Any breakup is synonymous with a crushed heart and excruciating pain. No matter whose fault it was or who made the decision to end the relationship, it will leave you in utter distress. The consequences can take an ugly turn in your head if you are the one who chose to separate from your partner. And you cannot help but sit hopelessly, thinking about how to get over a breakup you caused.
It stings bitterly because being the person who wounded two hearts with one arrow, your guilty conscience will soar high. Maybe this breakup was absolutely essential to reinstate your sanity and for you to find peace outside a toxic relationship. If you look rationally, it was nothing but a healthy decision. But even though your brain tells you that it is not your fault, your heart keeps blaming you for the breakup. Now, you have to carry the burden of the relationship you ended along with your attempts at healing from a breakup.
Well, at fault or not, we are here to help you get over a breakup you initiated. As we always try to back our suggestions with an expert’s opinion on the matter, today we had a conversation with life coach and counselor Joie Bose, who specializes in counseling people dealing with abusive marriages, breakups, and extramarital affairs.
So, coming back to the question, how to get over a breakup you didn’t want in the first place? How much does it take to get over a breakup? Stay with us till the end and together, we will figure out a way to deal with the hurt or the guilt through a wholesome, healthy approach.
How Do You Know If Breaking Up Was Your Fault?
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Let’s make it abundantly clear that we, looking at your situation from the other side of the screen, cannot pass a judgment on whether it was your fault or not. Perhaps this was the right choice for you. Perhaps you had your reasons to find an escape route. Perhaps it was no one’s ‘fault’. But now, it appears as if you have been put on a trial with so many eyes staring at you.
We can analyze such a state of affairs in two ways before moving on to the ‘how to get over a breakup you caused’ part. From one aspect, you know when a breakup is your fault if you intentionally created a mess between the two of you.
Maybe you were bored and drunk texted your ex one night. You couldn’t resist the temptation and gave in to lust in a moment of weakness. Then the guilt would be more intense because cheating in a relationship is hard to defend or justify morally. You are probably looking for a way to let out your side of the story and somehow find a little justification for your actions from a third person.
From another point of view, you simply knew this relationship is not working out anymore. There is a pool of differences between you and your partner. It’s been days since you have agreed on a single topic. How can someone drag on a dead-end relationship with no future at all?
It’s also a possibility that your partner is abusive or out-and-out toxic. The decision of rushing out of a relationship with a dominating or emotionally unavailable partner is a thousand times better than hanging on just for the sake of it. Why should one be consciously responsible for traumatizing themselves with a lifetime scar?
Last year, my friend Michael was coping with a control freak partner who sucked the life out of him. She tracked his every movement – where he is going, who he is meeting. Her over-possessiveness created a huge gap between them. Michael somehow managed to cut himself off from this toxicity but he asked me several times how to get over a breakup you caused.
“Just tell me how to get over a breakup you didn’t want in the first place? How much does it take to get over a breakup really? Despite everything, I know in my heart that she loved me. And I broke us up. It’s all my fault,” he said. But was it? Do you think it was his mistake?
This is exactly what we asked Joie – how do you know if the breakup was your fault? According to Joie, “Breaking up is never a fault. We evolve as time passes by. None of us is the same person that we were five years back. Priorities change. Desires change. And sticking to a relationship that isn’t working well is actually a fault.
“So, it’s a good thing that you made up your mind about ending the relationship as soon as you realized you two are not making sense anymore. However, if you introspect on the breakup later in a more sound state of mind and find out that there is still hope for this relationship, then you could choose to go back and ask them if they are willing to work on the issues. Mistakes happen. It’s only natural. You tried the best you could.”
Related Reading: 21 Signs You Should Break Up For Good
Expert-Recommended 9 Ways To Get Over A Breakup You Caused
You heard what Joie said – we are humans, after all, filled with flaws and shortcomings. As we grow in terms of age and experience, we recognize ourselves every day in a new light. There’s no need to beat yourself up just because you fell out of love with someone, or because you made a mistake that you can’t undo and can only learn from.
