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Beyond Breakups - Embracing A New Beginning

Letting Go of Guilt

filed in New Beginnings on Mar 18, 2007

 I often hear women and men going through a relationship breakup tell me they feel guilt and cannot let it go. So, why does this particular emotion take up so much of ones thinking? Guilt is part of the negative internal dialog we often acquire during childhood.  Your critical inner voice that keeps you beliveing you are not enough.  It must be silenced because guilt serves no purpose. 

 It does not help or nourish your relationship with yourself nor with others. Guilt does not accomplish anything, it keeps you busy feeling bad about yourself.  It is not a trait that is admired, it only leads you to undermining your success;  It does not promote forgiveness, it causes you to stay stuck. 

When you find yourself thinking or feeling guilt immediately connect to your heart and bring compassion to yourself.  The same compassion you would bring to a child that might be frightened and unsure of themselves.  

Comments:

Thanks for the article on guilt and breaking up.

I am currently going through a break up with my fiance and am having trouble dealing with the guilt as I was the one who decided to break it off. My ex is actually a wonderful person and loved me deeply. But, there were some personality conflicts that in the end I couldn't get over.

I suspect the whole relationship moved at quicker pace than what I was comfortable with. She wanted to move in together after a few months of dating. So we did. I also ended up buying a home and, of course, we moved in together. She helped me quite a bit fixing it up - - painting mostly.

Anyway, she has since moved out. But, the guilty feelings I am experiencing can be significant at times. Particularly when I'm alone in the house and see a wall that she painted while I was on a business trip.

We had a lot of happy times together and we got along fairly well. But, ultimately I did not feel that I could commit to her for the rest of my life.

By the way, I have very high personal standards and am very hard on myself when I make a mistake. I still chide myself for mistakes that I made when I was a teenager or a kid.

I also never want to hurt anyone and generally try to avoid conflict, especially in personal relationships (which I know is a weakness). I see myself as a caring, genuine, honest, happy and loving person. I guess that's why I feel so guilty about this break-up as it defies many of the ideals that I aspire to.

I suspect most of my guilt may be due to the fact that my mom is a perfectionist. She was a great mom in many ways and did everything she could to help me succeed in life.

However, whatever I did academically, athletically and even now professionally was never quite good enough. She was never satisfied and always pushed me to do better.

I also recall her comparing how I looked to other kids- - basically saying that they were better looking than I. I suspect this hurt a lot, but I am now only realizing how damaging this was for me emotionally. I think because of this, I seek "acceptance" from a lot of women. This may have stained my own confidence in faithfully maintaining a long-term, for the rest of my life relationship.

Regarding the break-up, my mom was initially very upset. But, she now accepts it and supports my decision and says she just wants me to be happy.

I don't know if this has anything to do with my guilt, nor does it excuse me for breaking my ex fiance's heart. But, I do think about it from time to time.

Any comments would be deeply appreciated.

Kind Regards,
Guilty in Cali

Posted by: Robert on May 12, 2007 9:55 AM

Hi
Thank you for your comments on guilt. Many people experience this feeling, but it serves no purpose. Guilt is the feeling of self-condemnation that we experience after we do something "we think is wroing". It is also a feeling that comes up when we feel we have hurt others.

It is not wrong to be honest with yourself. Which is what you did when you decided to end the relationship. Even though your action caused your ex-partner pain, your intention was not to do harm, but to live from integrity. If you cannot be honest in the relationship and you just please others for the purpose of not hurting anyone there will not be a healthy realtionship.
Or a healthy you.

You are correct, our reaction of guilt do begin in childhood. Parents unknowningly say and do things that cause children to feel that they must win their parents love by doing exactly what is expected of them. This creats guilt in the child, if the child feels he/she is not making mother/father happy. The child becomes overconcerned with others feelings and undervalues their own. This is not good.

You did not make your girlfriend happy when you ended the relationship, and you blame yourself for her unhappiness. Which is what you learned to do as a child.

As adult we are all responsible for our choices and must make our choices from our deeper selves, not from what others wish, want or demand from us.
That is the only way to be a healthy adult. But, it will at times cause others to be disappointed, unhappy or even withdraw. But, we cannot give up ourselves and compromise who we are.

These feelings are coming up to be healed. So you can untangle your confusion and let go guilt.
You are on the right path with being with these feelings and understanding their origin.

There is a old book called"Goodby To Guilt" by Gerald G. Jampolsky M.D. This might be of further help for you.

Michele Germain

Posted by: Michele Germain on May 14, 2007 11:26 AM

hi
thanks for the info on guilt and forgiveness.like the other persons experiences above i was also swallowed ib=n the belly of guilt but your article was so ideal that i caused me now to want to get rid of this hideous guilty feeling.
this thing call guilt has the potential to do great harm to anyone so please everone beware and get rid of guilt.thanks

Posted by: delon alleyne on June 2, 2007 10:43 PM

I broke up with someone over a year ago. It was long distance and I got jealous. She had stopped calling, or so it seemed, and I was going through a recent layoff and a housing crisis, and with all that stress I wasn't thinking clearly and broke it off via text. I felt SO guilty afterward. I apologized profusely for how I broke up (text is so impersonal, but I felt I had no other option since she wasn't answering the phone or responding to anything else). It took me over a year to stop beating myself up and apologizing. I still feel a little bit of guilt about it, but I realize that I did what I felt I had to do at that time. I hear through a mutual friend that she's fine now which took away some of the guilt. No, I don't think so much of myself, like I was some sort of catch that she'd never recover from, just I felt so horrible for how I did it.

Posted by: Jake on December 28, 2007 11:08 PM

Ouch - yes, guilt hurts a lot.
Just four days ago I broke up with my live-in boyfriend of three years. We were in the process of buying a house together. I think that very intense reality snapped me into movement, realizing that I needed to act on something I had been considering seriously for a year.

I was in no way prepared for how difficult it would be. The act of breaking up (it was a total shock to my boyfriend) was horrendous, and now this period of moving out and basically losing a best friend. I cry uncontrollably and am even doubting I made the right decision because of how painful this is. I think guilt plays a big part in bringing about that questioning - the fact that a choice I made is hurting someone I still deeply care about is something I have a hard time forgiving myself for. I also question if I could have done it in a different way to kindof ease into it. In the end, it is knowing that he is hurting, and my fault, that kills me.

Posted by: gira on February 11, 2008 5:29 PM

I broke up with my fiance a couple of weeks ago. The guilt has been so overwhelming. As we got more immersed in the wedding planning i would find myself passively acting out-not finding the right invitations, or wedding hall, not being able to pick a location for the wedding....

We get along so well-best friends. But, there were some core issues that i could no longer ignore. And there was a voice inside me that kept saying "No" though he is wonderful person and i still love him dearly.

I have been on an emotional roller-coaster-especially after telling my parents and friends. My parents especially were upset since i am 30-something (time to settle down) and they really liked him.

I am just trying to be kind to myself-and remember that i am trying to be as honest as possible. AS i really looked internally I saw that I could not go further in the relationship with marriage and children. It takes courage to end a relationship this far in.

Since we live together in the same house-it is going to be harder since we see each other everyday and he is determined that we try again.

It helps, though, to read these posts. I would encourage others in this kind of situation to post comments as it gives me some strength to know there are others out there.

Posted by: Mauree on March 11, 2008 4:34 PM

Hello All,

About 9 months ago, I broke off a 8.5 year relationship that was the best of my life. Nothing terrible happened, but we were just unable to move to the next level (marriage & kids) and as we are both in our 30s it was best to seperate and try to build new lives that could go to that next level. She was and still is my very best friend. The guilt is often overwhelming. She has already dated, but things haven't worked out and I feel like I cannot move forward until I know she has happily moved on. I know that is irrational, but I can't help it. We are still close and she calls me when she feels lost or lonely. Though so many people say it is unhealthy, I HAVE to be there for her. She's my best friend. I can't just abandon her completely.

I pray daily that she meets someone new and better than me so she can move into the next phase in her life happily.

As for me, I've had zero interest in any new women. I don't know if I have the strength to fall in love just to watch so many dreams crumble away again.
Leaving the person I've loved the most is the hardest thing I've ever done in my life. My guilt is bourne from all the promises I made that I tried my best, but couldn't keep. I feel like the relationship failed because I didn't try hard enough - even though I know that isn't true.
I've heard painful breakups takes years to fully recover from. I'm fine with that as long as it's true. Anyway, that's what I'm going through.

Best to everyone out there who is going through something similar.

Posted by: Danny on April 14, 2008 9:31 PM

Dear Danny

Thank you for your sharing your feelings and what it has been like for to end a significant relationship.

You do have deep feelings for your ex-partner that may always be there, but there was another part of you that knew that the relationship must end so you acted on your deeper knowing. It is very difficult to let go, even when you know it is the right thing to do. It requires you to hang out in an unknown space, and trust that another relationships is in your future.

The question you may ask yourself is, " why do I lack the trust that there is someone out there for me as well as my ex-partner. This usually has something to do with our sense of worthiness and self-esteem.
Try to see your ex-partner as capable of finding her way, instead of seeing her as a "victim" and helpless. If you do you will not feel such pain and guilt over having ended the relationship.
There are no accidents all relationships lead down a path with a purpose. It took courage for you to end the relationship. It sounds like it ended it with integrity. The best gift we can give others is our honesty and compassion. Give compassion to yourself and honor yourself for the courage it took to move on in spite of how difficult it was. Review the gifts you have given eachother, and bless eachother as you continue your journey. This will help you move on.

Posted by: MicheleGermain on April 15, 2008 10:50 AM

I broke off my engagement with a girl id been with for only about 8 months.The reason we split was due to her being deeply insecure and jealous.I never cheated on her but she always doubted me which put massive strain on our relationship,so much so that i had to end it.I feel guilty for 2 reasons-firstly because i broke off our wedding,i know she was looking so forward to it,her family had paid deposits etc.I feel awful for again being another man in her life who has let her down (men letting her down being the reason for her insecurities in the first place)second reason for my guilt is the fact that ive walked out on our young dog.It sounds ridiculous but i cant help but feel he'll be wondering where i am and feel like ive abandoned him for some reason.If i knew my ex had met someone new and was happy and if i knew my dog was happy then id be ok.I know in my heart ive done the right thing,i just hate having hurt her.Shes been nasty and spiteful since the break up and although it sounds like that should make it easier for me-it isnt.I know that the reason for her anger is because shes hurting.I hope this feeling of guilt passes!!

Posted by: DR on April 24, 2008 9:43 PM

We cannot live in a world without making decisions. We make these decision based on what we know about ourselves at the time, and what we think is best.
Guilt is a feeling of self-condemnation that we experience after we do something we think is wrong. It keeps us stuck and affects our self esteem and confidence. It usually covers up feelings of sadness or anger, and prohibits growth.
It sounds like you were having doubt as she was doubting your loyalty. (And, I suspect other things as well were going on that each of you were not aware of.) And this you felt could not be worked out, so you were honest with her. Honesty, is what a healthy relationship is based on, and it can hurt others.

You, can feel sad that she is hurting, but you do not have to take responsiblity for her pain.
You have your own grief work to do even though you were the one that initiated the ending. So feel you own sadness and/or anger and you will no longer feel the guilt. Do not condem or punish yourself for doing what you thought is best.

Acknowledge the gifts you have received from this relationships and learn what you need to do differently in your next relationship. This will help you to let go and move on. She will have to do her own individually grief work the best way she can. And maybe someday she can acknowledge the gifts you have given her.

Posted by: Michele Germain L.C.S.W. on April 27, 2008 5:37 PM

I recently broke up with my girlfriend of almost four years. I am 24 and she is 26. We are best friends and have what I think is a soul-mate relationship. I have been struggling with anxiety around the relationship for the past 6 months, feeling trapped between losing my best friend/love of my life and losing myself. She was incredibly tolerant of my need for growth. This was my first serious relationship and there were many times where I felt that I needed time to experience life on my own before giving myself to a committed relationship. Yet, I realized that no amount of understanding and support from her or counseling from friends, family and therapists could "cure" this desire to be free.

So, it ended. She knew what was going on for the past six months and we both fought for my healing while maintaining the relationship. But the reality was, the relationship could not sustain itself with how I was feeling. I am heart broken. I am also relieved and excited to have time to myself. I am also overwhelmed with what I have taken away from her as well as with the sadness of ending something I saw blossoming into a beautiful life together. I have not let go of these feelings and dreams and it has made it incredibly difficult to really feel separate from her while holding on to them. I don't know how to move on when I still feel that we can make it work once I have had more life experience. Yet, I also know that it is unfair for her to wait for me through this. I don't want to actively push away really strong feelings for our future together or say goodbye to a love that we have worked so hard to cultivate. I want to say goodbye to my old struggling self that needed more time to grow before being with someone. The breakup is more about my need to grow than a problem with our connection or a loss of love. Please let me know if you have any thoughts.

Posted by: Adam on May 13, 2008 1:02 PM

Hi, I am in the beginning of a breakup. We have been together for 10 years. We have had ups and downs as normal. We had broken up once before like 4 years ago but got back together. We both have not been happy for some time now but we kept holding on but today it came to a head, no arguing, no fussing just honest talk , that this should end because its not working. I feel INCREDIBLE guilt even though deep down inside I have wanted out for some time now but didnt want to hurt him or seem to selfish in wanting to leave. He is a good person and loves me deeply. I feel so much guilt because I know how much he loves me and I love him to but dont feel I am IN love with him ( whatever that means if anything) I have always felt a lack of passion in our relationship. We moved extremely fast when we first met. We were living with each other within the first year and he was telling me he loved soon after we met. We have a really cool times but also a lot of bad times but all in all I think we can happier apart even though it hurts so bad just coming out and telling that truth. You question yourself if your even making the right decision or making a hasty decision. There is no cheating or anything majorily bad happening but we have just been going through the motions and not genuinly happy and finally today just admitted that. It is hurting pretty bad now , cause I dont want to hurt, i dont want him to hurt but I guess it is inevitable

Posted by: Thai on May 31, 2008 7:39 PM

Thank you for writing your thoughts and sharing your process with others. It sounds like you both have come to a deeper knowing that ending this relationship is for your highest good.

Endings and "letting go" of a relationship even though it is what we want is still very difficult. IN fact most people stay together because being in a unhappy relaitonship is easier than letting go. You both have courage to be honest and go into the grief that endings bring on. Feel your sadness and all the feelings that you have. Give yourself time to heal. ANd do no play the who is guilty who is innocent game. Feeling guilty and selfish because we are being honest and saying 'no' usually comes from childhood. As adults we must be responsible for our own choices and own decision. You must live your life the best way you can and know one knows that better than you.

Prepare a ritual for your ending. Do this with eachother or by yourself. Go to dinner, write down the gifts you each have received from the other in the relationship and bless eachother as you go forward on your path. If he cannot participate in this, do it by yourself or with a friend. Do not be afraid to feel the sadness, but please let go of the guilt. It will keep you depressed, make you feel unloved and cause you to carry self-blame into your next relationship.
Learn your lessons, ask yourself questions and explore what you now know you want in your next relatinship.

If you feel your loss and go through the healing process you will be ready and open to enter another relationship. Do not carry this guilt along with you on your path. It will only weigh you down. Cry instead of feeling guilty and you will heal.

Posted by: Michele Germain on June 2, 2008 10:10 AM

I broke up with my boyfriend of many years after meeting someone else. It was the hardest decision I've ever made. I couldn't imagine not being with this person that I really loved, who had loved me and was my best friend. Something just woke up in me in meeting the new man about long buried dreams and needs that weren't fulfilled in the relationship. I had hoped my ex and I could stay friends, and we tried, but two years later he is still in much pain and I miss him terribly, even though I'm happy in my new relationship. I have so much quilt. Not just about "dumping" him suddenly for another guy, but for leaving him at a difficult time in his life when he was dealing with a lot of loss. For not talking through things sooner and more directly.

Posted by: KH on June 29, 2008 2:09 AM

Thank you for your comment. Guilt can be a heavy burden to carry around, and may keep you from fully being present in your now primary relationship. In fact, consider that you may be keeping yourself from fully surrendering to this new relationship by obsessing about your past.

Do not see your "ex" as a victim even though he is struggling with his loss. Reframe the way you talk about the event. Instead of stating that your "dumped" him, try telling yourself, "with much difficulty I chose to end a relationship that what meaningful because I new staying would not be what is best for me".
I know you have lost a good friend, but your honesty with yourself and others is most
important for any relationship to survive

Posted by: Michele Germain L.C.S.W. on June 30, 2008 11:20 AM

I can relate to the guilt many people have expressed here. I too am going through a break up where I ended a 1 year relationship with a special guy quite suddenly. I've always had doubts about how I felt about him and we had some pretty rocky times in the beginning. But I didn't want to give up so soon and thought he deserved a chance. He is the first man who told me "I love you" and he's the first man I said "I love you" to as well. Though I did love him and we were the best of friends I still couldn't look past certain things, like possible emotional manipulation, and felt it was best to cut things off rather than lead him on for another year. At times I feel like this is just how relationships go. We are trying to figure out who we are compatible with. Other times I feel so guilty since he fell madly in love with me and truly trusted in our relationship. My guilt includes thoughts that maybe I was too sensitive or afraid of commitment. Sometimes I think I was looking for too much perfection or was unwilling to work on a relationship. After all, I felt so comfortable with him and we were in tuned to each others strange sense of humor, etc. (As I read this it sounds like am beating myself up, yes)? Anyhow, I thought others might be experiencing similar doubts and thoughts in addition to the guilt of hurting the other person.

Posted by: NF on August 12, 2008 10:08 PM

It is common to feel some doubt as you end a relationship. Especially, if you are the one to initiate the ending. But, you must trust your intuition. We all like to be in our comfort level, and sometimes staying in a relationship that is not quite the right fit can be easier than moving on. It is difficult to trust that there is someone more compatible for you. You may have seen qualities that you loved in him, which were the parts of him you feel in love with. But, as you mentioned there are qualities that you could not accept and knew could not live with long term. (You were smart enough to know that you cannot change anyone. You must accept them as they are. ) Only you know what is right and what will work for you long term.

As I have said so many times. Being honest in a relationship with ourselves is most important. Your ex-partner may be hurt by your decision, but he would be more hurt if you chose to stay in a relationship and could not give him all the love he deserved because you were unhappy and could not accept him fully.

Trust yourself, as you move forward. Let go of the guilt and know that you must live your life from your authentic self and follow your inner wisdom. Your guilt will keep you from grieving your own pain. So instead of guilt, feel your own sadness, anger, fear etc. You will be doing your healing and be open for your next relatioship.

Posted by: Michele Germain L.C.S.W. on August 21, 2008 9:05 AM

I broke up with my girlfriend of 1.5 years and felt an extreme amount of guilt just like so many have described in this thread. There had been dependency issues that I had decided were too severe between the two of us for us to be able to have a mutually beneficial relationship. But after about 7 months of the guilt not subsiding I was convinced that it had been the wrong decision and that Id never find someone who was as good to me as she was. So I asked her to take me back. She said yes right away, and instead of taking things slowly we dove right back into the way things had been just prior to the break up. It only took a few weeks until I realized I was also feeling the same way I had just prior to the break up.

