The Guilt and Regret After a Break-up

A girlfriend of mine just had a break-up. Now of course I would side with her on who was to blame…hahahaha. Just kidding…sorta. ;)

She was really devastated by it, but what made me annoyed was that whoever was at fault, she came out of it questioning her character too much and that was what made me ticked off at him. He somehow managed to make her feel like less of a person in the last year. That is awful to me.
While we were talking, I was thinking about how loss is an awful thing to go through, but what was bad about her loss is she now has heaps and heaps of guilt and regret. She’s not perfect, but somehow she was made to feel guilty by him.

Making another person feel guilty during a break-up is heavier than we may think. It isn’t the loss that disturbs our sleep, it’s guilt or regret. I’ve often said my own Mother’s death (as horrifying as it was) was easier because I didn’t have guilt or regret with her. My friend is left with the "Maybe if I had done this or that better, he’d still love me." I tried to explain that love is not dependent on actions. It may make a person end a relationship, but actions are not where love is based. Things may tick us off, but when our partner is having low moments, we should try to be there for them. She also seemed concerned about his family and friends thinking badly of her. The problem with a break-up is you usually break up with a whole host of people, not just one. The truth is she can’t really be concerned with what people think. They are broken up now so none of it can matter unfortunately.

There has to be a way we can alleviate our guilt and regret after break-ups. Our minds tend to replay events (especially dramatic ones) over and over again as though we can fix something that already happened. Life is in real time, we don’t get to redo it all. I believe we can say sorry for our part in it, we can try to fix that part of ourselves which posed some percentage of the problem, but losing sleep is detrimental to our future happiness. I think there is a natural cycle of events that happen in order to heal and sure, we can’t ignore the steps we have to take towards healing, but guilt and regret are like boat anchors that until we can forgive ourselves for our part, we can’t truly move on. The anchor gets dragged into the next one.

In her case, she was made to feel in the wrong, where I have witnessed she wasn’t. The fabricated guilt and regret can make a person outright hate themselves!

It’s been many years since I have seen any of the people involved in one of my break-ups. I could feel guilty for not talking to them, but I don’t. It isn’t because I am calloused about it. But I have come to realize they weren’t my family to begin with and that ultimately, my ex is the person who has to live with them on a daily, weekly and monthly basis. By spouting off where I felt wronged to them would only undermine their relationship and it’s not helpful. My being right in it doesn’t win me any points either. I know there are lies told and hate has spread around but I simply cannot bog down my life with the guilt and regret.

I’m not very big to begin with and those emotions are way too heavy! lol

I sincerely hope these emotions are not current emotional baggage that you are also holding onto and that if you do have them, you are working towards getting rid of them!

Much love on ya!
Karen :)

"Do not brood over your past mistakes and failures as this will only fill your mind with grief, regret and depression. Do not repeat them in the future." ~Sivananda

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