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Why do I feel guilty even though I’m the one who was dumped?

HomeForumsRelationshipsWhy do I feel guilty even though I’m the one who was dumped?

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  • #381481
    Grace
    Participant

    I was with my boyfriend for a year and a half. 4 months of that we were living with his family and not even 2 months in our new flat when he said he wasn’t happy anymore and didn’t see a future with me. The day after the break up he said he 6wanted to try and fix things (although one thing he said sticks in my mind – do you really love me or did you like the convenience of having someone to live with so you wouldn’t be alone), I heard hardly anything over the next couple of days and when I reached out he had changed his mind again. This break up completely destroyed me and yet I’ve found that I’m blaming myself for the break down completely?

    A little bit of background, we were both quite different in character. I suffer from anxiety and am quite reserved, he’s a bit of a livewire and adrenaline junkie, always getting up to certain stuff. But we had fun. For a year of our relationship we would spend the weekend out at cool places, I would really enjoy it. He would take me on holiday and I used to think wow this guy is really perfect. I wanted to commit to this guy. He’s attractive, funny, nice, gets me gifts. Anyway, an opportunity came up with a new job where I could move to the same county as him. So I did, I uprooted my life and moved everything to be with him. Everything seemed fine, he spent a lot of nights online gaming but in a national lockdown that was understandable (or in my eyes at least) I remember feeling quite lonely and sad when he did that. Wondered if it meant he didn’t want to spend time with Me. Then when we got the flat is when things started to fall apart. I got a bad online shopping addiction, and couldn’t pull myself away from my phone, in instances where we were watching the TV. We had stopped sleeping together as much, my libido had completely dropped. I also suffered with mystery pain so it hurt. Then came housework, I used to do everything apart from the cooking and despite mentioning to him a couple of times it was stressing me out and exhausting me, he only said can you please stop nagging/snapping at me it’s making me unhappy. But I felt like I was doing everything. I was out at work most days and he was working from home, so I came back to things being left and it stressed me out.

    So basically, it’s been nearly 2 months since he broke up with me and I keep finding that I blame myself for pushing him away. I keep thinking what if I was really horrible to him and I’ve fogged that over? I keep feeling the urge to reach out to him and apologise for anything i did that caused him pain. I just don’t know what to do. The thought of my potential actions causing him to be unhappy eats me up. i realise now he was never ready to move in together at that stage (I was arranging all the viewings, sorted the docs, furniture etc) but i said i would get a place on my own if he wasn’t ready. He said no.

    At the end of the break up and once I had moved out of the flat (he took it on his own) he said he’s sorry for everything, and asked if I was okay. I said no I’m not alright, you’ve broken my heart. He followed this with ‘I never wanted to hurt you, you will be better off in the long run.” Then told me gossip about neighbours, followed by asking me how much the council Tax was. I just felt insulted and hurt and I didn’t end up replying to anything. I just removed him off all social media. I feel bad for ignoring him but I had just told him he broke my heart and I just got that back. Just a bunch of nothing messages.

    But yes any advice would be greatly appreciated. Was I really horrible? Should I reach out to him and apologise for anything I may have done to push him away? Was I a toxic person, did he have a lucky escape getting away from me?

    #381520
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Grace:

    Reads to me that your ex-boyfriend is an extrovert and you are an introvert. After the breakup, as an extrovert, he looks outside himself (“Then told me gossip about neighbours, followed by asking me how much the council Tax was”) while you look inside yourself.. looking for what you did wrong.

    The breakup followed 4 months of living with his family and 2 months living together in a flat- that’s not a long-term living-together situation, and reads like he wasn’t looking for a long-term relationship to begin with (“2 months in our new flat when he.. didn’t see a future with me.. I realise now he was never ready to move in together”). Seems to me that the breakup was bound to happen because he was not ready for a lifetime relationship.

    “Was I really horrible?”- no, doesn’t read like that at all!

    “Should I reach out to him and apologise for anything I may have done to push him away?”- No. It doesn’t read to me that you pushed him away. Reads to me that he was/is not ready for a lifetime relationship.

    “Was I a toxic person, did he have a lucky escape getting away from me?”- I am guessing that as a little girl you felt that when bad things happen.. it was your fault (?)

    anita

    #381532
    TeaK
    Participant

    Dear Grace,

    you said you were quite different in terms of temperament and character:

    I suffer from anxiety and am quite reserved, he’s a bit of a livewire and adrenaline junkie, always getting up to certain stuff.

    This doesn’t have to be a problem, but it can. For example, in my relationship I am more of a reserved, anxious person, whereas my husband is extrovert and open. But he’s not a social butterfly and doesn’t like large crowds, but prefers to spend his time at home (unless we go to trips etc). So we’re different in some aspects, but compatible in others, and it works.