Because I feared she would be disappointed or paranoid of another break up, I avoided confrontation at all costs and found myself constantly pretending to be someone I wasnt. And because this was such a glaring injustice to her, I eventually yet again made the decision to break it off. And now the guilt is significantly worse. And this is largely because what I did was so obviously and more objectively wrong and cruel to her.

Anyway, the purpose of this post is to advise anyone who is considering rekindling a relationship with someone with whom they broke up while still feeling guilty about it NOT TO DO IT! This seems like a no brainer, but when you're in the situation it will be much easier than you think to lie to yourself and tell yourself that the guilt is not playing a role in your desire to get back together. But if it is there in any slightly significant form, I can tell you that it IS playing a role. And it is poisonous. She even said to me... the first time I couldnt be angry with you because I understood it was just something you had to do... but now I know you're an asshole.

So there is the other message, if you're feeling guilty about a break up, realize that the person with whom you've broken up is probably holding you much less responsible for their sadness than you think. Guilt gives us an unrealistically negative view of our actions. Try not to let it do that to you.

Posted by: J on September 18, 2008 2:50 PM

Hi it has been amazing reading that so many others are going through similiar feelings. I ended our marriage after 17 yrs, 4 children and some good yet difficult times together. He was an amzing husband in some respects good provider and so in love with me I often wonder if anyone can ever love me the same again. I have felt the most overwhelming guilt over the break up,over a year ago, sometimes when i become paticularily upset i feel i cant breath. The teenageers have gone a bit of track since split, dabbling in alcohol with friends, swearing etc. and ex has gone from a sober man to heavy drinker, smoker, dabbles in drugs with his family and goes from house to house sleeping where he can. He was hardworking and took great pride in his job, now he is unemployed and unreliable. I feel overwhelming guilt that i have caused he and the children to become this way from the marriage break up i feel i have destroyed him, he looks so old, unkept and sad now it breaks my heart thinking i have done this to him and that if we had stayed together even though he was emotionally controlling, jealous and verbally abusive a bit at times the rest of the time he was so good and loving. i did it 4 myself and children but now i feeel perhaps i have destroyed them all. Sorry if this upsets anyone.

Posted by: amanda on September 30, 2008 2:40 PM

Dear J.

I can see that you are in the grieving process. It does not matter who initiates the breakup, a greif reaction does occur. Yes, it is not uncommon to feel guilt, especially if you have been the one to initiate the breakup. Guilt is usually a cover up for other feelings, such as anger, over having to make a difficult decision, not getting your needs met during the relationship, feeling cheated etc. Sadness is a natural response to a loss even if you are the initiator.

Keep in mind that you do not have the power to save or destroy anyone. Your ex-husband is making choices that he alone is responsible for, in terms of how he handles this loss. As adults we each must be responsible for our own decision and choices and how we go forward following such a loss.

Your children are also experiencing a loss and it is not unusal for adolescence to act out. It is important that you help your children identify their feelings and give them an opportunity to feel angry and sad. But, also tell them that there is appropriate and inappropriate ways to handle feelings.

The difficulty in breathing can be a result of feelings stuck in the body, the breathing tightens to keep the feelings from flowing out.
Try and let yourself cry and when you feel difficulty with breathing try to pause and ask yourself what you feel inside. Scared, sad, angry etc. Once you name the feeling the breathing should get easier.

When guilt comes up, let it come up and as you would a upset child give yourself love. Give love to the guilt. We are often taught as children that we are responsible for others happiness; and guilt then is a byproduct of that message. We must be able to honor ourselves and do what is in our highest good. We can only be responsible for ourselves not our partners.

So bring love to the guilt when it comes up. And feel your sadness or anger instead. Guilt will also be a weapon your children will use against you if you continue to carrry it in your mind and body. They will know you feel guilty and use that to get their way or act out more of their feelings. If you carry the gult around, as mothers and fathers we tend to overcompoensate and overgive or overindulge our children to make up for what we think we have done wrong.

I hope this was helpful, that you for sharing your experience.

Posted by: Michele Germain L.C.S.W> on October 1, 2008 2:30 AM

I recently broke up with my fiance, and have been having a really hard time with it. I did not make the decision lightly. Now I am overcome by the guilt of the situation. She is a good woman, but there where issues, and I felt like she did not take them very seriously when I would mention them. I keep thinking of her crying and asking me over and over to reconsider. Then I ask myself wouldn't I have wanted the same?? I have met a wonderful woman, and she treats me great, but I feel like the guilt of my past relationship id holding me back from giving my all to this new relationship. I wish I could just let things go, but I keep having dreams about the situation. I accually talked to her a few days ago. She sounds good. I guess I just miss what we had. Any advice would be appreciated.

Posted by: John on October 2, 2008 5:53 PM

I just ended a relationsip of one and one-half years. I still care about this person. I have been wrestling with feelings of guilt because she quit her job and sold many of her posessions to live with me (we had been dating 7 months). Almost as soon as she got here though, it became clear that the relationship had no real foundation. The arguments started, and respect broke down almost immediately. We weren't commited to each other out of love, but because she was now financially dependent on me (she has alot of bills too). I also think she has some void in her life (e.g. a neglectful father) that she somehow thought this relationship would fill. I felt like all of the emotional resources that we have between us were sucked up by her issues. I do care for her, I just know there was no integrity in the relationship. If I had more experience dating I would have seen it before she moved here too, so I also feel guilty because I failed to see that we weren't really compatible. There is a site you should really visit. It's called "the case against marriage." I know... you may disagree with the author and think that marriage really is something special and sublime, but really you should just consider the author's perspective on relationships, and maybe some of it will clear things up for you. Maybe some portion of this will make you see that sometimes a relationship is just not right.

http://www.familycourtchronicles.com/marriage/introduction/#body

Posted by: Patrick on October 9, 2008 12:50 PM

I ended my relationship with my fiance 5 months ago. We were together for 4 years and sacrificed a lot to be together. We had a good relationship, rarely fought, and were in the process of buying a house together (we had been living together for 3 years). I suffer from anxiety and depression, and he was always there for me, which is a lot of the reason for my guilt. We made it through a lot of difficult times together and planned to be together forever. There were personality conflicts though that I had tried to overlook for a long time and I guess the stress of marriage, kids, and a house together in the future was just too much for me to take. I hurt him so bad when I left; he didn't expect it at all. We were best friends and everything to each other. I wanted to be his friend so badly after it ended because I still love him but he hasn't returned my phone calls in about a month. I don't know if he has tried to move on (that's what I want for him) or if he is still suffering from our loss. I can't get over this guilt. It plagues me everyday. How can I stop feeling this horrible about walking away from my best friend?

Posted by: Kristin on October 13, 2008 9:15 PM

Dear Kristin

It is not easy to transform a intimate romantic relationship into a friendship.
Your ex-partner is still grieving and probably at this time cannot connect with you in the way you desire. Maybe in the future. So for now let go of the desire to be his friend and grieve your own loss.

There are good things in your relationship and some of your needs, especially for friendship were met. But, when we are talking about a long-term marriage or relationship where we put our ives together in many ways, it is important to feel that deep inside yourself as what is right. Obviously, you did not believe that the two of you could walk that path together. So, trust your decision and let yourself be sad about your loss.

Also,Journal and write about all the gifts you received from him, and all the gifts you believe you have given him. This will help you to see that you both exchanged gifts and helped eachother along the path however short it was.

Journal and talk about your sadness, and connect with your own inner child who may believe that you will not get those needs met by anyone else.

Sometimes because of our personal history we can feel like we are wrong for putting ourself first and honoring what we feel. This is what you did, you honored what you felt was right for you, you had no intention to do harm to your ex-partner even though he is in grief.

This is what you must focus on now. Pray or send him postiive thoughts for his happiness, when the guilty feelings come up, that will be better use of your mental energy. And be loving to yourself. Sometimes it is very difficult to do the right thing.

Posted by: Michele Germain L.C.S.W. on October 14, 2008 4:26 AM

Dear Kristin

It is not easy to transform a intimate romantic relationship into a friendship.
Your ex-partner is still grieving and probably at this time cannot connect with you in the way you desire. Maybe in the future. So for now let go of the desire to be his friend and grieve your own loss.

There are good things in your relationship and some of your needs, especially for friendship were met. But, when we are talking about a long-term marriage or relationship where we put our ives together in many ways, it is important to feel that deep inside yourself as what is right. Obviously, you did not believe that the two of you could walk that path together. So, trust your decision and let yourself be sad about your loss.

Also,Journal and write about all the gifts you received from him, and all the gifts you believe you have given him. This will help you to see that you both exchanged gifts and helped eachother along the path however short it was.

Journal and talk about your sadness, and connect with your own inner child who may believe that you will not get those needs met by anyone else.

Sometimes because of our personal history we can feel like we are wrong for putting ourself first and honoring what we feel. This is what you did, you honored what you felt was right for you, you had no intention to do harm to your ex-partner even though he is in grief.

This is what you must focus on now. Pray or send him postiive thoughts for his happiness, when the guilty feelings come up, that will be better use of your mental energy. And be loving to yourself. Sometimes it is very difficult to do the right thing.

Posted by: Michele Germain L.C.S.W. on October 14, 2008 4:26 AM

I left my husband of 25 years over ten months ago, things had not been right for 10 years but i stayed for our 2 children who needed both parents through their school years. He was a good provider but did not give any love or affection or sympathy in the 25 years we were together. All his needs were met but mine never were until i became so depressed i didnt want to live anymore. I told him this on several occasions and asked him if we could change our lives now the children were older and have some quanlity time for us but he would rather work 6 days a week 51 weeks a year than listen to me. Things came to a head after xmas last year and i had to get out. He is now a broken man doesnt know where to turn is lonely although the children stay with him half the week, he is not helping himself get over things and wants to keep in touch with me but any move i make in my life upsets him and i feel so guilty if i appear happy and he is not, the children say he just mopes about all the time and wont go out, i cant get rid of the feeling of guilt, i did think of going back to make them all happy, one person out of four unhappy, but my friends talked me out of it, i just want to dump the guilt and move on with my life, please help me get over this.

Posted by: Maureen on October 16, 2008 8:54 AM

I recently broke up with my boyfriend of 4 years. After having a long distance relationship we decided to move in together last year. Our relationship seemed like it was going in the right direction since we never fought, but something deep inside of me told me differently. Since the beginning of our relationship, I felt like I was always sacrificing everything I wanted to accomplish in the hopes that it would help our relationship. Upon moving in together, my boyfriend entered into medical school at age 28 even though I had already finished school. I started to feel resentment towards him since he seemed to be doing everything he wanted to do, but I was stuck waiting for him to finish school. One day a couple of weeks ago I woke up and decided that I felt trapped. I started crying and told my boyfriend that I wanted to move out west. So now I am living out west and am happier than I've been in years, but I am feeling totally guilty. My ex keeps calling me to ask me to reconsider. I feel like I'm acting cold-heartedly when I tell him it's over and I never want to come back. How do I get over these feelings of guilt, especially when he thinks my decision came on so suddenly?

Posted by: Devon on October 29, 2008 4:14 PM

Dear Maureen
Being truthful to ourselves and to others, shows respect. Respect for yourself and respect for him. Your honesty is important. If you do not want to return to the relationship you should say so. You "ex" needs to understand where you are emotionally, so he can move on with his life. Sending double messages because you don't want to hurt him will only develop more pain for both of you.

There is a lesson in this relationship for you. Make sure you ask yourself the questions and explore what you have learned and what you need to do differently so you do not feel trapped in any relationship that you are in.

You must honor yourself while you are in a relationship with someone. This requires that you communicate, understand what your personal needs are and be able to act on them, and not blame the other because you are unfullfilled. The question you may need to ask yourself,"Did I give up too much of myself for the sake of the relationship". This is something you must not carry into your next relatinship. You alone know when you are overcompensating and overgiving and you alone can change this. This is not the job of any partner.

Good luck in your new life and keep listening to your body and your heart.

Posted by: .Michele Germain L.C.S.W. on November 11, 2008 2:04 PM

I just yesterday broke off an almost two year relationship with my fiance. I love him dearly but just felt that within our own cores we were very different people who wanted different things. I have been feeling tremendous guilt about this, not only because I'm the one who did the breaking up, but also because in February, he was diagnosed with delayed onset combat related PTSD (he served in Afghanistan before I knew him). We've had some very tough times since then and I've sacrificed so much to get him to the point he is at now. I think that going through the process allowed my fiance to become his own true person, either bringing out things he was repressing or redefining who he is. He asked me today if I was positive about my decision and I told him "What's done is done." I just want to make sure that I'm being strong enough. I've felt very ambivalent toward the relationship for the past two months and have been on an emotional rollercoaster since August. We've tried counseling and I even almost moved out once before. I finally decided to do something about my thoughts of breaking it off and read the bood "Too good to leave, Too bad to stay." I think it really helped me confirm what I knew to be true in my heart, but now I feel as if I've acted in haste. I know I made the right decision and my friends and family consistently remind me of my late night tearful phone calls and visits from three hours away when I was thinking of moving out. I just want to know how best to deal with this guilt right now. I feel like if I go back, maybe things will work out but now reading these posts, I feel like a little better about my situation. He is a strong man and I know he will move on. We want to remain friends but I don't know if that's possible.

Posted by: Lindsay on November 24, 2008 4:07 PM

I have been feeling the weight of guilt for many years. I remember trying to break up with my husband after a year of dating when I saw the way he treated and talked to his family and said I won't be that person down the road.

We were married for nearly a decade, some good times and some very bad times. He took exceedingly good care of me and wanted me to be an at home mom to our son as much as I did. He always worked 6-7 days a week which was fine as we are polar opposites and I am pretty independent.

After some bouts of depression and anxiety and never feeling like I measure up I moved to another room in our home and eventually lived as strangers separately in the same house.

He moved out and we've gone through this roller coaster never ending saga of getting back together and being apart.

I filed for legal separation when he demanded I use my credit card to get an advance again and to get child support/spousal support- when I did not work and did not have $20 to put gas in the car or to pay the two mortgages on our house.

I have some moral problem in my head about the D word, have trouble even saying it. I cannot stand the word X and never use is ever.

I got an attorney that was recommended by a marriage counselor that he hated that told me "privileged " things the other attorney told him about my husband blowing money in Las Vegas on girls and who knows what else.- Who knows if that was true and after I head that I changed the papers to dissolution. After months and months of putting off finalizing anything I wound up in court where a judge finalized the end of my marriage. What I did not know at the time was that it was FINAL that day, I walked out thinking I had 6 months to decide. I wrote a letter to the attorney telling him I was NOT informed of that important fact and said do not charge me for reading this letter. HE charged me over $1400 for that awful day.
MY former husband does not believe me to this day and holds it over my head when he is mad at me- that it is all my fault and that I just play the victim. When I realized it was final and that was not and never what I wanted I begged him to take me back about a month later- before he'd even talk to me.

As long as I do not rock the boat we'd get along fine but the tip of the iceberg of anger is always there and I am at fault for worsening his already crumbling finances.

For years we had taboo subjects on money and financial matters and he does not pay taxes. Bottom line then and now is that he cannot/ will not live within his means. Since we separated 4 years ago he has been been fired three times after having a great career at one company for 11 years, and has become a heavy drinker at night and heavy smoker despite our son having asthma.

He blames me for all the bad things in his life/ that I took it all away and every time we get back together to be a family, underlying the pretty picture is a mountain of resentment and anger for both of us. I am unsure why I keep thinking things will be different or change but I like an insane person keep trying. I do not command a tenth of the income he does so I count on child support from him. I hear a recording running in my head from comments my mom made " you don't make enough money to get by on your own without that cushion of support". I feel like I am always trying to seek approval from him and he is nicer to strangers / waitresses/ anyone but me.

I wonder if there is anyone out there like me in this sort of situation. I do not date, I have not dated anyone since I separated from my husband and put my son first.

He has seemed to have no trouble sleeping with/ seeing / whatever he calls it with other girls. That is so hard because infidelity was not the reason for me to go down the road of separation.

When my son goes with his dad, I feel so left out. This has been going on for so long I just wonder when I will be able to move on. Probably since I still think someday it will work out.

Posted by: Jennifer on December 8, 2008 11:34 PM

Dear Jennifer

I hear the emotional pain that you have as you described your long difficult relationships. The most important thing for you to do now is to heal yourself. First start with reclaiming your worthiness as a person and improve your self-esteem. You have taken on the whole responsibility of the conflicts and problems in the relationship, because you ex-husband does not want to accept responsibility for his part of the conflicts.

Your job is not to "fix" him or "help him heal", but to let go and begin to heal yourself so you can move on with your life.

Go inside and seek out your own spiritual connection and ask for guidance on how to forgive yourself and to love yourself again. You deserve a man in your life who will love you and cherish you, but you must begin to love and cherish yourself first.

It is very diffiuclt to let go of something we believe we need. Ask yourself what is it that I need now in my life? What will make me happy?
How can I make myself happy? What are my gifts?
What are the things I give to others?

Keep searching and asking yourself the question, even if the answers do not come so easily. The questions are what is important now.

Seek out people who will support you and give your positive regard. Also, it would be helpful to find a on-going support group. Follow your heart ask for diretion and spiritual let yourself be led to the places, people and situations that will best serve you.

I send much support and light as you continue your journey.

Posted by: Michele Germain on December 11, 2008 11:27 AM

I broke up with my girlfriend of almost two years back in May. Even though the relationship ended then, we slept together a few times over the next couple of months. I then kissed another woman at a party and didn't have the heart to lie to my ex-girlfriend about it. She was devastated because she thought there was still a good chance that we'd get back together. I immediately told the woman from the party that we couldn't continue anything because it was too painful for my ex-girlfriend. From that point on I haven't so much as kissed my ex-girlfriend, but remained very close friends. Even though I wasn't inclined to continue a relationship, I still care a lot about my ex-girlfriend.

So my ex-girlfriend and I continued to be friends for several months, but I was always aware that she still wanted more. I thought I was ready to start dating again, and I met a nice girl about two months ago. We dated for about a month, but I felt so guilty about my ex-girlfriend that I had a panic attack and frequent anxiety. I began to question whether I really was ready to date again and if I had made the right decision to break up with my ex. I called things off with the new girl and told my ex that I was very confused about my feelings.

Since then I have been in infrequent contact with my ex-girlfriend, and I feel more confident in my original decision to break up with her. I'm also having second thoughts about calling things off with the new girl that I met. I'm just so afraid of hurting anyone that I feel trapped and that any decision I make will be one that inevitably hurts someone else and probably myself. I know deep down inside that my ex and I are not right for each other, but I feel like I just need to give her more time to get over me before I start dating again, but if I take too much time, I'll blow any chance I have with the new girl.

Posted by: Tom on December 17, 2008 6:09 PM

Dear Tom

It seems like your confidence is growing in terms of your decision to end your relationship. The question to ask yourself is; "What Is This Anxiety Really About". I suspect it was not just guilt. It sounds like you are taking the full responsibility for the relationship not working out and you blame yourrself for being the cause of your ex-girlfrieds emotional pain.

If you are blaming yourself, then you may be punishing yourself by not letting yourself have fun and enter the dating world again. I suspect your anxiety and panic is part of the self-blame.

What are you telling yourself? Are you telling yourself you are bad, unworthy of dating and having a fullfilling relationship?

