to him. Then my other friend decides to help me, she tells my bf that my mom really didn’t find out and that the real reason why I broke up with him was because I didn’t like him anymore.
    This kind of breaks my heart because I never meant to lie to him in the first place, it just came out like that, it was all so fast though. Now he hates me, he even sent this girl to do the middle finger at me, from him.
    Tbh I’m not exactly sure what I’m feeling right now, Idk if I’m feeling jealous for him liking someone else or guilty for lying to him Or sad because now everyone hates me for ending our relationship like this.

  28. Tonight I broke up with my boyfriend of 7 years. Over the last six months I have slowly fallen out of love with him, and it isn’t because of anything he did. I have had a strong desire to learn how to be alone and get to know who I am. He was wonderful and he taught me so much about love, patience, commitment, compromise, and laughter. He didn’t deserve how I’ve made him feel. But I couldn’t lie to him, as he did not deserve that either. I couldn’t have imagined how much this would hurt.

    1. THIS. I’m in a similar situation. I just know we would be better off getting to know ourselves outside of each other, but I just can’t stand hurting him…

  29. Me and my boyfriend had been together for almost 4.5 years. We both are in our very early twenties. I loved him very much and I believe he loved me too, but I couldn’t take it anymore. He was using me as a doormat. He’d say stuff he knew thet would make me feel upset and mad, and then he’d blame it on me because I wouldn’t “take a joke” and that I was overreacting. He kept his female friends secret, he never allowed me to check his facebook messages, acceptable, but he would hide them the best way he could, which used to bother me since “he had nothing to hide”. Last year that I moved out on college after a month or so he dumped me because of the distance and I was so heart-broken. He manipulated me, throwing all the blame on me, again. I wasn’t his first priority, rarely. I felt like a second choice. He used to lie and manipulate my feelings. A lot. Until I was so heartbroken that I met a guy, in a friendly way. We started talking, he is really sweet to me, he makes me laugh every day, I literally burst out in tears from laughing. He compliments me. He has his flaws as everyone, but we fell in love with each other. He hadn’t been in a relationship for 1.5 year and he is drop dead serious in making effort to work it out with me. I left my ex after I found the emotional power to do it. Now he begs me I take him back… I declined… We had many on and off’s, and finally I feel really happy with that new guy… It was 4.5 years and yes I am afraid of that change and of all the moving on, but I don’t even have to try to feel happy with my current boyfriend, he’s really good to me and he told me that after a long time he’s found a girl he’s really fell hard for. And I share mutual feelings. I don’t think that, in the end, I’ll regret leaving from a long-term, yet toxic, relationship.

  30. This is very long and I’m sorry, but I broke up with my 23-year-old boyfriend of almost two years last Sunday. When I met him I could see where we could potentially have trouble in our relationship (he had no job, no car, no phone, severe depression), and to be honest, I felt that he rushed into having us be exclusive. He only asked me to be his girlfriend via text message, and when I told him that I didn’t feel I was ready (I had just gotten out of a relationship three months prior) he got really upset, and I felt bad, so I changed my mind. Still, for the first year I was quite smitten with him, because he was gentle, sweet, and we had so many common interests.

    When he decided to enlist in the military I was incredibly supportive. However, he was not very self-motivated, and I would have to force him to work-out and clean up his diet in order to lose weight and prepare for basic training, among other things. I even paid for him to have a gym membership and went to PT with him or I would drive him as he did not have a car.THEN he completely disappointed me on my birthday. All I wanted was for him to spend time with me that day, but it turned out it was his grandmother’s birthday. I encouraged him to go spend time with his family for that reason, because they were pressuring him, but I was secretly hoping he would try to make it up to me the next day by offering to take me to lunch or something. Nope. He went out that night and got wasted (for the second night in a row) and I didn’t hear from him almost all day. I should mention that last year he spent all of my birthday money at the bar and never paid me back.

    I wanted to break up with my boyfriend right after my birthday, but we were about to go on vacation (which my family was paying for) and I didn’t want to ruin it. When we came home from vacation he bought a new Xbox, which I thought was ridiculous, seeing as there are a million other practical things he could have used that money for. (Like saving for a car or paying me back, perhaps?)

    I told him he had a month to find something to do with himself. I helped him check out tech schools, but he eventually signed up for one class at a community college. Then he told me that his dad “was going to talk to some guy about another job at NSA”. I’m 22, trying to make a life for myself and establish a career, and its so frustrating to see him just drinking his life away. I understand that he has emotional problems, but when I asked him to open up to me, he just told me he was fine.

    I broke up with him. He was so so so crushed, and it killed me to hear him weeping, promising to change, and begging me to give him another chance. I know I’m making him sound like a piece of trash, but he really was a sweet guy. I just don’t love him, and I’m so hurt by the way it seemed like my feelings didn’t matter. I can’t get over my guilt, but I have no intention of getting back together. I am so alone right now, because we had mutual friends, but they were mainly his, so I have no one to talk to, and I suppose that’s why I’m posting this. I don’t expect anyone to read it, but it was very therapeutic. Thank you.

    1. I am replying to myself, as it has been less than a month since I’ve posted this, but I am already beginning to heal. I thought this might give someone on here hope. Here is a breakdown of how I’ve been handling things since ending my relationship:

      I immediately began to revisit the person that I was before my relationship, because I had somehow lost sight of my own hobbies and interests. I went to a concert, I bought some new winter clothes, and I reached out to some old friends. I also made a tattoo appointment (which is in a few hours).

      Something that was still plaguing me was the large paper bag of his shirts, hoodies, and hats that I had laying around the house. I knew I needed to return them, but I did not want another confrontation, as I was just now getting him to understand that I need my space. I finally decided to drive to his house early one morning and drop the items off on his porch. I know that this sounds cruel, but I really could not stand to face him again. He was also in Spain at the time, so I knew his mother would find the package before he did.

      One mistake I feel that I have made is already beginning to talk and catch feelings for another person. I am trying hard to keep him at a distance, I don’t know how this has happened already. I feel that I am being disrespectful to my ex, but I am trying to take things slow.

      1. Hi Lizzie,

        I’m recently divorced from a 10 year relationship in which we were married for the last two years. I came online to read something, anything that will help me with my guilt or at least find someone who was at least remotely on the same page. I shocked to see that you basically had almost the exact same experience as me.

