As the famous song says, breaking up is hard to do. Whenever you’re the one who initiated the tough decision, it’s only normal to feel some guilt in the matter. The guilty complex you feel is compounded when the other party doesn’t want to part ways, and you’ve hurt them by making this choice. But you must release guilt to feel good again.
It’s hard to stay positive when you’re trying to find ways to release guilt, but you must find a way to forgive yourself so that you can move on. Whether you’ve been dating or married for two months or twenty years doesn’t matter. Indeed, there will always be some level of guilt and regret that things didn’t work out.
Twelve Ways to Release Guilt After a Breakup
If you want to release guilt from a relationship gone wrong, you need to arm yourself with valuable tools for the job. It’s not going to be easy, and there will be plenty of lonely nights, but you can get through this difficult time.
Here are some ways to help you get through a broken heart from a toxic relationship and release any guilty feelings associated with it.
First and foremost, you must understand that everyone feels some guilt when making such decisions as ending a relationship. When you step out of your comfort zone and make a declaration to stop something that was once so magical, you can’t get over it with ease.
However, you should allow yourself a certain amount of time to feel some regret for the relationship that didn’t work. The part that will eat away at you is that there were, no doubt, some good times.
2. Remember All the Sacrifices You Made
You’ve probably made plenty of sacrifices to make the relationship work. There’s a dynamic between two people that’s always unique, but you must remember all the times that things weren’t smooth sailing.
However, remind yourself of those bad times and what you did and ignored to keep the peace. Nothing helps to release guilt better than recalling all the trouble you went through trying to keep a sinking ship from going under.
3. Consider the Breakup a Favor to Your Ex
Why not look at your breakup through a different lens? Rather than feeling guilty for ending things, why not look at it as if you’ve done a favor to your ex? By releasing them, you’re allowing them to move on and find the right person.
You just did the inevitable, as this situation was going nowhere. However, it takes a strong person to stand up and say that’s something is over, even though both parties probably already know. Look at all the marriages that drag on for years when neither party is in love anymore.
According to Marriage, if your partner is a narcissist, getting them to make the first move to divorce you is nearly impossible. A self-fish person sees nothing wrong with the relationship, and they have no empathy towards others. So, while you may see things as toxic and unhealthy, they may feel the relationship is right where they want it.
4. Write Down All the Reasons Why
If you cannot get past the guilt, you feel in the situation. Then you should try to make a pros and cons list. Write down all the reasons why you felt this was the right choice. If your partner wasn’t the best and had many issues, you need to remind yourself of all these reasons.
You can begin to release the guilt when you consider that this person had flaws that forced you into making such a tough decision. This list can help you remove the baggage you’re carrying and put some of the blame on their doorstep.
5. Remember Their Flaws
While you’re making that list, consider the flaws they had that drove you mad. How many times were you sitting alone in a restaurant because they’re chronically late? This goes way beyond leaving the cap off the toothpaste and the lid up on the toilet, as you need to remember the things they did that sparked arguments or caused discord between you two.
Did they have a problem with lying, did they cheat on you, or were there times they were verbally abusive? Taking a trip down memory lane can be an eye-opening experience. Honestly, it’s one of the best ways to help you start to feel better about your choices and less guilty in the matter.
6. Be Honest With Yourself
Sometimes, you feel remorse for what you did, as you think there might have been a chance that you acted in haste. Being honest with yourself is never easy. You knew it wasn’t going to work out, and the longer you two stayed together, the more miserable you would have made one another.
Don’t let your mind trick you by replacing all the bad things with good times and being overwhelmed by the feelings of loneliness you’re experiencing. Be honest enough to recognize it wasn’t going to work, and the only thing worse than being single is being with the wrong one.
Scott Young is an esteemed author and motivational speaker. In one of his blog posts, he talks about how lying to yourself is easy. In fact, he says that you’re hardwired to lie, and it takes real effort to be honest.
What’s the first thing you do when you’re in trouble for playing hooky from work? You make up a white lie to cover the mistake. When it comes to relationships, you must be honest with yourself about the condition of your union.
Self-honesty is challenging, but you must do it in all aspects of your life. When you’re dishonest with someone else, they won’t trust you, but the consequences can be devastating when you’re lying to yourself.
Another bright spot in this whole situation is that time will heal all wounds. Even if you truly loved them, you might find it hard to be together with all the issues. Sometimes, love isn’t enough to keep things going.
The good news is that both of you will move on and find another person. In fact, if you had stayed together in a dead-end relationship, you might have missed out on the perfect person for you. You will find someone else, and chances are things will work out much better in the long run for both of you.
8. Praise Yourself for Making a Good Decision
Instead of beating yourself up with guilt over making this decision, why not praise yourself for having the guts to do something so hard? It takes real grit to stand up to someone you love and tell them that it’s not working anymore. So please don’t feel so guilt-ridden over this situation, but rather pat yourself on the back for being an adult and ending things before it got too bad.
9. Stop Looking at Things Negatively
It’s hard not to think about all the negative aspects of a breakup, but you need to focus on the positive things. While the sting of moving on is not something soon forgotten, you must turn your focus towards the optimistic side. For instance, they will move on, find someone who suits them better, and you won’t have to be miserable anymore.
When making that pro and cons list, remember that you want to focus on all the good reasons why ending it was the best choice.
10. Block All Social Media Handles
Cyberstalking someone isn’t going to help you get over the guilt you feel. In fact, it’s probably going to make things ten times worse. How can you get over something if your ex-love posts about a broken heart and the sting of being dumped?
It would help if you blocked them from all your social media pages, even if it rips your heart out. Tell them why you feel it’s in your best interest to limit contact if you end things on a good note. Eventually, you might be able to add them back as a friend, but in the short term, it’s not a good idea to follow them when you’re trying to release guilt.
11. Link Up With a Counselor
Counselors specialize in breakups. If you were to pool a therapist about the issues they handle daily, you would find that probably a large portion was over broken hearts. Love is an emotion that’s challenging to maneuver, but when you break up with one another, the pain can be as deep as if someone plunged a knife into your heart.
A counselor can help you put things into perspective. They can help you with the guilt you feel by giving you assignments to help release it. Since they’ve become experts in this topic, they know how to provide you with practical tools to get through it.
12. Guilt Is A Battle Of Unforeseen
Turning to your higher power is certainly warranted in this situation. Not only do you need to forgive yourself for your part in the union, but you also need to pray and turn to your higher power for strength. The fact is that you decided to protect your happiness, and there’s never any reason to feel guilt over safeguarding yourself.
You must recognize and accept your feelings of guilt, as it’s a normal part of a human reaction from a breakup. Even if the relationship was toxic, it’s still a loss that you must grieve.
The key is not to let the grieving process go on for too long. As they say, the best way to get over one person is to meet someone new, and it’s time for you to be happy with the right one.