YOu must try to see that your decision was in your ex-girlfriends highest good as it is in yours. Staying in a relationship when you have so much doubt and are attracted to other women does not make for a healthy relationship.

Continue to go inside and ask yourself; What type of a reltionship do I want? What kind of a women am I attracted to, what are the qualities I admire in someone? WHat are my needs in a relationship? What did I learn in this past relatinship about myself that I did not know before? What now do I want in a longlasting relationship? The better you understand yourself the more successful you will be in your next relationship.

Let go of the guilt, keep asking yourself the questions even though you do not have the answers. They will come.

Also, when you start dating or if you are in a relationship presently, let that person know what kind of a relationship you are looking for. If you are not completely over your ex-girlfriend, do not talk about her to your dates but know that you will need time before you can become really committed to someone else.

You deserve to be happy as your ex-girlfriend does as well. When you feel guilt, just send light and good thoughts to yourself and to her.

Go slow in your dating and keep checking in by asking yourself how you are feeling about the relationship. This is just a good practice to get into.

Posted by: Michele Germain on December 26, 2008 5:20 PM

I just broke up with my boyfriend of 8 years last night. We live together, in his house, and I am in the process of getting ready to move. Like everyone else, the guilt I am experiencing is UNBEARABLE. Luckily, we weren't engaged and we didn't have kids, but we do have a 7-month old Golden retriever. I literally burst into tears every time he looks up at me with those big brown eyes, wondering why I'm packing all my stuff. My guilt is terrible because there is someone else. Someone that I've always been in love with, who makes me feel the things I dreamed of as a little girl. I feel so incredibly selfish for causing so much pain to someone else just so that I can be happier. It is the hardest thing I've ever done. I am second-guessing myself like crazy because our life is so comfortable and even happy. But, deep down, I know that we are merely best friends. We would end up in a sexless marriage - in fact, we are already there. Just not married yet. I love him with all my heart, but the passion is gone - it was barely there to begin with. Reading other posts has helped me a lot, so I figured I would post my story. I can barely think about the other guy right now. Definitely going to take some time to work through this breakup before jumping in. At first, it did feel like I wanted to leave because of the other guy, but now I realize that the other guy coming around and offering me a different life, was merely a catalyst for me to finally end a relationship that had me wondering... "I guess this is it???" with a sigh.

Posted by: MV on December 31, 2008 11:55 AM

MV, I am in your exact situation, sort of minus the someone else. I've been 8.5 years with my boyfriend. I told him last week that I wanted to move out. I vary between the huge guilt I have for hurting him and excitement for what will be a new beginning for me. It's so scary and weird to be leaving someone I've loved for so long. I keep saying to myself, it's for the best, but I just feel so horrible for all the hurt. And sometimes my guilt makes me wonder if I'm making the right decision by leaving. I know in time that I will heal and so will he. It's just so sad. Anyway, just wanted to say I know how you feel. Take care.

Posted by: Monny on January 22, 2009 4:19 PM

I broke up with my boyfriend of two years 3 days ago. He'd moved to another city for me 6 months ago and we were living together. Everything was going really nicely and he became friends with my friends and joined in all my social activities. I realized a couple of months ago though that I didn't think he was the one for me forever and pretending that I did feel that way became more and more difficult. I don't know why I feel that he's not right, he's wonderful and makes me so happy and I have a great time with him but I just didn't feel excited by our relationship or future. I finally felt like too much of a fraud and broke up with him. It took him completely off guard and he is devastated that he is not only losing his girlfriend/bestfriend/hopes and dreams for the future, but also his place to live, his friends, his social life etc. He has nothing left other than his job and unfortunately can't go back to where he moved from b/c of job commitments. I feel like its so unfair of me to have taken so much from him so that I can potentially be a little bit happier when I already was happy day to day. I destroyed my best friends world and not even for a reason I can put my finger on. All I want to do is tell him I'm so sorry, I didn't mean it at all and fix it for him. What I've done is so cruel and unfair, he was willing to do anything to make me happy and instead I took everything from him. Please help me reconcile how having done this can possibly be the right thing to do.

Posted by: Anne on March 7, 2009 11:48 AM

I broke up with my boyfriend of two years 3 days ago. He'd moved to another city for me 6 months ago and we were living together. Everything was going really nicely and he became friends with my friends and joined in all my social activities. I realized a couple of months ago though that I didn't think he was the one for me forever and pretending that I did feel that way became more and more difficult. I don't know why I feel that he's not right, he's wonderful and makes me so happy and I have a great time with him but I just didn't feel excited by our relationship or future. I finally felt like too much of a fraud and broke up with him. It took him completely off guard and he is devastated that he is not only losing his girlfriend/bestfriend/hopes and dreams for the future, but also his place to live, his friends, his social life etc. He has nothing left other than his job and unfortunately can't go back to where he moved from b/c of job commitments. I feel like its so unfair of me to have taken so much from him so that I can potentially be a little bit happier when I already was happy day to day. I destroyed my best friends world and not even for a reason I can put my finger on. All I want to do is tell him I'm so sorry, I didn't mean it at all and fix it for him. What I've done is so cruel and unfair, he was willing to do anything to make me happy and instead I took everything from him. Please help me reconcile how having done this can possibly be the right thing to do.

Posted by: Anne on March 7, 2009 11:51 AM

Dear Anne

I hear a great deal of guilt and self blame as you share what you feel. You are saying, I am totally responsible for his pain and his life.
There is no question he may be going through some emotional pain and grief over this loss, but he has made his choices along the way as you have made yours.

You can let him know that you are sorry that things did not work out, and that you are strugging inside of yourself to find all the answers and to become more aware of yourself.

Many time, thoes who do not initiate the ending of a relationship, start to feel unworthy. It may be helpful for you to tell him that he deserves someone who is totally devoted as he has many gifts and qualites that are wonderful.
He may not be able to hear this, so you may want to put it in writing if it feels appropriate for you to do so. Check in with yourself and see if this feels right.

Then begin to ask yourself the questions:
"What do I need to do in order to accept my decision instead of causing myself so much pain". " What do I need to change inside myself to bring compassion and understanding instead of guilt". "What is the learning I need to understand in this realtionship". "What are the gifts I received in this relationship and what gift did I give to him.

Endings in relationships are as important as beginnings. You can only work your part, you cannot work his part. All you can do is send him love and light that he finds his way.

Relationship are journey of the soul and each relationhip brings us closer to our own soul, if you stop and go inside to learn what you need to learn to achieve greater awareness about yourself.

Blessings

Posted by: Michele Germain on March 8, 2009 11:04 AM

I broke up with my ex over 9 months ago now. We were together for 6.5 years and lived together for half of them. There was nothing "wrong" with our relationship, we had a good life together, we had fun and laughs, he was never mean or nasty, we hardly argued but I felt sad. For the 12 months before I broke up with my ex I was trying to help him understand the things that were important to me in a relationship and for the future. We just couldn't agree, we would try to compromise but I would always come out feeling like something was missing, that the direction I was heading with my ex would not make me happy deep down inside. A man who I had dated in school re-entred my life, we connected again, we became close friends, we talked about the sort of futures we each seperately wanted for ourselves and along the way I realised that, yes, there is someone else out there who wants what you want, who has the same values that you have. He helped me realise (indirectly) that I did not have to settle for second best or compromise my values in life, the things that I find so important (regarding marriage, children and relationships)are not unreasonable or unrealistic. I broke up with my ex very suddenly, I packed up my belongings and moved interstate, transferred with work within the space of a week. Inside I felt relived, that the descision to break up with my ex was one that was a long time coming and the right thing for me to do. I am now together and living with my sweetheart from school, I feel happy about the future, I feel like things are as they should be and sometimes that makes me feel guilt. At the time and the months following the breakup with my ex I would have bad dreams where my ex would be telling me how much I had hurt him and I would wake up crying. I felt guilty because I was "moving on so quickly", it was a hard thing to explain(justify)to some of my friends (even though inside I didn't feel I should give up another moment of my own happiness just because my ex might be upset that I was trying to pick up my life and move forward). Today I caught up with my ex's mum, we get along and it is the first time I have seen her in at least 10 months and the first time I have spoken to her since the breakup. I walked away feeling guilty for the hurt I had caused not just to my ex but to the family. I feel guilty for the pain I have cause even though I know that there is not much I can do about it. I hope that one day I will be able to sit down and talk to my ex about his feelings surrounding the breakup and my new relationship, I think I want to do this because I feel it will help me ease my guilt but I'm not really sure. I don't know what really brought me to find this website, I don't know how I ended up here writting this big post but I'm glad I did. I read MV's comment and I knew what she meant when she said "I guess this is it???" I just want her to know, that's not it. This has helped me realise that guilt is normal, that I'm not alone in my guilt. I hope that one day I will be able to really let it go.

Posted by: JMCM on March 12, 2009 12:13 AM

Dear JMCM

Writing out your feelings,thoughts and sharing is a healaing experience. A famous psychologist always said "you are only as sick as your secrets".

Guilt does not serve the healing process, but it is normal especially for the one who initiated the breakup.

This was a sudden move, but one you have been thinking about for awhile. Nonetheless, you are going through the loss and feeling the grief assoicated with leaving someone and somethings behind.

Your dreams are a way of processing the feelings. The speed of the move did not give you a chance to feel the loss and get some closure with this long term relatioship. You are now working at closure.

Write in your journal the gifts you received from your ex-partner as well as the gifts you gave. This will help you.

Also, tell yourself you deserve to be happy and you do not have to punish yourself with mental guilt because you left someone behind.

You can send him good thoughts and prayers that he finds his happiness. What is in your highest good is probably in his as well. He as well as you are responsible for your choices that you make in life. No one is responsible for the other. We must honor ourselves and listen to what is our truth.

Journal your feelings, write your ex-partner a letter, but do not send it. Tell him everything and anything. This will help with the closure. You are processing and it will help you be more fully present in your current relationship. Do not over process this with your new relationship it may not help you. But, do continue to process the thoughts, feelings with others or continue writing on this blog.

Many blessings to you
Michele Germain

Blessings
Michele Germain

Posted by: Michele Germain on March 13, 2009 3:38 PM

I am so glad that i saw this site. I broke up with my partner of 14 years almost two years ago. For many reasons, some of which I can now see were my fault, some his, I was very unhappy, and he had turned to alcoholism. We had argued and slept in separate bedrooms several times in the 14 years, but always I came around before and we got back together. But the final time I just couldn't take it any more, and I moved out. We had been sleeping apart for three months, and I had met someone that I liked. As I left my ex sat on the kitchen floor in tears and begged me not to leave. He literally fell apart, and I asked his brother to take care of him, but because of his alcoholism he had been such an erratic and angry person that his brother refused to look after him. And so for the past two years I have been trying to heal him and me. We were best friends, and i really want to continue to be there for him. He seems a little better now, and says that he is choosing to be happy. But he still asks me to marry him all the time. He still says that he loves me, and I still feel that i love him, so i still say i love you back. This has obviously had dire consequences for the relationship I could have had with the new someone i met - although they have been incredibly patient two years is a long time. I am wracked with guilt all the time and haven't known what to do with it - i'm waiting for counselling - maybe that will help. But it is helpful to know that I am not the only one finding it hard to let go - my friends (and the possible new partner) all say that i should stop talking to my ex and we should go separate ways. that sounds barbaric. but maybe it is the only way that we can both move on, which is what we really need to do i guess. How can you love someone so much and let them down?

Posted by: LP on March 22, 2009 5:08 PM

Dear JMCM

Fourteen years is a very long time. So you are still in the process of detaching. The guilt will keep you stuck. Make a list of the gifts you received and you gave in the reationship

You cannot fix anyone. Your ex-partner need professional help, maybe now he will seek the help he needs. All you can do for him is to send prayers and good thougts for his healing.

Know that you are entitled to be happy. Learn from your previous relationship the things that you need to change and release yourself of the selfblame. Ask yourself why you cannot let go?
Ask yourself if you deserve to be happy?
Ask yourself what you would be feeling if you were not feeling guilt?

Take one step at a time and let me know if I can be of any further help. Sometime talking once or twice to a professional can help you move through the process more quickly.

Blessings
Michele Germain L.C.S.W.
michele@michelegermain.com

Posted by: michele germain on April 6, 2009 11:14 AM

I am reading with astonishment that I am not the only one with lingering feelings of guilt over the break up of my three year relationship. We did love each other, but there were a lot of basic incompatibility issues from month one. Extravert to intravert. We had differences in everything from television, to hobbies, to friends. I love large groups and she was always happier when it was "family only".....so this usually left out my friends and relatives, with whom I had shared the last 13 years, extensively. She hated my style of music, and I hers, so traveling in an auto with the stereo going could cause some tension. She had an 8 year old daughter from another person, with abandonment issues, and she (Daughter) was very jealous of my romantic relationship with her mother. We initially moved way too fast, breakneck speed, in love at 3 weeks, pregnant at one month or so, living together shortly afterwards, or so it seemed. Fights would break out here and there, some involving the rudeness of her daughter towards me. Add to this her emotions on a rollercoaster from pregnancy hormones, and job related stessors, and it got volatile, at a time when we truly needed to bond. The new child's arrival started off nicely at the hospital, but on arrival home, there was a shouting match about her daughter's wanting to pick up the newborn at will. When I said "NO!" this caused a chain reaction of negativity. Then, attempting to live together, with each other's habits, and so forth (I am a gym rat, and all of a sudden, my regular for 20 years evening workout became a source of fighting)....shouting matches turned ugly, all of 2007, baby's 1st year. I tried to live with her, but at times, her depressing negativity, and the rudeness of her daughter, and our incompatibility became too much, so I would move out, back into my own place. Only to be told that I needed to move back in if things were going to work. Shouting and screaming contests over the phone became a regularity, though the summer, and into the fall and winter. Finally, she got upset that she got "no ring" for the Holidays, and this blew up in my face on a much needed vacation with her to Las Vegas, where we screamed hoarsley at each other in front of terrified tourists. (My money issues were starting to become problematic here)... I finally ended it upon arrival back at home, and went about getting on with my life, only to get hit with Child Support and a State Enforced Parenting Plan. I then attempted a last ditch effort to "make it" and told her to "keep her Child Support $$$) This started off well enough, but the Parenting Plan only worked if we were seperated, not trying to make it work. And then she told me of her new "rules" for getting the kids and herself to bed at 9pm every night (I worked swing shift at the time) so any semblance of a sex life we once had was now dead as a doornail. I would basically only see her for a scant few minutes at her job, or on Sunday afternoons and evenings, in which we would spend time together before she would unceremoniously toss me out at 9pm. 3 months into this I had a wedding reception and an Anniversary Party to people close to me. She REFUSED to go with me to the Wedding Reception, and threw attitude at the Anniversary Party, and would not dance with me, opting to dance with her daughter instead??!!. We had semi decent Holidays in the fall, and then for Christmas, again, semi decent, and we started fighting again, more or less for New Years, because she was again upset "no ring"....I dont remember much of January but things came to a head a week before Valentine's Day, over her accusing me of not cleaning up after her daughter (Purposely) after dinner one night, and I screamed at her for accusing me of this. This seemed to be the end, and she "wanted out" and let me know she had no interest in a reconciliation a couple of weeks later.

Part of me is VERY relieved that this stressful relationship is finally done, and the other half of me is guilty as hell. She seems amicable now, but seems to sometimes "hint" at wanting to get back. She went on a trip to Disneyland with the kids, and sent me a pen, giftwrapped with a little heart, which flooded me with guilt. She told my parents (Who watch baby while we work in the daytime) "I wish Victor was going to Disneyland with us, but we cannot seem to get along" downplaying our incompatibility. She is a good and kind person, deep down inside, and although she is clueless as to how to set proper boundaries with her daughter, is an awesome mommy. I feel guilty as hell for not being the perfect "daddy" to her little family part of which I helped create. But we cannot seem to enjoy a night out, a vacation, or even an evening of naked bliss together. I need a companion, not a stessor. I think I MAY have found one, in a woman I used to go to high school with. Guilt is preventing me from calling her for coffee. I know I need to get on with my life, as does she, but Guilt is the proverbial 500 pound gorilla on my shoulder.

Posted by: Victor F. on April 10, 2009 10:01 PM

Dear Victor

Your description of the relationship appears clear and you have underlined and pointed out that things went much too quickly. Do not judge yourself or your ex-partner for the speed at which things took place.

Now is the time to ask yourself what have you learned from this relationship. Relationships are a journey of our soul and you must learn from them as each holds a gift. Find your gift and what you learned and what you need to do differently in your next relationship.

Do not repeat your mistakes. Know that you cannot save, change or fix anyone. A relationship helps us to see ourselves and helps us to grow if we are in a place where we can see our issues and try to do things differently. But we must do this for ourself.

Your ex-partner may not of been able to see what she needed to do to help herself, her family and her relationship with you. And you may not of know how to communicate what you needed, and support her where you can, knowing that you could not change her or her behavior. Do not judge her or yourself for this. Counseling may of helped and still can to transistion into a friendship. If you choose this and she agrees.


It is important to tell yourself that you do deserve to be happy. Ask yourself what do you feel guilt about. Then ask yourself what would you be feeling if you were not feelings guilt.

Guilt hides our feelings of sadness, anger, fear, helplessnes. When you focus on these feelings your will move through the loss and be able to be with your new partner. Grief is always part of the healing no matter who initiates the separation.

Guilt will keep you stuck. It ususally comes from ones childhood where unintentionally parents make children feel like they have to be perfect to be loved or make children feel they are responsible for the parents feelings. Then as a adult we feel we have to fix others and it is our fault that they are feeling unhappy. See if this fits for you.

This is a time of healing for you. Guilt is self-punishing. So you must tell yourself you did the best you can. Then send your ex-partner all your good thoughts and prayers and best wishes.

Later you maybe able take part in the relationship on a friendhip basis. Now is the time to heal and release the guilt replacing it with compassion. Compassion for yourself and for your ex-partner. That is the healing energy.
If I can be of any further help please let me know
Michele Germain LCSW

Posted by: michele germain on April 11, 2009 11:48 AM

I think I have read every how to heal your broken heart story I can find. I have scoured book stores and the web to find a way to heal mine. I troll the self-help section like an addict looking for a cure. I know you’re supposed to treat yourself well, think positive, don’t medicate and use affirmations to tell yourself how wonderful you are. Be good to yourself all the experts say. Allow yourself to feel your feelings and share them with someone you can trust. If feelings of despair continue, seek professional help. And yet, here I sit, a little more than three years later with a pain as deep as a cavern. I have done all of these things and more. In the three years since I left my former partner, I have made an entire new network of friends. I have taken dance lessons – something I have always wanted to do…and yes, I even fell in love again and got married. So how is it that I am still in this time warp of painful heartache over my former life partner? We were together for 25 years – not a day goes by that I don’t think of her. Feel the sting of what the hurt must have felt like to her when I told her I was leaving. I feel guilt and pain all the time and I do not know how to make it go away. My new life suffers each day that I stay firmly in the past and yet, I can not seem to move forward. I know I still love her and I know I always will – dare I even say that I miss her too. I didn’t leave because of the love I have for her – I left because our relationship was troubled. It had been for several years but despite our arguments and fights, we always made up and carried on. I know for me each time those fights occurred, the words were harsher and the bitterness grew. Those injured feelings could not be taken back. There were other aspects of our relationship that were not healthy. She was controlling in ways that I know were a throw-back to healing the pain of my mother. I think over time these issues and other’s no longer fulfilled or satisfied me. The leaving was the most difficult and painful event I have ever endured in my life and quite frankly I am still suffering from it. It is not easy to leave after 25 years. There are constant reminders everywhere about the past and my former partner. I work hard everyday to embrace my new life…the one I wanted, needed and deserve to have. Yet, I am sad a lot of the time, trapped in the past…of missing and missing out. My hope is that some day my heart will find its way home again…..