        A little background on my situation. He too had no job, no car, no drive and severe depression. I was 18 when I met my ex , we never had that crazy passionate honeymoon phase, we just knew that this was something serious and held on ever since. In the beginning, he wouldn’t let me in no matter how hard I tried, he would even cheat on me and I just kept taking him back because deep down I knew he loved me and I knew he needed me. He’s never once done anything romantic or thoughtful but of course I would do little thoughtful stuff all the time that never got reciprocated. Around 2009 I gave up and demanded that I need more than what he’s giving and he came back and said he would and things were very good for a few years. Still not how I would have liked it but we ended up becoming best buds and that did wonders.

        He too wanted to become a police officer and barely put any effort into it. He also gained weight and I had to push him every step of the way. After he got rejected once he never tried again and was doing odd jobs here and there. We were getting close to marriage talk so he decided to do go into the mortgage business. I supported him to the point of paying for his course and license and supported him financially in every way. We decided to get married (big mistake on both our sides, it just seemed like the natural step since we were together for 8 years by then) and my family and I paid for the whole wedding. I even bought my own engagement ring and told people he bought it since he had no money. It didnt even bother me. Honeymoon, vacations, buying a home, mortgage – I paid everything. Meanwhile he hardly worked , would wake up at 12 on a weekday and not push him self at all. Whats worse is he stopped being intimate with me as well. We would have sex maybe once a month and that too if I asked. I cant remember the last time we passionately kissed. I had to plan my own birthdays , plan our nights out (if any) never any effort from his side. I was fed up getting bare minimum while I was giving it my all. I’ve addressed these issues with him so many times and he would always say sorry and promise me that he will be more mindful. No change at all though. I was fed up.

        Meanwhile I ran into a man who I thought was my dream man but we never gave it a shot because the timing was bad and I was more into the “fixer upper” than someone who was already perfect. The crazy part is , I’ve known him for longer than i have known my ex and he always told me that I was the one for him . He tried a few serious relationships but still couldnt get me out of his mind he said. He is the perfect man for me I knew that for a long time which is why I hardly kept in touch with him. Anyway, when I was having problems with my husband at that time we ended up bumping into each other and ….. it was pure fireworks. The passion, chemistry, understanding and a deep soul connection was starring us in the face and we couldnt look away. I explained to him my situation and he was heartbroken. He was happy thinking I was at least happy with my husbad, but when he knew I was being taken for granted he lost it. When I came back from vacation, I told my husband we needed to separate. He was devastated but said he was going to try to change for me. But meanwhile I ended up falling deeply in love with the other man. I saw the life I could have with him, where I would be treated the way I’m supposed to.

        I ended up asking for a divorce because I’m 28 and I cant afford to wait any longer for him to change his tracks now. He’s had me for 10 years and I figured it was time to move on. If he couldnt be the man for me for so many years, I have no gurantee that he will be for the rest of our lives. He broke down and cried and I said no. He agreed to the divorce because he knew he was wrong and did genuinely want me to be happy. We got divorced and I immediately started seeing the other man.

        My guilt here is, I feel like I should have been more patient with my ex husband and held on longer. Another guilt is that I left him because I found something else better. Being selfish has been the hardest part of it all. I know I deserve to move on and I deserve to have what I’ve been hoping and yearning for. I’m slowly trying to be ok with wanting more for myself. Thats the struggle, and I too will be exploring my interests and taking care of me finally.

        I know I did the right thing, I just hope I accept reality and move on fast. Anyway, felt like sharing lol not sure if you’d even read this :p

  31. I broke up with my girlfriend about 10 months ago. It was a very good break up. We didn’t hate eachother or anything like that, and we both think very highly of eachother. Now she wants to get back together, and says she still loves me, but the truth is that I don’t love her like that. I feel incredibly guilty, because I saw her lastnight at a mutual friends wedding. I made it a point to talk to her a little bit, that way she doesn’t think that I have anything against her, but I didn’t want to talk to her too much, because I don’t want to lead her on. Unfortunately me being there just made her emotional. I saw her crying multiple times throughout the night. I feel awful. I wish I loved her, the way she loves me, but I just dont. I have no idea how to deal with this.

    1. I think you are dealing with this really well. You can’t force yourself to have romantic feelings for her and you understand that staying together would be worse for both of you in the long run. She needs to deal with her feelings her own way, and that’s ok. You don’t need to take responsibility for them, even though you were the cause. Just continue to have empathy and maybe give her and you a little space for a while to adjust….hope this helps.

  32. I broke up with what is literally the PERFECT girl. Smart, beautiful, funny, loyal…etc and I’m her first bf. we were friends for a year then I asked her out and we dated for 2 month. During that time, this other girl I had a crush on started talking to me again and I started developing feelings for her. It definitely felt like I was cheating even tho it wasn’t physical. I decided to break up with my gf. After developing feelings for the second girl it made me realize that I never actually loved my gf. I told the other girl what happened and she left me but said we can be friends. Now I feel like crap because I broke my gf heart and she doesn’t deserve that crap at all. I tried contacting her again to apologize because I feel guilty after the breakup up but she would read my msg and never respond. I know I messed up and I really hate myself now

    1. I had a very similar experience.
      I was dating this guy who was so sweet, funny, smart, caring, and we had so much in common. The only problem was that there were times when I couldn’t look at him because of his looks. There was just nothing about his appearance that I was attracted to and I almost cringed every time I looked at him, but his personality was so beautiful that I agreed to be his girlfriend when he finally asked me. He was my first boyfriend ever. Guys I had dated in the past had mistreated me and didn’t respect me, but he treated me so well and I was so happy. We had a very solid relationship for about 4 months until this guy I used to have a crush on asked me out. He had almost everything I looked for in a man. He was a musician, and he was older, attractive, creative, and very sweet. I was so conflicted on what to do, but in the end I decided to break up with my boyfriend and go out with this new guy. I lied when I broke up with him and said that it was because his schedule was so busy (which was partly true, but it was something we were always able to work around.) I started dating the new guy and things were going well, but I just couldn’t get over how much I missed the other guy and realized that I actually loved him. I ditched the new guy and asked my ex to get back together. He reluctantly accepted, but the relationship wasn’t the same anymore. Ironically, one day we got into a small argument about his busy schedule. He said that when I had broken up with him the first time, he didn’t really understand my reason, but now he understand how his scheduling was hurting me. Thinking he was going to suggest breaking up again, I panicked and told him the real reason I had decided to break up the first time. I said “I was just curious about what else was out there.” He was silent for what felt like hours and finally he said “I think we should just end it here.” I agreed, as I knew I had hurt him and I would feel so much shame if we continued our relationship. He deserves so much better.
      We’re still good friends and he said he forgives me, but I still cry every night thinking about how I hurt him. The breakup itself I can cope with, but the guilt of causing that much pain to someone I love is what I cannot get over.
      I’m sorry this happened to you. I’m sorry if this sounds selfish, but I’m glad I’m not the only person who has had this type of experience. You and I both made mistakes, but now we have this experience to prevent us from doing this to someone ever again. We’re not bad people. We just made a bad decision, and thankfully it’s one that we can learn from. I really hate myself too, but this feeling will pass for the both of us with time. For now, we’ll just have to endure the guilt.