    If you’re more of a stay-at-home type, while he enjoys spending his free time with friends, partying etc, that could be a problem. Or if he likes adrenaline (perhaps he likes extreme sports where you’re afraid for his safety?), that too would be a big problem, because you being the anxious type would probably try to keep him home and safe with you, while he’d feel trapped and would miss excitement and adventure. I don’t know if this is the case with the two of you, but it’s a scenario in which two people aren’t really compatible, and their differences are too big for the relationship to work.

    When he asked you “Do you really love me or did you like the convenience of having someone to live with so you wouldn’t be alone?“, what do you think he was referring to? How do you think he might have felt “unloved” by you? You say you felt unloved when he spent lots of nights online gaming, probably not paying attention to you as much as you would have wanted to. How do you think he felt unloved?

    Was I really horrible? Should I reach out to him and apologise for anything I may have done to push him away? Was I a toxic person, did he have a lucky escape getting away from me?

    I don’t think you’re horrible, or a toxic person at all. Part of the problem might be your incompatibility, and a part could be certain character weaknesses, on both sides. You said you felt lonely and sad when he was online gaming. Perhaps that means you feel unloved/unlovable unless he showers you with love all the time?

    His character weaknesses might be that he wasn’t sensitive enough and didn’t have empathy for you, e.g. he told you to stop nagging him when you’d complain about too much house work, or he attempted to do small talk when you were in pain, after the breakup.

    I think it’s definitely not just your fault, so try not to beat yourself up. Try rather seeing is an opportunity to get to know yourself better, get clear about your preferences and what kind of personality you prefer in a guy, and simply, try see it as a learning experience.

     

    #381544
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Grace:

    I didn’t spend much time on your thread yesterday and felt that I didn’t do a thorough job replying to you. I will try to do better today, and answer the questions you brought up: “Was I really horrible? Should I reach out to him and apologise for anything I may have done to push him away? Was I a toxic person, did he have a lucky escape getting away from me?”-

    – if you have done him wrong, it looks like you greatly magnified the wrong, referring to yourself as “horrible” and “toxic”. There is no account of horrible or toxic behavior on your part (or on his part) in what you shared. In my reply to you yesterday, I assumed that (1) you did no wrong of significance, and (2) that he was not interested in a long-term relationship with you to begin with.

    Today, I still think that you magnified your wrongdoings in the relationship, but I now consider that those wrongs were not insignificant. He told you: “stop nagging/ snapping at me, it’s making me unhappy”. You didn’t add that he was wrong saying what he said, which means that  you really did nag and snap at him, and this is a wrongdoing in the context of an intimate relationship, especially when it is done repeatedly.

    “I suffer from anxiety and am quite reserved.. part. I got a bad online shopping addiction, and couldn’t pull myself away from my phone… We had stopped sleeping together as much, my libido had completely dropped” – anxious, reserved, stuck to your phone, no longer sleeping with him.. maybe that’s what he meant when he asked you: “do you really love me or did you like the convenience of having someone to live with so you wouldn’t be alone”, maybe he felt that he was not special to you, that the only benefit he provided to you was.. just being there physically, in the background, so that you are not completely alone.

    You asked for advice. If you would like to let me know if I am partly or wholly correct in this reply, and elaborate on what I wrote here, please do and I will reply to you further with advice. Otherwise, I hope you feel better soon and I wish you well.

    anita

    #381891
    anita
    Participant

    How are you, Grace?

    anita

    #381900
    Grace
    Participant

    Hi Anita,

    Apologies for not replying before. I am better thank you, how are you? I have thought about the responses and had time to reflect and I realise we were just not compatible, at least not then. I suffered with anxiety and health anxiety and I feel as though he pushed me, because he wanted things his way. More exciting and potentially risking getting into trouble sometimes. Which highly stressed me out. I also did feel like I was being taken for granted and as if  I was being treated like the help or a maid with constantly picking up after him. In my mind it feels like I was doing everything he wanted, wanted to keep him happy and as soon as I let my guard down and started doing things for me and not just keeping it easy for him, he left. My perspective I know, not his. He probably sees me as this moany, boring, frigid girl who made him feel suffocated. But I feel like he didn’t have much respect for me and I can see that now after looking back at old messages.

    #381901
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Grace:

    Good to read back from you! I am fine, thank you. What a big difference 15 days can make (since your original post). More distance in time and looking back at old messages with more objectivity did wonders for you. Your re-evaluation of the relationship reads objectively true: you were anxious and he pushed you, increasing your anxiety that way;  he was messy and he expected you to either endure the mess, perhaps, or to be  “constantly picking up after him”.

    “My perspective I know, not his. He probably sees me as this moany, boring, frigid girl who made him feel suffocated. But I feel like he didn’t have much respect for me”- it’s a good thing then that the relationship ended: disrespect in a relationship turns love into ice.

    anita

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