Posted by: DM on April 27, 2009 3:47 PM

Dear JMCM

I am sorry it has taken me so long to follow up on your commments.

You are very articulate in how you see your past relationship from beginning to end. But, it seems you are saying you lost out on something that you will never find again. What is that something?

My experience is that relationships are a journey of the soul and your love for your former partner caused you to go very deep within yourself. Your soul is still calling you, but maybe your focus on your pain from your past relationship you cannot hear what your soul is trying to say.

Consider also, that this is old pain from your childhood, surfacing that needs you to acknowledge. As long as you are focused on your lost love you may not acquire the real meaing for your present ongoing pain.

The question to ask yourself 'WHERE IN ME DOES THIS PAIN ORIGINATE? And then listen for the answer.

Also, consider that you carry some guilt. There was nothing wrong in your decision. Tell yourself you are innocent and deserve more. That is the decision you made by leaving but have not been able to truely live it. Do not punish yourself, you have done nothing wrong.

I hope these commments have been helpful to you.

Michele Germain LCSW

Posted by: Michele Germain LCSW on July 7, 2009 10:22 AM

I recently ended a 7 month relationship with a boy who was very in love with me. He'd buy me whatever I wanted and do just about anything I desired. In the end, he was the ideal boyfriend. Caring, loving, wanted nothing more than to be with me. He loved to spend time with me-- would sacrifice anything to do so. Whatever I wanted was put first. I was always first.

The only thing wrong with our relationship was me. I'm a distant person, used to being off on my own. A typical lone-wolf scenario. Typically I wouldn't bother with a serious, long-lasting relationship, but at the start I genuinely liked him. I eventually came to love him... just not on the same level of love he felt for me. I found myself regretting spending time with him and the only time I was interested in getting together was when money or shopping was involved. I realized I was being materialistic and that the excitement and love I had felt previously vanished.

Along with my disintegrating feelings came a pugnacious nature that I was unfamiliar to. I would look for reasons to fight just so we could split up for a few days. Either way, when I would bring up the topic of breaking up he would cry and beg to make it work-- in the end my empathy had the best of me.

Finally I broke it off. Now I'm feeling the worst I've felt in a while. The guilt is eating me alive. I think it's best for the both of us. He deserves someone who will give him the same amount of love he dishes out. He deserves much more than me. On the other hand, I deserve whatever makes me happy.

I can't help the way I feel, however. I just can't get past the fact that I broke his heart. He's still in a catatonic state too. However, as much guilt as I have.. I don't feel regret.

I think I can move on.

Posted by: Coniglietto on July 30, 2009 5:15 AM

Dear Coniglietto

You are very clear about yourself and your needs. The only thing I would ask you is "why do you think there is something wrong with your because you want to end a relationship". "why do you feel guilty when you honor your integrity and value him enough to speak your truth and have the courage to act on your truth.

Guilt only means that the good feelings and the sad feelings about ending are trying to come through. Let yourself feel everything, the sadness and the loving feelings you shared with him.

Only then will you be able to move on with more of yourself not hiding any uncomfortable feelings.

Also, it is important to ask yourself. "What is the gift in this relatinship"? "What do I now know about myself that I did not know prior to the relationship".

Relationships are a journey of the soul. Your soul is asking your to go deeper into understanding yourself.

Blessings as you move forward

Michele Germain LCSW
michele@michelegermain.com
Relatinship and Breakup Expert

Posted by: Michele Germain LCSW on July 30, 2009 12:09 PM

I recently broke up with the woman for whom I left my wife, and who left her husband for me--between us we have five children from our previous marriages. We stayed together for three years--three long years of struggle and torment, punctuated by incredible, and incomparable highs and indications that this was a once-in-a-lifetime relationship. But our crises were horrible. The substantive issues included the very slow pace of my divorce (I sought to avoid conflict with my ex-wife, who was very angry for being left, and did a lot of things for my ex that made my partner angry in turn) and the intensity of the contact that my ex and I maintained by co-parenting our children. My partner did not feel I was being loyal to her, and that in the end I still had more of a life with my ex than I did with her. She never wanted to leave her husband until she found me, and it was incredibly painful for her to break up her family. What wore me down were the scenes that lasted hours sometimes, in most cases with her raging at me in endless monologues, and me crawling deeper and deeper into myself, until I felt completely shell shocked. This happened so often I lost track. For a year we broke up at least once each month. She also became pregnant early in our relationship, which delighted me--but she insisted upon an abortion, and though I begged and begged up until the very end she would not change her mind--and the loss of our baby simply broke my heart. I withdrew emotionally for about a year--which hurt her tremendously. Mostly she blames me for not understanding that she simply felt she could not have another baby at that time in her life, which was the most difficult she had ever experienced. And I could never get over the baby. Finally, I called it quits. She has bombarded me with long emails telling me how badly I hurt her, what a worthless character I am, how she still loves me and wants me back, how she hates me and wants to be dead, and so on. The barrage has only recently, after a month, slowed, though I am sure it will pick up again. I am simply overwhelmed with guilt, and I do miss her and love her still. I just lost faith, and the emotional madness simply had to end. What has made it even harder is that she now claims to have had an epiphany regarding her own part in our mess, and that from now on everything would be different and she would be a far more relaxed and tolerant person.

Posted by: HC on August 7, 2009 4:37 PM

I feel like I haven't as much as experience in relationships or in life as others have gone through here, but it really helps to read through these, knowing I can relate to other people out there.

I broke it off with my highschool sweetheart of 3 years in the middle of my freshman year of college when I met someone else. I had wanted out for months then, and just knew I had to end it before college started because I wanted to date around and be free, but he pleaded that we could make it work. I had no idea where our relationship was going, but I knew we could only get more serious and that's not what I wanted.

The reason I feel so terrible over the breakup is because his life was in a terrible spot-- he was basically at a dead-end in life with no family or friends to support him, and he often told me I was the only reason he still hung on, that I was his motivation. But, because of that, I often felt trapped; our relationship revolved mainly around his problems and he wasn't too good at communication. When we broke up, he totally cut off contact with me, our last exchanges being mainly arguments about how I've basically made him unable to trust anyone, and me feeling like I've abandoned him. He's changed his email, deleted any form of instant messenger he had, got a new number, and threw out everything I've ever given him. Even his best friend is now unreachable so I can't even know if he's okay.

Its been months since we've broken up, and I know that breaking up with him was the right thing to do because it just feels right and I'm really happy with my current boyfriend. But, once in a while, these overwhelming feelings of guilt will haunt me and I will look for absolutely anything related to him. In fact, I found this site when I was googling his name or his old screennames, and I ended up just googling 'how to deal with guilt over ex boyfriends' or something like that. I dream about him at least once a week. It was especially bad when we were in need of just one more roommate and I keep beating myself up over the fact that it could've been him.

I know things will probably be okay for him in the end, but I just wish he hadn't completely cut it off with me. I don't know whether he needs this time of isolation, or if it's okay to contact him somehow and get more closure, just to know he's okay and that I didn't ruin his life. We were in a loving relationship for 3 years, so I know it will take more than a few months to get over this, but at the same time, I feel like these waves of guilt will keep coming until I can know he's okay and moved on.

Thanks for anyone who reads this. I probably will just have to deal with the guilt, but it helps immensely to talk to someone, anyone, about this and I feel like I've already bugged all the people I know in real life about this.

And thanks to everyone who has shared their stories, good luck to you all.

Posted by: yuu on August 9, 2009 2:18 AM

Hi i'm really glad i have found this site. It's so comforting to know that there are loads of people out there in a similar situation and that I am not alone with my guilt.
I ended a 4 yr relationship (finally) with my first real love (we got together when we were 16, although I ended it when we were 18 and we tried again). At 20 ('m now 21), I realised it just wasn't what I wanted. I felt trapped in the relationship and felt unable to grow as a person.
However, my first love helped me through so much. He was there when I needed him most. I feel incredibly guilty for ending it with him. It is so tempting to ask him back. I feel so much guilt and my mum says well you must've done something wrong or why would you be feeling so guilty? this makes me doubt my decisions and I feel worse. I am the typical 'what if' person, always looking for ways it could have been different.
But at the end of the day I wasn't happy, and I wasn't making him happy either. It's not fair to stay in a relationship in which you are not happy. On you, or the other person.

Posted by: Jackie on August 29, 2009 10:09 AM

Dear Jackie

When you speak about ending the relationship you speak with clarity about your feelings and your inner truth. You must tune into yourself and honor your feelings. Honesty with oneself and others takes great courage, so consider yourself as someone who is able to express their honesty even when it is difficult.

Guilt is something most of us carry because of our culture. Instead of feeling guilty, be proud of yourself for being honest and sincere in how you felt about the relationship.

Write down all of the gifts you received from the relationship as well as the gifts you gave him. Also, with endings comes sadness. THis is a loss even though you wanted to end it. So take the time to write about your sadness.

This will help you let go of the guilt and move forward with your life.

Do not see your ex-partner as a victim. Send him your positive thoughts for his future. Wish him well and you will be able to then to move forward with all of yourself.

Guilt and unresolved grief holds us back from being happy in our life at the moment.

Thank you for sharing

Many blessings
Michele Germain LCSW
Relationship Expert

Posted by: Michele Germain LCSW on September 1, 2009 10:19 AM

This site is amazing. I thought I was going through this alone, but it's comforting to know that I'm not.

I just ended a relationship with my girlfriend of the past year and a half. We are both 24 years old. She was amazing to me. She loved me like no other, was constantly showering me with gifts, notes, emails, affection. Everything was about me, she bended to my will, and gave in to all my desires.

We were best friends, always together, and could talk about anything. Within a month we loved each other, and within 6 months were talking about marriage and moving in with each other.

We had our issues, there were some trust issues involving her ex boyfriend, but nothing huge. I could have ignored it, but for some reason the things she said to him (talked to him about their memories of living together) really made me jealous.

About 6 months in she complained about our sex life, which was fine to me, since everything in the relationship was on my terms. She told me she felt disrespected and wanted her opinions to be validated.

This girl was a little tongue tied, and most of the time wouldn't bring up an issue she had with me until days, or even weeks later. When we started dating, everything I wanted to do was fine, but by the end, she was feeling oppressed.

That was the start of the end, we fought constantly over little things, and I found myself being increasingly nasty to her. The respect was gone, the love was there, but we always seemed to be fighting.

About 6 months later, my brother had a heart attack, and this turned my entire world upside down. Our father died of a heart attack at 42, and my brother was only 34. I'm 24, so I knew I had to change my life drastically if I was going to be alive for my children and family.

In the midst of all this crisis, we were fighting even more, and a few things happened that I could not deal with. We would often do laundry together, and a few times she brought over another man's boxer's in the laundry (she claimed they were her room mate's boyfriend's or her sisters, but I was so blinded by anger I didn't listen to her)

After that incident I turned her away, I was constantly "punishing" her as she would call it, and wouldn't speak to her for a day or two.

We got into a huge fight one day about her credit card going missing or something (she blamed me, since i had used it the day before) and it escalated to the point of my punching her dashboard and breaking my hand.

At this point, I knew the relationship was unhealthy, and decided it would be best if we ended things. I told her I needed some time and space to figure things out, she said she still loved me, and would give me whatever I needed.

After a few weeks of back and forth, we were still fighting, I had been hanging out with another girl, who was a friend (she did sleep over once or twice) and of course, she was NOT happy about it.

The last straw was when I was coming back into town after visiting my brother, she had been taking care of my dog (our dog) and picked me up from the airport. She asked to spend the night, and I told her I was too tired, I needed to just sleep, and I would see her tomorrow. This threw her into a rage, and the last text she sent me that night was "Fuck You"

I didn't speak to her for the next day, and I guess she finally grew tired of my constant ignoring her. She blocked my number, and refused to speak to me since. I knocked on her door and begged forgiveness, for breaking up with her, and about the girl spending the night. She said she could no longer trust me, and I had run out of chances to be with her.

Right now I'm feeling like I ruined the best thing that ever happened to me. I was selfish the entire relationship, and me wanting to get back with her is just me missing all the things she used to do for me.

I feel incredibly guilty over hurting someone I really care about, and also sad that it took all of this to realize how good she was to me.

Obviously I wasn't happy, or I would have made it work, not been such a dick, or even broke it off in the first place.

Reading this site has helped, as well as spending as much time with family and friends.

I am keeping busy and trying to move forward, learning from this situation.

It gets easier every day.

Posted by: Victor on September 3, 2009 9:21 AM

Dear Victor
As you share the events of your relationship with openness and self-honesty healing is occuring. As a great psychologist once said "we are only as sick as our secrets". If we do not share our feelings of loss, whether it is anger, sadness, relief to name a few, we will carry around this thing called "Guilt" and "Shame" and it may get buried. Don't let that happen

Guilt is not a feeling it comes from strong self-judgment and self-blame for all that has occured.

You articulated that there were problems in the relationship of trust and that trust did not heal it grew deeper. Whatever the reasons, it sounds as if neither of you had the motivation, ability or desire to seek help and work out the issues that you both were facing. Do not blame yourself.

What is most important is that you not carry around any guilt, Let yourself be sad or angry over the realtionship and the pain it has caused you, or you may have caused her. But, release those feelings.

One way to do this is to journal the sadness and anger and then list all of the gifts you received from her and you gave to you during your time together.

This will help you to move forward.

Ask yourself, "What was my lesson in this relationship"? "What do I need to do differently in my future relationship"?
Do this with compassion, not guilt of judgement.

Then you will have grown from the experience and will go into your next relationship wiser and with more tools and awarenss of yourself, your needs and expectations in the relationship

Good luck, if I can be of any help further, please email me.

Many blessings
Michele Germain LCSW
Relatinship Expert
michele@michelegermain.com

Posted by: Michele Germain LCSW on September 4, 2009 3:38 PM

Hi,

This was really helpful. I not too long ago broke up with my boyfriend and the guilt is just killing me. Not only that, but everyone keeps telling me how much of a nice person he was and that I should have stayed with him. Even worse we work together.

The reason I broke it off was simple. I did not feel the same way about him as he felt about me. I found that it was unfair not only to me but to him to continue a relationship based on a lie, so I ended it. Now it's like I am being sentenced for a crime I never committed.

I don't think I can take this anymore. To make things worse, I think he knows how I feel and is slowly turning my friends against me. It's like everytime that we have a conversation they mention something about him and what he's going through. " he's not eating, he's not sleeping he's getting sick, why did you do that to him" and the list goes on.

I am so tired os this. I really don't know what to do !!!!!

Posted by: Simone Julien on September 16, 2009 2:41 PM

Hi,

This was really helpful. I not too long ago broke up with my boyfriend and the guilt is just killing me. Not only that, but everyone keeps telling me how much of a nice person he was and that I should have stayed with him. Even worse we work together.

The reason I broke it off was simple. I did not feel the same way about him as he felt about me. I found that it was unfair not only to me but to him to continue a relationship based on a lie, so I ended it. Now it's like I am being sentenced for a crime I never committed.

I don't think I can take this anymore. To make things worse, I think he knows how I feel and is slowly turning my friends against me. It's like everytime that we have a conversation they mention something about him and what he's going through. " he's not eating, he's not sleeping he's getting sick, why did you do that to him" and the list goes on.

I am so tired of this. I really don't know what to do !!!!!

Posted by: Simone Julien on September 16, 2009 2:42 PM

DearSimone

Thank you for sharing your feelings and your experience it will help others.

The question you should ask yourself is "what have I done that I should be punished".

You are punishing yourself by telling yourself you are a bad person, you have done something terrible and you should be punished.

You are responsible for yourself and making choice that are in your highest good. You cannot fix your ex-partner or make him stop feeling angry or hurt. He also has a choice in how he deals with this.

You can choose freedom or suffering. And so can he.

You must return your mind to its natural loving state instead of constant guilt thoughts and self-blame.

So I would like you to try the following:

Every time you have a thought or feeling of guilt or self-blame,I want you to stop and say "I AM RELEASING THE GUILTAND LETTING GO OF ALL GUILTY FEELINGS'.

Then send love to yourself and good loving thoughts to your ex-partner that he heals and moves forward.

Many blessing, if Ican be of further help, please let me know.

Michele Germain LCSW Relationship Expert
michele@michelegermain.com

Posted by: Michele Germain LCSW on September 17, 2009 12:56 PM

Dear Simone

Thank you for sharing your feelings.
The question I would like you to ask yourslef is what do you think you have done so terrible that you are making yourself suffer?

Who is sentencing you to a crime? There was no crime committed. You took responsibility for your life and what is in your highest good.

You cannot fix your ex-partner or change his hurt or anger. He himself must work this through. He can also choose to stay in a suffering or blaming place. He has choice in how he responds to this event as you do.

The goal now is to release your guilt and self blame and return your mind to its natural loving state.

You can choose freedom or suffering.

What I would like you to do is when your mind goes into guilty thoughts, I want you to stop and say. "I release these guilty thoughts and self blame now at this moment and bring loving compassion to myself"

If I can be of any further help,please let me know.

Blessings
Michele Germain LCSW
Relationship Expert

Posted by: MicheleGermainLCSW on September 17, 2009 1:50 PM

Please, please help with some advice. I am at a total loss of what to do. :(

I have been deeply involved with a married woman for almost 15 years now. I am madly in love with her and left my wife and kids a couple years ago for a chance with her. She has no kids. She loves me very deeply as well. There is no doubt in my mind that she is my soulmate. There is nothing I wouldn't do for her, and I love her more than my own life. There is a lot of history here, too much for me to detail her.

My marriage had been faultering for years (hung on there for the kids, but just couldn't do it much longer), and there is no doubt that my relationship with her helped push me over the edge to get out. The problem now is that she feels a TON of guilt for breaking up my marriage. She feels guilt for me moving out and not getting to see my kids as often.

I truly believe that my dream of being with her can come true if she can figure out how to deal with this guilt. I don't know what to tell her. I tell her it's not all because of her, but she says if she's even .01% responsible that she has to figure out how to deal with the guilt.

I'm in my late 30s as is she. I am begging for any help possible here as this is absolutely killing me. I see a psychologist, and am trying to get her to go with me. I can talk to her until I'm blue in the face, but she MUST find a way to lessen her self-imposed guilt. I understand why she needs to figure this out, but I can't help. She hates herself. She constantly refers to herself as a whore and a homewrecker.

I fear the combination of her hating herself and the desperation I feel to be with her will turn out in a very bad way. I do not want to live the rest of my life without her. I hurt.

What can I tell her (besides seek professional help)? She is my life. I will not live much longer without her :(

Thank you.