Yes, we understand that you are miserable right now. The guilt trip is creeping up on you. And you cannot let go of the hurt no matter how much you try. But then, in the eternal words of Ursula K. Le Guin, “No darkness lasts forever. And even there, there are stars.”
All that seems grim right now will pass, you have to believe us on that. Shoot all the questions popping up in your mind and we will assist you with the answers. How to get over a breakup you caused? Is healing from a breakup even possible? How to forget about the relationship you ruined? Is it possible to fully get over a breakup?
Take a deep breath and calm your racing heart. Read on to discover 9 actionable steps you can take to get over a breakup you initiated.
1. Apologize if the breakup was a mistake
First things first, do you believe there are some valid reasons to blame yourself for the disaster? You are regretting the choices you made and have come to realize you never should have broken up? Then you owe your ex a heartfelt apology. Next, if you are willing to get back together, it’s going to cost you a good amount of genuine effort. Own up to your mistakes and make them realize you are repenting your actions. Do everything in your capacity to show how important they are to you. If your ex is ready to forgive and move forward, that’s great news.
Joie says, “If you realize that the breakup was a mistake and you want to patch up – be honest. Just say, “I missed you. And I’m sorry for putting you through this.” Say it out loud. No games. No blaming. You do your part and let them decide what’s best for them. Your ex-partner may or may not want to get back together. You have to figure out a way to deal with it.”
Related Reading: How To Get Through A Breakup Alone?
2. Don’t doubt your decision if it was not working out
Not all relationships are destined to meet a fairy-tale ending. People get to know one another and fall in love. But for some couples, it’s only a matter of time before they perceive that they are not meant for each other. In your heart, you just know it is wise to liberate yourself from an unhealthy relationship.
Yet, you feel guilty for doing what should have been done a long time back. Do you know why? It’s because you are the one inflicting pain on your ex-partner. Because of you, they are in utter distress right now. Not only that, you couldn’t stick to the commitments and promises you made to each other once.
At the end of the day, you might come out as a bad person from the whole situation. If you were married to this person, you will be the target of the blame game played by your acquaintances. Hardly a few would be genuinely interested to know what compelled you to take this step. But flying comments and gossip are all around. And you fall back into that loop of ‘Did I make a huge mistake by breaking up?’ Shun the voices in your head with a big NO. You want to know how to get over a breakup you caused, right? Don’t look back or give yourself a chance to question your judgment.
3. Is it a pattern that you need to break?
Okay, now pay attention to this. Is this something you do in all your relationships – run out leaving a you-shaped hole in the door the moment things start to get serious? Do you always dump your partner before the relationship can mature? Does the very thought of planning a future with this person terrify you (even though you love them very much)?
Healing from a breakup would be less painful if you first address these patterns. If not checked, fear of commitment can stand as a big obstacle in your way to finding true love. Let’s see what our expert has to say on this matter: “Breaking the pattern is difficult. These patterns are usually connected to some deep-seated issues. Professional therapy can help you with it for there is no one-size-fits-all explanation here. It’s very subjective.”
While we are at it, Bonobology presents an Online Relationship Counseling Panel studded with a team of esteemed counselors and psychologists. You are more than welcome to visit our counselors whenever you feel the need for professional intervention.
4. Confess to someone to deal with the guilt
You asked, “How to get over a breakup you caused?” The question should rather be: How does one face the stages of guilt and shame coming along with this breakup? There is an easy-going option before you plan to go to therapy.
Ring up your very own friendly therapist who has been listening to your breakup stories since high school with great patience. No wonder the solutions your friend or your sibling offer work like a charm because they have known you for a long time. Confess everything that is bugging you. It will take the weight off your chest.
Related Reading: 10 Cheating Guilt Signs You Need To Watch Out For
5. Give your partner the required space
Chances are the relationship you ruined is broken into pieces. Even after trying your best, you couldn’t manage to collect the scattered parts and make it work again. You should understand that your ex also needs sufficient space to fully get over a breakup. With you constantly reaching out to patch up the relationship or to tell them you miss them, they will not get the time and space to heal.