  33. Wow, reading this really touched home. I just broke up with my boyfriend of 6 years. And i feel like complete sh*t and need to know how to stop feeling guilty after breaking up with him. Since day one things were tough. But somehow i was always determined and maybe even blinded by love to see how things really were. We too had a mixture of good and bad times but almost feels like there was more bad times than good. I hung onto the good times dreaming that i could keep those feelings of happiness forever one day. I really thought we could make it, and one day even get married just like we talked about often. But let me tell you a little bit about what my relationship was like so you can understand where im coming from fully. He had a daughter before being in a relationship with me whom ive practically known all her life. She was not even 1 before he left her mom and began to date me. He claimed their differences were just too great. She was younger, it was a friendship turned into a fling relationship that ended up getting her pregnant at just 3 months of “dating”. He went 1-2 years of our relationship going back n forth with her. He’d spend the night atleast once a week before i caught on. I still chose to stay once he promised he wanted me and that was just him having a difficult time letting the mother of his child go.

    i still love him. it hurts to end it.. to see him cry and to beg me back. But how can i go back to something that was so cancerous?? We had no common ground.. we had lost all things that brought us together. How can we build a future on everything weve been thru?
    I am trying to stay strong. I am so depressed and heart broken. I feel almost like ive wasted my life trying to change him. He thinks im just trying to hurt him because his birthday is next month, he is turning 30. I will be 29 next month too..But how can i stay when i am completely miserable? I feel ive put him above all else with hopes of a life and future together. But He even told my mom that he wanted to marry me one day but has nothing to offer me. I think he was settling too. He is just scared to be alone. It hurts sooo much to see him suffer and beg and cry. I dont know what to do!! :'( i know i am doing the right thing… and i am ready to find real love. But i am so heart broken. I am terrified that i could have done something more to make this work. Or that i just end up in an equal or worse relationship. But its the worst when you feel lonelier in a relationship more than you would being single. i am so depressed and heart broken. :(

    1. I feel your pain. We’re young freshman in college. I don’t understand the mom of his daughter. But I think he was just with me cause he was used to me that was all he knew where we lived then he moved 1,500 miles away for college and now after two months he’s done. And says he says the relationship has been bad for a while. But I just think he realized that he didn’t need me anymore cause college is different and it’s horrible. It’s been like 9 days since we broke up and we were together for almost 4 years and it feels so terrible cause I still want to be with him.

  34. Thank you for this article, Laurie. It is helping me. I am mulling over breaking up with husband of 5 years. We have been together for 10 years, most of that time has been difficult because he lost a beloved child to a tragic accident in the first year of our relationship. I have tried to be supportive, but he sank into alcoholism and has made attempts to stop, but not a real sincere effort (despite three separate times in rehab). Yes, he’s been through counseling, but he keeps counsel with his bottle mostly. He is a lovely, brilliant, handsome, and caring man, but in major denial and at this point does nothing to further our marriage. We have not had sex since the honeymoon after a large and beautiful wedding. We nowlive separate lives (he goes to AA meetings and drinks afterwards). I simply can’t take it anymore. I feel guilty and worry that my leaving may drive him over the edge. Feeling trapped.

  35. I have never felt so guilty. I just broke up with my girlfriend today. She was the best. Beautiful girl, she does everything to please me. Doesnt get under my nose, faithful, cooks foods that I love, and do laundry for me and shes not the jealous type and lets me do everything that I want. But even though she was wonderful I cant help the fact that Im falling out of love. Also one of the reason I broke up with her is because I feel like Im too young (im 18 she’s 19) to be in a serious relationship. I wanted to explore the world, and I wanted to learn more about myself. I cant stay in a relationship if I dont love her anymore. Its not right. I feel like im taking advantage of her thats why I broke up with her. She needs to find someone who is willing to give the love that she deserves. This why I feel so guilty. She never did anything wrong. This guilt inside my chest is the worst feeling ever, knowing that I lost a golden girl. Please give me advice i dont knoe what to do :(

    1. Hi!

      I feel the exact same way.I just bbroke up with my bf of 3 years. Im 24 hes 23. I love him to bits but I didn’t see a future with him. He wasn’t in the same place I was. I had togo with my gut fefeeling and end it. But wow I’ve never felt ao guilty in my whole life. I know he is heartbroken and probably hates me but I have to think about my needs and what’s best for me.
      I’m sorry I don’t have advice for you but I really understand how you’re feeling. I hope we’ll both be ok. I’m sure it just takes time. We justice need to focus on ourselves.

    2. Doing any better bro? I feel the same. Going through the same feelings. Let a great girl go. Just not right for me. The feelings suck, but time heals. People recover. Ill pray for you.

    3. Man, I’m in the same boat as you are. I broke up with my girl of a year and half. She’s beautiful, sexy, smart, loving, loyal, great cook and took great care of me. But something was missing. Something was always missing. I tried for a YEAR to figure it out and to try to make myself stay to find out what was “wrong with me” or “wrong with her”. The truth is that I did a lot of personal growth in the very beginning with her but she wasn’t really growing as a person herself. She didn’t have friends or a job or anything. She wasn’t irresponsible or anything, she just poured herself into me to support and love me but she never left any love or energy for herself. She said that she didn’t need me around all the time but when I wasn’t there she didn’t have hobbies or friends or passion for a career or anything like that. She made excuses all the time for things that were keeping her from doing stuff like that and at some point it’s hard to watch somebody you love not really step into their own life. I realized that I was holding her and myself back because as long as I was there, she would never take the steps to love herself. She NEEDED somebody to be there for her to believe that she was loved. I knew that for a long time and so I desperately wanted to be the man to love her and support her so that she could grow more and be passionate about her life. I really was a great boyfriend but I became moody and depressed in the relationship which is not like me so we had a lot of problems and fights over time. I’m still having a hard time holding onto why we’re not together (we broke up only 20 days ago) but ultimately, I was unhappy. Period. And I put myself on trial CONSTANTLY to find out what was wrong with me for not being happy with this beautiful girl who loves me. The fact is that I was bored to death with her. I was bored because she didn’t have her own life so that we could have stuff from her life and experiences to talk about. She didn’t really ask me a lot of questions about me either so I felt at times that she wasn’t super interested in me inside and out, just mostly glad to have my love. And I miss her a lot and I miss her love. But I’m trying to learn more about myself too. I felt that I was growing quickly and that I had to hold myself back to stay on her level. Not like I was better or anything, I don’t feel that way. I just mean, I was hoping that I would be enough for her to want to take risks and grow. I was wrong. And that’s ok, I always tried my best. I always wanted what was best for her. I always loved her and I still do. But I wasn’t happy. I was being held back. It’s amazing how exhausting it is to ignore your gut or heart when it’s screaming at you. I had to go because I love her too much to hold her back and I’m learning to love myself enough to have the courage to do the right thing. She always said that she fell in love with me because of my kindness, love and courage. It’s just a shame that it wasn’t enough to pull us through. I will always love her for sure and I’m trying to move on. It’s hard man but you can do this. We have to.