Posted by: John on December 24, 2009 1:13 AM

Dear John

Yes, as much as you love her with all your heart and soul, it is not in your power to change her thinking. I suspect you are dealing with the helplessness you feel, as deep down you know that she is the only one who can let go of the distorted thinking and the self imposed guilt she is carrying.

I know you have tried everything you can, and the question is how do you accept this and not make yourself suffer. In order to accept the unacceptable we must look for our spiritual center and trust that what is happening must be a reason and a learning that we must figure out.

Sometimes it means learning to let go because many things are not in our control.

If I were to speak to your women friend, I would tell her that she does not have the power to make you do anything. That everyone has the free will and power to do what they feel is in their highest good.

I would ask her why she feels the need to punish herself and does she does feel she deserves the love and all the good life has to offer her.

As long as she is holding these thoughts of guilt she is punishing herself and keeping herself from her own heart and soul. If she has a connection to her spiritual center or if she has a spiritua figure she admires I would ask her to speak from her heart and to ask for clarity about her need to punish herself and hold onto guilt. Forgiveness and self-forgiveness is a spiritual principal, all of us need to learn.

My best to you as you journey through this relationship, stay in touch with your own soul and heart and let your inner wisdom guide you.
Ask for spiritual clarity on what it is you are to learn from this relationship.

If I can be of any further help, please let me know.

Michele Germain

Posted by: michele germain on December 24, 2009 4:48 PM

After reading ALL the stories on this site, it is comforting to realise I am not the only person feeling overwhelming GUILT.

I broke up with my boyfriend after 10 years together, we bought a house together 2 years ago, but last year I got the opportunity to travel abroad to work and after a tough year together, I took the opportunity. The tough year involved him gambling and promising he would never do it again, and of course its an illness so he did. The worst thing about it all, he is such a good guy in every other way. I left to work abroad and in my mind I left our relationship behind...after a couple of months he followed me to get an answer, the week together was horrific, we cried and talked all week long before he flew home. I can only describe it like I pulled out his heart and walked all over it on the ground, he was devastated. After he left I regained some normality and now I have come home for a holiday and gone through the whole drama again. He is seeking help for his problem and doing very well. I feel I owe him the time to talk and listen whenever he wants, he is still devastated and thought I might change my mind. I have cried so many tears FOR HIM, out of guilt and because I have hurt someone I care about so much. He has said he will never move on and he only wants me and if he cant have me, he doesnt want anyone! This is killing me, I understand things take time and all I want is him to be happy. I did doubt my decision when I seen the pain I was causing, but I had to be true to myself and stand my ground on my decision. We are both on different wave lenghts and want different things in life and have been together since we were 16, I am now 27. I never lived my single years or going out with the girls and I feel I am doing that now. There is someone else, a new relationship, who knows all about my previous relationship and is finding it difficult the fact that I am giving my ex so much talking time, it is now starting to come in between us in my new relationship. He doesnt understand the guilt I feel and yet he manages to block the past out when I am with him. I have a very supportive family but I truly feel that if I have hurt someone so bad, I dont deserve to be happy. I know I have made the right decision, but the pain in my heart is overwhelming, I hope the feeling subsides soon with time.

His mother did call me and asked me to break all contact and not answer his calls, but I cant do that, I would feel too bad.
Any advice on my situation is welcomed :)

Posted by: Karen on January 1, 2010 2:35 PM

Dear Karen

Guilt is not part of the grieving process. It is a way of punishing yourself for what you think you have done wrong. Being truthful with yourself and with your "ex" is what is the most important.

Ending's are difficult even when you are the one that initiated the breakup. It is part of being human to have sadness as a result of a loss. This man has been in your life for a very long time.

Ask yourself the "gifts" you have received and you have given in the relationship. Focus on the lessons you have learned and begin to detach emotionally from him.

By being so available to your "ex" may be given him false hope that the relationship can continue. This is what you do not want to do, that will not help his letting go and moving on with his life.

Feel your pain, journal your feelings and bless the relationhip, send him warm thoughts and positive energy so that he can move forward. That is what will help both of you. Guilt will only keep you stuck and him stuck as well.

Let go of the guilt. Tell yourself you deserve to be happy, and he deserves to have someone who is going to make him happy.

Michele Germain LCSW
Relationship Expert

Posted by: michele germain on January 3, 2010 5:03 PM

I can't tell you how helpful it is to read all of these comments. I finally feel like what I am about to do is okay. Like someone is telling me that is alright to let go. I am on the verge of breaking it off with my boyfriend of 3 years and have felt nothing but ambivalence when he asks me what I want to do. I had a strong suspicion we were not compatible early in the relationship, but believed in it so much and wanted it to work I just let time pass. Now it's been 3 years and those feelings have never changed but only have made the decision of leaving even harder because I have grown so close to him. I love and care for him very deeply, but my intuition has been telling me that this cannot work. We are on two very different wavelengths with how we feel about the world and I have lost almost complete interest in sex for the last couple years. Most times I would rather be with friends and feel a secret sense of freedom and energy when I know he is away on vacation or seeing family. The guilt sickens me and a lack of descision even more so. I am 31 and cannot afford to waste any more of his or my own time- yet I am completely terrified to hurt him and lose him. More terrified to hurt him though...why do we feel like the ones we leave are going to be so hurt? Am I flattering myself? I wish I was but I know I am responsible for ruining someones life plans-at least that's how I think of it. He thought this was going somewhere and now Im going to abandon him. I think knowing that is the hardest part- or know that I am making the right decision. He wants me to move in and thinks it would help us...but I just don't know what it would do. I think I have known for a long time what needs to be done- just too guilt ridden and scared to do it.

Posted by: Marie on January 5, 2010 3:04 PM

Hello there.

A month ago I ended a year-long relationship with a gentle, uncomplicated, loving man. He was younger than me and although in the beginning his emotional straightforwardness was appealing - my relationship before him was with an incredibly over-complex and deep person, which burned me out - but after a while I realised that he was not an intellectual equal to me and I became frustrated and unfulfilled. I was tired of feeling like the 'leader' in all elements of the relationship, the only one who would make decisions, and the one who was carrying the weight of making it 'work'. He was also a very handsome man and I grew tired of women throwing themselves at him, and his tendency to flirt with them which made me feel hurt and unattractive. Overall, while I loved him I felt that our union was bringing more trouble than happiness.

So I finished it with him, and he went into deep shock.

My Ex's home situation is currently very volatile due to fighting family members, but he can't move out as he has little money, and his friend support network aren't giving him any kind of help...just taking him out and getting him drunk. He's in a dark place at the moment and is crying out for help but getting none.

The guilt I am experiencing every second of each day is unbearable. We are in near daily contact via email or text, mostly with him telling me the only thing he wants in the world is to have me back, and me replying that although I still care for him deeply, we just weren't compatible.

I have deeply damaged a truly loving and decent man, and his emotional and psychic suffering burns a hole in my heart. I wish dearly to be abe to take his pain away. I feel like I've ruined him. Will this pain ever cease for both of us? I don't feel I deserve any kind of happiness until I know for sure he is going to be okay.

I would enormously appreciate any insights you could offer. Thank you.

Posted by: Spinny on April 9, 2010 5:06 PM

Man i hear ya guys....i broke up with a girl like 8 months ago and still feel guilty about just trying to go out with another girl or trying to start something up with another girl. I don't know if I was ready for a relationship and at the same time I don't know if we clicked as much as we should have. There were many things I wasn't sure about and after a month she did great many things that were just disturbing. I also had some issues at the time which may have been caused by her, like depression. I felt i had no more choice. Guilt still exists right now, like "what would she think if she saw me out there dancing with another girl"...remembering the good times between us makes me bring this question up. Call me sensitive, i believe i am a good balanced guy...it's just this is a tough one to get over...i know i will get over it in the future..i just want to be free

Thanks for reading and hopefully gaining some insight on guilt and i wish you well with yours if you have some.

Vlad

Posted by: Vlad on May 1, 2010 10:40 PM

Checking

Posted by: Anne on July 5, 2010 8:13 AM

Hi
I want to share my experience with some people who will probably understand me. I broke up with my ex 10 months ago. We had met in college. For 2 years we dated. However, I was living with my parents at that time and I didn't have a lot of flexibility, so our dates were short and simple- coffee breaks, movie etc. Then we did long distance for 2 years. After struggling hard, we both found jobs in the same city , which made us leave not just our home towns but also our countries. We were so trired of not being able to see each other and we so desperately wanted to share our lives together, that we immediately started living together.

Slowly I started feeling he was not the person I wanted to be with. There were many things about him which started bothering me. I guess I was probably a high maintenance woman too. I felt like he had very strong opinions on most things. So when it came to stuff like cleaning house etc- where he lacked authority, I was very rude to him. He also had the dominating attitude in his fields.

Slowly I started feeling disconnected. I started enjoying attention from other men. I allowed the happy relationship of my sister to make me feel that mine was dissatisfactory. Once his family visited. I didn't like something his sister said and complained to him. He got angry to hear that. and we didn't talk. I felt like his family was one unit and I was completely different. My heart told me that I had lost my connection. I could focus on all the qualities which I really wanted in my life partner and which he didnt have. I focussed on what about him irritated me. I felt that I hadn't known him well enough before deciding to move in. He tried to make things alright for me.Technically I tried making the relationship work , but my heart had given up. Even if all was good, I knew it wasnt :( The little arguments started increasing. Difference in food habits, hobbies, socialization styles, opinions on pets started bothering more than they ever did before. Some arguments became extremely loud and rude. And finally we went our own ways-after living together for almost 2 years.

After 2 months of complete break up, I found a new man. I have been dating him for 6 mothns now and I am very happy with him. But I know my ex is still not happy.

I often feel bad about the mistakes I made- about using other relationships as my model, about not being able to take his family's humor. I feel part of the problem is that living away from home helped me grow as a person and I was in the process of discovering myself.

However, the fact that I like someone new. the fact that I could not believe in his offers to making it work, means that my instinct knew he was not the one for me.

Please help me in being able to get rid of the negative feelings.

Posted by: PleaseReply on August 5, 2010 5:09 PM

i broke up with a great guy last weekend. we were actually college friends that had lost touch. he got back in touch with me but only now he had daughter and had gotten out of a 15 year relationship.

we were only together for one month but i feel so bad in how we broke up. i knew on my part that he wasnt for me and one night i just knew it. however instead of telling him how i felt, i initiated sex- it was our first time and i had this drive to sleep with him even though i knew i wanted to separate from him. the talk that followed was honest but i didnt really get his viewpoint on a lot of things. i feel guilty for sleeping with him when i knew it wasnt right. he was nothing but kind to me and in the end, i did something out of my own messed up sense of self. i apologized to him later but i still feel bad about it. to make things worse, i called him two days later to ask for him back but he said no. and thank goodness for that cuz even as i was asking him back, i knew it was the wrong thing. it was just my loneliness talking.

one thing that i just saw posted helped me. my guy probably isnt blaming me as much i am blaming myself.

Posted by: hk on August 7, 2010 9:26 PM

Dear HK


Thank you for sharing your feelings. You are in the process of forgiving yourself and releasing any quilt you may have. It is only important to ask yourself "what have I learned from this situation". "What do I need to do differently". "How has this helped me to be more connected with my true self".

Lonliness is something that forces us to go within to find our deep knowing, our soul and become our best friend. Use this time to get to know yourself better. Spend time nurturing yourself and be with friends who love you.

And begin to tell yourself a new story and let go of the "guilt story". You are on your way to healing. Praise yourself for your self-honesty and forgive yourself for what you think you have done.

Many blessings
Michele Germain LCSW

Posted by: michele germain on August 9, 2010 12:08 PM

Hello
Can someone please please please help me, I often burst into tears. I try to convince myself that I did the right thing. I feel that if I was lonely and not growing within that relationship, there was no point in continuing. Then I fear that maybe it was just a phase. That leaving a guy I had known for 5 years was a mistake.

How do I get rid of my doubts :(

Posted by: PleaseReply on August 9, 2010 3:34 PM


It is common to doubt your decision, as it is part of the grieving process and the letting go.
The sadness you are feeling is also part of the recovery. These are normal human feelings a loss of a relationship even though you are the one who has initiated the ending. Do not expect yourself to feel good quite yet, give yourself time. Be kind to yourself and trust your decision.

You will go back and forth for awhile. Knowing that it is the right action to leave, and fearing that you have made a mistake.

Ask yourself if you are afraid of not finding someone who is more compatible, ask yourself what would make your happy in a relationship.

No one knows the future, but trusting yourself that you are going to be fine even though you are frightened now. Trust yourself that you have made a decision that comes from within.

Go to nature, be wtih good friends, journal your feelings, the sadness and the joy. Give yourself time and know that you are in the recovery process.

Many blessings
Michele Germain LCSW

Posted by: Michele Germain LCSW on August 9, 2010 7:08 PM

Thank You for your reply. I feel much better now. I think my sadness is because I fail to realize the real reason of my dissatisfaction with my former relationship. I used to feel a little bit lost and then suddenly I was an angry person. On the whole my life is much better after the break up. I have found some one who I think could be great for me, although its too soon to say. The problem is that I feel:
1.fear- thinking maybe it was just a bad phase of relationship which I will experience with anyone I will ever be and I wa schildish to end it. Maybe I will feel frustrated even with my new boyfriend after a while.
2. guilty- that I didn't realize the real reason of my discomfort and complained so much. I guess my ex feels horrible :(

I need re assurance that if I was so sad, that relationship was not good for me.

Best Regards

Posted by: PleaseReply on August 10, 2010 12:07 PM

Hi,
I ended a 2 year relationship with a woman who had a 12 year old daughter. She was separated when we met,then got divorced and soon after her ex died of a heart attack.
We got along well and were compatible but I had an ongoing feeling of discomfort that maybe it wasn't meant to be. I see a counselor now because I attribute my discomfort to relationship anxiety.
I struggle now with guilt I think and lots of doubts about my decision. I miss her,feel awful and even asked to go back but she knows it's wrong and we're better off apart now.
I just feel down,even though in my soul I know it may be the right choice. I posted this to write it out and try and release it. It's an awful experience to lose something so warm and familiar but...we all have to remember,there are thousands of people who wake up at 45 years old and wish they had ended their relationship years earlier.
I hope we all find strength and reassurance somewhere.

Posted by: Edward on August 27, 2010 11:43 PM

Dear Edward

Thank you for sharing your experience as I know everyone will benefit.
As you probably know separation/ending a significant relationship is most often mixed with clarity and ambilvalence. Guilt is unique and one must ask the question. "What is it that I think I did wrong that I deserve to punish myself and/or think badly of myself?"

Ending a relationship usually brings up other old unresolved losses in which to release and heal. It causes us to go deep within and discover parts of yourself you have ignored or put aside. There are many gifts and it sounds like you are seeing them in this relationshp as well as experiencing the emotional pain that is part of the grieving process.

Many blessings
Michele Germain

Posted by: Michele Germain on September 2, 2010 10:58 AM

Hello,
I am in process of breaking up a year and a half relationship with someone and I don't think I have ever felt this bad about anything in my entire life. Hurting someone I care about and who cares for me deeply just feels so wrong that I have considered asking her for a do-over just to take away the guilt of breaking it off and possibly detaching from the "one"(?).
My girlfriend and I met online and hit it off right away. She is/was divorced with a wonderful little girl. I have never been married, but have a 20 year old daughter not living at home. We spent all of the time we could together even though our work scedules didn't mesh very well, including a couple of very nice vacations (one included her daughter). But as the months went by my feelings and my desire to make our relationship "long term" really just wasn't there for me anymore. I have no other way to explain it. I know that I love her but is it different from being "in love"? I tried everything to justify keeping at it hoping that spark would come back but it just didn't. Even as I type this my heart is breaking for suggesting to her that we break it off. I'll never forget the sound of her voice and the look on her face when I told her how I was feeling - in the best terms I could muster at the time. Now I can almost taste the guilt it hurts so bad. We talked about it more last night and I almost gave in just to ease the pain. I even suggested we possibly be friends (of course, I'm a guy)which she very kindly didn't think was a good idea until some time had passed (I agreed and acknowledged her wisdom) She also said she was dissapointed but not angry with me and was glad that I was honest with her. That helped some. So we've decided to break it off slowly which I hope we can do since I promised I would take her and her daughter somewhere on Halloween, and then part ways to begin the healing period. My other issue is that her 40th birthday is next month and I so want to mail her a present but don't know if it would open wounds or not. I cry at the thought of dissapoiting her with no present but don't want to put salt in a wound either - help!
If anybody has any insights or suggestions please let me know.
Overall, I'm pretty lost right now and the future is plain old scary.

Posted by: Jim on October 21, 2010 9:24 PM

Dear Jim

It sounds like you are very clear that this relationship is not what you want long term, you have tried what you have know to do. You are in a process of grief emotional pain, which is NORMAL even when you are the one who ends the relationship.

Grief involves anger sadness, bargaining and acceptance. Your sadness over the loss of this relationship is a normal process of letting go, detaching and accepting the loss. Even though you do not want the relationship there is a loss involved. Let yourself feel the sadness and you will heal.

GUILT is unproductive and will keep you stuck. You must dare to let go of the guilt. If you continue to feel guilt you will see her as a victim and not a wonderful loving person who has the power to create a new a wonderful relationship. She is not a victim
If you continue to feel guilt you will see yourself as unworthy of another relationship.

Honesty with self and others is important,being in integrity and doing what you feel is in your highest good is important.

If you want to send her a gift you could send the birthday gift thanking her for the growth the lessons and the love that you have received from her. You can bless her as she moves forward and hold the vision that she will find her way as you will find yours.

Make a list of all of the gifts you received in the relationship and all the gifts you have given her during your time with her. There is pain in separating but there is always gifts that each have received from being in the relationship together no matter how long or short.

Michele Germain LCSW
Michele@michelegermain.com
Relationship Expert

Posted by: Michele Germain LCSW on October 22, 2010 1:54 PM

Hello,

I have just sat and read all the comments. I would like to share my story also. And I truly hope that everyone before me has found that peace of mind already.

I just broke up with my ex couple weeks ago, after a little less than 7 months. My first real relationship. A very nice guy, who cares about me a lot a lot. Sad things is I know he wasn't "the one" from the start. We just don't really click. But I wanted to give him a chance. Some personal differences here. Some disappointment there. We dragged on for several months. We discussed how we got distanced and decided it would be better as friends. It was peaceful. No cheating. No fighting. No angry words.

But seeing him and talking to him about daily afterward were too much for us. We didn't know when we'd feel fine and when someone would say/do something that accidentally triggers feeling. We decided to delete contact infos. I cried myself to sleep. I was bewildered when couple days later, he didn't keep his promise and contacted me.

I just didn't know how to deal with him anymore. Everytime I cried, my heart died a little. I already started my path of recovery. And my seemingly indifference is inconsiderate to his feeling. Yesterday night, he blamed me for using him as a rebound and that we're through.

I believe our relationship failed solely because of us and no one else (although part of me is questioning myself now). I don't plan on defend myself. I'll just let him put all the blame on me and get over me first before we have any remote chance of being normal friends.

My decision to call it quit is right. I just feel awful for treating him so bad, so insensitive. I blame myself for not able to feel the pain he must be feeling. I blame myself for not loving him enough. I'm sad that we must end with such resentment and bitterness. I do care about him and trust him a whole lot. I hope, in time, we can be friends again.