According to Joie, “After the breakup hit your relationship, your ex may not want to get back together. And you can’t force them to change their mind. There is only one thing left to do – respect their decision. Have a conversation and wish each other well. On the surface, it seems like a responsible act. However, practically, it may be difficult to execute.”
Once you give your partner the space they need, you will be able to begin your healing journey as well. The only way to get over a breakup is to get some space from each other. You may want to be on friendly terms later, but that can’t happen right away and generally takes a long time.
6. Learn from this experience
You may not be ready to listen to this right now, but every experience in life is valuable. We prefer to call it an experience instead of blatantly labeling it as a mistake. Good or bad, either way, there is always a takeaway from each of these episodes.
Did you hurt your partner deeply due to a lack of communication or was it a momentary lapse that ruined everything? In that case, you probably need to master the art of meaningful conversation and self-restraint. Or maybe your partner was toxic. Then you will come out of this breakup with a clearer sense of your boundaries because you took a stand against relationship bullying. So, tell me, what is the dose of wisdom you are carrying with yourself from this experience?
Related Reading: 25 Most Common Relationship Problems
7. Don’t wait for closure to fully get over a breakup
This is for you if you were determined to make this breakup happen, which hurt your partner badly. You cannot expect to end the relationship on good terms if the agreement was not mutual. They will probably cut you off entirely and block you on social media. It’s time to be strong if you want to stick to your decision. In short, to get over a breakup you initiated, you may have to learn how to move on without closure.
Joie believes, “You should not wait or expect closure from your ex. It’s good if they are kind enough to offer you one. However, even if the ex gives you closure, you may not be willing to accept it then. Closure is more personal. It has to emerge from your end. You are the one who needs to close that chapter.”
8. Take a break from dating
Do you know how to get over a breakup you caused? Stay away from the dating scene for a few months, or as long as it feels required. It’s absolutely necessary to give yourself that space where you can heal and rediscover your needs and priorities.
Jumping into an impulsive relationship with another person right after a breakup is poison for your mental health. Trust me, a rebound relationship is the last thing you want. You will be inviting more complications, that’s all. I know, sometimes it is hard to see eye to eye with your deepest, darkest emotions. Denial looks rather tempting. But today, or a month from now, you have to deal with the unresolved feelings to begin the healing process.
9. Realize that this is not the end of the world
Life doesn’t stop even though the future seems bleak from where you stand. You might feel that you will never find anyone ever again. You think less of yourself. But for once, try to look at the bright side. Maybe it was poor judgment on your part, but you have learned your lesson. Or, you took a healthy step forward by separating yourself from a dead-end relationship.
You have freed yourself from a relationship that was not meant to be. Think of it this way, it’s okay to have different perspectives. Try to find a place in your heart to be happy for the other person. Spend some time listening to your inner self. List out your priorities and goals in life. Practice self-love and gently accept the choice you’ve made.
Related Reading: How To Heal Relationships Through Meditation
Joie concludes, “You must take your mind off the agony. Meet your friends. Pick up a new hobby. Fill the time that you would have normally spent with your partner with other things to do. Time is a good healer. With time, the pain will become bearable. Eventually, you will meet someone and fall in love again. When that day finally comes, try not to give in to the similar patterns or relationship issues, and handle it with care and maturity.”
So, does this article resolve your question of how to get over a breakup you caused? Look, we all are on the same page here. To get over a breakup you didn’t want in the first place is not exactly the kind of story you want to tell your grandchildren about. It’s messy, it’s hard to process, and it will definitely take you some time. We have given you a detailed road map for tracking down the key to happiness. Good luck finding yourself all over again!
Healing is a very personal process. People deal with grief at their own pace. It also depends on other factors like the length of the relationship, the reason for the breakup, or how much this relationship meant to you. Given all that, it may take a few weeks or up to a year or two to get over a breakup you caused.