Recent breakup... dealing with guilt? - Anxiety and Depre...

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Recent breakup... dealing with guilt?

matt17 profile image

I recently had a pretty emotionally stressful breakup.

My ex and I had been dating for a year and a half. I fell out of love with her, and now I feel like something is wrong with me.

She was in school and had 2 jobs and would often bring her stress home with her. She never did it intentionally - it was just her way of coping, because she had bad anxiety too.

But, after time, her stress overwhelmed me. I tried very hard to listen and be patient, but after a while, I just got more and more overwhelmed by it all - trying to bear my own anxiety and help with hers was a lot for me to handle.

Our communication with each other was pretty good, for the most part. We often let each other know how we were feeling, what we needed, etc. and we never blamed each other or pointed fingers.

I guess I fell out of love a while before we broke up. I had this nagging voice in my head a few months ago that was telling me that I didn’t love her. I pushed it away though. I thought, “How can you not love her? She’s funny, smart, and has the biggest heart of anyone that you have ever met in your life.” I thought I could just get over it, and that I was lucky to even have her.

But last week, when things got bad, and we really weren’t clicking, I told her I needed a break. I was getting so overwhelmed by her stress and the stress of my new job that I just thought that it would help to take a breather and gather my thoughts. But it didn’t get better.

When we got back together to talk, I gave her a list of some things that were stressing me out. Which I don’t think was a great idea, but that’s what happened. She sat and listened intently and wanted to fix things. But I just couldn’t bring myself to want to fix things any more. And she could see that. So she asked me if I still loved her.

I had to be honest. Amidst my tears I said, “No.”

We both cried our eyes out... Me out of guilt, apologizing profusely, and her because her heart was broken...

We have been broken up for a week and a half now and I feel such deep regret, shame, and guilt for breaking her heart. I feel unworthy of love. I miss her. I am scared that I really hurt her. I feel ashamed and feel like something is wrong with me for not loving her.

I just really can’t stop blaming myself. Any thoughts or words to help me cope?

As always, thanks in advance for listening. matt17

9 Replies

I think you did what’s right for the both of you. You feel this pain because you are a good person. I’m sorry things didn’t work out between you two. Don’t beat yourself up too much. Try and turn this situation into a learning experience. Ask yourself how you can be a better person. Implement positive change and the world will return that favor to you.

matt17 profile image
matt17 in reply to Emily16

You’re right - I saw a quote recently that said, (paraphrasing here lol) open wounds still hurt, but when it becomes a scar, it won’t hurt anymore. Thanks for the reassuring words, Emily

Emily16 profile image
Emily16 in reply to matt17

My pleasure.💘 Love is a very tricky emotion. But I would never choose a day without love. I’m confident you’ll find your love.

Sorry to hear matt. Break ups are never easy, even for the person ending the relationship. But you can't fake love and if you've fallen out of love then you can't help that. I personally think that if a couple both suffer anxiety then it could be a good thing as far as understanding the other goes. I would try and be a good friend to her if I were you and she would accept that

matt17 profile image
matt17 in reply to

You’re right. You can’t fake it. Not sure how I feel about trying to be friends yet... I think it’s still really fresh and I don’t want to make things worse for both of us

Hey matt17.

First of all, congrats for admitting the truth to yourself, aka that you fell out of love. This takes courage and shows you are emotionally healthy.

It took me 3 years to see it, during which time I kept blaming my partner for things I thought he did wrong. In reality, I couldn't admit I didn't love him anymore.

My partner was also a great person, like you mention your ex is. Society, family, etc teach us that when we partner up with "good people" we should be thankful and naturally love them. This is a big trap in my opinion. Love is not rational. We should be allowed to fall in love with "bad people" and fall out of love with "good people". The things that make a couple work are most of the time unconscious to both partners. So two "good people" might not click, for whatever reason, and this is ok. Falling in love and out of it are two processes that we do not rationally understand to this day. I think that this mystery of why love happens and unhappens is a root cause for feelings of shame, blame and unworthiness.

Also, people change! All the time in my opinion. So if you clicked last year, it is perfectly naturally to not click this year.

Maybe you fell out of love because of all the stress your ex was bringing into the relationship. Maybe, in your evolutionary journey as a person, you got what you needed from this relationship, and when there was nothing more there for you, your heart decided to move on, even if your mind does not yet agree.

Let me tell you what would happen if you hadn't admitted to not loving her anymore and stayed in the relationship. Some months or even a year would pass and your resentment towards her would grow, and grow, and grow. And you would be irritated by little things out of the blue, and cause her to be unhappy, and cause you to be unhappy. And you might even start to unconsciously hate her, since you'd be staying in a relationship you don't want for her sake, to not break her heart.

Also, if a new love interest presents itself, don't hesitate to pursue it. Love is cured with love!

matt17 profile image
matt17 in reply to lola_rennt

Thank you for the assuring words, lola_rennt. I like what you said about society, etc. telling us how to think... I hadn’t really thought of it that way, but you’re totally right. Why can’t we just feel what we feel, right?

A few questions for you - how did you handle things after the breakup? Did you talk with each other after the breakup? Where are you guys now?

I can’t even explain how much I appreciate your insight. I’ve really been struggling with this lately.

lola_rennt profile image
lola_rennt in reply to matt17

Hey matt17,

It's a struggle, I feel ya. Breaking up with someone who didn't do anything wrong is more of a struggle than a normal break up due to infidelity of what have you.

Not to discourage you, but for me the grievance of that break up hasn't left me, after 5 years. I feel bad that it didn't work out and the love run out, but I have learn to accept that it couldn't have been otherwise.

I remember picking up Eckhart Tolle's book 'The power of now' ( or any online bookstore). Among other things, he discusses relationships from a perspective that helped me at the time. Also, check out his youtube videos on relationships. I was also into yoga at the time, so I would do 30min of yoga daily, but I only did this for 4 weeks after the break up. 4 weeks after the break up I went on a 2 week holiday and partied hard and met new people. Looking back, this helped me more than I dared to admit at the time. Christmas break is coming up. If you can afford a holiday with some good friends, I think it can help you.

We started talking with each other on the phone three weeks after the break up, with a frequency of 3-4 times/week. I think this helped us move on. When you have someone in your life as a constant presence for a long time and then you break up, it's like losing a friend. Talking helps lessen this feeling of loss, I think. I remember being very strict about not meeting in person with him. I think if you see her in person you 'll be more likely to feel worse about yourself and get back together with her, even if you don't love her anymore.

matt17 profile image
matt17 in reply to lola_rennt

I’ll have to look into reading that book. It seems very interesting.

And I guess I’ll give it one more week and then decide if reaching out to her would be a good idea. Just need a little more time I think. Thank you for the help ❤️

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