Posted by: Aline on November 6, 2010 9:01 PM

Hi, I currently am in a 3 year relationship with a wonderful guy. About 6 months ago, my parents expressed doubts in me being with him for various reasons (religion, etc). Since then, I felt like something clicked in me that something was missing, and I have not been very into him emotionally or physically.

Even though I had some doubts, I ended up moving in with him about 4 months ago, hoping my doubts would go away. I am even in therapy to work through these feelings. I recently have come to the conclusion that I need to break up with him, and move out because my gut is telling me to. I am beyond sad about this, and feel incredibly guilty, as I have not told him this yet. He knows I have been unhappy for some time and that I have been trying to work on us, but I don't think he sees this break up coming (he still talks about the future).

I do not know what to do, as I am planning on finding a place to live with a friend, but would not be able to move out for about 5-6 weeks. I am planning on doing this after the holidays, but feel incredibly guilty looking for apartments and pretending things are ok right now. I don't have anywhere else to live and do not want it to be awkward living with him for this period of time, but want him to have time to find a roommate if he needs to for financial reasons.

Posted by: Jen on December 17, 2010 3:51 PM

Six months ago I ended a 20 year marriage by moving out of the house. The relationship was always rocky, and I had been unhappy for years but suppressed the feelings in order to provide a solid nuclear family for my three kids. I asked her to go to mediation with me for two months and she refused to cooperate so I sued her for divorce. She had previously wanted to take a year off from working and I had agreed to support her - I have honored my commitment and pay all her bills. The more distance I get from her and the toxic marriage the stronger I feel, the happier I feel about myself. I am frequently paralyzed by overwhelming feelings of guilt, terrible terrible feelings of guilt that I have ruined her life. She is 51 and does not have retirement and she seems so lost, like she is scambling to make sense of what has happened to her. Intellectually I understand that I am not responsible for her feelings, her actions, her decisions.... but somewhere along the way I was trained to think that it was my job to save her, protect her, take care of her. Meanwhile I gave up myself, year after year, until at the end I no longer recognized the guy staring back at me in the mirror. Today I know who I am, I am comfortable with myseld, I feel that I finally have restored some integrity. The enormous guilt I feel sometimes though is incredibly painful. The stories in these postings are a comfort in that they tell me I am not alone. Thank you.

Posted by: Chris on January 27, 2011 10:44 AM

Thank you for sharing your story. Yes, guilt is common, but it something that keeps up from moving forward with our strength. Our intellectual understanding, is not always at the same place as our emotional self. You are processing your grief and letting go of the responsibility for your "ex". Praise yourself for your efforts and all that things that you have done from a place of integrity.

Send light to your "ex" when you feel "guilt". and honor yourself.

Regards
Michele Germain LCSW

Posted by: Michele Germain on January 31, 2011 6:17 PM

Hi there. I'm glad to have found this site. I broke up with my boyfriend of almost two years. I really was so in love with him, but from the beginning there really were some basic problems in the relationship involving respect.

He let friends make fun of me while camping, and me being upset about it angered him.

He once bragged to a friend of his about a sexual act I performed for him with me sitting right there, which mortified me.

Anyway, a few other similar things. And I had to always explain how those things effected me.

This recent "thing" was because out of nowhere he came at me with this incredible rage that actually scared me, left me sobbing, and wondering if he would hit me. It was over me basically not giving him enough attention over a two week period prior to this "blow up."

I was trying to explain to him the fact that I had just had surgery (I pretty much slept for two weeks after the surgery. It involved my brain.)

I let everything go and suggested we just go to sleep.

I called him the next day to ask "What was that last night?" He rationalized everything by saying "Well I was pissed!"

I realize logically that it was emotional abuse, but knowing his past I'm finding myself not having doubts about the break up because to me abuse of any kind is a deal breaker, but I have this awful guilt about "abandoning" him, which was his greatest fear.

I really thought this guy was my future.

Why do I feel so guilty?

Posted by: Cory on March 7, 2011 4:18 AM

I, too find your words very edifying. A few days ago, I had to dissolve a relationship, because
my partner was reluctant to return affections
and was cold and distant and I felt I was in this alone. It has been very much a tell-tale heart scenario. I am haunted by the constant of reminders and I have been absolutely governed by my guilt. I was looking for a consensus, to see how others cope with this emotion. This was quite medicinal and I thank you. I have a new perspective now.

Posted by: Delilah on July 30, 2011 6:53 PM

It's been 6 weeks since the breakup of my relationship. We had been talking about marriage (although it was not a long relationship - we are both quite religious) but as the relationship progressed it seemed like he was less and less into the idea of marrying me. He kept impying he wasn't ready although I suspect he also didn't want to marry me. In the end I lost hope and ended up withdrawing and ignoring his calls. For two weeks we hardly spoke as I avoided him saying I was busy with a house move. After about three weeks in total of avoidance, I rang him and he broke it off. He implied he had been unwell in the two weeks I hadn't called him as he had no idea what was going on.

I feel absolutely awful that I treated him like that and that I didn't have the courage to meet him face to face and end it properly. I did apologise to him on the phone the last time we spoke and he offered to be friends and meet to give me a present he had bought for me on a recent holiday, although he was firm that our relationship was over. I told him I needed time and not to contact me until I contacted him. I have not contacted him since as I think it will just cause me pain to see how he has moved on. I did not mean to treat him so badly at the end and cannot understand what compelled me to act in that way. I keep beating myself up over it.

My guilt has a lot to do with how I treated him in the relationship and especially at the end - I keep wondering if I had not withdrawn whether he might have married me, or at least I could have conducted myself in a better way during the break up. I don't think I should contact him again as it will only make things worse and so much time has already passed. How can I forgive myself?

Posted by: Jam on November 2, 2011 2:10 PM

I recently ended a 3 year relationship with a man who was/is my closest friend and my worst enemy. He was very controlling in the relationship--always very suspicious of where I spent my time and with whom (there are also cultural differences which complicate our relationship). I let go of many of my friendships with my female friends because he didn't approve of them. I was never unfaithful.

What brought our relationship to an end was his feelings about my son. He never bonded with him or made an attempt to become close with him until I told him about my feelings to end our relationship. I couldn't deal with the hurt from my son when he wondered why the man I cared about didn't care for him. My ex is now making me feel guilty because he feels I never told him how important it was to me that he have a relationship with my son although we had the discussion many times.

I feel so much burden and guilt for putting my son through this for such a long period of time. My ex makes my feelings of guilt worse by telling me that he has never loved someone like he has loved me...that he deserves another chance.

I do love him, but I feel the relationship is toxic and will not work. The opportunity has been present for 3 years--that only now the desire for a relationship with my son is important to him. I have to consider the emotional well-being of my 8 year old son. I am trying to trust that there is someone out there that can love us both.

I feel I have been completely honest with him, but somehow he makes me to feel guilty even for that.

How does one work past all this?

Posted by: Katerina on November 7, 2011 6:45 PM

A few months ago I ended a six year relationship with my best friend. But that is the problem, even though we started as any excited new romance, after a few months the passion began to wane on my part, to the point where all intimacy was gradually lost but yet the relationship continued on for a couple years, I guess because it was easier than dealing with the loss.

Now the guild can be overwhelming at times, particularly because she is a fixer, meaning to her all realtionships have issues and if two people want to fix them, they can be. Of course all relationships have issues, but now I am feeling guilty for not really wanting to "fix" it, not because she is not worthy or because I don't feel great loss too, there was just something fundamentally missing for me.

It is all more complicated in that we are both in our 40's and I wonder what is ahead for both of us. Am I am meant to be alone, searching for meaning in life, meanwhile I watch my friends go through all the "normal" things like marriage, kids, etc., all with someone they are devoted to and is devoted to them.

I have read and listened to all the therepeutic suggestions, I know what I am supposed to do to get my life back, etc. I know that having hope and optimism for the future is key, no matter what stage of your life you are in. But it is still very, very difficult to actually do.

Posted by: Gary on November 17, 2011 1:21 PM

Firstly i am so glad i found this site it has helped me through a difficult time.
I have recently ended a 3 year relationship and its been the hardest thing i have ever done.
The guilt has been eating away at me to the point i was finding it very hard to function.
I tried my very best in the relationship and things where great for the first few years but due to various things i couldnt make it work.
We split up a few times and i made the mistake of going back because i felt so guilty about it.
I thought i was strong enough to just forget how i felt and to ignore my needs and feelings.
In the end i couldnt do it anymore and only hurt my partner even more.
I truly wish i had not gone back and tried again even though it was a terrible time for both of us it would have been better to end it at that point.
I think about them all the time and sometimes just cry with the awful guilt.
But i am getting better as time passes and hopeful my partner will find some happiness i truly wish that for them.
I have read all the posts on here and the thing we all have to remember is that we all truly care for our ex partners and i think we are not terrible people for making the choice we did.
I wish everyone who posted here goodluck for the future and hope we all find happiness.

Mx

Posted by: Mary-Anne on November 22, 2011 3:24 AM

Dear Mx

Thank you for taking the time to express your felings, as it is truely a cleansing process. It takes great strength and courage to know your needs and to honor them. It also takes great love of self and other to not pretend and hide but to end a relationship that is not right. So Guilt is common, but keep expressing the sadness over the relationship and the dreams that were lost, and the guilt will go away. Guilt hides our pain. You are moving past the guilt and yes, blessing your ex-partner and yourself for doing the best you moving on with your life is the best gift your can give yourself and your "ex".

Much luck to you. If I can be of any help please email me at michele@michelegermain.com

Blessings
MicheleGermain LCSW Relationship Expert

Posted by: Michele Germain on November 22, 2011 9:25 AM

I'm trying to start my life over after initiating a breakup. I dont know if I'll ever be right in the head again.

Posted by: asdfcg on January 8, 2012 6:36 AM

It is not uncommon to feel a bit ungrounded as the change occurs. But, be good to yourself and take one day at a time. Try to journal your feelings, thoughts, and give yourself time, it is a process and the change will soon become familiar. Reach out to friends and people you trust. Appreciate yourself even if you feel out of sorts. Praise yourself for your efforts, even if it is doing small things during the day.

Michele Germain LCSW

Posted by: Michele Germain LCSW on January 15, 2012 10:19 AM

Hi all,

This website is really interesting. I came out from a 1.5 year relationship with a lovely girl who did love me very much, and I care for her wellbeing greatly, but sadly I am not in love with her. She is a very very close friend, but I didn't see myself married to her and being a father to her kids. It was my decision to breakup last August.

The other important point is that I had delayed this decision until very late. Now that we have finally both had closure - which lasted 8 months!- I started having therapy to try get rid of the guilt that is eating me still to this day! I tried to follow my heart and live in integrity, and give this person the chance to move on and meet someone suitable for her, but all I have managed to create was pain, heartbreak and misery. I feel very badly about it.

Hopefully therapy will help me put the finger on the real underlying issue within me, so I can work on it.

M

Posted by: MadMan1981 on April 18, 2012 5:49 PM

Dear M

You are on the right track Usually underlyning the guilt is some unresolved issued and with closer reflection one can discover something about him/herself that she/he has not know before.

It seems that you are still feeling responsible for the pain saying that you created the heartbreak and misery Consider that your integrity allowed you to be honest with yourself and your partner so that you did not stay in a relationship with half of you present.

Ask yourself the question. What do I now know about myself having known this person that I did not no before? This is the gift in the relaitonship.

Grieving is a normal reaction to a loss whether you initiate it or are the non-initiator. One needs to mourn the loss, going deep to feel your own anger, sadness, regret, etc. Going into your body, not your mind. This will help you get through the guilt. The guilt is what hides the feelings and protects the heart. It is a form of self-punishment.

So ask yourself why don't I let myself off the hook? Why do I keep blaming myself and punishing myself for following my truth and my intuition? What do I need to do to let go of the self-punishment. Forgiving yourself for what you think you have done wrong, possibly

Good luck. You deserve a happy life and a good relationshp. See you partner not as a victim, but able to create the good and happiness she/he deserves.

Regards
Michele Germain LCSW

Posted by: Michele Germain LCSW on April 18, 2012 9:28 PM

Hello,

Oh wow am i ever so glad I stumbled upon this site. I am going throught an extremely painful break-up right now and am feeling terrible/and yes, guilty as well. We have had a few "little break-ups" recently, with me caving in at the last one. I think my emotions took over my ability to see cleary... and I gave in..

We have been together for 3 years, and he lives in the house that I bought just as we were dating- with my 9 y/o... so I almost feel like this is more of a divorce. He is the 1st man I intorduced to my daughter, and I feel like I failed her. Having said that- I havent had a true relationship like this in years and I had no idea how hard this would be.

The reason being, with a lack of better words is-he is needy/insecure and it has slowly eaten at me.. he also asked me to marry him a year and a half ago and I told him I wasnt ready. This has eaten away at his ego even more. Furthermore, we dont share a ton of common interests, however have gotten by with our "sole mate" like connection.

Over the last couple weeks I relly pulled back from him, not wanting to kiss him and such. Which lead to him being more needy. He of course new something was up, and I was as brutely honest as I could be- even tho I new it crushed him. I basically told him I dont feel the way he does, and I cant keep doing this to him. He has been by best friend... and my heart is hurting tremendously right now, for him and for me... and for the first time in 2 weeks I actually want to be close to him. I wonder if I am going to regret this decision with the hurt that is to come.. and the sure emptiness that will fill this house.

How can I get my thoughts back on track- and rationalize why I am doing this? If I gave in again, it would be back to where I was - and the same things would bother me. My gut tells me it's the right thing to do, but as experience this real, raw pain... it is making this much harder than I thought. I can't even write this without crying. I dont even know if its the guilt anymore, or just plain sadness. He hasent even moved out yet. I cant imagine how bad this is going to hurt!! ugh.. tears..

Posted by: Jamie on May 22, 2012 4:58 PM

Dear Jamie
Endings are very diffiuclt, even if you know within yourself that the relationship you are in is not right for you, and you are initiating the separation. Yes, it is like a divorce, because you have been living with someone who you have given your total self to in an intimate relationship. So do not undermine your feelings and know that what you are experiencing is "normal grief".

Grief is the anger, sadness, confusion, bargaining and the doubt that comes up when the separation is announced. You will go back and forth feeling this is the correct action for you to take, to end the reltionship to believeing that you have done the wrong thing.

This is like a roller coaster of emotions and you must go with the ups and downs and connect with the loss that you are experiencing. Connecting with the feelings within your body and heart. Do not be afraid of them, they are the gateway to your healing and growth. You will grieve the loss of your dreams, your mate and your living partner who you have memories good and bad with. You must let yourself cry, get angry.

The GUILT IS NOT A PRODUCTIVE EMOTIONS. IN FACT IT KEEPS YOU FROM DOING THE HEALTHY GRIEVING AND MOVING ON. GUILT IS AN EMOTION THAT KEEPS EVERYONE STUCK.

You have articulated why this relationship is not working for you.
After the grief, it is important to ask yourself what you have learned from this relationship about yourself. What does it trigger in you to be with someone who is needy? What part of you feels needy or what part of you is unable to express your needs?

Relationships are mirrors for us, what we feel within the other, we usually have some part of that within ourselves wanting to be healed or looked at.

There is a book that is very good called "Keeping The Love Your Find". by Harville hendrix. He is a author and counselor who specializes in relaitonships.

We choose partners that somehow connect with our own unresolved parts of ourselves in order for us to heal ourselves. These unresolved parts are usually unconscious and they need to be conscious.

Keeping The Love Your Find is a book for singles and a book that will help you to understand yourself and why you have choosen certain partners. It is important as I teach in all of my workshops that we understand ourselves The most important relationship is the relationship you have with yourself. The more you understand yourself the more successful you can be in any of your relationships in the future.

Let me know if I can be of any more help to you. I do phone consultations. You can email me directly.

Best wishes and many blessings
Michele Germain LCSW

Posted by: Michele Germian on May 23, 2012 11:06 AM

I still cannot believe I am at this type of website. Here I am with an msw and have worked in dv for tears. I have been in a relationship for six yrs and she is a very good person, but has gotten verbally and emotionally abusive. I love her dearly, but am so tired and want to leave the relationship but have so much guilt around it. I am the first person in ger life that has veen so real. Overall she is great, but very controlling and when angry or upset, I get abused like a doormat. I cannot leave an extended message bc if she knew she would flip. Help me build strength. Ty

Posted by: Karen on May 25, 2012 8:26 PM

Ive read a lot of these posts and they have been helpful in understanding what goes through the miond of the other person.

I am on the other side of the break up always. Everything seems great, i always feel like i found a person who is secure, then i get dumped. then allow myself to hope again...and each time i try a little harder, give a little more, so i dont have to feel that god awful shock in my gut when out of nowhere im being told its over. til most recently the person i dated...which i was skeptical about dating because the one before still hurt, i think because of that, there wasnt pressure and we got along great. Laughed all the time, hung out like young kids, it was awesome, and i really fell in love. I wanted to do a summer rental thing for fun so we could paint and live together. i paid for us living together for a few months. In retrospect i see how rediculous that was.

Then, And at the end of the summer, whic was great, out of nowhere he did the whole ambivalent thing, then dumped me. He made it espescially hard because there was a youthfulness to it and i felt like i was laughing again but i never put pressure on him, so i felt like he really was a friend. so when started being very cruel saying i was doing things so he would have to owe me...(which i know what he means after reading co dependency books), but i didnt do that consciously. I know i good to him though, and he just said things that really really hurt. One was that I was trying to get in the way of his dreams. he started ignoring me. stonewalling me. I know everybody says dont blame, let go of anger, but im starting to feel anger is my best defence now.

I literally cry all the time now. I feel guilt because i have no idea how to choose differently. The nice house that i rented for the both of us was most of my savings and now im living in a dirtball studio apartment. I think it was the straw that broke the camels back. I make terrible descisions. even when i think im making good ones, something happens where someone up and runs. I feel so much guilt that ive done this to myself, that ive let down my family by spending all of my energy on others, and that i barely have had the motivation to meet one person in this city i live in. I think ive given up, and i dont mean in a harmful way i just mean i just dont feel safe feeling hope to meet someone now. I mean im ok, im going to work and im functioning but there is something that is just numb now. I even harassed the guy telling him what a jerk he was for allowing me to be selfless if he knew he couldnt. he ignores me, i feel more humiliated, then i feel guilty for humiliating myself. I feel like i used to be normal but ive abused myself into whatever this is. I used to paint and i got offered a gallery show, and its in a month and i just sit there and try to paint something, and paint over it and paint over it and im not getting anywhere.

the worst guilt comes from playing over and over in my head him telling me that He broke up because I was a negative person and i brought him down, and "you cant help someone that cant help themselve" I remember us laughing and having a good time, but now hes right.

I feel humiliated. And since the break up and this very bleak feeling, its been several months. I find he doesnt show any remorse at all, and i almost start feeling it for him. So yeah...your right...guilt is toxic emotion. i wish i knew how to stop feeling it at this point i think its just built in now. The worst and most guilty i feel, is that Im not even as nice of a person as I used to be, because honestly, this is the first time i dont even want to forgive. I dont find the slightest bit of forgiveness for him. and feel guilty about that!

sorry im not trying to be over dramatic here, like i said im fine, it is what it is.