      1. Wow. This was amazing. Thank you for sharing this. Going through the exact (and I mean EXACT) same thing. Thanks for helping me identify why the heck I left her! Never could put my finger on it, which is why I was feeling so guilty. This situation really sucks but knowing someone else has gone through it gives me hope.

  36. I broke up with my girlfriend of 2 years last night and I have never felt worse. We had a mixture of very happy and very bad times, but I think the bad times were getting to the point of where I was constantly having to shove my own feelings under the rug in order to make her feel okay. I love her still and know that she feels the same for me and I feel so so guilty and broken. What made me finally take this step was a vacation I took with my family and her freaking out and telling me that I don’t care enough not to stay back with her (the trip was 4 days), telling me she wanted nothing to do with my family or friends, and that she wouldn’t try to be the one to make an effort to see me anymore- I would have to make the effort to see her. After this she said she’s sorry and we’d texted for a few days but I was a mess of anxiety after this and wasn’t eating and could barely go 20 minutes without breaking down. She’s been controlling with me and my relationships with friends and family throughout our relationship, I’d just always ignored it because I truly did, and still do, love her. She’s quit jobs to see my mother in Texas with me and always tells me that I don’t try hard enough to see her (I’m a 17 year old girl- I go to school, work, and have family things that I sometimes cannot back out of and all other free time I have I spent with her). She made me her entire life but the constant push and pull finally left me feeling so run down that I knew I couldn’t continue shoving my own feelings away for hers. She wanted a life with me and at times this scared me a bit but ultimately I thought I wanted that too. I feel guilty and all I want to do is comfort her but I’m afraid that if I regain contact with her she’ll try to get me back and I’m not sure if I have the strength to say no. I’m finally trying to do the right thing (I think) for myself but it feels like the worst thing I’ve ever done. Sorry if this makes 0 sense.

  37. Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen

    Dear Carmen,

    Thank you for being here, and sharing how difficult this relationship and breakup have been for you. It sounds like it’s been a struggle from day one — and you’ve done the best you can to do everything you can to make this relationship work.

    It’s too late for you and your boyfriend to save your relationship. You aren’t good for each other. You’re toxic for each other! You and he aren’t meant to be together, and you know it. You feel guilty about breaking up with him because women have a hard time saying no! We are appeasers, nurturers, conflict avoiders. By nature, women like to make people happy. By saying no, that you want to break up with your boyfriend, you are going against your nature. But — by saying no, you are making a healthy choice!

    May you find strength and courage, and may you stick to your decision. May you find healing in your spirit and soul – and may you rest in the assurance that your heart WILL heal, and you WILL feel happy, healthy, and whole again. You need to give yourself time to grieve the breakup, and let go of your boyfriend. It was an emotional roller coaster for two years, and there were good times. That’s why it’s hard to let go, and that’s why it’s difficult to stop feeling guilty after breaking up with your boyfriend.

    Follow your heart, which is telling you to break free. Move forward. Take a deep breath, and know that you are at the brink of an exciting healthy new stage of your life! Grasp freedom, hold on, and seek God’s courage and strength whenever you feel weak.


  38. Laurie, thank you so much for this article. It has really uplifted me and strengthened me, along with the comments others have taken the time to share. I am in my mid-twenties and am personally right in the midst of what I expect to become a very messy break-up. I have been with my boyfriend for exactly 2 years, and they have been 2 of the hardest years of my life. It has honestly been one trial after another and I do not know how we even made it this far. I keep asking myself why I didn’t end it long before now, but I suppose there is really no point in drowning ourselves in the shoulda-woulda-coulda.

    The first few months of our relationship were incredibly happy; we were a whirlwind romance and fell in love quickly. To my devastation, however, I learnt too late that he was actually living a double life and had a wife and children! (which he had kept secret from me.) I left him at this point, but somehow he clawed his way back in, convincing me that I was ‘The One’ and that his marriage was already as good as over anyway. His wife did end up leaving him shortly after this, but sadly she left the children as well, and hasn’t been in contact with them for well over a year now. From then, my boyfriend and I have attempted to build a life together, but it’s just been unbearable. We have enjoyed many happy times together, and when times are good we really do get along so well and are brilliant friends, but the good times are unfortunately frequently interrupted by his terrible anger issues, as well as drink and drug addictions that he has battled along the way.

    I only really learnt of this side of him when we moved in together around 1 year ago. He would lose his head over something tiny like a floor needing sweeping, and would shout and swear at me with obscene insults like “f***ing stupid b****”. If I compare myself now to just before we met, my self-confidence has shrunk to a fraction of what it was before. Thankfully he has never hurt me physically, but the emotional abuse is damaging enough. His temper is so unpredictable that I reached a point of not even being able to enjoy the good times out of fear of the next outburst.

    I left him 3 months ago but returned only a few days later to give him ‘another chance’. He really has pulled out all the stops to prove to me how much he loves me, but sadly I feel the damage is already done. I feel like I can’t be myself around him because I am just so tense, tiptoeing around eggshells trying not to be hounded. No matter how hard I have tried to keep him happy, I don’t seem to be able to avoid his anger.

    He used to go on drink and drug binges where he would leave the house at night, ignore all phone calls and not return until the next morning. I wouldn’t know who he was with or what he was doing. This behaviour has stopped since I left him the first time, but I sadly have not been able to rebuild my trust. He has started attending counselling for his anger, and has so far just been for one session.

