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How do I stop feeling the guilt?

(16 Posts)
Theblamegame Fri 25-Dec-15 19:02:13

Name changed for this as I don't want to out myself.

Exdp and I just split after a couple of years and I'm trying to do the right thing by working through all the reasons to help myself get closure.

I keep coming back to the fact that at times, I treated him terribly. I was grumpy, short and sometimes mean to him for not much reason.

I was going through some issues with self worth and esteem and always felt massively defensive which is why I believe I behaved like this. I suffer from anxiety and struggle to get feelings and emotions under control sometimes. I do lots of exercise which helps but still not always enough. Due to circumstances which I won't go into for fear of outing myself we spent A LOT of time together which I'm sure didn't help as we never had a break from each other.

So as not to drip feed I initiated the break up and he agreed it was the end of the road. I'm not sure I ever felt enough for him but now I just feel terrible at my irrational behaviour.

Anyone been in similar? How do I stop myself feeling all the blame for the end of the relationship and stop feeling ashamed of my own behaviour?

SpongeBobJudgeyPants Fri 25-Dec-15 19:36:22

I doubt there is a woman alive who behaves perfectly all the time. Certainly not me smile You have learnt from this, no?! Forgive yourself, learn what you can, move on. x

springydaffs Fri 25-Dec-15 20:37:52

I'm not currently in a relationship but I sometimes wonder what I'd be like in one tbh. I know I've a lot of hurt and that is bound to come out in a relationship when one's guard is down. Less than perfect behaviour, that is.

I just do think things can get quite ugly behind closed doors. Sometimes borderline, or actual, emotional abuse. I'm not minimising or excusing it. We can all be vile - or I can, anyway. Relationships can dig to the very roots and some very unpleasant stuff can come out.

The important thing is to take responsibility and make a full apology and, if appropriate, make amends. The fact you feel guilt shows you're not shirking responsibility. Even if he doesn't forgive you, do try to forgive yourself. Try not to fixate on it.

something2say Fri 25-Dec-15 20:41:33

I think, be humble for a while, and that will lead to kindness. And as someone else said, learn from it and make the changes necessary. There are things that hurt us in life, but when we stop fighting them and accept them, I feel we become more carved out, more kind and understanding. X enjoy the rest of Xmas in the strange aftermath x

Theblamegame Fri 25-Dec-15 21:15:39

I have apologised a lot and also after the split to help get closure. It's not the main reason we broke up but it maybe contributed.

ALaughAMinute Fri 25-Dec-15 21:32:19

You stop feeling guilty by remembering why you wanted to split up.

Did he behave perfectly?

What happened when you spent a lot of time together? Was he abusive? Did he get on your nerves?

Remind yourself why you wanted the relationship to end and stop blaming yourself.

springydaffs Fri 25-Dec-15 21:54:53

I don't think op is concerned about why they split but her behaviour in the relationship.

I do know what you mean, game. There is one incident I remember from my marriage that makes me cringe. In fairness he had pushed me to the very edge (and beyond, EA) but I'm not proud of the way I behaved.

So, yes, how was he in the relationship? Just don't a bit of detective work here.

springydaffs Fri 25-Dec-15 21:55:23


Theblamegame Fri 25-Dec-15 22:13:55

He wasn't perfect... I'm sure no one is. He tried to be understanding of the mental health issues but admits perhaps he bottled it up and didn't tell me how he really felt.

He was sometimes very uncommunicative and a terrible listener which was incredibly frustrating at times.

He hadn't lived with a partner before either so I think constantly being around another person was frustrating for him.

I do tend to be very hard on myself and when a relationship ends often find it difficult to get perspective, hence posting this thread.

Theblamegame Fri 25-Dec-15 22:15:34

Also for what it's worth, I can't remember behaving like this to any other ex p's. That's what brought up red flags in the relationship to me.

springydaffs Fri 25-Dec-15 22:20:14

Have you done any work on shame?

Theblamegame Fri 25-Dec-15 22:25:20

I haven't as I've never really experienced this before in a relationship!

Theblamegame Fri 25-Dec-15 22:26:06

Is there anything specific that you would recommend?

springydaffs Fri 25-Dec-15 22:48:15

John Bradbury I think (??) has written about shame - 'Healing the shame that binds you'. He's written other books on shame but that is the famous one.

Have you had any therapy? Working on shame is a key step in emotional/mental health work.

springydaffs Fri 25-Dec-15 22:52:09

You could also have a look at FOG - Fear Obligation Guilt. Google FOG to get some info on it - the site 'Out of the FOG' is a good one.

PoundingTheStreets Fri 25-Dec-15 23:59:15

I think the making of integrity is the ability to face head on one's less-than-perfect side. Far easier to shift blame and find justifications. Facing up to what you've done and learning the reasons why is what leads to self-awareness. Good self-awareness nearly always seems to go hand in hand IME with high levels of self-esteem, positivity and a productive life. But seeing yourself warts and all is not a comfortable experience.

Guilt is highly unproductive. It doesn't change anything; it just hangs around like a bad smell poisoning every new experience. To turn guilt into personal development you need to understand why you behaved why you did. Sometimes the act of doing that, and trying to see it as if you're an objective third party, is enough to make you realise that while you may have behaved badly, you were just a normal, fallible human being who deserves forgiveness. It also provides you with an ability to prevent yourself doing the same in the future, and that's empowering - much more productive than guilt. You then develop the ability to say 'no' to something that you know will bring out the worst in you, if not now at some point in the future.

If nothing else, think about it this way - instead of staying in the relationship and behaving ever more badly, you left. That's something you should feel good about. Many people don't and just end up making each other increasingly bitter and unhappy.

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