I Blamed My Ex For Our Breakup But Now I Realize It Was My Fault

It’s easy to blame the other person for ruining a relationship, but I’ve learned that I also need to take a good hard look at what I did to contribute to things falling apart. I never realized how responsible I was for my breakup until months after it had happened. Here’s what I did to ruin things without even knowing it:

  1. I blamed him for everything. It was never my fault. How could it be? I was the perfect girlfriend. I always thought of myself that way, at least, but I definitely wasn’t. We’re all human, we all make mistakes, and I should’ve taken more responsibility for the issues we had. It’s almost always a two-way street but I didn’t want to take a step back and see it that way.
  2. I considered myself much better at communicating than I actually was. Sure, I understood everything I was trying to say because it was coming from my own brain and perspective. The problem is that it wasn’t landing with him and he didn’t get what I meant. I didn’t understand that the measure of good communication isn’t how much you say but how well you relay your true intentions to another person.
  3. I demanded things he couldn’t give me. Everyone has limitations. I wanted him to go above and beyond what he as a person could give me and then I got upset and disappointed when he didn’t. I set myself up for failure but I didn’t see it that way. I just saw him as not caring enough about me to make a real effort. I didn’t understand what a relationship was supposed to be.
  4. I was incredibly needy and didn’t know it. I wanted him to be everything for me. I wanted the perfect relationship with the perfect man. I’ve always wanted a storybook romance even though logically my brain told me that they’re impossible. I asked him to complete me in a way that neither he or any other man could ever do. I have to complete myself.
  5. I only cared about what I thought a relationship “should” be. Rather than focusing on the individuality and specificity of any new partnership, I focused on the idea I had in my brain of how it should go. Any time it didn’t go that way or he did not meet the expectations he didn’t even know existed, I felt let down. How could he succeed when I set him up to disappoint me? He couldn’t read my mind but I expected him to.
  6. I probably should never have been with him in the first place. Honestly, if I’d been in the place I am now, I never would’ve picked him. I would’ve understood that we were wrong for each other in the very beginning. As it was, I just really liked him and I thought he was sweet. He was everything that the guy I dated before him wasn’t and I wanted to be comforted. I also did not give myself enough time to heal between my relationships.
  7. I squashed my own feelings because I was co-dependent. I thought that by pretending I didn’t have wants or needs, I was being a good girlfriend. I tried to be giving and loving, but it didn’t work because it wasn’t coming from the right place. I always hoped deep down that he would just magically repeat my behavior if I led by example. I wasn’t giving him what I wanted to give — I was giving what I wanted to receive. When I didn’t, I resented him.
  8. I changed for him without him asking for it or wanting it. I tried to change what I wanted from life to what he wanted, not seeing that it was unhealthy and actually bad for the relationship. By refusing to allow him to see my truth and share with him honestly, I ended up doing him a disservice. I’ll never know if he would have accepted me for who I really am because I didn’t give him the chance.
  9. I got angry with him for not actively appreciating me constantly. I was incredibly insecure. If I tried to look pretty for him and he didn’t say anything, I took offense and got pissed off. It was unfair and incredibly childish, but at the time I thought he was being a terrible boyfriend. I believed that the man who really loved me would shower me with constant compliments, or at least notice every time I made an effort.
  10. I needed too much validation. If he didn’t notice it and compliment me on it, it was like it didn’t happen. I got upset if he didn’t tell me all the time that I was talented and smart and capable. If he didn’t mention anything I did for a few days, I felt like I was somehow failing. Because I didn’t feel good about who I was, I needed him to tell me that I was good enough. When he didn’t, I felt even worse.
  11. I used alcohol as an excuse to unleash all my frustration. It’s no coincidence that all our worst fights happened after I’d been drinking. I couldn’t express myself adequately so I stuffed everything deep down inside. Then I let it all out on him when I’d had a few. He was completely unprepared for the force of my emotions and we had some really terrible fights. I said horrible things I’d never be able to take back. He would never have done that to me.
  12. I was extremely passive-aggressive. I thought I was very open, but in truth, I was terrified of being vulnerable. Instead of telling him how I really thought and felt, I buried it because I think I knew that it would mean we’d break up and I couldn’t handle that. I knew that we weren’t going to work, but I loved him so much that I couldn’t stand the thought. When my emotions did come up, I released them in all the wrong ways.
A former actress who has always loved the art of the written word, Amy is excited to be here sharing her stories! She just completed her first novel, and is also a contributor for Elite Daily, Dirty & Thirty, and Thought Catalog. Amy is the founder of What If Journey and can be found on Twitter @amyhorton18. You can also visit her website at amyhorton.net.