    I can’t deny that he really is making such an effort, hence my guilt, but it is just all too late for me now. I can’t picture a happy future with him, and I can’t face the thought of him being the father of my potential future children. He had a resent bout of anger while I was away visiting family and a serious of horrendous texts from him came pouring in one night. I switched off my phone and couldn’t bare to turn it back on until almost 24 hours later. When I could finally bring myself to speak to him I had to just tell him I didn’t want to be with him any more. I told him that it’s over and that I’ve had enough, and he did seem to understand my reasons, but he is also in denial and thinks we just need a ‘break’.

    He has gone to live with his parents with his kids for 2 weeks to give me space and time to think. I know that he is hoping that in that time I will decide to give him another go, but he doesn’t realise I have given him ‘one last chance’ too many times already. I feel so guilty because he depends on me a lot. I helped him overcome his drug and alcohol dependency and I’m so scared of him falling back to old habits without me being there to catch him. I know it’s not my responsibility but it plays on my mind so much. I also feel so guilty because I feel as though it’s my fault that his children are without their mother, and now I’m going to go and abandon them as well. I also feel guilty because I know how much effort he has been making to change and to make me happy, but it’s just too little too late. He goes less than two weeks of perfect behaviour before throwing it back in my face and having a go at me for the fact that he’s having to make all this effort. I know that relationships have to be worked at sometimes, but they shouldn’t feel like a chore, and I know that I will be so much happier without him. He has so much stress that he’s already dealing with what with worrying about his kids and everything, so I feel as though I’m being selfish for leaving him to deal with it without me. Even though it isn’t my responsibility, I just feel like such a bad person to ditch him when he’s already dealing with so much. He is convincing himself that I want to leave him for someone else, but honestly, after everything I have been through with him I just want to be on my own for a very long time.

    We have agreed to be apart for two weeks, but I don’t see any point in dragging this out as I have already made my decision. He left me a note telling me that if I choose to leave, he would rather I didn’t tell him as it will hurt him too much, but this kills me because now I picture him returning to our house with the hope me being there waiting for him, only to find it empty. No matter how much pain he has caused me over the past couple of years, the thought of his pain that I am causing just feels so unbearable. I have to stay strong otherwise I will break and give in to him despite knowing it’s already over. I have to keep re-reading old emails to my mum to remind myself of the horrible things he has put me through! I wish he was always just horrible so it would be easy to leave him, but of course once I start to head for the door he puts on his best behaviour and it totally manipulates my guilt strings! I don’t know whether to tell him I am leaving, because obviously it will be easier to pack my stuff and get out while he’s not there, but it just feels so dishonest. He has asked me not to tell him if I go, but I really hate the thought of him waiting the full 2 weeks hoping that I’ve decided to stay when I could put an end to his waiting game and give him a head start on getting over me… But then also I know that once he realises I have left he won’t be shy of hunting me down and begging me to come back. I feel so guilty already and it’s not even begun.

  39. Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen

    Maybe you don’t need to know how to stop feeling guilty after breaking up with your ex! Maybe instead of focusing on the guilt, the breakup, the past relationship, and even your current interactions with your ex…maybe you should start focusing on brighter, healthier, more peaceful activities.

    What do you want to CREATE and ACHIEVE in your life?

    That’s what you should be focusing on. Don’t let the guilt of the past, the breakup, the relationship, the regrets overwhelm you. Instead, concentrate on where you want to steer your ship.

    It’s over. All has been said and done. What’s NOT over is your future. Don’t let your ex steal your present day, your future life.

    My prayer for everyone struggling to know how to stop feeling guilty after breaking up with someone is for life in the fullest. May you be filled with an unspeakable joy, peace, and contentment in your life. May you know fullness of spirit, peace of mind, and connection with God. I pray for freedom from all feelings of guilt about the past relationship and breakup, and for forgiveness, and for a fresh start in your life.

    Go in peace. Create the life you’ve always wanted.


  40. I split with my husband of 25 years. He’d made my life quite awful for the vast majority of the last 23 years. For the first couple of years he was my knight in shining armour. By the end, there were no hugs, kisses, fond touches, hand holding. There was no sex for the last 14 years apart from about 3 times spaced over that period. I suffered depression and he goaded me and tormented me – no support at all and i was in a bad way. I did everything, cooked, earned the main salary even when depressed, paid all the bills, arranged everything in our lives. I tried and begged and pleaded for him to try, to go to counselling, to hug me (he’d hug other friends!). I asked him to talk. I asked him if he thought we had a happy marriage. Everything led to verbal abuse. I felt ugly and horrible – why did other people’s partners hug them, dance with them, make them feel special? I had to order if we went for a meal and I had to go to the bar if we wanted a drink. Everytime I argued he said “you know where the door is”. I left once and came back to “give it another chance” when he asked me. Things changed for a month. Everything went back to “normal” and I still stayed for years until the kids grew up and our debt was gone. I could do nothing right. If I put the heating on in the house, I was mad, it was hot. If I told the pets off, I shouldn’t use that tone! If I ate chocolate, did I really want to be eating that? It was endless and it was constant. I had cancer and I still got told “you know where the door is” whilst on chemo. One day it was the last time and I left. That was in August. Now it’s the following April and I am totally riddled with guilt. I mean totally. I struggle to get past negative thoughts. We see each other at family events -birthdays etc – as we have 4 children and a grandchild and still want to maintain those happy family times that we had when the grandchild came about. We get on well. He doesn’t beg me to come back or anything. And I’m driving myself nuts with guilt and I don’t know why?

  41. Is your ex making you feel guilty because you made his life sweet and easy, he walked all over you, and he misses you underneath him? THIS IS TOTALY ME, THIS IS WHAT I DID ALWAYS HELPING, TAKING HIM ON TRIPS (MOST OF THE TIME I PAID THIS TRIPS)

  42. Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen

    Thank you for being here – it takes alot of courage to share how guilty you feel after the breakup. Your experience is so helpful for other readers who are going through the same thing, and I’m grateful that you have shared how you’re coping.

    My prayer is that you are able to release those feelings of guilt after breaking up with someone you care about. I pray for freedom, emotional health, and genuine forgiveness of yourself. I pray that you can let go of the past, and trust that your relationship and breakup happened the way it did for a reason. May you find meaning in your experience. If you can’t find meaning, I pray that you can trust God that there is something other than what you see. I pray for healing, self-forgiveness, and release from toxic feelings of guilt.


