It is no fun getting to the point of accepting that a long term relationship is no longer going well. Then arise the more delicate issue of contemplating to break up the relationship. Had this been just the problem with most long term relationship breakups, that would have been be more tolerable. The most difficult part is actually dealing with the guilt of separating with someone you have loved for so long.
This feeling of guilt often arises because nobody wants to cause harm to someone they have loved so much. Therefore thoughts about what the repercussions of such actions on the person might be starts flooding your mind.
Such good feelings makes you not wanting to hurt or make them cry and heartbroken. You begin considering how they would be able to cope without you in their lives. You might also be having feelings of being responsible for them. These are some of the causes of the guilt most people feel when breaking up a long term relationship.
The Role of Forgiveness
These feelings are natural and are indicative of the fact that you care about your partner and considerate towards them. Sadly though, this is where the problem arises. It is quite easy to actually feel guilty about things if we allow it. However, it is not always that easy to deal with the guilt and ultimately stop feeling guilty. These guilty feelings will remain with you if you are still trying in to mentally right a wrong.
It is true that there are things we could have done and probably not have done. These could have helped the relationship survive. However, you might never know what the outcome of those actions might have been. And this is true even when you might have taken them in the course of trying to salvage the relationship in its ailing days.
You should understand that it takes two to make a relationship work. This is irrespective of what your presumed failures were in the relationship. You can only be responsible for someone else to a point.
What makes this direr from a psychological point of view is the notion that most people hold. Some people believe in punishing themselves for past wrongdoings. The belief is that such punishment proves that they are actually sorry and therefore are good people. The problem in this stern from the fact that most people at this stage become too hard on themselves. They virtually feel guilty indefinitely as they find it hard accepting forgiveness.
Nonetheless they fail to realise that feeling guilty does absolutely nothing to change what has happened in the past. There is no benefit derivable from trying to mentally right the wrongs done in a failed relationship. You have to let the “what ifs” and “should haves” be done away with.
Accept Your Imperfections
At least that is a fair look at dealing with the causes of guilt arising from a failed relationship. Let’s try and consider some ways through which we can more effectively deal with this enemy, guilt.
There is no right or wrong way to deal with something like a breakup. For starters, you need to realise that it takes two people to make a relationship work. When you are convinced you did your best, then there should be no reason for feeling guilty that much. It is when you are not wholeheartedly convinced that you did your best that this guilt keeps lingering around.
It is also essential that you come to a realisation that you are not perfect and that nobody is. Do not get involved in endless days of self-blame or battering of your self-esteem because you believe you should have known better and acted differently. You are not perfect and that is just life for you. Accept this in its entirety and forgive yourself.
Every relationship has its good and bad times. So try and remember the good and bad from the relationship and note what you have learnt from them. This is important as it might be of help to you in your future relationships.
Stop Punishing Yourself
You should therefore decide to stop punishing yourself for the failed relationship and let go of the guilty feelings. Next you will need to forgive yourself as this is a key factor to your health and happiness. When you do let go of these negative feelings of guilt, your feelings will now be replaced with feelings of peace, contentment and self-worth.
Finally, you should start doing those things that you love doing and that make you feel good about yourself to release some positive energy into your life to kick start your love life again.
As a closing remark, humans are generally afraid of change as change often bring with it uncertainties and fears. As a result, most maintain the status quo. And this is even when the change might have done them a lot of good. Change can be positive and it can bring newness of life and help us expand our horizons. You should not let the past but the present determine your future.
Consequently, we have to let go of the past and learn to live in the present. This is irrespective of what we might assume we now know might have corrected the anomalies in our failed relationships. It is therefore up to you to decide. Are you going to keep living in your guilt or start living your life to its fullest.
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