Posted by: lilfiona on June 14, 2012 12:04 AM

So, last night after spending a lot of time on this site reading and taking everything in I went to sleep and woke up still thinking about it. I have just carefully reread everything and found a lot similarities in the experiences of those sufferring with guilt and while I appreciate the intention of comforting those dealing with this nagging emotion, I really would like to propose an alternative perspective. I will try to approach it in an objective way but forgive me, if you read between the lines and sense an angry tone, that would make sense because I have just been taken to the curb myself, ahaha.

Dont mean to sound riteous or snotty either...Im not a psychologist, in fact many years ago i dropped out of school "temporarily" to start a life with someone who eventually freaked out and ran, and I never have gone back. Im an underachieving Housecleaner. but i do spend a lot of time thinking and reflecting while Im windexing other peoples mirrors,(pun intended).

I think rather then "throwing your guilt away" and moving on without it maybe you should embrace it and investigate it. Embrace it because it means you are a good person. And because guilt is an indicator of both a functioning mind and heart. after realizing your a good person, dont throw your guilt away and move on, because this would be denying yourself the ability to grow and be the best version of yourself. To throw your guilt away is to be selfish, and to remain underdeveloped much like a child. When you dont take the oppurtunity to grow you will continue to face the same problem over and over again. Its like reading a book and getting stuck on the same sentence rather then moving forward and seeing what other good stuff the rest of the book has to offer.

Guilt is just another built in mechanism telling you something isn't right, like an alarm bell, like there is something you need to look into. Just like how your intuition alarm is there to serve you and tell you something isnt right. If your walking down the street and a guy in a big white van with no windows pulls up next to you and offers you candy, you wouldnt throw away that feeling that tells you something isnt right so dont take your guilt for granted. So think about what your guilt is trying to tell you and investigate and you may find some good stuff thatll help you get further along to being a more advanced person.

Alot of these posts, in fact most of them, describe the experience of having a fear of intimacy. The ambivalence you feel at some point in a relationship that leads you to want freedom from your partner. The push and pull of longing for freedom, and the guilt of abandoning your partner. You have listened to your inner feeling that made you break the bond with your partner.

A common thread between all these experiences is people stating "I feel guilty but I know it was the right thing to do." Guilt and doing the right thing are not congruent and you need to figure out why these conflicting emotionas you are feeling at the same time.

Maybe the guilt is an indicator that you are not doing right by another person, and most likely that person will forgive you if you choose to learn from it. That person has given you their time, their love, their devotion and stood by your side, and while it is your choice to leave, give that person the respect of learning from the experience, and changing, rather then throwing away your guilt and moving on to do it to someone else. Learn why you felt that desire to run. At least they will know that the hurt that they felt from your abandonment was acknowledged and useful for someones growth.

One woman talked about leaving her devoted husband of several years for someone else who "brought back her childhood fantasies and made her feel like a little girl!" And she should throw away her guilt? Really? Cuz when I was a little girl I had an imaginary pet bulldog named little chief that I hung with and I used to talk to him. I dont do that anymore, because fantasy and imagionation for the most part of a developmental process of growing up, and if you are still throwing away a dedicated partner so you can go straight to someone else only to do it again years later you need to spend some time sitting with your guilt, having a conversation with it. "Hey guilt, why do I do this to innocent people?" and pay attention.

Another childlike fantasy is the longing for freedom in a relationship. Theres nothing wrong with longing to be free, but there is something wrong with indulging in your lone ranger fantasy over and over at someone elses expense. One person described leaving a woman at the alter so he could be free, even though she patiently gave him a lot of freedom to investigate this feeling within their relationship. She selflessly gave him the oppurtunity to experience time on his own, experiences free from her , breathing room and she did this for his benefit only to be left at the altar. That is a clear indication that you dont have the capacity to appreciate a real relationship. So it is not wise to throw away your guilt because its telling you that you need to not do that to someone else. You can figure out who you are and why you have those conflicting feelings, or be alone forever, but you have no business hurting another because you choose not to look into yourself and get to know what makes you tick and what you really want. This is your job, and your guilt is telling you that you shouldn't be dragging someone else into your dirty work.

My most recent ex, for example spoke about problems with his parents. They were struggling with divorce, his mother had a secret affair, and my ex was clearly angry at his mother, and had a great deal of respect for his dad, who was devoted, hardworking, and stuck by his wifes side through thick and thin. He had serious trust issues, that manifested themselves in not trusting ANY women, and feeling ease around guys. Although him and I never had a fight, we seemed to have a healthy relationship until one day he started getting that panick feeling. He accused me of trying to trap him in, like i was going to try to take away his freedom only to innevitably betray him. I never showed any indication of being anyone other than a person he could trust, but he projected that experience with his parents onto me and really really hurt me. He hurt me to save himself. If he chooses to learn from it and realize that just because his parents experience gave him an idea of how the world works, its not the truth, it is simply one window or way of looking at the world, and he can look at it another way, or he can stay right where he is and look through the same damn window and hurt other people over and over because he believes they are the same as his childlike perspective of women.

He will not sit down with his guilt and figure that out, because he has a close network of friends patting him on the back, telling him to throw out his guilt, to go out to the bar. He will avoid the feelings telling him theres something he needs to learn and do it again to someone else. I he does that forever he is selfishly seeking a pleasurable life while hurting others in the process. In his lifetime, for arguments sake he has 10 serious relationships, all of which people have sacrificed a lot of their own time, heart, individual goals in order to work within the goals of the couple. How much is he going to take away from people in his lifetime? How many women sacrifice having a good relationship, or finishing school, or whatever, to invest in him all for him to innevitably feel in his gut that they are innevitably going to betray him, like his mom, so he runs and moves on to another.

I dont think guilt is always a good thing. If you are in an abusive relationship guilt is a big manipulator. Abused people tend to be neurotic in their overabundance of guilt because they have taken on other peoples. When you abandon a relationship out of nowhere, theres no doubt that your partner is left feeling guilty and wondering what they did wrong...thats not fair. THOSE are the people that would benefit from the tossing away of guilt. If you reflect, and poke and prod and cant find any reason you were mistreated, or if you left before speaking with your partner about your inner conflict, or seeking help with a professional, but abandoned another, then your guilt is telling you to stay alone, you have no business in a relationship hurting another.

I think a relationship is like a team. At the time that you decide to be in a relationship you should shake hands and decide from that point on you are willing to make sure that both people are getting both their individual needs and the needs within the relationship. Before you can be in a relationship you have to know yourself inside and out. Dont listen to new age garbage about the past not existing, or that guilt serves no purpose, because that is a defense mechanism called rationalization, that keeps you away from figuring out who you are.

Guilt is a beautiful thing! It is a sign that your a good person. Without guilt we'd all be like that wierdo zombie guy running around hurting each other and never knowing why. Follow your guilt down a path and get to "know thyself" and know what guilt is yours and what guilt is someone elses that they are dumping on you. If the guilt is yours, grow up, figure it out and take care of it, but for God sake DO NOT ignore it.

Im sorry if this sounds a little preachy, like i said Ive just been dumped, and i am trying my hardest to understand why im left being hurt while he is not. Playing devils advocate is therapuetic for me, but i did learn a lot about what the dumper is feeling, maybe if your a dumper, you can appreciate the other side, the one trying to make you feel guiltier ahaha.

Posted by: P.O. on June 14, 2012 5:27 PM

Dear P.O.
I want to respond to your post so that others who have visited and have shared their feelings do not take from your post any judgement and critcal statement and place it on themselves. As I have found your comments of a critcal and judgemental nature, but I believe you did not have any intention on passing judgement on others.

Guilt is not beautiful, and to throw your guilt away is not being childish or selffish or does will not allow you to grow. One must throw the guilt away, and let go of the guilt so that they can experience the healthy grieving process associated with any loss.

Even thoes who break up with somone and initiate the end of a relationship must grieve, which means sadness anger, regret, and finally acceptance. In that process one heals and begins to understand what they have learned about themselves and where they need to grow and change in order to know themselves better.

This is the main work of any breakup or divorce. One must grieve, one must ask theirselves the questions "what have I learned" "what are the gifts I have given and received in the relationship" and "what do I need to do differently to be a better partner".

Two people come together in a relationship and they bring their childhood history with all its strengths and weakness, with the good traits and the unresolved issues. Even if they do not know or understand what is unresolved within them, it will be revealed within a relationship. It is inevitable, it will come out most likely in a unclear manner. That is why one who is having trouble within a relationship, as we all have, needs to seek some form of counseling. We cannot see our own stuff as clearly, especially when we are in a relationsip with someone who has their unresolved issues coming up as well.

Many psychologist and relationship experts have all said "It is in the presence of our significant other that our heart grows".

This means that we grow in a relationship and learn about ourselves. We can heal and help our partner heal their old wounds. But, it is a dance and not an easy one. Both need to be willing and able to look at their own unresolved needs issues etc. so that they can be as conscious as possible in the relationship and communicate to the best of their ability to the other person.

So I thank you for your post, but I want to make sure all thoes who have visited this site or who will in the future know that critical judgment that is given by others or that you may be given to yourself is not healing. Love, forgiveness of self and others is the way toward greater growth, healing and happiness.

Blessings
Michele Germain LCSW

Posted by: Michele Germain LCSW on June 19, 2012 11:04 AM


Posted by: fioluy on July 18, 2012 11:14 PM

It has been therapeutic to read these comments and see that you are not the only one going through these feelings of guilt and still have a great deal of respect for the person you are breaking up with. I have been dating a wonderful lady for the past year and a half. She lives close to an hour ride away so we were pretty much seeing each other 2 to 3 times a week maximum. She lives with her mom and 6 year old son. I am 50 and do not have any children. Her son can be a handful but we get along great. I really love him and sometimes he can be so much fun. I am very attached to him and him to me. He loves when I come over or when we take him out. I talk to her every night and probably at least 2 times a day. She is a professional and financially does quite well. She is a very smart and caring person who I also had some things in common with. I had not been in a relation ship in quite a while so it was really nice to share holidays and christmas parties going out dancing with a partner than always on your own.The negatives are that I am not totally turned on by her physically. I am 50 but I work out almost daily and look and feel close to 10 years younger. I am not looking or expecting a model type but she does not have the typical looks or body type of the women I have dated in the past. I have a pretty strong sex drive for my age and sleeping with her has not been a problem but I am afraid it could be a problem in the future if we stay together. She also lives with her mom who has been negative from the start. Her mother is a very negative person who always sees the glass half empty and never sees the good. Her mom speaks polish and she is alawys speaking polish to her son and her mom around the house I think her mom speaks a lot more english than she lets on. I find this quite annoying when I am there and have told her so. She never tries to translate what they said when they are right in front of me. She pretty much does not agree and I find that to be rude. I also do not like the way her house is decorated which I am sure her mom decides how things should look around the house or the extra big yard for a small house that requires a lot of work that she complains I don't help enough with even though I do not live there and am hardly there. I have always lived in a condo and am not a handyman. I really would never move into that house as I do not want to live that far out of the city and it is not set up at all where I could be comfortable. I do not really want to live with her mom and sometimes feel that would be impossible. I could not sell my condo without a big loss and she could not sell her house without a big loss. One of the biggest things is that she want s to have a baby she is 38 I am 50 and I told her I don't think I want a baby at this point and then I finally said no I really don't plan on having a baby. Well this finally came to a head and she told me we could not be together. but everytime we end up talking and seeing each other just like before. She sent me a long letter saying basically that i led her on and she was really hurt and loved me. She said she had the best 18 months of her life but 18 months wasted. I told her I am guilty of enjoying her company and living for today without looking into the future as she wants and feels she needs to be complete. We have talked since and she was very depressed and I was also hurt but could not stand to see her that way. We have been together since (no sex I made sure) and she is starting to think we are back together. I have rambled enough but I really do love and care about her but I am afraid we a re falling back in the trap and I really want at the very least to take a break or possibly break up as I am finding this overwhelming and feeling extremely guilty. I would really appreciate your feedback.

Posted by: dave on August 2, 2012 3:05 PM

What a relief to know I am not alone. I am consumed by guilt when I think of ending past relationships and spend a good portion of each day ruminating over it. I have had several long term, significant relationships but now I believe that I change myself along the way to be what the other person wants or needs. In my home growing up, it was so important to be liked by everyone. Something snaps in me after a while and I am amazed that I stayed as long as I did. Also, when I end a relationship, I do it quickly and completely. I have been able to remain friends with a few exes. I believe it is because I tolerate so much during the relationship that I experience a lot of little "mini-divorces" along the way. Once I reach the breaking point, it is already over in my mind. It is hard for me to be alone and I have always moved from one relationship to the next. I am currently in a 4 yr. relationship that I am desperate to end. My feelings changed slowly and I cannot make them come back. I still care deeply for this person and would love to remain friends. She self harms herself any time we have a problem and I feel tremendous guilt knowing the pain I will cause with the breakup but I am so unhappy and feeling numb.I have also started thinking about my most significant relationship that I consider to be my soul partner. There were big things in the relationship (like my frustration at them not holding down a steady job) that have fixed themselves. Should I revisit this relationship and see if it can be salvaged? Thank you, in advance, for your advice.

Posted by: N on August 4, 2012 12:27 AM

my girlfriend broke up with me after 1 year of being together, we lived together and i saw her everynight from 11pm on. she is a doctor and worked late hours and i would go fetch her and bring her home as she worked in a dangerous area. i would get frustrated and sometimes angry while i would wait as i had to be up early for work but couldnt let her drive out of the dangerous area alone.

when she broke up with me she told me it was because we fought to much and that she needed to concentrate on her career and she wished me all the best and she wont contact me or return any of my calls , messages, as if ive died.

im really confused as she told me many times she loved me so much and wanted to marry me someday. it has hurt me so much and i just cant understand how her feelings can change and she can just cut me off so easily like that. please can you help me

Posted by: ilan abrahams on September 5, 2012 7:14 AM

My husband & I had been together for 8 years, married for almost 4 yrs. I left him in November of 2011. For the last two years we were married we were having terrible financial problems, he had a very small business which was himself & one other guy (sometimes). I was working a full time job, plus doing all of the billing, etc. for his business. Getting outside help for this was not an option because the business wasn't making that much money. My husband had the leisure of getting up when he wanted, working as late as he wanted, weekends if he wanted. So our life pretty much revolved around his work schedule. When work started slowing down, so did the income. We got behind on our bills, utilities were being turned off, collection phone calls. For a year I begged him to get a steady job, I screamed, cried, told him I was not able to handle all this, keep juggling everything to try & make it work. He basically would walk out & not talk about it. He was never mean to me, disrespectful, anything, he just wouldn't step up & try to figure out what to do about our financial situation. My income was not enough to pay everything, so I paid what I could and everything else just got behind. I told him several times, I was leaving, but he just wouldn't face it. So, I packed my things, my girlfriends helped me & I moved out. He stood in the driveway & ask me "what did I do, why are you leaving?" Anyway, it has been 10 months since I moved out, I am working to get my finances in order. He has since gotten a job and tells me he is getting bills caught up. He is begging me, literally, to give him a second chance. I can't stand that I have hurt someone this bad, he is a wonderful man, was good to my daughter and I know he loves me. There were other things about our relationship besides the money that has me second guessing going back to him. We were best friends, but almost like brother & sister, I feel no passion for him and I feel terrible to say that because he has such a good heart. I have come a long ways in 10 months establishing myself a decent life. I'm afraid to gamble what I have & go back & be in the same situation in a few months. I don't know if people can change like he says he has?! I can't stand to hear him hurting so bad, I worry all the time about his well being. He tells me he has no one but me, wants no one but me, can't be happy with anyone but me. That is a huge burden for one person to carry for another!! He says he has no friends, because my friends were his friends, etc....... He has a son that is 13, I have encouraged him to start spending more time with him, but he is obsessed over what I am doing, where I'm at all the time. I don't know how I found this website, but reading other people's thoughts & feelings are helping me to put things in perspective. I was almost to the point of just saying "OK, I will come back, please stop the crying & begging" I can't stand to hear the hurt in his voice & I take so much responsibility because I was the one that walked out. Writing all of this has been good for me. Blessings to all the others that are carrying guilt.

Posted by: LL on September 11, 2012 11:02 AM

Dear LL
Thank you for sharing your story. Guilt is an emotions like I have said many times that covers up our natural grief reactions. Anger, sadness, doubt, bargaining, are all part of what comes up after a breakup. Feeling these emotions are part of the healing.

Your husband is hurt from the breakup, but you are not responsible to fix his hurt. Nor, are you responsible for the choices he has made. It sounds like as most relationships I see that both partners in the relationships do not know how to communicate their feelings, nor problem solve. They sweep things under the rug, until feelings build up and one just wants to leave.

What is most important is to learn from the past. Ask yourself what could you of done differently, what areas are you lacking in communication etc. The point here is not to blame yourself, feelings guilty because you left, but the point is to learn the lesson, to grow and to heal.

If one stays stuck in guilt one does not learn the lesson and know what to do differently. Often the problem is repeated and the growth or healing does not take place.

It is easy to feel guilt when someone you care about is hurting, but instead of feeling guilty, list the gifts you gave and received in the relationship. Send love and light to your partner. Move toward forgiveness. Forgiveness of yourself as well as your partner. This is the healing that must take place.

It sounds like you have been in a healing mode. Perhaps your husband will find his healing path. Encourage him to seek a therapist and support, so he can find his way. But, know that you are not responsible for the choices he makes in regard to his own healing.

Michele Germain LCSW

Posted by: Michele Germain LCSW on September 11, 2012 1:03 PM

I googled this topic and came across this article and all the comments. Even though I think i'm going to have a hard time I needed this so thank you to everyone. I literally just broke up with my boyfriend. We were dating for a year until I found out that he had been cheating on me for the entire time with his ex girlfriend. His reasons being she was mentally sick and he felt "guilty' and responsible for her. She had no idea about me nor I her until she was suspicious and confronted me. While I should've been disgusted and ended it right there I allowed him to work his way back into my life again because I felt I was owed something. Anyway, fast forward another 6 months and I eventually realized I'm not happy in a relationship knowing my partner would do that to me or her. I ended it yesterday but now he is saying he tried so hard, he tried to show me he loved me and that I don't care. And I feel guilty. I shouldn't feel guilty for feeling untrusting of him but I do because I am a nice person. He is a persistent person and is not going to stop, but I think I need to overcome this feeling of guilt or I'll just end up in a relationship that I don't want to be in. It's possible to care about someone but cut them out of your life, so I hope I come to that realization within myself and I hope he does too.