  43. Have been in a love-hate relationship for four years, separated, not speaking to each other for 45 days now.
    Two days ago I mailed a gratitude letter, and have texted that drama n stress is no good for either one of us n to go our separate ways.
    This woman has been there for me through the worst of times, however I feel very uncomfortable when she or anyone tries to control me.
    Not at ease attempting to go on dating sites.
    It’s been most difficult riding this guilt wave.

  44. I have broken up recently, about 2 weeks ago, the relationship lasted around 4,5 years.
    I’m doing surprisingly well, since the last year was very difficult for me. A lot of evenings filled with crying, vomiting and fear.
    But now I’m done with the relationship, it feels scary, but also new and better than before.
    I have been crying, yes, but not the red-eyes kindof crying. The kind of crying that makes you feel better afterwards and makes your skin glow, because the stress is out and you can continue.
    A huge weight fell off my shoulders, but the one who continues to carry it is my ex.
    And I’m afraid (since he’s an alcoholic and lies to himself and was close to a depression and if you ask me, heart-attack) this’ll kill him. And I literally mean kill him.
    He stopped taking care of himself around a year ago, has been close to a burn out and takes overdoses on pills and painkillers. He says he doesn’t care and just wants the headache and stomach pain to go away.
    But the stomach pain is because of the alcohol..he vomits blood. And I was the only one that’d tell him to stop using the painkillers, he’s all alone, just like me now, but he’s in a very different state of mind….

    I know it’s not my fault though and the only one that can help him is him. I’m just so worried it’ll kill him, I really do not wish this to happen, he’s been trough enough.

    1. He’s the only one who can fix himself.
      Self awareness is key here.
      Drugs, or any other addiction gives only false hope n comes with dire side effects.
      Support groups, one on one, r good ways to straighten your life out, but, you have to be honest with yourself n want a better life.

    2. Hello, this is me, 7th of april, around 2 months later.
      I feel sómetimes feel a little guilty, but the image in my mind of the sad and helpless ex, has gone.
      Not because he showed he can stand up for himself..not because he proved that he was doing alright without me. And not because he went to a therapist/got help.

      The feeling is gone because he decided as revenge (he broke up with mé?) to tell all out mutual friends, that the sexual abuse I’m in therapy for, was a lie.
      And that I am just trying to get attention and therefore, blame innocent people for it.

      And therefore, I now feel bad for myself and only myself. I can’t imagine someone that was cuddling me, while I cried about the abuse and told him the details, would now claim “it’s a bunch of lies.” He even went as far as taking the side of one person and saying; ‘He never touched her. He only called her stupid and she wanted to get revenge. She’s awfull.”

      So now part of the group believes him and tells the story to others, and the other part is trying to ignore everything. Only óne person felt that it was strange and asked me; ‘Is it true, what happened?’ I was só incredibly grateful for that. The person was shocked when they found out what the guy had done. And how my boyfriend actually had heared him doing it, remembering weird mixture of laughing and crying.

      I’m not sure if I feel better now..but it’s different from feeling guilty over nothing I did wrong.

  45. I’ve just ended it with my girlfriend in the most horrible way and feel terrible. She is from Latin America and we met in London 2 years ago. We dated for a few months and then she went back home, we kept in touch and she came back to the UK in Feb 2014. We lived together for 7 months and it was great, although the language barrier was difficult. Her visa expired in Nov so she had to go back home again, and in the weeks before she left we both began to get upset and cried a lot. It felt so unfair; because of UK immigration laws and visa rules she couldnt stay, and we were being forced apart. She is also from a very politically and economically unstable country and doesnt have a job, although she is university educated. If she went back it wouldnt be as easy as her saving some money up and we could meet to go on holiday – she just doesnt have the means. I looked at things like marriage but I just wasnt sure; not sure that I loved her enough, that she was the one, that I wanted to sacrifice my freedom for a difficult long distance future in the short term, and then the commitment of marriage.

    So she went home and was strong about it. She said we should split, that it wasnt my fault, that we were the victims of circumstance. She was angry and depressed though, mainly as she had to go back, but if she could still stay in the UK and if there were less obstacles we would still be together. We kept in touch on whatsapp (a bad move). I missed her, she missed me. We still talked about the problems in her country, her struggle to find work, the debt she had, how much she missed me. Eventually I thought screw it lets get married. She asked me if I was sure, that I should take the decision out of love, not out of guilt or feeling sorry for her. I said I was, but I knew in my heart that I wasnt.

    So we began planning for the marriage visa. We emailed and I could feel the joy and hope well up inside her as she mentally built herself up for our shared life and future together, as she began planning and preparing and reading everything she would need to do. I played along, I sent her a xmas gift and said I loved her, I emailed information about the visas and what we would need to do…..but the doubts began to eat away at me. Why was I commiting to this when it was ruining my freedom? Did I love her enough to spend the rest of my life with her? I was already beggining to impact on me. I would have to go on holiday to see her and her family, as she had no money I would have to pay for everything. I wanted to work abroad and leave the UK for a few years, now I would have to wait for her to come to the UK and get set up. If she came to the UK she wouldnt be able to work straight away, I would have to support her. How would I tell my family I was marrying this girl after so short a time?

    One evening I expressed these doubts to her, I couldnt not be honest. She said that I had to follow my heart. I admitted that I didnt know what I want, that I couldnt make the decision, that I couldnt give her my future and my life as I was just so unsure. With that she has gone. She has blocked me from facebook, not replied to emails etc. Now I feel terrible. Terrible that i gave her hope and have taken it away so brutally. Terrible that she has no job, no money and feels she has no future in her country. Terrible that she invested so much in coming to the UK to make a life with me, and that she feels it was now all a waste of time and has turned to nothing. Terrible that she is a great and amazing woman, and that I have let her down.

    My reaction now is that I deserve my pain and this guilt, and I want to do something to punish msyelf in a sense for that I have done. I have offered to loan her money but she has not replied to my emails. I have recently begun volunteering at a homeless centre, and have also set up regular charity donations to her home country – anything to try and absolve myself form what i have done. I dont believe in God and am not religious, so this for me feels like the best way if she refuses accept any support I can give her.

    My views on this subject would be that overcoming guilt is a natural process, but you should try to do more than simply wallow in it and let the passage of time slowly wash it away. Learn from your guilt, become a better person from it. 1. Analyse what happened and what you did wrong, and learn from it. For me this would be to learn to follow my heart, and in future having the guts and strength to be honest and true to myself. I should have never have proposed and got her thinking about marriage, I knew it wasnt what I wanted, but I did it anyway. 2. Take positive steps to give back to people / society. I’m taking on board the buddhist mantra of karma, I have wronged and upset someone, broke their heart, caused them pain. To absolve myself I want to try and bring people joy. While this is not going to impact her, I believe as a human and moral gesture this is a positive step. It also makes me feel better, like I am working to overcome it. 3. Give her space. I’ve stopped trying to contact her, she knows where I am. If she wants to forgive me she can when she’s ready. Even if she does forgive me though, I’m not sure I can ever forgive myself.

    1. I can understand you very well because I did something similar, although maybe I feel a lot too guilty about it. I met an amazzing man online, we wanted to meet (long distance), but in the last minute I canceled due to familar problems and I/we should have ended the relation on good terms at the moment – it lasted half a year with daily contact, but somehow we both were very emotionally connected. We got again very committed via skype, etc., he supported me in all possible ways, openened his heart to me and then in the end everything went totally wrong. I had promised to catch him a special night (actually his last evening in the US before returning home), but for reasons I will never understand I did not get up that night, left him hours in front of the computer trying to get hold of me. When I finally woke up and took his call on skype I felt so paralysed that I could not say anything and I suppose he took it as a very cowardish way of ending the relation. Until I could put my thoughts together he had blocked and deleted me and did not reply to any of my mails any more (and unfortunately i wrote many). Probably he felt horribly led on and that’s what makes me feel so guilty because he definitely did not deserve such a weird break up.

      1. Hello Angela,

        I can understand why he’s not replying you because he is hurt and he might have lost trust on you.

        My ex did something similar to me and it still hurts me even thought it’s been over 7 months.

  46. I begin this by admitting that I did wrong , and the guilt of that has been eating at me for some time now. I was with a girl for 4 years , she was good and kind to me and gave me everything , in shorter words she was a good woman. Before she and I ever met there had been a co worker of mine who I dated on and off for 10 years , but it was never a relationship. As time went by this co-worker began to look depressed to see me in a relationship with someone else , and slowly she began to send me small gifts like coffee, or candies on my desk . Over time , I began to take note of these gestures and set up a meeting with my co worker. The person I was with at the time was long distance and as a result we built a relationship based on week ends. Although she was a good person we would have arguments and disagreements. During our second year of our relationship I caught her with explicit text messages to some number and when I gave her the chance to read and explain them to me she cried and erased all of them and said it was too embarrassing. A year later I found out another secret of hers that disappointed me. Meanwhile this co- worker kept trying to get my attention. In a moment of weakness and selfishness I set up a meeting with this co- worker to discuss our past and why we never “happened”. I feel that the selfish part came when I took advantage of the situation and told her that we maybe had built up attraction and that maybe if we just slept with each other once we would get it out of our systems and move on. That one night ended up turning in to a year and a half of me becoming a cheating monster , something that was never easy to deal with in my mind considering I had been cheated on in a previous relationship. I ended my affair and did ok for a few months before I began to miss spending time with my co-worker. Often I would find my mind drifting with thoughts of my co-worker when I was with my girlfriend, and I would ask myself how would it would feel like to have the moments I lived with my girlfriend with her. This co- worker despite having every right to be mad at me for cutting her loose and telling her I couldn’t go on, slowly returned to the routine of sending over gestures of affection. I again fell back in to cheating again , unfortunately guilt has a way of being managed with experience , but it never disappears. The lie I was living became to much for me in the end , it ate me up so much to know what I was doing to her , she simply did not deserve what I was causing in her life. One day we argued and I left , tears came out of me but I could not say a word … I ran like a coward and didn’t look back. The running took me in to the arms of my co- worker. I dealt with my ex , the only way I knew how, I got rid of every picture and item that ever reminded me of her and blocked her off any means of contact with me. I am currently with my co- worker , and I feel that this relationship is goanna be a hard one to forge because she is completely different than my ex was. I have talked to her and asked her repeatedly if she is sure she can be what I expect out of a person I want to be with , because she was a part of the reason I left. Though my ex did her mistakes , they were not the primary reason for me failing and cheating . No matter what I do since that day I cant stop the guilt I feel for abandoning her the way that I did, it was wrong in so many ways. I keep thinking that maybe my punishment will be to inevitably witness the sinking of this relationship and loose everything or be abandoned some day as I did, after all that’s happened , I feel that it would be a fair price to pay ….just I feel horrible.

  47. Dear Kat,

    Your boyfriend will heal and move on. No matter what he says or how much he begs, you did the right thing. He was lying and cheating, and you know it wouldn’t be a good relationship if you stayed with him! It wouldn’t be healthy, and you wouldn’t be happy.

    My prayer for you is that you find freedom from these feelings of guilt for breaking up with him. May you know deep in your heart and soul that you did the right thing, and may you remember that his behavior would have destroyed you both. May you find peace with your decision. You did the right thing, and you’re grieving the loss of an important relationship. You’re also grieving the death of a dream, of you and him building a life together. I pray that you’re able to process the sadness and pain that you feel, and that you find acceptance, freedom, and happiness sooner than you anticipate! Amen.


  48. I just broke up with my boyfriend of nearly three years and I can’t stop stop feeling guilty. We were engaged for about four months. He was a good guy in a lot of ways, and I think I brought out many of his good qualities. However, he could also be very selfish and did things that hurt me. He would get angry and grab me by the throat and he also cracked two of my ribs- all of these actions were immediately followed by apologies, and the cracked ribs was an accident, but still, he hurt me. I also found out that he has an addiction to porn and that he was video chatting with as well as calling other girls on the phone or texting them. He lied about all this numerous times when I asked him about it and when I caught him red-handed, he promised it would stop. After that, I couldn’t trust him. It’s like he had this secret life when I wasn’t with him. After encouragement from friends and some family, I began realizing that I should be with someone who doesn’t hurt me and who is honest with me. However, I still loved him and found it hard to break away from him, mainly because I worry about him. He also had good qualities and wanted to take care of me and be together forever; there was a part of me that thought we could work through things. In the end, his secretive behavior escalated and I was told by some close friends that he’s been calling them and trying to hook up. I ended things and he took it extremely hard, begging me to stay with him and give him one more chance. It was so hard not to give in, but I know in my heart we were not going to work out. I don’t know how to handle hurting him in this way though. I just want him to be happy but I don’t think he feels like he can without me.

  49. Dear Emily,

    Thank you for being here, and for opening your heart. It sounds like you’re grieving the end of your relationship — both your friendship and your intimate relationship. You feel guilty for hurting someone you love so much, yet you had to break up with her.