Posted by: Emily on October 13, 2012 1:59 PM

I wanna share my story and would love some advice as I am going through the worst guilt of my entire life :( I am engaged to the most wonderful man of my life. We have been together for almost 4 years now and i've always been happy with him. We have fought, we aren't perfect but he treats me better than any man has ever treated me before. The fact of the matter is I have cheated on him and I honestly don't know why or what possessed me to do that to him, he did nothing wrong to cause me to cheat. It was not with a stranger, yet someone who I used to date. It would be a really long story if I told the whole thing about my ex but he rejected me in the past for his ex girlfriend when we were dating so then we stopped talking for a while. After my fiance (bf at the time) and I came home after college I started hanging out with my ex cause we had always been good friends. The cheating part happened after hanging out a few times I went to a friends bday party and he was there then we went to talk about his heart condition in which i've always been worried about with him and then he made a move on me and it happened. As hard as it is to say, all of my feelings for my ex came rushing back because he made me feel like he finally wanted me and still cared about me. I felt so horrible about it and have carried the guilt for so long because of it. As a kid growing up I was never the pretty one or the popular kid, I was average with average clothes and my whole life I never felt pretty enough for anyone..I never had a true boyfriend who had officially asked me out and called me his girlfriend until my now fiance and we started dating at the age of 20 years old for me, I am now 23. I eventually got over my overwhelming guilt and moved on telling myself everyone makes mistakes. last summer one of my guy friends invited me over to hang out and it was someone I had recently reconnected with from high school so I was excited to gain a friend. This guy however had been telling me how much he "wanted" me after we hung out and how I looked so good and I changed so much since high school. I felt very flattered by that mainly from my insecurity of myself. We ended up hanging out again and he kissed me and again...I cheated. Why? I have no idea! I was not at all intending to cheat on my bf ever and I was never ever a cheater even dating someone before my fiance. So why the hell do I do this to the one person who I care for the most and whom I am about to marry?! it boggles my mind and i'm the one who did it. I can't get myself to confess because I love him and since we have been engaged (and months before we got engaged) I have not cheated and stopped talking to those guys. I feel as though the guilt is punishment enough and by telling my fiance would only damage everything worse for not only him obviously, but for me as well seeing as how I am already beating myself up and crying almost every night. As a child maybe like 5 or 6 I woke up to a noise and walked in on my parents. It completely traumatized me and still haunts me to this day. It is disgusting to think about but I have no clue if that has anything to do with my issues. I don't know what to think or feel all I know is I feel like the worst person in the world and I feel like I don't deserve this man at all in my life and like our marriage would be a sham because of my infidelity :( I am so upset I can't think straight and I have panic attacks thinking about it throughout the day. I can't talk to anyone about it and I also can't afford a therapist right now. Should I be honest? Should I just live with the guilt? How do I get over my guilt? Am I still worthy of love? I am not a bad person in general, i'm constantly giving to others, I don't drink or do drugs, I am kind to my fiance (the whole time even before cheating) I just don't know what to do and i'm breaking down inside.

Posted by: Sophia on October 27, 2012 9:26 PM

Thank you for taking the time to write your personal story. Sometimes just writing releases some of our personal pain. Sometimes reading other people's stories helps us to see we are not as bad as we are telling ourselves.

It would be helpful to talk to a professsional to help you to continue to forgive yourself, and others. You need not live with the guilt, but you must make the decision to let it go and learn from your behavior. Accept the giving loving person you are who is not perfect. And know that none of us are perfect. We are all here learning about ourselves to become the best we can. Our greatest wounds can unfold into our greatest accomplishments. We must learn from our mistakes as we all make them.

You can call the crisis hot line in your town and ask for someone who is able to work with you. Continue to reach out and you will find someone professional that you will be able to afford.

There is a good book called "Good Bye To Guilt", by Gerald Jampolsky, M.D. It may help you oversome and let go of the guilt.

Many blessings and much luck. Praise yourself for reaching out, for telling your story and wanting to let go and move on with your life.

Michele Germain LCSW

Posted by: Michele Grmain LCSW on October 28, 2012 11:13 AM

Hello, I dated this person for four yrs, and he broke up with me last November. We had a wonderful history together, untill he move in with me. Things had change and I could not move on or see myseft as marriage with him. He became more jealous and control, we always pick a fight, and we did not trust each other. He was a single dad and I am a single mother. When I met him, he treated me very nice and love my daughter. He is a good man and even though he has an issue with jelousy but I talked to myseft I will handle it fine. Time go by, it does not easy as I thought, we are up and down with the emotional, and the trust is not there. He break up with me because he say we alway fight, he fall out of love. He moved out, and I feel so bad, I always think about the good time and the bad time with him. I feel guity, that he was there for me four years. I did not want to marry him because I felt something missing. I do not feel he the right one, when he is with me. I used to love and like him ,but his jelousy and controlling push me off. I should be happy because he broke up with me, but I do not know why I felt so bad and guity. I beg him to come back and restart the relationship, even though bottom of my heart I do not trust him 100% anymore. I do not know why, he still very nice with me and want to pay phone bill for me. We had a phone line together, I kept told him I do not want the phone since we are not like before. He refused to get it back. That made me more guity. He still cared for me and want to help me anything if I ask. But it was make me more confused, and more guity. If he does not wat to be back why he string me as a friend. I first feel guity because I thought I did not treat him good, but now I feel confused because what he does. I just want to move on , so I told him to cut it all off. I hope I did the right thing. I hope he would understand, that it was so hard tobe friend. I do not want anything to do with an exes. He sent me texts told me to move on and wish me have someone better, but he at the same time send jokes and email to me all the time. I am so confused, and guity. Even though he the one who broke thing of, I don't know why he can not stop his behavior. He told me one thing but does different thing. I could not guess what his want. If I ask him to be back, then he told me he just want tobe friend and brother. I a. Now so confused and fustrated. After reading this post from many different people, I feel much better. I hope someone out there have the same issues as I do Would give me some ideas to move my life forward because I still feel guity and do not know if I make a right choice of not waiting to give him another try. Thamks

Posted by: Cindy on November 8, 2012 2:41 AM

Hello, I dated this person for four yrs, and he broke up with me last November. We had a wonderful history together, untill he move in with me. Things had change and I could not move on or see myseft as marriage with him. He became more jealous and control, we always pick a fight, and we did not trust each other. He was a single dad and I am a single mother. When I met him, he treated me very nice and love my daughter. He is a good man and even though he has an issue with jelousy but I talked to myseft I will handle it fine. Time go by, it does not easy as I thought, we are up and down with the emotional, and the trust is not there. He break up with me because he say we alway fight, he fall out of love. He moved out, and I feel so bad, I always think about the good time and the bad time with him. I feel guity, that he was there for me four years. I did not want to marry him because I felt something missing. I do not feel he the right one, when he is with me. I used to love and like him ,but his jelousy and controlling push me off. I should be happy because he broke up with me, but I do not know why I felt so bad and guity. I beg him to come back and restart the relationship, even though bottom of my heart I do not trust him 100% anymore. I do not know why, he still very nice with me and want to pay phone bill for me. We had a phone line together, I kept told him I do not want the phone since we are not like before. He refused to get it back. That made me more guity. He still cared for me and want to help me anything if I ask. But it was make me more confused, and more guity. If he does not wat to be back why he string me as a friend. I first feel guity because I thought I did not treat him good, but now I feel confused because what he does. I just want to move on , so I told him to cut it all off. I hope I did the right thing. I hope he would understand, that it was so hard tobe friend. I do not want anything to do with an exes. He sent me texts told me to move on and wish me have someone better, but he at the same time send jokes and email to me all the time. I am so confused, and guity. Even though he the one who broke thing of, I don't know why he can not stop his behavior. He told me one thing but does different thing. I could not guess what his want. If I ask him to be back, then he told me he just want tobe friend and brother. I a. Now so confused and fustrated. After reading this post from many different people, I feel much better. I hope someone out there have the same issues as I do Would give me some ideas to move my life forward because I still feel guity and do not know if I make a right choice of not waiting to give him another try. Thamks

Posted by: Cindy on November 8, 2012 2:41 AM

Dear Cindy
I am very pleased that reading the stories of others has helped you see you are not alone in experiencing guilt. As I have said many times guilt is an emotion that keeps one stuck and it is self-punishing.
We often are raised and made to believe that we are responsible for everyone feelings. We are each responsible for our feelings and our choices we make in our life and in our relationships.
Relationship are very difficult to sort out when we are in the middle of conflicts so we often do the BLAME GAME. WE BLAME OURSELVES THEN WE BLAME THE OTHER PERSON AND WE GO BACK AND FORTH. This is not resolving the feelings.
What I continue to hear in your story is that you are very clear that he was not the person you wanted to spend your life with, this is your repeated statement even though you say you are confused.
Know one is all bad and all good, so of course you appreciate the good parts of our partner, and it is not uncommon to have heart feelings for someone but know that the relationships is not healthy.
Let yourself feel your confusion, sadness and write out in a journal all the good things in the relationship and the gifts you gave him and he gave you. Then write out the reason why you know in your heart and soul that you are not meant to be with him.
It is difficult to maintain a friendship with someone we had an intimate relationship. So your choice to let go completely was probably the best for you.
Tell yourself often that you are worthy of a loving relationship and find out what it is you would like to give and receive in your next relationship. Learn from this past relationship what you would of done differently.
Communication is a big part of relationships and every relationships needs help in being able to communicate ones feelings in a healthy way. It sounds like both of you may of had difficulty in this area. Read some books on communication, and I suggest getting my book "The Jill Principle" it will help you to let go of your guilt and move on feeling more complete.
Many blessings
Michele Germain LCSW

Posted by: Michele Germain LCSW on November 9, 2012 9:36 AM

Hi everyone. Thanks for sharing your personal stories. I can relate to them and it helps to read them.

I am in the process of breaking up with my partner of two years. I moved in with him a long way from my home town, so it's taking me some time to tie loose ends up with my work and to organise moving back home. I have three weeks to go here. I have suggested it might be better if he stays with family while I'm packing up because it might be very hard for him to watch me packing up to go. He has chosen to stay and he is being very mature and amicable, with no blaming or anything.

However, he cries every day and when his brother called him today to talk about things, my ex burst into tears on the phone. He apologised to me and said he didn't want to do that in front of me and he will try to keep a brave face. Oh my God, I just feel WORSE. Why is he apologising to me when I am the one who is breaking his heart?

I also feel very guilty because before I moved in to be with him,I kinda knew we weren't very compatible but I guess I was in denial and hoping things could work out. So now I'm wondering why I put him through the past year and allowed his dependency on me to grow. Especially since I am older and wiser with a lot of relationship experience behind me.

Often I think I am not 'relationship material'. I feel like a very selfish person who is unable to love others properly. Most of the time, I find relationships very oppressive and it doesn't make much sense to me to be in one. I feel bad for not having known better and trusted my instincts from the start.

I have learnt from this latest experience that I need to be really selective in pursuing relationships because I keep matching up with incompatible people. Lovely people - just incompatible (and a few not lovely ones too).

I can't figure out if my picker is broken or if the problem is me. maybe I can't accept people for who they are. maybe I am too dysfunctional. or maybe I just prefer to be alone. because then I can be myelf without affecting anyone else and not disappointing people or resenting living according to the expectations of others. I cherish my independence. But then I find it weird to not crave a relationship llike many people around me.

Regardless, I've broken enough hearts in my life (and also had mine broken a couple of times). I need to stop doing this to people. I know I'm not responsible for other people's feelings (despite strong childhood programming) but I think I need to be more responsible in starting relationships and not just hooking up with anybody I like or who likes me back.

I guess hindsight is a bitch.

I know this guilt will pass. I know I am not the right person for my ex but I can't guarantee that he will meet someone else who he loves and cares for deeply. I wish I could. I feel terrible for what he is going through. I remember my own devastation from unrequited love. It sucks.

Thanks for listening.

Posted by: Wren on April 30, 2013 4:42 AM

I split with my boyfriend & daughters father after 14 years, 2 years ago, he still has not gotten over it & is very poorly, he had diabetes & due to being unable to manage it himself he now also has epilepsy & multiple other things wrong with him. He is currently in intensive care & I feel soooo bad, he's a nice guy but I wasn't happy & I will wonder forever if I made the wrong decision or if I should have ended it sooner but I guess will never know. I would love for him to be happy again but he can't get out of his downward spiral. :'(

Posted by: Ice cream wafer on May 30, 2013 8:15 PM

You guys have no idea how much this has helped me deal with the guilt I am currently facing, so firstly I thank you all for sharing your stories.

I have just broken up with my first long term girlfriend - we'd been together about 16 months which compared to a lot of your stories isn't that long. Of those 16 months, she had been ill for about 10, she contracted viral meningitis and it took a big strain on our relationship. Initially I was okay, we both knew that the illness would go soon enough but after time the cracks started to appear, mainly from me.

She would regularly have mood swings and i'd face the brunt of them, I brushed them aside and put it down to her feeling poorly - when she had a good day with the illness, we were great, she was and still is a lovely girl - and my best friend for the whole period of the relationship.

As we approached the year mark I started to doubt a lot of things - firstly I was at an age where my mates were getting good jobs and earning good money, I was stuck in a job which I didn't enjoy and that didn't pay well - that got me down, mixed in with my best friend being poorly made it doubly hard.

I broke up with her at the end of June but missed her too much, we tried the relationship again and initially it seemed back on track, we were very much in love.

I started getting the doubts again around a month after we got back together - this time they were stronger. I faced up to it and held my hands up. I broke up with her again and now there is no going back. The over riding feeling is guilt, but I miss her too, a lot.

A bit of advice, do you think I miss her because I am used to having her around? I have pretty much zero confidence with women and she was the only person that has ever loved me - i worry that I will never get anyone who loves me as much as she did.

She hates me now - really hasn't taken it well and has made me out to be somebody that I am not which hurts.

When i'm with her I doubt whether she is the person I want to spend the rest of my life with, but when we break up, i want her back. it's killing me! Any help is much appreciated.

Posted by: James on September 9, 2013 5:48 PM

After reading everyone's stories, I have decided to take some time to write about my own. I find myself feeling guilty for the cowardly way that I once treated another. I will call him "S". He was my first love and we were together all through college. We had a rocky relationship, and from the start I knew there were deal breakers that I could not endure in marriage. We reached a comfortable place, and a part of me feels that I likely led him on even though I knew I could not see myself marrying him. I knew that he cared for me, and I guess I was afraid of being without him.

Right before graduation I met someone else. I will call him "C". I ended things abruptly with S and he was devastated. He cried and tearfully asked me what he was going to do without me. I was so excited and looking forward to seeing C that I didn't care about S's feelings. At graduation S asked me to meet up with him, and it is the words that he said and that tearful look on his face that haunt me to this day. He told me that he knew I was the one. I looked him in his eyes and told him that I wasn't. Soon afterward he became angry and even told me over the phone that he hoped I would get hurt one day. I decided to cut ties from him completely so that I could be with C and I ignored his texts, facebook and e-mail requests to try to stay friends.

C ended up not being who I thought he was. I would find out that he lied about some major things in his life and that he had been sleeping with other women the entire time we were together. I ended up hurt emotionally and physically, but I thanked God for saving me from a lifetime with C. I now had the power to move on and do with my life what I wanted. I later met an amazing man who I am now married to. Our relationship isn't perfect, but it is loving and healthy.

In my heart, I have always felt a pain for what I did to S. And a part of me always wondered if C was my punishment for it. C has a long history of being reckless and hurting others without being remorseful for it. That is the difference between us. I am very remorseful for what I did. I am not sorry for ending it with S, but I am sorry for the cowardly way that I did it. It was my selfish and immature actions that caused him pain and I will always be sorry for it.

I recently found out that S went on to get his Master's and is recently married. After finding this out, I must say a small amount of the weight was lifted from me. It was exactly what I had prayed for, for him to find love and happiness. I saw a picture from his wedding on the internet and began to cry. I know that they are happy tears. Things turned out the way that they were meant to, but I still feel sadness for the way that I treated him and made him feel all those years ago. A part of me would love nothing more that to tell him that I am sorry. I may not have been in love with him, but that was no excuse to hurt him and make him feel insecure the way that I did. It hurts knowing that I made him feel as though he did not matter, when in fact he did. He was my best friend for so long, and yet I still hurt him. I am wrestling with the thought of what is best to do. Is it appropriate to give him the overdo heartfelt apology that he deserves and congratulate him on his marriage? I am afraid that if I did it would rehash the past and bring up old feelings of anger and sadness. At the same time, it hurts knowing that I may have to go through life not ever truly saying I am sorry and that I am proud and happy for him. They say it is never too late to say that you are sorry. However, in this case I feel it would be selfish. It would help me feel better about myself, but I do not know what good it would do him. I do not want to be selfish anymore, and I definitely do not want to cause S anymore pain than I already have.

Any thoughts from anyone would be appreciated.

Posted by: AM on September 28, 2013 10:54 AM

I was feeling very depressed tonight about my feelings of guilt, I now feel a bit better that im not alone in this! I broke up with my husband a few weeks ago because he cheated and told many lies a year ago, I chose to forgive him and we tried to make another go of our relationship.
The first year we were together he cheated with many girls and shouted at me a lot and I was close to leaving many times.
When I found out he claimed he hadn't met any of them and it was just messaging, he said he loved me and would prove to me I could trust him so he made an effort for around 10 months to be nicer to me, he started taking me out more and buying me gifts, but I would check his phone and still find messages, I just could NOT trust him and began to withdraw many months before I had the guts to leave. The thing is I left a week before our first holiday that he had paid for, but I found out many conversations via facebook that he had when we first met, very disgusting messages four months into our relationship. I didn't want to spend the rest of my life with this man so I ended it. He was very upset and angry because he said hed spent the last 8 month gaining my trust and spending his money on me he said he had been too good to me and I was throwing our relationship away, but I couldn't trust him, he also told many lies one being his mum had fallen down the stairs when we first met. He said it was all in the past and I shouldn't end it because of the past but I knew deep inside that he wasn't to be trusted. I still feel so guilty for ending it because I feel id promised my forever love and he had made some effort to change but the gifts didn't mend my trust issues with him. Also because his family had been kind to me and they were very upset too.

Posted by: bec on October 27, 2013 1:58 PM

These stupid spell casting people need to get a life and find their own websites!!!!!! Losers

Posted by: dd on November 9, 2013 8:36 PM

As the author of this blog I have been attempting to ask these individuals who are promoting "spell casters" to stop posting on this web site. I have deleted their post when I see them. But, they have continued.

As the author I am not associated with this group nor do I support this approach. Unfortunately they may post again. I will continue to attempt to request that they stop and move to a more appropriate blog that supports them.

Thank you for your comment as I understand your frustration. I believe this blog has served to help people who have broken up with a partner and are looking for support and knowledge that they are not alone in trying to heal and move forward with their life.

I thank everyone who has contributed to this blog and shared your stories I honor your attempt to heal and find a way to resolve the conflict you may be feeling as a result of a break-up of a relationship.

Regards
Michele Germain LCSW

Posted by: Michele Germain LCSW on November 11, 2013 2:24 PM

My ex boyfriend was been separated from by his parent long ago, since then i still think about him and still have feelings for him. There was a day i went online to search for help, I came across different people's comment and their good news how they were all able to get back their lover. I was so sad and almost gave up on him, when i saw a comment of a girl that impressed me about a man called Dr.Ijebu, who helped her get her lover back. I contacted him and asked him to do the same for me which he asked me for few things i gave to him. Ever since then i have been so happy and couldn't believe it would happen. He also helped a friend of mine with his spell, I have been living happily with my lover now and will be getting married soon. Here is his email address ancientijebudespelltemple@gmail.com to contact him if you need his help

Posted by: Marilyn on January 23, 2014 5:11 AM

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