    The grief you feel may not be a sign you should have made more of an effort in your relationship. I don’t know if you made the right decision, but I am 100% sure that every decision comes with a cost or even a sacrifice. Your decision to break up with her has repercussions for both her and you. This doesn’t mean that you made the wrong decision.

    Not feeling attracted to your partner after years of being together is normal. That’s why so many couples get divorced! But, when you marry someone you commit to staying together despite your feelings. You weren’t married to your girlfriend – but if you were, I would encourage you to remember that love isn’t about feeling attracted to someone. Love is about acting with integrity, communicating honestly, and committing to someone despite how you feel. Love isn’t just about sex.

    It’s possible that you need some time away from your partner, to figure out your feelings and thoughts about relationships.

    What do you think?

  50. I’ve been reading all sorts of things online to try and take away this guilt but nothing seems to be making it any better. I’m gay, and recently broke up with my girlfriend of nearly 3 years. It really was one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do, because there was a time when I was madly in love with her, and she still feels that way about me. I’ve started to feel over recent months that maybe I see her as more of a friend than a partner, as I didn’t feel attracted to her in that way anymore. But there’s the problem, she was my best friend, and I feel so alone now even though this is what I’ve wanted to do for a long time. It kills me knowing that I’ve broken her heart, to see her cry was the worst feeling. How can I adjust from being in a serious relationship to being on my own? I’m only 20 and this girl was my first love, sometimes I’m unsure if I should have made more of an effort to fix it, or if I have really done the right thing. We had planned our lives together and now none of it will happen, I hate myself for crushing her dreams of a life with me. I could really do with some advice :(

  51. Dear Allison,

    I admire you for making the choice you did! I think you did the right thing. He could be the sweetest, kindest, most lovable boyfriend in the world — but you need to follow your heart and gut, and grow the woman you want to be.

    If you don’t listen to your instincts, you’ll stay in relationships that aren’t good for you. If you don’t trust yourself, you’ll make decisions that can negatively affect the rest of your life.

    You did the right thing by breaking up with him. The consequence of doing the right thing is feeling bad that you hurt him. But, the alternative is worse: living in a relationship with someone you don’t want to be with. The next steps are more serious: marriage and kids.

    Here’s an article I just wrote today, for another reader who feels guilty about a breakup:


    That article isn’t about overcoming guilty feelings, as much as learning to live with them.

    I hope it helps, and that you are able to move forward into a healthy, happy frame of mind.

    Let me know what you think.


  52. Hello Laurie,

    I’m 23, my very recent ex is 24, and we were together for 6 months. He is everything a girl could ever want and was an amazing boyfriend who I loved. But I just graduated college and I really want to live on my own and become the type of person that can stand on their own two feet. (Also, Can’t forget the sinking reality that my feelings for him had changed and I no longer could see a future together.) I ended our relationship kind of abruptly, and he was devastated. It was a little scary how devastated. However, I can’t stop feeling bad for hurting someone who really didn’t deserve it. How can I stop feeling guilty for hurting someone who I care about?

  53. Thank you for that wonderful advice, Hanna! It applies to all sorts of life situations – not just feeling guilty after breaking up with someone you love.

  54. Eko,

    It seems as if the relationship you had with her was a lie/joke to her. You do not need that type of person in your life. Believe me things happen for a reason, and as soon as you get over her and get better, don’t be surprised if you see that things will not work out for her..then you get a call. You stay strong. It will work out for you. Don’t let your future relationships suffer from this one. People enter our lives for a reason, and it isn’t always for the reason we thought. I truly believe in karma, and what goes around, does come around. You will find the right one for you. Take your time, and don’t jump into anything.

  55. Hi Haydon,

    There’s nothing wrong with breaking up with someone when you’re not ready to be in a relationship, but it can be really hard to stop feeling guilty for hurting him.

    I’m glad this article helped you, and hope it helps other people too.


  56. oh! this helped so much I was dating my boyfriend for about 6 months, and I really liked him but I didn’t feel ready for a relationship. There was really nothing wrong with him, but I just panicked and felt so bad that I did that, but now I feel so much better!Deep sigh of relief!

  57. I just broke up with a guy I’d been seeing for a little over two weeks. He was really into me, we had a lot of things in common and got along well, but I just wasn’t very attracted to him physically. After he dragged me to a party (under the guise of a date) and got wasted, he opened up about his underlying self-image and confidence issues. He then told me he really liked me and wanted to be a couple and then left me to find my own way home alone (I had to get up at 8 the next morning) because he “hadn’t seen his friends in months.” I broke up with him later in person in a public, but somewhat secluded, area and tried to be as gentle and humane as possible while still being respectful and telling him the truth. He looked deeply hurt and couldn’t even look at me and wanted to get away from me as soon as I let it out. I told him I still really care about him and would like to be friends and he said he’d need time, which is understandable. Now, I just feel like the guilt is eating me up to the point where I’m crying over hurting him. I’ve been in his position and I can’t help but imagine him crying and blaming me the way I would after being dumped. I don’t want him to hate me the way I hated my exes for dumping me. I don’t want to be the “bad guy.”

  58. my boyfriend of two years let me for another girl because i accuse him of seeing another girl. Since then i have been trying to get him but he refuse to come back to me, and I feel guilty about because I think the breakup was my fault.

  59. I understand your situation, i’ve been through with your situation before, SHE IS NOT FOR YOU!!..you cry first..that’s the first step, try to share it with your trusted friend, it will help you to release the pain.. for now you feel the difficulty of losing her,but BE POSITIVE.. one day you will smile again… PRAY AND PRAY…. it will help you a lot..Godbless!

  60. I am seriously heartbroken right now and need help.
    I am 28 years old. The lady whom I love so so dearly and have been with for 3 years, whom also loved me beyond words (or so I thought) just travelled during the yuletide to see her parents. Only to call me and told me that some other guy was coming to ask her hands in marriage and her parents have accepted. I got scared and angry. Gradually, we both started reducing the number of calls we made to each other… before then, whenever we were apart, we talked to each other almost every 30 minutes. At first I thought it was one of our usual quarrels (because we always had quarrels and after a while either she or myself calls back to reconcile), but when I did not receive any call from her after almost 3 weeks I got really, so I checked her out on facebook. That was when I got the real shocker of my life, she had already pasted the other guy’s picture boldly on her facebook page and reffered to him as MINE. I was so devastated beyond belief. So I called her and she told me that her marriage was already 2 months ahead and she’s already in love with the guy. She used harsh words like “GO AND MARRY YOUR MOTHER” and “STUPID”.

    I am really heartbroken and need help. Please help me